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The Institute of Medicine was chartered in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to enlist distinguished members of the appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. In this, the Institute acts under both the Academy's 1863 congressional charter responsibility to be an adviser to the federal government and its own initiative in identifying issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine.
Support for this project was provided by the National Institutes of Health through the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Dental Research, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Institute for Nursing Research, the National Center for Human Genome Research, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the Office of Research on Minority Health, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and the National Center for Environmental Health (Task Order 14 of Contract No. NO1-OD-4-2139). Additional funding was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through an interagency agreement with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The views presented in this report are those of the Committee on Environmental Justice and are not necessarily those of the funding organization.
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The serpent has been a symbol of long life, healing, and knowledge among almost all cultures and religions since the beginning of recorded history. The image adopted as a logo-type by the Institute of Medicine is based on a relief carving from ancient Greece, now held by the Staatliche Museen in Berlin.