At Parkwest Medical Center, more than 2,000 team members, including our medical
staff, keep our hospital running smoothly 365 days a year. The medical staff consists
of 575 physicians and 309 advanced practice practitioners, covering a broad range of
Timothy Wilson, MD, is the chief of staff at Parkwest Medical Center. In addition to
being commit- ted to providing excellent medical care, Dr. Wilson and his fellow
physicians care about the well-being of the Parkwest family and the community they serve.
Investing in a Healthy Community
A smaller group of physicians called the medical executive committee is responsible
for leading the entire medical staff and making recommendations for their annual donations. The committee includes Dr. Wilson, Kendra Hendon, MD; Jeffrey Roesch, MD, and Jeffery Fuqua, MD. They meet regularly, and in addition to managing the distribution of collected funds, they work together with hospital administrators to address issues and concerns facing the staff and the medical center.
Regarding their philanthropic efforts, Dr. Wilson explained, “We discuss the various causes we will support each year. WeCare is a recipient of the funds every year because it is close to our hearts.”
WeCare is an emergency fund for Covenant Health employees and patients facing times
of need. The medical staff’s annual donation to WeCare illustrates the respect and com-
passion the physicians at Parkwest have, not only for their colleagues, but also for the
patients they serve.
This year, in addition to WeCare, the funds donated by Parkwest’s medical staff have
benefited the Empty Stocking Fund, the Knoxville Dream Center and Peninsula Hospital.
The Empty Stocking Fund provides food, children’s books and small gifts to
low-income families in need in the Knoxville area during the holiday season. The Knoxville Dream Center provides resources to help individuals facing homelessness meet basic needs, including connecting this vulnerable population to healthcare, educational support and supplies, and other community services. Peninsula Hospital, a division of Parkwest, provides acute-care inpatient mental health services for people over the age of 5. A team approach including psychiatrists, nurses, counselors and discharge planners ensures individualized treatment plans and interventions for people in crisis.
Dr. Wilson noted, “When patients at Peninsula Hospital had better access to medications, we saw this reduced their readmission rates and helped the patients better manage their illness. Our donation has helped pay for some of those medications. That is a benefit to everyone involved.”
In the past five years the medical staff has donated over $60,000 to other community partners such as Interfaith Health Clinic, Second Harvest, Knoxville Medical Mission, and Knoxville Academy of Medicine Alliance’s annual “Doc Rock” fund raiser.
Culture of Compassion
Missy Sanford is the director of quality care management and patient experience at Parkwest Medical Center. In her role, she works hand-in- hand with the medical staff department and physicians. She explained that devotion to quality and a commitment to providing the best care possible are top priorities throughout the Covenant Health system.
“Quality means ensuring as an organization that we have the best processes of care and services in order for us to achieve the best outcomes,” Sanford said. “We continually look at what we do and how we do it, so that we can learn and get better.”
Sanford noted that when Parkwest was established in the 1970s, it was a physician-owned hospital. Today, decades later, the physicians’ spirit of ownership prevails, as well as their desire to stay connected to the needs of the hospital and the community.
“The medical staff has a strong, collegial culture here,” Sanford said. “The doctors here
have an outstanding ability to work effectively as a multidisciplinary group. They are
constantly looking for ways that they can help our organization, the staff and the community at large.”
Investing in Our (Extended) Families
Neil Heatherly has served as president and chief administrative officer of Parkwest since 2016. He believes the investments by the medical staff demonstrate the culture that make the hospital special. “The entire Parkwest family, including our medical staff, cares deeply about our community, beyond the diagnostic and therapeutic care we provide.”
Treated Well, Well Treated
Sanford said that Parkwest’s slogan is also a mantra: “Treated well, well treated.” “That is the vision we want to continually provide every patient we serve,” she said. “We want people to be treated well with evidence-based medicine and delivery of care, but also we want to ensure ea is well treated.”
Our Physicians … Investing in Our Team
Clinical Excellence Awards provide continuing education opportunities for Parkwest employees
In addition to local charitable organizations, the medical staff funds a special recognition program called the Clinical Excellence Awards. Annually, each department within the medical center and Peninsula Hospital recognizes one nurse as their Clinical Excellence Award winner.
Recipients are selected by their peers and are recognized for living the Covenant Health pledge by putting their patients first and showing excellence in everything they do. Thanks to the generosity of Parkwest’s medical staff, each winner is able to attend a continuing education seminar or conference free of charge.
Neil Heatherly, Parkwest’s president and chief administrative officer, says, “The recognition of
clinical excellence by our medical staff supports annually provides great dual value — both the power of recognition and the opportunity for further skill development and growth.”
Here are thoughts from two Clinical Excellence Award recipients regard value of their continuing education:
Return on Investment
Nick Bittle, RN, BSN, an orthopedic nurse at Parkwest, received the Clinical Excellence Award in 2019, allowing him to attend the Nursing Management Congress in New Orleans, Louisiana. He says he met colleagues from across the country and learned about a variety of nursing management topics. Bittle returned to his team as a more confident version of himself, with his passion reignited to become a servant leader.
Bittle says that Parkwest’s investment in continuing education opportunities for clinical staff is a gift that he is honored to receive. “It shows that the leadership at Parkwest is truly invested in creating opportunities for others to be- come the best that we can be. It shows that our physicians are invested in us, and want to see us grow and become our best as well. They raise funds to give us the opportunity to grow ourselves and to make ourselves better for the organization, and most importantly, for our patients,” Bittle says. “To be recognized by my peers, it just shows that your hard work does not go unnoticed. It
feels amazing to know my peers thought I exemplified clinical excellence.” Since receiving the Clinical Excellence Award, Bittle has been promoted to supervisor of the orthopedic unit.
A Wonderful Compliment
Stephanie Moore, RN, BS, ACM, is a nurse manager at Parkwest. She received the Clinical Excellence Award twice: first as a member of the float pool (Parkwest’s internal staffing unit) five years ago, and then in her previous role as a case manager in 2019. “It’s a great honor and it’s validation for the years of experience that I have,” Moore says. “The people I work with
every day see that I strive for excellence in everything I do and how much I care for my
Moore attended a one-day accreditation conference in middle Tennessee where she learned about tactics in dealing with patients facing addiction and legal issues. Learnings
from the conference helped Moore have a greater perspective and more empathy about
problems some patients may be facing. Moore says, “I have worked at Parkwest for more than 22
years. I remember when the physician groups decided to start the Clinical Excellence Awards. It
has gotten bigger and bigger each year. It makes me proud to work with physicians who do
this for their nurses, and that the initiative has been maintained for so many years.”
Moore says continued funding by the medical staff is a wonderful compliment. “To me, it says to
the nursing staff, ‘we see you, we hear you, and we appreciate you.’ A that is heartwarming.”