The Nancy Milio Collection
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This collection reveals the work that a young white Public Health Nurse, Nancy Milio, began to chronicle in 1966. Her notebooks, which extend from 1966 to 1968 provide an inside, day to day account of the needs, aspirations and the developments that led to a grass roots program for mothers and children in the Kercheval neighborhood in Detroit, Michigan. Her ability to work within the neighborhood and create alliances in a tumultuous racial environment is a timeless story that remains quite relevant today. Various materials, in addition to the nine notebooks, allow a further glimpse into the hard work, the careful navigation and the patience that this endeavor required, and they reveal the unique context of the time. Essays and interview sound clips add further contextual and analytic information.

Nancy Milio turned her Kercheval experience into a book, largely based on these documents. That book, 9226 Kercheval (1970) has become a classic reference for public health and policy courses. The structure of this site is based on chapter names in that book which describe elements of Nancy Milio’s process in the development of the center. “Search for Coherence,” “Formation of a Matrix,” “Convulsion,” and “Wholeness Unfolding” describe steps in the development of her ideas as well as the center. Each tab contains a descriptive essay and an audio clip from a 1994 interview which describes these elements in her own words.

Additional documents that describe Milio’s life and career are available through the Eleanor Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry.