Health Briefs:

Barker joins BMH outpatient rehabilitation staff
Licensed speech-language pathologist Tracie Barker has joined the pediatric rehabilitation staff at the Blount Memorial Outpatient Rehabilitation Center at Springbrook.

Barker will work with infants and toddlers who have feeding difficulties including aspiration, failure to thrive, weaning from feeding tubes, reflux issues and sensory dysfunction. She also has many years of experience with conditions including
apraxia, dyslexia, speech and language development delays, and auditory processing disorders.

Barker graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in communication disorders from Western Oregon State University in Monmouth. She earned a certificate of clinical competence from the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association.

She is certified in the early-language development program Hanen, and she has extensive training and experience with the Beckman oral motor approach. She also applies the Linda Mood-Bell principles for children with auditory processing and phonemic awareness difficulties

Barker most recently worked at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital in Tampa, Fla.

Wilkes named human resources director
Chris Wilkes has been named Blount Memorial Hospital’s human resources director. Wilkes is a five-year employee of the hospital.

In his new position, Wilkes will be responsible for the development, implementation and administration of the hospital’s human resource program including employment, recruitment, payroll, compensation, benefits, employee relations, worker’s compensation, training and employee-related events. He will ensure effective planning, coordination and utilization of personnel and compliance with laws and regulations. He also will assist senior management in translating hospital-wide strategy into human resource strategy, and he will facilitate organizational change consistent with hospital strategies.

Wilkes most recently worked as the hospital’s training and development manager, where he was responsible for the design, programming and maintenance of the in-house learning management system; the management and design of customer service measurement and training programs, and ensuring that the hospital meets human resources and education standards to maintain accreditation by the Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.

While working as the training and development manager, Wilkes developed a hospital-wide e-learning and learning management system, as well as a comprehensive employee orientation process, video and notebook. He also chaired many hospital-wide teams, including a customer service committee that implemented a new education program.

Wilkes earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from East Tennessee State University in Johnson City. He graduated with a master’s degree in human resource development from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

He is a senior professional in human resources with the Society for Human Resources.

Bright named occupational health nurse manager
Lisa Bright, a registered nurse with Blount Memorial Occupational Health, has been promoted to nurse manager for the on-site nursing program. In her new position, she will be responsible for assisting in the installation and operation of on-site nursing clinics for client companies while supervising nursing staff providing patient care.

Bright is a three-year hospital employee, most recently serving as a nurse supervisor in a client company’s on-site nurse
clinic where she implemented a medical surveillance program that covered more than 700 company employees.

She received an associate degree in nursing from Roane State Community College, and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where she graduated summa cum laude. She is a 2007 recipient of the Regional Cooperative for Professional Nurses’ Clinical Excellence Award.

Pierce honored as recognized young dietitian

Blount Memorial Hospital registered dietitian Heather Pierce has been given the Recognized Young Dietitian Award by the Knoxville District Dietetic Association. The award is given annually to a registered dietitian that is 35 years of age or younger, meets industry criteria and has been a member of the American Dietetic Association for a minimum of five years.

A two-year board member for the KDDA participating with the public initiatives and Ask-A-Dietitian column sub-committees, Pierce also has been chosen by her professional colleagues to serve as the organization’s chair-elect for the Council on Professional Issues.

Pierce is a six-year employee of Blount Memorial, working with patients of the Blount Memorial Cancer Center and Diabetes Management Center. She holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in nutrition from East Tennessee State University in Johnson City.

East Tennessee Medical Group still "Making Waves"

East Tennessee Medical Group’s community outreach program, "Making Waves" is still creating "big swells" for Blount County philanthropies. In the past year, 135 ETMG employees have contributed more than 1,000 hours and raised more than $11,100 for the community.

Through the "Making Waves" program, ETMG encourages employee participation by allowing them to earn points that can be used for paid time off. This benefits the employees, but most importantly, the community. ETMG has supported Relay for Life, The Empty Pantry Fund, Susan G. Komen Race for The Cure, MEDIC blood drives, walks for Alzheimer’s, American Heart Association, Arthritis Foundation and March of Dimes.

ETMG’s employees also volunteer at local nursing homes, and have partnered with Alcoa Middle School in the ‘Adopt a School’ program. Currently, through Friday Dress Down Days, ETMG raised more than $8,000 to support many causes including: Blue Jeans for Babies, A Secret Safe Place for Newborns, and the Maryville City School Foundation.

East Tennessee Medical Group is Blount County’s most comprehensive physicians’ organization, with more than 45 physicians and allied health professionals, supported by state-of-the-art technology and staff, dedicated to a family’s health. For more information, call 865-984-ETMG or visit our website at

Powell is BMH’s May employee of the month
Crystal Powell is Blount Memorial Hospital’s May employee of the month.

A two-year employee of the hospital, Powell works as a case manager for Blount Memorial Home Services and says she
enjoys the relationships she builds with her patients and their families. Her patients appreciate her compassion and dedication, too. One patient says, "I’ll never forget the warm feeling I got when I saw you at my father’s funeral. Your being there let me know how much my dad meant to you."

Her supervisor says, "Crystal is a valued member of our home health team. She exhibits excellent nursing skills, and she has exhibited leadership in developing the role of the champion nurse for telemonitoring."

Powell says her patients are the best part of her job, and that she enjoys "meeting people in their environment and trying to make them not feel uncomfortable with a stranger in their home in times of illness."

Outside the workplace, Powell enjoys scrapbooking and being a school volunteer, and says her proudest accomplishment is her continued relationship with God.

Powell received a diploma in nursing from Sylacauga Hospital School of Nursing in Alabama.

Telemonitoring services expands to private payers
In-home electronic monitoring offered by Blount Memorial Home Services now is available to private paying patients interested in connecting themselves with health care providers through an easy-to-use, table top device. Previously the service, which now includes more than 100 active monitors in the community, was only available to qualifying Home Services patients.

The HomMed health monitoring system operates from a home-based unit that is placed in a patient’s home or room that collects important data including, but not limited to, weight, blood pressure, heart rate and temperature.

It’s the size of an alarm clock radio and can easily be stored on a bedside table. Each day, at a designated time, the home-based unit sends a signal to remind patients to collect vital sign information, which is a voice-guided, three-minute process.
Collected data, which includes the most-recent vital signs, is then sent to a central station located inside the hospital’s Home Services building.

Collecting and reviewing patient data daily helps care providers react quickly to actual or potential problems.

Nurses can be sent to a patient’s home based on clinical needs shown through transmitted data, and by responding in the earliest, most-treatable stages, physicians often can help patients avoid costly return hospital admissions and emergency department visits. While the system collects information between physician visits, it’s not intended to eliminate the need for doctor’s appointments or home care visits.

Home Services staff members say the system is especially helpful to seniors, people with limited mobility and anyone with a chronic condition such as congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, hypertension, diabetes and asthma.

For more information about in-home electronic monitoring, call Blount Memorial Home Services at 865-981-2160.

Two locations for caregiver support
The Caregiver Support Group at Blount Memorial Hospital meets at two different locations each month. The group meets every Wednesday from 7 to 8 p.m. on the hospital’s Three-East floor. The group also meets from 10 to 11 a.m. every first and third Tuesday at the Everett Senior Center at 702 Burchfield St. in Maryville.

The Caregiver Support Group is a free service for any adult who is caring for another adult. There are no membership requirements.

For more information, call Blount Memorial Senior Services at 865-977-5744.

BMH marketing team nets professional awards
Blount Memorial Hospital’s marketing and public relations department was awarded five first-place awards, three second-place awards and three third-place awards at the annual Volunteer chapter of the Public Relations Society of America’s "V" Awards.

Top-level "Awards of Excellence" were received for the hospital’s community relations during the unveiling of the Cancer Center Legacy Quilt, the Good Health newspaper insert and the Profiles in Pink event. Blount Memorial public relations manager Jennie Bounds received a writing award for her feature story "Profiles in Pink." Bounds also received top honors for media relations during the Healthy Returns for Education Tennis Challenge.

Second place "Awards of Quality" went to the hospital’s 60th anniversary calendar, the marketing department’s crisis response kits and the Healthy Returns for Education Tennis Challenge event. Third place "Awards of Merit" were earned for the weekly Women’s Health newspaper column, the Healthy Returns for Education Tennis Challenge media kit and Celebrate Spring: A Mountain Retreat for Women with Cancer.

The PRSA awards follow the April 19 presentation of the Tennessee Society for Healthcare Marketing and Public Relations annual "Prism" awards in Nashville. Blount Memorial earned six first-place "Prisms" for the employee recruitment
billboards, "The Shortest Distance" print paid advertising series and Celebrate Spring: A Mountain Retreat for Women with Cancer. The Healthy Returns for Education Tennis Challenge netted two awards, one for the event’s media relations and another for the actual event.

Second-place "Citations" were awarded for the hospital’s holiday exterior photo, the employee newsletter, Checkmate, and "The Shortest Distance" advertising campaign.

Blount Memorial offers cancer patient groups
The Blount Memorial Cancer Center offers free groups for cancer patients, cancer survivors, and family members and friends of cancer patients and survivors.

On Tuesdays at 10 a.m., a group for cancer patients and survivors meets in the Blount Memorial Cancer Center Conference Room One on the second floor.

Before attending, cancer patients and survivors are encouraged call 865-980-5025 to schedule an orientation appointment.

Meeting simultaneously in an adjacent room, also at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays, the family members and friends of cancer patients and survivors meet in the center’s Conference Room Two, also on the second floor.

For more information or to schedule an orientation appointment, call health education and social services coordinator Debbie Roberts at 865-980-5025.

Two locations for caregiver support
The Caregiver Support Group at Blount Memorial Hospital meets at two different locations each month. The group meets every Wednesday from 7-8 p.m. on the hospital’s 3-east floor. The group also meets from 10-11 a.m. every first and third Tuesday at the Everett Senior Center at 702 Burchfield St. in Maryville.

The Caregiver Support Group is a free service for any adult who is caring for another adult. There are no membership requirements.

For more information, call Blount Memorial Senior Services at 865-977-5744.

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