BSMC – 2017 Activity Review

Dear Beersheba Clinic Friends,

Why we do what we do? Norma Sparks and Linda Elrod, our marvelous Physicians Assistants, remind us at every board meeting why we are here. It’s because of people like “John”.

John is a middle-aged local man suffering from untreated skin cancer in a far advanced stage. When he visited the clinic, we discovered that he also needed cardiology follow-up for a heart problem. John had lost his insurance and couldn’t go to the doctor.

Your Beersheba Clinic is for John and for everyone, free of charge. Every Monday and Wednesday (need to add Friday) for seven years we have examined patients for skin cancer; treated high blood pressure, prevented heart disease and strokes, treated diabetes, counseled depressed patients, and much more. You make it possible.

Our clinical team has recently been strengthened by great volunteers: Dr. Lee Stapleton, a family doctor, and Sandy Rice, a Family Practice and Oncology Nurse Practitioner. However, I regret to relate that Norma Sparks, the backbone of the Beersheba Clinic and the finest all around clinician I have known, announced her retirement as our lead clinician. Fortunately she has agreed to stay on in a consultative role. Norma leaves a huge hole in our staff that we are seeking to fill.

In 2016 we saw nearly 2,500 individual patients, 40% from Beersheba and Altamont, 20% from nearby towns, and the other 40% from more distance. The Clinic message spreads by word of mouth. The total of clinic visits was more, because patients return as often as necessary for follow-up care without worrying about the return visit cost, an incentive to better care.

In July the Beersheba Springs Church of Christ deeded to the Clinic the small house that stands between the church and the clinic. The house was sound, but in disrepair. John Clark, a Chattanooga philanthropist, has shared his building renovation expertise and generous funds to renovate the building over the past two months, with volunteer help, including groups of Sewanee students who come for work-days. Kelly Baggett oversees the work. Financial support also comes from the South Cumberland Community Fund and through the efforts of student leader, Emily Chambers, the University of the South, Sewanee.

With Dr. Bruce Baird’s guidance, we’ve planned a Dental Suite. He has a panoramic x-ray machine for us, and a dental chair is promised. The next step is to secure funds for the chair, necessary equipment and supplies. Dentistry at the Beersheba Clinic!!

Several clinic friends with Beersheba ties and years of business experience met with us in September to plan strategy to strengthen the clinic’s financial base: Norm Carl, Louie and Laurel Buntin, Charlie Trost, and Howell Adams. Norm, Louie, Charlie, and Howell will continue to serve as Board Advisors, joining Board Advisors Phil Mayhew, a clinic co-founder, and Dr. Lisa Stevenson, who does grant writing. We thank the Phillips Foundation for a recent grant. We are grateful for our Board Advisors.

There are other milestones. With your support, we recently offered a part- time Executive Director position to Alison Gower. Alison begins work the first of the year. Officers elected at the Annual Board meeting in November are: Kelly Baggett, President; Sharon Whitman, Vice-President; Bunny Hall, Corresponding Secretary; Glenda Phillips, Recording Secretary, and Bruce Skidmore, Treasurer.

Dash to the Door 2017 was a great success again thanks to Elizabeth Papel and many others (see the report). DTTD provides nearly 20% of the clinic’s budget. An overall financial report for the year will be posted on the website in 2018.

In addition to a few grants, the Beersheba Clinic is dependent on voluntary donations from you, generous people who love Beersheba and the mountain people, or who may not even know Beersheba, but understand what it’s like to be sick and not be able to afford to get help. Most of our patients make donations for their care themselves.

Clinic Donations are tax-exempt. You may contribute online via our Donation page, or by check payable to Beersheba Springs Medical Clinic. Send to Beersheba Springs Medical Clinic, PO Box 112, Beersheba Springs, TN 37305.

We are grateful for designations of memorial gifts honoring family and friends. Please consider designating the clinic for a legacy donation, or a gift of appreciated securities. We also have an endowment fund that was started by a friend with proceeds from an insurance policy. Please feel free to get in touch with me if you have any question.

On behalf of our mountain friends and neighbors who appreciate your thoughtfulness for them, thank you.

I wish you joy and fulfillment during this holiday season and always.

Sincerely yours,

Garrett Adams, MD, MPH
Founder and Medical Director

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