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From: DMS Digest September/October 2001

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Dean's Column: A message to the community

Words cannot express the shock and sadness we all experienced since the September 11 mind numbing events unfolded. Our Dartmouth community has responded with prayers and support and continues to meet the needs of our fellow citizens in this time of national and personal tragedy.

More recently, with concerns about exposure to anthrax or other possible agents of bioterrorism, we take our responsibilities to protect the health and safety of our community very seriously. The medical school has nationally recognized infectious disease experts and public health readiness programs and both the medical center and the college are well prepared to recognize potential threats. We can go about our daily activities with vigilance but also with assurance that our community is on the alert.

In times like these, we are drawn together in our common respect for life. I know that some in the DMS Community have friends or family members who have been affected by this tragedy, and you have my deepest sympathy. The impact of this tragedy will become more evident and pervasive for a time. Dartmouth Medical School, through its faculty, students and staff, will continue to keep the community informed about measures to help restore our national spirit and global well being.

We may reflect on these words of the editor William Allen White written nearly 80 years ago:"Put fear out of your heart. This nation will survive, this state will prosper, the orderly business of life will go forward if only men can speak in whatever way given them to utter what their hearts hold - by voice, by posted card, by letter, or by press. Reason never has failed men. Only force and oppression have made the wrecks in the world. "

John C. Baldwin, MD
Dean, Dartmouth Medical School
Vice President for Health Affairs, Dartmouth College

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