July 30th: World Day Against Trafficking in Persons – How Healthcare Can Help

At Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic, we recognize July 30th as 2024 World Day Against Trafficking in Persons Day.  We also recognize the critical role healthcare settings can play in identifying potential victims of human trafficking. Human trafficking is a severe human rights violation that affects millions worldwide, and it can happen here in our community. To combat this issue, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) launched the Blue Campaign to raise awareness, support victims, and foster partnerships.

What is Human Trafficking?

Human trafficking involves the exploitation of individuals through force, fraud, or coercion for forced labor or commercial sex. It is a modern form of slavery, often targeting the most vulnerable, including children.

The Blue Campaign’s Goals

The Blue Campaign focuses on three main areas:

  1. Awareness and Education: Providing the public and law enforcement with the tools to recognize and report human trafficking.
  2. Victim Assistance: Connecting victims to services and resources.
  3. Law Enforcement Training: Enhancing law enforcement’s ability to detect, investigate, and prosecute human trafficking.

The Role of Healthcare Providers

Healthcare providers are in a unique position to identify and assist victims of human trafficking. By recognizing the warning signs, providers can intervene and offer support to those in need. Signs may include unexplained injuries, fearfulness, and lack of control over personal documents.

World Day Against Trafficking in Persons

July 30, 2024, marks World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. This year’s theme is “Leave No Child Behind in the Fight Against Human Trafficking.” Children are particularly vulnerable to various forms of trafficking, including:


– Forced labor or criminality

– Begging

– Illegal adoption

– Recruitment into armed groups

– Sexual exploitation


How You Can Help


– Educate Yourself: Learn about human trafficking and its signs.

– Raise Awareness: Share information with your community.

– Support Victims: Donate to organizations that assist trafficking victims.

– Report Suspicious Activity: Contact authorities if you suspect someone is a trafficking victim.

Human trafficking is a global issue that requires a united effort to combat. By working together, raising awareness, and supporting victims, we can help put an end to this atrocity. At Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic, we are committed to playing our part in this fight. Let’s ensure no child or adult is left behind in the battle against human trafficking.



World Skin Health Day: What Your Skin Says About Your Overall Health


World Skin Health Day is a global initiative by the International League of Dermatological Societies (ILDS) and the International Society of Dermatology (ISD) that occurs on July 8th with the purpose of educating people about the significance of skin health and encouraging discussion and actions that work towards improving skin health.

As we observe World Skin Health Day on July 8, 2024, Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic invites you to reflect on the crucial role your skin plays in your overall well-being. Your skin is not only the body’s largest organ but also a vital early warning system for various health conditions. By paying attention to changes in your skin, you can gain valuable insights into your overall health.

Your Skin as an Early Warning System


  1. Skin Cancer

– Regular skin checks are essential for the early detection of skin cancer and other serious conditions. New or changing moles, sudden skin dryness, or other significant changes should prompt a visit to your healthcare provider. Early detection and treatment can make a significant difference in outcomes. Protecting your skin from harmful UV rays with an SPF of 30 or higher is crucial in reducing the risk of skin cancer.


  1. Stress Levels

– Acne flare-ups or eczema can be a direct result of stress impacting your body. Stress hormones like cortisol can worsen or trigger these skin conditions. If you’re experiencing sudden skin issues, it might be time to assess your stress levels and consider stress management techniques.


  1. Immune System Alerts

– Diseases like psoriasis or recurring rashes can indicate problems with your immune system. If you notice persistent or unusual skin issues, it could be a sign that your immune system is under duress and may require medical attention.


  1. Hormonal Changes

– Skin changes such as acne can signal hormonal imbalances. Conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or thyroid disorders often manifest through skin issues. If you’re experiencing significant changes in your skin, a hormonal evaluation might be necessary.


  1. Liver Health

– Yellowing of the skin or eyes is a clear indicator of liver dysfunction and requires immediate medical evaluation. The liver plays a crucial role in detoxifying the body, and any issues with liver function can manifest through changes in your skin’s appearance.


  1. Circulatory Health

– Very pale or excessively red skin can signal circulatory or heart diseases, as the skin reflects blood flow and oxygen levels. If your skin tone changes drastically without an obvious cause, it’s important to consult a healthcare provider to assess your circulatory health.

  1. Nutritional Insights

– Skin that appears dull or lacks elasticity might suggest deficiencies in vital nutrients or dehydration. Proper hydration and a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals are essential for maintaining healthy skin and overall health.

Understanding Skin Conditions


– Acne and Eczema: Often linked to stress, these conditions can be managed by adopting stress reduction techniques such as meditation, exercise, and proper sleep.

– Psoriasis and Rashes: Indicators of immune system health, these conditions might require treatments that target immune function and overall health management.

– Hormonal Acne: Typically linked to hormonal imbalances, such conditions necessitate a thorough evaluation by a healthcare provider to address underlying issues like PCOS or thyroid disorders.


We hope you join us at Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic in recognizing World Skin Health Day by prioritizing your skin health. Schedule a skin check, adopt healthy lifestyle habits, and stay informed about the vital role your skin plays in your overall health. Your skin is a powerful communicator, and by listening to it, you can take proactive steps towards better health and well-being.


For more information and to schedule a skin health check, contact Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic today. Let’s work together to ensure your skin and overall health are in top condition.












Detal providers at Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic

Smile Power Week: A Celebration of Healthy Smiles at Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic

Smile Power Week: A Celebration of Healthy Smiles at Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic


At Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic, we are delighted to celebrate Smile Power Week, an initiative that highlights the importance of oral health and the transformative power of a smile. As a proud member of the Tennessee Charitable Care Network (TCCN), we are dedicated to providing dental health services to the medically uninsured residents of Sevier County. In light of Governor Bill Lee’s proclamation, we want to share why Smile Power Week is so significant and how our services can help you achieve a healthier, brighter smile.

The Impact of Oral Health

Governor Bill Lee’s proclamation underscores a vital truth: oral health impacts overall health. Good oral health is not only about maintaining a beautiful smile but also about ensuring a healthy life. Practicing good oral hygiene habits—such as brushing your teeth in the morning, after meals, and before bed—can significantly improve your overall well-being.

The Challenges of Oral Health

The statistics shared by the Governor highlight some alarming trends:

– Tooth decay is the most common chronic condition in childhood.

– Poor oral health can negatively impact children’s quality of life, school performance, and future success.

– Nearly half of adults aged 30 or older show signs of gum disease.

These issues emphasize the critical need for accessible dental care, particularly for low-income and uninsured populations. Without proper oral health services, many individuals suffer from preventable conditions that affect their quality of life.

Our Mission at Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic

As part of TCCN, Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic is committed to addressing these challenges. Our mission is to provide compassionate, high-quality dental care to those who might otherwise go without it. TCCN’s extensive network ensures that underserved Tennesseans have access to the oral health services they need. In 2023 alone, Tennessee’s charitable and safety net dental clinics delivered 48,555 oral health services to 31,631 unique patients, transforming lives one smile at a time.


Services We Offer

At Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic, in addition to primary medical services, we offer a range of dental services designed to improve oral health and overall well-being. Our services include:

– Routine dental check-ups and cleanings

– Fillings and extractions

– Preventive care and education on maintaining oral health

We understand that restoring a healthy smile can have a profound impact on an individual’s life, enhancing both self-esteem and overall health. Our dedicated team is here to support you every step of the way, ensuring you receive the care you deserve.

Join Us in Celebrating Smile Power Week

During Smile Power Week, we encourage everyone in our community to prioritize their oral health. Whether it’s making an appointment for a dental check-up, improving your daily oral hygiene routine, or simply sharing a smile with someone, every action counts. Remember, a healthy smile is a powerful tool—it can brighten your day and the day of those around you.

At Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic, we are honored to be part of your journey toward better oral health. Together, we can make Sevier County a place where everyone has the opportunity to share their brightest smile.

For more information about our services or to schedule an appointment, please contact us today at 865-774-7684. Let’s work together to spread the power of smiles throughout our community!




William Lawrence

Celebrating Tennessee: A Legacy of Courage, Care, and Compassion 

At Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic, we’re not just about providing healthcare; we’re about celebrating the rich tapestry of our beloved state, Tennessee. As we delve into the history and legacy of our state, we stumble upon a gem that embodies the spirit of resilience, love for home, and unwavering pride—Admiral William Lawrence’s iconic poem, “Oh Tennessee, My Tennessee.”

Oh Tennessee, My Tennessee
What Love and Pride I Feel for Thee. 
You Proud Ole State, the Volunteer, 
Your Proud Traditions I Hold Dear. 
I Revere Your Many Heroes 
Who Bravely Fought our Country’s Foes. 
Renowned Statesmen, so Wise and Strong, 
Who Served our Country Well and Long. 
I Thrill at Thought of Mountains Grand; 
Rolling Green Hills and Fertile Farm Land; 
Earth Rich with Stone, Mineral and Ore; 
Forests Dense and Wild Flowers Galore;
Powerful Rivers that Bring us Light; 
Deep Lakes with Fish and Fowl in Flight; 
Thriving Cities and Industries; 
Fine Schools and Universities; 
Strong Folks of Pioneer Descent, 
Simple, Honest, and Reverent. 
Beauty and Hospitality 
Are the Hallmarks of Tennessee. 
And O’er the World as I May Roam, 
No Place Exceeds my Boyhood Home. 
And Oh How Much I Long to See 
My Native Land, My Tennessee.


The Heart Behind the Poem

The story behind this poem is as inspiring as the verses themselves. Admiral William Porter Lawrence, born in Nashville in 1930, was a man of extraordinary accomplishments and unwavering patriotism. His journey from a young student excelling in academics and sports to becoming a distinguished naval officer is a testament to the spirit of determination and service.

During his military career, Admiral Lawrence faced the harsh realities of war, including being shot down over North Vietnam during a combat mission. Enduring captivity in a prisoner of war camp, he found solace and strength in crafting the verses of “Oh Tennessee, My Tennessee.” These words became a beacon of hope, reminding him of the beauty, resilience, and indomitable spirit of his home state.

A Tribute to Tennessee’s Beauty and Strength

Admiral Lawrence’s poem beautifully captures the essence of Tennessee—the majestic mountains, verdant hills, bountiful lands, and the warmth of its people. It speaks of a place where tradition meets innovation, where natural wonders abound, and where hospitality is woven into the very fabric of life.

In every line of “Oh Tennessee, My Tennessee,” we find echoes of care and compassion—values that resonate deeply with our mission at Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic. Just as Admiral Lawrence found strength in his roots, we believe that a strong sense of community, love for our land, and a commitment to serving others are integral to fostering the spirit.

Honoring a Hero’s Legacy

Admiral William Porter Lawrence’s legacy extends far beyond his military achievements. His resilience, courage, and love for Tennessee continue to inspire generations. As we reflect on his remarkable life and contributions, we are reminded of the power of words, the strength of the human spirit, and the enduring bond of community.

At Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic, we stand proud as Tennesseans, honoring our state’s heritage, and embodying the spirit of care and compassion in all that we do. Join us in celebrating Tennessee—a land of beauty, strength, and endless possibilities.

Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic Receives $1.15 Million Grant for Rural Mobile Health Unit

Tennessee Health Commissioner Dr. Ralph Alvarado recently visited Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic to announce a significant development in healthcare access for Sevier County. The Clinic has been awarded a $1.15 million grant to establish a rural access mobile health unit, expanding healthcare services to underserved areas. This initiative is part of a collaborative effort between the Tennessee Department of Health and Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic, aimed at addressing healthcare challenges and improving access to essential services.

During the announcement, Dr. Alvarado emphasized the importance of reaching rural communities with quality healthcare. “We are committed to making quality healthcare services accessible in our rural communities,” he stated. “Through collaboration with partners like Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic, we can effectively address healthcare challenges and ensure all communities have access to essential health services.”

The grant will enable the clinic to extend its services into areas of Sevier County that face barriers such as limited transportation and medical service availability. The mobile health unit will offer a range of healthcare services, including primary care, behavioral healthcare, preventive screenings, vaccinations, and wellness education. This comprehensive approach aims to improve health outcomes, enhance preventive care measures, and promote overall well-being among uninsured residents and the local workforce.

Deb Murph, Executive Director of Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic, expressed gratitude for the funding and emphasized the significance of this milestone. “This investment expands our capacity to deliver essential healthcare services and underscores the commitment of our partners and leaders like Dr. Alvarado,” she said. “Together, we will reach more individuals and families in Sevier County, improving health outcomes and fostering a healthier, more resilient community.”

The Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic has been dedicated to providing vital healthcare services to rural and underserved areas of Sevier County for 25 years. This grant funding and partnership with the Tennessee Department of Health mark a significant step forward in fulfilling that mission.

Pictured (l-to-r): Dr. Kimberly Lamar, Assistant Commissioner for Health Disparities Elimination, Dr. Kincer, Associate Dean for Rural and Community Programs ETSU Quillen College of Medicine, Stephanie Bean, President Board of Directors, Carol Agee, President Elect Board of Directors, Dr. Ralph Alvarado, Commissioner of Health, Deborah Murph, Executive Director Dr. Dew, Medical Director, Julia Pearce, Director of Community Services and Quality, Jason Brackins, PA-C Clinical Supervisor, Cara Parker, Director of Behavioral Services, Beth Maples, Sevier County Director of Health, Sarah Grayson, Director of Marketing and Development


For more information about Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic and services, visit www.mountainhope.org.