Ballad Health will be new name of merged MSHA/Wellmont systems

Hank Hayes • Updated Sep 14, 2016 at 3:37 PM

KINGSPORT — Ballad Health will be the new name of the health care system created by the planned merger between Mountain States Health Alliance and Wellmont Health System, the two systems announced on Wednesday.

“It’s your story. We’re listening,” a release said of the new name.

This message was sent to team members of both health systems from CEOs Alan Levine of MSHA and Bart Hove of Wellmont: “As you know, we have been engaged in the activities necessary to bring Wellmont and Mountain States together as a new health delivery system. I couldn’t be more proud of the work so many people are doing in order to ensure success with this transition. And I’m talking about you.

“Each day, you come to work. The first thing you do is you listen. You listen to your patients explain how they feel. You listen to your colleagues when they give you reports. You listen to the sounds of monitors, and you listen when a patient calls. Each day, with each human transaction you engage in, you participate in the story of that person’s life.

“What a special thing. Which brings me to our region.

“Like no other, our region’s history is deeply lived through our stories and our music. We never run from challenges; we embrace them, together. Our passion is to understand the unique story of each person’s health and well-being and to contribute our part. Together, Wellmont and Mountain States, as a new health system, will prove good health is achievable by truly hearing each person’s story, and by listening.

“And so, today, I’m privileged to be able to share with you an important decision made last night by our Joint Board Task Force — the group of women and men who will govern our new health system. Defining our culture begins with the name and tag line we attach to ourselves. The name selected reflects the importance of each individual’s life story in the provider-patient relationship and the distinct character and heritage of our region.

“This name and associated tag line reflect the culture of our region, and importantly, the culture we wish to have as a new health system. A culture steeped in focusing on the individual stories of our patients and their families. Think about what a privilege this is. ... Each patient trusts us with their most important stories, and we get to be in the front row. There is nothing more important than trust in this relationship.

“The new name reflects the input received from over 400 local health care consumers, physicians and team members from both health systems. We found the most important attribute local patients look for in their health care provider is, ‘listening to patients and including them in health care decisions’ followed closely by, ‘provides the best medical results’ and, ‘takes the time to explain things clearly.’

“With a decision on our new name, the logo and other elements that will form our new brand can be developed. These will be released once our merger is finalized. ... Our new name is deliberately different, and it is bold. Why? Because we want to be a different kind of health system, building on the promises we made when we embarked on this merger journey.”

The proposed merger is currently under review by state officials in both Tennessee and Virginia.

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