The Student Health Coalition Archive Project describes a collaboration between underserved communities and college students in the 1960s through the 1980s.  The goal of the collaboration: improve access to health care, by means of community organizing, primarily in the rural South.

The archive represents an innovative community-driven approach to preserving history, weaving together individual stories and memories that in the aggregate build a narrative about the work, the era, community organizing, and health care delivery. Documents, photos, and recorded interviews are housed at the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and at the Eskind Biomedical Library at Vanderbilt University. This website serves as a portal to the Archive, and an invitation to participate.

Project Themes

Project Timeline

The origin and development of the Student Health Coalition, the evolution of various special SHC projects in distinct areas of Appalachia, and the establishment of several affiliate organizations all came about from a series of key events. We’ve created timelines to visually represent each of these chronological narratives. Visit the About page to scroll through and learn more.

Recently Added Stories

On the development of Vanderbilt’s Nurse Practitioner program and other critical role expansions

Pete Moss describes one of the key developments that came about as a result, at least in part, of the Student Health Coalition’s philosophical contributions to the medical arena. He references the origination and evolution of Vanderbilt’s Nurse Practitioner (NP)… Continued

Pete Moss on the role of community organizers

Pete Moss describes how the Student Health Coalition community organizers first established relationships with local leaders, identified community needs, and drafted a plan of action for addressing said needs. Follow this link for access to the full-length interview. Recorded May… Continued

Pete Moss on mentorship and expanding the boundaries of healthcare workers

Pete Moss, who at the time of his involvement with early SHC health fairs (1970) was Vanderbilt’s Chief Resident of Pediatrics, discusses what drew him to the Coalition: the opportunity to mentor students and influence their pursuits in the medical… Continued

On the SHC’s energy of dissatisfaction vs Vanderbilt Med School’s sense of institutional fulfillment

Charles Scott, professor of Philosophy and early faculty supporter of the Student Health Coalition (SHC), concludes this 2019 gathering with poignant remarks about what transpired when the Vanderbilt Medical School assumed control of the SHC. The energy of dissatisfaction that… Continued

Bill Corr reflects on the Coalition’s and Center’s roles in providing avenues to act on values

Bill Corr recounts his introduction to the Student Health Coalition (SHC) and Center for Health Services (CHS) shortly after graduating from Vanderbilt Law School. He was working with the Tennessee Department of Public Health at the time Irwin Venick encouraged… Continued

Charles Scott and John Kennedy ruminate on the racism intrinsic to the SHC’s work in Appalachia

Charles Scott and John Kennedy discuss the racism intrinsic to the Student Health Coalition’s work, particularly in Morgan County, Tenn. Scott underlines the importance of (1) recognizing and (2) remembering the power they (as majority White students) had in these… Continued

On the empowerment intrinsic to Linda Hart’s nursing career and its role in challenging the system

Linda Hart speaks to the evolution of her nursing career, in part influenced by connections to the Student Health Coalition (SHC). Upon being recruited by Bill Dow, she worked five years as a Nurse Practitioner (NP) at the White Oak… Continued

Diane Lauver’s response to sexism with pivot toward becoming a Nurse Practitioner

In exploration of how sexism influenced Coalitioners’ career paths, Diane Lauver describes her introduction to the Nurse Practitioner role that Loretta Ford championed and that Bill Dow and Leah Albers advocated for in the SHC approach to community healthcare. Following… Continued

Recently Added Personal Profiles

Lark Hayes

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John Williams

Contributed by John Williams, January 2023. My Vanderbilt Law School classmate John Kennedy told me about the Student Health Coalition in the Spring of 1972, during our third year of law school. I worked for the SHC that summer, as… Continued

Chuck Darling

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Kaye Bultemeier

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