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.