St. Mary’s Legacy Clinic salutes volunteers at appreciation luncheon

St. Mary’s Legacy Clinic volunteers gather at the annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Lenoir City.

By Emily Booker

St. Mary’s Legacy Clinic honored its many volunteers for their ministry of service on Nov. 7 with a volunteer appreciation Mass and luncheon at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Lenoir City.

Father Bill Gahagan, pastor of St. Jude Parish in Helenwood, celebrated the Mass.

“We come together to recognize the blessed gifts that God has given us to share with so many people who are longing to see the face of Jesus,” he said.

Father Gahagan also commended the volunteers on reaching out to the needy and on recognizing the dignity and worth of each person. It is through the ministry of service that we can be the face of Jesus to others, he said.

Sister Mariana Koonce, RSM, MD, director of the St. Mary’s Legacy Clinic, told the volunteers, “You really care for the patients, and that is so important—that they feel cared for…uplifting the dignity of our patients, making them feel like a person, a real human being and not a number—that is so important. It’s so critical to what we do.”

Lynn Venafro was honored as the 2016 Volunteer of the Year. She volunteers at the Crab Orchard clinic and manages the mobile clinic’s supplies.

St. Mary’s Legacy Clinic provides free health care to the uninsured and underinsured in East Tennessee, making monthly visits to mobile clinic sites in Athens, Decatur, Rutledge, and Washburn, and semimonthly visits to Crab Orchard.

The clinic offers medical evaluations, laboratory work, point-of-care testing, personalized patient education, referrals for specialty services, and orders for diagnostic imaging.

St. Mary’s Legacy Clinic has hired Melissa Coldiron, RN, as its new nurse manager. Ms. Coldiron started in the position on Oct. 17. She is a graduate of Fulton High School in Knoxville and received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from East Tennessee State University.

Learn more about the mobile clinic at ■

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