_ #GivingTuesday

Giving Tuesday: Building a Healing Ministry with Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic

In the heart of Sevier County, Tennessee, exists a beacon of hope for those in need of medical care. Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic, a community health clinic, has dedicated itself to providing quality healthcare to uninsured individuals in the area. This Giving Tuesday, we delve into what this annual event means for Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic and how it contributes to the Clinic’s mission to improve the health and well-being of the community.

A Vital Resource for the Uninsured

In a world where access to healthcare is often linked to insurance coverage and financial resources, there are individuals and families who fall through the gaps of the healthcare system. This is where Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic plays a pivotal role. The clinic is a lifeline for those who might not otherwise have access to essential medical, dental, or behavioral health services. By offering quality healthcare services to the uninsured, it addresses a pressing need within Sevier County.

The Meaning of Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is a global movement that takes place on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, dedicated to promoting generosity and the spirit of giving. It’s a day where communities, nonprofits, and individuals come together to support the causes that matter most to them. For Mountain Hope, Giving Tuesday is a special day that holds great significance.

Supporting Mountain Hope on Giving Tuesday

When individuals and organizations choose to support Mountain Hope on Giving Tuesday, they are directly contributing to the clinic’s ability to continue its vital work. This support goes a long way in ensuring that the doors of the clinic remain open for those in need. By making a donation or participating in fundraising efforts on this day, donors play a significant role in making a difference in the lives of countless individuals and families.

Impact on the Community

The impact of Giving Tuesday for Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic is far-reaching. It allows the clinic to enhance its services, expand its reach, and invest in technology and infrastructure to provide even better care. Through the generous donations received, the clinic can ensure that:

  1. More uninsured individuals receive important medical attention.
  2. Preventive care and wellness programs are expanded, promoting healthier lifestyles within the community.
  3. Education and outreach efforts are amplified, enabling more people to understand and access available healthcare resources.
  4. Medical professionals and volunteers are empowered to provide top-notch care, thus elevating the overall quality of services offered.

The Ripple Effect

The significance of Giving Tuesday extends beyond a single day of giving. It creates a ripple effect that benefits not only those receiving medical care but the entire community. As Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic thrives, it contributes to the overall health and well-being of Sevier County to both its residents and workforce.

Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic’s mission to provide quality healthcare to the uninsured in Sevier County is truly a mission we believe in.  On Giving Tuesday, the clinic stands as a symbol of hope and compassion, offering a helping hand to those who need it most. By supporting Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic on this special day, donors play a pivotal role in ensuring that the clinic’s mission continues to impact lives and uplift the community. Giving Tuesday is more than just a day of giving; it’s a day of transformation, empowerment, and unity for the people of Sevier County, thanks to our caring community.
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healthy foods

National Diabetes Education Week: How Diabetes Develops Over Time and What You Can Do

As November unfolds, we at Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic are observing National Diabetes Education Week, which takes place from November 7th to 13th. This dedicated week serves as a crucial opportunity to raise awareness about diabetes and promote healthier lifestyles. In this blog, we will delve into the significance of National Diabetes Education Week and explore the development of diabetes over time and share valuable tips for maintaining a healthy diet.

healthy foods

The Importance of National Diabetes Education Week

Diabetes is a prevalent health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It’s a chronic disease that impacts the way your body processes glucose, the primary source of energy for your cells. National Diabetes Education Week aims to educate individuals, families, and communities about diabetes, its prevention, and management. Through awareness and education, we can empower individuals to make informed choices for a healthier future.

Understanding the Development of Diabetes Over Time

Diabetes doesn’t typically develop overnight; it’s a gradual process. Here’s a brief overview of how it evolves:

  1. Genetic Predisposition: Family history can influence your risk of developing diabetes. If close relatives have diabetes, you should be vigilant about your health.


  1. Lifestyle Factors: Sedentary living, poor dietary choices, and obesity can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.


  1. Pre-Diabetes: Before diabetes fully develops, many individuals experience pre-diabetes, characterized by higher-than-normal blood sugar levels. This is a critical point for intervention through diet and exercise.


  1. Diabetes Diagnosis: If blood sugar levels remain consistently high, you may receive a diabetes diagnosis. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form, often associated with lifestyle factors.

Tips for a Healthier Diet

A crucial aspect of preventing and managing diabetes is maintaining a balanced and healthy diet. Here are some tips to help you make smarter food choices:


  1. Embrace a Variety of Foods: A diverse diet ensures you receive a wide range of nutrients. Incorporate lots of non-starchy vegetables, along with fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats into your meals. Eat fish at least 2 times per week and use non-fat or low-fat dairy products.


  1. Monitor Carbohydrate Intake: Carbohydrates have a significant impact on blood sugar levels. Be mindful of portion sizes and choose complex carbohydrates like whole grains and legumes.


  1. Control Sugar Intake: Limit your consumption of sugary foods and beverages. Opt for sugar alternatives like stevia or agave nectar when needed. Skip the soft drinks and sweet tea as an easy way to remove a lot of excess sugar from your diet.


  1. Pay Attention to Portion Sizes: Overeating can lead to weight gain, which is a risk factor for diabetes. Use smaller plates to control your portions and avoid going back for seconds. You can use your hand as a portion guide: a loose fist is about 1 cup, your palm is about 3 ounces, and a thumb equals about 1 ounce or 1 tablespoon.


  1. Hydrate with Water: Choose water over sugary drinks and sodas. Staying hydrated is essential for overall health.

National Diabetes Education Week serves as a reminder of the importance of education and awareness in the fight against diabetes. By making informed dietary choices, understanding your Body Mass Index (BMI), and recognizing the gradual development of diabetes, you can take proactive steps toward a healthier future. At Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic, we’re committed to providing support and resources for those affected by diabetes and encouraging everyone to adopt healthier lifestyles. Join us in spreading awareness and promoting education during this special week and beyond. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those living with diabetes and work toward a healthier world.

Woman meeting with doctor

Why Women’s Health Screenings are Important

We know that diet and exercise are important for staying healthy, bWoman meeting with doctorut how many of us are behind on one or more of our regular health screenings? Regular health screenings can help give you and your medical provider a picture of your overall health. If any health problems are spotted, most conditions tend to be more easily treated when detected early, so it’s worth making sure that you are checking all the boxes when it comes to annual screenings.

This may include monitoring your blood pressure and conducting lab work to evaluate any risk factors related to heart disease, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Based on other factors such as your family history, age, and other factors, your doctor can determine what screenings should be done to best monitor your health and provide appropriate and timely follow-up, diagnosis, and treatment.

For women, Cervical cancer screening is also important. Thanks to the Pap test and the highly effective HPV vaccine, the rates of cervical cancer deaths have decreased in the United States, which used to be one of the most common causes of cancer-related deaths. Regular screening can prevent cervical cancer by finding abnormal (precancerous) changes in the cervix cells, allowing for treatment before they become cancerous. This early detection allows for successful treatment. A pap test can also be done at the same time as an HPV test, and your provider can advise how often the HPV test needs to be done.  Here at Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic, we can help women in Sevier County with this vital screening process, and help women connect with other resources if other treatment is needed.

Breast cancer screening is also particularly important, as this type of cancer ranks only behind skin cancer as the most common cancer among women in the U.S. Early detection is key, and a mammogram can detect breast cancer long before it can be felt and is usually done at the radiology department in your local hospital or imaging center. The American Cancer society advises women to receive a mammogram every year between the ages of 45-54, then every 2 years after the age of 55, and our medical staff can help coordinate the appointment for our patients.  With only 76% of females receiving a breast cancer screening, increasing these breast cancer screening rates will be key to preventing breast cancer deaths in women.   If you have a family history of breast cancer, as your medical provider about genetic counseling for breast and ovarian cancer.

Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic has served the uninsured of Sevier Country since 1999 and will continue to reduce barriers to health care for our residents. If it’s been more than a year since your last health screening, or if you have other health concerns, please contact us at (865)774-7684.



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.