Coeburn physician receives Servant’s Heart Award from Mountain States Health Alliance


Dr. Thomas Renfro chosen for MSHA’s highest honor.

COEBURN, Va. – Dr. Thomas Renfro was one of five physicians from around the region this year to receive Mountain States Health Alliance’s (MSHA) highest honor – the Servant’s Heart Award, recognizing those who exemplify what it means to be a caregiver. He was nominated by fellow team members and chosen by the MSHA executive team for the award.

Renfro serves at the Thomas E. Renfro Community Clinic in Coeburn, Va. A cancer survivor himself, he administers a high quality of care by giving his all to each patient he sees.

An anonymous nomination letter stated, “Dr. Renfro serves the community by giving from his heart, be it health care, his ministry or if someone is having a hardship, he lends a hand. He expects nothing back nor does he expect anyone to take notice of it. He is honest, caring and compassionate with his patients and their families.”

Another writes, “You can see on the patients’ faces and the staff’s; Dr. Renfro shines bright as a star. He teaches us that we are to place the patient first because without them, there would be no ‘us.’”

Renfro uses his experiences to help others in every way possible. He serves as chairman of the board for the Appalachian Children’s Home in Barboursville, Ky., and broadcasts weekly sermons with his wife, Sid Renfro, on their “Walking in the Kingdom” website.

The four other 2013 awards in the medical staff category were bestowed upon Dr. Douglas Pote of  Glade Spring Community Clinic, Dr. Melinda Lucas of Niswonger Children's Hospital in Johnson City, Tenn., Dr. Alfredo Cervantes of Clearview Psychiatric Unit at Russell County Medical Center in Lebanon, and Dr. Damian Sooklal of Johnston Memorial Hospital in Abingdon.

“This year’s recipients of the servant’s heart award are outstanding examples of what it means to provide patient-centered care,” said Tracy Boling, Corporate Manager of Patient-Centered Care at MSHA. “These are physicians who truly make a difference in the lives of our patients.”

MSHA’s Patient-Centered Care philosophy provides 10 guiding principles that serve as the foundation of what it means to bring loving care to health care.

“We seek to minister to the whole person” Boling said. “It’s easy to see how we minister to the body, but we also minister to the mind and spirit as well by making sure each patient is well informed and that a relationship is established between provider and patient.”

Each doctor was surprised with a luncheon recognizing him or her as a Servant’s Heart Award winner. They will each receive a crystal trophy, framed certificate and $1,000 donated to the charity of their choice.

About Mountain States Health Alliance

Mountain States Health Alliance, a not-for-profit health care organization based in Johnson City, Tenn., operates a family of hospitals serving a 29-county, four-state region (Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, Southeastern Kentucky and Western North Carolina). MSHA offers a large tertiary hospital, several community hospitals, two critical access hospitals, rehabilitation, a children’s hospital, a behavioral health hospital, home care and hospice services as well as a comprehensive medical management corporation. Its 13,500 team members, associated physicians and volunteers are committed to its mission of bringing loving care to health care. For more information, visit

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