Six of Covenant Health’s member hospitals have been selected as recipients of Small and Rural Hospital Readiness Grants, announced by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee on May 19. The hospitals are part of a statewide distribution of $10 million to support smaller hospitals that are facing financial strain as a result of the ongoing response to COVID-19.
“We are grateful to Governor Lee and our elected state representatives for allocating these funds from the state’s COVID-19 response appropriation,” said Jim VanderSteeg, Covenant Health president and CEO. “The distribution of the grants is an affirmation of the important role that rural hospitals play in providing medical care for communities throughout Tennessee.
“With a statewide temporary closure of many hospital services during March and April, Covenant Health experienced reduced volumes and the accompanying financial challenges across our health system,” VanderSteeg noted. “The grant funds will be very helpful in supporting operations at our rural hospitals.”
“Among Covenant Health’s nine acute care hospitals, three of them – Fort Sanders Regional, Parkwest and Methodist Medical Centers – are in Knoxville and Oak Ridge. The other six serve smaller communities in our surrounding region and were eligible to apply for the readiness grants,” explained Mike Belbeck, Covenant Health executive vice president of operations.
Covenant Health hospitals receiving Small and Rural Hospital Readiness Grants include:
- Claiborne Medical Center, Tazewell
- Cumberland Medical Center, Crossville
- Fort Loudoun Medical Center, Lenoir City
- LeConte Medical Center, Sevierville
- Morristown-Hamblen Healthcare System, Morristown
- Roane Medical Center, Harriman
Each hospital received a grant of $136,545, which will be used for operational support of hospital services.
“Our member hospitals, outpatient services and physician offices are essential to providing local access to healthcare and improving the quality of life throughout our region,” Belbeck said “As we reopen medical services, our patients can feel confident in seeking immediate emergency treatment and other medical services when care is needed. During this unprecedented time, Covenant Health remains committed to providing safe, excellent care for our patients and communities.”
About Covenant Health
Covenant Health is a community-owned health system providing comprehensive services in Tennessee for approximately 2 million patients annually. The health system includes 10 hospitals; outpatient services and clinics; specialized behavioral, oncology, and rehabilitation services; home care, physician practices and community programs. With more than 10,000 employees, affiliated physicians and volunteers, Covenant Health is the Knoxville area’s largest employer and has been named five times by Forbes as a Best Employer. Learn more at www.covenanthealth.com.