Jason Brackins

Physician’s Assistant Joins Clinic Staff

Jason BrackinsMountain Hope’s new physician’s assistant got his training in an unexpected place — the U.S. Coast Guard.

Jason Brackins, PA-C (the C stands for Certified) grew up in Gatlinburg. He loved the water and fishing, so after school he joined the Coast Guard. He trained as a nurse in 1998. The Coast Guard sent him to Physician’s Assistant school at Fort Sam Houston, TX from 2001 to 2003, and he’s worked as a PA since then. Recently he retired from the Coast Guard after 24 years’ service.

He and his wife, Karen, have two children approaching high school age, and they decided to return to Gatlinburg. The children, Liam, aged 13, and Avery (who is known as Q), aged 11, will attend Gatlinburg-Pittman High School when they are old enough.

Karen, a nurse, has volunteered at the Clinic during health fairs. “We’re happy to be back in East Tennessee and we’re blessed to be able to work in this Clinic,” Jason said. He feels the fit is so good that it was meant to be.

The patients are different from those he encountered in the Coast Guard. His clientele there was basically healthy. Those who developed serious illnesses were often discharged. “Mission ready, combat ready really was the goal,” Jason said.

Now he’s dealing with a mix of people, some healthy, some with chronic diseases. But it’s rewarding, and his patients at the Clinic are grateful for their treatment. Though adding a full-time PA to the Clinic staff means more patients can be treated every day, “we don’t want to sacrifice quality (care) for quantity,” he said.

His spare time is spent being a “Superdad,” he said, ferrying his children to sports practices and events. He has not lost his love of fishing, either. He’s giving up his saltwater fishing gear but intends to make the most of East Tennessee’s lakes and rivers.

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Kaitlyn Baker Sings for Hope

Kaitlyn Baker and her band, and Mountain Hope volunteers after the show.

Kaitlyn Baker and her band, and Mountain Hope volunteers after the show.

Rising country star Kaitlyn Baker’s concert at The Island in Pigeon Forge on Sept. 23 doubled as a fund-raiser for Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic.

Our thanks go to the Pepper Palace, which sponsored the free event, and especially to Will Castro, who organized the details. We also wish to thank Ole Smoky Moonshine for providing the concert stage at their Barn at The Island and for promoting the concert. Our gratitude also goes to the generous Ms. Baker and her band, who supplied talent galore, and DJ Nightlife 305 of Nightlife Production, who hosted the event.

The concert was free to the public but a collection was taken for Mountain Hope. Helping in that effort were Clinic volunteers Ellen Crivellone, Lt. Eric Garner, George Hawkins, Baron Mayes, Missy Morris and Gregory Payne.

Our thanks go to everyone who contributed in any way, including Randy Bable, who edited the video; Alejandro Arismendy for photos, and give-away door prize donors: Speedwerkz, Dollywood, Rafting in the Smokies, Paula Deen’s Family Kitchens, Margaritaville, Aunt Bug’s Cabin Rentals, The Island, Ole Smoky Distillery, Governor’s Crossing Stadium 14 Cinema, Comedy Barn Theater and Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Theater.

We are indebted to the generosity of Pepper Palace and its CEO Craig Migawa and his family in making this event a benefit for the Clinic. As a non-profit that provides quality medical and dental care to Sevier County residents and employees with no health insurance, Mountain Hope depends on events such as this. Businesses that set up special events help us bridge the wide financial gap between the amount we charge our patients and the actual cost of each patient visit to the Clinic. Thank you to everyone involved.

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Magic and Mindreading Show to Benefit Mountain Hope

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Purchase Tickets Online Now.  Very Limited Seating Available.

Fancy a little magic, mindreading and mayhem during the week of Halloween?

Erik Dobell and Chris Collins of Impossibilities show in Gatlinburg are putting on a special benefit Shocktober show for Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic on Monday, Oct. 24.  “A Night of Hope and Magic” will showcase the Shocktober theme the performers are using all month.

Dobell is a master mentalist, creating the illusion of reading minds. Collins is the magical comedian. “I do the mind reading, he does the magic,” Dobell said.

“A Night of Hope and Magic” will be an interactive show, like Impossibilities,  in which the two have been starring since the spring in Gatlinburg. But “A Night of Hope and Magic” will have a Halloween twist, based on the theme of a haunted manor the two have purchased, Dobell said.

It will differ from Impossibilities, Collins said. “It’s still a family show, but it’s going to have a little bit of an edge to it. It’s also going to be very spooky… but in a fun way.”

The last week in October is International Magic Week, Dobell said, and Houdini, the famous escape artist, died on Halloween, so this is a fitting time for the show.

Dobell said he came late to his interest in mentalism, though as a boy he had enjoyed such brainy heroes as Sherlock Holmes and Batman. In his late teens he taught himself some magic tricks, and at a magic show in Ohio bought a book on mentalism and the psychology behind it. That’s when he got hooked.

Collins has the ability to blend audience participation with original magic and humor. It’s earned him the title of Magical Comedian. His magic is fast paced,exciting and different. He’s a professional entertainer with more than 20 years’ experience, including Las Vegas, comedy clubs and corporate events.

The non-profit Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic provides quality medical and dental care at a reasonable price to Sevier County residents and employees who lack health insurance. Fund-raisers such as the Shocktober show are an essential part of keeping costs low at the Clinic, said Ashley Burnette, Director of Fund Development.

Tickets for the Oct. 24 event are available on line here or by calling 865.774.7684 and asking for Ashley. The Iris Theater is at the Space Needle, 115 Historic Nature Trail, Gatlinburg. Tickets are also available from Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic, 312 Prince Street, Sevierville.