Doctor with female patient

Thank You: Free Physicals Event at Mountain Hope, Jan. 2015

Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic bustled with activity Jan. 13 and 14 as 134 people, many of them new patients, underwent comprehensive health testing during the Clinic’s days of free physicals for patients with no health insurance.

As a result, all of the 134 have a clearer idea of their health and are on their way to tackling associated issues. Many were new patients to the Clinic, who now have easy access to appointments with medical professionals whenever the need arises.

Such intensive physical exams for so many people in such a short time require the cooperation of many individuals. Students from East Tennessee State University’s James H. Quillen College of Medicine conducted the exams, supervised by their preceptors. Our thanks go out to all ETSU faculty and staff involved.

Our own Clinic volunteers were led by Dr. Richard Dew, our medical director, and Dr. Bob Valosik. Other volunteers, who helped on a variety of fronts from conducting medical tests to handling paperwork and assisting our paid staff with patients, were Jackie Burk, Connie Carden, Kitty Coykendall, Anna Garber, Jim Kayon, Emma Kepka, Trudi Lodge, Jennifer Love, Barbara McGill, Carol Pierce-Burr and Jerry Sandifer.

Sevier County Health Department staff gave immunization shots for TDAP and flu.

All those involved worked seamlessly together and were rewarded by delicious lunches provided by two local businesses, thanks to Robin Reagan of Tennessee State Bank and Rebecca Mazzei of Dick’s Last Resort.

Oak Tree Lodge very kindly provided overnight lodging for the ETSU contingent.

We are indebted to everyone who worked to make this such a successful event, including The Mountain Press for publicizing it.

Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic provides quality medical and dental care at low cost to Sevier County residents and employees who have no health insurance. The Clinic, at 312 Prince Street, Sevierville, currently has more than 21,000 people on its rolls. For more information, visit www.mountainhopeclinic.org. Another free health fair will be held in the summer.

Sincerely,

Ashley Burnette Justice

Director of Fund Development

volunteers

Adding New Meaning to “Medical Home”

Anna Garber and Sandi Moerdorf are regular volunteers at Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic

Anna Garber and Sandi Moerdorf at Mountain Hope’s Free Physicals Event.

As volunteer paper pusher during the free physicals held twice a year at Mountain Hope, I sit behind a desk in the lobby. I have a clear view of who comes in the door, and can usually tell at a glance if someone is a new patient or if they’ve been here before. The new patients come in more timidly, looking from side to side. The regulars walk straight up to the office windows.

There was no doubt in my mind about the young woman who came through the door one afternoon at the latest free physicals session. She was making for the office windows. But her two children, a girl and boy ages about 3 and 4, had other plans.

No sooner were they in the door than they rushed off to the far corner of the room, running as fast as they could. I was puzzled until I remembered – the toy box sits in that corner.  The little girl was in such a hurry that she pulled off her coat as she ran and tossed it behind her.

It was such a delightful scene that I laughed aloud. These children already knew that they would find toys in that corner, and they may also have known that each child is allowed to take one toy home.  They were comfortable with the Clinic. Their mother was there for her physical, but the children were just as much at home there as she was. It gave a new meaning to the phrase “medical home,” which is how the staff wants patients to feel about the Clinic.

Another incident during the same health fair underlined the message. One morning, a middle-aged man came in, slightly bent and obviously distressed. He was not feeling well. He asked how long the physical would take – at least an hour from start to finish – and said he wasn’t sure he could last that long. We said that was fine, he could leave if he didn’t complete it all.

Some time later, we saw him in the lobby getting ready to leave. He’d completed his physical, was standing taller and looking and feeling better. “Dr. Bob always puts a smile on my face,” he said.

Dr. Bob Valosik puts a smile on many faces every day. He and Dr. Dew both volunteer their extraordinary medical skills to our patients, but they also make patients feel comfortable. Mountain Hope has truly become a “medical home” to the uninsured of our community.

-Anna Garber, Volunteer