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Construction begins on new Unicoi County Memorial Hospital

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ERWIN, Tenn. - Work is now underway on the new Unicoi County Memorial Hospital. Mountain States Health Alliance officials broke ground at a ceremony earlier today.

"Once we have the new hospital built, we plan to invest heavily in recruitment of certain types of physicians and specialties," Mountain States CEO Alan Levine said. "People can actually try to seek as much care locally as possible."

The new hospital will have 20 beds: 10 in the emergency room, 10 in-patient beds. It will feature an emergency room and a chest pain center. There will also be space for community education and doctors' offices.

It replaces Unicoi County's current hospital, which opened in 1953. It has 10 staffed beds.

"It's going to be very good for the people in Unicoi County," Levine said. "Hopefully, it'll be something that they can point to when they're trying to recruit more business here and grow jobs."

Mountain States purchased Unicoi County Memorial Hospital in late 2013. They formed a committee to study opening a new hospital before receiving a certificate of need in late 2016.

The hospital is expected to open in the fall of 2018.

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