BRISTOL — ETSU Health’s Family Medicine Bristol clinic is providing even more health care to low-income and uninsured individuals through a partnership with Healing Hands Health Center.
Healing Hands, located at 245 Midway Medical Park, is a charitable medical and dental clinic that provides care to adults in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.
East Tennessee State University has partnered with the clinic for 17 years during free medical health fairs, and for nearly two decades through dental hygiene clinic rotations.
In August, ETSU Health’s Family Medicine Bristol clinic expanded the partnership, sending providers to Healing Hands each Wednesday.
Healing Hands Executive Director Helen Scott said the partnership allows them to serve more individuals in need.
“Our partnership with ETSU Health Family Medicine is such a blessing,” said Scott. “Most of our medical patients come to us with many chronic conditions, including diabetes and hypertension. ETSU providers educate the patients and help get the chronic conditions under control, which keeps our patients out of the ER, allows them to keep working and helps them live healthier lives.”
Family Medicine’s Director of Rural and Community Programs, Dr. Amanda Stoltz, was instrumental in building the partnership. She described it as a natural fit to ETSU’s Quillen College of Medicine’s mission to provide community-focused medical education and to improve the health in rural southern Appalachia.
“It is my goal that this partnership will encourage our family medicine residents to include charitable care as a part of their future practices,” Stoltz said.
Dr. Laura Helmly, Family Medicine Bristol’s program director, said the partnership benefits providers as well.
“It provides fantastic learning for our residents to know how to care for people without having to navigate the frustrations of insurance, and to be able to provide quality care for folks that need it,” Helmly said. “Healing Hands does amazing work for our community. We continue to expand ideas for ways we can better help, and we look forward to continuing this partnership.”