Members of an East Tennessee community, tired of watching their neighbors suffer without health care, are building their own medical and dental clinic with just $60,000.
After two years of planning, Servolution Ministries of Speedwell in Claiborne County is well on their way to making their dream a reality.
But the idea started even before that, when practicing physician Dr. Lovie Stallworth saw firsthand what lack of health care was doing to her patients.
"When I saw them, they were having a heart attack, stroke, kidney failure. All of these health issues could have been prevented if they had had simple health care," said Dr. Stallworth who practices in Middlesboro but lives in Claiborne County.
That burden has stayed with her. She shared it with her church family who runs Servolution. They too felt the need to act.
But there was one major problem: they had nowhere to house a free clinic.
Then, the County Commission offered them the old high school's technology building that had been sitting vacant for years. They are leasing it long-term for $1 a year.
"We think we'll be busy everyday," said Edwin Robertson of Servolution.
Robertson said they received a grant to conduct a Health Needs Assessment. It showed that 56% of Claiborne County residents had not been to a dentist in three years. It said 30% had no health insurance and 35% had government health insurance.
Servolution has been renovating the building, replacing all of the electricity and plumbing and tearing out the floors. Volunteers from other churches have joined in to donate supplies and funds.
They hope to have the clinic up and running by summer.
"We'll have actually nine exam rooms with work stations for the physicians," said Robertson.
"We've been so blessed so many people have offered their services," said Dr. Stallworth, "It truly is an answered prayer."
If you would like to volunteer, email firstname.lastname@example.org or mail an application to Servolution health Services, Inc. ATTN. Alicia Metcalf P.O Box 2 Harrogate, TN 37752.