...the first state commissioner of mental health in South Carolina, and from 1964 to 1985, Hall's agency made significant advances in community care. He oversaw the creation of a comprehensive, statewide mental health-care delivery system that grew to encompass ten major inpatient facilities and seventeen community mental health centers.
Physician, hospital superintendent. Hall was born on May 1, 1915, in Wagener, South Carolina, to Henry F. Hall, Sr., and Mary Gantt Hall. He attended public schools in Wagener and then attended the University of South Carolina in Columbia. In 1937 Hall received his M.D. from the Medical College of South Carolina in Charleston. He then served an internship at South Carolina State Hospital from July to October 1937 and at Columbia Hospital from 1937 to 1938. From October 1, 1938, to September 3, 1942, he served as an assistant physician at South Carolina State Hospital. With the outbreak of World War II, Hall entered the United States Army Medical Corps and served from September 3, 1942, to June 8, 1946. He was assigned to the Psychiatric Department, Station Hospital, at Camp Murphy, Florida, and in 1944 he studied at the School of Military Psychiatry at Mason General Hospital, Long Island, New York. Afterward he became chief of the neuropsychiatric service at the Regional Hospital, in Fort McClellan, Alabama, as a major.
Following World War II, the South Carolina State Hospital suffered from overcrowding, underfunding, and significant staffing shortages. On Hall’s return from military service, he became senior physician at the State Hospital (June 8, 1946–July 1, 1951), clinical director (July 1, 1951–September 1, 1952), and then superintendent. By the time of his appointment as superintendent, Hall was a nationally renowned psychiatrist, and he began to work with state leaders to improve the plight of the state’s mentally ill.
He became the first state commissioner of mental health in South Carolina, and from 1964 to 1985, his agency made significant advances in community care. He oversaw the creation of a comprehensive, statewide mental health-care delivery system that grew to encompass ten major inpatient facilities and seventeen community mental health centers. Notably this same delivery system provided services in all of the state’s forty-six counties.
Hall’s work and reputation helped him to garner a number of accolades during his career. He served as president of the Southeastern Society of Neurology and Psychiatry (1954–55) and president of the American Association of Psychiatric Administrators (AAPA), and he won the Warren Williams Assembly Speakers Award from the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in 1985. Hall died in 1995.
DuBose, Louise Jones. South Carolina Lives: The Palmetto Who’s Who. Hopkinsville, Ky.: Historical Record Association, 1963.