JOHNSON CITY – Building on its well-received services in Johnson City, Wellmont Health System is responding to further requests for high-quality care by opening a family practice.
Dr. Bob Connell and Dr. Rita Plemmons have joined Wellmont Medical Associates and will treat patients at the Wellmont Outpatient Campus, 316 Marketplace Blvd, Suite 20. They are located in the same building as the Wellmont Breast Center and next to Tri-Cities Lifestyle Center behind Fuddruckers. Dr. Connell started seeing patients Friday, June 15, and Dr. Plemmons will begin seeing them Monday, July 16.
These two physicians bring extensive and diverse medical experiences to their Johnson City practices, which will provide convenient access to patients. Dr. Connell, an Air Force veteran and a physician since 1993, comes to Johnson City from Columbia, La., where he served as medical director for Citizens Rural Clinic since 2007. Dr. Plemmons, a physician since 1992, has practiced at Dry Creek Medical Center in Erwin since 1999.
Both share a passion for their patients. Dr. Connell said he can provide better care for his patients when he talks to them and learns more about their lives. Dr. Plemmons said her interaction with patients helps her develop a better treatment plan for them.
“My patients want someone to listen to them,” Dr. Connell said. “That’s probably the most important part of the whole visit because some patients might not have someone to attend to them. They need someone to be their advocate. A lot of what I do is teaching patients about bettering their lives, but a lot of my care is not saying a word, but rather listening to them and better understanding their needs.”
Having a family plays a key role for Dr. Plemmons in serving patients.
“I’m definitely a better physician because I’m a parent,” she said. “I think I have more authority when I’m talking to patients about their own issues if I have some link to that issue. It gives more impact to what I have to say, and it helps me to understand my patients better.”
Dr. Connell received his medical degree from Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va., and completed his residency in family medicine at The Washington Hospital in Washington, Pa. He has practiced medicine in communities in Texas and on Air Force bases in Honolulu and Cheyenne, Wyo., where he held ranks of major and captain, respectively.
Dr. Plemmons graduated from University of North Carolina School of Medicine and completed her family practice residency at Mountain Area Health Education Center in Asheville, N.C. Prior to coming to Erwin, she practiced in three communities in Georgia.
These two physicians will add to Wellmont’s highly successful services in Johnson City. In addition to the breast center and the new family practices, nearby Wellmont Urgent Care at 378 Marketplace Blvd., Suite 5, treats various illnesses and injuries and provides occupational health services. The Wellmont CVA Heart Institute has one of its 13 regional offices at 2428 Knob Creek Road, where a number of physicians provide cardiovascular care.
Dr. Connell and Dr. Plemmons said they are excited to be part of Wellmont’s growing continuum of care in Johnson City.
“We have been extremely grateful for the request of our services and the warm reception Wellmont has received in Johnson City,” Dr. Plemmons said. “Patients have a choice where they receive their care, and we look forward to contributing to the superior care for which Wellmont has long been known.”
To schedule an appointment, please call 423-433-6370. For more information, please visit www.wellmont.org.
Photo of Dr. Connell is available here.
Photo of Dr. Plemmons is available here.