Editor’s Note: This is a Message to the community from Tony Benton, President and CEO of Tennova Healthcare’s East Tennessee Market and Scott Williams, Chief Executive Officer of Newport Medical Center.

We write today with hope for the future and gratitude for the resilience of our provider team at Tennova Healthcare. The pandemic has demonstrated how interconnected we all are, the impact each one of us can have and the benefit of working together for a common cause. We care deeply about our community and remain steadfast in our commitment to deliver safe, quality healthcare services.

The arc of life is always present in a hospital, but its frailty has been very clear this past year. Tens of thousands of patients received the medical care they needed—thanks to our physicians, nurses, pharmacists, respiratory therapists, lab techs, housekeepers, food service workers and many others who have worked tirelessly to maintain a safe environment. Our family of caregivers put aside their personal fears and concerns and came to help every single day, with bravery and courage.

We helped more than 110,000 people who visited our emergency rooms and more than 18,000 who were admitted to our hospitals last year. Women delivered their newborns, medical emergencies were treated, surgeries were performed, and a myriad of other medical concerns were addressed.

With pride and relief, we cheered thousands of patients who returned to their homes after beating COVID-19. But there have been times of sadness too, as our caregivers helped patients transition at the end of life and comforted the loved ones who grieve for their loss.

Helping people get well and live healthier is rewarding work, and we are grateful for the trust every patient places in us. And we feel the support of the community as you’ve extended your thanks and encouragement through prayers, signs and much appreciated support.

We value our relationship with communities across East Tennessee. The more than $6.5 million in taxes we paid last year support critical infrastructure, such as first responders, schools and roads. Wages and benefits for our provider team generate buying power for local goods and services, and help drive the local economy. And we deliver care for our most vulnerable residents, last year providing more than $205.5 million of charity and uncompensated care.

Hope is on the horizon as COVID-19 vaccinations are underway and we look forward to a time when we can all gather. Until then, keep up the safe practices: wear a mask or face covering, maintain social distancing and regularly wash your hands. By following these simple acts we can do extraordinary things.

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