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Manuscript Group 501
14 cubic feet

Papers of Dr. Leonard Bachman, Pennsylvania Secretary of Health from 1975 to 1979. Dr. Bachman was born May 20, 1925, son of George and Bessie (Cohen) Bachman. He earned his B.S. from Franklin and Marshall College in 1946 and his M.D. from the University of Maryland in 1949. Following an internship at Rotating University Hospital in Baltimore, 1949-1950, he served as an anesthesiologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital from 1953 to 1955, as instructor of anesthesiology at Johns Hopkins Medical School from 1953-1955, as director of the Division of Anesthesiology at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia from 1955 to 1972; and as professor of Anesthesia at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine from 1966 to 1973. He was president of the Pennsylvania Society of Anesthesiologists from 1968-1969, chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section of Anesthesiology from 1970-1973, board member of the Society Hill Civic Association in 1968, Democratic candidate for the United States Congresss for Delaware County in 1964, chairman of the Democratic Committee of Delaware County in 1965, president of the Central Philadelphia Reform Democrats from 1967, chairman of Health Professionals for Humphrey/Muskie in 1968, co-chairman of Health Professionals for Shapp/Kline in 1970, and a member of the Urban Coalition of Philadelphia.

The Department of Health was created by the Act of April 27, 1905 (P.L. 312) to replace the State Board of Health and Vital Statistics that was originally established in 1885. The Department has the authority to enforce all statutes pertaining to public health and the rules and regulations passed by Pennsylvania's Advisory Health Board. In addition to the Secretary of Health, the Advisory Health Board is composed of eleven members appointed by the Governor and is charged with establishing rules and regulations for the prevention of disease, protection of lives and health, and with providing health services to counties and other political subdivisions. The official records of this agency held by the Pennsylvania State Archives are in Record Group 11, the Records of the Department of Health.

In addition to enforcing statutes and regulations pertaining to public health matters, the Department works to prevent and suppress outbreaks of disease, and to ensure high quality health care at a reasonable cost by coordinating a comprehensive state-wide health program. As part of its responsibilities, the Department of Health operates numerous State Health Centers that serve as the primary public health service units in their communities. The Department also operates bureaus and programs dealing with the control and prevention of cancer and communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, conducts laboratory research, collects health statistics on preventative and educational programs for mothers and their children, drug and alcohol abuse, and regulates pharmaceutical drugs, devices, and cosmetics.

The Secretary of Health serves as chairman of the Advisory Health Board, the Health Care Policy Board, the Primary Care Advisory Committee, the Advisory Council on Drug and Alcohol Abuse, the Drug, Device and Cosmetics Board, the Vietnam Veterans Health Initiative Commission, the Governor's Children's Cabinet, the Children's Health Advisory Committee, and the Renal Disease Advisory Committee. The Secretary is also a member of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Coordinating Council, the Council of Sexual Minorities, the Drug Policy Council, the Environmental Quality Board, the Governor's Interdepartmental Council on Seasonal Farm Workers, the Governor's Traffic Safety Council, the Health Care Cost Containment Council, the Health Care Services Malpractice Act Committee, the Humanity Gifts Registry, the Intra-governmental Council on Long Term Care, The Cancer Control Prevention and Research Advisory Board, the Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Council, the Pennsylvania Emergency Response Commission, the Nursing Home Loan Agency, the Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation, the State Board of Dentistry, the State Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators, the State Board of Medicine, and other health-related committees.

These papers include primary and secondary school materials, medical papers, correspondence, and reports from the Department of Health and also relating to his role with the federal Department of Health and Human Services. Some political and campaign files are present relating to Dr. Bachman's run for congress in 1964.

PA State Archives Hours, Directions, & Fees Research Topics Finding Aids for Collections Land Records