community engagement

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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Perry Steele on the summer of 1972

[Story contributed by Perry Steele, 15 May 2017]  I was finishing my sophomore year at Vanderbilt. Nixon hadn’t drafted me. For some reason Professor Scott suggested I could be a community organizer. Having no other plans for the summer, I was lucky enough to work with Kathy Stanley and Irwin Venick. Someone lent Kathy 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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Connecting the dots: from SHC to ACA

In 2013, just as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was about to get rolled out, Bill Corr took time out of his busy schedule as Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services to reflect on the resonance between the Coalition work of forty years ago and the inspiration for the Affordable Care Act now. His …

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Outsiders Coming In: Establishing Trust Within Mountain Communities

“If we helped to create an atmosphere at determination to work for better health care, on the part of the people themselves, then we have certainly proven something. However, if we have raised expectations and hopes for improved medical care for this area, and it is not forthcoming, then perhaps we have violated a very …

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