Jellico, TN

Jellico, located in East Tennessee on the border between Tennessee and Kentucky, was site of one of the earliest Coalition health fairs. Back in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it had been a thriving coal mining town thanks to geologic seams rich with bituminous coal and the early presence of the railroad through town. By the time the Coalition arrived in 1969, Jellico’s hospital had been built but was not fully operational until around 1974. It became the closest hospital for many smaller coal towns in the area, including White Oak, Frakes, and Clairfield, where the Coalition also conducted health fairs. Today, the hospital is one of Jellico’s largest employers, although hospital management has been unstable. The City Council voted to close the hospital in March 2021 after managers failed to make payroll and complete upkeep. As of December 2021, new ownership is pending.