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Erwin approves MSHA takeover of hospital

By Meredith Machen, mmachen@wcyb.com
Published On: Jul 23 2013 04:54:07 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 23 2013 12:57:05 PM CDT
ERWIN, Tenn. -

Mountain States Health Alliance is another step closer to taking over Unicoi County Memorial Hospital after the Tennessee Attorney General delayed the sale last month.

At the Attorney General's request, Erwin's Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted on the proposal and unanimously approved the sale to Mountain States with one abstention.

Erwin's mayor Doris Hensley said the abstention came from Alderman Robie Sullins, whose wife works for Mountain States.

Mayor Henley told News 5 the board wanted to support the Unicoi County Memorial Hospital's Board of Control's decision to unanimously voted to accept Mountain States' bid. "I personally feel it was their decision to make. However, looking at the proposals that was presented to the Unicoi County Memorial Hospital's Board of Control, I think they chose the best proposal that was presented to them," Mayor Hensley said.

Mountain State's Health Alliance's president and CEO Dennis Vonderfecht told News 5 in a statement, "We are very pleased with the unanimous votes from both the Town of Erwin and the UCMH Board of Control. We're also very encouraged by the outpouring of support we're seeing from the community in general."

Before the sale can become official, the Unicoi County Commission must also approve the measure.

We checked with Unicoi County Mayor Greg Lynch and found out that vote is expected to happen on August 26.