The Nancy Milio Collection

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The Nancy Milio Collection

Nancy Milio
Nancy Milio, 1968

Nancy Milio

Henry K. Sharp, PhD

Nancy Milio grew up in the Kercheval neighborhood during World War Two, when the community was populated by southern European immigrants and their children.  These white residents began moving to the Detroit suburbs after the war, and by the early 1960s, the neighborhood had become lower-income and African-American, with declining housing stock, limited public services, and few employment opportunities.


Recorded January 22, 2015.  Courtesy of Curt Torell.

At exactly this moment, in 1960, Milio graduated from Detroit's Wayne State University with a B.S. in Nursing and an abiding concern for the delivery of health care services to underprivileged communities.  She worked with the Detroit Visiting Nurse Association as a staff nurse and field teacher, and began to look for ways to comprehend the health and social problems afflicting poor communities.  She investigated methods likely to effect positive changes in public health among ghetto populations.  Milio completed a Master's degree in Sociology from Wayne State in 1965, writing about the class basis of maternity health standards.  This consciousness drove her work to establish the Kercheval center as a community-based institution shaped and directed by the needs and aspirations of the people it was to serve.  The Moms and Tot’s Center was an exemplar of grass roots community organization and community ownership.  After leaving the center in 1969, Milio earned a doctorate in Sociology from Yale University in 1970, and embarked on an academic career, becoming a professor of Nursing and of Health Policy at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  Dr. Milio joined the UNC School of Nursing faculty in 1976 and that of the School of Public Health in 1977.

Milio Collection Finding Aid

The Finding Aid is a brief overview of the collection which provides usage information, citation requirements, and a description of the materials.

The materials contained here relative to the Mom and Tots Neighborhood Center represent Milio's earliest professional steps in her long and distinguished career in public health policy.  9226 Kercheval was only the first of twelve books to her credit, three of which have received the American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Award.  She has contributed chapters to an abundance of scholarly monographs, published extensively in a wide range of academic journals, and has served as a research fellow and visiting professor in numerous university public health programs around the world.

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