John Auxier – Founder of the Free Medical Clinic
the birth of no charge medical care for the poor and uninsured
John and Mary Lou (John’s wife) care about people, it’s just that simple. They have a deep compassion for those in need. John who was one of the founding members of Clinics of Hope USA in Knoxville in 2008 had a clear vision to open free medical clinics throughout the Knoxville area for the working poor who did not have medical insurance. John believes everyone deserves healthcare regardless of their ability to afford it. So John began to get to work to make that happen.
John spoke to his Sunday School class at First United Methodist Church in Oak Ridge and the response of the class was overwhelming. This was when John decided that he would open the Free Medical Clinic in his own backyard of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. But he couldn’t do it alone, he needed a powerful compassionate army.
The next step was to find out if there were enough people who would be willing to be volunteers in organizing and setting up the new clinic and keep it going each day. The First United Methodist Church hosted a meeting on July 19, 2008, to mobilize potential volunteers and more than 100 people (medical and non-medical volunteers) showed up! The next decision was where would the clinic see patients?
Trinity United Methodist Church opened their education wing to be used as the first location for the Free Medical Clinic of Oak Ridge. Kern United Methodist Church Men’s group led the effort and was joined by volunteers from other churches to help those in need in their community. This was more than a non-profit for the poor it was a medical clinic. So, the next step was to recruit partners in the medical community to join our vision. The Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge agreed to run the lab and imaging services for patients of the Free Medical Clinic at no charge. This was a huge gift to those needing medical care at no charge.
The Free Medical Clinic of Oak Ridge opened on January 15, 2010, with service being provided on Friday’s and Saturdays. Dr. Kim was the clinic’s first volunteer primary care provider and now an army of medical and non-medical volunteers support the FMC staff to thousands of medical appointments today.
Join John and Mary Lou and the Free Medical Clinic family in this powerful compassionate vision and worthy mission by giving funds or volunteering so the low-income and uninsured at the Free Medical Clinic have no charge medical care they need.