Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

UCMH celebrates first year as part of Mountain States

Unicoi County Memorial Hospital (UCMH) celebrated one full year as part of Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA) this week.
“We’ve really come a long way,” said Tracy Byers, hospital administrator, in a press release. “Before the hospital joined Mountain States, we were short on money and our staff was being forced to make the best of a tough situation. We didn’t have the resources we needed. Equipment was getting old.”
Future plans are currently being drawn up to build a replacement hospital set to open in the spring of 2018, according to MSHA.
In the meantime, MSHA has completed work to the current facility to improve standards. Several new medical personnel have been added to the current staff, highlighted by Dr. Raymond Merrick and Dr. Israel Garcia of MSMG Cardiology.
“This is the hospital reaching out to the community and providing better access,” said Merrick. “It’s basically a community service. A lot of people who would normally have to go to Johnson City for treatment won’t have to go there now and that’s especially good for the folks coming out of Western North Carolina who won’t have to go as far.”
MSHA has added several other new physicians and nurses, the health system reported. They have also added anesthesiologists to the current staff and have introduced a new 64-slice CT Scanner which is considered state-of-the-art and on par with scanners found in much larger cities. New carts and computers have been provided for nurses and patient rooms have received new mattresses, bedside tables and flat screen televisions. As for the exterior of the hospital, leaky roofs have been fixed and new awnings and signs have been added to the front of the building.
“Our people worked extremely hard to make sure patients still got quality treatment, but joining a bigger system has given us the stability and the resources that we really needed,” said Byers.
A community board has been established along with a visioning committee to help the hospital move forward.
“There was a lot of uncertainty about the future of the hospital and the team members’ jobs,” said Byers. “That’s all been laid to rest. And when the hospital joined Mountain States, our team members were able to keep their years of service status and immediately gain Mountain States benefits, which was huge.
“We owe a great thanks to the hospital leaders and Mountain States leaders who worked hard to make this partnership happen. Their efforts have really paid off for the hospital and the people of this community.”