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Thursday, May 03, 2012 - Dignitaries, Community Gather to Celebrate New Roane Medical Center


 New Hospital construction crew brings in the
Roane Medical Center time capsule.


With 290 days left until the new Roane Medical Center opens its doors, elected officials, community members, hospital staff and physicians gathered onsite for a celebration and sneak peak of the new medical center campus.

Nearly 250 people gathered to celebrate the construction progress of the new Roane Medical Center, where guests celebrated the future of healthcare in Roane County, as well as recognized the history of the hospital, its leaders, doctors and staff, and the thousands of lives touched by Roane Medical Center.

Covenant Health President and Chief Executive Officer Tony Spezia kicked off the ceremony by revealing a time capsule that will be installed in the new medical center. Spezia contributed Covenant Health’s Annual Report that highlights all of the health system’s hospitals, features the progress on Roane Medical Center and Covenant Health’s not-for-profit mission to improve the health and lives of all they serve. Other contributions into the time capsule included an example of a paper medical record, a history book of Roane Medical Center and a book given by a local student.

Spezia explained they want the community to help decide what items are symbolic of the past and present and asked guests to post suggestions on Roane Medical Center’s Facebook page. The time capsule will be sealed February 2013.

The ceremony continued with remarks from Roane County Executive Ron Woody and Harriman Mayor Chris Mason, who expressed their support of the new hospital.

“As chief executive of the many communities that make up Roane County, Ron Woody’s support of the new Roane Medical Center has been enormous,” said Spezia. “In addition, long before the first shovel of dirt was moved from this site, we received support from the City of Harriman and its Mayor, Chris Mason.”

Long-time President and Chief Administrative Officer, Jim Gann, was honored at the celebration. Gann announced his retirement earlier in the year after serving Roane Medical Center since 1994.

“For these past 18 years, Jim has led this hospital with innovative programs, kindness and a devotion to the needs of patients and their families,” said Spezia. “He is the reason Roane Medical Center is a part of Covenant Health, and we are thankful for his leadership, his vision, and his selflessness.”

Although May 2, 2012 marked Gann’s last official day as President and CAO, he will continue to support the hospital by joining Johnny Griffin as co-chairs of the Roane Medical Center One Community. One Hospital. campaign. The campaign will raise funds for additional services and facilities at the new medical center that otherwise wouldn’t be available right away. Contributions to the campaign will support patient care services such as a Cardiology Center of Excellence; chemotherapy services; a beautiful chapel featuring stained glass and spiritually-themed artwork, along with ongoing education support for the volunteer chaplains; a serenity garden; a community education and resource center for use by staff, physicians and local organizations; and a unique history display to pay tribute to the legacy of the hospital which first opened its doors in 1939.

Also recognized at the ceremony was the newly appointed President and CAO of Roane Medical Center, Gaye Jolly.

“I have been welcomed warmly by physicians and staff as I’ve worked alongside Jim Gann for the past several weeks. I am grateful for your support and guidance and look forward to serving you now and in the future,” said Jolly.

Jolly came to Parkwest Medical Center in 1991 as laboratory manager and was promoted to director of reimbursement and budgeting in 1995. She became Covenant Health’s business systems and process officer in 2001, and assumed the role of vice president of supply chain management in 2003.

Spezia concluded the ceremony by explaining Covenant Health and Roane Medical Center’s commitment to providing the best possible healthcare in Roane County.

“We hung the large banner that says ‘We can do more together’ on Roane Medical Center when it joined Covenant Health four years ago. Today we mark one of the most visible examples of how a community and East Tennessee’s largest not-for-profit health system can accomplish that promise,” said Spezia.

After the ceremony, guests were taken on guided hard-hat tours of the new medical center, where they received a first glimpse into their new hospital.

The new Roane Medical Center campus is under construction on Roane State Highway in Midtown near Pinnacle Point, a commercial shopping center located just off the Harriman/Midtown exit of Interstate 40.

A key feature of the hospital includes all private rooms. The planned hospital design will enhance staff-patient interactions within each unit. It also will provide enlarged and modern nursing units, technologically-advanced surgery suites and progressive medical imaging and cardiac care services. Expanded space for future campus development over time to meet evolving patient care needs is also built into the project design.