HELENA – Members of the Montana Public Health Association (MPHA) helped protect a part of their history on Wednesday January 16 by preserving a time capsule containing historic artifacts and documents.
Created as part of MPHA’s 100th anniversary conference, the time capsule is actually an archival-quality box.
The Montana Historical Society volunteered to hold the archive box until 2068, when it will be opened by future Public Health workers.
Included in the box are photos and documents from county public health professionals across the state.
Documents detailed the health issues currently faced in Montana.
“Public health has always evolved to meet the needs of the public,” said Lora Wier, MPHA director. “One hundred years ago, we were focused on infectious diseases, like smallpox and cholera. Because of efforts by public health and policymakers to address those issues, we’re now more focused on chronic diseases, like diabetes and heart disease. Who knows what public health issues our future colleagues will be facing in 50 years.”
Each health department was also encouraged to submit personal messages to the future health workers.
One of the things Lewis and Clark Public Health told future professionals was, “Partner with community stakeholders to improve health. You can’t do it alone!”
Wier hopes this project will help preserve a moment in time that might aid the understanding of future public health professionals.
“What you [future public health workers] do right now is going to have an impact not only on the generation that you’re in now but on future generations,” said Wier adding, “It’s probably one of the most important aspects of the whole healthcare field.”