A Mission of Compassionate Caregiving


I am Deborah Murph, Executive Director here at Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic. In one way or another, my life has been devoted to the health of others: As a mother, as a nurse, to Chief Operating Officer for a Federally Qualified Health Center, and now with Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic. For me, it’s not just about the day-to-day operations of managing health systems, it’s about helping and teaching others about health, and ensuring our clinic has the resources to help our community. This can be anything from providing access to insulin for our diabetic patients struggling to provide food for their family, to being a healthcare advocate for patients unable to afford access to treatment for a new cancer diagnosis. Having a strong professional team ensures we as a Clinic are prepared to pivot and quickly adjust to fulfill our commitment to serving our community during unforeseen circumstances when they need us most.

As a non-profit, we rely on the strength of our board of directors to lend their expertise, their time, and to share the mission of Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic with others in our community. It’s important to me that you know the people that are helping to push our mission forward here in Sevier County, as they create the effective governance to help the clinic navigate the various categories of oversight, from policy, to organizational activities, to strategic decisions.

Our board is comprised of Sevier County residents who have a passion for community service. Many are involved with our local churches, rotary clubs, hospitality, and business associations. They all bring unique and complementary strengths; some as local business owners, some have backgrounds in medicine or law, some hold deep roots with our community, but all are committed to our mission of providing quality healthcare for the uninsured of Sevier County, to reflect the life and Biblical teachings of Jesus Christ.

I am a believer in the spirit of our mission, and in the saying: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”   Collectively, our team brings knowledge, momentum, and energy to the clinic. Without them, we would not have been able to expand our services to include behavioral health. Without them, we would not have been able to expand our facility, enabling us to see more patients. It is through their efforts that we will be able to continue to respond to our growing community, to meet our patients where they are and respond to their needs.

We invite you to get to know our board members here, and we are honored to be able to give back to our special community.




Navigating Medicare as a Health Worker

Navigating Medicare- a Day in the Life of a Community Health Worker


At Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic, we see people from all walks of life. They may be the person who waits on you at your local coffee shop, the person helping you at an amusement park, or the person who helps keep your yard mowed and bushes pruned. The need for services is also varied: The mother who is taking her child in for immunizations, a person with shortness of breath, and sometimes the patient has put off seeing a doctor for too long and has a variety of symptoms to work through. Life goes on, whether we have insurance or not.  These are the people we see each day at Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic.

In many cases, the first-time screening process can reveal not only an initial diagnosis, but clear gaps in what resources a patient might need to develop a healthier lifestyle.  In one case, a 64-year-old patient had come into the clinic for medical care and was unclear on what direction he needed to go, because he had just become eligible for insurance through his employer. They offered a health benefits insurance plan that he would qualify for, but within a brief time, he would also qualify for Medicare.

One of the Community Health Workers (CHW) here at Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic discussed the options with the patient, such as how much the employer plan might cost, both while he continued his employment, and how much it would cost to continue that plan, should he be unable to keep working due to health reasons. The patient also learned that there can be penalties associated with delayed enrollment of Medicare, and that they can go up the longer you wait to sign up. The information our Community Health Workers supplied helped clarify his choices, and once he had a better understanding of his options, he knew which plan would work best for him.

Sometimes, the Community Health Worker plays a vital role in aiding the patient in connecting the dots to other resources they may need. For example, if a patient is diagnosed with diabetes, a change in diet or medication may be needed, and that can create an unplanned expense that their budget cannot accommodate. Insulin and syringes are another such cost, and can often present a difficult choice, as a patient may have to decide between paying for medication or for their utility bill. In such cases, the CHW can connect them with resources to supply more nutritious foods, or medication assistance programs if costs are not within their budget.

In this case, our patient did opt to begin Medicare at age 65, and returned for his last visit, as he would continue care under this new plan, with a new provider. He stated he was fond of his provider at Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic, a sentiment echoed by many over the years, who found they could receive quality health care while being treated kindly and with dignity. We are always happy to see a positive outcome, knowing we are being led to provide these vital services to those that need them, through the spirit of compassion and giving.