Eighteen years and several million dollars in free dental work later, Karnes is quite certain the nonprofit Keystone Dental Care clinic was at the root of his calling.
It was more than five years before the idea of opening a nonprofit dental clinic for medically indigent patients in Johnson City was conceived that Karnes told his wife he felt there was more than his desire to spend more time with their daughter and two young granddaughters in Johnson City that made him yearn to leave Illinois for the hills of Northeast Tennessee. He asked her to think about it. He told her he was praying about it. And a few weeks later when she told him she thought he was right, their course was set.
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