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UMC explores expanding to MJ

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"Discussions are underway with key players in Mt. Juliet. We’ve had very productive meetings with Kenny Martin and Randy Robertson. We’re excited about these opportunities," Cockrill added.

Martin said that the City of Mt. Juliet has sent a letter of invitation to several universities and medical facilities in the area in hope that the city would land a higher educational facility and expanded medical services for their city.

"We would love to have an emergency room treatment center to locate here in Mt. Juliet. Mr. Cherry (UMC CEO) was very excited about the possibilities and he was very gracious to meet with us," Martin said.

Harvill Eaton, president of Cumberland University, said in a telephone interview late Thursday, he, too, has had on going conversations with Martin about expanding the university’s presence in Mt. Juliet.

"Cumberland University ought to have a presence in West Wilson. It makes sense for Mt. Juliet and for this institution," Eaton said. "I have discussed this possibility with Kenny Martin for nearly four years. How it plays out…I don’t know," he added.

"I have been out of the office on business for the past two days and I may have a letter from the City of Mt. Juliet sitting on my desk as we speak, but I have not formally been asked to meet with them," Eaton added.

Cumberland University and UMC teamed up several years ago in what is considered to be a premier nursing program in the state of Tennessee.

Attempts were made to reach Robertson and Cherry by telephone were not returned by press time.

Publisher John B. Bryan may be contacted at

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