Norma, TN

Norma, Tenn., located in southern Scott County near the Kentucky border, was the site of an early Coalition health fair during the summer of 1973. The fact that over 800 residents came to that fair set the stage for its role as a leading community in the formation of a network of clinics that persists to this day: Mountain People’s Health Councils. Before the 1970s, Norma had a thriving economy based in coal and timber, but much of that economy had faltered by 1973.

Read Caryl Carpenter‘s essay on the Legacy of the Norma Health Clinic or see the 1973 SHC Annual Report for more information.


Related People:

Richard Davidson

Richard Davidson was born in West Palm Beach, Fla. in 1947. He attended Vanderbilt undergraduate and medical schools, and did a residency in internal medicine there as well. During the summer of his second year in medical school (1970) he… Continued

Related Stories:

On the sense of community

Kaye Bultemeier, Janie Hiserote, and Chuck Darling reflect on the sense of community among residents of Petros, Stoney Fork, and Norma, Tennessee, and make note of changes in the region over time. Kaye says, “You could be a little bit… Continued

Sally Kimberly on MPHC community boards

Sally Kimberly discusses the challenges of collaborating with community boards on the frontier of a practice largely unfamiliar in Appalachia at the time—community-driven, rural healthcare. Unique to her and other nurse practitioners’ experience was a widespread misunderstanding about their role. Reminiscing about these hurdles, Sally shares what it was like to be… Continued

Notes from the road: Mountain People’s Health Councils

[Story contributed by Caryl Carpenter] On October 23rd, 2017, a doctor, a lawyer, an archivist, and an old lady started out to make history, or more accurately, to record history – the history of Mountain People’s Health Councils (MPHC) in… Continued

Sally Kimberly’s first observations of rural community healthcare with MPHC

Sally Kimberly discusses her preparation for practice and early experiences with Mountain People’s Health Councils (MPHC) at the clinic in Norma, Tenn.   Full footage of Sally Kimberly’s interview with Rick Davidson. Continued

Bob Hartmann on Appalachian culture and rural healthcare

Bob Hartmann shares a story about one of his patients while working with Mountain People’s Health Councils (MPHC) in Norma, Tenn. The narrative speaks to the influence of Appalachian culture on rural healthcare and community medicine.   Full footage of… Continued

Sally Kimberly on the professional development of nurses with MPHC

Sally Kimberly describes what became an essential element to her and other nurses’ weekly routines while working in Scott County: self-directed educational sessions committed to their professional development. She explains that these weekly meetings were both a professional and social support system… Continued

James Lovett’s childhood experience at the Norma Health Fair

James Lovett, CEO of Mountain People’s Health Councils, Inc., shares the humorous tale of his experience as a 7 or 8-year-old patient at the Norma Health Fair. See the full length interview to learn more about James Lovett’s legacy with… Continued

Sally Kimberly on becoming a nurse midwife

Sally Kimberly traces her personal development in the medical field and shares what inspired her to become a practicing nurse and midwife with the National Health Service Corps and Mountain People’s Health Councils (MPHC) in Scott County, Tenn. from 1974-1982. … Continued

Post-health fair formation of community councils and the origins of MPHC in Tennessee

As part of the Student Health Coalition Archive Project, Caryl Carpenter and Rick Davidson meet with James Lovett, CEO of Mountain People’s Health Councils, Inc. Their primary objective is to collect a firsthand account from Lovett and in so doing,… Continued

Sally Kimberly and Rick Davidson on the generosity of local surgeons

Sally Kimberly and Rick Davidson discuss the life-saving assistance from local Scott County surgeons who offered to take free-of-cost patients in need of additional care. Sally describes the deal between her and Chuck Darling and Rick comments on Dave Stanley’s commitment to surgical patients in Oak Ridge.   Full footage of… Continued

Caryl Carpenter talks about her experiences with Mountain People’s Health Councils

Caryl Carpenter, former administrator of the Mountain People’s Health Councils (MPHC) of East Tennessee, talks about her experiences with MPHC, which was founded in 1974 as a coalition of three rural health clinics in Norma (Scott County), Petros (Morgan County)… Continued

Sally Kimberly’s take on patient education in rural healthcare

Sally Kimberly discusses clinical challenges during her time as a nurse practitioner with Mountain People’s Health Councils (MPHC) in Norma, Tenn., focusing specifically on the indispensable role of patient education in effective rural healthcare.    Full footage of Sally Kimberly’s interview with Rick Davidson. Continued

Betty Anderson’s introduction to SOCM

Betty Anderson shares how she first became involved with Save Our Cumberland Mountains (SOCM) and the Student Health Coalition. Included in her account is a story about how she and others responded to opposition of the rural health clinics in… Continued

Bob Hartmann on the National Health Service Corps and its role in his development as a young doctor

Bob Hartmann shares about his return to Mountain People’s Health Councils (MPHC) after graduating from Vanderbilt medical school and explains the role of the National Health Service Corps in his education and early professional development.   Full footage of Bob… Continued

Related Resources/Links:

Caryl Carpenter Papers on Mountain People’s Health Councils, East Tennessee clinics, and Student Health Coalition Photographs, Southern Historical Collection, UNC Chapel Hill

Caryl Carpenter participated in the Rural Student Health Coalition in the mid to late 1970s. She worked with the Mountain People’s Health Council (MPHC) and East Tennessee clinics, and documented activities related to the SHC in the 1970s. Images depict activities… Continued

Richard Davidson Photograph Collection, Southern Historical Collection, UNC Chapel Hill

Richard Davidson (1947-), a medical physician and educator, was among the founding participants of the Vanderbilt Student Health Coalition at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. (1970-1971) and the Mountain People’s Health Council in eastern Tennesee (1975-1976). The Student Health Coalition… Continued

Article: “Health Care for those off the beaten path,” from the Tennessee Valley Authority

Kollar, Robert. “Health care for those off the beaten path.” Tennessee Valley Authority, post-1975. View PDF.  More on the Tennessee Valley Authority: Continued