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Ballad CEO says no babies have ever been 'lost' during transport to Niswonger

Zach Vance, Johnson City Press • Jan 7, 2019 at 12:30 PM

The fear that babies would die during transport to Niswonger Children’s Hospital has been a major point of contention regarding Ballad Health’s proposed consolidation of Holston Valley Medical Center’s Level III NICU.

However, if history is any indicator, neither Ballad nor its predecessors Mountain States Health Alliance and Wellmont Health System have ever “lost” a baby during transport to Niswonger Children’s Hospital in Johnson City, according to a 20-page letter Ballad Health CEO Alan Levine wrote to the Tennessee Department of Health on Dec. 28.

Under the terms of the Certificate of Public Advantage governing the hospital merger, Ballad Health has to gain state approval before implementing its plan to downgrade Holston Valley’s NICU from a Level III to a Level I nursery.

Levine initially submitted a letter to the Department of Health on Nov. 12 that requested approval of the proposed changes to pediatric services, which also includes opening pediatric emergency rooms in Kingsport and Bristol and expanding telemedicine connectivity to Niswonger.

For more on this story, visit the Johnson City Press. 


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