History of wjbgai
WJBGAI is named in honor of Dr. Walter Boek and Dr. Jean K. Boek, who enjoyed distinguished careers in public health for many years, with expertise in research methodology, and passion for solving the problems of our world. Their many studies addressed nearly every social problem and issue, quantified the extent of the problems and laid groundwork for their solutions. This included the delivery of medical services and nutrition to rural and urban poor, improvement of civil rights and racial divisions in communities, causes of juvenile delinquency, crime, drug addiction and alcoholism, the best way to approach universal medical care, factors affecting automobile safety, the causal relationship between cigarette smoking and heart disease, development of a central governmental research organization which became NIH, improvement of communication among physicians, how to improve cardiovascular health in the public, studies on aging and longevity as well as quality of life in retirement, and effects on an Eskimo community in northern Canada due to forced relocation.
Dr. Walter Boek is credited as being one of the founders of the field of medical anthropology. Among other accomplishments, Dr. Jean Boek developed and ran the study that established that seat belts save lives. In the early years of her career she taught nutrition to nurses and gave a weekly radio show on nutrition. Their work established the foundation of important knowledge and advances in social services and medicine we take for granted today.
As a second career Drs. Walter and Jean Boek devoted themselves to education, including interdisciplinary, seminar-based graduate studies. WJBGAI exists today because of their zeal and dedication to the public good.
Current board of directors
Sandra Boek Werness, President and CEO
Marlene Bekey, Member
Alfreda Jones, M.D., Treasurer
Susan Gerber, Secretary
About Sandra Boek Werness
Sandy is a caring, loving and passionate advocate for patients and families living with chronic autoimmune diseases and has dedicated her life to improving educational opportunities available and funding ground breaking research to better understand how these conditions affect our health.