Jellico Regional Hospital partially reopens after being closed for more than 2 years

The hospital is under new management and has been renovated to fix previous issues according to city and hospital staff.
Published: Apr. 20, 2023 at 4:27 PM EDT
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JELLICO, Tenn. (WVLT) - After not having a patient since March 2020, the doors to the newly named Jellico Regional Hospital are now partially open.

Hospital staff confirmed that the emergency room is now open along with the lab and radiology facilities, and on a very limited basis they are able to admit patients.

With the next closest hospital about an hour away to Lafollette and Knoxville, it’s long awaited news for the people in Jellico who for years have shared their need for this hospital with WVLT.

Many relying on free Remote Area Medical clinics to address years worth of pain and discomfort while their local hospital had ben forced to close it’s doors.

The old Jellico Community Hospital was no longer run by Rennova after employees complained several times of not being paid in a timely manner, and ambulances being diverted away from the hospital.

Since the hospital closed, there have been time tables promised by city leaders on when the facility will reopen, which have not come to fruition. Former mayor Dwight Osborne told WVLT News that the hospital would reopen in April of 2022, which is a timeline that has remained unfulfilled more than a year later.

In May of 2022, Osborne spoke with WVLT to address the long awaited hospital reopening and the timeline for a day when they would open their doors again.

“It borders on being an impossible task,” said Osborne when talking about running a hospital in Jellico.

Osborn added that x-ray machines would be non-functional or “inferior,” and at times, emergency lab work had to be processed at other facilities because certain machines weren’t working. At the end of the day, Osborn said it came down to money and investment in the city of Jellico. Hundreds and thousands of dollars in repairs were needed to fix broken machines and water boilers that he claimed Rennova didn’t have.

The city switched management groups, moving on from Rennova and now entering into a 20-year contract with Boa Vida to run the newly named Jellico Regional Hospital.

With new management and hope for the future ahead, the hospital is now looking to hire employees as staff tell WVLT they are preparing to fully open over the summer.

The hospital remains partially but not fully open at this moment, with contact and hours information found on the hospital’s new website.