World-Class Health Care: Heartbeat of the Economy Draws Retirees, Other Residents
Washington County has a health care-driven economy, and it shows in the availability and quality of health care available in the region.
With colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Public Health, East Tennessee State University in Johnson City contributes more than its share of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and health professionals both to the local area and nationwide. Those colleges' esteemed programs bring a high level of quality medical and health care to the area and have a huge impact on the local economy.
It all started in the mid-1970s when Quillen College of Medicine was established in large part thanks to East Tennessee State University's (ETSUs) proximity to a Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital - in this case, the VA Medical Center at Mountain Home. That strong relationship between the VA and ETSU has continued through the years, with many other ETSU health care programs located on the beautiful VA campus. The VA itself is one of the country's top-notch VA hospitals, with many specialty areas including primary care outreach, which takes place throughout the southern Appalachian region.
East Tennessee State University's College of Pharmacy is centered in a historic building on the Veterans Affairs campus at Mountain Home, which is shares with the VA Medical Center and ETSUs College of Medicine. (Photo courtesy of ETSU)
Not-for-Profit Hospital System
Washington County is home to the headquarters of Ballad Health. Formed in 2018 by the merger of two regional health systems, it is an integrated healthcare system serving 29 counties of Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, Northwest North Carolina and Southeast Kentucky.
Ballad operates a family of 21 hospitals, including three tertiary medical centers, a dedicated children’s hospital, community hospitals, three critical access hospitals, a behavioral health hospital, an addiction treatment facility, long-term care facilities, home care and hospice services, retail pharmacies, outpatient services and a comprehensive medical management corporation.