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Community members speak out against Ballad healthcare realignment

Special Called Meeting

KINGSPORT, Tenn— Kingsport officials met with Ballad officials Thursday night to discuss the proposed plan to downgrade Holston Valley Medical Center from a Level 1 to a Level 3 trauma center.

The plan also calls for NICU services to be consolidated in Johnson City.

Emotions ran high, as Kingsport residents had the opportunity to ask questions, and speak out against the decision.

“I think it’s totally unacceptable,” said Sullivan County Commissioner, Hunter Locke. “I think we’re headed for destruction in Sullivan County and this healthcare region in general.”

CEO of Ballad Health, Alan Levine presented for two hours, giving information about the reason for the change.

He said it would be a major win for the citizens in Sullivan County, and give a better quality of care to residents.

Mayor John Clark said the Kingsport Board of Mayor and Alderman will discuss Thursday night's meeting at their next scheduled commission meeting.

“I think the citizens will take a step back and take a few days to digest all of the information that was presented and then come back with a feel for whether or not our healthcare system is better as a result.”

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