JACKSBORO, TN (WLAF) – At its workshop on Monday night, county commissioners heard from representatives of an upcoming free health clinic by Remote Area Medical (RAM) that will be held in late August at Caryville Elementary School, and organizers are seeking volunteers to help make the clinic a success. Connect HERE to volunteer.

Garrett Orick, son of Commissioner Rusty Orick, explained the plans for the clinic, which will be held on Saturday and Sunday, August 28-29 from 6 am to 6 pm both days. Anyone will be seen. However, patients under age 18 must have parental consent.

“We have 119 volunteers so far but we need many more. We have medical professionals even coming in from other states to donate their time but we need many more people willing to volunteer to help with parking, processing, preparing meals for the health care workers and other support roles,” Orick told the commission.

He also thanked the commission for its financial donation, inviting all commissioners to come down to the clinic and “see where your $10,000 is going.” Orick added that organizers expect people to begin lining up for the first come, first served event as early as 2 am (CORRECTION: Midnight), making a large number of volunteers critical. Patient care

“We have numerous medical professionals committed to be there, including as of now four dentists, four interpreters and numerous medical professionals. We have a need for additional dental and vision specialists in addition to general volunteers,” Orick added. He added that young people, ages 14 and up, can also serve as volunteers as long as they are accompanied by an adult chaperone (ages 14-17 also need a signed parental consent form). Volunteers ages 14 through 17 must bring their own chaperone.

RAM began hosting free health clinics decades ago in isolated third world areas in Africa and Latin America, later expanding to provide health screening and treatment in American communities, particularly in isolated rural areas of Appalachia and the Southwest where medical services are sparse or many people cannot afford health care or insurance. LaFollette-based Community Health of East Tennessee (CHET) is the local sponsor for the Caryville event.

The commission workshop lasted for nearly three hours. One person addressed the commission about a proposal from his company to drill a protective layer between Campbell County High and the nearby rock quarry that he claimed would protect the school from ground vibrations during blasting. Chairman Johnny Bruce told him that the department of education owns the land that would be affected and he needed to address his proposal to the school board.

Ralph Davis brought up a number of motions that he will offer at next Monday’s regular meeting involving the sanitation department. Among them: a new entrance to the animal shelter to separate shelter and sanitation traffic, relocation of the attendant building, paving the parking lot adjacent to the recycling center and a concrete pad for the burn center. Davis indicated that a portion of a $432,321 support grant from the State of Tennessee would cover the costs of the upgrades.

Davis also brought up the topic of county financial support for the Jellico Hospital. “They need to renovate the building and some of the equipment, including new boilers, if they hope to attract another health care organization to take over the now vacant hospital,” Davis pointed out. He indicated that if Finance Director Jeff Marlow can find a funding source, Davis will offer a motion to provide $150,000 to the City of Jellico toward making needed repairs to the building.

The workshop ended shortly before 9 pm with Chairman Johnny Bruce warning commissioners that at the regular meeting, lengthy discussions won’t be allowed. “There will be motions and votes, no discussion,” Bruce warned. He added that next Monday the Tennessee Comptroller will attend the commission meeting and will meet with the county’s city mayors at 5 pm before the commission meeting begins at 6 pm. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 07/14/2021-6AM)