Baehr, George 1887-1978

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Dr. Baehr, a fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine as of 1918, served as its president from 1945 to 1946.

From the description of Reprints of George Baehr's articles, 1909-1963. (New York Academy of Medicine). WorldCat record id: 77756139

Medical educator, clinician, group health prepayment plan founder, and administrator; M.D., Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, 1908; held a series of appointments at Mount Sinai, 1913-1950; advised Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia on health care issues, especially health care for low income people; in 1947 one of the founders of the Health Insurance Plan of Greater New York; president and medical director of H.I.P., 1950-1957 when he retired.

From the description of George Baehr papers, 1915-1978 (inclusive). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702166594

From the description of George Baehr papers, 1915-1978 (inclusive). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122562660

Medical educator, clinician, group health prepayment plan founder, and administrator; M.D., Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, 1908; held a series of appointments at Mount Sinai, 1913-1950; advised Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia on health care issues, especially health care for low income people; in 1947 one of the founders of the Health Insurance Plan of Greater New York; president and medical director of H.I.P., 1950-1957 when he retired.

George Baehr (1887-1978), in his seventy-year career as a medical educator, clinician, and group health prepayment plan founder and administrator, bridged the fields of medical care and clinical medicine. Born in New York City, Baehr completed the required one year of undergraduate work at Columbia College in 1904 and entered the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, where he received the M.D. degree in 1908. After completing an internship and residency in surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital, New York City, he studied pathology, physiology, and biochemistry at the Universities of Freiburg and Vienna from 1911 to 1913. Baehr returned to Mount Sinai in 1913, where he held a succession of appointments and served as attending physician, director of medicine, and director of clinical research from 1927 to 1950. While at Mount Sinai his research contributions covered a wide area and included work in collagen diseases, renal complications of heart disease, and hematology. He was also a pioneer in the field of continuing medical education.

Baehr became involved in public health during World War I, as a member of the American Red Cross Typhus Fever Commission to the Balkans and the Ukraine in 1915-1916. After America's entry in the war, he served as commander of an army base hospital in France from 1918 to 1919.

In 1931 Baehr established an early experiment in prepaid medical care at Mount Sinai, establishing the Consultation Service for People of Moderate Means which provided medical services for a flat fee. Following the election of his long-time friend, Fiorello LaGuardia, as reform mayor of New York in 1933, Baehr acted as mayoral advisor on health and social planning and served on a number of boards. In 1939 LaGuardia and Baehr established an innovative health care program for residents of the Vladeck Houses, the first low-income city/state housing. By opting to add one dollar to their monthly rent, residents could receive physician care for their families in their homes.

On LaGuardia's recommendation Baehr was appointed Chief Medical Officer for National Civilian Defense in 1941, and on his travels throughout the country Baehr was able to study existing group practice and prepayment plans. Baehr brought this knowledge, in 1943, to LaGuardia's Mayor's Committee on Medical Care. which had been created to develop a health services program for the city. When the committee was unable to reach a consensus among three proposed health delivery systems: compulsory health insurance, prepaid group practice, or a fee-for-service indemnity plan with limited benefit coverage, LaGuardia opted for the prepaid group practice which Baehr espoused. Baehr was then appointed chairman of the Subcommittee on Plan and Scope.

This subcommittee outlined a group practice prepayment plan which, four years later, provided the basis for the Health Insurance Plan of Greater New York, Inc. (H.I.P.). In 1945, as physicians were released from military service, Baehr and Dr. Dean Clark began recruiting them for medical group practices in the city, and with support from several foundations, Baehr and others succeeded in establishing in 1947 the Health Insurance Plan of Greater New York, Inc.

Baehr served as president and medical director of H.I.P. from 1950 to 1957, during which time the plan struggled successfully, against opposition from organized medicine, to expand its program and to become one of the largest and most effective prepayment group practice plans in the country. Following his retirement in 1957, Baehr continued to serve H.I.P. as a special medical consultant.

In addition to his professional appointments and service as an advisor to Mayor LaGuardia, Baehr participated in a variety of state and national medical and public health societies, was a member of the New York State Public Health Council from 1933 to 1975 (chairman 1955-1969), and was recognized nationally as an influential spokesman for reform of health care delivery systems.

From the guide to the George Baehr papers, 1915-1978, (Manuscripts and Archives)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Baehr, George, 1887-1978. George Baehr papers, 1915-1978 (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn New York Academy of Medicine. Committee on Public Health. Records, 1911-1968. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Baehr, George, 1887-1978. George Baehr papers, 1915-1978 (inclusive). Yale University Library
creatorOf George Baehr papers, 1915-1978 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn New York Academy of Medicine. Director. Records, 1917-1961. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Weinerman, E. Richard (Edwin Richard), 1917-1970. Edwin Richard Weinerman papers, 1908-1970 (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn Edwin Richard Weinerman papers, 1908-1970 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
creatorOf Baehr, George 1887-1978. Reprints of George Baehr's articles, 1909-1963. New York Academy of Medicine
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Baehr, George. person
associatedWith Committee for National Health Insurance. corporateBody
associatedWith Esselstyn, Caldwell B., 1902-1975. person
associatedWith Harriman, W. Averell (William Averell), 1891-1986. person
associatedWith Health Insurance Plan of Greater New York, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Health Insurance Plan of Greater N.Y., Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Javits, Jacob K. (Jacob Koppel), 1904-1986. person
associatedWith Kennedy, Edward M. (Edward Moore), 1932-2009. person
associatedWith Kennedy, Edward Moore, 1932- person
associatedWith La Guardia, Fiorello H. (Fiorello Henry), 1882-1947. person
associatedWith LaGuardia, Fiorello H. (Fiorello Henry), 1882-1947. person
associatedWith Lindsay, John V. (John Vliet) person
associatedWith Lombardi, Tarky. person
associatedWith Milbank Memorial Fund. corporateBody
associatedWith New York Academy of Medicine. corporateBody
associatedWith New York Academy of Medicine. Committee on Public Health. corporateBody
associatedWith New York Academy of Medicine. Director. corporateBody
associatedWith New York (N.Y.) Health Dept. corporateBody
associatedWith New York (N.Y.) Health Dept. corporateBody
associatedWith New York (N.Y.) Mayor's Committee on Medical Care. corporateBody
associatedWith New York (N.Y.) Mayor's Committee on Medical Care. corporateBody
associatedWith New York (State) Dept. of Health. corporateBody
associatedWith New York (State) Dept. of Health. corporateBody
associatedWith New York (State). Dept. of Health. corporateBody
associatedWith New York State Health Planning Commission. corporateBody
associatedWith New York (State) Public Health Council. corporateBody
associatedWith New York University. Medical Dept. corporateBody
associatedWith New York University. Medical Dept. corporateBody
associatedWith Public Health Council (N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith United States Office of Civilian Defense. corporateBody
associatedWith Weinerman, E. Richard (Edwin Richard), 1917-1970. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
New York (State)--New York
Subject
Hospital care
National health services
Medical care
Public health
Medicine
Medical economics
World War, 1914-1918--Medical and sanitary affairs
Occupation
Physicians
Function

Person

Birth 1887

Death 1978

Male

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