L-R: Mary Vance, George Hawkins, Deborah Murph, Andrew Farmer, Todd Proffitt, Jeff Taylor, Sue Ellen Riddle, Dr. Jack Parton, Eric Horner, Mayor Mike Werner, Dale Carr, Bryan McCarter, Karen King

Mountain Hope Welcomes New Era

Cold weather did not deter a warm-hearted crowd who saw a new era in the making Nov. 8 for Sevier County’s medically underserved.

At the groundbreaking for the expansion of Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic’s Prince Street building Nov. 8, there was plenty of warmth about the Clinic’s past work and future prospects.

Expanding the Clinic will mean more patient consulting rooms, space for special programs and more patients served, in addition to the 26,000-plus people who have already come through the doors.

Everyone who turned up deserves our thanks for braving the cold, especially the speakers. They included Robin Reagan, the Clinic’s board chair; Mary Vance, former executive director; current Executive Director Deborah Murph, and  Daryl Roberts of Tennessee State Bank, who announced a $50,000 donation from the bank toward the building extension;

State Reps. Andy Farmer and Dale Carr read from a state resolution praising the Clinic’s 20 years of service. Dr. Jack Parton of Sevier County School System and Assistant County Mayor Bryan McCarter also spoke in support of the extension. Scotty Henry of  Richardson’s Cove Baptist Church and the Rev. Don Grady, formerly of Sevierville Presbyterian Church, gave the opening and closing prayers.

The crowd then retired indoors where Collier Restaurant Group and Cici’s Pizza provided refreshments. Sevier County Utility District donated water and loaned tents; Sevier County Library System loaned a podium and allowed overflow parking behind the library. Woods Hippensteal framed the two resolutions, one for the Clinic and one for co-founder Sue Ellen Riddle.

We appreciate our former and present volunteers and other well-wishers who were undeterred by the cold, as well as Seagle Landscaping Supplies, Susan Austin and her students from East Tennessee State University, and four Seymour High School students who prior to the ceremony ensured that the grounds looked their best.

The main beneficiaries of the building expansion will be Mountain Hope’s patients, none of whom have health insurance. Quality medical and dental care would be unaffordable to thousands of low-income Sevier County residents and workers were it not for the non-profit Mountain Hope.

The Clinic is blessed to be part of such a caring community.

Groundbreaking at Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic, Nov. 8, 2019

Groundbreaking Nov. 8

Groundbreaking set at Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic

Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a groundbreaking for an expansion to its building.

Golden shovels go into the ground at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 8 at the Clinic, 312 Prince Street in Sevierville. The public is invited for the ceremony and a tour of the existing building.

“Expanding our building is a wonderful and practical way to celebrate our 20th anniversary,” said Executive Director Deborah Murph.

Since the first patient walked into borrowed rooms at the Pigeon Forge Church of God’s youth building in February of 1999, Mountain Hope has served more than 26,000 uninsured and residents and workers of Sevier County with quality medical, dental, and limited behavioral care.

Demand for services has exceeded the supply at the Clinic. New construction will add 2,400 square feet of space to the present 5,625-square-foot building.  Having more exam rooms will make the Clinic more efficient so providers can see more patients. In addition, there will be training space for the many college and university students who currently train at Mountain Hope, including those from James H. Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University.

Local legislators and city and county leaders have been invited to the Nov. 8 celebration, as have representatives of local businesses and organizations that have supported and worked closely with the Clinic over the years. Attendees are invited to stay for tours of the Clinic until about 12:30 p.m. Parking is available at the nearby at King Family Library or at the Sevierville city complex.

Mary Vance, the Clinic’s former executive director began planning the additional rooms several years ago. “We were on a roll until the fires,” she said. “Rebuilding the community took priority at that point, but enlarging the Clinic building is now back on track.”


Whaley Concert Benefits Clinic

Singer-songwriter Jimbo Whaley’s popular annual concert will benefit Mountain Hope for a second time.

The 15th annual Jimbo Whaley and Friends Show is set for Saturday, March 23 at Country Tonite Theater in Pigeon Forge. Every year, the concert has benefited local non-profits. Last year, Mountain Hope received funding from the concert proceeds, and Jimbo has generously made the same offer this year.

Jimbo grew up in Pigeon Forge, surrounded by music, which naturally led to his career as a singer and songwriter. His talent has attracted a following of devoted fans. Twenty years ago he co-founded Pine Mountain Railroad, a bluegrass band that was twice nominated for the
Emerging Artist of the Year award from the International Bluegrass Music Association. He now performs with the band Greenbrier.

As well as composing his most memorable hit, “The Kings of Orebank,” Jimbo wrote four songs
featured in “Bell Witch: The Movie.” He was the featured performer at the movie’s premiere in
the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

The audience at the March 23 concert can expect more than bluegrass. Jimbo’s and Greenbrier’s
high-energy performance includes original works and pop songs from several eras. The “and
Friends” part of the playbill will feature a wide variety of other popular local musical acts.
Don’t miss this evening of dynamic entertainment. Tickets are available at jimbowhaley.com.
For more information contact Ashley at 865-774-7684 or aburnette@mountainhope.org.