DR. KOOP: New Efforts Fight Tobacco, Other Hazards
The New York Times takes a look at Dr. Everett Koop, the "retired" former Surgeon General who has his hands fuller than ever with the Koop Institute at Dartmouth College and drkoop.com, a popular Web site which offers "free medical and health information," a personal patient medical database and links to 15 hospital sites. "The tobacco industry remains [Koop's] chief foe and is constantly on his mind": The institute is busy producing a media campaign that features evil "Smoking Joe Moose" battling hero "Nick Free" in "Tobacco Never Dies?" Other public health concerns include the large percentage of Americans without health insurance, "inadequate attention to people infected with the hepatitis C virus," increasing obesity, the "quality of teaching in medical schools," and the health care "system's failings ... made worse by the demands of managed care." Koop said, "The solution to the problem of inadequate care in this country is going to come when people have been persuaded to take charge of their health, to educate themselves on what may be involved if they become sick, to learn the options available to them, to learn what can be done to stay healthy, to understand what they can of their medical history." But he noted that with the number of uninsured people rising, "a critical mass of people is going to rise up and demand that some kind of national system be put in place to correct this" (Noble, 2/2).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.