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Full Circle

Full Circle is a blog by Jim VanderSteeg, President and CEO of Covenant Health.  Read our CEO's thoughts about health care, leadership and other topics, as well as his updates about Covenant Health and our member organizations. Blog messages will be posted regularly, or you may subscribe to Full Circle by email - simply use the online subscription form on this web page. Thank you for visiting Full Circle!

Exclusive Partnership with Dollywood

I am very pleased to announce that Dollywood, the world-renowned Smoky Mountain entertainment park that provides family entertainment, fun-filled rides and much more, has named Covenant Health as its Official Health System Partner. This partnership is built on our organizations’ shared commitments to excellence, outstanding guest services and experiences, and improving the quality of life […]

End-of-Year Celebrations and a Look Ahead

As the year draws to a close, I want to share some of our recent activities at Covenant Health and note some events on the horizon in 2020. Celebrating Excellence Last month we celebrated a special event at Covenant Health: our annual President’s Excellence Awards. These awards recognize outstanding individual employees and team projects that […]


In this edition of Full Circle, I’d like to discuss an ongoing need in our community: the need for additional mental health services and resources. This critical situation impacts a growing number of people in our area, and it is a community challenge that requires a community solution. Peninsula, the behavioral health division of Parkwest […]

New Rule Increases Medicare Wage Index

I would like to take a moment to share some encouraging news regarding recent changes to the Medicare Wage Index, an important issue facing healthcare across the country and one that is significant to the health and viability of hospitals in our area. Simply put, the Medicare Wage Index is part of the structure by […]

Outer Space and (Earthly) Workspace

As we approach the observance of the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing on July 20, many of us have enjoyed recent news coverage of the event. We have either learned about or recalled our memories of the Apollo 11 crew, their magnificent journey and Neil Armstrong’s “one step for [a] man, one giant […]

Medicare Wage Index

Covenant Health has long advocated for changes to the Medicare Wage Index – the current flawed formula has negatively impacted hospitals in East Tennessee.

May Events and Observances

As we look at calendars for the month of May, you may agree that May is typically a very busy month. In addition to observances like Mother’s Day and Memorial Day, there are graduations and end-of-school celebrations for many students and families. In healthcare there are a number of observance weeks for specialized professionals throughout […]

Price Transparency

You may have heard or seen in recent news articles that beginning January 1, 2019, all U.S. hospitals were required to post a listing of their “standard charges” on their websites. This is a new requirement from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which regulates many aspects of healthcare operations in the U.S. […]

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