Former Student Joins Clinic Staff

It was a seamless transition for Suleira Rodriguez.

Earlier this month, she completed her medical assistant studies at Tennessee College of Applied Technology. The very next day, she was at work at Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic.

Suleira, who is called “Sue” most of the time, was already familiar with the Clinic. It’s where she had done the clinical hours necessary to become a Registered Medical Assistant.

Toward the end of her training, her instructor told her about two job openings. She chose Mountain Hope because, “I thought I could be more helpful here,” she said.

She’s bilingual, which is a big help to the Clinic’s many Hispanic patients. She was born in California but grew up in Mexico; her first language was Spanish. When she was 10 her parents decided to come back to the United States and moved to Tennessee. Sue attended Pigeon Forge Middle and High schools, and knows this area well.

She was studying to become an LPN but says, “I’m a hands-on person,” and switched to the Medical Assistant program when she saw the practical help RMAs can give their patients. As an RMA at Mountain Hope, she takes patients’ vital signs, does vaccinations, deals with medications, gives some types of treatments and assists the medical staff.

Sue lives in Sevierville with her husband of three years, Dewa Raka. She likes to spend time with her family, especially her 3-year-old nephew. “He’s my baby,” she said. She’s recently celebrated her pinning ceremony and graduation. She also likes to draw and paint.

She says she likes everything about the Clinic. “I especially like the way they help uninsured people,” she says. Patients receive not only physical healing, but also spiritual help, she said. The clinic provides good care to those who can’t afford regular doctors. “They help the community,” she said.