University of Minnesota

Campbell Moses, MD

1917 — 2007

Cam Moses was for years a researcher in atherosclerosis and then became the innovative Medical Director of the American Heart Association. He now calls himself simply “physician and health communications consultant.”

Moses was educated in college and medical school at the University of Pittsburgh and became a physiologist there by assignment of his dean, because he was one of the few graduates with promise who was turned down by the Army (for color blindness). For some years he directed the Gibson Laboratory at Pitt where he did experimental pathology in atherosclerosis and established a radioisotope facility. During the Pittsburgh years he presented regular professional and public education programs on radio and TV and became a popular commentator on health.

He led the American Heart Association (AHA) during critical years from 1965 to 1973 in New York City in which its public missions in research and health promotion flourished and its scientific councils proliferated and prospered.

Cam Moses, and the position of AHA Medical Director, lost out to ‘bottom-line’ manager types who have directed the association since the 1970s. Thereafter, policies about self-support of scientific council activities and use of the AHA logo in product endorsements, among others, were found by many professional volunteers to diminish the intellectual ‘fun’ and to compromise the reputation of American Heart. It nevertheless, remains a vital public organization and its councils are the leaders of the profession.

In his later years, Moses has returned to earlier activities in health communications. He is admired for his forthright appeal to the public to behave itself, and to physicians to shut up and listen harder. (HB)


Oral history interview with H. Blackburn

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