Professor Emeritus, Department of Sociology
Institute of Circumpolar Health SciencesPh.D. State University of New York at Binghamton
M.S. Harvard School of Public Health
M.A. University of New Mexico
B.A. University of California at Santa Cruz
Dr. Lawrence D. Weiss is a retired Research Professor of Public Health from the University of Alaska, and formerly Principal Investigator for a grant from the National Institutes of Health. While at the University of Alaska Anchorage, Dr. Weiss developed and directed the Master of Public Health program. and spearheaded the development of the Alaska Native Studies program. He is the author of three books on various aspects of public health policy, and a fourth book about the historical political economy of the Navajo people. In addition, he has published numerous articles about medical and public health policy. During the mid-1980s, Dr. Weiss was executive director of the Alaska Health Project, a private nonprofit organization that focused on occupational health and safety training, and environmental health issues. During the 1970s he was a program evaluator for the University of New Mexico School of Medicine Department of Family, Community, and Emergency Medicine. He is the founder the Alaska Center for Public Policy, and currently President of the Board.
| || Collision on I-75 |
| ||Collision on I-75 tells an extraordinary public health story that has not been told before, and it tells it in a compelling and exciting way. It details over two decades of struggle by public health professionals, legislators, state officials, and law enforcement to compel a huge corporation to prevent deadly, suspected industrial-fog-related collisions. |
A couple of weeks before Christmas in 1990, nearly one hundred vehicles collided on Interstate-75 northeast of Chattanooga in an unusually dense fog bank, leaving 12 dead and dozens seriously injured. Within days of the collision, Attorney Douglas Fees was contacted by Evelyn Piper whose son, Craig, had burned to death in the cab of his truck on I-75. Fees became the lead attorney in the case, eventually representing nearly all the accident victims who sought legal assistance.
It became clear to Fees that the cause of the tragedy was an artificial industrial fog that originated at the Bowater pulp mill a couple of miles up the valley from where the collision occurred. Bowater was the largest pulp mill in the United States, and the largest employer and landowner in Tennessee.
This is the true story of a tragic incident involving large numbers of people, corporate negligence, faulty state regulation, and a risk-taking attorney in pursuit of uncertain compensation for the victims and himself.
| || Private Medicine Public Health |
| ||During the twentieth century, the issue of health care burst out of the private confines of the physician's office to become a monumental contentious social issue. Giant multinational corporations scooped up proprietary hospitals and nursing homes and assembled them into vast chains crisscrossing America. The incomes of entrepreneurial fee-for-service physicians grew several times faster than the rate of inflation year after year, while the cost of health care swelled to consume 14 percent of the gross domestic product and continues to climb higher. |
The government gingerly applied cost containment strategies while hospitals expanded capacity and filled multiple "profit centers" with expensive high-tech equipment. Health care administration emerged as the fastest growing segment of all health-related occupations, infant mortality in the United States is increasingly excessive compared with other industrialized countries, and the gulf of health status disparities between white Americans and minorities soars. Tens of thousands of Americans each year die from complications due to unnecessary but profitable surgeries, while millions suffer from medical neglect because they cannot pay for health care. The cost of malpractice insurance skyrockets while the fraternity of physicians pretend to discipline one another.
Health care is a nation-wide problem, and the social devastation in its wake is a tragedy of national scope. Existing assumptions, power structures, political and economic interests, and social organizations have contributed to the crisis. In Private Medicine and Public Health, Lawrence Weiss dispassionately questions and analyzes the many issues of the health care crisis in search of much-needed solutions.
| || No Benefit: Crisis in America's Health Insurance Industry |
| ||The private health insurance industry is unable to provide nearly 40 million Americans with basic health care. Millions now life with inadequate coverage. Adressing this dilemma, Lawrence D. Weiss offers a timely and important analysis of the health insurance crisis in America. Relying on data from a wide range of publications about this secretive industry, he investigates and analyzes the social effects of the growing crisis. |
| || The Development of Capitalism in the Najavo Nation |
| ||The author studies the methodical destruction of the Navajo domestic economy in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, when combined military force and federal Indian-bureau policies ensured dominance over the Navajo economy by non-Navajo merchant and industrial capital. He shows how merchant capital was used to drain off to an external capitalist economy the surplus produced by Navajo artisans and shepherds so that this surplus product would not be available for Navajo investment. Weiss traces the transformation of the Navajos into wage laborers for largely non-Navajo employers. |