The Student Health Coalition Archive Project is a partnership between members of the Student Health Coalition community and the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in collaboration with the Eskind Biomedical Library at Vanderbilt University. The project is aimed at building a unique community-driven archive of historical documents, photographs, audio recordings, artifacts, and other treasures to encourage the study of the Coalition’s public health and community organizing work throughout the Appalachian region.
The Student Health Coalition
Initiated by medical, law, nursing, and undergraduate students at Vanderbilt University in 1970, the Appalachian Student Health Coalition worked in medically under-served communities in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia. Participants joined with local leaders with the goal of building a network of primary care clinics and bringing health services to some of the region’s most remote places. Medical and nursing students performed health screenings at “health fairs,” often held in schools or churches. The Coalition’s community organizers allied with local residents to form citizen-controlled Health Councils to lead the ongoing efforts to construct the clinics and attract doctors and nurse practitioners.