The residents of Gleason and the surrounding rural
community have been lucky to have access to such quality healthcare
that the Gleason Clinic has been providing for years.
In November of 1988, Dr. Volker Winkler of the
McKenzie Medical Center opened a satellite clinic at 208 West Main
Street across from the Bank of Gleason. The first two employees to
man the clinic were Julious “J.C.” Carey, PA, and Tammy Etheridge.
They saw only two patients the very first day!
The pace of healthcare was slower during those early
days of the clinic, and it was not uncommon for J.C. to sit and talk
jovially with patients for an hour or maybe even two. J.C., a native
of Kennett, Missouri, had grown up in a small town, so he understood
the Gleason community and its people perfectly.
Two years after opening the clinic they added a nurse
and stayed in that location until 1994 when the clinic moved to the
current location at 105 North Cedar Street.
J.C. went on to purchase the Gleason Clinic in 2005
from Dr. Winkler. J.C. and his staff provided Gleason with the
ultimate hometown healthcare, even making house calls. He was so
devoted to his patients that at the end of every day his desk was
clear of any patient’s file that had not been seen and
appropriately dealt with.
J.C. loved to support the community in more ways
than just seeing patients. Anyone who came to know him learned of
his great generosity. He was not only interested in meeting the
medical needs of his patients but any other need if he found
he could be of help – be it financial or emotional.
Numerous community service programs were started and
supported under him: Girl Talk, a Hunter Safety course, and bringing
Santa Claus to town to name a few. Being a big patron of the sports,
he donated hundreds of free physicals to the athletes of Gleason
School. He enjoyed attending the local ballgames, and you could find
him on the sidelines grinning and laughing with the people of his
J.C. was granted the honor of being the Grand
Marshall during the annual Tater Town parade due to all of his
phenomenal community support. Supporting the students of Gleason
School who chose to pursue a career in the medical field was also
important to him and, starting in 2008, he began offering a $1000
one-time scholarship to a graduating senior pursuing training in
this area. However, his support of academia did not end there. He
was instrumental in starting the Physician Assistant program at
Bethel University and taught an ethics class there as well.
To everyone’s shock, J.C. Carey passed away at his
home on April 22, 2013. He had served our community for almost
twenty-five years, and had been looking forward to his 25th-Year
Health Fair that he had planned three weeks from the date of his
passing. This Health Fair was to have concessions, free health
screenings, and music, and ambulances, a medical helicopter, and the
fire department had planned to come and demonstrate how their
There is no confusion as to why he was chosen Physician
Assistant of the Year in Tennessee or why he received the honor of
serving as Grand Marshall, not once but twice.
One thing was clear: he loved Gleason. As a further
testament to that, other than his countless hours of service, was
the discovery, after his death, of a box under his desk labeled “The
Life and Times of Gleason.” In it were newspaper clippings, pictures
and other cherished mementoes he had kept during his life in Tater
Authenticity, substance, benevolence, integrity, and
wit do not even begin to describe his character; they only scratch
the surface. Life goes on, and this is true of the Gleason Clinic
was J.C.’s wish that the clinic be sold back to the McKenzie Medical
Center. While J.C.’s clinic started out seeing two patients a day it
now sees fifty to sixty patients a day, a far stretch from just
Presently, there are a total of thirteen employees.
Healthcare providers include Nurse Practitioner Tanya Arnold and
Physician Assistant Clayton King, who offer top-notch healthcare and
a wide range of services.
According to McKenzie Medical Center’s website, the
Gleason Clinic offers “care to patients
of all ages for minor, acute and chronic illnesses, minor surgical
procedures such as skin lesion removals, joint injections,
immunizations, EKG, pulmonary function testing, Holter monitoring,
drug testing, well woman exams including breast exams and pap
smears, EPSDT exams for children and young adults, Medicare wellness
physicals, and annual wellness exams for men and women, which are
covered by most insurance companies.”
J.C. would be very pleased that the Gleason Clinic
continues his legacy by insuring that the community he loved has
access to high quality health care offered by highly qualified and caring professionals.
(Story by Ben Rollins)