Mountain States Health Alliance to start construction on new Unicoi County Hospital

UNICOI COUNTY, TN (WJHL) - Mountain States Health Alliance is moving forward with construction on a brand new hospital in Unicoi County. Hospital administrators tell News Channel 11 that a ground breaking ceremony is expected to happen on July 26th.

People living in the community like Ginger Lamie is eager to see the new hospital open its doors. She knows all too well how desperately people in the community have been waiting for a new hospital. The current facility has been in operation for nearly 60 years.

"This community deserves a good hospital with some new amenities and hopefully it will improve the quality of care," Lamie said.

The new Unicoi County Memorial Hospital will be here on Temple Hill Road. The plans for that hospital have not necessarily changed it will be a full-fledged hospital with a working emergency room.

"To have a brand new state of the art facility with new equipment the most up to date technology is really going to solidify us as part of the community," Eric Carroll said.

Unicoi County Hospital administrator Eric Carroll says the project has been in the planning stages for a little over a year. While a ground breaking ceremony will take place at the end of July, construction is not expected to start until August.

"Its a chance for the community really to come together and see that we are moving forward with the plans to build a new hospital," Carroll said.

Mountain States officials provided a rendering of the new facility. That rendering is only a glimpse of what the future holds for the new hospital.

Hospital administrators say it will sustain jobs for people in the community and have inpatient services to go along with that 24-hour emergency room.

All viable amenities that people like Ginger Lamie would be grateful for.

"Technology is always improving, its good that your facility can match that same technology," Lamie said.

We asked hospital administrators if the delay in construction had to do with the pending merger between Mountain States Health Alliance and Wellmont Health Systems.

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