202 Chester Street
Oneida, TN
Phone 423-569-2677
Fax 423-569-2678


The Appalachian Life Quality Initiative (ALQI), a 501(c) (3) corporation, located in Oneida, TN was created in 1999 to bring healthcare, educational, and related services to the underserved children in the ten counties of the ELGIN Children’s Foundation (formerly B. R. Thompson Charitable Trust) with Scott County, a Federal Empowerment Community, as its program base. The ten counties are: TN–Scott, Knox, Anderson and Blount; KY-Leslie, Clay, Laurel, Bell; and VA-Buchanan and Tazewell. ALQI’s focus in 2018 is primarily dental care of underserved children in Scott County, TN. ALQI has a six-member Board of Directors to govern the programs in Scott County that are chosen based on the greater need of the community. They are: Steve Phillips, Dwight Murphy, Lori Jones, Jack E. Lay, Mike Baker, and Terrie Cross. Staff: Kathy West, Executive Director, and Katie Garrett, Administrative Assistant.

ALQI began with the assistance of the Elgin Children’s Foundation and has since started or assisted the following programs:

Scott County Dental Clinic. (2000) In 1999 there were over 4,000 children in Scott County with TennCare insurance which no dentist in the County accepted. The Scott County Dental Clinic opened in 2000 with the assistance of the University of Tennessee and Scott County paying for the building remodel. The Clinic’s leader is Dr. Caleb L. Thompson, DDS.

Children’s Health and Maintenance Plan (CHAMP): (2003) CHAMP became a partnership with the ten schools in dental screening, BMI, hearing, vision, blood pressure, and scoliosis data collection. After dental screenings are completed, personal family contact is made until any identified problems are resolved. The statistical outcomes are presented to the schools for student improvement, used for grant writing, and for research. The ALQI short bus helps students to the dentist when parents need help with transportation. This program is funded through the ALQI Administrative office.

Data Collection: (2000) Working through the ALQI and CHAMP offices, certifiable data are retrieved for the schools and for research.

Children’s Center of the Cumberlands (CCC), (2000) a regional accredited children’s advocacy center striving to reduce the trauma to physically, sexually, and mentally abused victims, and to promote healing. Working with the District Attorney General, it brings the medical examiner and the investigation teams to the child. Educational programs in schools help reduce incidents of child abuse.

Scott County Telemedicine (2000) University of Tennessee grant with sixty video units in homes of patients needing frequent monitoring; and a grant for behavioral health between the local hospital and Ridgeview Mental Health Facility in Oak Ridge, TN.

Students Together Allowing No Drugs (STAND) (2001) Created by Juvenile Judge Jamie Cotton to prevent and stop drug abuse among school children from 6th through 12th grades. To participate in any school activity, including parking on school property, they must be drug tested. For those testing positive, counseling after school is mandatory. Records are confidential and destroyed at graduation.

Boys & Girls Club and Community Center(2002) A Capital Campaign initiated by ALQI raised over $2M; city and county government covered a portion of the $3.8M facility that now serves an average of 175 children per day. The junior basketball program has 300 participants. It is the largest Boys & Girls Club in a rural area in America.

The Salvation Army-Scott County Service Unit Organized in 2002 by ALQI, Bell Ringing funds are used for past due utility bills. Each year up to 35 underserved children attend camp free; and the toy distribution in December helps up to 500 families. Food is also provided weekly.

Morgan-Scott Project. (2007) The Salvation Army also issues vouchers for this organization, whose headquarters are in Deerlodge, TN.

The Shelter Society (formerly known as Scott County Women’s Shelter) In 2004 a grant provided a Counselor for over 800 women and children seen at the shelter annually.

Remote Area Medical Clinic (RAM). Since 2003 we have had a total of 8 RAM clinics in Scott County seeing 4,402 patients; issuing 1,584 pair of glasses; filling 1,556 teeth and extracting 5,615. Over 8,313 services have provided for a total value of $1,486,174 in donated care. ALQI is proud to oversee RAM in Scott County by finding the volunteers, food, housing and other services for these free clinics.

Mission of Hope: They bring backpacks filled with school supplies and at Christmas, toys for the children. ALQI participates and serves as a contact and warehousing source for the many services and goods they donate to the county all year long.

Imagination Library: (2004) Dolly Parton’s program that mails a book a month to every child from birth to age five and paid for by businesses and other organizations. Initiated with an ALQI grant, in 2011 it had the State of TN’s highest registration percentage of all eligible children (1,341 children). Our Health Department and physicians help register each newborn or new resident online. For some kids these are the only books they have. This program was overseen for a time by the Children’s Center of the Cumberlands; however, it is back under the oversight of ALQI.

Winfield School Academic Fund: (2005) An endowment to provide something extra for the school each year. 19 grants for over $13,000 were awarded to the teachers the first year. Accrued interest purchases something needed by the school each year. As of 6-30-18, $49,873.73 in grants have been awarded.

Second Harvest: (2006) ALQI was happy to assist with the backpack program in the schools (food for kids to take home) and the Kids Café at the Boys & Girls Club (kids learning to cook). ALQI now serves as a contact point for truckloads of food purchased by Winfield Baptist Church.

Free Shoe Fence and Free Coat Door: (2009) Shoes and coats are hung outside where people can get them at any time - 24/7 - free of charge.

Operation Sharing TN: (2008) Working with Operation Sharing in Corbin, KY, a branch of Christian Appalachian Project, this program opened in Oneida on September 15, 2008. An agreement for ALQI to start up and operate the facility for one year saw $8.7 million in free products distributed through 176 members. To date over $96 million has been distributed through OST. These goods must be given to the youth, elderly, sick, or needy. They cannot be sold, traded, or bartered.

Appalachian Ministry Center: (2011) A center for association churches and community events. Also originally housed the Agape Christian Learning Center. Located in an old school building leased for $1 from the County, the building has a new roof and extensive interior remodeling through an Elgin Children’s Foundation grant. Mission groups stay here during summer months. It also houses Hebrews Coffee Shop and a used clothing ministry. A new food pantry should be open before the end of 2018.

Agape Christian Learning Center: (2011) A Center for primarily underserved children, ages 2 - 4 open four days a week, providing a love of reading and understanding before starting kindergarten. Located in the Winfield Baptist Church, Winfield, TN.

Bible Released Time: (2015) This program is in all five County elementary schools as well as Oneida Elementary. Once a month children are released from school with parental request to be taken to a nearby church for one hour of Bible study.

Xylitol Toothbrush Study: (2016) This pilot program has been approved for study in Robbins and Winfield Schools and also Oneida Elementary School. It will involve 1st and 2nd graders being given a toothbrush, dental education video, neither, or both, after lunch each day.

Project Hope: (2017) This project is a coalition of community leaders meeting regularly and partnering with BlueCross BlueShield of TN to identify health disparities of Scott County’s citizens.

ALQI- Administration: (1999) ALQI works and supports the chosen programs not only with fundraising, grant writing, administrative needs, but with information for assessment of health needs, data collection, program development, and establishing self-sufficiency. In the nineteen years of ALQI, more than $18 million in grants/donations/earnings plus $66 million of in-kind donations have been provided through the efforts of an active, excited, and diverse Board of Directors, programs, and with the support of Elgin Children’s Foundation and its long-range vision, among others.