Meeting between local leaders & Knoxville hospital partners to discuss COVID-19 impact set for Wednesday



KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, four local legislative leaders are set to hold a meeting with Knoxville hospital partners on Wednesday, to discuss the impact the virus has had locally.

The meeting, titled, “COVID and the Community – Our Next Steps Together”, is to allow local legislative leaders and medical professionals to engage in a roundtable discussion.

During the meeting, medical professionals will share the most current information on the COVID-19 situation locally, the virus’s impact on area hospitals, and a call to action to the community on how to help stop the spread.


  • State Senator Dr. Richard Briggs
  • County Commission Chair Larsen Jay
  • Knoxville Vice Mayor Gwen McKenzie
  • Farragut Vice Mayor Louise Povlin
  • Dr. John Adams – Infectious Disease Physician, Covenant Health
  • Dr. Frank Beuerlein – CMO/CQO, Tennova Healthcare
  • Dr. Mark Browne – SVP & CMO, Covenant Health
  • Dr. Joe Childs – CMO, East TN Children’s Hospital
  • Dr. Keith Gray – SVP & CMO UT Medical Center
  • Dr. Mark Rasnake – Hospital Epidemiologist & Infectious Disease Physician – UT Medical Center
  • Dr. James Shamiyeh – SVP & CQO – UT Medical Center

The meeting will be held virtually on December 16 at 3:30 p.m. Anyone interested can watch the meeting on Knox County’s website (

“I’m looking forward to receiving reliable information from our frontline medical leaders on the impact of COVID on our community and what we as lawmakers can do to help mitigate the spread.”

Tennessee State Senator Dr. Richard Briggs

“My recent tour of the front lines of healthcare was eye-opening. This meeting brings together the thought leaders of our community for a “COVID-reset,” to refresh the most relevant information, clarify misinformation, and provide a forum for elected leaders to hear the facts from area healthcare professionals. As we prepare for the holidays, and the worsening surge, having a unified game plan will keep us all safer and focused on the common goal of community health.”

Knox County Commission Chairman, Larsen Jay

“This meeting is a great opportunity to engage in candid conversation with our hospital and government leaders to discuss hospital capacity, emergency plans, what we can expect this winter moving into 2021, vaccine preparedness and additional measures our communities can take to stay safe.”

City of Knoxville Vice Mayor Gwen McKenzie

“I think the time is right for us to come together as a community to readdress what we know about COVID and take a realistic look at what might be coming in the future. We are weary of this disease and the precautions it demands, but we need to be encouraging each other to keep up the good fight so we can finish strong. We must work together if we’re going to beat this thing.”

Louise Povlin, Town of Farragut Vice Mayor


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