community agency and self-determination

Bill Dow as a community organizer in Appalachia

Maureen O’Connell and Charles “Boomer” Winfrey reflect on Bill Dow’s character and personal philosophy about community organizing. They describe him as an other-oriented person driven by creative, actionable service and mutually respectful relationships best illustrated by his perception of and interaction with the locals as his heroes. Recorded on May 20, 2013.   Full footage …

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Reflections on the SHC’s approach to community healthcare

Charles “Boomer” Winfrey and Maureen O’Connell consider what set the Student Health Coalition (SHC) apart from other community development efforts in the Appalachian region of East Tennessee. Boomer focuses on the Coalition’s and Save Our Cumberland Mountains’ (SOCM’s) value of community empowerment (by way of such activities like education and legislation). Maureen emphasizes the mutual …

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Tom John on the Student Health Coalition and community self-determination

Tom John, M.D. comments on his work with the Student Health Coalition (SHC) in 1971. He shares that one of the most powerful takeaways from this learning experience was an introduction to and participation in the development of community health systems, as well as a cultivated understanding about the value of education and community self-determination …

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Lewis Lefkowitz on the Student Health Coalition’s key accomplishments

Lewis Lefkowitz recalls what facilitated the Student Health Coalition’s (SHC’s) success. He discusses the organization’s framework of community mobilization and agency, and furthermore highlights the leadership legacy of Kate and J.W. Bradley. Recorded on December 1, 2015.   Full footage of his recollection about the development of the Student Health Coalition in the 1960s and …

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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 Ecker, compiled in collaboration with friends  Bill Dow energized a generation of student activists and …

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Karen Blaydes

Contributed by John Emmeus Davis with the generous assistance of Jack Beckford, June 2017. Karen Blaydes (1948-2009) joined the Student Health Coalition (SHC) in 1970, two weeks after graduating from Vanderbilt University with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish. This was the first year that students who were not preparing for a medical career were …

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Tish Crane Rainey

Contributed by Tish Crane Rainey, March 2017. I participated in the Student Health Coalition the summer of 1975. I had just finished my first year in nursing school at Vanderbilt with an eye on becoming a nurse midwife. That fall I was one of those senior students who participated in the Primex program, Vanderbilt’s first …

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Rebecca Joffrion Ingle

Contributed by Rebecca (Becca) Joffrion Ingle. I was born in Starkeville, Miss. in 1952, but grew up from age 5 in Huntsville, Ala. This small, sleepy Alabama town exploded in growth and diversity during those years with the coming of Werner von Braun and the Marshall Space Flight Center.  There was a degree of international …

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