VIM Clinic Staff
Clinic staff

The Volunteers In Medicine staff supervise and coordinate volunteers delivering medical treatment, manage an on site dispensary, and provide lifestyle seminars geared toward better health outcomes. VIM contracts with a service that provides a part-time nurse practitioner to assist with managing patients with chronic diseases with the oversight of the clinic’s volunteer Medical Director, Dr. Mitchell Mutter.

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Mitchell Mutter, MD 
VIM Medical Director

Dr. Mitchell Mutter is described by friends and colleagues as an outstanding professional, mentor, teacher, leader, and humanitarian.   

He attended the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, on a football scholarship, graduating in 1968. He moved on to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis to pursue a degree in medicine.

Following his 1972 UTHSC graduation, Dr. Mutter served until 1976 as a general medical officer in the U.S. Army at Walter Reed Army Medical Center Andrew Radar Clinic. He went on to complete his internship, internal medicine residency, and cardiology fellowship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He is board certified in internal medicine and cardiology.

After his service at Walter Reed he was Chief of Cardiology at the Eisenhower Army Medical Center in Augusta, Georgia. He left active military service with the rank of lieutenant colonel. He returned to Knoxville in 1982 to begin private cardiology practice. He also served on the faculty for the UT Health Science Center as associate professor of medicine. In 1992 he began practicing cardiology in Chattanooga. He was Chief of Staff at Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga from 2004 to 2007. Since 2012, Dr. Mutter has served as Medical Director of Special Projects for the Tennessee Department of Health. He is spearheading the state’s pain management task force.

Dr. Mutter is the founder of the Children’s Nutrition Program of Haiti, which has employees in Chattanooga and Haiti. He began going to Haiti in 1988 to work as a cardiologist and decided that the vast medical needs of the country might be addressed with a grassroots nutrition program designed to empower and enable a generation of healthy Haitian children. In 2007 he was named a Citizen Diplomat by Sister Cities International for his work in Haiti.

Dr. Mutter has been president of the Tennessee Heart Association, president of the Hamilton County Medical Society, and president of the Hamilton County Medical Foundation. He is also a past president of the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners, the regulatory and disciplinary board for physicians in Tennessee. Over his distinguished career, Dr. Mutter has served on research teams as either a principal-, co-, or sub-investigator for more than 25 research studies in the area of cardiology. 

Dr. Mutter was named the 2007 Outstanding Physician by the Tennessee Medical Association. He also received the Medical Staff Meritorious Service Award from the Tennessee Hospital Association in 2007. In 2010, he received an “Angel for Children” award from Bethany Christian Services. Recently he received the 2012 Distinguished Physicians Award from Erlanger Baroness Foundation.


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Joel Henderson
Executive Director

Joel is a local graduate of Southern Adventist University. He began his career working for AdventHealth, a protestant health care system, followed by managing a community health access initiative serving the medically underserved, in Central Florida. 

In his role as Vice President for Corporate Communications and Government Relations at NACS/Medical Services of Chattanooga, he was recognized for volunteer leadership service by the American Cancer Society as recipient of the 2017 Life Inspiration Award. Joel is a past Board Chair for the local American Cancer Society and Real Men Wear Pink Ambassador. Additional boards and recent community leadership service has included the PRSA Lookout Chapter as President, Hamilton County Medical Society's Denim & Diamonds Gala Committee, Erlanger Health System Foundation Dragon Boat Benefit, and 2015 Dancing with the Stars Chattanooga celebrity participant for the Partnership for Families, Children and Adults.  

Also the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Circle, Membership Committee Chair and Ambassador Board President. His Chamber leadership experience led him to his most recent position where he led Marketing and Communications for the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce. 

Joel is also a graduate and active alum of Leadership Chattanooga, Leadership Cleveland and Leadership Orlando.

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Sharon Stewart
Clinic Manager

Sharon's entire career has been spent managing medical practices in the Chattanooga area. Her specialties  have included both surgical and primary care. She joined the VIM Chattanooga team in 2012. 

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Kristen Curtis-Gortney
Dispensary Coordinator

Kristen received her Pharmacy Tech training from Chattanooga State and obtained her national certification in 2007. Previously, Kristen had worked in a variety of customer contact positions prior to her graduation.

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Laura S. Grody, RN, BSN
Nursing Manager

Laura has been a volunteer nurse with VIM Chattanooga since 2010. She has a BSN from Louisiana State University in New Orleans, LA where she specialized in in-patient obstetric nursing. In addition to her nursing volunteer work, she has also been very active serving The Bethlehem Center and McCallie School parent’s organization and the Arts community. She is fluent in Spanish.

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Michelle Turner
Front Office and Volunteer Coordinator

Michelle joined VIM August 2015. She received her BS in Psychology from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She spent 4 years as the Program Director for the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation.