LEE COUNTY, Va. -

The Lee County Hospital Authority confirmed Friday that it is discussing a potential re-opening of the former Lee Regional Medical Center with Wellmont Health System.

"We are exploring options, and we appreciate their willingness to engage in these discussions," Lloyd Martin, chair of the newly created Lee County Hospital Authority, says. 

The Lee County Board of Supervisors created the new Hospital Authority on April 15. The authority has been organizing for a few months to find a way to re-open the former Lee Regional Medical Center.

Martin says, "We can confirm we have begun discussions in earnest with members of the Board of Directors and the senior staff of Wellmont about the transfer of the former Lee Regional Medical Center to the new Authority. There are many issues to resolve as we move forward, and we are working to address them."

Commissioners of the Hospital Authority, as appointed by the Board of Supervisors, are Tom Clarke, George Cridlin, Esq., Dr. J. Scott Litton, L.C. "Sonny Martin, Ronnie Montgomery, Esq., Diana Pope, CPA, Malcolm Perdue, and Patton Speak. Elected officers are Martin, chairman, Montgomery, vice-chairman, and Pope, secretary. 

Martin also says the Hospital Authority filed a letter of intent with the Virginia Department of Health notifying the department that it would be filing an application for a Certificate of Public Need for a hospital on or before July 1, 2014.