GRAY, Tenn. — A Gray resident is seeking to have the approval of a local addiction treatment clinic overturned.

Danny Sells has filed an appeal with the state to overturn the Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency’s ruling to approve a jointly-operated methadone clinic, the Johnson City Press reported (http://bit.ly/2c9YKYE).

The agency did not conduct due diligence when making its Aug. 24 decision to approve Mountain States Health Alliance and East Tennessee State University’s certificate of need for the clinic, Sells said.

Sells called the application vague and said officials did not properly answer residents’ questions about the matter. Several local residents and leaders spoke out against the clinic last month, citing concerns over the clinic’s proximity to three schools.

“The application was so incredibly weak and very unexplanatory in trying to say what they were going to do,” he said. “It was, ‘Oh yeah, trust us.'”

Health Services and Development Agency attorney Jim Christoffersen said he is preparing paperwork to give to the Secretary of State’s office before the parties convene with an administrative law judge.

The Johnson City Commission on Thursday will vote on the second reading of a rezoning ordinance for the site so it can be rezoned to a Medical Services District. The commission approved the first reading by a 4-1 vote. The appeal process would not impede the certificate of need, Christoffersen said.

ETSU and MSHA said in a statement last month that it is “regrettable” that the need for the clinic exists, but that they have a responsibility when it comes to the health and well-being of the community.


Information from: Johnson City Press, http://www.johnsoncitypress.com