Wellmont: Start over the process of selling Unicoi Co. hospital - WFLA News Channel 8

MSHA calls Wellmont announcement about UCMH a "ploy"

Posted: Updated:
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Federal court filings show holes used for sex acts inside Bristol adult novelty store

    Federal court filings show holes used for sex acts inside Bristol adult novelty store

    Thursday, August 28 2014 1:58 AM EDT2014-08-28 05:58:06 GMT
    Federal court documents reveal in the past, the owner of an adult novelty store on State Street in Bristol, Va. was selling more than just lingerie, pornography and synthetic drugs. Instead, pictures filed at the federal courthouse in Greeneville earlier this month show waist-high holes in private rooms inside Exotic Illusions.
    Federal court documents reveal in the past, the owner of an adult novelty store on State Street in Bristol, Va. was selling more than just lingerie, pornography and synthetic drugs. Instead, pictures filed at the federal courthouse in Greeneville earlier this month show waist-high holes in private rooms inside Exotic Illusions.
  • July Mugshots - Northeast Tennessee

    July Mugshots - Northeast Tennessee

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 1:51 PM EDT2014-08-26 17:51:57 GMT
    The following are mugshots of individuals arrested on a variety of charges in July by local authorities in Northeast Tennessee.
    The following are mugshots of individuals arrested on a variety of charges in July by local authorities in Northeast Tennessee.
  • Man hospitalized after hitting his head on rock in Boone Lake

    Man hospitalized after hitting his head on rock in Boone Lake

    Sunday, August 31 2014 10:38 PM EDT2014-09-01 02:38:48 GMT
    A Johnson City man was arrested Saturday after police said he assaulted his father with a hammer.According to police, Robert Collins, 25, attacked the victim, choked him, hit him with a hammer, and then smashed a kitchen window.Collins was charged with one count of aggravated domestic assault and one count of vandalism.He's in the Washington County Detention Center on $25,000 bond.Copyright WJHL 2014. All rights reserved.
    A Johnson City man was arrested Saturday after police said he assaulted his father with a hammer.According to police, Robert Collins, 25, attacked the victim, choked him, hit him with a hammer, and then smashed a kitchen window.Collins was charged with one count of aggravated domestic assault and one count of vandalism.He's in the Washington County Detention Center on $25,000 bond.Copyright WJHL 2014. All rights reserved.
ERWIN, TN (WJHL) -

Wellmont Health System will not participate in a public meeting Thursday about the future of Unicoi County Memorial Hospital. Instead, Wellmont wants the process of selecting the new owner of the financially struggling hospital to start over from scratch.

After reviewing the Tennessee Attorney General's concerns about the process used by the hospital board to select Mountain States Health Alliance, Wellmont said today it believes both Wellmont's proposal and Mountain States' proposal are "null and void."

"According to our legal advice, the proper remedy for these violations is for the board to issue another request for proposals and follow a legal, broad and transparent process from this point forward," Wellmont President and CEO Denny DeNarvaez said in a press release. "Merely re-evaluating the two proposals in an open meeting such as the one scheduled later this week is not sufficient...We simply want what's in the best interests of the people of Unicoi County. And an open, honest process is clearly in their best interests."

Last month, the Tennessee Attorney General identified several concerns that stopped the sale of Unicoi County Memorial Hospital to Mountain States Health Alliance.

Among other things, the Tennessee Attorney General's Office said UCMH's board of control did not follow state open meetings laws.

"We continue to be humbled and appreciative of the tremendous support we've received from the residents of that community, and we will continue to work to ensure the process used to determine the sale of their hospital is transparent and fair," DeNarvaez said.

As we reported yesterday, a public meeting is scheduled for Thursday at 5 pm at Unicoi County High School to discuss the future of the Erwin hospital.

In the meantime, Mountain States continues to help with the operations of the hospital.

"The MSHA board of directors has approved a $1 million addition to the line of credit for Unicoi County Memorial Hospital," MSHA Senior Vice President Marvin Eichorn said yesterday. "When the original $2 million line of credit runs out, the hospital will be able to draw from these additional dollars to continue operations through the remainder of the transition process. It's important to note that these funds are a temporary fix for the hospital. The real improvements that the hospital needs in order to become financially viable can't be done until the hospital officially becomes part of Mountain States Health Alliance."

As for today's announcement by Wellmont, Mountain States calls it a ploy.

"Based on the feedback received from the Tennessee Attorney General and our own attorneys' legal analysis, we believe the UMCH Board of Control is following the appropriate legal procedures to assess the acquisition proposals in an open, public manner," MSHA President and CEO Dennis Vonderfecht said in a statement. "Nothing in the letter from the Attorney General suggests that the process followed by the UMCH Board of Control in soliciting proposals was flawed. The recent announcement by Wellmont is simply a ploy to disrupt a process in which it had the same opportunity to participate as MSHA. In light of the dire financial situation at UCMH, the attempts by Wellmont to delay the process reveal its disregard for the fate of UCMH. As we have been for many years, MSHA remains committed to serving the people of Unicoi County and to supporting the county's hometown hospital. Our offer to the people of Unicoi County still stands."

Copyright 2013 WJHL. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.