HMG Health Matters: Church Hill Medical Mission provides care to uninsured community members

HMG Health Matters

HAWKINS COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Meeting the medical needs of people who are uninsured in the community has become a mission for some in Hawkins County.

As part of Holston Medical Group’s Mission Into Motion program, medical professionals volunteer at the Church Hill Medical Mission.

“This is an extension of HMG’s presence in this county, for sure,” said HMG Primary Care Physician Dr. Amanda Dove.

Dr. Amanda Dove is a Primary Care physician in Church Hill. She says it’s a rewarding profession, but she really is impacted by her days volunteering at Church Hill Medical Mission.

“I was kind of getting to the point where I missed being able to practice medicine without thinking about insurance coverage and documentation of all of these specific issues, and being able just to sit and talk with patients and really get to the root of what’s going on,” said Dr. Dove.

The Mission offers general medical care, lab testing, specialists, medication and spiritual counseling for those who are uninsured.

“Our goal is not to be the place you stay forever for primary care,” Dr. Dove. “We want to move you to ‘Okay, why don’t you have insurance, what can we do to help you get that? How can we help you get a more stable living situation? Can we help you with employment?'”

To Dr. Dove, she’s not just helping patients – she’s literally helping neighbors.

“They’re your family too, and they’ve taken care of your kids,” said Dr. Dove. “They’ve helped you with your driveway and sold you your groceries. They’re a part of your life.”

The mission doesn’t have the frills of a normal office, but Dove says it brings doctors and the med students who train there back to the basics. The mission emphasizes the importance of good exams and listening to the patient.

“It brings you back to the fundamentals, and I think that’s when we’re best at what we do, is when we use our heart and our brain,” said Dr. Dove.

Dr. Dove says they would love to expand physical space, incorporate more specialties on site, offer rides to and from the clinic and work with a food pantry to break bread and take care of medical needs.

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