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Dr. James Shine named 'Rural Practitioner of the Year'

Dr. James Shine

MOUNTAIN CITY (Jan. 7, 2016) – Dr. James Shine, a clinical associate professor of family medicine at East Tennessee State University’s Quillen College of Medicine, recently was recognized for his efforts in the area of rural health.

Shine, who has been a family medicine physician in Mountain City for 20 years and serves as the lead physician working with ETSU Rural Primary Care Track medical students at Quillen, received the Rural Health Practitioner of the Year award last month from the Rural Health Association of Tennessee (RHAT).

The award recognizes Shine’s leadership in bringing health services to citizens of rural Tennessee.

Shine works as clinic director of Mountain States Medical Group in Johnson County as well as the medical director of Johnson County Community Hospital. He works with ETSU as a clinical volunteer faculty member, playing an integral role in the university’s interprofessional Rural Training Track, which has been training nursing and medical students in Johnson County for many years.

In nominating Shine for the award, Dr. Joe Florence, professor and director of rural programs for Quillen’s Department of Family Medicine, called Shine a leader in bringing health services to citizens of rural Tennessee.

“Dr. Shine has an approach to health care that responds not only to the needs of his individual patients and their families, but to the entire rural community,” Florence said. “He demonstrates an exceptional understanding of the big picture – that the rural community is his patient and that improving the health of the rural community comes about through improving the system of care.”

Fourth-year medical student Tina Jackson, in her letter of support, called Shine a “remarkable man” who lives by example.

“Many doctors choose to live in a more advantaged area and commute into rural communities,” Jackson wrote. “He has embraced the culture of Appalachia by not only caring for its people, but by living in the midst of the mountains and its residents. He has raised his children in the community where he works and serves on several community committees. He serves his patients by also serving their community and striving to improve the environment and its available resources.”

RHAT recently held its 21st annual conference in Pigeon Forge, where leaders awarded the Rural Health Awards. The organization is the only group in Tennessee that specifically focuses on rural citizens. Each year, RHAT recognizes between seven and 10 individuals through its Rural Health Awards.

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