Mountain States Health Alliance and Wellmont Health System announced this afternoon that they’ve scheduled community meetings to solicit input as they work together to solve some of the region’s health issues as part of the proposed merger.
The meetings are part of the health systems’ previously announced work groups initiative that will focus on four areas: mental health and addiction; healthy children and families; population health and healthy communities; and research and academics.

More than 100 community members responded to the call for participation through the BecomingBetterTogether.org website, and dozens more were recommended as participants.
“We are pleased with the sincere interest throughout the region, and we are grateful for these distinguished members of the community who have agreed to lead these work groups,” said Alan Levine, president and CEO of Mountain States.
Eight community leaders have agreed to serve as chairpersons leading the four work groups:

  • Mental health and addiction: Dr. Teresa Kidd, president and CEO of Frontier Health, and Eric Greene, senior vice president of Virginia services for Frontier Health;
  • Healthy children and families: Dr. David Wood, chair of the department of pediatrics at East Tennessee State University and chief medical officer of Niswonger Children’s Hospital, and Travis Staton, CEO of United Way of Southwest Virginia;
  • Population health and healthy communities: Dr. Randy Wykoff, dean of ETSU’s College of Public Health, and Lori Hamilton, RN, director of healthy initiatives for K-VA-T Food City;
  • Research and academics: Dr. Wilsie Bishop, vice president for health affairs and chief operating officer of ETSU, and Jake Schrum, president of Emory & Henry College.

The first two community round table meetings will take place Aug. 13 at 5:30 p.m. at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology, Elizabethton, Tennessee and Aug. 20 at 5:30 p.m. at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon, Virginia.