Wellmont, Bristol Motor Speedway Sign New Contract; Health System Remains Exclusive Medical Provider
Wellmont Health System and Bristol Motor Speedway, longtime partners in taking the day-to-day health care of this region to the guests in town for races, have agreed on a new contract that will continue the delivery of high-quality care at the World's Fastest Half-Mile.
The two organizations have inked a new three-year deal that also continues Wellmont's medical coverage at Bristol Dragway. The agreement maintains the health system's status as the exclusive medical provider for the speedway and dragway.
"We are proud to provide our leadership in health care at one of the most renowned and respected sports complexes in the country," said Denny DeNarvaez, president and CEO. "This outstanding partnership has benefited the region and assured fans, drivers and crew members they are in superior hands should they ever need medical care."
Wellmont has provided care at the speedway and dragway for more than 15 years.
"Wellmont has been a wonderful partner," said BMS general manager Jerry Caldwell. "They have an outstanding group of people who we depend on to take care of our guests, the race teams, our personnel, everyone on our property. Having them here during events at both the speedway and dragway gives us great peace of mind."
Wellmont staffs the infield care center and six fan care centers for the two weeks of NASCAR racing at the speedway in March and August. Caregivers are also present during testing and late-model and monster truck races at the speedway. Wellmont provides medical care for the major NHRA event at the dragway as well.
Sherry Love, clinical manager of trauma at Bristol Regional Medical Center, and Dr. Mark Woodard, an emergency room physician at the hospital and medical director at the speedway during races, lead a team of medical providers at both racing facilities. These caregivers include physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, respiratory therapists and emergency medical services personnel.
Dr. Woodard, Love and Earl Carter, a flight paramedic, work in close contact with emergency transport service agencies, including ambulance providers in the region, to treat fans, drivers and pit crew members who need to be taken to Bristol Regional or Holston Valley Medical Center.
"It's a real honor to be entrusted with the care of everyone at these facilities, and we appreciate the opportunity to showcase our skills when people need our assistance," Love said. "We are also grateful to the speedway's leaders, who made a wonderful investment two years ago in a new infield care center that has enhanced care tremendously."
During races, WellmontOne Air Transport provides two helicopters to attend to BMS guests and NASCAR industry personnel in need while also maintaining air ambulance services to the rest of the region. WellmontOne can reach Bristol Regional from the speedway in four to five minutes and make a round trip in 10-15 minutes.
Since 2010, the helicopter service has been based at the speedway year-round, a further example of the speedway's community spirit.
To accommodate an anticipated increase of patients in the emergency department who are participating in activities at the speedway and surrounding grounds, Bristol Regional increases staff. Other departments in the hospital are also prepared to treat anyone when necessary.
DeNarvaez is thrilled to see the productive relationship continue between Wellmont and the speedway and dragway. She said this alignment of the two organizations, which are experts in their fields, is a perfect fit for these action-packed events.
"Bristol Motor Speedway and Bristol Dragway are world-class venues in our backyard," DeNarvaez said. "We are pleased to match that with resources from Wellmont that enable everyone at these facilities to receive the best health care anywhere."