This memo shows Koop's early and abiding concern for maintaining the professional standards and quality of training for the members of the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service, a mobile force of public health physicians, nurses, and technicians formally under the command of the Surgeon General who can be deployed by the federal government in cases of epidemics and natural disasters. The Commissioned Corps was suffering from uncertainty about its mission and a decline in morale after reductions in personnel and the closure of Public Health Service Hospitals, the training ground for Corps members, in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Koop considered his success in revitalizing the Commissioned Corps one of his most important legacies as Surgeon General.
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