Nurse Frances Allen And The 1944 Polio Epidemic In Hickory

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Phoebe Ann Pollitt PhD, Associate Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
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Abstract: As all our lives are being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is good to remember and honor a nurse who played an important role during an earlier epidemic in our state. In 1944, the national nursing workforce was seriously depleted meeting the needs of WWII. That summer, a severe polio epidemic swept through North Carolina crippling and killing thousands, mostly children. Families with stricken children headed toward Charlotte Memorial Hospital’s polio ward but the hospital was soon overcrowded and closed its doors to new patients. Many of the families from the Catawba River valley made it no further than Hickory before they learned there was no room in Charlotte for their children. Hickory earned the nickname “Polio City” across the state.

Additional Information

Pollitt, P. (2020). Nurse Frances Allen and the 1944 Polio Epidemic in Hickory. Tar Heel Nurse. 2020;83(4):11. Publisher version of record available at:
Language: English
Date: 2020
Hickory, North Carolina, history, Polio, nursing, Frances Allen

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