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Ballad to reopen Lee hospital

Zach Vance, Johnson City Press • Jan 31, 2019 at 11:15 AM

JOHNSON CITY — No other hospital system in the nation, much less Tennessee, is reopening or building rural hospitals, Ballad Health CEO Alan Levine told reporters Wednesday after an announcement that Ballad would reopen Lee County Regional Medical Center.

“This is what Ballad Health was created to do, and this is the benefit of the merger,” he said.

“This is why (in our merger application) we said, ‘Without this merger, rural hospitals will close. With this merger, rural hospitals will not close.’ Note, we never committed to reopening rural hospitals, but we believe this is a major benefit of the merger. And I think anybody who is being objective would agree with that.”

On Tuesday, Ballad Health’s board of directors voted unanimously to begin negotiating an agreement with the Lee County Hospital Authority to reopen the facility in rural Southwest Virginia.

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


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