Helen Ross McNabb celebrated a ribbon-cutting for its new facility in New Midland Plaza in a ceremony on Nov. 4. About 50 people showed for the late morning event in the former Baptist Senior Health Services. The move from the Home Avenue location gives the staff of 11 more space and also opens the door for them to provide mental health services to adults.
Dr. Jerry Russell, pastor of Fairview United Methodist Church, said the mission of the staff is important to people in the community. “We’re so delighted this day of celebration is here. You are part of helping people be whole,” he said.
Andy Black, CEO of Helen Ross McNabb Center, praised vice president for operations Jerry Vagnier’s efforts to grow the Blount County operation. “This facility is the fruit of his attempt to ensure we continue to grow here in Blount County,” Black said.
Blount County Chamber Partnership CEO and president Fred Forster said he was pleased with the turnout and was confident the organization would continue to find success. “So many of our citizens are in need of your services. It’s a pleasure to congratulate on your expansion of services,” he said. “We know there will be good times ahead.”
John Luttrell, chair of the Helen Ross McNabb board of directors, said the staff has provided services to children without insurance since 2005. “This year we’ll provide care to 200 children,” he said. “Our mission is to improve the lives of the people we serve.”
Dr. Amy Cathey, chair of the Helen Ross McNabb Foundation board of directors, said the center staff are committed to the community. “We are actively seeking land to build a permanent facility,” she said. “Eighty percent of funds have been raised.”
Board member Fran Leonard encouraged the staff to focus on three words -- service, commitment and hope -- and offered a quote: “Everyone can be great because anyone can serve,” Leonard said.