UPDATE Tuesday, 8 a.m.: Ballad Health released the following statement in response to Monday night’s Carter County Commission meeting.
“Ballad Health is proud of the support we provide to Sycamore Shoals Hospital, and we remain enormously proud of the care our team members provide to our neighbors in Elizabethton and Carter County. We appreciate the Carter County Commissioners who have done the hard work and taken the time to understand the challenges faced by all hospitals, due to the worst labor shortage in history. And we are grateful for the positive and supportive words from the City of Elizabethton last week when they expressed their appreciation for Ballad Health’s vision and work in Carter County.”Ballad Heath
CARTER COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) — The Carter County Commission denied a resolution on Monday to begin addressing what they called an “ongoing downward spiral in the overall level and quality of care provided locally.”
Several county commissioners have led a debate over concerns regarding Ballad Health and its services in the county. The discussion comes following the closure of the Sycamore Shoals Intensive Care Unit. Several members of the public took to the podium to voice their thoughts and concerns about healthcare operations in the county.
The resolution states some commissioners wish to “explore any law changes available that could break up or better regulate Ballad Health’s current monopoly on local healthcare.”
If the resolution had been passed, the commission would have planned a discussion with state health leaders.
Commissioners Angie Odom and Nancy Brown said although the resolution did not pass, they still plan on talking to state officials regarding concerns surrounding Ballad Health.
“We have people way out of the area that [are] looking into a lot more of this,” Odom said. “That even tonight at our meeting, there were people way out of our area that was watching this tonight. There’s been things that’s said that has added to some concerns that will be looked into as well. So I can’t say that tonight’s vote is a negative. I say that it’s our voices together.”
“I was really hurt that it didn’t pass, because I felt like a lot of our citizens wanted this to be sent,” Brown said. “It was like them [residents] getting to say what they wanted to say. And it get to Nashville. Maybe we had a chance of getting something done.”
The resolution was ultimately denied Monday night after failing to receive 13 votes to approve. 11 commissioners voted yes, nine voted no, two abstained and two were absent. Carter County Mayor Patty Woodby did not comment on the resolution during the meeting.
Ballad Health leaders told News Channel 11 that they will release a statement regarding the failed resolution soon.