LeConte Medical Center Celebrates 10 years of Compassionate Care

Reception for invited guests reveals new logo in honor of 10th Anniversary

LeConte Medical Center, a member of Covenant Health, celebrated the hospital’s 10th anniversary with a reception on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020. The current facility opened its doors on February 14, 2010, continuing the legacy of Fort Sanders Sevier Hospital which previously served the community for more than 40 years.

The celebration included remarks from leaders of LeConte Medical Center and Covenant Health as well as Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters. Attendees also enjoyed a special video message from longtime LeConte supporter Dolly Parton.

Gaye Jolly, president and chief administrative officer of LeConte Medical Center, shared the accomplishments of the hospital over the past decade and thanked the community for its support. “Together, our community and Covenant Health built this magnificent state-of-the-art facility with medical services and advanced technology that are rarely seen in cities our size,” Jolly said.


Covenant Health constructed LeConte Medical Center as a replacement hospital for the previous Fort Sanders Sevier Medical Center (formerly Sevier County hospital) to meet the medical needs of the growing Sevier County area. Covenant Health pledged more than $100 million to the project and the community launched a capital campaign project that raised $10 million.

The capital campaign, led by the Dr. Robert F. Thomas Foundation, brought together local leaders from the community and the private sector to raise the funds for the hospital. LeConte Medical Center was the first Covenant Health facility to receive such a large donation from a community-led campaign.

“The first two checks received by the Foundation for the capital campaign were from hospital volunteers and hospital employees – a testament to our community’s pride in bringing the best medical care to the people we serve,” Jolly said.

Jim VanderSteeg, Covenant Health president and CEO, praised the community for its contributions and recalled Covenant Health’s initial commitment to the project.

“We knew this was a vibrant community, a growing community that needed the next level of healthcare in terms of technology. Our Board made the unanimous decision to build this hospital,” VanderSteeg said. He added that LeConte Medical Center fulfills Covenant Health’s Pledge of Excellence in Sevier County: putting patients first, excellence in everything they do, and ensuring that LeConte and Covenant Health are the first and best choice in the local community.

Recognitions and Caring for the Community

Since opening, LeConte Medical Center has been a named an Advanced Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission and named among “100 Great Community Hospitals” in the U.S. by Becker’s Hospital Review. Most recently, LeConte Medical Center was one of just 18 hospitals in the state (and one of four Covenant Health hospitals) named by Tennessee Hospital Association as a 2019 ‘BEST for Babies’ hospital for efforts to improve the health of Tennessee’s newborns.

“It is an honor and a privilege to be here today to celebrate 10 years, and I am very confident that this hospital is going to be here for a long time,” Mayor Waters said. “It is prospering not just because of what a beautiful facility we have here, but it is prospering because of the medical care they provide our citizens.”

Over the past decade, LeConte Medical Center has admitted nearly 50,000 patients, has helped deliver more than 10,000 babies in the Dolly Parton birthing unit and has treated more than half a million patients in the emergency department. LeConte Medical Center’s emergency department is one of the busiest in the Covenant Health system, caring for both local residents and tourists from around the United States and even internationally. LeConte Medical Center has approximately 550 employees and more than 100 volunteers.

LeConte Medical Center emergency department physician Jerry Bradley, MD, began working at the former hospital as an orderly in 1970 when he was a high school student. After medical school he returned to Sevier County and now speaks with pride about the care patients receive.

“We’ve had so many accolades for this hospital,” Dr. Bradley said. “For me, those accolades have come over and over again in the emergency room as I take care of folks who live here in the county, and visitors who have traveled all over the world. They talk about the level of care they have received here, the beauty of our facility, and the kindness, good nature, experience and knowledge of the people who work here.”

As part of the celebration Jolly unveiled a new logo for LeConte Medical Center which uses color and visual design to identify the hospital as a member of Covenant Health. The event concluded with a video message from Dolly Parton congratulating the hospital for celebrating 10 years of excellent service and thanking the doctors, nurses and staff of LeConte Medical Center for caring for her community.

LeConte Medical Center, a member of Knoxville-based Covenant Health, is a 79-bed medical center offering an array of medical specialties including a birthing center, emergency care, surgical services, diagnostic services and an affiliated nursing home. Rehabilitation services, medical offices and Thompson Cancer Survival Center-Sevierville are also located on the LeConte Medical Center campus. For more information, visit LeconteMedicalCenter.com.

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