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Katharine Dodge Brownell was born in Boston. She received her A.B. in 1923 from Vassar College and her M.D. in 1928 from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In 1948, she received an M.P.H. from the Columbia University School of Public Health. Brownell trained in pediatrics while at Johns Hopkins, then went on to join the faculty of the New York University College of Medicine and did pioneering work on rheumatic fever in children. She held several public health appointments in New York City and New York State, and during World War II was commissioned a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Public Health Service. She was eventually assigned to the United Nations Relief and Reconstruction Administration and served as chief medical officer in Greece and Palestine. The first woman elected to the board of directors of the Leake Watts Children’s Home in Yonkers, New York, Brownell served on the board until her death in 1983.

Scope and Content

The Katharine D. Brownell Collection spans most of her medical career after leaving Johns Hopkins. The bulk of the material relates to Brownell’s work with the U.S. Public Health Service on assignment for the United Nations Relief and Reconstruction Administration. Materials from A Greece Mission in the late 1940s include correspondence, diaries, notebooks, worksheets, and administrative documents. Also included in the collection are biographical information, clippings, talks, and reprints of Brownell’s articles.

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