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Dandridge, Tennessee

September 3, 2012 www.jeffersoncountypost.com



Staff Photo / Sunrise Myrtle Beach, South Carolina - "Saying Goodbye To Summer"

Tennova, which operates Jefferson Memorial Hospital, has reached an agreement with CIGNA Insurance. In information released earlier this Summer, it was announced that Tennova operated hospitals would not accept CIGNA health insurance after August 31, 2012. Tennova representatives stated that they were operating on an extension of a contract with CIGNA and were in the process of negotiating an agreement with the company. CIGNA is one of two insurance providers that are listed on the State of Tennessee plan. Jefferson County and Jefferson County Department of Education are both subscribers to the State Health Care Group Plan and the majority of Jefferson County employees on that plan were using CIGNA as their provider. The Jefferson County Department of Education was notified last week that an agreement had been reached and that contracts were due to be signed before the extension lapsed. In a press release from Tennova on August 31, 2012, it was confirmed that a contract has been signed with CIGNA and that the insurance will be accepted at Jefferson Memorial Hospital, as well as the five other Tennova Hospitals in the area. According to information from Tennova, the agreement is a five year contract, which will allow for continuity of care in the local hospital and with physicians associated with Tennova. Roughly 79% of the employees of the Jefferson County School System chose CIGNA as their insurance carrier. Any break in acceptance of CIGNA would have had a significant impact on many of the residents of Jefferson County. Tennova has been in negotiations with CIGNA since the ending of their previous agreement and, due to contract extensions, there was no break in acceptance. Tennova is marking one year of operation at Jefferson Memorial Hospital. They also operate Physicians Regional Medical Center, North Knoxville Medical Center, Turkey Creek Medical Center, LaFollette Medical Center and Newport Medical Center.

In a release from Tennova Healthcare: KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE (Aug. 31, 2012) Tennova Healthcare is pleased to announce it has renewed its agreement with Cigna, continuing full “in-network” access for Cigna customers to Tennova’s comprehensive health care services.

The five-year agreement provides Cigna’s approximately 120,000 East Tennessee customers with continued in-network coverage to Tennova’s six hospitals, 25 ancillary centers and 36 employed medical groups representing more than 1,000 physicians. Tennova’s six hospitals include: Physicians Regional Medical Center, North Knoxville Medical Center, Turkey Creek Medical Center, Jefferson Memorial Hospital, LaFollette Medical Center and Newport Medical Center.

“We consider Cigna to be a valued health care partner and have been honored to be the health care provider of choice for their customers throughout the years,” said Michael W. Garfield, Market CEO of Tennova Healthcare. “This agreement is a testament to Tennova’s and Cigna’s long-term commitment to serve the health care needs of East Tennesseans with high-quality services.”

“We’re pleased to have reached an agreement with Tennova Healthcare, which will benefit our customers in East Tennessee,” said Richard S. Novack, president and general manager for Cigna’s Mid-South region.  For more information on Tennova Healthcare, please visit us at Tennova.com or call our Find a Physician Line at 1855-836-6682.

Happy Labor Day

Officially the Un-official End of Summer


Jefferson County residents and the Nation are celebrating Labor Day. The holiday was voted into legislation in 1894, though it had been celebrated in independent States for 12 years prior. Labor Day offers the Nation the opportunity to acknowledge the contribution of working citizens to the economy and prosperity of the Country. It has also become the unofficial end to Summer. Celebrated on the first Monday in September, Labor Day is, for the Nation, the last official federal holiday before the beginning of Fall. Because it is a Federal Holiday, all governmental business offices are closed, as well as banks and the Post Office. Though Labor Day weekend is a good economic time for retailers and many run deep discount sales, many other companies close for the holiday. The extended weekend allows for end of season trips, picnics and, locally, a few days on the lake. The summer of 2012 brought record breaking heat and record breaking disease, in the form of West Nile Virus. The Olympics offered late season entertainment and gave the Nation a common reason to cheer. Locally, Jefferson County elected and re elected officials, completed a new school, passed a budget and survived a drought that drained most of the Nation. The Summer of 2012 will not make its official exit until September 22, however, many will begin the Summer shutdown this week. Like many water communities, the end of the Summer season means the docking of boats, closing of pools and the lowering of the lake. The roar of the boats will be replaced by the roar of the crowds as local interest shifts from the lake to the football and soccer field. The local, State and National legislative break will soon be over and the work will begin, again, to bolster the economy and provide jobs that are needed to secure the future of the citizens of the County, Stated and Country. Labor Day 2012 is a time for the Nation, State and County to show appreciation for the commitment of the people to the function of their communities through employment that drives the economy and to reaffirm that the backbone of prosperity is a working citizenship.


Grey Wolf Taken Off Endangered Species List

Removing State Protection Draws Concern
By Jake Depew, Jefferson County Post Staff Writer

The grey wolf population that is centered in Wyoming has grown large enough to be taken off of the endangered species list. This news comes as a major success for wildlife organizations nation-wide, giving indication that large scale repopulation of carnivores is a goal that can be reached. Populations of grey wolves all along the northern Rocky Mountains are also reaping the benefits of the repopulation. The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to remove the grey wolf from the endangered species list, and therefore removing state protection of the grey wolf on September 30, 2012, in Wyoming has not avoided its share of criticism. Jenny Harbine, the acting attorney for the environmental group Earthjustice, stated that although the hunting of wolves in normal circumstances is regulated, that Wyoming law dictates that there is no restriction on the killing of wolves in situations that threaten livestock. Harbine went on to claim that this exception also would include circumstances in which the wolves were baited into confrontation, and that removing state protection for the grey wolf could easily, and quickly, see the fall of the species to the brink of extinction once again. In addition, there are no limitations in place in areas in which the grey wolf is considered to be predatory. U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials maintain that the hunting of the wolves will be continued regardless, as the population count of the wolves will be monitored, and that any adjustments to the hunting permission will be taken into account as they become necessary.


Military Aids in Aftermath of Isaac


BELLE CHASSE, La. (Sept. 1, 2012) Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Jonathan Akers, left, Staff Sgt. Gary Cheek and Lt. Mark Crosby assist a woman out of a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter after he was evacuated to Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class John P. Curtis/Released)

Senator Faulk congratulates Maury Middle School for being a “Reward School”


State Senator Mike Faulk (R-Church Hill) today congratulated Maury Middle School in Jefferson County for being named by the Tennessee Department of Education as a “Reward School.”  The status is based on the percentage of students that have proficient or advanced performance and the top five percent of schools based on student achievement growth progress. Only 40 Tennessee schools received the designation. 

“This designation reveals all the hard work being done at Maury Middle School,” said Senator Faulk.  “I congratulate the students, teachers, parents and administrators for this significant accomplishment.  The real “reward” is the education success that will follow each of these students for years to come as a result of the work being done at this school.”

The Reward School status was put into place under a new Tennessee law that was passed in conjunction with the state’s waiver from certain provisions of the “No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act.” Under the new law, Reward Schools will serve as strategic partners with the Department of Education to raise student achievement levels throughout the state by analyzing and sharing their best teaching practices. 

“I hope this school and others in our area will continue to strive for education excellence,” Faulk concluded.  “I look forward to seeing many more Reward Schools in this county in the future.” 

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