Dr. Charles V. (Charles Value) Chapin, 1856-1941, was an internationally renowned pioneer in the field of public health and epidemiology, and served as Providence's superintendent of health from 1884 to 1932. During his tenure he published a medical treatise entitled Sources and Modes of Infection, which was regarded by contemporary scientists as one of the "most complete and most impartial documentary statements of our knowledge concerning the life and virulence of pathogenic microbes in the external world." His pioneering contributions to community hygiene and sanitary science were lasting. He led successful community hygiene practices to combat the flu epidemic of 1918 in Providence. Chapin pioneered the philosophy that diseases come from persons and not things, and that they are spread only by contact, food, and animal carriers. He inspired the evaluation all of the collective efforts of community hygiene in terms of outcomes. The Providence City Hospital was renamed the Charles V. Chapin Hospital in 1931 to recognize his substantial contributions to improving the sanitary condition of the city of Providence.
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