The inauguration ceremony for the history wall of the College of Public Health was held on August 1st at the auditorium of the Public Health Building. Dr. Si-Chen Lee, President of NTU, came to deliver a congratulatory speech. The occasion was also graced by the attendance of Dr. Ted Chen of the University of Tulane, Dr. Robert C. Myrtle of Southern California University, Professor Wen-Fu Kuo of the Department of Philosophy of NTU, and Mr. Kerh-Cheng Chen, who was a director from the Foundation of Chen Gong Bei Preventive Medicine. As the year 2011 marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of China, it is particularly meaningful to reflect upon the history of the development of the College of Public Health. In his speech, President Lee described how the College of Public Health developed from its origin in the time of the Imperial Taihoku University (during Japanese Occupation), and how it has made contributions to our society. He also encouraged the faculty and students in school today to remember their heritage and to carry forward the spirits of their predecessors, so as to meet the mental health needs of our people. The completion of the history wall is greatly attributable to the efforts of Professor Hsiu-Jung Chang, who compiled and compared the historical data of the College of Public Health, and also to Professor Wen-Fu Kuo, who inscribed the mission of the College “Health and Welfare” on the wall. In the future, the College of Public Health vows to uphold its core values of “CITE”(Compassion, Integrity, Teamwork , and Equality) to cultivate public health professionals with knowledge and skills and international perspectives to promote universal health.
The History Wall of the College of Public Health contains 16 parts, which are described separately below:
- In 1939, the Institute of Tropical Medicine was established.
The predecessor of the College of Public Health was the Institute of Tropical Medicine, which was established under the Taihoku Imperial University during Japanese Occupation. At that time, the Japanese Government was involved in the World War II, and the Institute was founded to help the government’s policy of “moving southward.” So, on April 28th, 1939, the Institute was established in accordance with the 278th decree of the Taiwan Governor’s Mansion. The first director of the Institute was Dr. Sadanori Mita, who was superseded by Professor Kumaichi Shimojo till the end of World War II.
- In 1945, taking over the Institute of Tropical Medicine Taiwan was restored to Chinese sovereignty after World War II, and the Institute of Tropical Medicine was reverted to the rule of the College of Medicine of National Taiwan University. The first Director of the Institute was Dr.Tsung-Ming Tu, who was the Dean of the College of Medicine at that time. The Institute had six major tracks of study, which were: tropical diseases, tropical hygiene, nutrition, chemistry, pharmacology, and bacterial serology. In 1948 the Institute of Tropical Medicine was approved by the Ministry of Education and became one of the five institutes of the College of Medicine. It recruited two graduate students , who were: Jia-Ching Lin and Bin-Zhou.
- In 1951, restructured to become the “Institute of Public Health”. In 1948, the hygiene classroom of the College of Medicine changed its name to “public health” discipline. In 1950, Dr. John B. Grant, a representative from the Rockefeller Foundation came to Taiwan. Under his advice, President Ssu-Nien Fu wanted to change the Institute of Tropical Medicine into the “Institute of Public Health” and “The Institute of Serum Vaccine. In 1951, National Taiwan University acquired a subsidy from the Sino-American Commission on Rural Reconstruction, so the Institute of Public Health was formally established. The first Director was Professor Jiaji Ma, who was the Dean of Academic Affairs of the National Defense Medical Center at that time. The office of the Institute was at Building 2 and Building 3 within the College of Medicine.
- In 1953, training course for public health personnel offered. After the restoration of Taiwan, public health officials at all levels were of clinical origins, very few of them ever received professional public health training. To redress this shortcoming, the Ministry of Education authorized the Institute of Public Health to cooperate with the Department of Health of the Taiwan Provincial Government and set up training courses for public health officials. These training courses were first offered in February of 1953. In 1955, when Professor Gong-Bei Chen took over as the Director of the Institute, he became more vehement. Till 1961, the Institute trained 816 students in total.
- In 1959, the Taipei Public Health Model Teaching Center was established. As per the suggestions of Dr. Harold W. Brown, former Dean of the College of Public Health, Columbia University, the Institute of Public Health of National Taiwan University cooperated with the Health Department of Taiwan Provincial Government and the Health Bureau of Taipei City, and established the “Taipei Public Health Model Teaching Center” on October 10th, 1959, to provide courses and training for medical students and medical staff all around the island of Taiwan. This was effective till the end of 1979.
- In 1961, the Institute of Public Health started recruiting Master’s Students. As the objective of a graduate institute was to recruit and cultivate graduate students, so that the students become leaders with professional knowledge and skills, so, starting from 1961, the Institute of Public Health started to recruit Master level students in the tracks of “Preventive Medicine” and “Public Health”. In its first year, only one student, Mr. Tsao-Ming Yen, was recruited. In 1985, a doctoral program was established in the Institute.
- In 1972, the Department of Public Health was established During the later part of the ‘60’s, the teaching faculty of the Institute of Public Health has increased to 22 people. The third Director of the Institute, Professor Gong-Bei Chen, felt that the number of medical professionals engaged in public health were becoming few and far between. In order to rectify this situation, he felt the need to establish a Department of Public Health to fulfill the need for basic level public health personnel. So, in August 1st, 1972, the Department of Public Health at National Taiwan University was established, which was considered a forerunner in international public health education.
- In 1976, Department of Public Health Service Corps established. In August, 1976, the Department of Public Health Service Corps was formally established with the aim toward going to faraway places to ‘”feedback the society and service the community” with what the students have learned from the University. In the first year, Professor Gong-Bei Chen was the leader of the Corps, while Mr. Ching-Chuan Yeh served as its captain. The Corps went to the Da-tung township in the I-Lan County to render its services for the first year. Later on, every year the service Corps was dispatched to various parts of the country. Now it has become a glorious tradition of the College of Public Health.
- In 1980, the “Public Health Cup” serial activities were initiated. In 1981, with the approval from China Youth Corps, the Department of Public Health of National Taiwan University organized the first “five school recreational activities.” and the other participating partners included the Department of Public Health from National Taiwan Normal University, The National Defense Medical Center, the Chinese Medical University, and the China University of Technology, etc. Later on, these recreational activities became the so-called “Public Health Cup” serial activities, and were organized by the various public health departments on a rotational basis. Now it has become a major annual event.
- In 1987, the National Public Health Staff Training Center established. To enhance the professional knowledge and skills of public health personnel, the Department of Health of the Executive Yuan commissioned The Institute of Public Health to establish a “Staff Training Center” for public health personnel, so people involved in the line of work could have some kind of on the job training. The director of the Center was taken by Professor Hsin-Ming Wu. From 1987 to 1995, courses were offered at for the basic level, the special level, the special topic level, and for administrative managers. Altogether 5,302 people received training.
- In 1988, the compiling of public health textbooks. To enhance the quality of domestic public health education, the Gong-Bei Chen Foundation of Preventive Medicine planned to publish textbooks on Public Health, and commissioned Professor Ruey Shiung Lin and Professor Tung-Liang Chiang to draft up the table of contents and the monograph guidelines. Famous scholars from home and abroad were invited to write on the various chapters, which were edited by Professor Chih-Liang Yang. The first edition was published in August of 1988.
- In 1993, the College of Public Health was established. In order to solve the shortage of public health professionals, experts and opinion leaders had proposed the establishment of a College of Public Health. First, Academician Tai-Jin Yuan had made such a proposal, then Mr. K.T. Li, senior advisor to the President had written to the President, followed by a legislative proposal submitted by Miss Po-Ya Chang and 20 other legislators. As a result, the Executive Council of National Taiwan University resolved to set up a preparatory committee during its 1962th meeting held on June 5th, 1990, and asked President Chen Sun to serve as its convener. The next year, this proposal was approved by the Ministry of Education, so the College of Public Health was officially established on August 1st, 1993. Professor Ruey Shiung Lin served as the first Dean of the College.
- In 2006, the College moved to the New Public Health Building. After the College of Public Health was established, the College was in dire need of new space. Through the efforts of various deans, the space problem remained unresolved. It was not until President Wei-Chao Chen ‘s term that he negotiated to have National Taiwan Hospital to come up with half of the funding, that the Ministry of Education agreed to subsidize the construction of a new building. So, in September of 2005, the new Public Health Building was completed. And, starting from January of 2006, various departments and institutes moved into the new building.
- In 2008, Master’s program established. After the ‘80’s , the College of Public Health focused its education on the inculcation of professional knowledge and research skills, but practical training should equally be emphasized. In order to cultivate talents with practical skills, and to converge with the developing trends of the world through the American public health review system, starting from October 2007 the College of Public Health established a Master’s Program with the approval of the Ministry of Education, and began to recruit students from 2008. This was the first Master’s curriculum in Taiwan that transcended the borderline of departments and institutes.
- In 2010, the restructuring of the College of Public Health. The reviews of 1999 and 2006 both pointed out the excess of departments and institutes and the lack of faculty members, so the College of Public Health decided to undergo a process of restructuring. In 2010, after a process of integration, the Institute of Health Policy and Management and the Institute of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine were established as a result, and all faculty members were hired by the various departments, with their teaching loads half shared by the department, and half shared by the institutes.
- In 2011, College History Wall Set up to celebrate the centenary of the Republic. W should never forget our roots so we can build a new future. As our nation celebrates its centenary, its seems particularly meaningful to reflect upon our development history. So we specifically set up the history wall to commemorate the fact that we were born, nurtured, and became robust on this piece of land. We are the best public health college in Taiwan. In the future we shall carry on our heritage, set our eyes in the world, continue to pursue excellence, so we can improve the welfare of all human beings.