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Out in the RuralA Mississippi Health Center and Its War on Poverty$
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Thomas J. Ward Jr. and H. Jack Geiger

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190624620

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190624620.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 September 2021

From South Africa to Mississippi

From South Africa to Mississippi

1 From South Africa to Mississippi
Out in the Rural

Thomas J. Ward

Oxford University Press

In order to bring health care to chronically poor blacks in the Deep South, Geiger and members of the Medical Committee on Human Rights allied with Tufts University to obtain Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) funding to establish a community health center in the all-black Mississippi Delta town of Mound Bayou. Situated in Bolivar County, where unemployment and poverty ravaged the local black population, the center was designed to provide not only traditional health service, but also educational, environmental, and nutritional programs. Their efforts were modeled on community health centers run by Dr. Sidney Kark in South Africa and on the first community health center in the U.S., also spearheaded by Geiger and sponsored by Tufts, serving public housing residents in Boston. Mississippi’s white physicians and politicians, as well as some local black leaders opposed the project, but ultimately Geiger and his allies prevailed, and began delivering services in 1966.

Keywords:   Mound Bayou, Mississippi, War on Poverty, Office of Economic Opportunity, Tufts University, Sidney Kark

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