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Healthcare merger, antitrust landscape in flux as local decision nears

By Jeff Keeling Wellmont Health System and Mountain States Health Alliance’s bid to become a single, $1.9 billion hospital system passed a critical juncture last month. The Sept. 15 Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) decision to deem the systems’ application for a Certificate of Public Advantage (COPA) complete – granted seven months after the initial application was submitted – set the clock ticking towa ...

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Bank CEOs detail reasons for, and benefits of, Hometrust-TriSummit merger

TriSummit CEO Lynn Shipley, left and HomeTrust Chairman and CEO Dana Stonestreet pose in Shipley’s office the day the acquisition was announced. Photo by Scott Robertson By Scott Robertson Last Wednesday afternoon, after issuing a press release announcing the planned purchase of TriSummit Bancorp, Inc. by HomeTrust Bancshares, Inc., HomeTrust CEO Dana Stonestreet and TriSummit CEO Lynn Shipley sat down toge ...

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Pell grant pilot to help more high schoolers focus on career

By Jeff Keeling In late May, Northeast State Community College announced it was one of 44 higher education institutions selected for a U.S. Department of Education pilot program allowing income-eligible high school students to apply for Federal Pell grants to pay for certain dual enrollment courses. This fall, eligible students in area “career academies” who are gaining college credit at Northeast are filli ...

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New King University president promises balance

By Scott Robertson As Alexander Whitaker, King University’s newly minted president, strolls along the oval walkway around which the Bristol campus is built, he points out the newly laid brick and surrounding fresh green grass. Only two weeks before, landscapers had been laying brick and sod, with orange plastic temporary fencing everywhere. “Today it looks beautiful,” he says. All evidence of a sweaty summe ...

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Your IT security exposure is scarier than you think: But that may mean opportunities for Southwest Virginia

By Scott Robertson So one day you’re reading your email at the office when you notice a message at the bottom of the screen saying, “This account is active at another location.” The next screen shows an IP address, which you look up, only to find that someone in Lagos, Nigeria is sending messages from your account. First, change your password. That very second. Next, notify everyone you know that the email ...

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Power board’s, hospital systems’ major changes rooted in overall trends

By Jeff Keeling ‘Boy, this sounds familiar,’ I thought one recent Monday night as I listened to Johnson City Power Board (JCPB) leaders answer questions from Johnson City commissioners about JCPB’s request to be granted “authority” status. “We need to be able to adapt to changes in the marketplace.” “The core of our business is threatened by innovations in our industry and changing use patterns by consumers ...

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Payment reform:‘Right thing to do,’ but ‘devil is in the details’

By Jeff Keeling Second in a two-part series. Read the first story at bjournal.com/payment-reform-spurring-sea-change-at-clinical-level. “I really believe Dr. Dykes saved my life,” Mary Snyder says. Mary Snyder wasn’t just sick late last fall. She was really sick. The Jonesborough resident’s congestive heart failure (CHF) had hit her with a vengeance. She had fluid on her lungs (pulmonary edema), a common si ...

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Teleperformance to add 500 jobs at Bristol call center

The expansion will keep Teleperformance recruiter Melanie Setterhoff busy for some time. Photos by Scott Robertson By Scott Robertson Teleperformance has committed to creating approximately 500 new full-time jobs at its Bristol, Tenn., call center over the next five years. The center currently has between 700 and 800 employees. The company has also committed to investing $800,000 in new equipment for the fa ...

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Due diligence proceeding as Summers-Taylor looks to buy Model Mill

By Jeff Keeling See the original article from when the contract on the Model Mill was announced at jcnewsandneighbor.com/model-mill-sale. By the end of July, just a few weeks after announcing his family company would purchase and renovate Johnson City’s historic Model Mill, Summers-Taylor Inc. President Grant Summers said good progress was being made in the due diligence process. As crews from Burleson Cons ...

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Site selection specialist assesses Unicoi County’s industrial development prospects

By Scott Robertson If there is a silver lining to the cloud CSX Railways’ departure left over Unicoi County, it is that the county’s application to the Select Tennessee Property Evaluation Program (PEP) has been accepted, creating opportunities the county otherwise would not have had. PEP is a relatively new program developed by the Department of Economic and Community Development in Nashville. Its stated g ...

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