East Tennessee Research Corporation (ETRC)

Lark Hayes’ origins with ETRC

Lark Hayes shares her history with the East Tennessee Research Corporation (ETRC), highlighting responsibilities such as putting together a rights and benefits handbook, southern coal property title research, and overloaded coal truck fact-finding (for lawsuits) alongside Charles “Boomer” Winfrey and Maureen O’Connell. Lark also mentions learning from Bill Corr’s health litigation practice with United Health …

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ETRC’s lawsuit against Davidson County Health Department

John Williams shares ETRC’s successful lawsuit against the Health Department in Davidson County. The effort was collaborative alongside other environmental organizations, including Save Our Cumberland Mountains (SOCM), and initiated as a means to mandate the monitoring and enforcement of water pollution runoff from abandoned strip mines.   Full footage of the 2017 ETRC panel featuring …

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Key issues tackled by ETRC

John Williams and Neil McBride share a list of the East Tennessee Research Corporation’s range of legal issues addressed between 1974 and 1977, including but not limited to: coal industry regulation, industrial development, environmental litigation, barriers to independently-run rural health clinics, and black lung.   Full footage of the 2017 ETRC panel featuring John Williams, …

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ETRC’s first board of directors

John Williams explains the first priority upon establishing the East Tennessee Research Corporation: electing a Board of Directors that could oversee the organization’s operations. Billy Christopher, named Chairman of the Board, Dean Rivkin, and Jack Gibbons were three of the original members.   Full footage of the 2017 ETRC panel featuring John Williams, John McArthur, …

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Establishing the East Tennessee Research Corporation (ETRC)

John Williams details the development of the East Tennessee Research Corporation (ETRC) as a 501(c)(3) in 1973. Those involved considered a couple different precedented models for doing so, but the organization ultimately achieved its goal with help from Vanderbilt University’s chancellor, Alexander Heard, and funding from the Ford Foundation. Neil McBride was their first hire. …

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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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John Kennedy

The summer before his final year at the Vanderbilt Law School and during the summer and fall after his graduation, John Kennedy worked for the Student Health Coalition in 1971 and 1972. He provided assistance to former miners who were seeking black lung benefits and disability payments from federal and state agencies. He was based …

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