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


Glade Spring’s Dr. Douglas Pote chosen for MSHA’s highest honor.

MARION, Va. – Dr. Douglas Pote 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.

Pote, a physician with Smyth County Community Hospital's Glade Spring Community Clinic, is “not simply a doctor, but also a mentor, teacher and leader of the clinical and office team,” according to one nomination. Pote is known for his family-oriented approach to health care, always including loved ones because he understands the importance of family members as part of the care team. 

Pote goes the extra mile by making sure patients know he truly cares. He distributes his personal telephone number if a patient ever needs to ask a question or has a concern. Pote also walks each patient to the door after a visit, reinforcing the philosophy of patient-centered care.

Not only does he excel in medicine and building relationships with patients and staff, Pote is also a celebrated playwright. Some of his works include “Keep On the Sunny Side” and “Man of Constant Sorrow,” honoring the history, music and heritage of the Appalachian area.

The four other 2013 awards in the medical staff category were bestowed upon Dr. Thomas Renfro of the Thomas E. Renfro Community Clinic in Coeburn, 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” explained Boling. “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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