The Bristol Community

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The city of Bristol, Tennessee-Virginia is two cities in one. The state line bisects the center of town. The total population is about 43,000 with 250,000 people within a 25 mile radius. Bristol, TN-VA is nestled in the midst of the wooded hills and rolling farmlands of the Holston River Valley.

Steele Creek Park Located in the Southern Appalachians between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Cumberland Mountains, the community is characterized as a small city with a rural culture. Four distinct seasons and an overall mild climate make the mountains, woodlands, pastures, streams and lakes a constantly changing and always beautiful setting in which to work and live.

There is a wide variety of opportunities in and around the area: hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, whitewater canoeing, boating, snow skiing, golf, and tennis. Music festivals, dances, concerts, arts and crafts fairs, stage and dinner theaters, and ballet are a few of the many local cultural events. Bristol is home to two liberal arts colleges, and East Tennessee State University is located 25 miles away in Johnson City. Both Bristols have very good public schools as well as private and church schools. All the conveniences and services of larger cities are present, but with the cost of living well below the national average. Housing is readily available for purchase and for rent. There are many fine shops and restaurants located here and throughout the area.

In 1998, by a resolution of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, Bristol was designated as the " Birthplace of Country Music," being the site of the first commercial recordings of Jimmy Rodgers and the Carter Family in 1927. It is also home to the Bristol Motor Speedway, a 150,000 seat NASCAR track, often referred to as the "world's fastest half-mile track." Guitar Sign
Bristol Motor Speedway Bristol is conveniently located just off I-81, which connects the Middle Atlantic states with the South and Southwest. Tri-Cities Regional Airport is 20 minutes away and is served by several airlines.

The Tri-Cities region was selected as an All-America City for 1999-2000. This prestigious distinction, granted each year to 10 localities by the National Civic League, recognizes "communities...in which citizens, governments, businesses, and voluntary organizations work together to address critical local issues." Our department's role in improving rural health care in the region was cited as one of the major accomplishments for which the award was granted.