Howard Markel M.D., Ph.D., F.A.A.P.

George E. Wantz Distinguished Professor of the History of Medicine
Director, Center for History of Medicine
University of Michigan
Email: howard@umich.edu Discipline: History of Medicine, Pediatrics

Investigator Award
History Informing Public Health Preparedness Policy in the 21st Century: A Qualitative Study of Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions and Community Experiences during the 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic
Award Year: 2007 The influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 was the deadliest contagious calamity in human history, killing 650,000 people in the United States and 50 million worldwide. But the pandemic's effects varied geographically - some communities were devastated while others suffered few if any deaths. To learn why, Howard Markel, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.A.P. and Alexandra Minna Stern, Ph.D., conduct a comprehensive review of the strategies used by 43 U.S. cities during the 1918-1919 flu epidemic. Markel and Stern examine such public health measures as isolation of the ill, quarantines on those suspected of contact with the ill, school closures, and bans on public gatherings. They also analyze the cities' demographic and housing characteristics, morbidity and mortality patterns, political leadership and coordination among government agencies, supply of health care facilities and medical personnel, and compliance with public health measures. Their project, History Informing Public Health Preparedness Policy in the 21st Century: A Qualitative Study of NonPharmaceutical Interventions and Community Experiences during the 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic, aims to extract lessons that can inform public health policymaking and preparedness planning today.

Background

Howard Markel, M.D., Ph.D., is the George Edward Wantz Distinguished Professor of the History of Medicine, professor of pediatrics and communicable diseases, professor of history, professor of health management and policy, professor of psychiatry, and director of the Center for the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School. He was educated at the University of Michigan (A.B., in English Literature, summa cum laude, 1982; M.D., cum laude, 1986) and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Internship, Residency, and Fellowship in General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 1986-1991; Ph.D., History of Science, Medicine and Technology, 1994). A prolific writer, Dr. Markel is the author of several books including The H.L. Mencken Baby Book (1990), The Portable Pediatrician (1992, first edition; 2000, second edition) and, The Practical Pediatrician: The A to Z Guide to Your Child's Health, Behavior and Safety (1996). His award-winning study of immigration and public health in the United States during the 19th century, Quarantine! East European Jewish Immigrants and the New York City Epidemics of 1892 was published by the Johns Hopkins University Press in June 1997. His most recent book, When Germs Travel: Six Major Epidemics That Have Invaded America Since 1900 and the Fears They Have Unleashed, a history of the American immigration experience with disease and public health in the 20th century, was published by Pantheon/Alfred A. Knopf Books in May 2004. His research has focused primarily on the social history of epidemics, public health and children's health in the United States during the 19th and 20th century. He is internationally known for his scholarship on the social risks and stigma of contagious diseases and the uses and misuses of quarantine and other mandatory public health measures. From 2005 to 2006, Dr. Markel served as a historical consultant on Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Planning for the U.S. Department of Defense. From 2006 to the present, he serves as the principal historical consultant for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Planning. Dr. Markel was elected a member of the Institute of Medicine in 2008. Dr. Markel is a frequent contributor to The New York Times and is a contributing writer and columnist for the Journal of the American Medical Association. His articles, essays, commentaries, and reviews have also appeared in Harper's Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic, The Wall Street Journal, The International Herald Tribune, The American Scholar, The Washington Post, The Baltimore Evening Sun, The Boston Globe, The Forward, Redbook, ELLE, Child, and Good Housekeeping and on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" and Public Radio International's "Marketplace". He is the author of over one hundred articles and reviews on pediatrics and the history of medicine in such scholarly publications as New England Journal of Medicine, American Journal of Public Health, Journal of the American Medical Association, The Lancet, and Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Encyclopedia of New York City, Oxford Companion to United States History, American National Biography, and Encyclopedia of Microbiology.

Honor Description
Appointed Editor-in-Chief, Milbank Quarterly, October 1, 2013.