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From the Trunk of a Volkswagen Beetle: A Mobile Nursing Clinic in Appalachia

Snyder, Audrey PhD, RN, ACNP-BC, FAANP; Thatcher, Esther PhD, RN

Family & Community Health:
doi: 10.1097/FCH.0000000000000028
Original Articles

Access to health care has been a factor for patients living in isolated mountain regions. The Frontier Nursing service was a pioneer in reaching those patients living in the most remote regions of Appalachia. Geography, demographics, and culture present obstacles for rural residents and health care providers. This article identifies and describes the roles nurses and nurse practitioners played in caring for Appalachian families through a roving Health Wagon in the 1980s and 1990s in Southwest Virginia. Family nurse practitioner Sister Bernadette Kenny was instrumental in bringing care on wheels to rural residents living in the Appalachian mountainous region of southwest Virginia.

Author Information

University of Virginia, Charlottesville.

Correspondence: Audrey Snyder, PhD, RN, ACNP-BC, FAANP, University of Virginia, PO Box 800782, Charlottesville, VA 22908 ( or

The authors acknowledge funding for this historical research from the Nightingale Award, an Intramural grant from the University of Virginia School of Nursing and the nurses who let them hear their stories.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins