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VOL. 45 | NO. 48 | Friday, November 26, 2021

KPD Chief Thomas sets May retirement

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Eve Thomas, Knoxville’s chief of police, will retire May 1 after 30 years of service.

“I want to thank Chief Thomas for her distinguished and dedicated service to the City of Knoxville,” Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon says. “Chief Thomas made history as the City’s first female police chief and has implemented programs that will continue to benefit Knoxville for decades to come.’’

Knoxville will begin a nationwide search for Thomas’ replacement immediately. The city will also seek input from KPD officers and the public to learn more about the qualities they would like to see in a new chief. Those public input meetings are expected to take place the first full week in January at locations across the city.

Thomas joined KPD in 1993 and advanced in various leadership roles including serving as a sergeant, lieutenant, captain, commander of the Patrol Division’s East District, commander of KPD’s Internal Affairs Unit and deputy chief, before being named chief in 2018.

Under her leadership, KPD restructured recruitment efforts, deployed body-worn cameras and launched the co-responder program.

Chief Thomas has served under several administrations and expressed her gratitude to have such a long-lasting career here in Knoxville.

“I truly don’t have the words to express how thankful I am for my time at the Knoxville Police Department,” Thomas says. “It has been the honor of a lifetime to call myself a KPD officer for the better part of the last three decades.

“There hasn’t been a single day that I didn’t cherish the opportunity to come to work and serve this great community alongside all of the men and women, both past and present, who have made this department a wonderful place to work.’’

Revitalist CEO Walker named top entrepreneur

Revitalist CEO Kathryn Walker has received Microdose’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” award at Wonderland: Miami, the largest psychedelic medicine business event.

Walker founded Revitalist with one clinic in Knoxville, in early 2018. Since that time, she has raised over $8 million and listed Revitalist as a public company.

Initially Walker was a nurse anesthesiologist in the inpatient setting who identified the need for outpatient services.

Revitalist has recently increased its pipeline to 10 clinics in five states by the end of 2021 and has a significant organic and acquisition growth plan for 2022. Since opening Revitalist, she has participated in thousands of infusions working in an integrative team model of medical and mental health professionals. Kathryn is also closely involved with her community.

“I’m honored to work with the team at Revitalist with our vision of changing as many lives as we can through our mental health services,’’ Walker says. “Watching the transformative effects of psychedelic treatments has been life-changing for me, and I can’t wait to see how these treatments continue to advance thanks to events like this.”

Graham, Bridges join Covenant Health

Covenant Health announces two physicians have recently joined its team.

Board-certified cardiothoracic surgeon David Graham, M.D. is on board at East Tennessee Cardiovascular Surgery Group.

Board-certified surgeon, Matthew Bridges, M.D. has joined LeConte Surgical Associates.

Graham has 15 years of medical experience in cardiac and thoracic care. He will perform minimally invasive and traditional procedures at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center.

His clinical interests are general cardiothoracic, minimally invasive thoracic surgery, robotic assisted surgery and thoracic malignancy.

Graham graduated from Albany Medical School, and did his residency and fellowship at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

Bridges brings more than 25 years of medical experience to LeConte Surgical after practicing for many years in Harriman, Tennessee. He is board certified in general surgery.

A colonel in the U.S. Army, he attended medical school at Hahnemann University and did his residency in general surgery at the University of Tennessee Medical Center.

Oak Ridge dentist named AAOMS president

Oak Ridge’s J. David Johnson Jr., DDS, is the 2021-22 president of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.

Johnson previously served as AAOMS president-elect, vice president and District III trustee as well as AAOMS and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Foundation treasurer.

For more than 30 years, Johnson has been in private practice in Oak Ridge and Powell. He has served as president of the Southeastern and Tennessee Societies of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, associate professor at the University of Tennessee as well as a member of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Examination Committee, the OMS National Insurance Company Advisory Board and numerous association committees.

For 15 years, he was the national OMS spokesperson for the American Dental Association. In 2003, he received the AAOMS Presidential Achievement Award in OMS. Johnson graduated summa cum laude (with highest honors) from the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry and completed his OMS residency at the University of Tennessee Medical Center at Knoxville.

Johnson succeeds B.D. Tiner, DDS, M.D., FACS.

Crossville trucker wins Pilot Road Warrior prize

Knoxville’s Pilot Flying J has selected Eric Curlett of Crossville as the $10,000 grand prize Road Warrior winner, a contest recognizing professional truck drivers.

Curlett is a glass hauler for Maverick Transportation.

Each year, the Road Warrior is selected based upon story submission, including contributions to the trucking industry, safe driving history, miles driven and community involvement. This year, Pilot Flying J received thousands of nominations with incredible stories about hardworking haulers from across the country.

A Marine veteran, Curlett has an outstanding driving record and has been named Driver of the Month and Driver of the Year for the company. While he is always willing to go out of his way to help fellow professional drivers, he also gives back to his community, including participating in a yearly convoy that raises money for the Arkansas Special Olympics.

“After 20 years of faithful service in the Marine Corps, I knew the trucking industry had plenty of opportunities in any direction and found that open-deck trailers were the best fit for me,” Curlett says. “To those that are looking to get into the industry, I recommend they research everything and don’t hesitate to call companies and other drivers to get the information needed to make the decision that is right for you.”

ETSU Scholarship honors music program founder

A new scholarship named in honor of the founder of East Tennessee State University’s Bluegrass, Old-Time and Roots Music Studies program was recently endowed in the ETSU Foundation.

The Jack Tottle Scholarship Endowment will provide scholarship assistance to recruit promising students who will be enrolled in Bluegrass, Old-Time and Roots Music in ETSU’s Department of Appalachian Studies.

Tottle retired as director of the ETSU program in 2007, and in 2020, the IBMA honored him with the organization’s Distinguished Achievement Award.

Tottle’s influence on countless musicians still runs strong nearly four decades later, as the program has grown to include numerous bands at the beginning, intermediate and advanced levels, including the premier ETSU Bluegrass Pride Band.

The scholarship is endowed by Lonette Seaton, a retired teacher, philanthropist, survivor and longtime supporter of Appalachian culture through her gifts to various institutions.

Tottle, a native of Baltimore, is a multi-instrumental musician, singer, songwriter, educator and author. He founded the Lonesome River Boys in the early 1960s, and in the early 1970s joined Don Stover and the White Oak Mountain Boys. In 1976, he created the progressive bluegrass group Tasty Licks, and continues to create music and songs to this day.

ORNL’s Elliott wins Young Professional Award

Amy Elliott, a group leader for robotics and intelligent systems at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has received the 2021 ASTM International Additive Manufacturing Young Professional Award for her early career research contributions and leadership.

The annual recognition honors researchers involved in materials science and development.

At ORNL, Elliott is a scientific leader in the field of inkjet-based 3D printing of metals and ceramics, a technology designed to enhance and transform advanced manufacturing in the automotive, aerospace and power generating sectors. Her inventions have been licensed by industry and have won prestigious awards including the R&D 100 Award. She also holds several patents and licenses including a method for 3D metal printing and additive manufacturing of aluminum boron carbide metal composites.

“I am very honored to receive this recognition from ASTM,” Elliott says. “These types of early-career awards are critical for attracting and retaining young women and other underrepresented groups to science and research. I appreciate ASTM’s commitment to supporting a new generation of researchers in the early stages of their careers.”

She was named one of the top 20 women in robotics from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. Elliott was recently awarded the 2021 Tennessee Valley YWCA Tribute to Women Award in the category of science, technology and environment and was also named to the 40 Under 40 class, recognizing industry innovators.

In addition to her research career, Elliott was a cast member of the Discovery Channel’s reality TV show The Big Brain Theory, where she placed second out of 10 contestants. From there, she was recruited by the Science Channel to co-host Outrageous Acts of Science. She has also traveled the world to co-host the RoboNation TV web series.

Elliott earned her doctorate in mechanical engineering from Virginia Tech.

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