The Beersheba Springs Medical Clinic provides routine medical care; evaluation and treatment of acute illnesses, as well as chronic illness, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and depression. We perform minor surgery. We give inhalation therapy treatments. We focus on improving life styles, i.e. exercise and healthy nutrition, weight control, smoking cessation and immunizations. We host mammography clinics.
Routine laboratory tests are done on site; others are sent out. We discuss all lab test results with the patients. We perform electrocardiograms. We arrange for diagnostic imaging studies, such as x-rays. St. Thomas River Park generously provides necessary imaging for our uninsured patients. A volunteer radiologist performs ultrasound studies, and from time to time other specialists visit the clinic. We have referral relationships with specialists who see our patients either pro bono or for a discounted fee.
We provide common medications free, and prescribe medicines that can be purchased at discount pharmacies. Support for our medications comes from Americares and BlueCross Blueshield of Tennessee Community Trust.
We have eight paid staff members: a Nurse Practitioner, LPN, Medical Assistant, two Community Health Workers, Dental Assistant, Bookkeeper, and an Executive Director. All Physicians are volunteers. We have relationships with Saint Thomas Ascension, Erlanger in Chattanooga, and Yale School of Medicine who send residents to not only care for our patients but to enrich the residents’ education in the importance of and needs in rural health.
We have about 1,300 patient visits a year. We take as much time with each patient as is necessary to fully assess problems and to discuss issues. We are good listeners.
The Beersheba Clinic is a lifeline for mountain people, many of whom had nowhere to go before. As one of our grateful friends said, “If it warn’t for you’uns, I’d be scared to death” — this from a man with several life-threatening cardiovascular conditions, who is now getting the close attention that his illness demands.
We do not bill insurance and have no federal or state funding. Patients themselves make small donations for laboratory tests or medicine. The financial support is voluntary contributions and occasional grants.