NORTON, Va. (WJHL) – In a letter to Ballad Health employees, company vice president Shannon Showalter announced that the system would be moving several Southwest Virginia employee positions and consolidating its skilled nursing program to another facility.

As part of that consolidation, the letter stated that Mountain View Regional Hospital would no longer have a skilled nursing facility.

The full letter can be found below:

“Consolidation of acute care services has improved our ability to provide more consistent coverage of our specialties,” the letter said. “While investing in expansion of primary care access at Lonesome Pine and emergency and acute services in Lee County.”

The move comes as part of a larger expansion at Norton Community Hospital, the letter said, and Ballad officials decided to move their skilled nursing program entirely to the Norton campus. Ballad Health has informed the Virginia Department of Health of their plans for the consolidation, according to the letter.

“As we have made these changes, the question about the future of Mountain View Regional Hospital has become more important to answer, given the excess capacity we have in our community,” the letter states. “As you know, Norton has two hospitals two miles apart. This is obviously not sustainable or the best use of the assets.”

Mountain View Regional Hospital’s website states that the skilled/long-term care unit is a 44-bed dual-certified unit that specializes in long-term and skilled care with services also in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation.

While addressing employees, Showalter stated that the system began discussion with Mountain Empire Community College and UVA-Wise to turn the Mountain View Regional Hospital’s Skilled Nursing Facility into a more beneficial facility that could contribute to the increasing supply of healthcare professionals in the area.

Showalter mentioned that none of the current workers at Mountain View will lose their jobs as a result of this relocation and all team members in good standing will have the opportunity to remain with Ballad Health in a similar role at one of the system’s other facilities.

The anticipated completion date for the transition is April 2023.