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ETSU president Brian Noland: Keep health care local

Nathan Baker, NET News Service • Aug 22, 2014 at 3:51 PM

The intense discussion centered on the future of health care in the region continued at Thursday's meeting of the Washington County Economic Development Council, where Mountain States Health Alliance CEO Alan Levine and East Tennessee State University President Brian Noland picked up where Monday night's Kingsport forum left off.

Invited by the council to speak, Levine outlined the financial strength of his health care system and the benefits of keeping it locally managed, while Noland espoused the opportunities for the university to partner with local health companies for research opportunities.

"The decisions being made about health care in the region aren't things that can be measured in a one- to five-year return-on-investment; the downstream benefits we can't even imagine at this point," Noland said. "What we do know is that by keeping health care locally and by piling resources into research, we have opportunities that would not be present if the decision went in another direction."

Noland's comments were similar to those he made Monday at a filled-to-capacity public forum held in Kingsport's Higher Education Center.

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