I am very pleased to announce that Dollywood, the world-renowned Smoky Mountain entertainment park that provides family entertainment, fun-filled rides and much more, has named Covenant Health as its Official Health System Partner. This partnership is built on our organizations’ shared commitments to excellence, outstanding guest services and experiences, and improving the quality of life in our region.
At our announcement event last month, Craig Ross, President of The Dollywood Company, said, “While we may operate in two very different industries, it is striking how closely our values align. For both Dollywood and Covenant Health, taking care of people is the number one priority.” I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Ross – Dollywood’s approach to their guests’ experience closely mirrors elements of Covenant Health’s Pledge of Excellence: our patients always come first, and excellence in everything we do.
The partnership represents a new chapter in a longstanding relationship. Dolly Parton provided personal and financial support for the construction of LeConte Medical Center, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, and she has always been a friend to our Sevierville hospital and to Covenant Health. The Dolly Parton Birthing Unit at LeConte Medical Center is named in her honor.
As part of our multi-year agreement, Covenant Health will work with Dollywood on a number of health-related initiatives. We are sponsoring Dollywood’s safety team, medic carts and first-aid stations, and we’re placing hand sanitizing stations and “health tips” signage throughout the park. One of our future efforts will be partnering with Dollywood to improve the health of their employees.
We’re also planning enhancements for the park’s baby care facilities and nursing centers, and we’re providing new amenities for the well-known Calming Room. The Calming Room is for anyone who needs a quiet place away from park activities, and was the first of its kind in the theme park industry. As part of our partnership, the room is being updated with a special book for children with sensory sensitivities, an interactive “play panel,” and comfort items for families who use the space.
Dollywood is known for special events and celebrations, and Covenant Health will serve as the presenting sponsor of the new Flower & Food Festival this spring. We’ll be a sponsor of the popular Great Pumpkin LumiNights in the fall and a co-presenting sponsor of Dollywood’s Light the Way 5k. We are also the presenting sponsor of several of Dollywood’s guest services, including the Centralized Measuring area for children’s height and the Ride Accessibility Center.
Our partnership also extends to Dollywood’s Splash Country, with many of these initiatives taking place at the water park.
Covenant Health and Dollywood are committed to our local region and have served our communities for many years. Dollywood’s properties currently entertain more than 3 million guests each year, while Covenant Health provides care for 2 million patients annually at our locations throughout Tennessee. Covenant Health is the Knoxville area’s largest employer, and Dollywood is the largest employer in Sevier County. Both entities are trusted, significant economic drivers for our communities, committed to improving the overall quality of life in our region through our respective programs and services.
I congratulate Dollywood on the park’s 35th anniversary, and I’m looking forward to Covenant Health’s sponsorship of many activities that will enhance guests’ experiences beginning this season. You can learn more about Dollywood’s 2020 season by visiting www.dollywood.com or calling 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.