Ballad Health reopens Lee County Community Hospital after almost 8-year closure


LEE COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Ballad Health is set to reopen Lee County Community Hospital on Thursday for the first time since 2013.

Ballad Health allowed News Channel 11 an inside look and preview of what they are calling “America’s newest rural hospital.”

The hospital will restore medical services to Pennington Gap, Virginia and other surrounding areas.

In 2013, the then-Wellmont Health System hospital closed.

Hospital administrator Mitch Kennedy said, after speaking with EMS crews, he expects the emergency department to be busy right away.

“We have some that are right now going over the Kentucky line to some of the other facilities over there,” Kennedy said. “What they did say is we would love to have the opportunity to bring people close for that stabilization, get folks triaged, get them where they need to go and so that’s what we offer here is be able to keep some folks in the community, but also be able to stabilize real emergencies and get them where they need to go.”

According to Kennedy, Lee County Community Hospital has ten emergency rooms, ten in-patient rooms and roughly 50 team members. Most of the team members are from the community.

Kennedy said the hospital will not operate at full capacity on Thursday, but all services will be available.

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