and conditions of the elderly, a natural result of the advancing age of the World War II cohort at the heart of the MFUA program. Proposals during this time included studies of Alzheimer's disease and head injury, brain cancer in elderly men, radio-frequency radiation and cancer, and Vietnam veterans with spinal cord injury.169

In 1986, the MFUA emerged from the doldrums that had predominated during the early 1980s. During this time, two important staffing changes took place. Robert Keehn retired from the agency and Dr. William Page, a biostatistician on temporary assignment from the VA, joined the staff. Dr. Page eventually made the temporary assignment a permanent one and subsequently came to play an important role in the modern history of the agency. The National Cancer Institute proposed that the MFUA collaborate on studies of cancer epidemiology based on hospital clinical records. Dr. Richard Miller, the future director of the agency but then the director of Walter Reed Army Institute of Research's residency program in general preventive medicine, began work with the agency on AIDS studies, developing a follow-up study of HIV-positive military personnel.170

In 1987, the ALS commissioned yet another task force to review the work and mission of the MFUA. Chaired by Brian MacMahon, it produced a laudatory report, calling the MFUA a "national resource which should be maintained and strengthened." It recommended keeping the agency within the NRC, securing core funding from the NIH, the VA, and other key governmental agencies, and suggested an immediate search for a new director with the retirement of Seymour Jablon in October 1987. The task force also mentioned the need for greater ties to investigators in academia and government agencies, as well as the possibility of changing the agency's name to reflect the breadth of its mission. 171

William Page's Interim

With Jablon leaving, Alvin Lazen, executive director of the Commission on Life Sciences (the new functional equivalent of the former ALS), appointed William Page as acting director of the MFUA, effective June 15, 1987. In addition to running the day-to-day affairs of the agency, Page continued to manage important components of the program. At first, it appeared that Page would indeed be a transition figure; CEVFUS membership was extended for a year in the fall of 1987 with the idea that "by that time more should be known about the future direction of the Medical Follow-up Agency." Circumstances contrived to make Page's "transition" acting directorship about half as long as Jablon's actual tenure, however.172

Despite the confusion associated with the leadership transition, the MFUA was clearly on its way back. Lack of core funding was a key dilemma, and Gilbert Beebe acted from his "advisory" role to provide it. In August 1987, he initiated discussions with staff of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee concerning the status of the agency. Beebe acted because, even with more grant money coming

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