Tom Kim (2005 New American Hero Award – Dr. Tom Kim)
ln 2005 GNC awarded Dr. Tom Yoo-Keun Kim, founder of the Free Clinic of America in Knoxville. TN, New American Hero Award.
<Dr. Tom Kim, Founder of the Free Clinic of America>
Press Release- 2005 New American Hero Award
For Immediate Release September 21, 2005
Good Neighboring Campaign’s 2005 New American Hero Award Goes to Dr. Tom Yoo-Keun Kim, founder of the Free Clinic of America in Knoxville, TN.
Good Neighboring Campaign will present the New American Hero Award to Dr. Tom Kim of Knoxville, TN. Former ambassador to Korea James Laney will present the award during the annual dinner of the 2005 Korean American Forum. Marriott Hotel Century Center, Atlanta. GA at 7 PM. September 23, 2005.
Good Neighboring Campaign, a self-funding nonprofit organization based in Atlanta, GA selects an American of Korean ancestry to brighten the image of the Korean American community by active serving the local community.
Korean American Forum is an annual event to discuss the issues and have brainstorming sessions to find acceptable and practical solutions to bring Korean Americans more into U.S. society. Despite the difficulty of communicating and assimilating, the Korean Americans wants to participate in community affairs more and utilize the ethnic values and strengths of our new nation. The Forum to draw a road map for the community, set priorities, and give community members dear direction on how to proceed as an integral American ethnic group — with the focus on American — not as a group of Korean visitors to America.
“Dr. Kim served the local community in the name of Free Clinic of America for over ten years. His volunteer services stimulated other Americans of Korean ancestry to do more services in the communities. We. Korean immigrants brought so much value to this nation and we are so proud to realize that we are using it We want to recognize the invisible benefit we received from Dr. Kim’s volunteer services’’ said Sunny Park the founder and secretary-general of Good Neighboring Campaign.
The award stated in the award “We, on behalf of the Americans of Korean ancestry want to recognize Dr. Tom Kim’s exemplary devotion to advancing the cause of Americans of Korean ancestry through his patriotic volunteer service at Free Clinic of America. And. he is a shining example as an American, and an inspiring role model to our entire community.”
Dr. Tom Kim was bom 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 the 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 in Knoxville.
The free clinic opens for working poor without health insurance
“It’s scary not having insurance,” said Mary Lilly.
Friday, Tenncare would have covered her visit to a doctor. Monday, that visit would have cost her $75 she simply did not have.
Behind a wall and some glass sit a group of professionals. Some are in the medical world. Others are in the legal world.
A few even work on mortgages. Right now, they are all healers, praying for the power to help a whole lot of people in
“It’s our first day,” said Laura Lee. a volunteer at the Free Medical Clinic of America. “Things are frantic.” The clinic is an all-volunteer organization that takes patients via appointment. The rules are few but important.
Patients must be working and either has U S. Citizenship or the proper paperwork to be in the states. Mary Lilly is both, the first former Tenncare recipient to walk through the doors.
“It was really scary cause I know all the problems I have,” she said pulling out about 20 pill bottles. “When this runs out, I don’t know what I’m going to do.””Everybody says America is the number one nation in the world,” he said. ”1 don’t see why American individuals can’t pay attention to illness because of no insurance.”
More than 20 other doctors are volunteering their time at the clinic, which Dr. Kim hopes will convince others to help out in whatever way possible.
“It’s time to love each other and help each other,” he said. “Let’s play ball here.”
Dan Farkas , Reporter / Last updated: 8/2/2005 3:55:38 PM