News & Events


ASL, Wellmont to cosponsor panel on health care legislation


Experts in the health care, law, and insurance fields will gather for a discussion about federal healthcare reform Monday, April 9, in Bristol, Tenn.

The Appalachian School of Law and Wellmont Health System will cosponsor a panel discussion on the implementation of and legal challenges to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Monarch Auditorium at Bristol Regional Medical Center. A reception will follow.

ASL will host a follow-up on April 10 in the Trial Courtroom. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli will meet with faculty, staff and students, make remarks about the legal challenges to the PPACA, conduct a question-and-answer session with students and participate in Professor Stewart Harris' Constitutional Law class.

Panelists will be:

  • Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli
  • Wellmont President and CEO Margaret "Denny" DeNarvaez
  • Gerald Grant Blackwell, Wellmont CVA Heart Institute President and Executive Medical Director
  • Stephen McCullough, Virginia Court of Appeals Judge
  • Diane Boyle, vice president of federal government relations, National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors
  • Professor Stewart Harris, Appalachian School of Law
  • Professor Doug McKechnie, Appalachian School of Law

"The Appalachian School of Law is proud to continue a tradition of partnering with regional institutions on matters of legal significance," said Dean Wes Shinn. "We look forward to facilitating a civil debate on health care reform and its far-reaching implications, legal and otherwise."

Harris and Bart Hove, president of Bristol Regional Medical Center, will appear on WCYB's noon newscast April 3 and WJHL's 5:30 p.m. newscast on April 5 to discuss the panel.

ASL and Wellmont have arranged a live broadcast of the panel to ASL's Appellate Courtroom. Tennessee and Virginia have approved CLE credit for the forum.

The Supreme Court heard a case on the topic, Florida et al  v. United States Department of Health and Human Services, in late March. The case had the longest oral arguments ever scheduled in the Court's history at 5½ hours. A ruling is expected in late June.

David Bailey, host of "This Week in Richmond," will be the event's moderator. His program, which covers Virginia public affairs, airs on Blue Ridge PBS.

"The new health care statute is one of the most significant pieces of federal legislation in years," Bailey said. "The legal challenges are serious, and a closely divided Supreme Court could rule either way on the statute's constitutionality. The court's ultimate decision will likely have a wide-ranging impact on the delivery and cost of health care in the United States for decades to come."

Wellmont has been proactive and prudent in meeting provisions of the reform law, Hove said.

"As a regional state and national leader in high-quality patient care, Bristol Regional is honored to host such a high-caliber examination of the law and its effect on the delivery of health care and the communities we serve," Hove said. "This event represents an excellent opportunity for people to become more informed about the law so they can express their views and help shape the future of health care in this country."

Organizations that might be interested in streaming the event can contact Ron Carrier at Bristol Regional at (423) 844-3945. The hospital will also stream the event on

Anyone who wants to discuss the forum and healthcare reform overall can join the conversation on Twitter at #wellmonthealthforum or by following @wellmonthealth.