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Dr. Robert F. Thomas Foundation

Dr. Robert F. ThomasAbout Dr. Robert F. Thomas

Dr. Robert F. Thomas came to Sevier County in 1926 to serve in the dual role of minister and family physician. He quickly earned the respect of the people whose bodies and souls he tended. Traveling the rugged terrain by foot, jeep, and horseback, “the Doc” made as many as 1,000 house calls each year.

Solid as the mountains around him, Dr. Thomas loved the rich heritage of the Smokies and admired the integrity and pride of its people. He worked long hours to improve the inadequate medical services and health facilities he encountered upon his arrival in Sevier County.

Dr. Thomas established clinics, immunized hundreds of adults and children, set broken bones, and delivered countless babies. His patients received the medical care they needed without having to travel long distances away from their homes and their loved ones.

Named in his honor, the Dr. Robert F. Thomas Foundation is a not-for-profit charitable organization established in 1983 to help expand the range and quality of health care services available in Sevier County. The Foundation is governed by an 18-member, volunteer board of directors that serves without compensation. Dolly Parton, one of the many babies Dr. Thomas delivered, serves as honorary chairperson. The Foundation depends on donations and grants from individuals, businesses, and charitable foundations to achieve its goal of helping Sevier County meet the continuing challenges of the rapidly changing healthcare field.

The objectives of the Foundation are to:

  • provide substantial financial support to LeConte Medical Center for equipment, new construction, patient care, and community service programs
  • provide grants or program assistance to other non-profit health care organizations operating in Sevier County
  • provide support for health education and prevention programs in response to community needs
  • promote awareness and use of local health care facilities, services, and programs
  • promote lifestyles which encourage physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health

The Foundation performs many key functions necessary to its continued success:

  • soliciting monetary and in-kind contributions from individuals, corporations, and other foundations
  • managing the investment of charitable donations
  • acknowledging and cultivating donors
  • organizing special events to support various funds and programs
  • applying for grants from other foundations and/or corporations
  • approving requests and distributing funds for LeConte Medical Center programs and departments
  • educating the community about the Foundation and LeConte Medical Center facilities and programs

Postponed Events: 

Because of the national effort to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus, we find ourselves in a time of great uncertainty.  We want you to know we are monitoring the rapidly evolving situation closely and working with the CDC, state agencies and local health departments to contain the spread of the virus. 

In light of these efforts, we have made the difficult decision to postpone our “Adult Field Day  and “Sweets & Beats” events, benefiting the Dr. Robert Thomas Foundation.   We are hopeful the events, which were originally scheduled for April 4 and May 9  can be rescheduled sometime later  this year.

While these are critically important fundraisers for the Dr. Robert F.  Thomas Foundation, your health and that of the community is our primary concern.  As we move forward during this unprecedented period, we will be sure to keep you updated on any and all future planning.  

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Dr. Robert F. Thomas Foundation at (865) 446-9625.  We are grateful for your patience and understanding as we navigate these uncharted waters.


New events in 2020! 

We’re bringing some exciting, family friendly events to you in 2020 all to benefit the Robert F. Thomas Foundation. For more information about these events and our organization click the link below. 

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2020 Save the dates


Adult Field Day  – Postponed 

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The Dr. Robert Thomas Foundation Field Day is a throwback to grade school, built with adults in mind. We’ve got all the classic events like tug of war, relay races, scavenger hunt, etc. – plus some crazy new games and some surprises throughout the day. Teams will earn points in each event to add up to your total for the day.

Will your team have what it takes to take home the King of the Field title? Grab some friends, start your team, and get ready for the most fun you’ll have all Spring!


Sweets & Beats  – Postponed

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In support of The Robert F. Thomas Foundation enjoy Sevier County’s best treats, support local bakeries and restaurants while listening to live music.


0.5K The race fro the rest of us! 

0.5k The Race for the Rest of Us  – .62 mile race walk, run or roll (wheelchairs) all inclusive race. More information coming soon. 


Paint The Mountains Pink

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Our mission is two-fold: First, Paint the Mountains Pink will spread the word about the importance of mammography and early detection, and help educate our community that mammograms truly save lives. Second, Paint the Mountains Pink will help provide mammograms to those in Sevier County who cannot afford them.

For more information about the Dr. Robert F. Thomas Foundation, please call (865) 446-9625.