Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Caroline Standley, June 15, 1979

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:10 - Background and past affiliation with Kentucky’s Frontier Nursing Service

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Partial Transcript: This is an interview with Mrs. Caroline Standley for the Frontier Nursing Service Oral History Project...

Segment Synopsis: Standley was not aware of the Frontier Nursing Service program while in Louisville (Ky.) but actually learned a lot about it in the early 1960s after she had moved to Boston (Mass.). Once interested, she came down to learn more about the program with a friend of hers named Katie and found herself really attracted to the caring aspect of the program as well as the old-fashioned ways of the Appalachian area. She talks about her motivations for joining.

Keywords: "Neat tie"; "Stuck in time"; 1974; Boston (Mass.); Eastern Kentucky; Moving; Outsiders

Subjects: Appalachian Region; Boston (Mass.); Family History; Family histories; Nineteen sixties

00:07:45 - Behind the scenes and involvement with the Boston Fundraising Event

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Partial Transcript: The activities of the Boston Committee, were there o--have there been other fundraising activities besides the Boston Preview that you’ve been involved with?

Segment Synopsis: Standley claims that this has been her only involvement in fundraising with the Boston Committee. The “Boston Preview” is a three to four day cocktail party/social event that is held to raise money for the Frontier Nursing Service. Mrs. Standley explains the organizational development needed to make this day possible. Standley’s job specifically was to create mailing lists and write personal letters to those who donated to the event. She also states that this event becomes more successful each year because the number of people involved continues to grow.

Keywords: Difficulty; Frontier Nursing Service; Fundraising; Mailing lists; Nonprofit work; Preview donors; Public relations

Subjects: Boston (Mass.); Boston Committee; Frontier Nursing Service, Inc.; Organizational behavior; Planning; Publicity; Roles & Associates

00:12:54 - Benefits and difficulties within the Boston Fundraising Event

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Partial Transcript: Um, it worked very well having the sponsors. They were in essence, essentially unquestioning.

Segment Synopsis: Standley claims the sponsors were very considerate and never once asked about financials. Since a lot of guests looked forward to the shops at the event, many people thought percentages were taken from them, but there weren’t. Standley explains how much money was raised in each aspect. She also goes into depth about the struggles that came with the event. Standley states that as the years went by, the committee came to the realization that it was a tremendous amount of effort for such little profit.

Keywords: Difficulties; Finances; Liquor licenses; Role of shops; Sponsor appreciation; Success of preview; Venues

Subjects: Boston (Mass.); Fundraising; Nonprofit and public leadership and management; Nonprofit work; Sponsors.; Success.

00:20:40 - Today’s Boston Committee

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Partial Transcript: Do you feel that most of the, of the, uh, members of the Boston Committee have a good understanding of the Frontier Nursing Service and the area? What’s going on there?

Segment Synopsis: Overall, Standley is unsure of how well the committee of today knows the Frontier Nursing Service because she claims it was never something they talked about. She claims if she were to guess, that frontier women from the earlier committee would have more ties to the frontier because of careers and family connections.

Keywords: Current direction; Current situation; Development; Family connections; Frontier Nursing Service; New members; New vs. old

Subjects: Boston (Mass.); Dynamics.; Family ties series; Growth.

00:22:56 - The beginning of Standley’s involvement with the Boston Committee

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Partial Transcript: You became a member of the board of governors in 1976?

Segment Synopsis: Caroline talks about being formally asked to join the Boston Committee. She claims she was liked almost immediately by the members of the committee from the time she attended her first meeting. Standley got involved almost immediately and became the Chairman of the Development Committee. She discusses authorities at the time. Standley thinks the board has improved throughout the years, but that it does involve balance to have a strong committee all around.

Keywords: Chairman of the Development Committee; Dr. Beasley; First affiliation; Helen "Brownie" Browne; Helen Browne; Improvement of board; Individual roles; Leadership transition

Subjects: Authority.; Beginning.; Boston (Mass.); Leadership.; Member

00:27:25 - Policy and decision making

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Partial Transcript: Is the board of governors more active now in making decisions, policy decisions about the FNS, decisions about the finances of the FNS and so forth than it was when you first became a board member?

Segment Synopsis: Standley claims it is hard to find a balance between a strong staff and a strong administration. She believes that the board is still looking for it. She is very interested in the theory behind the board but worries that they will try to become the staff of the administration.

Keywords: Board participation; Board understanding; Board's theories; Shared governance; Strong staff

Subjects: Governance; Participation.; Understanding

00:29:41 - The influence of Mary Breckinridge in today’s committee

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Partial Transcript: I’ve had several people who are either now or have been staff members at FNS tell me that during the period since Mary Breckinridge’s death when they were talking about something that was in the works...

Segment Synopsis: Standley says that Mary Breckinridge is referred to more of as a political leader and decision maker rather than in the nursing aspect. She claims that she doesn’t know how well Breckinridge would do in today’s committee because of all the advancements in society and technology. Standley claims that Breckinridge’s spirit is still appreciated at the committee by herself but she is unsure of how other members feel about this because she did not communicate much with them due to her different position.

Keywords: Advancements; Impact; Mary Breckinridge; Political leaders; Spirit; Technology; Today's society

Subjects: Administrative decisions.; Breckinridge, Mary, 1881-1965; Impact.; Spirit.

00:35:25 - Community concerns of Frontier Nursing Service

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Partial Transcript: The last two open meetings, this year's and last year's, that were in the cafeteria in the hospital, many of the concerns ex, expressed especially by local people, and in some cases outright criticism by local people of the FNS, did that surprise you at all?

Segment Synopsis: Standley says she does not claim the FNS to be perfect and understands most criticism. She also understands how this may disappoint some members depending on the time period they were affiliated. Standley feels that the FNS will have more national success if they have more community involvement.

Keywords: Community perception; Criticism; Involvement; Local people; National support; Young people

Subjects: Communication--Problems, exercises, etc.; Local & regional; Medicare.; Perception.; Young adults.

00:40:49 - Increasing age of Boston Committee staff members

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Partial Transcript: That's a very interesting statement. One of the, uh, one of the earlier interviews--well in another interview of a person who attended I think the, the--a New York Committee meeting in the 1930s...

Segment Synopsis: Standley discusses different committees and their strengths and weaknesses, as well as other committees' opinions of their own. She questions how much longer the committee can be maintained.

Keywords: "Over the hill"; Community benefit; Defunct committees; Letters; Real committee

Subjects: Boston (Mass.); Community Betterment Service; Detroit (Mich.); Lexington (Ky.); Louisville (Ky.); Organizational change.

00:43:17 - Knowledge of the coal boom

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Partial Transcript: Has--well let me start, are the people on the Boston Committee aware of the, the coal boom in Eastern Kentucky in the last few years?

Segment Synopsis: Standley is unsure of her committee’s knowledge of coal in Kentucky, but her impression is that their knowledge is vague. Her own knowledge of the coal benefits is that they fluctuate very much, benefiting some and hurting others. She feels like they have a general idea of the role of coal in Kentucky but that it would benefit them if they did know more about it and supported it as well.

Keywords: Charitable organization; Coal booms; Crisis situations; Local people; Poor communication; Staff understanding

Subjects: Coal.; Crisis.; Understanding

00:49:31 - Future direction of the board

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Partial Transcript: Are the local people being a little too lax in supporting FNS?

Segment Synopsis: A lot of problems that exist now are due to poor communication; Standley expresses that this problem has impacted local support of the FNS. This has led to crucial misconceptions among local people in the community about the amount of money left by Mary Breckinridge. Standley describes budgeting problems and explains possible solutions.

Keywords: "Sugar daddy"; Book-keeping; Budgets; Business efforts; Fiscal support; Local community; Open communication; Poor communication

Subjects: Budget.; Business.; Communication; Endowment mortgages; Fiscal