Prestigious Award Won For Book About Children and Drug Safety!

Cynthia Connolly, PHD, RN, PNP, FAAN

Congratulations to AAHN member, Cynthia Connolly, who just won the prestigious Arthur J. Viseltear Award for her book entitled Children and Drug Safety: Balancing Risk and Protection in Twentieth Century America (Rutgers University Press, 2018).

The Arthur J. Viseltear Award is given each year by the Medical Care Section of the American Public Health Association to a historian who has made outstanding contributions to the history of public health, either through a body of scholarship or through a recent book (published within the previous two years).

This year, after a close review of excellent publications published over the past year, the selection committee has chosen to honor Cynthia Connolly's most recent book, Children and Drug Safety: Balancing Risk and Protection in Twentieth Century America (Rutgers University Press, 2018) for its outstanding and deeply insightful historical research and original contribution to science policy. Its focus on the politics of pediatric drug safety and the making of invasive drug markets and consumers the committee members felt, addresses a critical gap in public health histories of childhood and contributes to ongoing debates in the US on prescriptions and the role of experts. 

About the Book

Children and Drug Safety traces the development, use, and marketing of drugs for children in the twentieth century, a history that sits at the interface of the state, business, health care providers, parents, and children. This book illuminates the historical dimension of a clinical and policy issue with great contemporary significance—many of the drugs administered to children today have never been tested for safety and efficacy in the pediatric population.
Each chapter of Children and Drug Safety engages with major turning points in pediatric drug development; themes of children’s risk, rights, protection and the evolving context of childhood; child-rearing; and family life in ways freighted with nuances of race, class, and gender. Cynthia A. Connolly charts the numerous attempts by Congress, the Food and Drug Administration, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and leading pediatric pharmacologists, scientists, clinicians, and parents to address a situation that all found untenable. 

About the Author

CYNTHIA A. CONNOLLY is a pediatric nurse and historian of children’s health care. She is an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing where she is the Rosemarie B. Greco Term Endowed Associate Professor in Advocacy. She is associate director at the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing, a faculty director at the Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice, and Research, and a senior fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, both at the University of Pennsylvania.  She is the author of Saving Sickly Children: The Tuberculosis Preventorium in American Life, 1909–1970 (Rutgers University Press).