Origin Stories

Explored in these reflections are the origins of the Student Health Coalition, the Tennessee Primary Care Association, the Center for Health Services, and other organizational offshoots of the SHC. Also included are the personal stories of several SHC participants, recalling their introduction to the SHC and what enticed them into becoming involved. (More on this latter topic can be found under PEOPLE.)

 

Charles “Boomer” Winfrey’s origins with SOCM

Boomer discusses his introduction to Save Our Cumberland Mountains (SOCM) in 1972. Inspired by his geological studies and depth of conviction about unregulated strip mining’s adverse effects on both the environment and community health, Boomer has been an active participant… Continued

Maureen O’Connell’s introduction to SOCM and the SHC

Maureen traces the development of her involvement with Save Our Cumberland Mountains (SOCM) and the Student Health Coalition (SHC), beginning with her 1969 introduction to Marie Cirillo and research presence in Clairfield, Tennessee. Recorded on May 20th, 2013.   Full… Continued

Dal Macon’s introduction to Bill Dow and the Student Health Coalition

Dal Macon shares his first impressions of Bill Dow and what attracted him to the Student Health Coalition’s unique approach to community organizing. He frames the SHC and its work of rural healthcare delivery as a mission of listeners responding… Continued
Left to right: Marian Colette, Minnie Bommer, Tilda Kemplen, Linda Stein, Mary Elliott; Barbara Clinton, Project Director and daughter Greta in front

“Freedom from drain” and the Maternal-Infant Health Outreach Worker Project (MIHOW)

Barbara Clinton shares about the program she started as an appendage of the Student Health Coalition, known as the Maternal-Infant Health Outreach Worker Project (MIHOW). The largest and most renowned of SHC’s various outgrowths, this program sought to draw on… Continued
Vista member, Jeff Summerville (right), works alongside community volunteer on the Memphis Greenway.

The Student Environmental Health Program

Barbara Clinton delineates the incitement of Vanderbilt’s Student Environmental Health Program following discovery by SHC participants of widespread water contamination in several rural and inner city communities across Tennessee. This student-led organization attracted those from hard science disciplines to tackle… Continued

Barbara Clinton on the emergence of Vanderbilt’s Center for Health Services

Barbara Clinton discusses the influence of Vanderbilt’s Student Health Coalition on various subsequent initiatives, speaking specifically to the extension of its core mission and student-led approach to several programs. She focuses on the Center for Health Services and its role… Continued

Meryl Rice: A brief look into her background as the daughter of Chinese immigrants

Meryl Rice shares about her family’s history and how it’s inspired her to help others. Recorded June 2, 2018. Full footage of Randall and Meryl’s discussion about rural healthcare.       Continued

Caryl Carpenter Talks About the Origins of the Tennessee Primary Care Association

Caryl Carpenter, former administrator of the Mountain People’s Health Councils (MPHC) of East Tennessee, talks about formation of the Tennessee Primary Care Association. Recorded on May 17, 2017, as a part of a panel discussion at a reunion of the… Continued

SHC goes to West Tennessee in 1973

Dana Ellis discusses how she got involved and her experience with the first Student Health Coalition cohort to visit communities in West Tennessee in 1973. More on Dana Ellis: More on Tennessee: Continued

The Origin Story: In the words of Bill Dow

Several years before he died, Bill Dow agreed to participate in recorded conversations about his farming philosophies, with the idea that he would use the recordings to compose a book about sustainable agriculture. He died in 2012, before the project… Continued

The Interview

Contributed by Rosalie Hammond, December 2015 I first heard about the Student Health Coalition in the spring of 1970 from Lark Hayes at the end of my freshman year. I had not read Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals.  I had… Continued

Charles Scott reminisces about the Student Health Coalition

An interview with Charles Scott, professor of philosophy at Vanderbilt University and early supporter and participant in the Student Health Coalition. Continued

Gathering the Seed Corn: Archiving the Bill Dow Papers

My name is Biff Hollingsworth and I am the Collecting and Outreach Archivist for the Southern Historical Collection at UNC Chapel Hill. My main responsibility at the Southern is to curate new collections and projects, which means that I work on… Continued