Stoney Fork, TN

1973mapThe Stoney Fork Community is actually made up of a number of smaller communities ranging in size from 10 to 60 people. The smaller units had originally grown up around various deep mining operations are known locally as Shea’s Camp (or Clinchmore), Round Rock, Peewee Camp, Welsh’s Camp, and Beech Fork.

This area is in an isolated section of Campbell County. The nearest towns begin 20-30 miles away on twisting gravel roads over Caryville Mountain. The driving time for those with a car is about an hour. As a matter of fact, the roads are so treacherous that the TVA mobile health unit which travels with Health Fairs could not make one of the turns and had to be stationed several miles down the road at the school in Rosedale.

Some of the reference to the Stoney Fork area in this [1973] report use the name Beech Fork. It was not until the end of the summer at a meeting of the community that the name Stoney Fork was chosen for the health council.

— Excerpt from “Final Report: Rural Student Health Coalition June 1, 1972-May 31, 1973,” PDF page 20.


Related People:

Odes and Shelby McKamey

Odes and Shelby McKamey were among the most cherished local hosts for members of the SHC when the health fair arrived in their remote mountain community of Stoney Fork, Tenn. Later, after the Stoney Fork Clinic was established, the McKameys… Continued

Virginia Munford

Contributed by Virginia “Ginnie” Munford. My experience with the Student Health Coalition (SHC) was working as the first “Staff Assistant” at the Center for Health Services (CHS), from approximately 1974 – 1976.  The staff of the Center included Bill Dow… Continued
Bill Dow in Smithville ,Tenn., 1970

Bill Dow

Bill Dow co-founded the Student Health Coalition while in medical school at Vanderbilt University, in 1969. His larger-than-life role in the SHC origin story and beyond warrants special telling, which we attempt in the essay that follows. Contributed by Margaret… Continued

J. Thomas “Tom” John

I am a bit late in getting my bio in, best done in the earlier stages of pending dotage. I am originally from Laurinburg, N.C., a small farming and, then, textile community in the eastern part of the state. I… Continued

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:

Decline of coal camp healthcare and subsequent basis of need for reform

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Notes from the road: Mountain People’s Health Councils

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Bob Hartmann on the influence of cultural understandings about death and healing

Bob Hartmann shares about a Stoney Fork community member known as Uncle Ben and speaks to the impact of local culture—particularly as it regards matters of death and healing—on rural healthcare.   Full footage of Bob Hartmann’s interview with Rick… Continued

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

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

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Caryl Carpenter on community leader Odes McKamey

Caryl Carpenter, former administrator of the Mountain People’s Health Councils (MPHC) of East Tennessee, shares a story about community leader Odes McKamey of Stoney Fork, Tenn. MPHC was founded in 1974 as a coalition of three rural health clinics in… Continued

“I will always be grateful for the gifts that the work and the people of those summers gave to me.”

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Rick Davidson talks about a local healer in the Stoney Fork community

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Bob Hartmann on community medicine in Stoney Fork, TN

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Caryl Carpenter discusses the challenges with the structure of Mountain People’s Health Councils

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Related Resources/Links:

Sue Love Student Health Coalition Meeting Photographs, Southern Historical Collection, UNC Chapel Hill

Sue C. Love participated in the Rural Student Health Coalition in the early 1970s as a medical worker and attended medical school at Vanderbilt University. At the same time, her future husband Cliff Love served as a community worker. Included… 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

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

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