Our Primary Goal: To provide every underserved child with healthcare and educational services.


Mission Statement

The Appalachian Life Quality Initiative partners with the community to promote health, education, and other programs, especially for Scott County's underserved children.

This partnership will be a lifelong process enabling each child to be an educated, confident, self-directed, and positive member of an ever-changing global society.

Philosophy Statement

The policy of the ALQI Board of Directors is to always perform our work in the most professional manner possible; to treat each of our fellow workers and volunteers with dignity and respect; to provide prompt and honorable attention to this organization; to put an emphasis on quality through education and instruction to all involved; to do our best to anticipate the needs of the Scott County area; to take pride in our work; and to be satisfied with nothing less than the pursuit of excellence.

Internal Objectives

  1. To establish necessary and viable programs within the ALQI organization as mandated by the ALQI Board of Directors.
  2. To collect and manage certifiable statistics.
  3. To manage and maintain the organization and its projects in a professional manner, always keeping the children as our primary focus.
  4. To educate and build support to growth management and to sustain issues as they appear.
  5. To develop a Master Plan and to adhere to it as closely as possible for the next five years.

External Objectives

  1. To provide primary fundamental services to the underserved, especially the children.
  2. To work in cooperation with ELGIN Children's Foundation in providing such instructions and guidance to not only Scott County, but others if requested.
  3. To provide for the future of the ALQI organizations through community involvement and endowments.


  1. To assist ELGIN Children's Foundation in reaching its goals by continuing to support the existing programs in Scott County until they are able to operate, within the required parameters, without ALQI support or for five years.
  2. To be aware of community needs and establish new programs that fall under the ALQI guidelines.
  3. To produce certifiable statistical results for the purpose of educational, mental and physical improvement and the expansion of the programs through grant writing and other fundraising sources.
  4. To make our programs and ourselves available as examples to the other nine counties of ELGIN.
  5. To keep the healthcare and educational needs of the underserved, especially the children, as the focus of our work in Scott County.
  6. To broaden our financial base through grant writing and partnering with other local or nationally based organizations whose vision and goals are the same as ALQI.

Vision/Strategy Statement

Implementation Strategy:

To find the unmet primary needs of the underserved people, especially the children, in Scott County, Tennessee, and work with existing organizations, institutions and the general public in strategies and funding to meet those needs.

Why are we committed to this strategy?

  1. Because children are clearly our most precious resource.
  2. Because the number of young people not on the road to becoming successful contributing adults is a growing crisis. We must point them in the right direction if they are to grow up strong and ready to take their places as successful adults and community leaders.
  3. Because we must build a powerful framework around which to build a community-wide vision capable of uniting individuals and organizations to take collective action to make children our number one priority.

While we acknowledge our primary vision as being the healthcare of the children, let us also look to other avenues of helping ALL the people of Appalachia.

  1. Establish a working relationship with local and state agencies to develop a plan to support the vision of the ALQI Board and determine the roles each will play.
  2. Develop other partnerships to ensure the success of the process.
  3. Develop a strong united voice with coordinated strategies.
  4. Establish an annual meeting where leaders may come together to compare notes and gain fresh ideas on how best to serve their community.

By doing this we will bring in more public support to develop the programs and find the funding. We must address the future of our country and how it can be improved, not merely for us but for our children and grandchildren.




Steven A. Phillips, Chairman of the ALQI Board and CEO of Lumber King; CFP®, CLU, MBA, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner with Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., was Boys & Girls Club Hall of Fame Business of the Year in 2011. Has been with the ALQI organization since the beginning (1999).  He owns various businesses in Scott County; is a deacon of First Baptist Church Oneida; served several years on Oneida School Board, and is credited with starting the effort to save our city school from being closed by the Fire Marshall. Serves, and has served, on several other local boards.


Dwight Murphy, Vice Chairman of the ALQI Board, former County Executive/Mayor and now President at the TN College of Applied Technology Oneida/Huntsville campus. A member of the ALQI board since inception in 1999, he has overseen the Dental Clinic since inception as well as the Agape Christian Learning Center.  He is very active in his church, was a charter member of the Boys & Girls Club board, past President of the Chamber of Commerce, served on the Morgan-Scott Project Board, and is active in numerous other civic and community organizations.  He has been a Deacon of the Winfield Baptist Church for over 30 years.


Lori Phillips-Jones,Secretary of the ALQI Board, and Alderman of Town of Oneida,former District Attorney General for the 8th Judicial District, has served on the ALQI Board since 2003. She was instrumental in making Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Scott County #1 in the nation for enrollment of children receiving books from ages birth to age 5. Lori serves on the Schools Together Allowing No Drugs (STAND) board, active in our two Middle and two High Schools. She is also a former member of the Oneida Special Schools District Board of Directors. She is active in First Presbyterian Church in Huntsville and numerous other community activities.


Jack E. Lay,Treasurer of ALQI, and Mayor of the Town of Oneida,has been an ALQI board member since 2004.  He has been President of the Board at the Boys & Girls Club and is in the 2005 Hall of Fame as Mentor and Youth leader. He serves on the board of the Children’s Center and other local, state, and national organizations. He is credited for starting and sustaining the county little league softball teams and continues to work with children in all areas of sports. Jack is a member of the Bethlehem Baptist Church in Oneida.


Mike Baker, Pharmacist, has been an ALQI board member since 2004.  He oversees the Winfield School Academic Fund program, which provides teachers at Winfield Elementary School with mini grants to use in their classrooms. Mike is a 2010 member of the Boys & Girls Club Hall of Fame, a member of the Choir, Finance Committee, and serves as Deacon at First Baptist Church Oneida, and is active in numerous civic and community organizations. Mike also makes annual mission trips to Honduras with his sisters.


Terrie Cross, Retired, was the founding Executive Director of ALQI in 1999. She retired after 15 years and is presently an ALQI board member. Prior to working with ALQI, she owned Cross Medical Equipment. She is a 2007 Purpose Prize Fellow; a member of the Boys & Girls Club of Cumberland Plateau Hall of Fame; Charter member of the Tennessee Boys & Girls Hall of Fame; and still serves on the boards of Operation Sharing TN, Scott County Dental Clinic, and the local Salvation Army Service Unit.


Jeff Tibbals, County Mayor, became an ALQI board member in 2010.  Jeff worked for our nation’s space program (NASA); was a school teacher in the Oneida Special School District; and is presently the Scott County Mayor.  He is the ALQI oversight representative for RAM; serves on the Boys & Girls Club Board and Children’s Center Board; is a member of the Chamber of Commerce and numerous other civic and community organizations.


KATHY WEST, Executive Director, began working at ALQI in February 2008 as CHAMP Program Coordinator. On July 1, 2014, Kathy became ALQI’s second executive director. In addition, she has worked with Operation Sharing Tennessee from its inception in 2008 and currently serves on its Board of Directors and also as Secretary. She serves on The Salvation Army Scott County Service Unit oversight committee, serves as a member of the Scott County Health Council, serves as a member of the Student Health Advisory Committees for the Oneida Special School District as well as the Scott County School District, serves as a member of the Scott County Chamber of Commerce (Vice President in 2020 and President in 2021), serves as Treasurer for the Scott County Imagination Library, and continues to serve as program coordinator of ALQI’s Children’s Health and Maintenance Plan (CHAMP) program. Kathy became licensed as a Registered Dental Assistant to further benefit the CHAMP program. Being Executive Director requires wearing many hats at ALQI. On a personal level, Kathy is married to Greg, her husband of 43 years. They have one son, Michael, and the light of her life, granddaughter Kaelyn. Kathy and her family attend New Salem United Baptist Church where she serves as Sunday School teacher of the teen girls’ class. Kathy is also a Registered Dental Assistant, a retired paralegal, and a retired affiliate real estate broker.

Former ALQI Board Members include:

Mayfield Brown, Rev. Philip Kazee, Jerry Kline, Dr. Nyla Cross, Jan Laxton, Bill Duncan, Dwayne King, Rick Keeton, Jeff Tibbals.



2584 Buffalo Road, Oneida, TN • Phone 423-569-2677 • E-mail kwest@alqi.org • Website www.alqi.org



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.


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 the 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 the 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 a 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. This program did not succeed due to a lack of parental consent.

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. This program moved on to a different level within BlueCross BlueShield of TN.

Book Bus:
(2019) This project is in its infancy. The goal is to retrofit a bus with shelves of books and reading nooks that will venture into the more rural areas of Scott County beginning the Summer of 2020. There are hopes to provide snacks and backpacks full of food for the children to take home with them, along with a free book or two. This project is on hold pending the location of funding and volunteers.

ALQI Helping Hands:
(2020) This program is a combination of several ALQI programs and community partnerships. Essentially, when a need is uncovered, every effort will be made to assist the child/family with that need. ALQI pursues grant funds to assist with a variety of needs as well.


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 twenty years of ALQI, more than $21 million in grants/donations/earnings plus $87 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.




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Scott County Chamber of Commerce Member - http://www.scottcountychamber.com/


Appalachian Life Quality Initiative (ALQI)


2584 Buffalo Road // Oneida, TN 37841 // 423-569-2677


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