Carolyn Burr

Carolyn Keith Burr was a Vanderbilt University nursing student and graduate nurse with the Student Health Coalition (SHC) in the summers of 1970 and 1971. As a Senior nursing student in 1970, she worked at the health fairs in Smithville, White Oak, and other communities. By mid-summer she began doing follow-up for the fairs in Smithville, Sneedville, and others, making home visits to talk with people about abnormal lab results or exam findings needing follow-up.

She married fellow Coalitioner, Dick Burr, in the winter of 1971. He’d been a community organizer in Deer Lodge. She later returned with Dick to Deer Lodge in 1971 where she staffed a small clinic with a volunteer physician a few days per week. Other days, she visited homes in the community following up on health concerns and helping with local community health education projects. Her certificate which licensed her as a Registered Nurse arrived in her Deer Lodge mailbox on her birthday in August.

Carolyn went on to practice in a variety of community health settings before enrolling in the University of Rochester to earn an MS and become a pediatric nurse practitioner, after which she practiced in university and private practices as a PNP. She later moved to New Jersey where her practice was part of a large Center caring for children and families with HIV infection and became a respected educator of health professionals nationally and globally in the pediatric/maternal HIV field. Carolyn also earned a Doctorate in Adult Education from Columbia University in 1999. She retired in 2014 after 27 years caring for HIV-affected women and children.

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Hearts of Gold

Brought to us by Margaret Ecker and others involved in its 2013 production, this special collection of insights from several Student Health Coalition (SHC) figureheads in the 1970s features Bill Dow, Bill Corr, Carolyn Burr, Dal Macon, and Marie Cirillo–among… Continued

Carolyn Burr reflects

In this clip, Burr reflects on how the experience of working with the Coalition shaped her values and future career in nursing. Recorded at a 2013 Student Health Coalition reunion in Nashville, Tenn. Continued

Carolyn Burr on Rick Davidson’s mentorship

Carolyn Burr describes her work at the SHC health fairs in Smithville, White Oak, Briceville, and Deer Lodge from 1970-1971. She explains the nature of nursing students’ role in conducting physical exams and providing follow-up care, their skills having been… Continued

What drew Carolyn Burr to the Coalition

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On Vanderbilt’s first PrimEx program and its role in the movement toward Nurse Practitioners

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Student Health Coalition Reunion Materials, 2009 and 2013, Southern Historical Collection, UNC Chapel Hill

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The Coalition’s influence on Carolyn Burr’s work as an NP and personal healthcare philosophy

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“What it took” – Nine nurses reconvene fifty years later and discover the power of common denominators

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Reflections on personal growth from SHC participation

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SHC’s patient-centered healthcare and its role in the expansion of Nurse Practitioners

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