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David Martin
University of Kansas Medical Center
913-588-1872

Media advisory: Author of 'American Medicine and the Panama Canal' available as 100th anniversary approaches

Wed, 08/13/2014

LAWRENCE — One hundred years ago Friday — Aug. 15, 1914 — the Panama Canal was officially opened by the passing of the SS Ancón. At the time, no single effort in U.S. history had exacted such a price in dollars or in human life.

The American expenditures totaled $352 mllion, far more than the cost of anything built by the U.S. government in the 19th century. Construction of the 48-mile ship canal also cost the lives of about 22,000 workers, many from disease.

Dr. Enrique Chaves-Carballo, professor of pediatrics at the University of Kansas Medical Center, can speak about the efforts of physicians to control yellow fever, malaria and other tropical diseases during the excavation of the canal.

Chaves-Carballo is the author of the recent book “American Medicine and the Panama Canal,” a collection of articles published in the journal Proceedings of the Canal Zone Medical Association (1908 to 1927). Chaves-Carballo also helped to curate an exhibit, “A Triumph of American Medicine: William Gorgas, Ancon Hospital and the Panama Canal,” at the Clendening History of Medicine Library at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas. A U.S. Army physician, Gorgas was the chief sanitary officer on the canal project.

To set up an interview with Chaves-Carballo, contact David Martin at 913-588-1872 or dmartin3@kumc.edu.



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