TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- Antone Tannehill Good Samaritan free clinic has selected Amy Fagan to be its new executive director. She now faces the challenge of re-opening amidst the pandemic.
Fagan replaces the late Cindy Sparks, who passed away in December after being the director for 25 years. According to retired Chairman of the Board Barney Guyton, it was a hard spot to fill.
"Since her death, it was really a challenge to try and find somebody to take her place," Guyton said.
Fagan was involved with the clinic prior to her promotion and knows the legacy she has to maintain.
"Every time we had a meeting, Cindy would start by sharing a story about a patient that the clinic has helped," Fagan said. "You could see the compassion she had for those patients. I want to be a leader like Cindy and treat the patients like family."
And now her attention turns to running the clinic during a difficult time. The clinic is just re-opening after shutting its doors because of the coronavirus.
"Just as the pandemic has changed everyone's lives, it also impacts the clinic," Fagan said. "Our annual fundraiser is our only fundraiser and it's usually scheduled for September or August and unfortunately this year we aren't able to have it."
And far as keeping patients healthy, according to Guyton, safety is their number one priority and there are some restrictions in place.
"We didn't open up until we felt like we could safely see patients again," Guyton said. "What we would do when we opened back up is just see one or two patients at a time."
Guyton also said that they are strictly enforcing staff and patients wearing masks and gloves. He added that they are extremely fortunate to have Fagan, that she's enthusiastic, skilled, and has a compassion for the clinic.