"The journal, existing for so many years
and being the hygienic conscience of the nation
in the most difficult times,
should remain as such."
Marcin Kacprzak "Zdrowie" 1928
The origin of the Journal (1885)
The first issue of the Zdrowie [Health] journal appeared in October 1885. Its founder and publisher, Józef Polak MD, stressed that it was of utmost importance to foster public health and improve the hygienic and cultural status of cities and residential districts. He believed that questions of health belong to the most important ones in the State policy. In the first issue, the founder, publisher and editor-in-chief expressed the standpoint of the journal, underlying his personal attitude to the sanitary legislation and public health activities in England which he named the cradle of modern hygiene. He claimed – which nowadays is known for certain – that health education is a powerful lever of social progress. As early as in 1887, having organized the first in Europe Hygienic Exhibition in Warsaw, he drafted the bill to enable foundation of the Society of Hygiene.
The Zdrowie journal became a platform both for publication of expert, specialist papers in hygiene and medicine and for discussion of controversial social issues in order to advance the progressive medical thought. In 1900 the Zdrowie journal, which had already existed for 15 years without a break, became the official publication of the Society of Hygiene, exposing deficient sanitary conditions in Poland and its citizens’ poor health status. The journal reflected the Society’s objectives and tasks for several dozen of years.
Initially, according to the rules adopted in Zdrowie, the editors were elected every three years. Dr. Józef Polak was unanimously elected the first official editor of Zdrowie, and he performed this task continuously from 1885 to 1903, and later, during temporary periods of ‘interregnum’.
During World War I and in the early post-war time, the journal appeared irregularly; the situation became stable only around 1925, and Zdrowie gained a high professional and editorial quality. In 1914-1918 the Journal was edited by J. Jaworski MD, and in 1922-1925, by S. Sterling-Okuniewski MD. After Józef Polak MD, had died, from 1928 until as late as 1939, Marcin Kacprzak MD, an outstanding scientist, hygienist, and columnist, was editor-in chief of the journal.
In 1932, by virtue of the Decree of President of the Polish Republic, the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare took the patronage for the Zdrowie journal. In 1934, the Polish Society of Hygiene decided to change the journal title: from Zdrowie [Health] to Zdrowie Publiczne [Public Health].
After World War II, Zdrowie Publiczne became the official journal of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, and performed mainly informational and educational tasks. The present, scientific character of the journal has been developing for years. Zdrowie Publiczne was initially issued in Warsaw, for a short period, 1993-95, in Cracow, and finally, since 2002, in Lublin. The editors-in chief in the last quarter of the century were as follows:
- B. Kożusznik MD, PhD (1965-1979),
- M. Śliwiński MD, PhD (1979-1983),
- T. Szelachowski MD, PhD (1983-1991),
- K. Kuszewski MD, PhD (1992),
- K. Miśkiewicz MD, PhD (1993-1999),
- A. Koronkiewicz , MD, PhD (1999-2000),
- M. J. Jarosz MD, PhD (2001-2010)
- P. Książek (2010-2017)
- M. Skrzypek (from 2018-2019)
- A. Drop (from 2019)
In the nineteen eighties of the past century, a significant influence on the scientific quality of the journal was exerted by Professor Janusz Indulski MD, PhD, first a member of the editorial team and subsequently deputy editor-in-chief, who later became the founder and editor-in-chief of the Polish Journal of Occupational Medicine (presently: International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, ISSN 1232-1087).
In 2002 the publication of Zdrowie Publiczne was taken over by the Institute of Agricultural Medicine in Lublin, and in 2005, Medical University of Lublin.