North Carolina Medical Society Alliance Celebrates 100 Years
Focusing on the 1990s
L-R: Mrs. Roy Skoglund, AMA Auxiliary president, presenting the HAP award to Kendra Martin and Carla Robinson, Greensboro Society of Medicine Auxiliary Immediate past president and Think First committee chair, respectively. Kendra and Carla were members of the NCMSA Think First committee.
By the 1990s, the North Carolina Medical Society Auxiliary had existed long enough to look back and see major changes in what were considered the health challenges of the day. In the early years of what was then the Woman’s Auxiliary to the North Carolina Medical Society, tuberculosis, polio and what were called venereal diseases were some of the health issues addressed. By the 1990s, AIDS, eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia, and substance abuse—diseases and issues not even identified in the 1920s—became the focus for Auxiliary programming.
Many homes had desktop computers by the end of this decade. The internet, which came about in 1983, was more accessible to the public in the 1990s. In addition, many homes had more than one television. Suddenly families, including children, were well-connected and well-exposed to many images in the media including violence. To combat the effects of violence in our cities and in the media, the NCMSA adopted the AMAA program S.A.V.E.—Stop America’s Violence Everywhere, a program that is still in use today around the country.
The NCMS Auxiliary became the NCMS Alliance in 1993 to better appeal to male and career spouses. The Alliance celebrated its 75th anniversary in 1998 at the annual meeting. On that special occasion, Alliance members installed the first, and, so far, the only male president, John Lovin.
Other milestones of the 1990s include—
1990: A Commitment to Unity asked members to commit to the AMAA Federation. They were encouraged to commit to one another while focusing on the goals of the Medical Society to promote better health care, education, and legislation for the good of all citizens and organized medicine. The Think First Head and Spinal Cord Injury Prevention Program, which was started by the Greater Greensboro Alliance, expanded as a state program. The House of Delegates accepted the Bylaws changes and restructuring plan begun in 1989.
1991: The new board structure and redistricting were implemented, making this a transition year. Members were encouraged to focus on literacy to combat and prevent disease and unsafe environments, and to better educate children. Leadership training for members of the Board completed the focus on education. The NC Neurological Surgical Society awarded a $15,000 grant to help implement a head and spinal cord injury prevent education program.
1992: To promote a partnership between the NC Medical Society and the Auxiliary, a brochure, A Team…Medical Society and Auxiliary…for Today and Tomorrow was produced. A state Society-Auxiliary Liaison Committee replaced the advisory committee. Auxilians sitting on Society committees became voting members and the Auxiliary president became a member of the Society’s Planning Council. Regional meetings offered members a program on How to Work Effectively with Others. The first Anne H. Hubbard Memorial Lecture was held on May 4 featuring humorist Ruth C. McSwain.
1993: The partnership between the Medical Society and the Auxiliary continued with the promotion of awareness about violence in America, women’s health issues, and education on medical-related legislative issues. Three new counties were organized. Newly leased office space in the Medical Society headquarters provided greater efficiency and expanded member services.
1994: The newly named NCMS Alliance focused on the health of the medical family by distributing MeD CHECK cards outlining recommended screening procedures to physicians. The Alliance co-sponsored the End the Violence Against Women seminar. A statewide campaign using billboards and radio PSAs promoted Head and Spinal Cord Injury Prevention and there was a Day at the Capitol to promote legislative awareness.
1995: S.A.V.E focused attention on violence in America. The first S.A.V.E. day was observed on October 11. The third annual Day at the Legislature was held. The Alliance welcomed a new executive director, Sibyl Pedzwater, upon Mona Sauls’ retirement.
1996: The NCMSA Health Education Foundation cosponsored a lecture on domestic violence by Denise Brown, sister of Nicole Brown Simpson. A Day at the Legislature was held, and legislators were given a small first aid kit in the shape of a pill stamped with the Alliance logo. Indemnity insurance was purchased for board members.
1997: Members were reminded that the computer age had come, comparing Alliances with computers: “You get out of it what you put into it.” Members were encouraged to SIGN ON and SHINE ON in their commitment to strengthen the Alliance to better serve the needs of our communities and medical families. Town meetings were held across the state to offer leadership training. S.A.V.E. projects were implemented across the state.
1998: Members were encouraged to continue to support the S.A.V.E. initiative through SAVE TODAY, SAVE A SHELTER and SHELTER SHOWERS. The membership voted to merge the Alliance and the NCMSA Health Education Foundation. The Alliance celebrated its 75th anniversary in Raleigh at the North Carolina Museum of History.
1999: The NCMSA raised over $20,000 in flood relief after Hurricane Floyd and received an award from the North Carolina American Red Cross for the effort. The Alliance presented its first symposium on media violence to a sold-out audience of physicians, educators, and law enforcement. The symposium earned continuing education credits for participants and generated revenue for the NCMSA.