Thursday, April 14, 2016

Dr. L.B. McBrayer to Direct State's Fight Against the Great White Plague, 1914

“Tuberculosis Bureau Established” by Warren E. Booker, from the April, 1914, issue of The Health Bulletin, published by the North Carolina State Board of Heath
Dr. L.B. McBrayer Will Direct the State’s Fight Against the Great White Plague
Beginning April 1st, Dr. L.B. McBrayer, who helped make Asheville famous as a health resort, will be in charge of North Carolina’s fight against tuberculosis, as the chief of the Bureau of Tuberculosis and Superintendent of the State Sanatorium for the Treatment of Tuberculosis.
Dr. McBrayer lays down not only a lucrative practice in Asheville, but also the responsible office of health officer in a town that has a national reputation for its healthfulness. A great deal of this well deserved reputation as a health resort and rendezvous for consumptives from every clime has been due to Dr. McBrayer and his well organized health department, which he is now leaving to take up the larger work of directing the State’s fight against the great white plague.
In addition to directing the work of the sanatorium, Dr. McBrayer will have charge of the Bureau of Tuberculosis, to which the names and addresses of thousands of suffering consumptives will be reported every year. The Bureau will endeavor, through a correspondence course with this comsumptive population, to aid them in obtaining a cure, and to teach them how to live so as not to convey the disease to others. This Bureau will further endeavor to interest political, social and religious organizations in assisting in the work of suppressing the great white plague.
As a man, Dr. McBrayer is big in all three dimensions, physically, mentally and morally; he is a tireless worker and a deep thinker with a broad view point. As a citizen, the doctor has always shown a deep and active interest in the public affairs of his city, county and State. Through his strong personality and through the columns of the press, he has always been a leader on the side of the people. Only last summer Dr. McBrayer led the fight which resulted in Buncombe County’s employing a health officer for his entire time. The fine type of his citizenship is nowhere better illustrated than in the personal sacrifice he makes in order to serve his State in the effort to decrease the ravages of consumption.
As an official, Dr. McBrayer’s work as health officer in Asheville has attracted national attention, and has correctly advertised Asheville as one of the healthiest cities in the South.
To the medical profession of North Carolina, Dr. McBrayer needs no introduction. He represents the ethical physician and the best ideals of the profession. He has always been active in the North Carolina Medical Society, has held many offices in that organization, and is at present a member of the State Board of Medical Examiners.
The doctor’s accession to the executive staff of the State Board of Health is a real encouragement to the health workers in the State.
In further testimonial of the high esteem in which Dr. McBrayer is held through the state generally, we quote herewith from a few of the papers which commented on the fact that he was to take up this new and much needed work to save some of the 6,000 North Carolinians now lost every year to this prince of diseases, tuberculosis:
Dr. McBrayer’s administration has been a creditable one. Many new features have been installed during his term, and Asheville has been advertised the country over as a city of sanitation and cleanliness.
                                --Asheville Citizen, March 25th
In light of additional information we reach a better understanding of the decision of Dr. L.B. McBrayer to accept the position of superintendent and medical director of the State Tuberculosis Sanatorium at Aberdeen. Dr. McBrayer is a sanitarian and hygiene publicist, rather than a laboratory man, and one thinks of the head of a tuberculosis hospital as an “indoor doctor.” There was more or less insistence that Dr. McBrayer accept the superintendency of the school for the feeble-minded, and this is a work in which he is deeply interested. However, it is announced that as head of the sanatorium the first work he expects to do is the conducting of a State campaign against tuberculosis. This is the sort of job he likes.
It will not be the easiest thing for Asheville to find a health officer who will fill McBrayer’s shoes. In saying  this we have in mind his peculiar qualifications. He has the tenacity of a bulldog, and is finely organized for work. He has the physical equipment to back this disposition. He is suave and diplomatic enough, he has the politic al gift, but he hardly ever concedes anything. He is always taking an advanced stand, but usually is able to maintain his position because it is sound. As health officer of Asheville Dr. McBrayer has worked steadily for the following things, until one by one he has seen them accomplished: sanitary surface closets in the suburbs, publication of a health bulletin, meat inspection, source of certified milk, city laboratory (whereby, among other things, the milk inspection was improved), abattoir, garbage incinerator, quarantine and release of diphtheria patients by laboratory methods, new smallpox hospital, sanitary cells in the city prisons, and a comprehensive advertising exhibit which has made known to the world the work of his department.
We take it that Dr. McBrayer intends to devote his abounding energies in future to the sort of work, in general, which has been his especial study for the past several years. Such efforts will be crowned with abundant success.
                --Greensboro Daily News, March 26th
Thirty-five of the members of the Buncombe County Medical Society last night gathered at the Langren Hotel to pay a sad farewell to Dr. L.B. McBrayer, health officer of the city of Asheville, who leaves this city within the very near future to assume the duties of superintendent of the State hospital for tubercular patients at Montrose. An elaborate menu was prepared for the banqueters last night, and the spread was an unusually successful event. The table decorations were pink, and an enjoyable musical program was rendered for the occasion.
At the close of the dinner, Dr. Paul H. Ringer, who acted as toastmaster, presented the various speakers of the evening in a most appropriate manner. Dr. A.W. Calloway was the first to be heard, being asked to deal with the subject: “McBrayer, the Man.” Dr. Calloway revived incidents in the life of the retiring health officer which have made him popular among the people of the city, and paid a high tribute to Dr. McBrayer’s character, his personality and his accomplishments.
“McBrayer, the Health Officer,” was the subject of the remarks of Dr. Carl V. Reynolds, who will succeed the retiring officer. Dr. Reynolds made a strong speech dealing with the administration of Dr. McBrayer, and predicting a successful career for him at his new home. Dr. Reynolds spoke of the hardships encountered by the health officer and the scope of the work. Dr. McBrayer has made good as a citiy official, Dr. Reynolds declared, and his efforts have not only reflected credit on the officers of this city, but they have brought fame to Asheville as a place where matters pertaining to health and santifation are properly handled.
“Dr. McBrayer, the Doctor,” was Dr. W.L. Dunn’s subject, and he handled it well.
The final speaker was Dr. McBrayer. He made a touching talk dealing with his associations with the physicians of this city and his experience as health officer of Asheville.
                                --Asheville Citizen, March 29th
At a meeting of the Board of Trade, resolutions were adopted expressing regret at the departure of Dr. L.B. McBrayer, the health officer, who leaves within the very near future to assume the duties of superintendent of the State Sanitorium for tubercular patients at Montrose. The Board extended to him wishes for success in his new field of work.
                                Asheville Citizen, March 31st

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