More than 160 Benefit from Free Physical Exams

Many of the 161 people who received thorough health check-ups last week at Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic had lost homes and jobs in the November wildfires.

Clinic staff members are doing everything they can to help fire victims with no health insurance get back on an even keel, providing free medical care and free medications whenever possible. In the meantime, we at the Clinic have maintained our routine of serving the 22,000 people on our active roll whenever the need arises.

The physical exams offered at the health fair Jan. 11 and 12 continue the twice-yearly routine that allows Sevier County’s uninsured to ensure they are in good shape, to discuss health issues and receive advice and practical solutions to problems free of charge.

Many of the 161 patients were new to the Clinic. They are now established patients who can make appointments to see our professional staff whenever the need arises.

Running a health fair for 161 patients takes cooperation and hard work from a variety of people. Mountain Hope operates its fair in partnership with students, preceptors and the staff of the James H. Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University. Students conduct examinations under the eye of their preceptors. Our thanks go to all the ETSU staff, students and preceptors who took part.

The Sevier County Health Department offered health education and immunizations, an invaluable service. Clinic volunteers conducted health screenings of various types and helped in other ways. Volunteers included Jennifer Baker, Karen Brackins, Jackie Burk, Connie Carden, Anna Garber, Nancy Hodges, Gintare Litton, Barbara McGill, Sandy Moersdorf, Carol Pierce-Burr, Michelle Reynoso, and David Wilson.

Cici’s Pizza provided lunch on both days for staff, volunteers, and patients. Golden Corral of Sevierville furnished dessert. Thanks to Melanie Benson of Cici’s and Amanda Barnes of Golden Corral for organizing these generous donations. Oak Tree Lodge generously provided overnight lodging for the ETSU contingent.

Dental hygiene kits from Delta Dental’s Smile 180 Program were also given to those who attended the event. We remain grateful for Smile 180’s commitment to dental health in Sevier County.

Our thanks go to everyone who donated time, effort, and goods to make this another highly successful health fair. We are a non-profit dedicated to providing quality medical and dental care to Sevier County residents and employees with no health insurance. We depend on the goodwill and cooperation of the whole community to ensure that everyone has access to affordable, top-notch primary health care.



Ashley Burnette, Director of Development


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.

Mountain Hope Gift Wrap Event at Ole Smokey Moonshine

Volunteers Needed to Wrap Gifts

Mountain Hope Gift Wrap Event at Ole Smokey MoonshineOnly about 115 shopping days to Christmas! (Written Aug. 31)

Now is the perfect time to schedule an activity that helps others while dovetailing perfectly with your Christmas shopping.

Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic is looking for volunteers to wrap gifts for a couple of hours starting on Black Friday (November 25) and continuing every day through Christmas Eve. Proceeds will benefit the non-profit clinic, which serves Sevier County residents and employees with no health insurance.

The location Ole Smoky Barn, 131 The Island Drive in Pigeon Forge. Volunteers are asked to sign in for two-hour shifts (or longer) any time between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m.

“This is a great opportunity to turn a Christmas shopping outing into something more,” said Ashley Burnette, director of fund development for Mountain Hope. “Just think — you can shop in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge, then wrap gifts for a couple of hours to benefit others. You could even wrap the gifts you just bought.”

What’s more, you can shop with a friend and then both of you can have fun wrapping together. Two volunteers at a time are needed at each location.

There’s another way you can help the project. You can donate Christmas wrapping paper, tape, scissors, bows, and ribbon by taking it to the Clinic at 312 Prince Street in Sevierville.

To sign up for your shift, contact Ashley at 774-7684 or by e-mail at aburnette@mountainhope.org.  You can also sign up for a shift online:


Shifts at the Ole Smokey Barn in Pigeon Forge at the Island

The Clinic provides quality medical and dental care at low cost to the county’s uninsured. It now has more than 21,000 patients of record. Fund-raisers such as the gift wrapping project are one way of bridging the gap between what patients can afford and the actual cost to the clinic of providing care.


Clinic’s Medical Director Loves Meeting Patients

img dr dew044Since 2003, Dr. Richard Dew has volunteered his medical skills to the patients of Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic. “I still look forward to coming here every week,” he says.

“I just love medicine,” says the longtime physician. “I look on it as a calling rather than a job.” Working at the Clinic is a ministry for him. “Here I feel like you’re helping folks who really need help and can’t get it anywhere else.”

As the Clinic’s medical director, he sees a full patient load one day a week and can be reached by phone for advice if needed at other times. He is responsible for maintaining the Clinic’s high quality of medicine. He works with less experienced staff members and the many medical students who visit the Clinic. He loves to teach and sees it as a way of impacting the future of medicine.

Listening to patients and getting to know them over time and building relationships with them is an aspect he enjoys. Then there’s the joy of making a rare diagnosis. For example, he recently diagnosed a case of rheumatic fever, though it had been 50 years since he last came across it.

He earned his medical degree at the University of Tennessee School of Medicine and did his residency in family practice. He was a U.S. Navy medical officer in Vietnam, then practiced medicine in Oak Ridge for 30 years. During that time he started the first hospitalist program in Tennessee at Methodist Medical Center.

He has plenty of interests beyond medicine. He is the author of three published books and is hard at work on his fourth. He heads a support group for families of children who have died. He enjoys hiking, cultivates wildflowers at his Gatlinburg home and with his wife, Jean, follows University of Tennessee men’s basketball.


Non-profit Donates to Mountain Hope

TMC PicLots of companies come to Sevier County for corporate retreats — but they don’t usually get involved with helping locals maintain good health.

Therapy Management Corp. (TMC), based in Homosassa, Fla., is the exception. Through its non-profit arm, Together Making Changes, the business donated $1,094 to the Clinic when its middle management team gathered in Sevier County last month for a working retreat.

Whenever Therapy Management Corp. has a retreat, Together Making Changes does something to improve the area where the retreat is held. TMC Area Manager Kenneth Eaton and a colleague toured the clinic and made gift towards the healthcare of local patients. They also gave much-needed useful items to the Clinic, including a hand-held vacuum, paint brushes and disposable paint kits, electrical outlet strips, cleaning sponges, rakes and brooms. The Clinic’s kitchen gained paper plates, napkins, paper towels and coffee.

Together Making Changes is a tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) organization funded through Therapy Management employees’ time, talent and treasure. It’s focused on supporting initiatives of interest to TMC’s team members, and on positive health, educational, spiritual and financial outcomes in local communities. For example, this year the employees have decided to support the Wounded Warrior project among other initiatives.

TMC’s therapists and other staff provide contract and outpatient therapy services throughout the United States.