KINGSPORT – Wellmont Health System, the region’s premier provider of healthcare services, will seek state approval to construct a 10-bed hospital in Sneedville to serve the residents of Hancock County.

Wellmont representatives and Hancock County officials announced plans for the $5 million, state-of-the-art facility during a media conference Wednesday.

“It is the mission of our organization to improve the quality of life of the people of our region,” said Wayne Kirk, chairman of the Wellmont board of directors. “There is no doubt the construction of this needed hospital in a medically underserved community will bring improved health and peace of mind to the wonderful people of Sneedville and Hancock County.”

Wellmont will partner with Hancock County to build and operate the facility. The county will fund construction of the hospital, which will be leased and operated by Wellmont. Because the hospital will provide care in an area identified by the federal government as medically underserved, the facility will be designated a critical access hospital.

The hospital will provide inpatient and outpatient services, including emergency services, ambulatory surgery, radiology, laboratory, respiratory therapy and physical therapy. The facility will be able to accommodate inpatient stays of up to 96 hours – or four days.

 “This is a great day for the people of Sneedville and Hancock County,” County Executive Mike Harrison said. “No longer will our families have to travel an hour or more to receive quality hospital care. We will have a top-notch medical facility in our community to serve our community.”

Wellmont President and Chief Executive Officer Eddie George said the new hospital will provide Hancock County residents access to a full continuum of care. Primary medical services will be offered on-site, while patients who need more advanced care can be seamlessly transferred to Wellmont Hawkins County Memorial Hospital in Rogersville for secondary services or Wellmont Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport for high-level – or tertiary – services.

“That’s the benefit our integrated healthcare delivery system brings to this region,” George said. “Our partnership of five – and soon to be six – hospitals ensures patients have access to the right care in the right place at the right time – every time.

“We look forward to working with the leaders of Hancock County, as well as Sneedville physicians Ron Fejeran and John Short, to make strong health care stronger for the people of Sneedville and Hancock County.”

Wellmont and Hancock County officials expect to file a certificate-of-need application for the planned facility within 30 to 60 days. Once approved by the state, construction of the new hospital will begin immediately.


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