The health system announced two pending care centers in a Tuesday afternoon release to media, one with primary, urgent and diagnostic care services in Kingsport, and one in Banner Elk.
Ballad decided to move into North Carolina after an invitation from the Banner Elk community, where access to care is not always available nearby, according to the release. More details about the urgent care center will be announced in the coming months before its opening in the summer.
Though it’s the system’s first location in the state, patients from Ashe, Avery, Madison, Mitchell, Watauga and Yancey counties in North Carolina already visit Ballad’s hospital and outpatient centers in Tennessee and Virginia.
System Chairman and CEO Alan Levine said the new clinics were evidence of Ballad’s investments in surrounding rural areas hit especially hard by hospital closures and population declines.
The Kingsport medical center is planned for the West Park development at the corner of West Stone Drive and Netherland Inn Road, near the Allandale community. Ballad Health aims to start construction on a new facility there, expecting to open it early 2021.
Ballad Health officially formed in February 2018, when Mountain States Health Alliance and Wellmont Health Systems merged, bringing together hospitals, long-term care facilities, outpatient offices and pharmacies across Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. It claims patients in those areas and from eastern Kentucky and western North Carolina.