Excerpt: Strong Hearts and Healing Hands

Dr. Clifford Trafzer - Distinguished Professor of History

In 1924, the United States began a bold program in public health. The Indian Service of the United States hired its first nurses to work among Indians living on reservations. In Strong Hearts and Healing Hands historian Clifford E. Trafzer shows how field nurses and Native people formed a positive working relationship that resulted in the decline of mortality from infectious diseases. With strong hearts, Indians eagerly participated in the tuberculosis campaign of 1939–40 to x-ray tribal members living on twenty-nine reservations. Through their cooperative efforts, Indians and health-care providers decreased deaths, cases, and misery among the tribes of Southern California.

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