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Innovation

On the Leading Edge of Advanced Technology.

Covenant Health has been on the forefront of technological advances in medical care virtually since the first hospital that became part of the system was founded. Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center – then called Riverside-Fort Sanders Hospital – was chartered in 1919 and opened its doors in 1920. The hospital began the area’s first ambulance service shortly thereafter.

That ambulance services was the beginning of a long list of advances in a series that continues today. The Covenant Health hospitals and other facilities have been first in the area – and sometimes first in the world – to pioneer new patient care treatments and technologies:

  • Covenant Health is one of only 140 sites in the nation to offer Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), a procedure to replace heart valves in patients not strong enough for open heart surgery.
  • Fort Sanders Regional has the region’s only InSight Super Dimension lung biopsy system, using GPS technology to find abnormalities without opening the chest.
  • Fort Sanders Regional has the latest model Gamma Knife, located at Thompson Cancer Survival Center, for treating cancers and other conditions of the brain, head and neck that are not treatable by other options.
  • Thompson Cancer Survival Center was among the first to offer TomoTherapy. The Laser Center at Thompson, now a department of Fort Sanders Regional, pioneered photodynamic therapy treatment for Barrett’s esophagus.
  • Fort Sanders Regional and Methodist offer hyperbaric oxygen technology for chronic, non-healing wounds.
    Methodist is the region’s first hospital to use hypothermia for comatose survivors of cardiac arrest. Methodist is the only medical center in East Tennessee to offer left ventricular assist device support for cardio septic shock and in high-risk heart procedures.
  • Parkwest is first in the Southeast to have a fully-integrated BrainSUITE with digital lightbox technology.
  • Fort Loudoun is the region’s only hospital with a nuclear medicine/CT system to collect anatomical and biological information in a single scan.
  • Fort Sanders Regional, Methodist and Parkwest offer the next generation of daVinci Robotically-Assisted Surgery.

The health system boasts other technology firsts in cardiovascular diagnostics and imaging, pacemaker implementation, and neurosurgical interoperative monitoring, among other areas. We are the area’s first to use 3-D flat-panel bi-plane angiography for complicated neuro and vascular procedures, and we have one of the world’s first ECAT ACCEL® PET scanners. Covenant Health facilities were among the first in the country to use respiratory gating, and the region’s first to provide high-dose-rate brachytherapy.

Covenant Health’s Picture Archiving Communications System (PACS) allows physicians to access digital images electronically from any Covenant Health hospital or specialized care facility, or from their office or home computers. Covenant Health has been recognized among the nation’s “Most Wired” for nearly a decade, and was named one of America’s Best Employers by Forbes Magazine.