Wellmont Health System, Mountain States Health Alliance Name Members of Joint Board Task Force

Task force to assist each system’s governing body as proposed merger process moves forward

Wellmont Health System and Mountain States Health Alliance leaders have appointed a joint board task force as work continues to explore the creation of a new, integrated and locally governed health system.

The joint board task force is a committee of the two boards acting as a liaison and providing information and guidance about developments in the transaction exploration process. Totaling 14 members, the task force is composed of an equal number of representatives appointed by the Mountain States and Wellmont boards. The members represent a cross section of regional and physician leadership from the community, incorporating those with experience in governance, administration, business and strategy – both in health care and in the business community.

The group is primarily responsible for providing a conduit to the existing boards of directors about the progress being made as the two systems undertake due diligence and transaction analysis and purse a potential definitive agreement.

Wellmont’s joint board task force members are:

  • Dr. Nelson Gwaltney, of Bristol, Tennessee, a member of the Wellmont board of directors, president of Highlands Physicians Inc. and a general surgeon on the medical staff of Bristol Regional Medical Center;
  • Bart Hove, of Kingsport, Tennessee president and CEO of Wellmont Health System;
  • Roger Leonard, of Bristol, Tennessee, chair of the Wellmont board of directors and a senior adviser to England & Company;
  • Roger K. Mowen Jr., of Kingsport, Tennessee, a member of the Wellmont board of directors and retired senior vice president of global developing businesses and corporate strategy for Eastman Chemical Company;
  • Dr. Doug Springer, of Kingsport, Tennessee, a gastroenterologist on the medical staff of Holston Valley Medical Center, a member of the Wellmont board of directors and immediate past president of the Tennessee Medical Association;
  • Dr. David Thompson, of Bristol, Tennessee, an internal medicine physician with Wellmont Medical Associates in Bristol, who also practices in Abingdon, Virginia, and is a Wellmont board member and chairman of the Wellmont Medical Associates board of directors; and
  • Keith Wilson, of Kingsport, Tennessee, who owns a secondary residence and a farm in Scott County, Virginia, a member of the Wellmont board of directors, publisher of the Kingsport Times-News and president of Northeast Tennessee Media Group.

Mountain States’ joint board task force members are:

  • Barbara Allen, of Johnson City, Tennessee, chair of the Mountain States board of directors and general manager of Stowaway Storage, a family-owned business in Johnson City;
  • Bob Feathers, of Kingsport, Tennessee, a member of the Mountain States board of directors and president and CEO of Workspace Interiors, Inc.;
  • Alan Levine, of Johnson City, Tennessee, president and CEO of Mountain States Health Alliance;
  • Dr. David May, of Elizabethton, Tennessee, a member of the Mountain States board of directors and immediate past president of the medical staff at Sycamore Shoals Hospital;
  • Dr. Rick Moulton, of Johnson City, Tennessee, medical director of clinical integration for State of Franklin Healthcare Associates and chairman of the SoFHA patient centered medical home committee;
  • Gary Peacock, of Marion, Virginia, a member of the Mountain States board of directors, former chair of the Smyth County Community Hospital board of directors, and retired senior vice president of Royal Mouldings; and
  • Clem Wilkes, Jr. of Johnson City, Tennessee, a member of the Mountain States board of directors and co-manager of Citizens Investment Services, a subsidiary of Citizens Bank Tri-Cities.

From now until the potential transaction closes, Wellmont and Mountain States will remain separate and independent organizations, conducting “business as usual.” Their respective boards of directors continue to govern the operations of each health system separately and independently, until all regulatory approvals have been granted and the merger is complete.

A board for the new proposed system will be appointed prior to the completion of the merger.

“During this current phase, our primary focus is on due diligence, confirming the transaction’s potential for substantial cost-savings, quality-of-care enhancements and other community benefits, pursuing a definitive agreement and laying the groundwork for creating the new system,” said Bart Hove, president and CEO of Wellmont. “The joint board task force and integration council will focus on preparing for what we expect will be a highly successful integration. Once the new health system is formed post-closing, a new board will take over the responsibility for governance and overseeing the implementation of an exciting vision for the future of health care in this region, which will be crafted with significant input from our physicians, team members and the community.”

“Some of the tasks before us include due diligence, a more detailed analysis and quantification of the transaction’s substantial benefits for the community, culture and governance audits and preparations for crafting our application for a certificate of public advantage in Tennessee and a similar approval in Virginia,” said Alan Levine, president and CEO of Mountain States. “We view the certificate of public advantage and the regulatory process as an important memorialization of our commitment to the people of this region, and we’re excited to begin working toward that goal. We are definitely committed to seeking public input, and this is the next order of business.”

For more information, please visit www.becomingbettertogether.org.

About Wellmont Health System

Wellmont Health System is a leading provider of health care services for Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, delivering top-quality, comprehensive health care, wellness, and long-term care services across the region. Wellmont facilities include Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tenn.; Bristol Regional Medical Center in Bristol, Tenn.; Mountain View Regional Medical Center in Norton, Va.; Lonesome Pine Hospital in Big Stone Gap, Va.; Hawkins County Memorial Hospital in Rogersville, Tenn.; and Hancock County Hospital in Sneedville, Tenn. For more information about Wellmont, please visit www.wellmont.org.

About Mountain States Health Alliance

Since 1998, Mountain States Health Alliance has been bringing the nation’s best health care close to home to serve the residents of Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, Southeastern Kentucky and Western North Carolina. This not-for-profit health care organization based in Johnson City, Tenn., operates family of 13 hospitals serving a 29-county region. Mountain States offers a large tertiary hospital with level 1 trauma center, a dedicated children’s hospital, several community hospitals, two critical access hospitals, a behavioral health hospital, two long-term care facilities, home care and hospice services, retail pharmacies, a comprehensive medical management corporation, and the region’s only provider-owned health insurance company. The team members, physicians and volunteers who make up Mountain States Health Alliance are committed to caring for you and earning your trust. For more information, visit www.mountainstateshealth.com.