North Carolina Medical Society Alliance Celebrates 100 Years
A Morning Workshop Sponsored by
The Robeson County Medical Auxiliary
(see full article below, left)
House Bill 540, Project DAMN and Immunizations--the 1970s
As the new decade began, state Auxiliary membership numbered 2591 with 50 component auxiliaries encompassing 68 counties. Auxiliary leaders continued to emphasize growing membership among the counties, stressing that they wanted to “close the gap” between the number of NC Medical Society members and their eligible wives which, in some years was a gap of more than 1000 people.
The Auxiliary continued its momentum in legislative affairs by organizing another “Day on the Hill” trip to Washington, DC, March 3-4, 1970, to meet with members of Congress. Auxilians were able to express their views on pending legislation and learn more about the legislative process. This effort garnered praise from the AMA Auxiliary.
The growing use of illicit drugs and continued problem of alcohol abuse spurred Project DAMN, a drug-education program originally created by the Guilford-Greensboro Auxiliary to address these issues and used as a template for other programs throughout the state. Project DAMN (Drugs, Alcohol, Marijuana, Narcotics) merited an article in the AMA’s American Medical News.
As the decade progressed, Auxiliary presidents sounded the call to work on media awareness and coverage of the organization’s substantial health improvement efforts so that, as President Turid Seear wrote in her report in 1973, during the Auxiliary’s fiftieth year, “the news media are not just stressing our purely social gatherings on their Woman’s Page.”
Mid-decade, Auxiliary members pushed hard to pass House Bill 540 (passed in June 1977) which would mandate health education for children in kindergarten through twelfth grades. The Auxiliary was instrumental in writing a comprehensive school education plan for the state. State Auxiliary president, Martha Martinat was labeled the “Mother of HB 540”.
Toward the decade’s end, due to the “fine progress of medical research”, the tuberculosis beds were not needed as often and the money to support those beds went toward the Auxiliary’s Student Loan Fund when not needed (from President Mary Jane Means’ 1979 report).
Other notable events of the 1970s include—
1971: The Auxiliary acquired its own room in the Medical Society Headquarters on Person Street in Raleigh with access to a part-time secretary.
1972: The Fall Board Meeting was held at the Medical Society headquarters for the first time.
1973: The Auxiliary to the Medical Society of the State of North Carolina celebrated its 50th anniversary.
1974: The Auxiliary became a part of Project Credit—donations made to NC medical schools were credited to the American Medical Association Education and Research Foundation (AMA-ERF).
1975: Ten county presidents attended the first AMAA Leadership Confluence in Chicago. North Carolina won first place for its statewide observance of Doctor’s Day.
1976: A course in CPR was part of a medical educational clinic program for the Annual Meeting.
1979: A workshop on Adolescents was held in Winston Salem. President Mary Jane Means was named chairman of the North Carolina Task Force on Immunization. County Auxiliaries became involved, and a law requiring that all school children be immunized was passed in the legislature.