Power and Politics in Health Care

On the Center’s multi-phasic identities and development over time

Irwin Venick, Joe Little, and Bob Hartmann reflect on the birth and growth of the Center for Health Services (CHS) over time, tracing its stages of development from its initial Medical School partnership to its later social-science orientation and eventually, with Barbara Clinton as director in the late 1970s, to its relationship with the Nursing …

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On the role of institutional support in community-driven change

Bob Hartmann and Irwin Venick respond to Gillian’s question about how they would approach or encourage others to approach similar student and/or community-led projects today. Bob provides insight into what the Coalition did right and what it could have done better, concluding that there’s value in and need for both community and institutional support. Irwin …

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Resistance to institutionalization: then and now

Bob Hartmann, Irwin Venick, and Joe Little reflect on how the SHC process became institutionalized and the widespread (but split) resistance to it. Bob concludes that if they’d known more about how universities work or approached the formalization process retrospectively, student resistance may not have been (or wouldn’t now be) so vehement. Irwin and Joe …

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Competing visions and growing pains: on the Center’s origins

Irwin Venick expands on the competing visions between the SHC and the Center for Health Services (CHS), explaining that once the Center was established, Coalitioners faced the challenge of adjusting to a structure they hadn’t had to in previous installments of their work. As co-director at the time, Dick Couto faced considerable challenges. He sought …

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Margaret Ecker reflects on unique nature of the Coalition’s power

Margaret Ecker reflects on the power of the Coalition, however invisible at the time, and its success in changing institutions, unconventional and inchoate though it was. She brings John Gaventa’s conclusion on the matter, as further detailed in his book Power and Powerlessness, into the forefront of the conversation. See the full length panel discussion …

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Coalescing visionary spirit with stabilizing structure: on the Center’s origins

Irwin Venick and Joe Little define the central conflict pertaining to the development of the Center for Health Services (CHS) as the challenge of retaining a Bill-like figure to keep the spirit, vision, and focus of the Coalition alive, yet also creating a stabilizing structure or institutional landing pad for transitioning projects between transient students–particularly …

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Sir George Pickering visits East Tennessee

Bob Hartmann shares the story of his trip escorting Sir George Pickering, a well-respected hypertension specialist from England who was at the time visiting as a guest professor, and Dr. Grant Liddle and his family to East Tennessee as an example of how the Medical School benefited from the accomplishments of the Student Health Coalition …

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On institutional benefit of student-led Coalition energy and notoriety

Margaret Ecker and Bob Hartmann discuss how the university seemed to be feeding off of and trying to control Coalition energy and notoriety in the effort to recruit foundation dollars. He shares the story of his trip escorting Sir George Pickering, a well-respected hypertension specialist from England, who was at the time visiting as a …

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On the contrast between Coalition and Center approaches to healthcare in Appalachia

Margaret Ecker and Irwin Venick summarize the differences and ensuing conflict between the Coalition’s and the university’s motivations, priorities, and framework of their approach to healthcare in Appalachia. Irwin makes an important distinction between the Medical School’s focus on community medicine and public health and the SHC’s vehicle of community organizing that valued more grassroots, …

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SHC resistance to university-driven formalization: on the Center’s origins

Bob Hartmann shares the suspicion and intimidation he and others felt in the wake of developing the Center for Health Services (CHS), since the fuel behind it seemed to be coming primarily from and out of the Medical School for purposes less relevant to the core SHC vision (and which certainly didn’t align with Bill …

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