Community Leaders Play Key Roles in Foundations’ Events and Programs

    The Office of Philanthropy coordinates the philanthropic contributions of individuals and businesses throughout East Tennessee and beyond. Fund raising efforts are coordinated by five foundations: Fort Sanders Foundation (serving the needs of Fort Sanders Regional, Fort Loudoun, Parkwest, and Roane Medical Centers; Peninsula, and the Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center), Methodist Medical Center Foundation, Morristown-Hamblen Hospital Foundation, Dr. Robert F. Thomas Foundation, and Thompson Cancer Survival Center Foundation.

    During the past year these foundations received contributions of about $4 million to help provide new equipment and facilities at the hospitals, staff training, and assistance to patients.

    While the Foundations coordinate  community events and fund raisers, local community involvement is critical to the success of the events. What draws local people to become involved in their local hospitals and healthcare programs?

    Monte Miller
    Monte Miller
    “This hospital [LeConte Medical Center] is an integral part of the community, not only for the healthcare services provided, but for the economic growth of the area,” said Monte Miller, a volunteer with the Dr. Robert F. Thomas Foundation, which contributes a portion of its funding to the hospital.

    “In a time when many areas are losing their hospitals due to budget concerns, Sevier County has been fortunate to have a hospital that has grown substantially in recent years. This is not by accident. Many residents of the county have shared the vision of what LeConte Medical Center has become.

    “The prestige of having a premier medical facility in Sevier County attracts specialists and services Sevier Countians previously had to drive to Knoxville to receive,” he continued. “This in turn... makes our area more attractive for potential employers and residents. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

    Johnny Griffin
    Johnny Griffin
    Johnny Griffin, chairman of the “One Community. One Hospital.” campaign in Roane County, echoed Miller’s sentiments.

    “We have an opportunity to have a state-of-the-art hospital in our community and I think it is important for the community to be involved in developing a facility that will be able to serve the needs of our community for a long time,” he said. “I personally feel this is the best opportunity to unite our county and create something we can all be proud of.”

    Phil and Lynne Bevins
    Phil and Lynne Bevins
    Phil and Lynne Bevins, chairpersons of the 2012 BUDDY’S Race Against Cancer, bring an additional point of view to their participation with Thompson Cancer Survival Center Foundation. They are not only volunteers, but also Covenant Health employees. Lynne is manager of rehab services at Fort Sanders Regional, and Phil is a physical therapist.

    They also have personal and family experiences in dealing with cancer. Lynne has lost several members of her family and just last year they lost Phil’s mother to lung cancer.

    “We all have a responsibility to... participate in anything that improves the community,” they said. “As healthcare workers and Covenant employees, we feel we have a duty to our former, current, and future patients to provide the best care possible.

    “We have pledged to help people through our professions; volunteering to help with BUDDY’S Race is just another component of help we can provide. Cancer is devastating, and if we can save one life and one family from the pain we have experienced, it would all be worthwhile!”