Dr. William Wood, UNC School of Medicine professor of medicine and associate dean, emeritus, has many memories of Gravely. He says, “a major part of my medical and academic career is intimately entwined there.” He worked as an intern and the colleague of Drs. Thomas Barnett, professor of medicine (pulmonology) and medical director of Gravely Sanatorium, and Richard Peters, professor of surgery (thoracic) who led Gravely surgical services. Dr. Wood later served as director of the pulmonary laboratory.
Dr. Jim Donohue, professor& division chief, pulmonary & critical care medicine, UNC:
"I'm sad to see Gravely destroyed for it contained many pleasant memories for me. I took care of many of the people who worked there for many years until they passed away.
Gravely was a world famous chest hospital and the flagship of the NC Tuberculosis sanatoria centers. Many famous physicians rotated through there and a number of important discoveries were made on site and the little lab which we called the "rat shack" which was outside in the parking lot.
I first started at Gravely as a resident and then a pulmonary fellow in 1973-74. We had the respiratory ICU on the third floor. Pediatrics had an inpatient service on the first floor and outpatient clinics were in the basement, as was the Pulmonary Function Lab and respiratory therapy department that was separate from N.C. Memorial's.
There was a small operating room on the second floor that was used also as a bronchoscopy suite. The inpatient service had morphed from a TB sanatorium to a general chest hospital with lung cancer patients included. When Dr Bromberg was recruited from Ohio State in 1976 to direct pulmonary, our services moved over to Memorial."
Dr. Bill Easterling, retired UNC School of Medicine professor of obstetrics and gynecology and associate dean: "Drs. Bill McLendon, Bill Wood and I were all classmates in the UNC Medical School Class of 1956 (the third to graduate from UNC-Chapel Hill). When Hurricane Hazel came through Chapel Hill on October 15, 1954, I was an acting intern on the thoracic surgery ward, which was then in Gravely. When the power went out NC Memorial still had emergency power, but Gravely did not. Since many of his patients needed continuous chest suction and there weren't enough stretchers to go around, I ended up physically carrying one of his patients at Gravely through the tunnel to a ward at NC Memorial Hospital that had emergency power -- with the result that my back hasn't been the same since."
Mrs. Betty Hornaday, a UNC graduate, was a longtime supervisor of the pulmonary laboratory. She completed her degree while working Gravely. Dr William Wood says of her: "She was very devoted and the best investment in the laboratory. She learned and developed procedures, trained other technicians, supervised the eventually expanded pulmonary lab which she helped design and develop."
Dr. H. Stuart Willis, a native North Carolinian, and UNC graduate with a Johns Hopkins medical degree, was a nationally acclaimed scientist in TB immunology and pathogenesis. Dr. William Wood said, "He was the longtime medical director of the N.C. Sanatorium system, and was largely responsible for the establishment of a unit of this system in the newly expanded medical center at UNC." Willis became a clinical professor of medicine at UNC in 1959.
Mr. Ben Clark "was the general administrator for the North Carolina Sanatorium System for many years before Gravely was built," said Dr. William Wood. "Mr. Clark was a most forward thinking administrator, always a few steps ahead of the medical staff in innovation and advancement in patient care facilities. His excellent negotiating capability was instrumental in bringing about the construction of Gravely and its incorporation into the U N C health education and care center. Ben Clark always worked for the greater good."