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  • Dennis Vonderfecht becomes CEO of Johnson City Medical Center, and the hospital creates its first strategic plan to identify service line growth opportunities.


  • Creation of the Mountain States Health Care Network, an affiliation of hospitals throughout the region that help each other by sharing resources for training, recruitment and referrals, and lower costs by using group purchasing power for supplies. 
  • Vonderfecht and Dr. Paul Stanton of East Tennessee State University work together to create a pediatric and OB/GYN residency at JCMC, establishing the Children’s Hospital at Johnson City Medical Center. 


  • Creation of Blue Ridge Physician Group, a handful of primary care physicians supporting Johnson City Medical Center. The group eventually grows to become Blue Ridge Medical Management Corporation and Mountain States Medical Group. 


  • Wings Air Rescue is established, becoming the first air ambulance to serve the Northeast Tennessee region. Today, Wings serves five states with four helicopters and a full medical team on each. 


  • The Children’s Hospital at Johnson City Medical Center establishes an affiliation with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Today, it is still one of only eight affiliates in the nation.
  • Johnson City Medical Center purchases six hospitals from Columbia HCA, transforming from a single hospital to a true health system. The hospitals purchased from Columbia HCA were: 
    • Johnson City Specialty Hospital in Johnson City, Tenn. 
    • North Side Hospital in Johnson City, Tenn. 
    • Northeast Tennessee Rehabilitation Hospital in Johnson City, Tenn. (Later James H. and Cecile C. Quillen Rehabilitation Hospital)
    • Sycamore Shoals Hospital in Elizabethton, Tenn. 
    • Indian Path Medical Center in Kingsport, Tenn. 
    • Indian Path Pavilion in Kingsport, Tenn. 
  • Johnson County Community Hospital in Mountain City, Tenn., is constructed and opened to serve the healthcare needs of the residents of Johnson County. 


  • The health system is christened “Mountain States Health Alliance.”


  • The Mountain States board establishes the system’s mission, vision and values, which evolve over the years to become:  
    • Mission: Mountain States Health Alliance is committed to bringing loving care to health care. We exist to identify and respond to the health care needs of individuals and communities in our region and to assist them in attaining their highest possible level of health. 
    • Vision: We passionately pursue healing of the mind, body and spirit as we create a world-class health care system. 
    • Values: Integrity – honesty in everything we do; Service – with caring and compassion; Leadership – with creativity and innovation; Excellence – always pursuing a higher standard. 


  • Recognizing a need for a common culture to connect all of the facilities within the system, Mountain States leaders agree upon a philosophy statement and 10 guiding principles of patient-centered care to serve as a guide for all aspects of system operations. The philosophy statement is: Mountain States Team Members as caregivers create relationships, environments and service delivery centered on the patient through a holistic approach to healing that ministers to the mind, body, and spirit. Mountain States caregivers believe that healing can exist without curing, but healing cannot exist without caring. The 10 principles of patient-centered care are:
    • Care is based on continuous healing relationships. 
    • The patient is the source of control for their care. 
    • Care is customized and reflects patient needs, values, and choices. 
    • Families and friends of the patient are considered an essential part of the care team. 
    • All team members are considered as caregivers. 
    • Care is provided in a healing environment of comfort, peace, and support. 
    • Knowledge and information are freely shared between and among patients, care partners, physicians, and other caregivers. 
    • Transparency is the rule in the care of the patient. 
    • Patient safety is a visible priority. 
    • All caregivers cooperate with one another through a common focus on the best interests and personal goals of the patient. 
  • Mountain States selects the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence as its business model to help bring greater focus to the system’s commitment to providing world-class health care.


  • Mountain States files its first application for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. 


  • JCMC receives recognition as the first Magnet Hospital in Tennessee, as designated by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) of the American Nurses Association. 
  • Mountain States is recognized by the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence (TNCPE) with the Excellence Award, the highest level of recognition presented to organizations that have demonstrated management excellence through their practices and achievements. TNCPE uses the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence to evaluate applicants. 
  • Woodridge Hospital in Johnson City joins Mountain States. 


  • Smyth County Community Hospital in Marion, Va., joins Mountain States. 


  • Norton Community Hospital in Norton, Va., and Dickenson Community Hospital in Clintwood, Va., join Mountain States. 


  • Russell County Medical Center in Lebanon, Va., joins Mountain States. 


  • JCMC is re-designated as a Magnet Hospital by ANCC. 
  • Mountain States is recognized a second time by TNCPE with the Excellence Award, becoming the first health care organization in the state to receive the award twice. Organizations are allowed to apply for the award every four years. 
  • Johnston Memorial Hospital in Abingdon, Va., joins Mountain States. 
  • The Children’s Hospital at Johnson City Medical Center gets a new stand-alone facility and a new name. Niswonger Children’s Hospital, the region’s only hospital for children, now bears the name of its chief benefactor, Scott Niswonger of Greeneville, Tenn. The hospital offers more than 20 pediatric subspecialties to children in a 29-county area. 


  • Franklin Woods Community Hospital is built to replace the aging facilities at North Side Hospital and Johnson City Specialty Hospital. It is the first green hospital in the state of Tennessee and is certified at the silver level by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. 
  • Integrated Solutions Health Network is formed. As Mountain States had grown over the years, new issues in the health care industry arose. Rising health care costs, new laws, complex reimbursement systems all needed to be addressed to keep health care affordable for all. ISHN was designed to simplify and standardize health care delivery and to manage patient care with a holistic approach. From 2010 to 2013, ISHN brought together: 
    • 2,000 physicians
    • 275 provider groups
    • 530 primary care physicians
    • 1,375 specialists
    • 5 skilled nursing facilities
    • 6 orthopedic / prosthetic providers
    • 9 home health providers
    • 2 hospice providers
    • 1 medical lab service
    • 1 rehabilitation facility
    • 4 ambulatory surgery centers


  • Mountain States adds retail pharmacy services to its array of community offerings.
  • Johnston Memorial Hospital opens a new, state-of-the-art green facility in Abingdon, receiving gold-level LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. 


  • Smyth County Community Hospital opens a new, state-of-the-art green facility in Marion, Va., receiving silver-level LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. 
  • Mountain States receives its first site visit from the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award program. 
  • Mountain States applies for the U.S. Senate Productivity and Quality Award (SPQA) for Virginia, and receives the organization’s highest honor – the Medallion of Performance Excellence – on its first try. SPQA uses the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence to evaluate applicants. 
  • Mountain States receives the National Quality Healthcare Award from the National Quality Forum. The award is given to only one facility or system in the country each year. 
  • ISHN creates CrestPoint Health and AnewCare Collaborative. CrestPoint is the region’s only locally owned insurance company. AnewCare Collaborative is the region’s first accountable care organization (ACO), bringing together community health care providers to provide better outcomes and improved patient satisfaction at a lower cost. 
  • AnewCare Collaborative becomes the first ACO in the region to be accepted into the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP). AnewCare serves approximately 17,000 Medicare beneficiaries through MSSP. 
  • Mountain States is listed among the nation’s 100 Most Wired Hospitals by Hospitals and Health Networks, the American Hospital Association’s publication.  


  • Mountain States announces a new affiliation with Vanderbilt University Medical Center. As part of the affiliation, VUMC will assist with recruitment of hard-to-find specialists and subspecialists to serve the Northeast Tenn. / Southwest Va. area. VUMC also brings a number of evidence-based care models that will help Mountain States to enhance the care of patients with certain diagnoses, like diabetes, heart disease and asthma. VUMC will also bring clinical trials to the area that have the potential to benefit patients while making significant advances in medical research. 
  • Mountain States receives its second site visit from the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award program. 
  • Mountain States is named one of the 50 best employers in the nation for workers over 50 by AARP. 
  • Mountain States is again listed among the nation’s 100 Most Wired Hospitals by Hospitals and Health Networks. 
  • Unicoi County Memorial Hospital in Erwin, Tenn., joins Mountain States. 
  • Mountain States is recognized a third time by TNCPE with the Excellence Award, becoming the only organization of any kind in the state to receive the award three times. 
  • Vonderfecht retires after 24 years at the helm of the organization. According to the American College of Healthcare Executives, the average length of tenure for a hospital CEO is 5.5 years. Fewer than 4 percent stay in one place more than 20 years. 


  • Alan Levine becomes president and CEO of Mountain States, bringing more than 20 years of hospital operations and health care policy experience. Levine previously led both large and small health systems and served as secretary of Louisiana’s Department of Health and Hospitals under Governor Bobby Jindal as well as deputy chief of staff and senior health policy advisor to Florida Governor Jeb Bush.