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Ballad Health announces Kingsport Visioning Committee

From staff reports • Nov 16, 2019 at 8:30 PM

KINGSPORT — The Ballad Health board of directors has formed a Kingsport Visioning Committee to address Ballad Health’s role in meeting the future healthcare needs of the Kingsport service area.

The Kingsport Visioning Committee includes 18 individuals who live and work in the Kingsport service area. Its members represent a diverse cross-section of the community, including citizen leaders, businessmen and women, industry representatives, and healthcare professionals.

The creation of the Kingsport Visioning Committee follows the release of a health needs assessment that reflected input from various focus groups and institutions within Ballad Health’s Northwest Market. Ballad Health will use the report to shape its strategic plan, and the information collected within the assessment will be used to facilitate the work of the Kingsport Visioning Committee.

“Because Ballad Health seeks to provide high-quality healthcare that is accessible and affordable for its patients, we are diligently developing customized plans to address gaps and optimize the health services offered in the Kingsport market,” said Lindy White, president of Ballad Health’s Northwest Market.

Over the next few months, the committee will review detailed market data and financial information that it will use to provide recommendations to the Ballad Health board of directors on how to improve services and address specific future healthcare needs for the greater Kingsport community. This effort will be facilitated by concrete analytics, research and expertise provided by two nationally recognized independent consulting firms that are currently assisting Ballad Health in strategic planning for the next five years.

“Having a visioning committee is a tremendous opportunity. It’s a way for our community to give input into the vision for our region’s healthcare,” said committee chair Julie Bennett, who is also a Ballad Health board member and Kingsport native. “People are very passionate about healthcare — and we are very passionate about creating a strong, sustainable system of integrated healthcare delivery.”

Miles Burdine, executive director of the Kingsport Chamber, described the formation of the visioning committee as “vitally important.”

“This focused work — generously provided by these dedicated community members — gives us the opportunity to get this right,” said Burdine. “We know that a strong healthcare system positively impacts our own personal health and the health of those we love — but it also strengthens the economic health of our community through the positive impact of a thriving healthcare delivery system.”

The Northwest Market includes more than 77 physician practices, seven urgent care centers, and eight of Ballad Health’s 21 hospitals: Holston Valley Medical Center (ranked No. 7 among Tennessee hospitals by U.S. News & World Report), Indian Path Community Hospital, Dickenson Community Hospital, Norton Community Hospital, Lonesome Pine Hospital, Mountain View Regional Hospital, Hancock County Hospital, and Hawkins County Memorial Hospital.

Ballad Health is an integrated healthcare system serving 29 counties of Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, Northwest North Carolina and Southeast Kentucky. The community visioning committee is part of Ballad Health’s ongoing effort to improve quality of care and patient experience at the lowest possible cost.

Kingsport Visioning Committee members include Julie Bennett, chair; Terry Begley; Jerry Blackwell, M.D.; Tom Brock, M.D.; Marvin Cameron, D.Min.; Dorothy Dobbins, Ph.D.; Suzanne Eller, R.N.; Bob Feathers; Colette George; Misty Kimbler, R.N.; CeeGee McCord; Roger Mowen; Rathi Narayan, M.D.; former Mayor Dennis Phillips; Doug Springer, M.D.; Rick Thomason; Marta Wayt, D.O.; and Keith Wilson.