A preacher’s words at a church service prompted a local dentist to volunteer at Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic.
Dr. Sean Toomey has been practicing dentistry for three years, when he took over Dr. Jon Shell’s practice in Sevierville. He knew when he came home to Sevier County that he wanted to offer his skills as a volunteer, but at first he was busy settling in his new profession and kept putting off any volunteer work.
It wasn’t until a service at Pathways Church on the Parable of the Talents, when the preacher urged his flock to make use of their talents to help others that he knew the time had come. “I felt like it was the push I needed,” he said.
His dental practice, Toomey Family Dentistry, is closed on Fridays, so he has been seeing dental patients at the Clinic for a half-day once a month. His involvement may increase in time, he said.
“I’m extremely happy to have Dr. Toomey volunteering his time at Mountain Hope,” said Clinic Executive Director Mary Vance. “There’s such a great need for dental care. This moves us closer to our goal of providing dental care five days a week.” Currently, Dr. Jeffrey Collart operates the dental clinic three days a week and dental hygienist Amy Giles is here two days.
Dr. Toomey understood the need for dental care in the area. “I grew up in this area,” he said. He was born in Florida but his family moved to Sevier County when he was 9 years old. He attended Gatlinburg-Pittman High School, where he was valedictorian and a National Merit Scholar. He earned a degree in psychology from Vanderbilt University. Then he attended the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry in Memphis for four years, graduating with honors before returning home to practice.
He enjoys the company of family and friends in his spare time, and can also be found on the golf course. “I’m an avid golfer,” he said.
He and his wife, Jennifer, have been married for 2 years and are expecting their first child in December.