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VOL. 43 | NO. 43 | Friday, October 25, 2019

ETSU, Ballad Health to collaborate on Center for Rural Health Research

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Tennessee’s 2019-20 budget includes $1.5 million to establish the Center for Rural Health Research at East Tennessee State University. The center will receive $750,000 per year from the state on a recurring basis. Ballad Health, a health care company serving upper East Tennessee and southwestern Virginia, also will provide $15 million to the center over the next 10 years.

The Center will “work with Ballad Health, local health care delivery partners, national experts, and the leadership of ETSU Health to identify new mechanisms to improve health in rural and nonurban communities,” ETSU said in a statement over the summer. “Specific emphasis will be placed on strategies that disrupt intergenerational cycles of behaviors that contribute to poor health outcomes, which ultimately can affect college- and career-readiness.”

Ballad Health, the statement said, has formed the nation’s largest accountable care community, made up of more than 250 area organizations, including faith-based organizations, school systems, not-for-profit agencies, law enforcement, academic institutions and major employers.

Alan Levine, Ballad’s executive chairman, president and chief executive officer, was recently named to the state’s Health Care Modernization task force.

-- Kathy Carlson

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