Health, wellness are topics of Leadership Blount session
By Karen Eldridge | Leadership Blount Class of 2013
Just in time to make their New Year’s Resolutions, 35 members of Leadership Blount Class of 2013 spent a day in December learning about health and wellness in the county.
Members started the day at Blount Memorial Wellness Center at Springbrook with the invitation to participate in a free health risk assessment by hospital staff. During breakfast at the Wellness Center, they learned more about the hospital’s business health initiatives and the wellness centers from directors Denia Lash and Leslie Rutherford. Wellness Director Cheryl Land led classmates in a few yoga-inspired wake-up exercises and stress-busters.
The class then boarded a bus for Molecular Pathology in downtown Maryville. There, founder, president and CEO Dr. Roger Hubbard gave a presentation on the specialty reference laboratory that is the largest privately held lab of its kind in the United States.
Class members were taken on a guided tour of the ultra-sophisticated facility that was initially built as a bank but renovated to accommodate geneticists and Molecular Pathology’s other medical professionals whose major focus of research and testing is oncology and women’s health.
Lunch was served in Blount Memorial Hospital’s auditorium, and administrator Don Heinemann talked about the hospital’s grass-roots origins and consistent mission to provide health care to the county’s population regardless of patients’ ability to pay.
He also talked about the current challenges of health care — major ones being a growing population of unhealthy citizens and concerns for how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (better known as “Obamacare”) will change how health care is delivered in the country.
Dr. Deaver Shattuck, a hospitalist at Blount Memorial, followed Heinemann to talk about his work at the hospital and describe some of the changes he has seen in patients and patient care over the last several years.
Tours of the hospital included stops in the cardiac catheterization laboratory and a new area for lymphedema treatments.
The next stop was Clayton Homes headquarters, where class members learned about the corporation’s commitment to promote healthier lifestyles for its employees. David Jordan, controller, took groups on tours of the facility, pointing out gymnasium and exercise areas inside the headquarters and on the grounds of the expansive campus located near Pellissippi Parkway.
Clayton employee Chip Gibson gave a PowerPoint presentation detailing the company’s efforts and challenges to develop a wellness program for thousands of team members who work across the country. At the conclusion of the visit, each Leadership Blount Class of 2013 was given a copy of Clayton Homes founder Jim Clayton’s book, “First a Dream.”
Returning to the Blount Memorial Wellness Center, class members heard from two more hospital employees, Judy Clabough and Jessica Stith, on the hospital’s community health initiatives and opportunities for citizens to get involved.
A community leadership enhancement and development program, Leadership Blount is designed to identify and increase the number of community volunteers who support various organizations.
Karen Eldridge is director of communications at Maryville College.