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Certificate of need approved for Unicoi Co. Memorial Hospital

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If the proposed merger between Mountain States Health Alliance and Wellmont Health System is approved this year, they have the assurance from state officials that a new medical facility in Unicoi County has gotten a green light.

An executive with Unicoi County Memorial Hospital and MSHA announced Monday the approval for a new replacement facility's certificate of need from the Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency that will be constructed in the Exit 40 area of Erwin off of Interstate 26 on Temple Hill Road.

"We are pleased to reach this milestone and receive affirmation from (the state) regarding our plans," said UCMH administrator Eric Carroll.

The original timeline for the project had the 20-bed facility being completed by spring of 2018. Plans for Mountain States have changed since the Erwin Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved the sale of the current hospital to MSHA in July 2013.

Those plans also include the merger which is still being mapped out for formal approval by state health leaders.

The property for the new medical center was purchased by MSHA in July 2015 and an architectural and construction firm was selected to build the facility last May.

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