Two Tennova hospitals close their doors

Friday, January 11, 2019, Vol. 43, No. 2

Tennova Healthcare in East Tennessee has ceased operations at the Physicians Regional Medical Center in Knoxville and Lakeway Regional Hospital in Morristown.

The closures are part of a strategic reorganization, and to offset the closures, Tennova has been growing capacity at its North Knoxville Medical Center and Turkey Creek Medical Center campuses and enhancing services at its affiliated hospitals in Jefferson City, LaFollette and Newport.

A wide range of services, medical providers and advanced technology were already relocated to other Tennova facilities in advance of the hospital closures.

“We have been working very closely with our medical staff, local EMS/first responders and other area providers to ensure a smooth transition of care for our patients,” says Tony Benton, chief executive officer for Tennova Healthcare in East Tennessee. “Our teams across the region have done exceptional work caring for our patients, their families and each other while we have undergone construction, moved services and transitioned to different work sites.”

Multiple construction projects in 2018 increased capacity for services at Tennova’s hospitals in Powell and Farragut. Construction is continuing with completion projected for the summer of 2019.

North Knoxville Medical Center has renovated and reconfigured existing space to add cardiac catheterization laboratories and operating rooms to help accommodate cardiac care as well as general, orthopedic, joint replacement, and other surgeries from Physicians Regional.

Turkey Creek Medical Center has increased the number of general medical/surgical beds, created additional operating rooms, and added intensive care unit beds to accommodate increased and more complex general and cardiovascular surgical cases. The hospital is also enhancing it orthopedics program with the addition of new technology for joint replacement surgeries. Open heart surgery and neurosurgery services have been consolidated at Turkey Creek. A new cardiovascular intensive care unit is targeted to be complete in spring 2019.

Study: Cumberland Ave. project successful

The City of Knoxville’s City’s Traffic Engineering Division and the Office of Redevelopment, using police department and traffic engineering data, has released a comprehensive report on Cumberland Avenue’s traffic flow and other issues.

The goal of the Cumberland Avenue Corridor Project, completed in 2017, was to chart the course for a “more attractive, economically successful, vibrant and safe Cumberland Avenue.”

Approximately $25 million in public funds was used for the project, and the report offers evidence of its success. Here are some of the results of the study.

• In the six-month period since the project was completed, Police Department traffic crash data shows an approximate 40 percent reduction in vehicle crashes along the corridor. In addition, no pedestrian or bicycle crashes with vehicles have been reported in the same time period – a direct result of inherent conflicts having been dramatically reduced.

• As predicted, traffic volumes are down by 5 to 21 percent at different points throughout the corridor. This reflects the desired effect of Cumberland Avenue being transformed from a cut-through route to a destination. Delays in average commute times have been minimal overall. And at different peak travel times, signal system optimization has improved travel times for both eastbound and westbound commuters by 7.5 to more than 20 percent.

• The $25 million project has leveraged more than $190 million in private investment and brought more than 1,400 new residents to the half-mile corridor from 17th Street to University Commons Way.

ORNL takes on six new projects

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is collaborating with industry on six new projects, focused on advancing commercial nuclear energy technologies that offer potential improvements to current nuclear reactors and move new reactor designs closer to deployment.

Department of Energy support for these industry-led projects provides each company access to ORNL’s nuclear experts and facilities. The total funding for projects involving ORNL is approximately $9.5 million, and additional industry cost-sharing for two projects pushes the total value to approximately $12 million.

The six projects are part of the third round of funding provided through this DOE funding opportunity announcement. In total, DOE has provided nearly $100 million in 2018 to support private/public partnerships developing innovative nuclear technologies.

“We are excited to have an opportunity to help answer some of industry’s toughest questions. The diversity of work will leverage a wide range of our world-leading nuclear expertise in modeling and simulation, materials, security, fusion and fission,” says Alan Icenhour, associate laboratory director for the Nuclear Science and Engineering Directorate at ORNL. “As a national lab, we want to partner with industry as part of ensuring a promising future for nuclear energy. This funding will allow us to continue to grow those collaborations.”

Exelon Generation and ORNL will pursue improved modeling and simulation techniques of boiling water reactors, which could enhance current reactor operations and advanced reactor development.

Clayton Home Building supports Warriors

Maryville’s Clayton Home Building Group has announced its founding sponsorship of national military nonprofit, Hope For The Warriors, 2019 program, Warrior’s Compass Suite.

Clayton Home Building Group is committed to donating $300,000 to HOPE over the next three years to support Warrior’s Compass Program Suite.

Since 2015, Clayton Home Building Group has supported Hope For The Warriors and their commitment to enhance the quality of life for post-9/11 service members, their families, and families of the fallen who have sustained physical and psychological wounds in the line of duty.

Warrior’s Compass was founded as an extension of the transition services Hope For The Warriors currently offers to help veterans transition from service to the workplace.

“On behalf of Hope For The Warriors and the thousands of veterans we serve each year, a sincere thank you to Clayton Home Building Group for its three-year commitment as the founding sponsor of the Warrior’s Compass Suite of transition services,” says Robin Kelleher, Hope For The Warriors president and CEO. “Their ongoing commitment supports veterans’ transition from military to civilian life. Whether providing critical financial support to augment gaps in benefits, supporting spouse education opportunities, or offering a needed boost to a new career or business startup, Clayton’s partnership will positively impact veterans and their families for years to come.”

Quillen program receives top accreditation

East Tennessee State University’s Quillen College of Medicine’s continuing medical education program has been awarded

the highest accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education.

As the accrediting body for continuing medical education, the association says Quillen College of Medicine has demonstrated a high-quality program, defined by the strength of its organizational resources and exceptional staff, in offering learning activities that enhance health care provider knowledge, skills and performance in the context of lifelong learning.

This honor, “Accreditation with Commendation,” is awarded to CME programs that adhere to 15 primary criteria for regular accreditation, plus an additional seven for “Accreditation with Commendation.”

To receive commendation, ETSU CME collaborated with internal and external stakeholders to develop and implement educational programming and tools designed to promote improved clinical performance and health outcomes.

The CME program at the Quillen College was first accredited in 1981. This is the first year that Quillen has received “Accreditation with Commendation,” which is for a six-year term.

Free e-book access for Knox students

The Knox County Schools district’s e-library provides access to more than 4,500 free books.

They can be read on a variety of digital devices.

The MackinVIA system allows users to log in with their school ID and access books online. The service is also available as an app, which allows users to download books and read them even when they’re not connected to the internet.

Sarah Searles, a library and media services specialist with KCS, says the goal is to create new options and reading patterns for students and families.

“We would never want to pull anybody’s attention away from those great experiences that they have with print books, but we open up some new types of experiences by having the additional format,” she adds.

The MackinVIA platform works as a circulating collection, in which users have access to individual books for a specified length of time. If a certain title is already checked out, users can put their name on a waiting list, and look at a preview in the meantime.

Searles says the circulating collection gives KCS access to popular titles such as the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series and the Harry Potter series. The district has a collection of titles, while students also have access to separate collections maintained by their individual school.

The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and many titles are available as audiobooks.

HGTV Dream Home open for competition

The HGTV Dream Home giveaway is open for bids through February 18.

Based in Knoxville, HGTV sponsors the contest in which viewers can vie for the home in the Rocky Mountain resort town of Whitefish, Montana.

The grand prize package is valued at over $2.3 million – the largest giveaway in HGTV history. Eligible U.S. residents can visit for full details and official rules.

Viewers can enter twice per day at for a chance to win. The prize will be given away in 2019.

One lucky winner will receive the custom-built home and all its furnishings, plus the keys to the redesigned 2019 Honda Pilot Elite and $250,000 from Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans.

The approximately 3,650-square-foot house is situated on the edge of Glacier National Park in Montana’s renowned Flathead Valley. Designed to cater to both an active lifestyle and big doses of fireside relaxing and entertaining, HGTV Dream Home 2019 can best be described as “mountain modern.”

The house was designed by Malmquist Construction, and designed by Brian Patrick Flynn.