community empowerment and mobilization

What the SHC did (and didn’t do) well

Tom John and Rick Davidson share their retrospective thoughts on how the Student Health Coalition succeeded, as well as how, in certain respects, the SHC could have operated differently. These critical reflections offer insight to community organizing efforts today, particularly as it regards student-led rural healthcare.   Full footage of the 2013 interview with Tom …

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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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Becca Ingle on the SHC and community healthcare

Becca Ingle, R.N., F.N.P. shares about her experience with the Student Health Coalition (SHC) in the summer of 1974 and discusses its profound influence on later becoming a nurse practitioner. She also explains how the organization facilitated a shift in her understanding of healthcare. Lasting doctor-patient relationships, community mobilization and agency, and equitable allocation of …

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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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