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Lords of Fly Tying

By Scott Robertson Randy Ratliff runs a guide service called East Tennessee on the Fly. He guides trout fishing expeditions on the Watauga and South Holston Rivers and smallmouth bass fishing expeditions on the Holston River west of Church Hill. “I’ve built up my client base since I was guiding part-time,” he says. “I started guiding full-time in 2000.” Those clients range from businesses that bring teams o ...

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MSHA moving strategically in choppy health care waters

By Jeff Keeling Medicare drives the train of hospital system finance, but Mountain States Health Alliance continues looking for innovative ways to control cost and create revenue streams outside the Medicare piece, CEO Alan Levine said. In last month’s issue, we relayed part of a conversation with Levine and Chief Financial Officer Marvin Eichorn about issues facing the hospital system. Discussion points in ...

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Enthusiasm, caution mix as Tennessee Promise looms

By Jeff Keeling Bill Haslam’s unveiling of the “Tennessee Promise” proposal during his Feb. 3 State of the State address drew broad attention for its boldness, but it wasn’t a shock to Northeast State Community College President Dr. Janice Gilliam. “I was excited that it was as far-reaching as it was,” Gilliam said of the proposal to make community college tuition-free for Tennesseans coming directly out of ...

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Mark Costa Q&A

Business is very good at Eastman Chemical Co., CEO Mark Costa told a capacity crowd gathered March 5 at Meadowview Convention Center for Eastman’s annual Regional Leaders Breakfast. He warned against complacency, though, and exhorted the area’s political and business leaders to work at maintaining and enhancing the Tri-Cities’ quality of life so Eastman can continue to attract and retain top talent from aro ...

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Levine, Eichorn discuss MSHA strategies

By Jeff Keeling Judging from a wide-ranging interview on just his 86th day on the job, Alan Levine doesn’t appear to have wasted any time in his first 90 days as CEO of Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA). Then again, with hospital systems facing the twin challenges of declining admissions and reimbursement cuts as the full weight of healthcare reform bears down, Levine does not enjoy the luxury of a len ...

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Wellmont selling its share of Greeneville hospital — Adventist System to resume full ownership of Takoma

From Wellmont Health System GREENEVILLE – (May 9)A thorough strategic assessment and review of the nation’s changing healthcare environment has led Wellmont Health System and Adventist Health System to conclude ownership of Takoma Regional Hospital would best be placed with one organization. The two health systems have reached agreement to return Takoma Regional to AHS’ full ownership. Wellmont and AHS, whi ...

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Grow it here: Demand for local goods helping agriculture

By Jeff Keeling It’s 8:30 on a crisp, late February morning. Under a brilliant blue sky, large fans hum gently, competing with the chirping of songbirds in the middle of a 250-acre tract of land in rural Stanley Valley, Hawkins County, Tennessee. In a four-acre section of land sit 40 greenhouses covering 4,320 square feet each. Inside the warm, humid houses, hanging from the ceilings and on platforms severa ...

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Quiet Leadership

Dr. Richard Ray, interim president, King University Following the weeks of growing rancor that led to the resignation of Dr. Greg Jordan as King University president, the King Board of Trustees has gone in a completely different direction in naming the interim president. Jordan’s hallmark was aggressive action. He often spoke as an eager salesman, whether pushing a medical school, an increased online presen ...

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The Governor of Southwest Virginia

In the span of a few hours, Terry McAuliffe received both support from healthcare executives for his Medicaid stance and a big legislative win for his Bristol retail legislation By Scott Robertson and Tammy Childress On March 4, which saw his first visit to Southwest Virginia since becoming governor, Terry McAuliffe had a very good day. It began with a roundtable discussion with Wise County Chamber of Comme ...

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