Population Health Over the Next Decade: Major Challenges and Policy Prospects

Centennial Issue Population Health

This year marks the 100th anniversary of The Milbank Quarterly. For the past century, the Quarterly has served the public health, medical, and health policy communities by publishing timely, rigorous, evidence based research and policy-focused commentaries. Now, on the occasion of the journal’s centennial, there is cause for both celebration and reflection.

Initially named The Milbank Memorial Fund Quarterly Bulletin, the inaugural issue in 1923 reported on the Fund’s Health and Tuberculosis demonstrations in New York State. These demonstrations emanated from the Fund’s mission “to improve the health of individuals and populations by applying the findings of the best available research and relevant experiential learning to health policy and practice.” Volume 1, Number 1 of the Bulletin was the first in a series of quarterly reports on the Fund’s work in cooperation with the New York State Department of Health to build a public health infrastructure by establishing County Health Districts and local boards of health in towns to undertake tuberculosis case finding surveys.1

Over the course of the next decade, the journal played an instrumental role in charting the progress of public health campaigns to reduce the prevalence of tuberculosis and mitigate its effects in both rural and urban communities across New York State.2 During this period, the journal published numerous articles on public health efforts to control diphtheria, pertussis, and other diseases of global concern in England, Russia, China, and Yugoslavia.3 These various updates were valuable contributions to the fight against communicable diseases in the early 20th century. Thus began the journal’s legacy of publishing action-oriented research evidence aimed at improving public health.


1. New York Health and Tuberculosis Demonstrations. The Milbank Memorial Fund Quarterly Bulletin 1923;1(1):1-9.
2. The New York Health Demonstrations Project to Terminate. The Milbank Memorial Fund Quarterly Bulletin 1930;8(3):49-56.
3. The Milbank Memorial Fund Quarterly Bulletin 1933; 11(2): 82–87; 11(4): 256–272; 11(4) 325–341; & 1934;12(1):15-27.

Cohen AB, Galea S, Lantz PM. Population Health Over the Next Decade: Major Challenges and Policy Prospects. Milbank Q. 2023;101(S1): 9-19.