Formerly known as the Mercy Health Partners Foundation serving the needs of Mercy Health Partners, Trinity Health Foundation of East Tennessee was established as an independent foundation with the sale of Mercy Health Partners to the for-profit entity, Health Management Associates in 2011. Trinity’s predecessor, Mercy Health Partners Foundation, was formed in 2008 from the merger of St. Mary’s Health System and Baptist Health System of East Tennessee, two non-profit systems, whose foundations’ philanthropic activities benefited East Tennessee for more than twenty-five years.
Through the years, these foundations that preceded Trinity have raised and granted over $30 million to numerous initiatives including geriatric assessment, obesity prevention, school clinics, indigent care, nursing education, equipment and technology upgrades, and community outreach. Recipients have included both health system facilities, nonprofit organizations in the community, health care providers, students, and individuals in need. Trinity’s independent standing will allow it to become an important community catalyst to support a broader range of health-related endeavors for our region.
St. Mary’s Hospital was founded in Knoxville in 1930 by the Sisters of Mercy who inspired and directed St. Mary’s ministry and mission to continue the healing ministry of Jesus by improving the health of our community—with a special emphasis on those who are poor and underserved.
Baptist Hospital opened its doors in 1948. This fulfilled the dream of a group of dedicated doctors, community leaders, and pastors who were determined to build a new hospital in Knoxville to serve the needs of the community with a Christian dedication to healing. Founded on the teachings of Jesus Christ, The Baptist Health System of East Tennessee was a charitable, not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting, protecting, and restoring the health of the people of the East Tennessee region through the provision of high-quality, cost-effective healthcare services.
Mercy Health Partners, the combined entity of a merger between St. Mary’s and Baptist, espoused the following vision. “We uphold the core values of compassion, excellence, human dignity, justice, the sacredness of life and service. We believe our mission sets us apart and compels us to do extraordinary things. It drives the way we care for our patients and support their families. It guides our involvement in the community, and it directs the way we conduct our business.”
When Trinity Health Foundation was formed as a free-standing entity, we sought to maintain the spirit of the mission with the audience being the regional community, not just the hospital system. The Trinity mission adopted by its Board of Directors in 2012 is:
Trinity Health Foundation of East Tennessee extends the healing ministry of Jesus by improving the physical, emotional, and spiritual health of our community.
Trinity received its charter and 501(c)(3) status for operation in 2012.
History of the Silver Lamp Awards
In 2006, Baptist Health System Foundation established the Silver Lamp Awards, to promote two longstanding goals: staff excellence and quality care. These awards continued with Mercy Health Partners Foundation. Funding was provided by the generosity of individual donors, hospital departments and event proceeds. Trinity Health Foundation is resuming these awards from the funds transferred from Mercy Health Partners. Trinity’s Silver Lamp Awards seek to honor the intent of these donors’ commitment to educating healthcare professionals.
The Silver Lamp Award honors “The Lady with the Lamp,” Florence Nightingale, whose dedication for caring for wounded soldiers in the Crimean War, earned her a place in history for compassionate care. Trinity’s Silver Lamp Award shines as a symbol of the care and devotion healthcare professionals bring to their patients.
The award represents the dedication of healthcare professionals throughout the many disciplines and facets of providing healthcare in the 21st century. Those honored tonight have been chosen by their respective hospitals for impacting patient care by demonstrating excellence and commitment to the patients they serve.
Trinity Health Foundation of East Tennessee is pleased to make these awards to promote continuing education for healthcare professionals as they fulfill Trinity’s mission to improve the physical, emotional and spiritual health of our community. We extend our congratulations to all winners tonight for their outstanding achievements.
History of the Blake Scholarship Awards
The late Dr. and Mrs. Lynn Blake have funded nursing and medical technology scholarships at Carson-Newman and Lincoln Memorial Universities since 2000. Dr. Blake was a graduate from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, began his residency training in Pathology at Baptist Hospital in Memphis, and finished his training while serving in the Air Force at Andrews Air Force Base.
He practiced at Baptist Hospital for 30 years, serving as the director of laboratory services for Baptist and several outlying hospitals in East Tennessee. Early after arriving in Knoxville, Dr. Blake was the only pathologist at Baptist, but later recruited and headed up Knoxville Associated Pathologists, semi-retiring in 1998. He then served as the medical director of Medic Regional Blood Center for another 11 years. Dr. Blake passed in April of 2019, and his lovely wife, Georgia Blake, passed in July of 2020. The Blake scholarships continue to honor students pursuing degrees from Carson-Newman and Lincoln Memorial Universities.