Lee County urgent care center opens tomorrow, used as interim until critical access center reopens in Fall 2020

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LEE COUNTY, Va. (WJHL) – Lee County residents will no longer have to make the trek to receive urgent care.

Beginning Wednesday, Oct. 9, Ballad Health will open the door on a new Lee County urgent care clinic.

Ballad officials gave Pheben Kassahun a look inside the facility.

For the last decade, rural hospitals nationwide have been closing its doors, but for Lee County community hospital, that is not the case.

“It’s bucking the trend for sure,” Ballad Health vice president consultant, Monty McLaurin said. “For us to be able to be in partner with the community, to be able to provide an absolutely needed service, I can’t say enough about our state and federal elected officials and the support that they have given to help us go through all the regulatory hurdles to be able to make that happen.”

McLaurin said, for a community that has been without medical services for years, the 1,239 square-foot facility is a good start.

“Our goal was to at least begin to provide services to the community, prior to opening the hospital,” McLaurin said. “Folks can get a lot of that here than having to drive outside of the area.

McLaurin said, “We’ll have radiology services, we’ll have pharmacy, physical therapy, working with partners here in the area.”

Ballad Health hopes this helps people who’ve been traveling for miles to get care.

“They either go into Kingsport, up into Norton, Mountain View, Lonesome Pine or their primary care doctors within the area,” Ballad Health Southwest Regional Manager Natasha Kyker said. “We want to be able to relate to the community and be able to let them know that we’re here, what we’re going to be able to provide while we’re here and the plans once we’re not here.”

Kyker said the urgent care will fill the gap until the Lee County hospital reopens in Fall 2020.

“We’ll be here until the hospital opens its doors next fall. We’ll be able to provide acute care for minor illnesses and injuries,” Kyker said.

Once the Lee County Community Hospital opens next year, Ballad said staff and equipment at the urgent care center will be relocated to the emergency department within the new hospital.

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