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Four Covenant Health hospitals receive Tennessee’s ‘BEST for Babies’ award

January 31, 2020

Four Covenant Health hospitals have earned 2019 “BEST for Babies” award, announced recently by Tennessee Hospital Association and the Tennessee Department of Health. The recognized hospitals include Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center and Parkwest Medical Center in Knoxville, LeConte Medical Center in Sevierville and Methodist Medical Center in Oak Ridge.

Created in 2016, the “BEST for Babies” award celebrates hospitals across the state for their efforts to reduce infant deaths and improve the health of Tennessee’s newborns.

The Covenant Health member organizations are the only Knoxville-area hospitals to receive the BEST for Babies award this year. In 2019, 6,564 babies were delivered among Covenant Health’s four award-winning hospitals.

“We are honored to receive this recognition from THA and the Tennessee Department of Health,” said Debbi Honey, RN, chief nursing officer for Covenant Health. “The award represents the dedication of our physicians, nurses and staff members who provide excellent care, security and comfort for newborns and their families.”

The BEST award stands for breastfeeding, early elective delivery reduction and safe sleep for Tennessee babies. Award-winning hospitals have successfully increased breastfeeding initiation rates, minimized early elective deliveries and promoted healthy sleep practices for babies. Eighteen hospitals in the state met rigorous criteria for the 2019 award, a substantial increase from just four hospitals in 2018 and seven in 2017.

“We want all families in our region to feel educated, safe and confident when it comes to their baby’s start in life,” Honey said. “We are proud to offer outstanding birth experiences at our hospitals and congratulate Fort Sanders Regional, Parkwest, LeConte and Methodist Medical Centers for receiving ‘BEST for Babies’ awards.”

Learn more about “BEST for Babies” at

About Covenant Health
Covenant Health is a community-owned health system providing comprehensive health services throughout Tennessee. Headquartered in Knoxville, Covenant Health includes 10 hospitals as well as outpatient services and clinics. The health system also includes specialty providers of behavioral, oncology, and rehabilitation services, along with home care, physician clinics, and community wellness programs. The area’s largest employer, Covenant Health has more than 10,000 employees, affiliated physicians and volunteers who serve two million patients annually. Covenant Health has received regional and national recognition for quality and patient satisfaction, and has been named five times to Forbes “Best Employer” lists. For more information visit

About THA
Tennessee Hospital Association (THA) is a not-for-profit membership association which serves as an advocate for hospitals, health systems and other healthcare organizations and their patients. THA provides education and information for members and informs the public about hospitals and healthcare issues at state and national levels. Learn more at

About Tennessee Department of Health
The Tennessee Department of Health offers a variety of programs and services throughout the state to fulfill its mission of protecting, promoting and improving the health and prosperity of people in Tennessee. Learn more at