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50 Years Strong...


You may be wondering why the House of Delegates of the North Carolina State Society, AAMA, is listed as the Fiftieth House of Delegates when the State Society was organized and chartered in 1963, which is actually fifty-two years ago.  Let me give you some history of our organization.


Mary Mood Award Past Recipients

2000 Darnell Hudson

2001 Becky Keller

2002 Carla Gordon

2003 Emma Bolch

2004 Ann Stroup

2005 Kathy Green

2006 Nina Watson

2007 no award this year

2008 Gail Greene

2009 Betty Jones

2010 Phyllis Wade

2011 Paula Cooke

2012 Elaine Norman

2013 Jean Migliarini

2014 Deborah Brown

2015 Rebecca Surratt

2016 Vicki Shuping

2017 Amy Cothren

2018 Lynn Williams

2019 Linda Eaton

2022 Debby McBride

2023 Crystal Tawney

The three local chapters of medical assistants in the State of North Carolina - Charlotte, Concord, and Gastonia – met at Charlotte Memorial Hospital, April 27, 1963.   Elizabeth Margulis,  representing the American Medical Association (AMA) and Dorothy Hartel, a representative from the American Association of Medical Assistants  (AAMA),  spoke to the assembled medical assistants from the three chapters about organizing as a State Society of AAMA.  The name of the Society was to be the North Carolina Association of Medical Assistants ( NCAMA).  Jewel Brown, of Charlotte, was elected as the first President and a Constitution and Bylaws committee was named to work on a document to bring to the next meeting.


The American Association of Medical Assistants gave North Carolina its charter in October, 1963, at the annual meeting in Florida.  The Society is officially 52 years old in 2015.


The original Constitution and Bylaws stated that “the governing body of this Association shall be the Board of Directors.”   The C & B also stated that the Board of Directors was to meet at least 4 times per year (quarterly) to conduct Association business between annual meetings.  


On November 14-15, 1964, the first Annual Meeting of the NCAMA was held at the Rankin Health Center in Charlotte, NC.  Registration fee was $10.00 and members from the three local chapters attended, with the Charlotte Chapter acting as host.  New officers were elected:  Iris Porter, Concord, President; Virginia Arey, Charlotte, President-elect; Helen Phillips, Gastonia, 1st. Vice President; Kay Talley, Charlotte, 2nd Vice President; Mary Grubbs, Gastonia, Secretary; and Frances Nance, Concord, Treasurer.


The NCAMA discussed moving the Annual Meeting to the Spring, rather than the Fall.  According to the Constitution and Bylaws, “the officers were to hold their offices until the next Annual Meeting”.  With no Annual Meeting in Fall, 1965, the term of office for these officers lasted until Spring, 1966.  The Constitution was revised to read that the State’s Annual meeting was to be held on a Saturday and Sunday in April.  


The Second Annual Meeting of the North Carolina Association was held on April 2-3, 1966 in Concord, NC.  At this meeting the Constitution and Bylaws Committee (C & B) recommended that a House of Delegates, not the Board of Directors, would be the future governing body.  Virginia Arey, Charlotte, became President; Mary Grubbs, Gastonia, President Elect; Mary Jane Michaels (Simmons) of Morganton, Vice President; Ann Jarrell, Charlotte, Secretary; Betty Overcash, Concord, Treasurer.


On January 15, 1967, at its quarterly meeting, the Board of Directors accepted the resignation of Mary Grubbs as President Elect because of serious illness.   The Board accepted her resignation with regret and unanimously conferred on her the title of “Life Honorary President-Elect”.  The C & B stated that the Board of Directors” should appoint one of their members to fill the unexpired term of office of an officer which was created by death, resignation, or removal from office.  This person would fill the vacant office until the next Annual Meeting”.  Ann Jarrell, Charlotte, was asked to become President-Elect in a unanimous vote by the Board.  Mary Grubbs subsequently died of cancer on March 29, 1967.


The Third Annual Meeting was held on April 15-16, 1967 in Gastonia, NC.  Ann Jarrell, Charlotte,  was elected President;  Mary Jane Michaels (Simmons), Morganton, elected President-Elect; Anne McClure (Gastonia), elected Vice President; Doris Meek (Gastonia), elected Secretary; and Kaye Talley (Charlotte) elected Treasurer.  Joan Michaels, Chair of the Constitution and Bylaws committee, and her committee who had met numerous times in the previous year, presented the past year’s work in updating and revising the current C & B.  One change was to allow the House of Delegates to elect the delegates and alternates to AAMA’s House of Delegates, instead of the previous method of the Board of Directors handling this duty. Changes were made to more accurately match the AAMA Constitution and Bylaws.

The Fourth Annual meeting was held on April 6 – 7, 1968 in Morganton. Mary Jane Michaels (Simmons), Morganton, was elected President and Anne McClure elected Vice President.

The Fifth Annual meeting was held on April 12-13, 1969 in Salisbury.  Anne McClure was elected President at the annual meeting.  Brenda Curlee, Salisbury, was elected President-Elect; Sue Baggs, Concord, elected Vice President; Joan Michaels, Charlotte, elected Secretary; and Elizabeth Michaels elected Treasurer.   Anne McClure resigned at the July Board of Directors meeting and Sue Baggs, Vice President, assumed the office of President for the rest of the year.  The House of Delegates also discussed problems with having a Spring annual meeting and how it meant there would be two presidents serving on the Board of Directors each year if local chapters followed a calendar year for their elections.  The House voted to change the date to November, rather than April for the 1970 Annual meeting.


November 14-15, 1970 was the Sixth Annual meeting in Fayetteville, NC. Brenda Curlee, Salisbury, became President and Joan Michaels, Charlotte became President Elect.


October 22-23, 1971 was the Seventh Annual meeting in Durham, NC.  Joan Michaels, Charlotte, became President and Ottilie Kirby, Fayetteville, became President-Elect.


November 3-5, 1972 was the Eighth Annual meeting in Wrightsville Beach.  Ottilie Kirby, Fayetteville,  became President; Barbara Godwin, Fayetteville, First Vice President; Ruby Guigou, Morganton, 2nd Vice President; Ruth Patterson, Concord, President-Elect.  The House of Delegates voted to return to the spring months (March, April, May) for our Annual Meeting because chapters from the mountains often had problems with fall/winter weather. This eliminated a fall, 1973 annual meeting and the next annual meeting would be spring, 1974.  During the next 18 months, Ottilie Kirby, President, resigned as she was leaving the medical assisting field; Barbara Godwin, lst V-P became president and later had to resign because of illness; Ruby Guigou, Morganton, 2nd V-P assumed the role of State President.  Ruby presided at the 1974 annual meeting, in Winston Salem,  the third state President during this 18 month period.


The Ninth Annual Meeting was held in Winston Salem, April 26-28, 1974 and Ruth Patterson, Concord, was installed as President and Sarah Covington, Charlotte, became President Elect.


The Tenth Annual Meeting was held in Wrightsville Beach, May 15-18, 1975, when Ruth Patterson, Concord, completed her year as President and Sarah Covington, Charlotte, NC was installed as President for 1975-1976.  Celia Esmonde, Raleigh, became President-Elect.  


In July, 1975, Celia moved to Canada and resigned her position.  Sue Baggs, Vice President, Concord, became President .  A special meeting of the House of Delegates was called in December, to elect a President-Elect. Jean Hathaway, Monroe, was unanimously elected by the House of Delegates and was installed in Asheville at the 11th Annual Meeting.


So, the Tenth Annual meeting was actually held 12 years after our State Association was “born”, but there were two years when our officers served  18 months, in 1965 and in 1973.  This brought us to the 50th House of Delegates in our 52nd year (1963 – 2015).


Compiled by Ruth M. Patterson, Ed D, North Carolina’s first CMA-AC.

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