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Wellmont speaks out about Unicoi hospital sale

By Preston Ayres, payres@wcyb.com
Published On: Jul 16 2013 09:56:04 AM CDT
Updated On: Jul 16 2013 12:57:27 PM CDT
UNICOI COUNTY, Tenn. -

Wellmont Health System officials are speaking out about the proposed sale of Unicoi County Memorial Hospital to Mountain States Health Alliance.

Officials said in a statement Tuesday morning that Wellmont believes the process used by the hospital’s board of control to select Mountain States over Wellmont did not meet legal requirements. They are now calling Wellmont’s proposal and the proposal of Mountain States Health Alliance to be null and void. 

Wellmont executives say they will not take part Unicoi County Memorial Hospital Board of Control meeting planned for Thursday. "According to our legal advice, the proper remedy for these violations is for the board to issue another request for proposals and follow a legal, broad and transparent process from this point forward," said Denny DeNarvaez, Wellmont's president and CEO in a statement released Tuesday. "Merely re-evaluating the two proposals in an open meeting such as the one scheduled later this week is not sufficient."

The Tennessee Attorney General's office expressed concerns it had with the process the board used

The sale was placed on hold until the conditions expressed by the attorney general’s office are met including being approved by the Unicoi County Commission and the Erwin Board of Mayor and Aldermen.