Medical association cites diocesan free clinic for advancing public health
The Tennessee Medical Association has honored St. Mary’s Legacy Foundation of East Tennessee with its Community Service Award, which recognizes people or organizations that contribute significantly to the advancement of public health in their respective communities.
St. Mary’s Legacy Foundation is the parent organization of the St. Mary’s Legacy Clinic, which provides free medical care to uninsured and underinsured residents in rural areas of the Diocese of Knoxville.
The clinic was nominated for this award by the Knoxville Academy of Medicine. Sister Mariana Koonce, RSM, the clinic’s medical director, was in Nashville May 18 to receive the award on behalf of the clinic.
The Diocese of Knoxville established the St. Mary’s Legacy Foundation to provide support for the health-care ministry begun by the Sisters of Mercy with the opening of St. Mary’s Hospital in 1930.
With the support of Bishop Richard F. Stika, the St. Mary’s Legacy Foundation provided funds for the purchase of the St. Mary’s Legacy mobile clinic in 2013. After beginning to see patients in January 2014, the clinic now travels approximately 100 miles per week to extend the healing ministry of Jesus to East Tennessee.
The clinic sees patients weekly in Crab Orchard, Gatlinburg, Washburn, Decatur, Athens, and Rutledge.
The Tennessee Medical Association also recognized The Bridge in Nashville and Levi’s Legacy in Bristol with Community Service awards.
The Tennessee Medical Association is the state’s largest professional association for physicians.