Hammering home help

ET Medical Group builds a home for Blount family

More than 135 East Tennessee Medical Group (ETMG) volunteers saw the culmination of their many hours of work on Sept. 12 when the house they built through Blount County Habitat for Humanity was dedicated and passed on to the Mark Roach family.

The project is part of ETMG’s 15th anniversary celebration and “Community Centered” service efforts in Blount County. ETMG staff gave up last year’s Christmas gathering and this year’s annual employee appreciation picnic to use those monies (with additional physician funding) to pay for the building expenses.

ETMG’s Christmas party fund alone contributed $20,000 to the home construction. Every weekend this summer, employees and physicians were swinging hammers, climbing on roofs and wielding paintbrushes to complete the Roaches’ new home, which is located in the new Norwood Village subdivision in Maryville.

“It’s been an honor for East Tennessee Medical Group to serve Blount County for 15 years,” said Ron German, CEO of ETMG. “The Habitat for Humanity house is a great opportunity for us to give back to our community, while thanking the citizens of Blount County for supporting our medical practice.”

This is ETMG’s first year to sponsor a home for Blount County Habitat for Humanity. Tony Gibbons, Blount County Habitat for Humanity’s executive director, said the non-profit organization is thankful for ETMG’s help. “It has been fortunate for us and the families of Habitat for Humanity to work with such a dedicated group of people. It speaks to the character of ETMG’s employees when they give up their time and seasonal get-togethers to help us out.”

During the construction, which began June 6, the multi-specialty physicians’ practice received some unexpected help from several Blount community groups and businesses, including Fairview United Methodist Church, Louisville Christian Church, Hickory Construction, Tipton & Tipton Roofing Company, and even several patients who heard what ETMG was doing.

Rocky Davis, ETMG facilities director and coordinator for the Habitat build, said he was amazed “how many of our neighbors really want to take the time to make a difference. They helped us put on shingles, build porches and install the house’s siding. It’s no wonder we start each construction day with a group prayer. This project has turned out to be as much a blessing for ETMG as it has been for our partner family.”

German said he is optimistic about future collaboration with local groups on other community service projects. “We’ll further this tradition of giving back by continuing to work with organizations like Blount Habitat for Humanity to make the community a better place to live.”

During the Sept. 12 dedication, the Roaches were given their house keys and gifts from local merchants, and the house was blessed by a local pastor.

East Tennessee Medical Group, located at 266 Joule Street in Alcoa, has been operating in Blount County for 15 years, and today consists of more than 45 physicians and allied health professionals. For more information, call 865-984-3864 or visit its website at www.etmg.net.

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