Ballad Health plans to open new urgent care centers as part of initiative to increase access, expand network


Ballad Health Tuesday announced plans to add two new urgent care centers to the family of Ballad Health providers in the Appalachian Highlands.

Ballad Health said in a press release it will invest in the opening of a new Ballad Health Medical Associates urgent care center, including the addition of primary care and diagnostics, in Kingsport, as well as a new urgent care center in Banner Elk, North Carolina.

While the health system’s hospitals and outpatient services in Tennessee and Virginia currently serve patients from Ashe, Avery, Madison, Mitchell, Watauga and Yancey counties in North Carolina, the opening of the Banner Elk urgent care center would be Ballad Health’s first service location in the Tarheel State.

“While many rural communities continue to experience the loss of access due to hospital closures and flight from rural regions, Ballad Health is investing in the region surrounding our tertiary referral hospitals,” said Ballad Health Chairman and CEO Alan Levine. “This investment is in addition to the nearly 200 new providers Ballad Health has recruited to the Appalachian Highlands region.”

“Ballad Health has been focused on reducing the cost of healthcare, and one way we are doing this is by promoting alternatives to expensive emergency room care and ensuring there is access, so patients do not have to travel too far to receive care,” said Dr. Mark Patterson, president of Ballad Health Medical Associates. “We want to be more proactive in preventing simple illnesses from compounding into serious ailments that require emergency treatment.”

The Kingsport clinic will offer primary, urgent and diagnostic care services. Subject to final closing on a site in the West Park development at the corner of West Stone Drive and Netherland Inn Road, near the Allandale community, Ballad Health says it will commence construction on a new facility with the expectation of the facility being open by early 2021.

In Banner Elk, North Carolina, Ballad Health says it was invited by the community to open an urgent care center, because access to care is not always available nearby. According to the release, further details on the Banner Elk location will be announced before its planned opening this summer.

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