healthcare inequities

Minnie Bommer’s encounter with hospital segregation

Having overcome the adversity of racially biased employment discrimination imposed upon her at the outset of her nursing career, Minnie Bommer shares also about the realities of healthcare inequities and segregation experienced post-hire at a hospital in Covington, Tenn. Recorded on June 1, 2018.   Full footage of interview with Minnie Bommer.

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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Jean Carney

Jean was a community leader in the 1960s and 1970s in and around Brownsville, Rossville, and Stanton in West Tennessee.  With help from the health fairs conducted by Student Health Coalition (SHC), including students from Meharry and Vanderbilt, Jean helped ensure the establishment of the first primary care clinic in Stanton, Tenn.  To this day, …

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Dana Ellis

Dana worked West Tennessee health fairs in the summers of 1973 and 1974 while a student in the School of Nursing at Vanderbilt. She served as co-director of the Student Health Coalition alongside George Smith who was in medical school at Meharry Medical College, a historically Black medical school. Together they provided clinical leadership for …

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Diane Lauver

Contributed by Diane Lauver, February 2018 Growing up, I was close to my paternal grandparents; they lived in a pastoral valley looking at Appalachian hills in a northern state. With their 8th grade educations and practical wisdom, they taught me how to garden and “put up” its produce. My maternal grandparents worked for a travel …

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