Smyth County Community 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.


Monday, November 27, 2017

Haley Rhea named new supervisor/nurse manager at SCCH

MARION, Va. – After an extensive search, Smyth County Community Hospital has named Haley Rhea as supervisor/nurse manager. Haley, RN, MSN, MBA, BSN, worked at Smyth County Community Hospital from November 2006 to March 2010 on the medical intensive care unit and in surgical services but returns to the hospital from Johnston Memorial Hospital.


At JMH, she serves as director of patient care services, which includes the ICU, PCU, regional float pool, clinical support group, dialysis and telemetry.


Haley has spent the majority of her career with Mountain States serving in multiple roles. During her time at Johnston Memorial, Haley also served as nurse manager of clinical integration, regional float pool, interim Family Birth Center, and clinical support group, and as a critical care nurse. In addition, she has worked at Indian Path Medical Center in the medical intensive care unit. Outside of Mountain States, Haley served a brief stint as a public health nurse with the Smyth County Health Department. She began her career at Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital in Roanoke, Virginia, in the emergency room.


Haley received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Radford University in 2006 and then went on to obtain her Master of Science in Nursing and Master in Business Administration from King College in 2010. Haley will begin her new role at Smyth County Community Hospital on Dec. 24, 2017.

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.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Free day camp for children with diabetes being offered by SCCH

MARION, Va. – Kids with type 1 diabetes are invited to attend a free day camp where they’ll be able to enjoy fun activities while learning more about how to manage their diabetes.

The camp is hosted by Smyth County Community Hospital (SCCH), and will take place on Wednesday, June 21, from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at Hungry Mother Lutheran Retreat Center. It’s open to youth ages 8-16.

Children at the camp will have the opportunity to take part in a host of special activities, including crafts, gardening, hiking, nutrition lessons, fishing and games.

The kids will also be able to participate in important lessons at the camp, like counting carbohydrates, portion control, and the importance of exercise.

“This is a great way for children with diabetes to have fun, learn more about camping, and make new friends while having the support they need,” said Mary Riggins, registered dietitian with Compass One Healthcare at SCCH and a certified diabetes educator at the hospital. “It’s such a wonderful event, and we really want to encourage kids to participate. It will be a fantastic time!”

For more information or to register, call Mary Riggins at 276-378-1034.

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, February 8, 2017

Riverboat Casino Gala on Feb. 11 raises money for Smyth County youth

MARION, Va. – Get ready for a night of dinner and games, all for a good cause.

The Smyth County Hospital HealthTrust is presenting its seventh annual gala. The HealthTrust is Smyth County Community Hospital’s nonprofit foundation and raises money for community needs.

This year’s gala will have a riverboat casino theme, and will take place on Saturday, Feb. 11, at 6 p.m. at the Holston Hills Community Golf Course in Marion. Black tie is optional.

Proceeds from the gala benefit the children of Smyth County through a summertime wellness camp. The wellness camp will teach fourth and fifth graders about the lifelong benefits of good nutrition, exercise and healthy habits.

Attendees will be served dinner and cocktails. There will be a silent auction featuring a week at The Grand Mayan Resort in Nuevo Vallarata, Mexico (airfare is not included), a week at Blue Ridge Village in Banner Elk, North Carolina, commercial tools and more. Also, eventgoers can enjoy classic casino games like bingo, roulette and blackjack, as well as “heads or tails.”

Individual tickets are $100 and include two drink vouchers; tables start at $500 for parties.

For more information on the Riverboat Casino Gala, contact Lyndsey Hayden at 276-378-1206 or

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Grand Rounds at JMH on Jan. 7 to feature Dr. Andrew Rhinehart speaking on inpatient glycemic control

Dr. Andrew RhinehartABINGDON, Va. – The Medical Education Collaborative and the Johnston Memorial Hospital Family Medicine Residency are presenting a Grand Rounds session about inpatient glycemic control, given by Dr. Andrew Rhinehart, on Thursday, Jan. 7, from 7-8 a.m.

The presentation will take place in the JMH Cancer Center Conference Room. Dr. Rhinehart is chief medical officer for Glytec, an enterprise software company specializing in computerized insulin dosing, and prior to tht he was a diabetologist and program director for the JMH Diabetes Care Center. His talk is titled “Inpatient Glycemic Control in 4 Easy Steps.”

Everyone is invited, and a light breakfast will be served.

Inclement Weather Policy: If Washington County Public Schools are closed, Grand Rounds will NOT be held. If Washington County Public Schools are just delayed, Grand Rounds will be held. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Concussion seminar featuring leading national expert set for July 31 in Marion, Va.

 There are two sessions: The morning session for coaches, parents and athletes, and then an afternoon session geared toward physicians and health care professions.

 The seminar is set for Friday, July 31, from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. in the Marion Senior High School Auditorium, 848 Stage St., Marion, Va., and will feature Dr. Robert Cantu, director of Boston University's Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy and head of the new Cantu Concussion Center of Emerson Hospital.


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Blood Assurance says 'Save 3 on the Fourth!'

 Any time you donate whole blood, your one blood donation could save up to three lives. Blood Assurance, your regional blood center, would like to help you Save 3 on the Fourth. The Johnson City Blood Assurance location will be open on Friday, July 4, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Laboratory and shipping departments are always open in order to get life-saving blood and blood components to patients in need at our area hospitals. Blood Assurance serves 47 counties in a five-state region, and is the sole provider of blood and blood components for more than 70 health care facilities.

 These public blood drives are also being held this week:


  • Food Country Porterfield Hwy, Abingdon, Va., 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Peterson Family Healthcare, Erwin, Tenn., 10 a.m.-3 p.m.


  • Cherokee United Methodist Church, Johnson City, Tenn. 3-7 p.m.
  •  MSHA MT-ITC, Johnson City, 10:30 a.m.-12:40 p.m.


  • Hermitage Health Center, Elizabethton, Tenn. 9-11 a.m.
  • Hillview Health Center, Elizabethton, 12:45 p.m.-3 p.m.
  • Southwest Virginia Association of Realtors, Abingdon, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

 The summer months tend to bring more motor vehicle and boating accidents to our area.Plus, firework accidents occur during the Fourth of July holiday weekend, leading to a rise in the need for blood. When a typical automobile accident occurs, the victim, if he or she needs blood, can use more than 50 units, and a burn patient can need plasma, which is a blood component, in order to heal. Summer months and holidays also have lower blood donation collections mainly because schools are out, and people are vacationing away from home.

 To be eligible to donate blood, you must be at least 17 years old (16 years old with parental consent), weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good health. The process usually takes about 30 minutes and includes a complimentary snack and t-shirt. Donors are asked to drink plenty of fluids - avoiding caffeine - and eat a meal that is rich in iron prior to donating.

 For more information about donating blood, blood drives or donor centers, call Blood Assurance at 1-800-962-0628 or go to

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

IMPORTANT MESSAGE for Virginia TMs about state budget: Let your voice be heard!


 As you may already know, the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees released their budget proposals on Sunday, Feb. 16. Both budgets make investments in community hospitals. But only the Senate plan returns to the Commonwealth the nearly $2.9 billion in tax dollars and additional provider cuts we are already paying in order to close the coverage gap for the uninsured.

 The House proposal helps to stabilize our health care system in the near term and promotes meaningful reform of our existing Medicaid program. The Senate proposal allows us to reclaim Virginia tax dollars from the federal government and manage these resources in keeping with our long-standing tradition of prudent fiscal stewardship. It builds on Virginia's strengths and experience by relying on private health plans and health systems to assume risk for the newly covered population, coordinate care and manages costs effectively. This is one approach that could address MSHA's top priority of closing the coverage gap and starts a dialogue about charting a path forward.

 Mountain States Health Alliance is committed to working with the SWVa Delegation, the House and the Senate, as well as the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association to finalize a budget that is best for Virginia, its economy and the health and well-being of its citizens.

 Please contact your legislators and let them know how critically important it is to you that they work together, House and Senate, to find a solution that incorporates the tenets of both the House and Senate budget plans, while responsibly covering the uninsured Virginians and returning our hard-earned tax dollars to the Commonwealth.

Click the link below to log in and send your message:

Back to Top