Johnston Memorial Hospital | Recent Briefs

Friday, January 12, 2018

Linda Shepherd, Smyth County CNO, to also serve as interim CNO at Johnston Memorial

ABINGDON, Va. – Linda Shepherd, chief nursing officer (CNO) at Smyth County Community Hospital, will also serve as interim CNO at Johnston Memorial Hospital until a permanent CNO is chosen there.

Johnston Memorial’s current CNO, Nikki Vanburen, departs in February to become chief nursing officer officer at Franklin Woods Community Hospital and Woodridge Hospital in Johnson City.

Shepherd brings a wealth of experience to the position. Prior to joining Smyth County Community Hospital, she held various nursing leadership roles over her 25-plus-year career, mostly in Southwest Virginia. Her roles and experience include director of surgical services, quality coordinator and director of critical care. She also has worked for both Carilion and HCA (LewisGale Health System) so Shepherd has experience and familiarity with the distinct issues facing hospitals, health systems and the nursing profession in Southwest Virginia.

She serves as president of the Southwest Virginia Chapter of the Virginia Nurses Association and is the president-elect of the Virginia Nurses Association. Shepherd also serves on the Virginia Stroke Systems Task Force. She has led many project improvement initiatives in her various roles, including achievement of ANCC Pathway to Excellence designation at LewisGale Pulaski, improvements in Press Ganey patient satisfaction, reductions in fall rates, chest pain certification and many others. 

Shepherd will begin working with Vanburen immediately to ensure a smooth transition in the coming weeks, and her effective date as interim CNO will be Feb. 5.


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Free event for expectant mothers set for Nov. 14 at Johnston Memorial Hospital

ABINGDON, Va. – The blessing of a new baby often comes with lots of questions, especially for women who are navigating motherhood for the first time. So to help new mothers and moms-to-be, Johnston Memorial Hospital is hosting Great Expectations, a fun and educational event.

Great Expectations is a free event and will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 14, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at Johnston Memorial’s medical plaza in suite 301.

It’s a wonderful opportunity for expectant mothers and women who hope to have a baby in the future. Great Expectations will feature physician presentations, tours of the Family Birth Center and the chance to meet members of the labor and delivery team.

Guests will be showered with giveaways, baby-themed door prizes, refreshments and more.

For more information, contact Sarah Lindsey at 276-258-4560 or

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

JMH hosting pet therapy appreciation event on Thursday, Sept. 28

ABINGDON, Va. – Johnston Memorial Hospital will host a Pet Therapy Dog Celebration and Blessing of the Animals on Thursday, Sept. 28, at 4 p.m.

The event will take place outside behind the dining area between the Regional Cancer Center and the main hospital (across from Ellie Scofield’s office). Team members are invited to drop by for light refreshments and to show your appreciation to the dogs and this faithful group of volunteers.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Nursing scholarships available through Virginia Department of Health; find out more through our HR department

For any Mountain States team members in Virginia interested in becoming a nurse, did you know about the scholarships offered by the Virginia Department of Health? Here’s a link through Mountain States Human Resources that can help you apply.


Check out the various college collaborations on the page, and scroll down to click on the button for “Virginia Nursing Scholarship Programs.” The Virginia Department of Health, Office of Minority Health and Health Equity, offers several scholarship opportunities to help pay for nursing education.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Southwest Virginia hospitals host heart-healthy community events in conjunction with American Heart Month

 According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. One in every three deaths is from heart disease or stroke, which equals 2,200 deaths per day. To raise awareness of cardiovascular disease and promote healthy communities, Johnston Memorial Hospital, Russell County Medical Center and Smyth County Community Hospital are hosting events aimed at helping people achieve better heart health.

 The community events are free to the public, and attendees will have the opportunity to hear from various medical staff who will provide tips on improving your heart health, limiting your risk of related diseases and more.

 There will also be health screenings offered at each location, including glucose and blood pressure. Community members who are found to be at risk of cardiovascular disease will be given vouchers to have an ankle-brachial index (ABI) screening performed at their local hospital for free. The event at Johnston Memorial Hospital will also offer cholesterol, bone density, stress management and sleep apnea screenings.

 Refreshments will be provided, and attendees will have a chance to win door prizes.

 The dates, times and locations are listed below.

 • Monday, Feb. 13, 6 p.m.

  Town Hall Community Center

  405 W. Main St., Lebanon, Virginia

  Please call 276-883-8190 for questions.

 • Friday, Feb. 17, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

  Johnston Memorial Hospital Regional Cancer Center

  2nd floor conference room

  16000 Johnston Memorial Drive, Abingdon, Virginia

  Please call 276-258-3740 for questions.

 • Friday, Feb. 24, 7:30-8:30 a.m.

  Emory & Henry College

  School of Health Sciences

  W.L. Lemmon Lecture Hall

  565 Radio Hill Road, Marion, Virginia

  Please call 276-378-1206 for questions.

 For more information, visit

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Pet therapy training/certification classes reset to begin May 21 at JMH

 The pet therapy training and certification course at Johnston Memorial Hospital has been rescheduled to begin May 21 with an introduction, orientation and registration for pet owners/handlers only (no pets at this first session). The training is open to both team members and the general public -- and of course their pets.

  Instructional sessions with pets will be held on Saturdays following the introduction session. For more details, contact Sheila Boyd at or Frieda Jones at


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Pet therapy training and certification classes coming up at JMH

ABINGDON, Va. – Are you and your pet interested in becoming trained and certified to do pet therapy? You can do that through a series of classes being hosted at Johnston Memorial Hospital. Anyone eligible can participate, whether you’re a team member or a member of the general public, and you and your pet could end up serving a variety of places including JMH or other Mountain States facilities.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

JMH’s Vanburen honored by Jonesborough Repertory Theatre

 JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. – Nikki Vanburen of Johnson City was recently honored by the Jonesborough Repertory Theatre for the outstanding service she has provided as a volunteer.

Nikki Vanburen Vanburen first got involved when her son, Alex, started performing at the theatre. She assists in various capacities such as at the stage door, selling tickets and even popping popcorn.

 The staff of JRT reports that, “Words just don't seem adequate enough to express how thankful we are for Nikki. She is a joy to work with and a wonderful representative of the ‘community’ part of our community theater. We are all so grateful she chooses to support what we do whenever she can.”

 On top of spending countless hours volunteering at the theater and watching her son perform, Vanburen serves as chief nursing officer at Johnston Memorial Hospital in Abingdon, Va. She started her career at Mountain States Health Alliance 15 years ago at the Johnson City Medical Center. She came to Johnston Memorial Hospital in 2011 as the Director of Emergency Services and in 2013 was promoted to her current position of CNO.

 “We are thankful to have someone like Nikki who is very driven and motivated to serve the community outside of her responsibilities at JMH,” said Sean McMurray, JMH’s CEO. “Nikki goes above and beyond and excels in everything she does for us and we join with the Jonesborough Repertory Theatre in recognizing her dedication to serving others.”

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Johnston Memorial Hospital to host free heart health event on Feb. 26

 ABINGDON, Va. – Johnston Memorial Hospital will host a free heart health event on Friday, Feb. 26, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. to educate the community about the importance of heart health.

 The event is open to the public and will offer health screenings, presentations, door prizes and more. It will take place in the JMH Regional Cancer Center in the second-floor conference room. Presentations will be made at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. by Dr. Nick Cavros of Mountain States Medical Group – Cardiology.

 Johnston Memorial Hospital is located at 16000 Johnston Memorial Drive.

 For more information, call 276-258-3740.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Grand Rounds on Thursday, Feb. 4, at JMH: Dr. Susan Meacham to present Morbity and Mortality Conference

 ABINGDON, Va. – Everyone is invited to Grand Rounds on Thursday, Feb. 4, at Johnston Dr. Susan MeachamMemorial Hospital from 7-8 a.m. in the JMH Cancer Center Conference Room. Susan Meacham, PhD, Susan Meacham, PhD, RDN, Professor of Nutrition, will present a Morbidity and Mortality Conference.

 Dr. Meacham holds a PhD from Virginia Tech in Human Nutrition and Foods as well as a master’s degree in Foods and Nutrition from the University of Georgia.  She serves as Professor of Nutrition, Preventive Medicine at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine – Virginia Campus.

 She is involved in research on social determinants of health in rural areas, including chronic disease prevalence in coal-dependent communities in Virginia

 Light breakfast will be served.

 Grand Rounds are presented by the MSHA Medical Education Collaborative’s JMH Family Medicine Residency program.

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