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VOL. 45 | NO. 19 | Friday, May 7, 2021

Haslams invest $5M in UTMC for health equity

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The University of Tennessee Medical Center has received a $5 million philanthropic investment from Natalie and Jim Haslam.

The gift, through the Natalie and Jim Haslam Fund at The East Tennessee Foundation, will provide support for existing, developing and innovative initiatives at the medical center aimed at promoting community health equity by addressing health disparities and improving access to care.

The University of Tennessee Medical Center will use the funding to support expanding access to health services through new and existing community partnerships, increased health education and screening and creating opportunities for underrepresented populations to explore health careers, says Kathy Boyd, the medical center’s senior vice president and chief development officer.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, health disparities are preventable differences in the burden of disease, injury, violence, or opportunities to achieve optimal health that are experienced by socially disadvantaged populations. Health equity may be realized when all individuals have a fair opportunity to achieve his or her full health potential.

PetWellClinic gets boost from Orangetheory

Knoxville-based PetWellClinic has signed on with an Orangetheory franchise owner to develop 25 walk-in veterinary clinics in the DC Metro area.

PetWellClinic is a walk-in veterinary clinic, providing excellent preventative, wellness, and sick care for dogs and cats on an on-demand basis. There is no need for an appointment because the company’s technology, design, and operational systems provide customers with a modern-day experience in an antiquated industry.

PetWellClinic recently began franchising after the success of its company-owned operations in Knoxville and already has 71 units in development since August 2020.

Dave Ballow and Liz Overmann will lead the development and operations across Washington DC, as well as the adjacent areas of Maryland and Northern Virginia.

Hullco bought by West Shore Home

West Shore Home, a technology-enabled home improvement company, has completed its acquisition of the Tennessee-based home remodeling company Hullco, Inc.

This acquisition is West Shore Home’s seventh since 2018. Headquartered in Pennsylvania, the company also operates offices in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas with over 20 operational locations. Hullco, Inc. recorded $20 million in sales in 2020.

West Shore Home specializes in window, door, and bath remodeling and replacement, with most projects completed in just one day. With a goal of bringing happiness to every home, the company ensures each customer receives honest, reliable and quality service.

GSCI offers new blockchain study

A new study from the Global Supply Chain Institute at the University of Tennessee’s Haslam College of Business is designed to helps companies determine whether blockchain is right for them.

Blockchain, one of the most hyped technologies of the last decade, is predicted to lead a revolutionary change in the way businesses operate. Gartner estimates it will generate $3.1 trillion in new business value by 2030, addressing the real, oft-discussed problems and opportunities of end-to-end information sharing.

GSCI conducted dozens of case studies and interviews with leaders from a broad range of industries to discover the current benefits and limitations of blockchain. The paper breaks down the terminology and structure of the technology and helps supply chain management professionals understand how blockchain can be used, how organizations are using it and how to know if it will support their organization.

The study found that the interoperability of blockchains through standards being set by organizations such as the Blockchain in Transport Alliance could be a significant benefit. Executives interviewed consistently called it a game-changer. At present, blockchain is helping solve specific organizational challenges, such as establishing the provenance of products and invoice reconciliation. While the number of applications with a definitive ROI currently is limited, early adopters feel that learning the technology and required process adaptations now will give them a market advantage later.

24 Covenant practices recognized by NCQA

Twenty-four primary care practices of Covenant Medical Group have been awarded recognition by the National Committee for Quality Assurance Patient-Centered Medical Home Program.

The recognition was developed to assess whether clinician practices are functioning as medical homes and recognize them for these efforts.

The NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home standards emphasize the use of systematic, patient-centered, coordinated care that supports access, communication and patient involvement. CMG clinics with Patient-Centered Medical Home recognitions offer patients quality care and focus on continuous improvement. The clinics are committed to putting patients first to help build better relationships between primary care physicians, staff and patients; improving quality of care and improving the patient experience.

“This recognition demonstrates our commitment to high quality patient-centered care,” says Stephanie Nichols, director of clinical services and quality initiatives for CMG. “Covenant Medical Group is very proud of our NCQA-recognized Patient Centered Medical Home clinics and we look forward to continuing to provide positive patient experiences and improved patient outcomes.”

These CMG practices have been awarded recognition by the NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home Program:

• Claiborne Primary Care (Tazewell)

• Clinton Family Physicians (Clinton)

• Convenient Care Downtown (Knoxville)

• Crossville Medical Group (Crossville)

• FamilyCare Specialists (Knoxville)

• Family Clinic of Oak Ridge (Oak Ridge)

• Fort Loudoun Primary Care (Lenoir City)

• Great Smokies Family Medicine (Sevierville)

• Hamblen Primary Care (Morristown)

• Internal Medical Associates (Loudon)

• Internal Medicine West (Knoxville)

• Kingston Family Practice (Kingston)

• Lenoir Medical Clinic (Lenoir City)

• Medical Associates of Carter (Knoxville)

• Miriam Tedder, M.D. (Harriman)

• McNeeley Family Physicians (Clinton)

• Mountain View Family Medicine (Seymour)

• Mountain View Family Medicine (Pigeon Forge)

• New Horizon Medical Associates (Knoxville)

• Oliver Springs Family Physicians (Oliver Springs)

• Prompt Family Care (Morristown)

• Roane County Family Practice (Harriman)

• Southern Medical Group (Knoxville)

• Topside Physicians (Louisville)

Highway Transport joins WTA nonprofit

Knoxville-based Highway Transport has become a Women in Trucking Association corporate member.

The Women in Trucking is a nonprofit that encourages and supports women’s employment in the transportation industry.

According to the American Trucking Association, the number of female truck drivers increased by 68% between 2010 and 2018. While more women continue to get behind the wheel, they still only make up 7% of all truck drivers.

“The Women in Trucking Association is doing important and necessary work for women in the transportation industry,” says Christy Williams, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Highway Transport. “We share the organization’s vision to increase the number of females employed and thriving in our field. We’re excited to join the Women in Trucking Association in support of this important mission, in addition to hiring women and creating more opportunities for the women already a part of the Highway Transport family.”

The Women in Trucking Association’s mission is to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments and minimize obstacles faced by women working in the industry.

Highway Transport has been in business since 1948 providing bulk transportation of specialty chemicals. The tanker fleet operates from 14 service centers in major chemical manufacturing areas across the U.S. with a fleet of 400+ tanker tractor trailers.

UT recognized for sustainable development

The Times Higher Education Impact Rankings for 2021 reports that the University of Tennessee has demonstrated strengths in several core areas.

These rankings measure universities’ engagement across research, stewardship, outreach and teaching on the 17 U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.

In the U.S., UT placed in the top five on SDG 15: Life on Land, which measures activities addressing protection, restoration, and promotion of sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems. UT ranked in the top 10 in the U.S. in addressing SDG 1: No Poverty, ending poverty in all its forms everywhere. UT also had strong performances with SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being and SDG 17: Partnership for the Goals, which examines broad engagement with the SDGs. Globally, more than 1,100 universities from 94 countries participated in the rankings.

ETSU’s medical school to up enrollment

The Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University will increase its class size for the first time in 10 years.

Beginning this summer with the matriculation of the Class of 2025, Quillen will admit 79 first-year medical students, a 10% increase over the previous class size of 72 students.

With the number of applicants to Quillen steadily increasing over recent years and sufficient resources to accommodate additional students, college leaders say the time is right to add to the class size.

This year, Quillen had a record 3,099 applicants – up more than 650 from last year’s record of 2,433.

Although COVID-19 changed many aspects of Quillen’s admissions process, such as the elimination of in-person tours during the height of the pandemic and the transition to virtual interviews, it did not deter students’ interest. This year, the admissions committee conducted a record 364 interviews.

Taylor, who has led Quillen’s admissions office since its inaugural class of 24 students matriculated in 1978, has watched the interest in and the influence of Quillen expand throughout the past four decades. The last time Quillen increased its class size was in 2011-2012, when it underwent two increases from 60 to 72 students.

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