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Alpha’s natural gas assets set to bring $339 million

By Scott Robertson It appears Alpha Natural Resources will garner a $325 million credit bid and a $339.5 million cash bid in the sale of its core assets. The sale is part of Alpha’s Chapter 11 reorganization. As this issue of The Business Journal went to press, U.S. Bankruptcy Court was in the process of determining whether to approve the cash sale of certain assets to Vantage Energy Appalachia II, LLC. Van ...

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Organizers hope SWVA Economic Forum just a first step

Photos by Tim Cox By Jeff Keeling “Don’t be cynical. Be an optimist with concerns,” U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) Deputy Assistant Secretary Matt Erskine told more than 300 people gathered at the University of Virginia at Wise May 12. Erskine was among several speakers at the 2016 SWVA Economic Forum, and like his counterparts from business and industry, he emphasized the importance of seve ...

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Hospital merger deliberations detailed, slow

By Jeff Keeling Groups vetting the area's proposed hospital system merger are expressing it loudly and clearly: If Wellmont Health System and Mountain States Health Alliance combine, the new entity must not just maintain access to health care in the rural parts of its geographic service area (GSA), it must enhance it. Other messages to the systems also are coalescing as the “COPA Index Advisory Group” in Te ...

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Good thing it’s not first and goal for hospital merger

By Jeff Keeling If you thought – for good or for ill – that Mountain States Health Alliance and Wellmont Health System were looking at a first and goal on the five-yard-line after announcing in April 2015 they would seek approval to merge, you almost certainly weren’t alone. Proponents of Wellmont opting for a local partner as it sought “strategic options” had begun in August 2014 fighting what seemed very ...

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The Domtar Century: And why it’s the next 100 years, not the last

By Scott Robertson Domtar is celebrating 100 years of operation at its Kingsport paper mill in 2016. The year-long commemoration features monthly events designed to highlight the successful partnership between the company and the city in which it has thrived. Yet while the public is enjoying the celebration of a stable past – a celebration that to date has included the donation and planting of 100 trees by ...

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Lee County, Va. hospital talks progressing, ‘entangled with merger’

By Jeff Keeling May could be a critical month for long-running efforts to reopen Lee County, Va.’s hospital, which Wellmont Health System closed in September 2013. Those efforts, a source said, have become “entangled with” the proposed merger between Wellmont and Mountain States Health Alliance. The source, who is close to the effort by the Lee County Hospital Authority (LCHA) told The Business Journal Apri ...

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Despite growth, soon-to-close CrestPoint Health was losing millions per year

By Jeff Keeling Despite strong growth in premium revenues, Mountain States Health Alliance’s foray into offering its own Medicare advantage insurance plan, CrestPoint Health, was far from profitable, MSHA Senior Vice President Tony Keck said after CrestPoint’s pending wind-down was announced. “We were losing money, which is not unusual for a startup plan in insurance in any business,” Keck said April 15. “T ...

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The Business Journal Q&A: Ron Ramsey comes home

By Scott Robertson The tweet Ron Ramsey sent Friday, April 22 read simply, “The @tnsenate of the 109th General Assembly has adjourned sine die.” The Latin term at the end means there is no date set for resumption – the business of the session is finished. With the end of the session, and Ramsey’s prior announcement he would not seek re-election after 20 years in the state senate (plus two terms in the state ...

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Alice doesn’t work here anymore: Former Wellmont CFO grants The Business Journal an exit interview

By Jeff Keeling With institutional knowledge as important as ever given the changes swirling around Wellmont Health System, leaders at Wellmont no longer have a long-solid option when financial questions arise: Go ask Alice. Alice Pope left the system after 16 years to become CFO at HonorHealth, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based not-for-profit hospital system. Her last day at Wellmont, where she had been CFO since ...

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OneKingsport, One Journal, One Hundred

By Scott Robertson We’re very honored here at The Business Journal to partner with the city of Kingsport, Tenn., to publish the city’s official centennial publication. It’s something I’ve been working toward since having a conversation with my old boss Ken Maness several months ago. Ken, who gave me my first job out of college, selling radio advertising on what was then Oldies 104.9 WKOS, and whose bio I ha ...

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