KINGSPORT  – Technology took center stage on Thursday, October 15, as the Northeast Tennessee Technology Council (NETTC) joined together with leaders in the technology field to offer an informative day-long symposium in conjunction with its 7th Annual TechStar Awards luncheon, held at Johnson Citys Millennium Centre. 

The event began with an opening address from Terry Moore, VP/Executive partner with Gartner Executive Programs in the US.  Moore and the Gartner team bring new ideas of integrated business services as trusted business advisors to CIOs, peers, corporate enterprise teams and boards. Moore discussed several hot topics in the arena of technology and identified the newest trends for both businesses and individuals in a changing economy.

In addition to handing out awards and recognizing the regions leaders in technology, the symposiums schedule included a variety of sessions in the morning and afternoon geared toward education, implementation and execution of technological resources as related to businesses, both large and small.

Nine winners were announced at the awards luncheon which recognizes businesses, organizations, government and non-profit agencies for their use or development of technology. The luncheon included a keynote address from Timothy Lindstrom, Vice President of Operations, Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc., Erwin, Tennessee.  With his naval background, Lindstrom discussed US Navy submarine technology from the lens of a career submariner.  He stated, Few people recognize that every submarine in the US Navy has its birthplace in Erwin, Tennessee. The technology built into these machines is both rugged and cutting edge.

The nine winners of the TechStar Awards luncheon were:

Johnson City Police Department for the development of new technology:

Johnson City Police Departments Wireless reporting provides the officers with immediate information from many sources including the National Crime Information Center, (FBI) as well as State and local databases. It provides officers with real-time wanted information as well as drivers history on any individual they might contact. Officers create Crime Reports, Arrest Reports, Traffic and parking citations, and traffic crash reports all from a handheld Windows Mobile device. Our handhelds capture the signature of violators and with wireless Bluetooth printers we are able to print the citation in seconds. All this greatly reduces the officer contact/paperwork time, putting them back on patrol in minutes.

Many methods to achieve a wireless solution were examined, including rugged laptop computers at a cost of $4k plus. It was a no brainer when we discovered DataDriven, LLC of Memphis, could provide an application that allowed all our reporting needs to be facilitated using a handheld device that cost under $200.

The elimination of a data-entry requirements have allowed the department to reduce staffing levels by 2 full-time and 1 part-time staff persons. Officers have the info they need immediately, this improves officer safety as they know who they are dealing with, and spend time on the side of the road. 

Previously, this process was manual, All was on paper by hand. The information was always DAYS to WEEKS behind, now we are live and real-time.

Chief Lowry said. I think its a win-win situation for us and for the public. If we can cut the amount of time were spending on paperwork, then it gives us more time to be out here being more proactive in the community.

City of Kingsport, Higher Education Center for the Use of Technology in Government Agencies:

Technology Feature #1– Smart Center Classroom – A key component of the new Kingsport Center for Higher Education (KCHE) will will be a Smart Center classroom where teachers will have access to a variety of interactive resources to effectively manage the classroom.  The easy-to-use state of the art technology will encourage spontaneous, interactive lectures.

This Smart Center will be placed in a 54,000 square bart higher education facility, being constructed by the City of Kingsport to be open in the fall of 2009.  The facility will serve as a collaborative mini-campus for multiple post-secondary education institutions.  The Smart Center will have the capacity to host 30 students at a time and will be set up to have any type of learner class be taught in the facility.  Distance learning will be an added plus for the KCHE because of this Smart Center.  Some of the technologies used in the Smart Center will include capacity for two (2) remote sites to be able to interface through audio/ visual equipment, Smart Board capabilities, TV/DVDs computers, etc.

Working adult as well as high school graduates will have opportunity to complete an education in their own -back yard.

Technology Feature #2 – Green Building Technology – Kingsports new $15 million Center for Higher Education is among the first LEED certified education buildings in the state of Tennessee.  The facility will actually generate solar power to be sold back onto the power grid.  LEED Certification is achieved through meticulous consideration of numerous aspects of sustainability, including building location design, material usage and construction practices.

Utilization of a white roof reduces the heat island effect, and storm water is captured for filtration on-site prior to entering public waterways.

In addition to solar panels, the building lighting uses photocells and timers to minimize electricity uses, is thoroughly insulated, and employs high efficiency air conditioning units.  Sun shades, light shelves and the access of sunlight through windows to 90 percent of all interior spaces likewise minimize the need for electric lighting.

On the construction side of the equation, recyclable construction waste was diverted from the landfill for reuse, building materials were selected for recycled content, and wherever possible, building materials were sourced or manufactured regionally. 

TN Technology Center at Elizabethton for Use of Technology in Education:

Juniors and Seniors in high schools in Elizabethton and Carter County will be one step closer to entering the 12-month practical nurse training program at the TN Technology Center at Elizabethton when they complete an on-line training class in December, 2009. Those who complete the Dosage Calculations for Nurses will receive academic credit in high school and at TTC- Elizabethton when they complete admission requirements to the nursing program.

The online Dual Credit Training Program is a pilot project sponsored by the TN Dept. of Education and the TN Board of Regents through its online Degree program.  It is the first online, dual credit course in practical nursing training offered in the state of TN stated Terri Blevins, director of the nursing program.

Patricia Roark, RN and Director of the Technology Foundation Lab at TTC – Elizabethton, is the online instructor.  The course takes 36 hours to complete, includes math skills review, drugs and solutions and measurement of systems.

Roark says The lesson, exercise, modules and other interactive resources make the class fun, attractive and an effective learning environment

Wellmont Health Systems and First TN Human Resource Agency for Use of Technology by Non-profit Group/Agency:


The Mammography Reporting System (MRS) is used throughout all Wellmont Health System (WHS) facilities to provide a fast and accurate communication for the patients on their mammography care process and screenings. The application meets ACR licensure and Radiologist requirements for time savings while improving accuracy and mitigating medical/legal issues. MRS also provides accurate statistical tracking on specifics, such as call back rates and sensitivity.

Today, 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer at some point during her lifetime. This new automated MRS program facilitates our hospital sites to be more proactive in alerting women who may be at risk so they can consider all their possible options and to offer increased surveillance as part of improving our quality of care. The MRS application joins the already implemented breast cancer high risk indicators calculated using the Gail and NCI lifetime models available from the American Cancer Society.

In July of this year, Wellmont implemented MRS as a separate, yet integrated application as part of our system-wide efforts on improving patient safety. These efforts ensured the availability of accurate and reliable information in a timely manner for our clinicians and patients. As a bonus, patient Mammography related information can be kept in a single patient record, regardless of which WHS facility they visit. This will greatly enhance the ability to provide the best continuity of care for the patient.

While the MRS system has only been in production since the end of July of this year, Wellmont Health Systems has already recognized several benefits, including:

  • Improved patient safety and satisfaction
  • Improved patient Mammography record keeping
  • Increased clinician satisfaction for the Technical as well as Physician level product users
  • Facilitates our enterprise efforts to migrate to a completely electronic Patient
  • Medical Record

First TN Human Resource Agency

Technology That Helps Disabled and Elderly to Age in Place

Microsoft products donated through TechSoup enable First Tennessee Human Resource Agency to optimize mission delivery through increasing the reach of programs and enhancing program quality.

Family Services Institute (FSI), one of seven programmatic departments within FTHRA is comprised of five programs. A majority of programs within the Family Services Institute focus on improving the well-being of elderly and disabled adults in Northeast Tennessee. In assessing future service needs of the local area, FSI found the elderly and disabled adult population in Northeast Tennessee carries significant service implications. The number of persons age 65 and older in Tennessee is projected to increase over 101% from the year 2000 to the year 2030 ( In addition to the increasing aging population, five counties within FTHRA’s service area report that over 45% of persons (noninstitutionalized) age 65 years of age and older have a disability ( FSI provides numerous services to assist elderly and disabled adult consumers to age in place. Services to promote the independence of elderly and disabled consumers may include protective supervision, household chores, shopping, budgeting, and assistance with life skills. Services are provided at no personal cost and are individualized to client need. The cost of in-home services provision is minimal in comparison to institutionalized care cost.

Products donated through TechSoup, enables FSI to increase the reach of programs to local elderly and disabled adults. A commonality to nonprofits is the inability to afford advertisement of programs and services offered. FSI has been able to advertise programs and services with professional quality brochures which has been invaluable to FSI. Family Services Institute’s umbrella agency, First Tennessee Human Resource Agency, has been in existence for over thirty years. However, employees routinely report clients say, "They wish they would have known about services earlier."  An average of 2,000 brochures are distributed annually to increase the awareness of services offered.

The program has allowed FSI to enhance program quality through assessing the value and cost of administered programs, and providing data displays that easily allow monitoring of program budgets
The calculations also implement the current average costs of daily institutionalized care in Tennessee. For every one (1) dollar spent in the Homemaker Program, the agency saved the community $21.92 in potential nursing home costs while allowing consumers to remain at home in the setting of their choice.

Microsoft products donated through TechSoup allow FSI to optimize mission delivery. Many grants require a specific inkind donation match. Consequently, the donation of Microsoft products through TechSoup allows FSI to use resources in an effective and efficient manner to garner additional needed funding. FSI is able to use TechSoup products as an inkind donation to gain optimal program funding for elderly and disabled adults to age in place at no personal cost. On average, for every one (1) dollar of inkind, FSI is able to receive four (4) dollars in grant funding. Microsoft products enable FSI to offer affordable, safe, and healthy choices within Northeast Tennessee that meet community needs.

Tri-Cities Economic Development Alliance for Use of Internet or Web Technologies:

Tri-Cities Prospector was developed to assist companies with selecting sites/buildings in the Tri-Cities region. The site was developed by GIS Planning (San Francisco, CA), which specializes in developing GIS-based websites for economic development organizations. Tri-Cities Prospector integrates Google Maps technology. Visitors can search for available commercial and industrial properties of all sizes. Once they have identified a site they can run demographic, labor and business reports within a specified radius around the property. Google Street View will allow you to do a drive by of the site. The website also includes several GIS layers, including traffic counts, colleges, and airports. By partnering with regional and local commercial real estate brokers, developers, economic developers and municipalities, the Tri-Cities Economic Development Alliance has been able to populate the site with nearly 300 commercial and industrial properties. The Alliance is using this tool to attract new businesses to locate to the Tri-Cities, while providing a valuable resource tool to individuals and existing businesses.

Advanced Technical Solutions for Application of Technology within a Small Business:

Advanced Technical Solutions (ATS) has gained exclusive ATP Certification for Cisco’s Unified Contact Center Enterprise Solution Portfolio.  ATS has become the first West Virginia and East Tennessee based company to be recognized as an Authorized Technology Provider in the Unified Contact Center Enterprise
marketplace. We are also the 27th company out of thousands of Cisco partners to receive such a prestigious certification.

Participation in the Authorized Technology Provider (ATP) program is by invitation only. ATP specific requirements guide partners through rigorous training and knowledge validation to help them develop and demonstrate expertise in the particular area of specialization.

The average time it takes for a company to complete this grueling certification process is nine months. ATS became the fastest company to ever gain this certification by completing it in 3 months. As opposed to going the traditional route for certification training, ATS had all of the courses and labs in sourced to our facility where we put every IP Telephony engineer through the training curriculum. It was a huge investment of time and resources but has been well worth the effort. It makes ATS a major player in the contact center industry.

Since certification, they have already had many tremendous customer success stories and because of their success, ATS is now being considered for large contact center projects throughout the Southeast.

Internetwork Engineering for Application of Technology within a Large Business:

Internetwork Engineering provided full wireless coverage using Cisco’s Lightweight Wireless Control System for a Healthcare provider who employs 40,000 employees.

After a competitive evaluation, Cisco was chosen because of its ability to provide a full project solution, including exceptional management software and an experienced integration team. Internetwork Engineering was chosen to design, configure, and deploy the network. Per our customer the Cisco’s Wireless Control System enabled them to create an accurate network design quickly and efficiently, streamline network management, and maximize their IT resources.

Today there are 2000 access points, located throughout its 223 nursing homes, from its headquarters in Tennessee. The Cisco Unified Wireless Network has extended mobility to clinicians, physical therapists, and doctors, enabling them to spend more time with residents and improving the quality of care. Certified Nurse Assistants now chart the daily clinical activities of residents, and physical therapists record documentation in real time from the patient rooms. Visiting physicians access electronic medical records, lab results, and hospital patient information via the secure guest access network, tracking each resident’s care carefully. Providing Internet services for residents and their families also improves the quality of life in the nursing homes.

Connected Tennessee for Community Service:

Computers 4 Kids (C4K) is a Connected Tennessee program that is leveraging technology for the benefit of disenfranchised children in Tennessee. By extending the reach of public-private partnerships, Computers 4 Kids has positively impacted the future of the children and families that are facing economic challenges, are in the foster care system or struggle with behavioral disorders and other issues.

In order to bridge this digital divide between those who have access to computer technology and those who do not, Connected Tennessee has placed more than 2,000 computers over the past 18 months in the hands of disadvantaged populations so they can perform basic computing functions and have access to abundant educational, informational, governmental and research resources that are available on the Internet.

After many studies and research projects, Connected Tennessee has coordinated the Computers 4 Kids project with the State of Tennessee, the Department of Children’s Services (DCS) and the Department of Human Services (DHS). C4K has worked in conjunction with these agencies to obtain data and identify recipients within each agency.

To date, C4K has delivered 1,409 computers to recipients targeted by the Department of Children’s Services, 447 to recipients targeted by the Department of Human Services, 208 through the AT&T Foundation grant, 18 through CIBER and 34 through a joint effort between the AT&T Foundation Grant and CIBER, meaning a total of 2,116 computers have been given away through September 2009.

From the Governor to state representatives and senators to congressman to city and county mayors, the support of the C4K program knows no bounds. The buzz around this program continues to grow, and the future of C4K looks bright, with unlimited potential to help underprivileged children and families overcome the obstacles associated with the digital divide.

We will become what we celebrate is a phrase that reflects the TechStar awards and its winners.  The quality of our TechStar recipients demonstrates that our region remains on the cutting edge of technological advances which benefit every segment of our economy, said April Eads, NETTC Board President.

Sponsors for the event were Saratoga Technologies, CenturyLink, Charter Business, Tele-Optics and Eastman Chemical Company.

The Northeast Tennessee Technology Council is a regional non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the use of technology and innovation to advance regional economic development.  You can find out more about the NETTC by going to or by calling (423) 279-9000.