Dr. Tom Kim, Coal Creek volunteer,
receives Anderson County Hero Award

In October, 2001, on our very first annual Coal Creek Health Day, Dr. HIroshi Toyohara recruited a bunch of his doctor buddies to give free medical exams to the Coal Creek students and community members.  Dr. Tom Kim was one of those physicians.   During this experience, Dr. Kim saw that the old medical clinic in Briceville had been shut down.  He saw a need and decided that he would open the clinic on his day off and provide free medical service to those who worked, but had no insurance.  On 12 September 2006, Dr. Kim was recognized as an Anderson County, Tennessee Hero. 

Dr. Kim (L) with his nurse Pat Smith
and other clinic volunteers, whom he
credits with the clinic's success and
shares his Hero Award

Dr. Kim has operated the Free Clinic
of America in the Briceville
community since 2001.  In 2005,
he opened a second clinic in
South Knoxville.  These clinics
offer free health care to
individuals who do not have
health insurance and he often uses
his own money to sustain the
clinics.  He has closed his private
practice to work full-time at
both health clinics.  "Not only does
he do doctoring, but he does
haircuts as well!"

Dr. Tom Kim was born 10 miles south of P’yongyang in Juny Hwa, North Korea. In 1951 Kim and his family fled North Korea to South Korea where he lived until 1961. In 1961 his family left South Korea for a life in the United States. He returned to South Korea later for medical school at Severance Medical School in Seoul. In 1983 he opened a private practice in Knoxville, Tennessee where he specializes in internal medicine, hematology, and oncology. In 1993 he founded the Free Medical Clinic of America followed by the Free Briceville Medical Clinic in 2002. In 2001 Kim became the president of Knoxville Area Korean Association. As president, he raised funds for a Korean War memorial to be built in Knoxville. On Memorial Day of 2003 the American Korean War Memorial was unveiled at the Tennessee Veterans Cemetery on Lyons View Pike. Congressman John Duncan has honored Kim for his dedication to the community, and in 2002 WBIR-TV Channel 10 awarded Kim with the National Jefferson Award for his dedication to the free clinics he has established.

Coal Creek & Trout Unlimited Volunteer
Buzz Buffington also receives Hero Award!

HEROES:  (L to R) Dr. Robert Matthews DDS,
Beverly Abele, Susan Bowling, Louise McKown,
Buzz Buffington, Dr. Tom Kim, Ronnie Powell,
and Tim Price

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