I grew up in a poor family that regularly had to depend on government resources in order for us to survive. By the time I was 12, I had attended six different elementary schools because my family was evicted from house after house or we had to move for work.
As a child, I experienced the hopelessness of not having health insurance. We suffered heartbreak when one of my younger brothers tragically died before his thirteenth birthday because he was denied access to healthcare. He had been diagnosed with epilepsy and obtaining medical care was a constant struggle for my family. We couldn’t afford health care.
In order to break the cycle of poverty I knew I had to seek education. I was the first in my immediate family to attend college and I put myself through school using grants, loans, and scholarships.
In my life, I have battled and beaten morbid obesity. Due to a rare dangerous vascular condition I almost lost my leg. I know what it is to fight. These moments inspired me to do better for myself.
I decided I wanted to do better for others. I built my clinic and almost four years later we serve nearly 1,300 Tennesseans. As a small business owner, I understand the struggles of building something from nothing, while also serving the needs of our community and keeping the business successful and functional. Mopping the floors and cleaning the toilets in the clinic are some of the things I do to ensure our community continues to have access to healthcare.
Our healthcare system mirrors what is wrong with our current government. Both are dependent on private interest groups and the politicians that are bought off by them. It is my firm belief that a sense of ethics and a focus on people applies not only in medicine, but should be the foundation of our government.
I have spent my adult life listening to and caring for others. Practicing medicine in today’s world requires not only book smarts but also knowing how to help people navigate an unethical system burdened by high cost and driven by corruption.
Representing people is more than just showing up for photo ops and attending expensive dinners. Representing people means you listen to their concerns, you find solutions, and you get stuff done.
Elected officials should be there to protect you and our community.