Chris Tamis served as a Courier for Frontier Nursing Service (FNS) in 1991. After diving into the rich history of FNS, Chris was excited to be a part of Mary Breckinridge’s legacy of providing assistance in rural healthcare organizations. He signed up for home health and teamed up with a local home health aid for their daily rounds.
Chris and the aid drove around Appalachia, visiting patients, delivering medications and food and providing health services. Chris volunteered the rest of his time at the Hyden Clinic, where he assisted the clinic and its physicians in non-medical tasks that helped facilitate daily practices.
One of Chris’s favorite parts of the Courier program was getting to know the people of Appalachia. According to Chris, the Courier program helped open his eyes to places outside of the metropolitan area he was used to.
“In New York, I walk down 52nd street to get lunch, and there are doctors offices everywhere. In rural Appalachia, that is not the case. Seeing this difference made an impact on me,” said Chris.
Chris now serves the New York community with his church as well as at the New York Common Pantry.
From wearing the classic uniform of a polo and khaki pants, to serving in rural healthcare organizations, Chris says he enjoyed everything about his time as a Courier. He now considers himself an advocate for Eastern Kentucky and the Appalachian people. Chris urges anyone interested in healthcare to consider becoming a Courier with FNU, especially those from urban areas.
Chris would also like to thank the Courier Program Coordinator in 1991, Cari Michaels, for running an organized, fun, and efficient program.
We also thank you, Chris, for your service to Appalachia!
In 1928, Mary Breckinridge, founder of Frontier Nursing University established the Courier Program, recruiting young people to come work in the Kentucky Mountains and learn about service to humanity. Couriers escorted guests safely through remote terrain, delivered medical supplies to remote outpost clinics, and helped nurse-midwives during home visits and births. Frontier has benefited tremendously from the 1,600 Couriers who have served since 1928.
At the heart of Frontier Nursing University is a talented and diverse community of students, alumni, faculty, staff, Couriers and preceptors. Spotlight blogs feature members of our FNU community that are focused on the mission of educating nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners to deliver quality health care to underserved and rural populations.