ing programs that offer the possibility of fulfilling the long-recognized need to bring public health education to the homes and offices of the public health workforce. The Internet also offers the possibility of bringing public health education to populations across the country and around the world; indeed, health information sites are among the most popular and frequently visited of all Web applications.

Is this a system badly in need of rational reconstruction or is it simply a system of dynamic, if sometimes messy, innovation—an academic marketplace evolving rapidly to meet the country’s needs? Although it is not within the purview of the historian to answer such a question, it may be important to note one significant fact. Previous efforts to design truly effective systems of public health education generally foundered because of lack of political will, public disinterest, or paucity of funds. Since September 11, 2001, however, the context has changed dramatically. With public health riding high on the national agenda and an abundance of funds being promised, perhaps there is now an opportunity, as there has not been for a very long time, to shape a future system of public health education that addresses the problems that have been so often described and analyzed.

04/15/02



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