Indivisible Greene County to host public forum on Ballad Health April 3

Johnson City Press • Mar 28, 2019 at 3:53 PM

Indivisible Greene County will host a public forum to discuss the Ballad Health merger beginning on April 3 at the Capitol Theatre in Greeneville, Tennessee. 

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the forum will begin at 6:30 p.m.

According to a press release from the organization, members of the community are invited to ask questions and share their concerns about the changes that have been made to the health care system in Greene County.

“There has been a lot of confusion and speculation about what the Ballad merger means for families here, and this event will provide an opportunity for those of us affected by the changes to have accurate information in order to create a plan for moving forward,” Indivisible Greene County President Erin Hensley Schultz stated in the press release. 

Speakers at this event will be Dr. Robert Berry, Dr. Marty Olsen, and Dani Cook.

Dr. Berry is the founder of PATMOS EmergiClinic (now known as DirectMD Greeneville), a direct pay, fee-for-service primary care medical practice, whose insurance-free model has been featured on the front of The Wall Street Journal, the Knoxville News Sentinel, and other popular news and medical publications. He has appeared before the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, on ABC News, Fox News, and CNN, and his op-eds have been published in national, state, and local forums.

Dr. Marty Olsen has practiced Obstetrics and Gynecology in Johnson City, Tennessee for 26 years. His concern about the area’s opioid epidemic led him to head a program that fights newborn drug withdrawal by helping pregnant women reduce their medication doses. His strong interest in the health of the region was a key issue in his 2018 candidacy for the US House of Representatives. He has participated in public health improvement around the world including fifteen trips to Iraq to teach physicians there.

Dani Cook is a disabled veteran, coach, author, and advocate. Through her Free Hugs & Love Project in Charlotte NC focusing on the homeless, Election Efforts in Atlanta GA, and her commentary on her podcast and streaming Facebook LIVE posts, Dani has committed to using her voice for the people, defending the right of every American citizen to have access to quality healthcare. Her granddaughter, Bella, was born at Holston Valley Medical Center, and spent her first 91 days in their neonatal intensive care unit. Ballad Health's plans to close that NICU and downgrade two of the region's trauma centers inspired Cook’s activism and advocacy.

In addition to these speakers, local and state officials, representatives from Ballad Health, and members of the healthcare community have also been invited to attend.

Indivisible Greene County is a nonpartisan group dedicated to awareness, inclusion, justice, and acceptance in politics at the local, state, and federal levels. Among other issues, their activism focuses on environmental concerns, healthcare, equality, as well as transparency and accountability in our local government.

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