As the year draws to a close, I want to share some of our recent activities at Covenant Health and note some events on the horizon in 2020.
Last month we celebrated a special event at Covenant Health: our annual President’s Excellence Awards. These awards recognize outstanding individual employees and team projects that demonstrate Covenant Health’s Pledge of Excellence: putting patients first, excellence in everything we do, and ensuring that Covenant Health is the first and best choice in our communities.
More than 300 employees, administrators, physicians, board members and other guests attended the gala luncheon. The presentation included awards for leadership and individual excellence, and team awards for collaborative projects in areas like patient safety, innovative staff training, telehealth technology and the establishment of a partnership with Knox Area Rescue Ministries to provide medical care at the KARM shelter.
Our highest honor, the President’s Award, was presented to a system-wide team that spent more than two years designing, planning and implementing Covenant Health’s new electronic health record. More than 150 providers and countless hospital and clinic staff participated in content development, review and testing to ensure a seamless integration across the system. This comprehensive and complex project will support and enhance our delivery of excellent patient care in the years ahead.
I’m very proud of the award recipients and their accomplishments in patient care and health system operations. The President’s Excellence Awards are a wonderful way to recognize and celebrate these achievements.
Facility Expansions and Celebrations
We also held a ribbon cutting recently for Parkwest Medical Center’s new Dogwood Tower, which opened this month. This $100 million expansion includes a new patient care tower, additional operating rooms, a dedicated entrance for surgical patients and a clinical observation unit for medical and surgical patients. It also brings additional job opportunities to the west Knoxville hospital. For the convenience of patients and visitors, the project expands parking and creates a more campus-like setting for Parkwest.
Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center launched its 100th anniversary celebration at a reception in early December. Built on the site of the Civil War Battle of Fort Sanders, the hospital was chartered in 1919 and opened in 1920. Fort Sanders has initiated many medical “firsts,” some of which were noted by Lt. Gov. Randy McNally in his remarks and a proclamation from the State of Tennessee. The celebration culminates next year with the completion of a $115 million expansion project for emergency and critical care services at our downtown hospital.
Our 2019 Community Report
I am also pleased to send you a link to Covenant Health’s 2019 Report to the Community. In this report, you’ll find information about our health system’s accomplishments and endeavors in 2018 and 2019 – from operational updates to educational partnerships, new initiatives and community outreach programs. I hope you enjoy the report, and as always, I appreciate the trust that our communities place in Covenant Health.
Looking Ahead to 2020
We’re already looking ahead to the 2020 Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon, which will be March 28-29. Named the top marathon in Tennessee by USA Today, this event attracts participants from around the country to Knoxville for two days of race activities, including our popular Covenant Kids Run. This year’s Covenant Health Marathon Team includes educators from Knox County Schools, who are serving as health and fitness ambassadors for both their students and the community. Whether you are a runner, walker or “encourager” who cheers on the participants, I hope you will join us for this event – you can learn more at CovenantHealth.com/marathon.
I extend my best wishes for a blessed holiday season to you and your loved ones. From all of us at Covenant Health, have a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year.