THA Names TN Legislators Watson, Hazlewood and Vaughan Hospital Heroes

The Tennessee Hospital Association honored Sen. Bo Watson (R-Hixson), Rep. Patsy Hazlewood (R-Signal Mountain) and Rep. Kevin Vaughan (R-Collierville) as Hospital Heroes for their dedication, commitment and support of hospitals in Tennessee. The inaugural Hospital Hero Awards provide THA a platform to elevate and applaud lawmakers who prioritize healthcare initiatives.

Watson’s award was presented to him on Oct. 26 in Chattanooga at Parkridge Medical Center.  In making the presentation, THA president and CEO Wendy Long, M.D., said, “Sen. Watson understands the critical relationship between the state and hospitals. He has supported the hospital industry by sponsoring important legislation such as the Rural Hospital Transformation Act and appreciates the complex nature of healthcare issues.”

Long presented Hazlewood’s award at CHI Memorial Hospital in Chattanooga also on Oct. 26. At the event, Long shared, “We recognize and express our appreciation for Rep. Patsy Hazlewood. Her commitment to the fiscal strength of our state extends beyond her time as a leader of the finance committee and is highlighted by her sponsorship of the volunteer hospital assessment, a crucial piece of legislation for the state and hospitals, which helps to maintain coverage and benefits for TennCare enrollees and ensure full funding for the program.”

On Oct. 29, Long joined Vaughan at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Collierville for presentation of his award, and said, “Rep. Vaughan’s traits as a thoughtful and collaborative leader have served him well in the legislature. These qualities have also made him a reliable sponsor for priority legislation for hospitals and a critical voice on healthcare policy for Tennessee.”

In recent years and particularly in 2020, Watson, Hazlewood and Vaughan have supported and sponsored healthcare and hospital legislation, advocated for greater support of struggling rural hospitals, helped ensure smooth passage of the hospital assessment, and worked on numerous concerns related to certificate of need reform.