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North Carolina History

Good Health Campaign Record label for It's All Up to You

The Good Health Campaign

The Good Health Campaign, a post-World War II drive to improve the health of North Carolinians, benefited from help by celebrity bandleader Kay Kyser. Kyser enlisted the help of singers Dinah Shore and Frank Sinatra to popularize “It’s All Up to You,” a song encouraging their audiences in NC to take responsibility for their own health.

It’s All Up to You Lyrics

Even Superman supports the good health plan
He knows what it will do, it’s all up to you, it’s all up to you
Spread the health alarm through every town and farm,
And preach the good health view, it’s all up to you, it’s all up to you
You’ll find being healthy means more than a well-filled purse
What good’s being wealthy when you can’t buy a doctor or a nurse
When the job is done, we’ll wind up number one
Instead of forty-two, it’s all up to you, it’s all up to you

We need vitamins and medicines and beds to spare
Places where the sick can go to get some care
Lots of new equipment to combat disease
Clinics where the poor can go for moderate fees
Free examinations for the kids in class
A kid whose health is good will have a chance to pass
If we do these things then we will be the state
Where the weak grow strong and the strong grow great

Do your state a favor, the task is yours alone
Be a real life saver, and the chance is that you will save your own
What a spot we’re in, we’ve simply got to win
The job is overdue, it’s all up to you, it’s all up to you

Get in there, and get yourself some of that health

Good Health Report

“A Message of Great Hope, of Almost Infinite Promise, and Yet of Great Practicability”

So begins the letter of submittal by Dr. Clarence Poe, Chairman of the North Carolina Hospital and Medical Care Commission, to the North Carolina General Assembly in 1945. Along with the report of the full commission, nine detailed reports were offered:

  • Hospital and Medical Care for Our Rural Population
  • Hospital and Medical Care for Our Industrial and Urban Population
  • Special Needs of Our Negro Population
  • Four-Year Medical School for University and Hospital Facilities
  • Mental Hygiene and Hospitalization
  • Hospital Care and Medical Care Plans in Other States
  • A Schoolchild Health Program
  • An Enlarged Public Health Program for North Carolina
  • A Statistical and Graphic Summary of North Carolina Hospital
    and Medical Care Needs

Dr. Carl V. Reynolds, Secretary of the State Board of Health, drafted the report proposing a public health program dedicated to the good health of every citizen in North Carolina. The commission’s major recommendation on public health was the following:

“Appropriations for public health work should be increased until the state has [an] entirely adequate program for the prevention of disease, thus reducing needed hospital and medical care to the lowest practicable minimum.”

The commission’s reports were collected in To the Good Health of All North Carolina and printed at private expense in 1945. These reports, as well as other formative public health documents, have been digitized and published online by the UNC Health Sciences Library.

History of Health Digital Collection

Cover scans from the collection

Digital Initiatives at UNC Health Sciences Library

As a leader in the digitization and preservation of significant assets in the health sciences, the UNC Health Sciences Library is making relevant content available online for new and broader audiences, including historical journals, pamphlets, and books, archival collections, as well as contemporary health-related materials. True to its mission to serve the people of North Carolina and beyond, the Library is working to improve and facilitate access to not only North Carolina resources, both historical and cutting edge, but to global digital resources in the health sciences.

In one noteworthy endeavor, the Health Sciences Library is collaborating with the Carolina Digital Library and Archive to digitize early North Carolina health-related journals and monographs . To date, the journals digitized in this project are:

Many early journals are not held in their entirety by any single library, which underscores how fragile the historical record can be and how essential it is to create definitive digital collections that provide universal access. In the case of the publications of the North Carolina Board of Health, the core record of the development of public health in the state is now widely and freely available, not only to North Carolinians but to anyone located anywhere in the world. Researchers, students, and the public can now see online what health problems were facing the people of the state, such as hookworm, malaria, tuberculosis, venereal disease, mental health, nutrition, and sanitation, and how they were treated over time. These journals are a treasure trove of statistical and demographic data and document the evolution of health care in North Carolina in its many facets.

There are more examples of unique and valuable content that the Health Sciences Library is working to digitize and publish, such as the records and documents of health organizations and individual researchers, medical journals and texts, and finding aids to archival collections. By developing sustainable and scalable digital collections that are easily and freely accessible, the impact on health sciences research and public health outcomes will be great, for North Carolina — and globally.