Covenant Health donates land for training

Jay FitzOur Town Health, West Knox County

Roane State Community College and the Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) Knoxville recognized Covenant Health on January 27, 2023, for the largest donation in the history of both colleges.

Covenant Health will give 10 acres to the state of Tennessee for the construction of the new Knox Regional Health Science and Simulation Center. The land, located in the 9000-block of Sherrill Boulevard, is directly across from Parkwest Medical Center.

It is an investment in the future of the region’s healthcare workforce.

“This gift is both literally and figuratively the foundation of this state-of-the-art facility which is critically needed in East Tennessee,” said Dr. Chris Whaley, president of Roane State.

“Because of this tremendous donation, we will be able to increase the number of students accepted into our nationally-accredited programs, add new specialized courses and provide a one-of-a-kind educational experience that prepares students for the real world.”

Jim VanderSteeg, Covenant Health president and CEO, said, “Educating the healthcare professionals of tomorrow is a vital part of caring for our communities, so this is truly a perfect partnership for Covenant Health.”

Read Knox TN Today’s previous story here. Additional photos from the event:

Current Roane State programs to be housed in the new center will include nursing, EMS, polysomnography and respiratory therapy, with the college planning to add new programs such as cardiovascular technology, healthcare administration, public health and more. TCAT Knoxville’s health science programs will be offered under the same roof and include dental assisting, phlebotomy and surgical technology, among others.

“This partnership creates a unique synergy between classroom studies and hands-on experience for students in our region,” said Mike Belbeck, executive vice president of operations for Covenant Health. “Students will have the convenience of attending classes at the new center and participating in clinical training opportunities right across the street at Parkwest Medical Center, as well as other Covenant Health facilities.”

Roane State and TCAT Knoxville hope to break ground on the new facility soon. Preliminary estimates have the center set to open for students in 2025.

Sarah Self, director of marketing and public relations for Roane State Community College, contributed information for this report.

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