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Dr. Jessie M. Bierman, Pioneered Well-Baby Programs

September 06, 1996

Jessie M. Bierman, 96, a pediatrician who pioneered health care for pregnant women and infants. She taught public health at UC Berkeley for 16 years, and also practiced it. During the Depression, Bierman helped set up health delivery programs at the U.S. Children's Bureau. She also created well-baby clinics in her native Montana that became a model for the nation. In the 1950s, Bierman was chief of the maternal and child health unit for the World Health Organization, carrying her prenatal and infant care around the world. Her groundbreaking study on genetics and environment, "The Children of Kauai," formed the basis for early childhood intervention programs that were begun in the 1960s. Bierman earned her medical degree at the University of Chicago in 1926. She endowed a research chair at the University of Montana, which funds a research vessel, the "Jessie B," which seeks ecological explanations for threatened species in Flathead Lake. On Aug. 26 in Carmel Valley, Calif.

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