Mountain Hope Clinic Says Goodbye to Dr. George Kirkpatrick

Dr.-K-510x572 croppedWe are deeply saddened to relay the message that Dr. George Kirkpatrick, a beloved member of the Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic staff, has passed away.

Dr. George Kirkpatrick joined Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic in August of 2015.

Dr. Kirkpatrick, known to Mountain Hope volunteers and staff as “Dr. K.” was trained in comprehensive care and appreciated having time to spend with patients. In a recent interview he said, “It’s so good for me,” when asked of his work at Mountain Hope, “It’s the best move I’ve made in a long time.”

George Kirkpatrick grew up in Western Pennsylvania and attended the Air Force Academy, but after two years decided to focus on pre-med education at the prestigious Johns Hopkins University. He sold knives from door to door to pay for his education. Later, he studied at Hahnemann Medical College in Philadelphia (now part of Drexel University).

While he was completing his residency in Muncie, Ind. he earned his master’s degree in teaching. Later he moved to Chattanooga and practiced medicine in Athens, Tenn. for 15 years. In total, he practiced medicine for more than 40 years.

Dr. Kirkpatrick used his teaching qualifications by becoming an associate professor of family medicine in Chattanooga while working in Athens. Later he moved to Mobile, Ala. where he taught at the University of Southern Alabama. In Mobile, he switched to emergency room work, and it was there he met a nurse who– years later– would later tell him about Mountain Hope Clinic, where she began to work one day weekly after her retirement.

Dr. Kirkpatrick and his wife, Wanda, had moved to the Richardson’s Cove area.  Until recently, he worked Mondays and Fridays at the Clinic and continued his emergency room work in Mobile, Ala. two days a week, twice a month.

Dr. Kirkpatrick’s hobbies included saltwater fish, gardening and flowers, and he was always a welcome presence at Mountain Hope.

Please keep Dr. Kirkpatrick’s family in your continued prayers.


Mountain Hope Thanks Ober Gatlinburg and Gatlinburg Sky Lift for Sevier County Days Donations

Oberttram-510x343 hat-couple-on-lift-2-510x383There’s a longtime local tradition of tourism attractions offering Sevier County Days to local residents at reduced prices. It’s an opportunity for Sevier Countians to enjoy the attractions that normally cater mainly to tourists.

Recently two Gatlinburg businesses, Ober Gatlinburg and the Skylift, took Sevier County days a step farther by donating the proceeds to Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic. In this way, local folks benefitted twice, both by having fun and by supporting their neighbors, the Clinic’s patients.

We are grateful that management at the Skylift and Ober generously decided to support the non-profit Clinic in this way. Providing quality medical and dental care to local citizens with no health insurance does not come cheap. We charge our patients an affordable fee, but the actual cost to us for each patient visit is much more than we recoup from patients. To make up the difference, we depend on support from local businesses as well as grants and private donations. Fundraisers such as the two Sevier County Days events are most welcome.

Our thanks go out to Ober Gatlinburg and to the Skylift for their wonderful community support.

Warm regards,

signature (2)



Ashley Burnette

Director of Fund Development




From Stay-at-home Mom to Medical Assistant

Reagan WilderJust 30 more times drawing blood, and Reagan Wilder will qualify as a certified medical assistant.

Reagan, a new medical assistant at Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic, began her quest to become certified in 2008. Before that, she was a stay-at-home mom. She is really close to her certification  — just 30 needle-sticks shy — and expects to complete it during the upcoming health fair at the Clinic.

As a part-time medical assistant, she takes patients’ vital signs, performs in-office lab tests, helps with charting and assists the Clinic’s doctors and nurse practitioners as they attend to patients. Though medical assistants do not have to be certified to practice in Tennessee, certification shows more dedication to education and professional standards, she said.

She grew up in Seymour, attended Seymour High School and transferred to Heritage High in Blount County. She and her husband, Edgar, live in Seymour with their children, two boys and two girls: Matthew, 11; Genesis, 8; Mychal, 5, and Mysty, 4.

Her family does not leave much time for relaxing, but if she had time she is clear about what she would like to do: “Go to the mountains. Find a creek,” she said.

She said she was attracted to working at the Clinic because of “the group of people they reach out to, and the Clinic’s passion for what they do.”


Clinic’s Medical Director Loves Meeting Patients

img dr dew044Since 2003, Dr. Richard Dew has volunteered his medical skills to the patients of Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic. “I still look forward to coming here every week,” he says.

“I just love medicine,” says the longtime physician. “I look on it as a calling rather than a job.” Working at the Clinic is a ministry for him. “Here I feel like you’re helping folks who really need help and can’t get it anywhere else.”

As the Clinic’s medical director, he sees a full patient load one day a week and can be reached by phone for advice if needed at other times. He is responsible for maintaining the Clinic’s high quality of medicine. He works with less experienced staff members and the many medical students who visit the Clinic. He loves to teach and sees it as a way of impacting the future of medicine.

Listening to patients and getting to know them over time and building relationships with them is an aspect he enjoys. Then there’s the joy of making a rare diagnosis. For example, he recently diagnosed a case of rheumatic fever, though it had been 50 years since he last came across it.

He earned his medical degree at the University of Tennessee School of Medicine and did his residency in family practice. He was a U.S. Navy medical officer in Vietnam, then practiced medicine in Oak Ridge for 30 years. During that time he started the first hospitalist program in Tennessee at Methodist Medical Center.

He has plenty of interests beyond medicine. He is the author of three published books and is hard at work on his fourth. He heads a support group for families of children who have died. He enjoys hiking, cultivates wildflowers at his Gatlinburg home and with his wife, Jean, follows University of Tennessee men’s basketball.

Doctor and patient handshake with medical equipment on the background.

Free Physicals Event to take place July 20 & 21

This is an excellent opportunity for those who live or work in Sevier County but have no health insurance to become established patients at Mountain Hope. Once patients are established, it is much easier getting into the Clinic for primary health and dental care visits as needed. Free physicals are BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.

Summer 2016 Health Fair Flyer in English (1)Summer 2016 Health Fair Flyer in Spanish (1)