Vanderbilt University

Left to right: Marian Colette, Minnie Bommer, Tilda Kemplen, Linda Stein, Mary Elliott; Barbara Clinton, Project Director and daughter Greta in front

“Freedom from drain” and the Maternal-Infant Health Outreach Worker Project (MIHOW)

Barbara Clinton shares about the program she started as an appendage of the Student Health Coalition (SHC), known as the Maternal-Infant Health Outreach Worker Project (MIHOW). The largest and most renowned of the SHC’s various outgrowths, this program sought to draw on the talent of local hard-working, intelligent women to further support women’s health and …

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Vista member, Jeff Summerville (right), works alongside community volunteer on the Memphis Greenway.

The Student Environmental Health Program

Barbara Clinton delineates the incitement of Vanderbilt’s Student Environmental Health Program following discovery by SHC participants of widespread water contamination in several rural and inner city communities across Tennessee. This student-led organization attracted those from hard science disciplines to tackle the environmental issues underpinning a number of health problems in the surrounding area. Recorded on …

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Barbara Clinton on the emergence of Vanderbilt’s Center for Health Services

Barbara Clinton discusses the influence of Vanderbilt’s Student Health Coalition (SHC) on various subsequent initiatives, speaking specifically to the extension of its core mission and student-led approach to several programs. She focuses on the Center for Health Services (CHS) and its role in creating space for and supporting the logistics of longer-term relationships between students …

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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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Nancy Raybin

Nancy worked with SHC in the summers of 1973 and 1974 as a community organizer in St. Charles, Va. and then as co-director of the Coalition in East Tennessee and western Virginia.  She was at that time an undergraduate student at Vanderbilt.  She was instrumental in getting the first community clinic off the ground in …

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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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Welmoet Spreij

Contributed by Welmoet Spreij, Amsterdam, 2017. I came to Nashville as a Dutch exchange-student in the fall of 1969 and took some classes at Vanderbilt University. While attending a course in philosophy, I came to know John Davis, Dick Burr, and Carolyn Keith. The next year, as they prepared to go to Appalachia for the …

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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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Irwin Venick

Contributed by Irwin Venick, May 2016 I arrived in Nashville, Tenn. on a hot, humid day in August 1971 not really knowing what to expect. One thing for sure was that I was not in Kansas (meaning for me, New York City suburbs) any more. A recent graduate of the State University of New York …

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Pete Moss

Contributed by Pete Moss and Jennifer Crane, March 2016. Dr. Pete Moss was raised on his maternal grandparents’ farm in Marshall County, Tenn., while his father fought in World War II. As the eldest of his siblings, he learned responsibility, but also had an adventurous spirit. He developed an intense love for learning and the …

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