History

Formerly known as the Mercy Health Partners Foundation serving the needs of Mercy Health Partners, Trinity Health Foundation of East Tennessee was established as an independent foundation with the sale of Mercy Health Partners to the for-profit entity, Health Management Associates in 2011.  Trinity’s predecessor, Mercy Health Partners Foundation, was formed in 2008 from the merger of St. Mary’s Health System and Baptist Health System of East Tennessee, two non-profit systems, whose foundations’ philanthropic activities benefited East Tennessee for more than twenty-five years.

Through the years, these foundations that preceded Trinity have raised and granted over $30 million to numerous initiatives including geriatric assessment, obesity prevention, school clinics, indigent care, nursing education, equipment and technology upgrades and community outreach.  Recipients have included both health system’s facilities, non-profit organizations in the community, health care providers, students and individuals in need.  Trinity’s independent standing will allow it to become an important community catalyst to support a broader range of health-related endeavors for our region.

St. Mary’s Hospital was founded in Knoxville in 1930 by the Sisters of Mercy who inspired and directed St. Mary’s ministry and mission to continue the healing ministry of Jesus by improving the health of our community—with a special emphasis on those who are poor and underserved.

Baptist Hospital opened its doors in 1948. This fulfilled the dream of a group of dedicated doctors, community leaders and pastors who were determined to build a new hospital in Knoxville to serve the needs of the community with a Christian dedication to healing.  Founded on the teachings of Jesus Christ, The Baptist Health System of East Tennessee was a charitable, not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting, protecting and restoring the health of the people of the East Tennessee region through the provision of high-quality, cost-effective healthcare services.

Mercy Health Partners, the combined entity of a merger between St. Mary’s and Baptist, espoused the following vision.  “We uphold the core values of compassion, excellence, human dignity, justice, sacredness of life and service. We believe our mission sets us apart and compels us to do extraordinary things.   It drives the way we care for our patients and support their families. It guides our involvement in the community, and it directs the way we conduct our business.”

When Trinity Health Foundation was formed as a free-standing entity, we sought to maintain the spirit of the mission with the audience being the regional community, not just the hospital system.  The Trinity mission adopted by its Board of Directors in 2012 is:
Trinity Health Foundation of East Tennessee extends the healing ministry of Jesus by improving the physical, emotional and spiritual health of our community. 

Trinity received its charter and 501(c)(3) status for operation in 2012.