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Frontier Health buys former Johnson City Specialty Hospital

Zach Vance • Updated Jan 11, 2019 at 9:27 PM

Frontier Health has bought the former Johnson City Specialty Hospital at 208 E. Unaka Ave. with plans to expand its substance abuse and crisis services there, a Friday press release from the company stated.

“We have identified the need to increase the availability of services to individuals in our area who are in need of addiction services,” Frontier Health President and CEO Kristie Hammonds said.

“The purchase of this building will impact Frontier’s capability to reach these individuals through the expansion and enhancement to our existing substance abuse/crisis services.”

Frontier Health plans to combine its Crisis Stabilization Unit, Walk-In/23 hour Observation Services, Magnolia Ridge, Mobile Crisis and Triage services into the 66,000-square-foot facility.

The building has not been used for clinical services since 2010, when birthing and surgical services formerly operated by Mountain States Health Alliance moved to the newly constructed Franklin Woods Community Hospital.

Ballad Health currently uses the facility for information technology offices, but those offices will move to locations in Blountville and Kingsport.

“We are happy to see the building being repurposed to expand access to much-needed behavioral health services in the region. Frontier is a strong partner of Ballad Health, and we look forward to continuing our work together,” Tony Keck, Ballad Health’s executive vice president for system innovation and chief population officer, said. 

Frontier Health will soon begin renovating the facility with plans to have it open by July 2019.

“Frontier is excited to have the opportunity to repurpose the building back into a clinical care facility,” Hammonds said.

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