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Find High-Quality Health Care in Washington County, VA

Southwest Virginia residents don't have to travel far to find top-notch services.

By Kevin Litwin on March 2, 2023

Southwest Virginia Community Health
Brianna Morris Fillers

The health care facilities in Washington County are known for providing high-quality and comprehensive care – and they also lead with heart. Health care is community-centric in the region, ensuring everyone receives the resources they need.

Such is the case at Meadowview Health Clinic, a branch of Southwest Virginia Community Health Systems that offers affordable care to the 1,000+ residents of Meadowview and its surrounding communities. The clinic operates Monday through Friday and features services such as pediatric care, adult and geriatric medicine, behavioral health and minor surgery.

The eight-member staff at Meadowview Health Clinic is made up of medical providers, behavioral health specialists and registered dietitians. Also within the clinic complex is Merrihue Diabetes Education Center, which treats all types of diabetic patients and was made possible by a private donation from Meadowview resident Tom Merrihue, who passed away in 2017.

Johnston Memorial Improvements

The largest medical facility in Washington County is Johnston Memorial Hospital, which was officially acquired by Ballad Health in 2021.

“Johnston Memorial has been part of Ballad Health since 2021, and our investment in 2021 transferred a 49.9% minority stake from a partnering community foundation to Ballad Health,” says Ashlea Ramey, Ballad Health senior communications manager. “So, we’re the sole owner now.”

Ballad Health officials say the acquisition of Abingdon-based Johnston Memorial means that Ballad will dedicate millions of dollars to health care improvements at the hospital, so JMH can concentrate even more on treating patients in rural areas. Part of those improvements will be an enhanced focus on behavioral health services at JMH.

“We’re going to do all we can to improve overall health and well-being for the Appalachian Highlands.”

Dr. Chad Couch, president of Ballad Health’s northeast market

Besides the purchase of Johnston Memorial, Ballad Health also bought Smyth County Community Hospital in Marion. Ballad Health was founded in 2018, and the two purchased hospitals will see a total of about $310 million in upgrades throughout 2023.

“The formation and impetus behind Ballad Health have been unchanged for our three years in operation – we’re going to do all we can to improve overall health and well-being for the Appalachian Highlands, and we’re working especially hard to reach into our most rural areas,” says Dr. Chad Couch, president of Ballad Health’s northeast market.

To decide on the best monetary investments for Johnston Memorial Hospital throughout 2023 and beyond, Ballad Health is teaming with officials of Wellspring Foundation (formerly Johnston Memorial Healthcare Foundation) to make sure the best decisions are made for improving community health and the hospital’s workforce in rural Washington County.

Three Helpful Programs

Besides Johnston Memorial Hospital, three programs that Ballad Health oversees to increase the quality of life of the region are Appalachian Highlands Care Network, PEERhelp Recovery and STRONG Accountable Community.

Appalachian Highlands Care Network is a program that connects uninsured patients and their families with free or low-cost health, community and financial services, and assistance programs.

AHCN provides low-cost vision, dental, hearing and women’s services to patients in need, and it also offers preventive screenings, group counseling, children’s therapy and early childhood assistance as well as mental health services for those living with social isolation, substance abuse, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.

In addition, the program helps find employment to get people back on their feet. PEERhelp is a helpline where certified specialists answer phone calls to assist people who have experienced substance use issues and mental health challenges in their lives. PEERhelp also conducts daily 90-minute virtual meetings to equip people with the needed tools to overcome the obstacles in their life.

STRONG Accountable Community is a coalition of more than 300 partner organizations working together to create stronger futures for children, families and communities throughout Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee. The program helps to connect people who have unmet health and social service needs, such as with housing, food, transportation and employment.

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