funds. Listening to Beebe and Michael DeBakey defend the basic concept of follow-up studies, the Executive Committee agreed that "the medical experience of the Armed Forces and of the veteran population provide[d] a unique opportunity for ... studies of importance to clinical medicine and to the Armed Forces and the Veterans Administration." It decided that "steps should be taken to reestablish, as a broad inter-agency program, a significant program of medical follow-up studies."59
The Follow-up Agency had won a reprieve and a chance for survival if it could raise funds from sources other than the VA. If, as Keith Cannan and other NRC officials fully expected, a follow-up program of "carefully selected studies" could be justified, then the NRC would make an "intensive effort" to underwrite the program.60 Encouraged, the Committee on Veterans Medical Problems recommended that the VA continue its financial support of the Follow-up Agency ''to the fullest extent of its ability even though this mean[t] that other parts of the extramural contractual program [might] have to be curtailed.''
In the meantime, the committee urged the NRC to "continue efforts to acquire multiple agency support."61 With the Korean War ending and interest in civilian medical research booming, it now appeared logical to deemphasize studies of military concern and highlight "general medical interests in the natural history of disease."62
With this new mandate, the Follow-up Agency set out to win contracts from the many federal and private agencies that funded medical research. Although initial discussions about funding individual projects went well, money to maintain the central staff proved more difficult to obtain. The NRC estimated that a reserve of $50,000 to $70,000 in unrestricted funds would be necessary for this purpose.63 The NRC looked to the Department of Defense, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the American Cancer Society as possible benefactors. Cannan summarized the situation in March 1954: "The efforts of the Follow-up Agency to enlist the cooperation of a number of agencies in a program of cogent investigations are meeting with encouraging success." The agency expected to gather a nucleus of direct support from the Army for the study of epidemic hemorrhagic fever, and from the National Institutes of Health for the follow-up of approximately 1,000 patients with Buerger's disease and 100,000 naval recruits with tuberculosis (see Box 3). The possibility of contractual support from the VA existed as well.64
By November 1954, the Follow-up Agency had assisted in the publication of reports from its initial round of studies and had initiated three new projects. Papers on such subjects as psychoneurosis, schizophrenia, viral hepatitis, fractures of the carpal scaphoid, wounds of the hand, testicular tumors, rheumatic fever, sarcoidosis, and the aftereffects of million-volt x-ray all reflected research that had been done under the auspices of the Committee on Veterans Medical Problems. As for new projects, the National Heart Institute supported Michael DeBakey and Bernard Cohen's study of Buerger's disease, which consisted of a