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Diane Lauver's Legacy Plant

Resilient Reba: A bittersweet story from Diane Lauver

During a health fair in the 70s, I stayed with a couple in Elgin, TN: Reba and Bud Smithers. Another health fair worker, Angela stayed with me at their home. A few experiences with this couple left me with strong … Continued

David Morrow on the personal legacy of his student activism

I became involved with the Appalachian Student Health Coalition when I was an undergraduate at Vanderbilt. In 1977, the summer after my graduation, I worked as a community organizer in Copperhill, Tennessee, where the Coalition concentrated on environmental and occupational … Continued

Bill Dow in Smithville TN, 1970

Bill Dow

Bill Dow co-founded the Student Health Coalition while in medical school at Vanderbilt University, in 1969. He was a visionary. He inspired a generation of student activists and made lasting relationships with leaders in rural communities around the rural South. … Continued

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, 1971 and 1972. He provided assistance to former miners who were seeking … Continued

Charles Schiff

While an engineering student at Vanderbilt University, Charles spent the summers of 1970 and 1971 with the Student Health Coalition. He was 18 years old when he joined the SHC, one of the Coalition’s youngest members. He served as a … Continued

Randy Hodges

Graduated Vanderbilt with a degree in civil engineering in 1975. Randy first worked with SHC helping to construct the Petros Health Clinic in 1973. He served as SHC Co-Director 1973-1974 and a community worker in Jacksboro, TN the summer of … Continued

Paul Joffrion

A Duke University Arts & Science graduate, and University of North Carolina Master of Social Work, Paul served as an SHC community worker in Tracy City, TN in 1975.   Related Stories:   Related Resources/Links:   Related People:

Nancy Raybin

Nancy worked with SHC in the summers of 1973 and 1974 as a community organizer in St. Charles Virginia 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 … Continued

Ann Baile Hamric

Ann participated in the Coalition in 1970, the first summer that the Coalition conducted multiple health fairs in middle and east Tennessee.  She had just graduated from Vanderbilt School of Nursing. Ann was instrumental in the establishment of structured followup … Continued

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 alongside George Smith who was in medical school at Meharry Medical College, an historically black medical school. Together … Continued

Carolyn Burr

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Margaret Ecker

I joined the Coalition as a community organizer after graduating from Vanderbilt in Philosophy in 1970. I stayed on with the Coalition through the next school year to help with year end reports and preparation for the next summer. Inspired … Continued

Jack Beckford

One of the many Philosophy majors among SHC’s early community organizers, Jack graduated Vanderbilt in 1971, and spent the following summer working on Mud Creek, KY. He later founded the Georgia Agricultural Marketing Project after briefly working with the Solar … Continued

J. Thomas “Tom” John, M.D.

I am a bit late in getting my bio in, best done in the earlier stages of pending dotage. I am originally from Laurinburg NC a small farming and, then, textile community in the eastern part of the state. I … Continued

Bill Dow

William Watlington Dow was born 15 February 1945 in Middletown, Ohio, and grew up in Meridian, Mississippi. He received a bachelor’s degree in molecular biology from Vanderbilt University, attended Vanderbilt Medical School, and was graduated in 1971. Dow interned at … Continued

Diane Lauver

Profile: [Written 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 … Continued

Welmoet Spreij

Profile: [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 … Continued

Karen Blaydes

Profile: [Contributed by John Emmeus Davis, with the generous assistance of Jack Beckford, June 2017] Karen Blaydes (1948-2009) joined the Student Health Coalition in 1970, two weeks after graduating from Vanderbilt University with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish. This … Continued

Bob Hartmann

Profile: [Contributed by Bob Hartmann, February 2017] Rick Davidson has been badgering me for over a year to write a profile. Somehow he enlisted my wife, Mel Welsh, and now she is badgering me! As I read the profiles on … Continued

Tish Crane Rainey

Profile: [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 … Continued

Irwin Venick

Profile: Contributed by Irwin Venick, May 2016 I arrived in Nashville, Tennessee 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, … Continued

Pete Moss

[Contributed by Pete Moss and Jennifer Crane, March 2016] Dr. Pete Moss was raised on his maternal grandparents’ farm in Marshall County, Tennessee, while his father fought in World War II. As the eldest of his siblings, he learned responsibility, … Continued

Dal Macon

Profile: [Contributed by Dal Macon, February 2016] Working with the Student Health Coalition during the summer of 1971, my role was to coordinate the support staff of non-medical students during each Health Fair.  The background to the need for that … Continued

Joe Little

Profile: [Contributed by Joe Little, February 2016] “As with a growing number of past experiences, my recall is opaque and often self-serving. I don’t exactly remember how I was lured into the first summer of work in 1971 in East … Continued

Virginia Munford

[Contributed by Virginia “Ginnie” Munford]  My experience with the Student Health Coalition was working as the first “Staff Assistant” at the Center for Health Services, from approximately 1974 – 1976.  The staff of the Center included Bill Dow as Director, … Continued

Richard Davidson, M.D., M.P.H.

Richard Davidson was born in West Palm Beach, Florida in 1947. He attended Vanderbilt undergraduate and medical schools, and did a residency in internal medicine there as well. During the summer of his second year in medical school (1970) he was … Continued

Bill Corr

Contributed by Bill Corr, September 2015 I am forever indebted to the Vanderbilt Student Health Coalition because my involvement put me on a career path that has enriched my life and given me the opportunity to serve our nation’s health … Continued

Cathy Barrow Heck and Jeff Heck

[Written by Cathy Barrow Heck] I was absolutely sold on the Appalachian Student Health Coalition upon seeing the video as a nursing student in the fall of 1973. The idea of a team of students working in partnership with rural … Continued

Rebecca Joffrion Ingle

[Contributed by Rebecca (Becca) Joffrion Ingle] I was born in Starkeville, MS in 1952, but grew up from age 5 in Huntsville, Ala. This small, sleepy Alabama town exploded in growth and diversity during those years with the coming of … Continued

Cindy Lutenbacher

[Contributed by Cindy Lutenbacher, September 2015] I was born in Shreveport, LA, in 1953, but I lived in cities all over the South.  New Orleans is my family home, even though only one cousin still lives there now.  I think of … Continued

John E. Davis

[Contributed by John E. Davis, August 2015. Burlington, Vermont] I am the eldest son of a Southern couple who moved north for employment after World War II.  Every June, my parents would “go home,” loading their three boys into a station wagon … Continued

Rod Lorenz

[Written by Rod Lorenz, August 2015] “I was involved in SHC for its first 2 years, and remember working in several different locations.   In the first year I remember a health fair in White Oak and sleeping quarters in a … Continued


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