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February 2016

Scott Hamilton friend Wylie skates for cancer

By | Cancer, Fundraiser, Provision CARES, research, Scott Hamilton, Tennessee, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

This is an edited version of an article originally published in the Halls Shopper.

Paul Wylie has known Scott Hamilton since he was 10-years-old, and while the enduring friendship may not be surprising, Wylie’s a little amazed the two are still strapping on skates to perform together.

“We have longevity—I don’t think I would have thought of that as a child,” says Wylie. “It is a lifelong sport now.”

Wylie will join Hamilton and an impressive list of figure skating champions at 5 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 20, at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum for “Scott Hamilton and Friends on Ice.” The event will raise money for the Provision CARES and Scott Hamilton CARES Foundations, which fund cancer research and supports cancer patients and their families. The event also will include noted skaters Katia Gordeeva, pairs gold medalist with late husband Sergei Grinkov in the 1988 and 1994 Olympics; 2014 Olympic medalist Jeremy Abbott; world champion figure skaters Yuka Sato and Steven Cousins; U.S. national figure skating champions Alissa Czisny, Ryan Bradley, Michael Weiss; ice dancing champions Kimberly Navarro and Brent Bommentre; 1990s British National Champion Steven Cousins and ice dancing siblings Sinead Kerr and John Kerr.

The skaters will be performing to the live music of Michael W. Smith, acclaimed singer, songwriter and musician who has sold more than 15 million albums, achieved 28 No. 1 songs. Smith has earned three GRAMMY® Awards, one American Music Award, and more than 40 Dove Awards. He was recently honored, with Amy Grant, by ASCAP as “a cornerstone of Christian music” and in 2014 received recognition as “Philanthropist of the Year” by the Nashville Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

This is Smith’s first appearance at the Knoxville event but the for Wylie. Both his father and mother are cancer survivors, and he watched Hamilton go through his own bout with testicular cancer and subsequent brain tumors. He has toured the Provision Center for Proton Therapy and says he considers himself an advocate for the cancer treatment.

“I’ve been doing benefits for cancer research since I was a teenager,” he says. “Cancer is absolutely something I had close by.”

Although he has never had cancer himself, within the past year, Wylie experienced his own brush with a life-threatening illness. One morning during a workout with friends, he collapsed, and his heart stopped beating. Two men took turns doing CPR until first responders and rushed him to the hospital. After two days in an induced coma, Wylie woke up and learned he had been the victim of a cardiac arrest. After a battery of tests in which doctors could not determine the cause, he received an ICD—which functions both as a defibrillator and pacemaker—and set on the road to recovery.

He kept skating and says the experience gave him a new appreciation for life.

“I think when you have experienced closeness to death, it tends to put things in perspective, and you realize how fragile lives are,” he says.

After decades on the ice, Wylie says he still loves to perform, something that’s kept him doing shows like Scott Hamilton and Friends On Ice far past he retirement as, first, an amateur and then professional figure skater. He burst onto the world scene as a relative unknown at the 1992 Olympic Games, reaping a silver medal and launching a highly successful professional career. He also toured with Stars on Ice and has served as a television commentator.

“For me, the music and performing have really always been front and center,” he says. “That’s where I derive the pleasure of skating. The way the edge feels against, it’s a lovely feeling, a very free feeling.”

And, for the record, he’s still landing those double jumps.

The nice thing about events like “Scott Hamilton and Friends,” Wylie says, is it give skaters a chance to truly enjoy themselves and put on a show—with the unique aspect of performing to live music.

“There will be great skating, great music and it’s a great cause,” he says. “We’re there to entertain the audience. There’s just something about it, where the artists and the athletes work together to create something entertaining. It’s going to be a great show.”



Provision offers more than proton therapy

By | Dowell Springs, East Tennessee, Exercise & Nutrition, Patient Experience, surgery, Uncategorized | No Comments

Neither Ryan Unger nor Chris Bowlin intended to become physicians, but life has a way of changing plans.

Unger, who grew up in South Knoxville, started out selling college meal packages and then lab supplies before deciding he wanted to challenge himself with medical school. He is now a family practice physician.

Bowlin, who spent much of his childhood in West Knoxville, intended to follow his father on an engineering career path then switched to pre-med, ultimately pursuing podiatry thanks to the influence of a family friend.

Both came back home to launch their practices, found each other and have recently opened Faculty Physicians, a new medical office affiliated with Healthstar Physicians, on the Provision campus.

“What both of us offer is a good approach to medicine and a good understanding of patients,” says Unger. “Chris and I both agreed, we want to build an old-fashioned medical practice here in Knoxville. We want this to be our first practice and our last practice.”

Bowlin offers comprehensive foot and ankle care and specializes in surgery that can range from orthopedics to reconstruction for adult and pediatric patients. He also treats any other issues associated with foot health. Unger practices family medicine for patients of all ages. Both are certified wound care specialists.

The doctors say their practices complement each other, as foot and ankle problems are often symptomatic of chronic diseases that require the management of a primary care physician and vice versa. Their styles of practice are compatible as well, as they share the common goal of providing patient-centric, innovative, lifestyle-oriented health care.

“We both want to be able to take time talking with and listening to our patients.” Bowlin says. “In addition to treating patients’ immediate medical needs, we want to teach them to be good stewards of their health.”

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Provision facilities team keeps lots cleared, lights on, patients seen

By | Cancer, Culture of Care, Knoxville, Patient Experience, Proton Therapy, Uncategorized | No Comments

The following story is a republication of a profile in most recent edition of the Proton Post, Provision’s quarterly newsletter.

Rowdy Helton and Chris Hatcher never know what the day will bring—or the night for that matter.

When you’re the building maintenance supervisor and the property manager for a four-building complex that includes a particle accelerator, complex medical equipment, physicians’ offices, labs, offices and lots of patients, you’re on everybody’s speed-dial a court a serious to-do list.

“We are on call 24/7, seven days a week,” Helton says. “I’ve left Dollywood to come here to answer an alarm. You can’t do this job and leave it here.”

Between the two, Helton and Hatcher are responsible for complete building and property maintenance, and Provision workers and patients alike are accustomed to their presence—climbing ladders to peer above ceiling tiles, moving people to and from offices, fixing broken thermostats, re-keying doors and, well, just fill in the blank, they say.

“We come in rain, shine, sleet or snow,” Helton says. “We’ve changed flat tires and jumped cars.”

“We try to be the ‘Hey you!’ guys,” Hatcher says. “No matter what it is, if it’s something we can do we do it.”

Both were among the early employees of Provision—back when the proton therapy center was still a gleam in Terry Douglass’s eye and the site an empty hillside. Helton came in 2009 and Hatcher two years later as the residential construction business where they had made their livelihoods suffered from the recession.

“I went from mud and dirt to healthcare,” Helton says.

At first, working at Provision involved a lot of mud and dirt too, and both men saw their jobs evolve as the Provision Center for Proton Therapy rose up out of the ground and begin serving patients.

“When I first started I mowed grass,” Hatcher says. These days he monitors the building’s systems, keeping tabs on security, fire prevention and heating and cooling equipment; responding to alarms and making adjustments, either remotely or in-person.

The two have responded to countless fire alarms, most of them false—except for the one that wasn’t. Last spring, an emergency project kept them on campus more than 40 hours straight.

In spite of the demands, you could hardly find two employees more enthusiastic about their jobs.

“I never dread getting up and going to work,” Hatcher says.

“To be involved with it is a blessing,” Helton adds. “I love the people, I love the employees.”

“I’m just glad every morning…” Hatcher says, “to be a part of this,” Helton finishes his sentence.