tee'' that would make an informal site visit to examine the MFUA program and its relation to the larger ALS unit. Alvin Lazen, associate executive director of the ALS went so far as to propose formally the creation and mandate of such a committee to Dr. Marks, who would head it. However, Marks did not convene the committee. When the ALS Executive Committee considered the MFUA's contract proposals in 1977, "things went badly," particularly the discussion of blood pressure and multiple sclerosis projects. Beebe worried that he was leaving the agency at a time when the program was vulnerable to attack from within the NRC. Finally, a review committee was appointed by ALS Chairman James Ebert, a biologist with the Carnegie Institution, to "recapitulate the history of MFUA, identify the nature of questions now being raised concerning the Agency and determine how the panel can best address the questions." The presence of both MacMahon and Remington on the six-man panel ensured that the agency would receive a favorable hearing, and Beebe could retire from the Medical Follow-up Agency knowing that, at least for the time being, it was not in danger from within.158

In 1976, Beebe's imminent retirement, as well as a sense that the agency's program was not growing rapidly enough, led Remington to assign to various committee members the task of assessing the future needs of specific disciplines for Medical Follow-up Agency studies. Dr. Robert H. Felix of the Bi-State Regional Medical Program in St. Louis and the distinguished former head of the National Institute of Mental Health was assigned to consider the field of psychiatry; Dr. DeBakey, surgery; and Dr. Reuel A. Stallones of the University of Texas School of Public Health, cardiovascular disease. At the December 1976 meeting, Dr. Stallones presented his report on cardiovascular disease and the MFUA program, recommending that a summary of the agency's usefulness as a resource be reprinted periodically in the American Journal of Epidemiology and that the agency seek special funding from the NHLBI for planning cardiovascular disease studies. DeBakey presented a number of potential surgical studies that could be undertaken by the agency, including follow-up of studies done in its earliest days, as well as some new ideas such as a study of men with spinal cord injuries. Since Felix was unable to complete his overview of the psychiatric field due to illness, Dr. Ransom J. Arthur of the Neuropsychiatric Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) took his place.159

Seymour Jablon in Charge

After Beebe retired in 1977, Seymour Jablon took over the day-to-day operations of the Medical Follow-up Agency, as well as those of the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission's (ABCC's) successor agency, the Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF). Jablon had been with the agency almost since the beginning and was a well-respected statistician. As such he possessed the necessary experience to run the agency. Unfortunately, he presided over a difficult

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001

Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement