Years ago a bright and compassionate young woman entered medical school with the heartfelt desire to serve God by providing medical care to the poor and needy children of the world in the mission field. That dream was dashed by the hand of a drunk driver that robbed her of her beloved father and an injury to her own body that left her disabled to the extent that she could not serve overseas.
She picked up the pieces of her dream and became one of the foremost pediatricians in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She not only treated the wealthy patients in need of her services, but the poor and abandoned, as well. She never turned away a child in need of her care.
At the end of her long and fulfilling practice, she retired and moved to the Great Smoky Mountains. She loved the peace, beauty, and serenity of her new home but missed caring for children. This love of practicing medicine led her to volunteer at Pi Beta Phi Elementary School in Gatlinburg, where she discovered that a large number of families could not afford adequate medical care. It was at this point in her life that God provided a way for her to serve Him as she had always dreamed.
In early 1999, Dr. Alyene Reese borrowed five rooms in a local church youth building, assembled an all-volunteer staff and started Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic. The Clinic, whose mission is to provide accessible, affordable, quality healthcare for the medically uninsured of Sevier County, now serves over 20,000 patients of record and is growing by leaps and bounds. We treat patients in need of primary medical care, and basic dental care including cleanings, extractions of abscessed teeth and simple fillings. Another vitally important service provided by Mountain Hope Clinic is the medication services. Although our medication room is small and limited it makes a tremendous difference to our patients. Basic services are provided at rates matched to the patients’ incomes so that no one in need is turned away due to lack of money. Our average cost to treat a patient is $63 more than the average patient can afford to pay which usually leaves us with a per visit deficit for the Clinic to make up every day
In July 2006 the Dr. Alyene Reese Memorial Endowment Fund was formed to ensure the future of the clinic that Dr. Reese loved so much. This legacy is administered by the East Tennessee Foundation and it will provide medical treatment to the many medically uninsured residents and workers of Sevier County for years to come.