War on Tuberculosis
MetLife began working with the National Tuberculosis Association in 1916 to control TB, America's number one killer at that time. The company donated $200,000 to sponsor a "town health demonstration" in Framingham, Mass.
|The campaign enlisted every local club, church, organization, and society, and set up committees with representatives from every block in the city. Over the next seven years, the 17,000 Framingham residents served as a laboratory for testing the efficiency of public health measures.|
|Welfare Division director Lee Frankel led MetLife's research and treatment work at Framingham, and his assistant and successor, Donald B. Armstrong, lived in Framingham with his wife and children.|
|By encouraging reasonable health rules and periodic physical examinations, and by providing health education in schools and factories, MetLife achieved its aim of reducing the ravages of TB in Framingham. Over the life of the project, the incidence of tuberculosis in this city was reduced 68 percent. Infant mortality decreased, as well, by 40 percent. After 1923, Framingham city officials continued the work, and the Framingham model became incorporated in county and city tuberculosis programs nationwide.|