North Carolina Medical Society Alliance Celebrates 100 Years
In the beginning…
On April 18, 1923, during the 70th Annual Meeting of the North Carolina Medical Society in Asheville, Mrs. Presley McCain (Sadie Lou McCain pictured), of Sanatorium, NC, presided over the first meeting of the Woman’s Auxiliary of the Medical Society of the State of North Carolina. She was recruited to this mission in March of 1923 by Dr John Wesley Long, then the president of the House of Delegates of the North Carolina Medical Society. He had witnessed the establishment of a Women’s Auxiliary at the American Medical Association in St. Louis, Missouri and knew that North Carolina needed such an organization. He felt that Mrs. McCain, whom he knew to be a proven leader with a network of supporters, could spearhead this effort. At this first meeting, the constitution and bylaws were adopted, and Mrs. McCain was elected president.
The first board of the Woman’s Auxiliary consisted of members from around the state. Fifty-three charter members recruited more members and, in 1928, started their first project—the funding of beds at four tuberculosis sanatoria in North Carolina.
Other highlights from our first decade include—
1924 The second annual meeting was held in Raleigh. Dues were set at one dollar per year.
1925 The social side of the Auxiliary was stressed, but members began to promote a role of
service, especially related to child health.
1926 The Auxiliary emphasized efforts to establish more county units.
1927 By the fifth annual meeting, 10-12 county units had been established.
1928 The first health project was established. The Auxiliary voted to maintain a bed at the State
Tuberculosis Sanatorium near Southern Pines. Doctor’s Day was celebrated for the first time.
1929 One hundred twenty-five people attended the Annual Meeting in Greensboro where the
constitution was revised.
Sources for the information above include:
Historical Highlights, North Carolina Medical Society Alliance Diamond
MEDICINE in North Carolina; Essays in the History of Medical Science and
Medical Service, 1524-1960, chapter 13, page 252; Draft of an article written for magazine publication upon the 80th anniversary of the NCMSA