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Monthly Bulletin New York State Department of Health

ALBANY, N. Y.

COMMISSIONER

HERMANN M. BIGGS, M.D.

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The State Department of Health wishes, for all the citizens of New York State,– Health and Happiness during the coming year.

Happiness means much more than physical health. It means mental poise and moral power, efficiency and beauty, both in individual and community life. We can have these things in rich measure without health. Darwin was a chronic invalid; Milton was blind; Pasteur performed his best work after a stroke of apoplexy. Yet there is not one of the good things we wish for each other that may not more easily be built upon good health. Mental unbalance, moral weakness, poverty, ugliness, selfish isolation,-- how often these have their roots, in part at least, in some physical ailment. How great a part of the good forces of the world which ought to be devoted to positive advancement must be spent in the negative work of healing the wounds left by preventable disease and death.

The hopeful part of it is that so much of this sorrow and suffering is preventable,- is each year more and more being prevented. The sanitary work of earlier days consisted largely in cleaning up offensive conditions which had little or no bearing upon health at all, and in attempting to control epidemics after they had broken out and much of the harm was already done. The new health work is quieter and less dramatic. It is preventive, not merely remedial, — and it brings results.

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