Back in 1937, the state's public health agency focused on various topics, some of which are still important to us today, such as Maternal and Child Health, and some which are no longer as much of a concern, such as tuberculosis. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, tuberculosis was a major public health issue throughout the United States, and thousands flocked to Colorado for what was known as the "climate cure." Scientific treatment methods for tuberculosis, however, didn't really become successful until after WWII. Therefore, the 1937 report includes considerable discussion on efforts to control tuberculosis.
The report also shows that wastewater was a significant public health concern in 1937, especially in rural areas where plumbing standards were still low. In 1937 the health department included both a "Division of Sanitary Engineering" and a "Division of Plumbing," the latter division working to "raise the standard of sanitation and thereby protect the public against installations which are a menace to their health and safety." They investigated 104 complaints that year.
|A young patient at Children's Hospital in Denver circa 1930s.|
Much of the 1937 report contains statistics, such as morbidity rates; health services provided to the public; communicable diseases; birth and death data; and more. For additional reports and statistics on the state of public health in Colorado throughout its history, search our online catalog.
Photo courtesy Denver Public Library Western History & Genealogy Department