Among the great and tireless workers who piloted the Saskatchewan Anti-Tuberculosis League through its difficult formative years was A. B. Cook. Mr. Cook, the League’s second president, served continuously from 1913 to 1921 and then became managing director while continuing as president too, until 1930.
In 1922-23 Mr. Cook was president of the Canadian Tuberculosis Association. In his presidential address to the annual meeting of the national association in 1922, held at Saint John, N.B., he referred to tuberculosis as a "deadly enemy fighting secretly and continuously, killing 10,000 of Canada’s young people each year". Perhaps it was this challenge which ignited his seemingly boundless energy.
Cook initiated in 1922 the idea of free treatment for tuberculosis sufferers by the pooling of facilities in the various municipalities of the province. After more than six years of deliberation, an amendment was made to the Sanatoria and Hospitals Act, effective 1 January 1929. Saskatchewan thus became the first province to treat all tuberculosis patients without charge to the individual, the cost being met by taxation. As a result of the stimulation triggered by the success of this program, medicare was introduced.