community agency and self-determination

Reflections on the legacy of coal camp healthcare and success of the St. Charles Clinic

Several closely tied to the St. Charles Clinic gather to discuss what contributed to its success and reminisce about past generations of healthcare in the area, namely during the time large coal companies were active. They emphasize the determination of local residents and role of widespread community collaboration in establishing and maintaining the clinic. Those …

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On the success of the St. Charles Clinic: Art Van Zee’s decision to stay and other local leaders

Nancy Raybin highlights Art Van Zee’s commitment to the St. Charles Clinic (and decision to stay) as the foremost contributing factor to its success. She also speaks to the local leadership of many others involved in the clinic’s foundation. Follow this link for access to the full-length interview. Recorded October 28th, 2021.

On the resourcefulness, work ethic, and generosity of people and communities in the mountains

Margaret Ecker describes what impressed her most about people and communities in the mountains, highlighting Byrd Duncan’s role in establishing and maintaining the Briceville Clinic. She also mentions J.W. Bradley and Marie Cirillo. Rosie Hammond reflects on other characteristics, such as their being so genuine and generous. Follow this link for full-footage of Margaret Ecker’s …

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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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