JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. (WATE) — A low-income health clinic in Jefferson County is now able to expand operations thanks to generous donations.  

Joining Hands Health Center provides care for hundreds of patients every year. They moved into a new building just a few years ago, which has allowed them to provide even more care for the community. 

Gaile Avent is the Executive Director and said, “We provide a full range of health care services for very low income, uninsured, full-time adult residents of Jefferson and Grainger County.”  

In addition to basic medical and dental care, the center also offers mental health counseling, a diabetes specialist and a nutritionist.

For years, it’s been difficult for the center to take in new patients due to a lack of space and resources. However, through generous donations and grants, they’ve been able to renovate their building and receive new equipment.  

“We have many more expanded services,” Avent said. “We’ve picked up another physician’s assistant who believes wholeheartedly in health care missions.” 

“We need to get the word out so that people who have called in the past and have been told, sorry we can’t get you in for x numbers of days or weeks or months, now know that they can call and probably get an appointment pretty quick.” 

It’s a much-needed service in an area where in Jefferson County 14.7% of its residents are living in poverty. In Grainger County, 16.9% of people are within the poverty rate. 

“We handle about 5,000 calls a year that are triaged out,” Avent said. “They call here and even if we can’t help them, we know the resources.” 

Almost all of Joining Hands Health Center’s staff are volunteers, and they need more help. 

The clinic is looking for people who are willing to help in the front office and dental hygienists. If you need assistance or want to donate you can call the clinic at (865) 471-5525.