I see in the news that some legislators want the state department of health to save lots of money by going “back to the 1900s” and, instead of treating people in county health clinics, they could just hand out educational brochures and stuff. Today’s newspaper article, from 1938, may be too late in the 1900s to be of assistance in guiding this new/old approach, since it appears that actual health care by real physicians was intended at McComb’s health clinic.
On a more serious note, I had never heard of the Commonwealth Fund of New York and had no idea that they were building county health clinics. This makes them just one of several northern philanthropies, including Carnegie for libraries and Rosenwald for African American schools, making their mark on the Mississippi landscape in the form of new buildings in the early and mid 1900s.
The Commonwealth Fund’s Colonial Revival health clinic in McComb is now used as a city hall annex, and the health department has moved out to the highway, possibly into a remodeled grocery store at 114 Presley Blvd.
Dedicate Pike Health Center
Commonwealth Fund Director Presides at McComb Observance
McCOMB, June 10–Barry C. Smith, general director of the Commonwealth Fund of New York, formally dedicated the Pike county health center which was recently completed here as a gift from the Commonwealth Fund to Pike county.
The dedicatory service, held at the First Baptist church, was attended by a large crowd, including representatives of practically every governmental and civic group in the county.
Smith dedicated the building “to the spirit of cooperation which prevails between public health workers and physicians of Pike county,” commending these two groups for the program that has been made in this section.
Throughout the day a host of people thronged the Pike county health center, adjacent to the McComb city hall, inspecting its conveniences and its array of modern equipment. The building was opened to the public and members of the Pike county health department staff escorted groups through the rooms, explaining the function of each.
J. Oliver Emmerich served as master of ceremonies at the dedicatory service which began at 2 p.m., introducing Mayor Xavier A. Kramer for a brief welcoming talk. Mr. Smith was then introduced for the dedicatory address.
After Smith the following were introduced: Miss Barbara S. Quin, assistant director of the Commonwealth Fund; Dr. Clarence L. Scaman, director of the division of public health of the fund; Dr. W. F. Walker, director of the division of health studies of the fund; members of the state board of health; Dr. T. Paul Haney, Jr., director, and the staff of the Pike county health department.
Members of the board of supervisors were then presented after which the following members of the health center board of trustees were introduced: Mayor Xavier A. Kramer; City Commissioner A.B. Barclay, W.R. Watkins, High L. Simmons, W.C. Price, E.E. Stewart, E.C. Fortenberry, Stennis Johnson, Donald P. Dunn. City Commissioner W.O. Rutledge was also presented.
Today’s Pike County Health Department: