We have expanded our services to better serve our patients with the addition of two Community Health Workers (CHWs). Elaine Icenogle and Michelle Hurton joined our staff in the fall of 2021 to work with our patients to remove barriers to care by providing support, tools and encouragement to help them reduce stressors in their life so they can improve their quality of life. The CHWs work directly with the patients at the Clinic. Patients can tell us they have a need or they may identify that need in other ways.
You also might see Michelle and Elaine out in the community from time to time. They attend community events where our residents will be the main attendees, school events and they also keep hours at the local libraries. They can be found at Pigeon Forge Library, King Family Library, Anna Porter Library and Kodak Library on a monthly schedule. You can contact the Clinic to find out where they will be next. By being out in the community, they bring more awareness to the services they offer and awareness about the Clinic in general.
The CHWs also attend association meetings, trainings and workshops to continuously learn how they can better serve our population. Each month they provide patient education on different topics. They have displays on the topic in our lobby where can patients can view it while they are waiting.
Combined, Elaine and Michelle have over 40 years’ experience working in Sevier County providing community outreach services. We are so thankful for these ladies and the blessing they have been to our patients.
Pastor Arne Walker’s book, “Spirit Promptings,” has raised over $12,000 to date for Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic.
Sevierville, TN- May 28, 2021
Pastor Arne Walker of Gatlinburg, who has written several books, dedicated his latest one, “Spirit Promptings” to Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic and former Executive Director, Mary Vance.
Spirit Promptings is a compilation of columns that Pastor Walker has written for the Public Pulpit. This book took about a year to complete. He said, “I’m not really a writer. I sort of, in a stream of consciousness, when I am out on my prayer walk, I get thoughts and then I just write them down.” His thought-provoking prayer walks have become a huge blessing to Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic. To date, the Clinic has received donations totaling a little over $12,000.00 with additional donations anticipated. It has been a joy for the Clinic staff to see where the donations originate from because they are coming from all over the country. Pastor Walker said, “I’m blessed to have friends from coast to coast and internationally.”
When asked why he chose Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic to receive donated proceeds from his latest book he said, “I was part of the early beginnings. Dr. Reese came to me and described what she was seeing at Pi Beta Phi Elementary school and we said together, if that’s what’s going on, at what was at the time the best in terms of economic status grade school in the county, what can we imagine is going on elsewhere? That is when we began the work and the move from the school to a beginning ministry at the Fathers House, who graciously allowed us to use half of their youth building in Pigeon Forge. So, my interest was right from the beginning. I started out pre-med, so I have had an interest in medical issues all of my life and we have one son who is a doctor in Florida.”
In the past year, the Clinic has added 8 additional exam rooms and an educational room where this interview with Pastor Walker took place. As Pastor Walker commented on the space expansion, he stated, “Hopefully it will be able to serve the needs of the thousands of patients that the clinic serves because it bothered us, when I was on the board, that we were turning about 100 away every month.” The Clinic no longer turns patients away due to space constraints and continues to serve the community with an increased number of patient visits.
The Clinic will always hold a special place in the heart of Pastor Walker. He served on the Board of Directors in the early years and has continued to stay in touch and advocate for the Clinic. Pastor Walker said, “I found it a privilege, getting to know people during the 16 years that I served on the board.” The Clinic is very grateful for his years of leadership and dedication. Our service to others has been based upon the guiding principles established in those early years by founders, Dr. Reese and Sue Ellen Riddle, a group of visionary board members, and a dedicated executive director. Pastor Walker shares the many contributions of Mary Vance noting, “Mary gave flesh to her Christian faith by giving Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic foundational excellence.”
2ND ANNUAL SWINGIN’ FOR HOPE EVENT BRINGS MORE AWARENESS AND FUNDING FOR MOUNTAIN HOPE GOOD SHEPHERD CLINIC
The Great Smoky Mountain Association of Realtors hosted the 2nd Annual Swingin’ for Hope Golf Tournament to raise over $24,000 for Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic.
Sevierville, TN- April 20, 2021
Over 130 golfers came out to Sevierville Golf Club on April 7th to participate in the 2nd Annual Swingin’ for Hope Golf Tournament. It was a beautiful 75-degree day to play golf for a great cause. On behalf of The Great Smoky Mountain Association of Realtors, President Jerry Sandifer and Leonard Waring, tournament director, presented a check for $24,737.00 to Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic.
This is the second year that Realtors Care, a committee from The Great Smoky Mountain Association of Realtors, has put on this event to benefit Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic. The event was supported by community sponsors, players, business donations, and volunteers. Per Leonard Waring, next year’s event is already being planned and will be held on April 6th, 2022.
Deborah Murph, the Executive Director of Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic, said, “We are grateful to The Great Smoky Mountain Association of Realtors for supporting quality healthcare access. This year, our Clinic responded to additional community needs including providing COVID testing and vaccine administration to insured and uninsured individuals. While our uninsured patients pay fees for services received at the Clinic, the cost of healthcare exceeds the affordability for those who lack insurance. The funding from the event helps cover the total cost of care so we can maintain affordable healthcare access for our community. Our appreciation to all who participated and supported this year’s event.”
Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic is a not for profit, faith based healthcare clinic in Sevierville. Since the Clinic opened in 1999, they have seen over 27,000 people in Sevier County. They provide medical, dental and behavior services for uninsured individuals who live or work in Sevier County
It’s that time of year again! Fall has arrived, and following closely behind, flu season. Have you gotten your annual flu shot yet?
Nearly every person ages 6 months and older needs to be vaccinated against the flu each year. While that’s what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends for every year, getting your annual flu shot is especially important in 2020. But why is that?
Read on as our Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic team answers some commonly asked questions.
Why Do I Need a Flu Shot Every Year?
Before we dive into why flu shots are so important this year, let’s first answer this common question.
Many people wonder why the flu shot isn’t like many childhood vaccines, where you get one shot—or maybe a shot followed by a booster shot some time later—and are all set.
It’s because the flu vaccine works differently. Each year, different strains of the flu (also known as influenza) spread around, causing illness. Because of that, the flu vaccine is reformulated each year to protect against the strains of the flu thought to be most common that flu season.
The flu vaccine typically provides protection against two strains of influenza A and two strains of influenza B.
While you can still get the flu after getting a flu shot, it’s less likely. In addition, even if you do get the flu after being vaccinated, your version of the flu will be shorter in duration and less severe.
What Makes the Flu Shot Important This Year?
Knowing that you should be vaccinated every year, why is a flu shot even more important in 2020? It’s because of the unique circumstances we find ourselves in currently.
This year, the flu season—which begins around November and continues through March or April—will overlap with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Consider this: In the 2018–2019 flu season, more than 35 million Americans got the flu, 16.5 million went to the doctor because of the flu, 49,000 people were hospitalized, and more than 34,000 died.
With COVID-19 already stressing out the American healthcare system, if patients start flooding into doctors’ offices and hospitals with the flu, it could cause chaos.
Getting your family vaccinated against the flu can reduce the likelihood that you will need to be hospitalized due to the illness, cutting down on the risk of what experts are calling a “twindemic.”
When Should I Get My Flu Shot?
Experts recommend getting your annual flu shot each year by the end of October. This allows your body enough time to build up antibodies against the flu after receiving the vaccination, a process that takes around two weeks.
If you aren’t able to get your flu shot by then, it’s OK. Getting a flu shot after that time will still provide you with some protection for the rest of the flu season.
What Else Can I Do to Prevent the Flu?
Many of the same habits we’ve been practicing since early this year to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are also helpful in reducing your risk of the flu:
● Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds at a time.
● Use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water aren’t
● Disinfect commonly touched surfaces and objects, such as doorknobs and your phone,
● Wear a mask when in public and unable to keep six feet between yourself and others.
● Avoid crowds and large gatherings.
● Don’t touch your face with unwashed hands.
Need a flu shot? Stay tuned to our Facebook page for the latest information about when the flu vaccine will be available, or call (865) 774-7684.