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Neyland Stadium

It’s the World Health Organization’s Year of the Nurse and Midwife, and nursing faculty and students at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, are exemplifying the Volunteer spirit by giving their time to conduct health screenings for all Neyland Stadium staff, employees, and volunteer workers at each home game during the 2020 football season.

UT’s College of Nursing and Athletics Department have entered into a partnership to ensure that in-stadium personnel pass a health screening before being permitted inside.

Dubbed health referees, these volunteers will ensure that ushers, first responders, and food and beverage service workers, pass a health check that includes a temperature screen and questions.

“This collaboration represents all that is great about the University of Tennessee—partnerships,” said Sadie Hutson, executive associate dean of academic affairs for the college. “We are thrilled to have our students and faculty at the forefront of this unique opportunity to promote the health and safety of employees, athletes, and fans.”

Shelia Swift, assistant dean of undergraduate programs, said the partnership is an excellent way for UT’s undergraduate nursing students to get involved during the COVID-19 pandemic to help provide a safe game day environment.

“Our exceptional students are excited about the opportunity to provide health screening services at all the home games this season, and to show what it means to be a true Volunteer,” she said.

David Elliott, associate athletics director for event management, said this particular level of screening provides an added layer of integrity to the overall plan for hosting events on campus.

“We couldn’t think of a better group to partner with than our own nursing faculty and students,” he said. “This university has a proud history of volunteering, and that same spirit is alive and well and being demonstrated by the College of Nursing.”

Phillip Moore, chair of the college’s traditional BSN and RN to BSN programs, said the effort shows how nurses can positively impact the health of their community in a variety of ways.

“I think this new partnership will allow the nursing students to see one of the many opportunities in which they can have a positive influence in their community,” he said.

The Vols will face the University of Missouri Tigers at noon EDT Saturday, October 3, in Neyland Stadium. The game will air on the SEC Network.


Tyra Haag (865-974-5460,

Kara Clark (865-974-9498,