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for Public health--North Carolina--History
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Richardson gives a historical sketch, including dates and data, of North Carolina's efforts in the field of public health.
Public health services diminished during the Great Depression and efforts to revive the program were revived in the late 1930s. The state's Department of Health was established in 1879 to cover the public's health needs from clinics to monitoring quality of drinking water. Mr. Alexander reviewed the state of the Department of Health in 1936 and evaluated its presence in the state's one hundred counties.
Public health focuses on the prevention communicable diseases to nurture a healthy productive population. Local government oversees such efforts and the state was very progressive in this area. Guilford County established the first county-wide health services in 1911 and 38 years later all one hundred counties boasted this public health achievement.
Local government entities in North Carolina remain the prime financial support for local public health services. An advantage of public health today is that it is often possible to prevent health problems. Yet, the state faces challenges of an aging population, poverty and lack of education, young mothers and high risk pregnancies, cancer mortality, and environmental health concerns.
North Carolina has been the place of several advances in public health in the last decade. Reform has resulted in the employment of only trained and qualified personnel as the state becomes the model for the fight against venereal disease, the home of a new state laboratory of hygiene, division of oral hygiene, and greater work with rehabilitating children with disabilities.