Synopses & Reviews
Excerpt from Biennial Report of the North Carolina State Board of Health, 1911
North Carolina was the twelfth State in the Union to recognize govern mental responsibility for the protection and promotion of the public health of its people, and to create a governmental agency Specifically charged with the duty of meeting that responsibility.
In the seventies Dr. Thomas Fanning Wood, of Wilmington, caught the vision of the possibilities of public health work to the State. How fully he grasped the far-reaching consequences of his idea, how clearly he saw the ever-growing hosts of lives saved as a result of his vision and inspira tion, cannot be known. It is true, however, that the vision never left him, and that under its sway he worked, through the Medical Journal which he edited and through the North Carolina State Medical Society, until his in fluence reached the people of the State in their General Assembly of 1877, with the effect that on February 12, 1877, legislation was ratified creating the North Carolina State Board of Health.
Under this legislative enactment the Board in the beginning consisted of the entire membership of the State Medical Society. There was an annual appropriation of The State Medical Society undertook to discharge the duties imposed upon it through a committee.
Two years of practical experience proved that such an organization would not meet the public needs, and in 1879 the General Assembly recon stituted the Board, setting up a membership of nine, six appointed by the Governor and three elected by the State Medical Society, the term of office being five years. From time to time Since there have been revisions and amendments, but basically the organization plan of the State Board of Health has remained unchanged during these fifty-one years of its life.
The present organization of the Board, as Shown diagrammatically in the accompanying chart, consists of nine members, five of whom are ap pointed by the Governor and four of whom are elected by the Medical Society of the State of North Carolina. The plan of organization includes two important administrative principles the wisdom of which has been tested and proved through the years of practical experience: (1) Stability of organization and permanency of policies; (2) Partnership of the State and the medical profession in the conservation of human life.
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