in the Kennedy Center as the 1976 Bicentennial Flag Day celebration event in Washington, DC. After her retirement Welch was devoted to causes relating to older Americans, serving as a national officer for the American Association of Retired Persons and hosting a TV program called
The Freedom Foundation honored her with its Humanitar-
ian Award for her work promoting legislation
to address issues affecting this population. , 50 Frank Jones Allston (' 52
ABJO) of Naperville, Ill., S has been presented the U.S.
Navy's Distinguished Public Service Award.
Allston, a retired rear admiral in the Navy Supply
Corps, U.S. Naval Reserve, was cited for his
outstanding la-year volunteer effort research-
ing and writing
a history of the
first 200 years of the supply corps, the business
arm of the N avy. Allston, a past president of
the GAA who recendy was inducted into the
N.C.journalism and Public Relations Hall of
Fame, says his "chief editor" is his wife, Barbara
An Advocate for the People
Dr. David Bruton ' 57 (' 61 MD) has always loved a contest. As secretary
of the Department of Health and Human
Services, he's been on the winning end of
In the 1997 legislative session, he helped
push through enhanced day-care rules, expan-
sion of Smart Start, new child protection
laws and changes in adoption procedures.
"This particular General Assembly, when
viewed in context, will be remembered as
one of the most important ones in terms of
children," Bruton said.
Bruton is at the center of plans for a
massive restructuring of the state's systems
for Medicaid, welfare and long-term care of
the elderly, and he boasts that his state
budget was fully funded, allowing the creation
of a new department-Health and Human
Services-from the old Human Resources
department he previously headed.
It's no surprise, really, that Bruton's
efforts center on children; he spent 30 years
as a pediatrician and civic leader in Southern
Pines. The self-described "unabashed, unre-
pentant child advocate" was appointed to
head the state agency spearheading efforts
to improve child services and medical care.
Since taking office in January 1997, Bruton
has been a regular around the Legislative
Building in Raleigh, sporting"Save the Chil-
dren" ties and lobbying to bring children's
issues to the forefront."In my medical
practice, I was able to help one at a time,
but here, I'm concerned with the plight of
all, particularly the vulnerable:' he said.
Bruton drove the effort to tap into federal
funds to provide medical insurance for N.C.
children who don't qualify for Medicaid. In
who makes a profit." July, the state announced its proposal had
been approved in record time. The new
program, N.C. Health Choice, began pro-
Love of politics is a family trait. Bruton's
grandfather was a member of the General
viding benefits to
71,000 children on
Now that the first
big push for child-
centered education has
foremost on Bruton's
mind are new issues
along a similar theme.
' 57 (' 61
Assembly when the
state took over the
funding of public
schools, and his
father was the local
sheriff for 22 years.
Bruton, born in Can-
dor, became a mem-
ber of the Moore
County Board of Edu-
"We don't value our children:' says Bruton. cation in the late I960s, when integration
"We give a lot of lip service to them, but and consolidation were the issues."It
when we make up the budgets, it's hard to seemed to me that we needed good, solid
have the resources we need to appropri- community support," he said."I could help
ately care for and educate the children of do that."
this state." During Bruton's time on Moore County's
Focusing on children has resulted in some school board, the county consolidated 22
ill will from advocates for the elderly, a high schools into three, all without a court
group whose causes Bruton also is expected order."It wasn't always peaceful, but it was
to champion. the best public service job I've ever had."
He's not ashamed or embarrassed about He later chaired the State Board of
his interest in children's issues, he says, Education for six years, and he's been presi-
though he recognizes the elderly deserve dent of the N.C. Medical Society and is on
the same focus. According to Bruton, 72 the American Medical Association's Legisla-
percent of nursing home costs are paid for tive Council.
by the state."I'm afraid we're not facing the Bruton, who met his wife, Frieda, in
reality of what it will take to manage care freshman English class at UNC,"flat fell in
for the elderly," he says. love" with Chapel Hill and sent his three
A program called Carolina Access II would children here; he's not the only Bruton
allow HMOs to compete with state-funded family member to do so."There were over
doctors, hospitals and clinics to provide 20 cousins at Chapel Hill at the same time
care for Medicaid patients. when my kids were there:' he says.
"We need to be more cost-effective, What does Bruton hope will be said of
but once you've wrung out the extra fat, his fou....year term? "I hope they say,'He
you injure patient care:' Bruton said. broke some furniture.' "
"Patient care should drive what you do, not
Rountree ' 79
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