BIG STONE GAP, Va. - Lonesome Pine Hospital in Big Stone Gap is seeing more and more patients these days ever since nearby Lee Regional Medical Center shut down.
"We've seen about a 35 percent increase in our volume," says Kellie Carter, the clinical manager of the emergency department.
Carter says they're seeing a 25 percent increase in ambulance volume for patients from Lee County. "We do have a bigger increase in volume for more patients to see," says Carter.
We've learned the hospital has added more nurses, practitioners, and shifts.
The Wellmont hospital tells us the increase first came after the announcement of Lee Regional Medical Center, another Wellmont facility that recently announced they'd be shutting down.
Lonesome Pine says they're doing everything they can to welcome Lee County patients to their hospital.
Wellmont says they're still evaluating staffing needs and may end up hiring even more people to accommodate all the additional patients coming in from Lee County.