Covenant’s Office of Philanthropy coordinates the philanthropic contributions of individuals and businesses throughout East Tennessee and beyond in support of health care in our region. Fund raising efforts are led by volunteer boards and staff at 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 FoundationDr. Robert F. Thomas Foundation (serving LeConte Medical Center and Sevier County’s health needs), and Thompson Cancer Survival Center Foundation.

    “When our health system’s first fund raising office, Fort Sanders Foundation, was created in the mid-1970s to raise funds to support Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, it was a progressive move for a health care provider,” said Jeff Elliott, vice president of development. “Fund raising was not a need, but more in the category of ‘nice to have.’

    “This status has changed in today’s era of healthcare reform,” Elliott continued. “Financial resources have tightened and our hospitals look to the community for charitable contributions that are now very much in the ‘need to have’ category if we are to continue to meet the healthcare needs of the people of East Tennessee.”

    One of the events supported by the Offi ce of Philanthropy is the BUDDY’S Race Against Cancer. Sponsored by Thompson Cancer Survival Center Foundation, the race celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2013.

    During the past year the foundations of Covenant Health received contributions of approximately $3.7 million from generous individuals and businesses ready to help meet that need – helping provide new equipment and facilities at the hospitals, staff training and patient care programs. These donors have partnered with our hospitals to meet the challenges of providing the best health care possible for our communities.

    Our patients, after all, often face much tougher challenges every day. For example, at the
    Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center, patients who are in need of rehab services but without insurance coverage or other ability to afford care may be eligible for a scholarship program funded by contributions to the annual Patricia Neal Golf Classic.

    “I came to Patricia Neal following surgery for a brain tumor. I didn’t have any insurance and there were just no options available for me. The scholarship provided for inpatient and Without PNRC I don’t think I’d be able to do any of the things I’m doing now. I still have a disability, but they taught me ways to do things with my disability. My nurse ran a 5K with me after rehab, and now I’ve done a half marathon. I used to be a cyclist and now I have a recumbent trike so that I can still ride. I’m ready to do some racing now!"

              - Janice Combs, scholarship recipientoutpatient care.


    Members of the first Healthcare Leadership Academy went behind the scenes at Covenant health facilities.

    While the Office of Philanthropy staff coordinates community events and fund raisers, local community leadership and involvement is critical to fund raising success. In an effort to expand the cadre of informed volunteer leaders in our community, the Office of Philanthropy launched a new education program this year, Covenant Answers: A Healthcare Leadership Academy. Inaugural Academy participants included representatives from the boards of Covenant Health, and Fort Sanders and TCSC foundations. Future Leadership Academy classes will include business and community representatives from throughout Covenant Health’s service area.

    Over a five-month period, class members attended half-day sessions at five Covenant hospitals, which included behind-the-scenes tours and hands-on access to the latest technologies and treatments. Participants discussed the challenges of the current health care environment with Covenant physicians and clinicians, heard firsthand from patients whose recovery hinged on the excellent care provided at our hospitals, and even tried their hands at using adaptive rehab equipment and maneuvering a surgical robot.
      “The Leadership Academy experience reminded me how much we take quality healthcare for granted. You might say it is a hidden asset that is in plain sight,” said Larry Mauldin, Chairman of Covenant Health’s Board of Directors.

    “The Academy provided us the opportunity to interact with physicians, nurses, and administrators to better understand their roles in delivering quality healthcare; to observe the wonders of technology and how it is employed to treat patients; and to have our hearts warmed by stories of how peoples’ lives have been affected because Covenant Health was there when they had a health issue,” he continued.

    “The Academy also reminded me that we must not take this wonderful community resource for granted. It needs constant nurturing and broad citizen understanding for it to thrive in the ever changing healthcare environment.”