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Thursday, Aug 4, 2022

Ballad Health, Southern Appalachian Medical Management make $50,000 donation to Second Harvest Food Bank

A successful joint effort between Ballad Health and Southern Appalachian Medical Management has resulted in strong outcomes for local patients – as well as a $50,000 donation to Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee.

The effort began a year ago, when Ballad Health partnered with local orthopedic surgeons to improve patient care for all orthopedic patients in Ballad Health facilities. The surgeons, representing many local practices, had previously joined together as Southern Appalachian Medical Management (SAMM) to leverage their collective wisdom to streamline the care process. The collaboration between leaders from SAMM and Ballad Health now comprise the Orthopedic Executive Committee (OEC), with a unified goal to coordinate community initiatives and improve quality and value of care in the Appalachian Highlands.

By aligning the administrative capabilities of Ballad Health with the patient care expertise of the surgeons, significant progress in patient outcomes were realized. Through instituting best care objectives across the health system, both patient outcomes and financial outcomes were improved, and together, Ballad Health and SAMM were able to celebrate that success with the donation to Second Harvest Food Bank.

“This donation celebrates the outstanding impact we can all make by working together – by the value and quality of orthopedic care we’re able to provide through the OEC, and by the community service provided by Second Harvest,” said Brad Price, who, as Ballad Health’s senior vice president of market operations and service line integration and development, serves on the OEC. “Colleagues within the OEC continue to create impactful and purposeful change for families in the region, making this partnership one filled with goodwill.”

Ballad Health and SAMM donated $25,000 each to Second Harvest. Highlands Physicians, Inc., which serves as the administrative arm of SAMM, facilitated the orthopedic surgeons’ portion of the donation.

T. Lisle Whitman, MD, with Appalachian Orthopedics, and Eric Deaton, chief operating officer of Ballad Health holding a giant presentation check for $50,000

(Left-right): T. Lisle Whitman, MD, with Appalachian Orthopedics, and Eric Deaton, chief operating officer of Ballad Health

A number of local orthopedic surgeons and Ballad Health administrators sit on the OEC, enabling opportunities for orthopedic medical professionals to collaborate and bolster orthopedic care by improving quality and value through shorter lengths of stay and quicker, fuller recoveries, as well as thoughtful and prudent financial stewardship, which passes cost savings on to patients and insurance carriers.

“The partnership has been successful for all parties, saving costs and improving quality and satisfaction,” said T. Lisle Whitman, MD, with Appalachian Orthopedics. “With the success of this partnership, we are also able to give back to our communities in a way that extends beyond our hospitals. Far too many families in the Appalachian Highlands experience food insecurity. With this donation from Ballad Health and SAMM, communities are positioned to grow and succeed in the future.”

Ballad Health’s partnerships with and support of organizations closely connected to the community are rooted in growing evidence that addressing social determinants of health through enhanced clinical-community linkages can not only changes lives, but also improve health outcomes and reduce cost.

“Our responsibility to our communities extends far beyond medical and hospital care,” Price said. “Ballad Health and SAMM work to stay in touch with organizations that are also committed to helping people, such as the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee.”

Learn more about Ballad Health's orthopedic services.

About Southern Appalachian Medical Management

Southern Appalachian Medical Management is an organization of 43 local orthopedic surgeons (from Appalachian Orthopedic Associates, Ballad Health, Holston Medical Group, Watauga Orthopedics and other independent providers). These surgeons have chosen to join together specifically to provide a means of working collaboratively to improve outcomes of our patients. SAMM is excited to help model the future of healthcare in our region.