The Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) has awarded Covenant Health the Regents Award for Excellence in Philanthropy, a recognition reserved for those who go above and beyond in financial and volunteer aid.
Representatives from TBR, Roane State Community College and the Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) Knoxville recently honored Covenant Health during a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Knox Regional Health Science Education Center. Covenant Health President and CEO Jim VanderSteeg accepted the Regents Award trophy on behalf of the organization.
“Our leaders are committed to community engagement, continued education and workforce development,” VanderSteeg said. “We want to be a valued healthcare partner to the people of East Tennessee and provide effective patient care in our facilities. Excellent care leads to improved health outcomes and enhances patient satisfaction, promotes a positive reputation for our health system and fosters a sense of community and support for patients and their families.”
Earlier this year, Covenant Health donated a 10-acre parcel of land on Sherrill Boulevard to the Knox Regional Health Science Education Center project. The donation ensured the new campus could be constructed on prime West Knoxville real estate near one of the area’s busiest hospitals – Parkwest Medical Center. The land is the largest philanthropic gift in Roane State history. The location has since been named the Covenant Health Campus.
“One of my favorite roles as a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents is recognizing those individuals or organizations that support our community and technical colleges,” Regent Danni Varlan said during the award presentation. “This gift is transformative, and the partnership will support our students and community for generations.”
The service areas for Roane State and Covenant Health overlap significantly, creating opportunities for mutually beneficial collaboration throughout the region. In Oak Ridge, Covenant Health’s Methodist Medical Center has long held a scholarship fund and endowment at Roane State Foundation which supports student scholarships and other awards for those pursuing careers in healthcare. The original funds for this scholarship were raised by the hospital’s own volunteers. In total, Covenant Health affiliates have gifted over $600,000 to Roane State Foundation since 1998.
ORAU pitches in
Oak Ridge Associated Universities has donated $100,000 to Roane State Foundation in support of the new campus being constructed near Parkwest Hospital.
The 130,000-square-foot facility will be located at 9575 Sherrill Boulevard and will house health science programs offered by both Roane State and the Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) Knoxville.
“As part of ORAU’s ongoing commitment to advancing national priorities in science, health and education, we are honored to be a partner in bringing the new Knox Regional Health Science Education Center one step closer to reality,” said ORAU President Andy Page. “This center will help prepare students to be a vital part of our future healthcare workforce, further strengthening the economy of East Tennessee.”
Covenant Health, Roane State Foundation and ORAU contributed information for this article.