McMinn County, Tennessee
- Service Area: 160,000
Nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains you’ll find a place known as “The Friendly City.” Welcome to Athens, a community where Southern hospitality has never gone out of style.
Starr Regional Medical Center is a 118-bed acute-care facility that serves the Southeast Tennessee region, including McMinn, Meigs, Monroe and Polk Counties. Starr Regional is the 2005 recipient of LifePoint Hospital’s “High Five” Award for outstanding performance in all five of the company’s core values: quality patient care, creating an excellent workplace for employees, supporting physicians, providing community value and ensuring fiscal responsibility. Sophisticated medical technology is a hallmark of the hospital. Starr Regional offers a state-of-the-art 1.5T MRI Scanner, a 64 slice GE Lightspeed CT Scanner, two ultrasound systems, nuclear medicine, PET/CT and complete x-ray imaging. An in-house Lithotripter (used for the removal of kidney stones) enables patients to receive immediate treatment. Athens Regional also offers a full spectrum of surgical services.
Athens is a true shopper’s delight. The downtown area features a host of boutiques, antique stores and specialty shops. There are also four shopping centers located in the Athens area. Etowah serves as a gateway to the Cherokee National Forest. The city, built by CSX as a railroad town, is an antique and junkers paradise with many shops and restaurants on Highway 411, bordering thousands of acres of National Park.
Education is an important priority for the area. There are five schools in the Athens City School System and several four-year colleges in the area. Tennessee Wesleyan College, located in Athens, offers a wide range of majors in its undergrad and graduate degree programs. The University of Tennessee at both Knoxville and Chattanooga are within easy commuting distance. Also, Cleveland State Community College has a satellite location in Athens and the Workforce Development Center offers several 2-year degree programs and courses. The Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Athens also provides a wide range of programs and certifications.
Whether you fish, hunt, hike or golf, Athens provides a host of recreational opportunities. The area is blessed with majestic mountains, vast forests and many miles of rivers and lake shorelines. Watts Bar Lake is a 39,000-acre recreation area that offers sailing, water skiing or fishing. The nearby beautiful Ocoee River, site of the 1996 Summer Olympics, is famous for its white-water rafting and kayaking, and the Tellico River is one of the most scenic trout streams in America. Hiking, fishing and camping are also available at Bald River Falls and in the Cherokee National Forest. Many swimming and tennis facilities and four golf courses, including Ridgewood Golf Club, Springbrook Golf and Country Club, White Oaks Golf Course and Rock Springs Golf Course, are available in Athens and in McMinn County. Located nearby is the Lost Sea, the world’s largest underground lake. Athens has a host of city parks, the biggest of which is the 160-acre Athens Regional Park. It has five lighted softball fields, four soccer fields, concession building, large picnic pavilion and a three-mile nature trail for walking, mountain biking and in-line skating. Athens is also home to the Agriculture Centers and the Southeast Tennessee Trade and Conference Center.