KNOXVILLE, TN (December 8, 2020) -Construction plans are set to begin in December, weather permitting, on the Knoxville Center for Behavioral Medicine. The 64-bed center is a result of a partnership among National HealthCare Corporation (NHC), Tennova Healthcare, The University of Tennessee Medical Center, and Reliant Healthcare Corporation.

“We are proud to partner with the region’s leading healthcare providers to serve a critical need for the community,” said Steve Flatt, chief executive officer of NHC. “This partnership exemplifies the power of healthcare organizations working together to improve the quality of life for our patients.”

The center will provide a comprehensive continuum of care for adults and geriatric patients with psychiatric, emotional, and addictive disorders. Partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs will be offered with individualized treatment plans based on clinical need.

The 55,000-square-foot facility will be located at the Tennova Health Park near the corner of Middlebrook Pike and Old Weisgarber Road on a 9-acre site. The center will provide more than 100 jobs for Knox County.  It is projected to open in the second quarter of 2022.

“The Knoxville Center for Behavioral Medicine will provide compassionate, quality patient care through this collaborative partnership,” said Tony Benton, president and chief executive officer of Tennova Healthcare’s East Tennessee Market. “We are pleased to provide the same quality standards as found in each organization’s existing operations.”

“There is a critical need to provide high quality care to adults and seniors who may be experiencing psychological or emotional difficulties in our 16-county region,” said Joe Landsman, president and chief executive officer of The University of Tennessee Medical Center. “The collaborative effort between these reputable healthcare organizations will bring experienced care to the community and address the need and access issues we see on a regular basis.”

“Now more than ever, we need to provide accessible, high quality care for behavioral health patients,” said Jim Harper, president of Reliant Healthcare Corporation. “The Knoxville Center for Behavioral Medicine will offer help and hope to patients in a safe and supportive environment.”

To view a message from the center partners, click here.

For more information, visit

 About National Healthcare Corporation

NHC affiliates operate for themselves and third parties 76 skilled nursing facilities with 9,633 beds. NHC affiliates also operate 24 assisted living communities, five independent living communities, one behavioral health hospital, and 35 homecare programs. NHC’s other services include Alzheimer’s and memory care units, hospice services, pharmacy services, a rehabilitation services company, and providing management and accounting services to third party post-acute operators. For more information, visit

About Tennova Healthcare

The Tennova Healthcare network of hospitals in East Tennessee includes Jefferson Memorial Hospital, LaFollette Medical Center, Newport Medical Center, North Knoxville Medical Center and Turkey Creek Medical Center with nearly 16,000 admissions, 410,000 outpatient visits and 125,000 emergency department visits each year. Learn more at

About The University of Tennessee Medical Center

The mission of The University of Tennessee Medical Center, a Magnet® recognized hospital also certified by The Joint Commission as a Comprehensive Stroke Center and Comprehensive Cardiac Center, is to serve through healing, education and discovery. UT Medical Center is a 685-bed, not-for-profit academic medical center, with a regional network of primary care and specialty care physicians and practices as well as outpatient regional health centers and urgent care locations throughout its 21-county primary service area. The medical center, the region’s ACS-verified Level I Trauma Center and state designated regional perinatal referral center with a Level III private room NICU, is one of the largest employers in Knoxville. UT Medical Center features seven Centers of Excellence, including the Brain & Spine Institute, Cancer Institute, Emergency & Trauma Center, Heart Lung Vascular Institute, Advanced Orthopaedic Center, Primary Care Collaborative and Center for Women & Infants. Visit for more information about The University of Tennessee Medical Center.

About Reliant Healthcare Corporation

Reliant Healthcare (“RHC”) is a behavioral healthcare management firm. RHC has been in operation for 17 years partnering with strategically located hospitals and nursing home providers across the country to help design, build, and operate behavioral health hospitals. The mission of RHC is to develop and operate “state of the science” behavioral treatment facilities. RHC has developed inpatient facilities as small as 14 beds and as large as 114 beds. For more information, visit

NHC selected Walgreens to administer the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines during scheduled clinics at all locations. Thank you to all the families and NHC team members who prepared for and facilitated these onsite clinics over the past months. We embrace the opportunity to help protect our seniors with this vaccine and take one step closer to bringing our families and their loved ones together.

Dr. Bert Smith, NHC Medical Consultant, provides some great information on the COVID- 19 vaccine on our Day by Day podcast.  To learn more, click here

Frequently Asked Questions about the COVID-19 Vaccine

Is the vaccine safe and effective?

The vaccine has gone through 3 phases regarding safety and effectiveness. These involved thousands of patients in the trials. To date, the vaccine has proven very effective up to 95% with only mild side effects and no serious adverse reactions.

What are the side effects?

The most common side effects are soreness with possible redness and swelling at the site of injection. Other potential side effects include headache, muscle aches and general “flu like” symptoms which may persist for 24 hours or a few days. Persons may also experience fever, but any high fever should be reported for evaluation.

Should everyone take the vaccine?

Yes, everyone should take the vaccine. Currently, there are no restrictions or contraindications from any other healthcare condition regarding use of the vaccine.

Is a one-time vaccine effective?

  • No, you must receive the second dose because the vaccine will not protect you if you only get one dose.
  • It is important to get the SAME VACCINE as the first dose.
  • At some point a one dose vaccine may be available.

Should the vaccine be administered even if the person has contracted COVID-19 as an infection?

Yes, it is unknown whether long-term immunity will be present with COVID-19 infection and the vaccine should be administered even with history of infection.

Is personal protective equipment [PPE] still necessary after receiving the vaccine?

Yes, until further notification from the Center of Disease Control or state health officials, PPE including mask, gloves and gowns will be utilized.

In summary, the COVID-19 vaccine is the best opportunity to stop the pandemic of the serious life-threatening infection. Not only should we do it for our own health and safety, but to prevent infection in the most vulnerable population which we care for daily.

The CDC has created the below resources regarding the COVID-19 vaccine: 
·COVID-19 Vaccines: 
·Benefits of getting a COVID-19 Vaccine: 
·Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination:

Published January 29, 2021