Wellmont Co-Workers Donate More Than $22,000 to Relief Agencies in Wake of Fires in Sevier County

Dec. 9, 2016 – Responding to the extensive needs faced by the Gatlinburg area in the wake of recent fires, Wellmont Health System co-workers are contributing more than $22,000 to relief agencies that will help the community recover.

Staff members inquired in the immediate aftermath about ways they could assist those affected by the extensive fires. Wellmont Foundation quickly provided a mechanism for staff members to donate funds, and co-workers responded steadily and generously throughout the nine-day internal campaign, which ended Friday, Dec. 9.

In addition, the trauma department at Holston Valley Medical Center spearheaded an effort to collect supplies that would be helpful to the Gatlinburg area. The in-house effort resulted in the donation of items such as water, sports drinks, diapers, toothbrushes and deodorants.

“All of us were saddened to see the devastation caused by the widespread fires in Gatlinburg and other parts of Sevier County,” said Bart Hove, Wellmont’s president and CEO. “Our thoughts and prayers are with those who lost their homes and businesses and face the daunting task of rebuilding. We hope the financial support our co-workers are providing will comfort our fellow East Tennesseeans and reinforce how much we are concerned about their well-being.”

After a thorough review, Wellmont decided to equally divide the donations between the East Tennessee Foundation: Sevier County Community Fund and the Gatlinburg Relief Fund, which was established by the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce. The community fund will support opportunities to advance and improve the quality of life of Sevier County residents, and the relief fund will directly benefit families that are impacted by the wildfires.

“Hundreds of Wellmont employees contributed to this effort initially, and I am sure that many others will contribute time and resources to give and volunteer from this point forward,” said Todd Norris, Wellmont’s senior vice president for system advancement and Wellmont Foundation’s president. “This is just the beginning of a long-term recovery effort. So many people and organizations are already joining together to help, and we simply hope our efforts will encourage others to respond in their own way.”

For more information on ways to assist, please visit www.mountaintough.org.