UPDATE: Lee County finalizes sale of hospital to Florida's Americore Health
One member of an authority who has worked to get Lee County, Virginia's only hospital back open called Tuesday's announcement "a special Christmas gift" for the locality.
That announcement was the sale of the former Lee Regional Medical Center in Pennington Gap to Americore Health, LLC of Florida. The move was approved by the Lee County Hospital Authority and has been in the works over the past two years.
Wellmont Health System cited unprecedented changes in health care including rising costs as some of their reasons for closing the center in September 2013. That left the closest emergency medical care option over 30 minutes to an hour away for some residents.
The authority did not announce an opening date for the hospital but did note the facility's Certificate of Public Need is already in place.