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Thursday, Mar 4, 2021

Ballad Health announces plans for pediatric emergency department at Indian Path Community Hospital, Women’s and Babies’ Center of Excellence in Kingsport

Ballad Health announced plans on Thursday for a new pediatric emergency department at Indian Path Community Hospital, rounding out plans to improve the quality of healthcare for children in Kingsport and its surrounding area.

The announcement followed the unveiling of the new Ballad Health Niswonger Children’s Network, a comprehensive system of care that represents a $60 million commitment to children, families and the future of the Appalachian Highlands.

The Ballad Health board of directors considered the thoughtful work of the Kingsport Visioning Committee, which was assembled by the Ballad Health board in late 2019 for the purpose of providing community input into the future of services for the region.

The new emergency department will accompany Indian Path’s transition into a Center for Women and Babies. With the recommendation of the Kingsport Visioning Committee, the Ballad Health board of directors has committed more than $8 million to the project at Indian Path, paving the way for improved access, more focused care for women, children and their families in the Appalachian Highlands.

“We are so excited for the new level of care that’s coming for our communities,” said Lindy White, president of Ballad Health’s Northwest Market and CEO of Indian Path and Holston Valley Medical Center. “These plans will help solidify stronger futures for our smallest patients, and the developments at Indian Path are an important piece of the Niswonger Children’s Network.”

The new center will consolidate women and children’s services in Kingsport to a location dedicated to their care. Holston Valley Medical Center, one of America’s best hospitals for cardiology, will continue to be a regional center of excellence for cardiovascular services, expanding its role in research and the care of the cardiovascular system.

The move to include a pediatric emergency department at the future Center for Women and Babies rounds out Ballad Health’s goal to enhance the quality of care children receive throughout the Appalachian Highlands. It also comports with longer-term preliminary recommendations by the Visioning Committee in Kingsport to enhance service offerings for women and newborns.

“Since the beginning of the planning for these new services, Ballad Health has been committed to listening to what our residents and leaders in Kingsport want and need from local healthcare,” said Kingsport Mayor Pat Shull. “The change builds on the Visioning Committee’s recommendation for our service area to have a state-of-the-art center to provide women’s and newborn care.”

“We want to thank the community leaders on the Kingsport Visioning Committee,” White added. “Their recommendation to develop programming and care navigation for women of all ages, which featured integrated care and a birthing center of distinction, was a perfect fit with Ballad Health’s initiatives that are focused on women and children in our communities. Plus, our pediatricians and pediatric team members have wholly embraced plans for the pediatric emergency department – they’re looking forward to enhancing our service offerings with that addition.

“Together, we’re so excited to bring this level of care to Kingsport.”

The future pediatric emergency department complements the newly-opened J.D. Nicewonder Family Pediatric Emergency Department at Bristol Regional Medical Center and the pediatric emergency room at Niswonger Children’s Hospital in Johnson City, placing specialized, acute care for children in Johnson City, Kingsport and Bristol.

The future Center for Women and Babies will seamlessly link patients to the regionwide Niswonger Children’s Network. The consolidation of women and children’s services to one location will allow Ballad Health to centralize strong teams of caregivers and specialists to give patients better access to the care they need.

Women of all ages will be able to receive care in the new center – patients can receive obstetric care in addition to comprehensive breast and cervical care, geriatric services and gynecology services.

Ballad Health has begun the process of renovations at Indian Path to accommodate the newly focused effort. The move of the Barbara Humphreys Birthing Center from Holston Valley to Indian Path has occurred as other preparations are being made for realignment of other services.

“We’re so grateful for the continued support of Barbara Humphreys and her family,” White said. “The Barbara Humphreys Birthing Center carries with it a legacy of compassionate, sustained care for families of the Appalachian Highlands, and we are honored to bring that legacy to the center’s new home at Indian Path.”

The move also benefits Holston Valley, as consolidating these services allows the hospital to focus on improving services as one of the region’s tertiary hospitals by focusing on areas of care such as orthopedics, neurosurgery and heart care.

Downloadable video about the future pediatric emergency department, as well as the planned Center for Women and Babies, is available here. Learn more about the Niswonger Children’s Network.