Nicholas Cunningham ’46

Finally, I must admit to having joined the ranks of the retired; last fall, I taught my last class (Int. Maternal & Child Health) @ Columbia University.

When I started out, all I wanted to do was practice pediatrics; then I got obsessed with health care systems, then teaching, and now I’m hoping to concentrate on writing. I grew up on a farm but learned to ride at Thacher. The Thacher English teaching was so good that I was exonerated from “English A” @ Harvard, so took German & French, which got me into med school @ Johns Hopkins. Peace Corps service in Togo soon showed me the need for more learning at the London School of Hygiene, and then a DrPH at Hopkins. Since then I’ve learned from my patients (and parents!) & from my students at the Columbia (Mailman) School of Public Health. Now, I can’t wait to distill what I’ve learned about how to help those most in need and especially the importance of integration in the delivery of all health care:

– curative with preventive,
– maternal with child,
– nutritional with anti-infection/infestation,
– health with education… especially of girls & women,
– primary with 2ndary and tertiary, and
– acute with sustainable continuity of care.

This will require relying on what Thacher taught me 70 years ago about how to write!

So thank you once again Sherman & Anson Thacher for all those they’ve inspired to teach and learn at Casa de Piedra, and on the trails to the Sespe and beyond.

Nicholas Cunningham CdeP 1946

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