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Six Humanities Scholars Receive Federal Grants to Examine Health Issues

National Endowment for the Humanities and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agency form partnership to promote healthcare studies

WASHINGTON, February 12, 2001--Six humanities scholars have received fellowships to study the relationship between the humanities and healthcare through a new partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the two agencies announced today. Five of the fellowships, of 9 to 12 months duration, are for $35,000. The sixth, 6 to 8 months long, is for $24,000. The stipends are provided through equal contributions from the two agencies.

"Humanities scholars bring important perspectives to bear on health issues," said NEH Chairman William R. Ferris. "NEH's partnership with HHS's Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality will help place contemporary healthcare in a broad historical and philosophical context."

"We are pleased to collaborate with the National Endowment for the Humanities to support these studies and future research at the intersection between the humanities and health," said John M. Eisenberg, M.D., AHRQ's director. "This research offers the essential cultural and historical context needed to understand the important role that health and healthcare play in our society, and also provides an important framework for the contributions to understanding ways to improve healthcare that are made by the health services research supported by AHRQ."

The grantees are:

  • ARIZONA
    Paul V. Dutton ($35,000)
    Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff
    (520) 523-8830
    RESEARCH TOPIC: The effect of France's establishment of national medical insurance on the relationship between French doctors and insurance providers and on patient care, 1928-1945.
  • CALIFORNIA
    Marcia L. Meldrum ($35,000)
    Independent scholar, Los Angeles, Calif.
    (310) 825-3888M
    RESEARCH TOPIC: 20th-century social attitudes toward pain.
  • MASSACHUSETTS
    Lauri K. Umansky ($35,000)
    Suffolk University, Boston, Mass.
    (617) 573-8120
    RESEARCH TOPIC: Post-World War II social attitudes toward physically disabled mothers.
  • MISSOURI
    Nancy Cervetti ($24,000)
    Avila College, Kansas City, Mo.
    (816) 942-8400
    RESEARCH TOPIC: The letters of S. Weir Mitchell (1829-1914), a neurologist renowned for his studies of Civil War gunshot wounds and of hysteria.
  • NEW YORK
    • G. Thomas Couser ($35,000)
      Hofstra University, New York, N.Y.
      (516) 463-5454
      RESEARCH TOPIC: Ethical issues involved in writing about the lives of people rendered mute by disabilities.
    • Frances M. Kamm ($35,000)
      New York University, New York, N.Y.
      (212) 998-8331
      RESEARCH TOPIC: Permissible harm, patients rights, and ethical issues in the rationing of scarce healthcare resources.

Applications for the second round of AHRQ-NEH fellowships, for the year 2001-2002, are now being accepted. Stipends of up to $40,000 will be provided. The application deadline is May 1, 2001. Applications must be submitted to NEH. The fellowship program description and application materials are online at www.neh.gov. Send inquiries by email to fellowships@neh.gov or call NEH program officer Daniel Jones at (202) 606-8217.

AHRQ, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the lead agency charged with supporting research designed to improve the quality of health care, reduce its cost, improve patient safety, address medical errors, and broaden access to essential services. AHRQ sponsors and conducts research that provides evidence-based information on health care outcomes; quality; and cost, use, and access.

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About the National Endowment for the Humanities

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.

Media Contacts: Office of Communications at (202) 606-8446 or info@neh.gov