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Learning Institute for Health Solutions in the U.S. South

Program Overview

U.S. South Type: Vanderbilt Initiative Award (ViA)

The health issues in the U.S. South often reflect, amplify, and shape the political and economic tensions in the U.S. writ large. Southern states like Tennessee are home to major American health-insurance corporations, yet many hospitals face financial challenges linked to falling reimbursements, and many low-income areas effectively function as health-care deserts. As such, the U.S. South represents the epicenter of the larger conundrum of U.S. health and healthcare: that a country rich in resources and expertise on aggregate levels falls short, and all-too often talks past itself, on individual ones. This project is developing a trans-institutional model for researching, teaching and analyzing the complex social meanings of health and illness in the U.S. South. Housed between the Center for Medicine, Health and Society, the Divinity School, the School of Nursing and the Medical School, this project is largely U.S. focused, though aspects of our intervention in the future will explore connections between the U.S. South and the global south.

Faculty Participants

Principal Investigator in bold

College of Arts & Science

  • Jonathan Metzl, Frederick B. Rentschler II Professor of Sociology and Medicine, Health, and Society
  • Juleigh Petty, Assistant Director and Senior Lecturer of Medicine, Health, and Society
  • Cindy Kam, Professor of Political Science
  • Alice Randall, Professor of African American and Diaspora Studies
  • Claire Sisco King, Associate Professor of Communication Studies
  • Sarah Igo, Associate Professor of History
  • Arleen Turner, 
  • Ken MacLeish, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Health, and Society and Anthropology
  • Laura Stark, Assistant Professor of History
  • Aimi Hamraie, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Health, and Society
  • Dominique BehagueAssociate Professor of  Medicine, Health, and Society
  • Derek GriffithAssociate Professor of  Medicine, Health, and Society
  • Tyson Brown
  • Ted Fischer, Director, Center for Latin American Studies

School of Nursing

Divinity School

  • Emilie Townes, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of Womanist Ethics and Society
  • Phillis Shepard, Associate Professor of Religion, Psychology, and Culture 

Office of Active Citizenship and Service

School of Medicine

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