The Catholic University of America

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Health Affairs Department - Vietnam Assistance Program

An Inventory of the Records of the Health Affairs Department - Vietnam Assistance Program at The American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives


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Descriptive Summary

Repository: The American Catholic Research Center and University Archives
Creator: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)
Title: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Health Affairs Department - Vietnam Assistance Program
Dates: 1966-1971
Extent: 2.5 linear feet; 5 boxes
Abstract: The collection consists of reports, administrative documents, questionnaires, correspondence, clippings, and photographs.
Collection Number: 10
Language: English

Historical Note

In July of 1967, the Department of State, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), sought to develop and fund a program that would promote the delivery of medical care in South Vietnam. The Lynden Johnson Administration foreign policy in Vietnam at the time wanted to establish a "social revolution" in Vietnam by building schools, medical facilities and houses to counteract the U.S. military presence. USAID introduced the Division for Vietnam Assistance to the United States Catholic Conference (USCC) currently known as the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Subsequently, on June 1, 1968 the Vietnam Assistance Program was approved by the Administrative Board of the USCC. The "social revolution" was dependant on voluntarily relief services, such as the NCWC/USCC Vietnamese Assistance Program. This policy dealt with specific concerns that the National Catholic Welfare Conference (NCWC) had been trying to address as well; issues of war and peace and the Catholic Church's involvement in positive international relations.

The Vietnam Assistance Program was a division of the Department of Health Affairs and was funded by USAID. The Program's mission detailed two main agendas; the first was to provide healthcare to the local population and the other was to work with the Vietnamese government on the advancement of a public health system.

The Apostolic Delegate and the USCC held negotiations with the Department of Health Affairs to recruit primary personnel members belonging to the Catholic Sisterhoods, along with specialized medical personnel such as physicians, nurses and technicians. The belief was that by employing qualified medical personnel from the Catholic Sisterhoods it would foster good relations with the Vietnam Ministry of Health to work on improving their medical and public health system. It took six months to negotiate a contract, but eventually the USCC and the Department of State signed a two-year reimbursement type contract with an allotment in the sum of $1,040,000 for the Vietnam Assistance Program instituted in the Department of Health Affairs. Under the guidelines of the contract, personal members began serving in Nha Trang, South Vietnam's Khanh Hoa Province Hospital in the summer of 1968. Employed in the Washington D.C. office were three staff members including an executive director, a secretary and an accountant.

There is little information on why this program eventually ended after only being in operation for three years. At the end of the first contract year there was ambivalence over whether the program was actually effective mainly because, some argued, that USAID had too many regulatory provisions and not enough emphasis on the mission itself and the Catholic contributions to the cause.

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Scope and Contents

The Vietnam Assistance Program was in operation from 1968 to 1971. The program was an interesting alliance between members of the American Catholic Church and the United States Assistance for International Development. Unfortunately the union was not cohesive enough to last because the relationship only after five years came to an end. The collection makes up 5 boxes, 71 folders and equals to 2.5 linear feet. The materials have been broken down into 5 series: the first series covers the Monthly Progress Reports dating from 1968 to 1971, the second series includes the USAID Contract Vn-39, insurance contracts, administrative reports and employee documents dating from 1966 to 1971, in the third series one will find the renewal of the USAID Contract: Vn-39 staff questionnaires taken in 1969, the forth series holds an impressive array of photographs taken from 1968 to 1971, and lastly, the fifth series consists of miscellaneous publications and clippings from the years 1967-1968 and 1971.

The first, third and fourth series gives a greater understanding as to how the program functioned during the period it was in operation. The medical personnel spent a few months, before going to Vietnam, in an orientation and training program at the Asian Training Center in Hawaii. The majority of the time the Program members participated in an intensive Vietnamese language course; additionally, they spent two weeks on a rice farm. The Rice Planting Program at the Agricultural Center was important because the participants were able to understand and gain greater empathy for the rice growing population in Vietnam. This training was thoroughly documented by the nurses in the first few monthly reports of the Vietnam Assistance Program. It is accompanied by photographs taken of the first team of volunteers who went to the Khanh Hoa Province Hospital in the summer of 1968.

The monthly reports detail the operations of the day to day programs and activities as well as it reports on the overall needs of the Program. The third series unveils the personal accounts of the volunteers and professionals working in the Vietnam Assistance Program, only one year after it began. The questionnaires illustrate the general themes and concerns that many of the personnel felt while serving in Vietnam. The photographs as well depict the overall environment of the Program; they date from 1968 up through 1970. Some are in color; however, the majority is in black and white. The pictures illustrate the daily medical routines, scenes from the rice fields in Hawaii, scenes from Christmas in 1968 in Nha Trang and pictures taken of the Nha Trang Assistant Nurse School.

After reviewing the reports and the questionnaires about the renewal of the program contract, it becomes apparent that the Vietnam Assistance Program was not without its problems. In particular, there was a lot of miscommunication between the USCC employees in Vietnam and USAID. Many of the Program personnel were disappointed in the fact that the USCC had very little authority in the Program. Likewise, the personnel felt frustration in the disorganization of the Program, and in the fact that their skills were being underused. Furthermore, the program did not have a strong Christian mission; it focused more generally on the development of a Public Health System. In the end the personnel felt more like government employees, with little to no religious context.

The second series covers the logistical and managerial piece to the program. In it one will find general administrative documents and forms, a map of where the USCC personnel were located in Vietnam, and a list of the USCC employees in Vietnam Assistance Program in 1970, employment contracts, a large organizational chart of the Ministry of Health from 1967, as well as a speech given April 10, 1971 on behalf of Board of Directors, teaching staff and graduated students of the Nursing School. This series also contains the Constitutions and By-Laws of the Hospital Board of the Holy Family Hospital in Qui Nhon and employee contracts for the Holy Family Hospital. For the financial records there are budgetary expenses, a Letter of Credit payment vouchers, contract expenses including staff salaries, funding for the contract in 1970, a financial report form from 1969 to 1970 and documentation of an audit of the USAID Mission in Vietnam in 1970.

Within the second series there are as well USAID documents such as a government travel regulation booklet from 1965, a USAID notice on emergency visitation travel for the Mission to Vietnam in 1970, USAID policy materials on increases in maximum per diem rates sent on November 20, 1969, standardized government travel regulations prepared for the Program members on November 10, 1969, visitation travel and emergency visitation travel documents sent on November 10, 1969, a travel fact sheet outlining the use of foreign flag airlines for travel sent on April 25, 1969, request and approval form for unofficial travel outside of Vietnam, a rest and recuperation travel form sent out by AID on March 8, 1968, USAID/Vietnam policy and procedures order outlining the travel for single personnel in 1967, and a guide on per diem allowance for travel in foreign areas sent out by the Department of State.

There are many policy and procedural forms by USAID including: office hours and hours of work, with attachments A-E, USAID/Vietnam policy and procedures order: USAID duty officer system, with Attachment 33.1 and premium compensation, request and authorization for overtime/holiday work form, approval to liquidate compensatory time by payment, overtime and holiday work policies, U.S. mission policies and procedures; Saigon, Vietnam: separate maintenance allowance, USAID/Vietnam Policy and Procedures Order: U.S. mission housing assignment policy, Manual Transmittal Letter: employee responsibility and conduct, Manual Order: employee responsibility and conduct, and a Uniform State/AID/USIA Regulations by AID.

The last series contains publications and clippings that relate to Vietnam and mission work in Vietnam but do not specifically touch on the USCC Vietnam Assistance Program. It is easy to imagine that these materials were used as educational devices by the staff of the Program.

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Arrangement

The Records of the Department of Health Affairs/Vietnam Assistance Program consist of 5 series:

 






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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

There are access restrictions for 25 years from date of record creation or living persons.

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Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

Donated by the United States Catholic Conference (USCC) in 1972.

Processing Information

Processing completed in April 2010 by Miranda Mims. EAD markup completed in April 2010 by Miranda Mims.

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Related Material

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Office of the General Secretary (OGS) Records

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Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.


Persons:
Dr. John L. Clay
Reverend Harrold A. Murray
Sister M. Karen Grossman

Organizations:
Catholic Relief Services
Ministry of Health, Vietnam
National Catholic Welfare Conference (NCWC)
United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Places:
Da Nang, Vietnam
Hawaii
Nha Trang, Vietnam
Qui Nhon, Vietnam
Saigon, Vietnam
Washington, DC

Subjects:
International Relations
Education
Education, Federal Aid
Health Care
Health Care Advocacy
Health Care Reform--Vietnam
Technical assistance, American --Vietnam
United States: Government
Women: Education
Women: Employment


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Bibliography

Morgan, Joseph G. Vietnam lobby: The American Friends of Vietnam, 1955-1975. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997.

 

NCWC Department of Health Affairs, Annual Report, USCC, Washington, D.C., 1968

 

NCWC Department of Health Affairs, Annual Report, USCC, Washington, D.C., 1969

 

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Detailed Description of the Collection

                       
Series 1: Monthly Progress Reports, USAID Contract: Vn-39, 1968-1971 (Boxes 1-2)
The monthly reports are detailed descriptions noting the practices, programs, activities, needs, budget and personnel of the Vietnam Assistance Program. The reports start from the first month in operation until the last month, June 1971.
Box Folder
1 1 Monthly Progress Reports, June 1968 - September 14, 1968
  2 Monthly Progress Reports, September 20, 1968 - November 15, 1968
  3 Monthly Progress Reports, November 16, 1968 - January 15, 1969
  4 Monthly Progress Reports, January 16, 1969 - March 15, 1969
  5 Monthly Progress Reports, March 16, 1969 - May 15, 1969
  6 Monthly Progress Reports, May 16, 1969 - June 15, 1969
  7 Monthly Progress Reports, June 15, 1969 - June 30, 1969
  8 Monthly Progress Report, July 1969
  9 Monthly Progress Report, August 1969
  10 Monthly Progress Report, September 1969
  11 Monthly Progress Report, October 1969
  12 Monthly Progress Report, November 1969
  13 Monthly Progress Report, December 1969
  14 Monthly Progress Report, January 1970
  15 Monthly Progress Report, February 1970
Box Folder
2 16 Monthly Progress Report, March 1970
  17 Monthly Progress Report, April 1970
  18 Monthly Progress Report, May 1970
  19 Monthly Progress Report, June 1970
  20 Monthly Progress Reports, July 1970 - August 1970
  21 Monthly Progress Report, September 1970
  22 Monthly Progress Report, November 1970
  23 Monthly Progress Report, October 1970
  24 Monthly Progress Report, December 1970
  25 Monthly Progress Reports, January 1971 - February 1971
  26 Monthly Progress Report, March 1971
  27 Monthly Progress Report, April 1971
  28 Monthly Progress Reports, May 1971 - June 1971
                       
Series 2: USAID Contract Vn-39 and Insurance, Administrative Reports and Employee Documents, 1966-1971 (Boxes 3-4)
This series holds both the logistical, managerial and administrative documents of the Vietnam Assistance Program and the policy and procedural documents of USAID.
Box Folder
3 29 Administrative Correspondences, 1968-1971
  30 Blank Administrative Forms
  31 Contract Negotiations, 1967-1968
  32 AID Cost-Reimbursement Contract for Technical Service Overseas, Index of Clauses
  33 CRS Contract No. AID/VN-40, 1967
  34 Contract No. AID/VN-39, 1968
  35 Amendment No. 1 to Contract No. AID/VN-39, 1969
  36 Amendments No. 2-11 to Contract No. AID/VN-39, 1969-1971
  37 Blanket Liability Policy, 1968
  38 The Rohrabaugh Company, General Insurance Broker, Certificate and Renewal, 1969-1970
  39 Insurance Approval and Extension of Coverage, 1968-1971
  40 The Rohrabaugh Company, General Insurance Broker, Correspondences, 1968-1969
  41 The Rohrabaugh Company, General Insurance Broker, Correspondences, 1970-1971
  42 The Rohrabaugh Company Invoices/Receipts and Payment, 1968-1969
  43 The Rohrabaugh Company Invoices/Receipts and Payment, 1970-1971
Box Folder
4 44 Extension of Tours, 1969-1971
  45 Financial Records, 1968-1971
  46 General Administrative Documents, 1968-1971
  47 Holy Family Hospital Documents
  48 Map of Vietnam/USCC Personnel in Vietnam
  49 Miscellaneous
  50 Mission Clearances, 1968-1970
  51 Vietnam Assistance Program Employee Policies
  52 USAID Employee Policies and Procedures, 1966-1970
  53 Salary Approvals, 1968-1970
  54 Telegrams, 1970-1971
  55 Time Compensation, 1968-1970
  56 Travel Authorization, 1968-1971
  57 AID Foreign Travel Policies and Procedures, 1965, 1967-1970
  58 Vietnamese Language Training, 1968-1970
                       
Series 3: Renewal of USAID Contract: Vn-39, Staff Questionnaires, 1969 (Box 5)
The program contract questionnaire was taken by the Vietnam Assistance Program personnel at the end of the first year in 1969.
Box Folder
5 59 Renewal of USAID Contract Questionnaire (consulted but not duplicated), September 1969
  60 Renewal of USAID Contract Questionnaire (consulted but not duplicated), September 1969
  61 Renewal of USAID Contract Questionnaire (consulted but not duplicated), September 1969
  62 Renewal of USAID Contract Questionnaire (consulted but not duplicated), September 1969
  63 Renewal of USAID Contract Questionnaire (consulted but not duplicated), September 1969
  64 Renewal of USAID Contract Questionnaire (consulted but not duplicated), September 1969
                       
Series 4: Photographs, 1968-1971 (Box 5)
Many of the photographs are not labeled; however, there is a sheet detailing the identification of the photographs in the first folder of the series that can assist in locating the persons and/or places of the photographs.
Box Folder
5 65 Identification of Photographs
  66 Miscellaneous Photographs, 1968-1971
  67 Miscellaneous Photographs, 1968-1971
  68 Miscellaneous Photographs, 1968-1971
                       
Series 5: Miscellaneous Publications and Clippings, 1967-1968, 1971 (Box 5)
Publications and clippings relating to Vietnam and mission work in Vietnam not specific to the USCC Vietnam Assistance Program
Box Folder
5 69 Miscellaneous Publications Relating to Situation in Vietnam, 1967-1968
  70 National Geographic, Article: "Behind the Headlines in Vietnam", 1967
  71 Publication Clippings, 1970-1971

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Historical Note

Scope and Contents

Arrangement

Restrictions

Administrative Information

Related Material

Index Terms

Bibliography

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Monthly Progress Reports, USAID Contract: Vn-39, 1968-1971

Series 2: USAID Contract Vn-39 and Insurance, Administrative Reports and Employee Documents, 1966-1971

Series 3: Renewal of USAID Contract: Vn-39, Staff Questionnaires, 1969

Series 4: Photographs, 1968-1971

Series 5: Miscellaneous Publications and Clippings, 1967-1968, 1971

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