Hazard ARH, UK HealthCare Partner to Enhance Cardiovascular and Stroke Care


The Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center and UK HealthCare announced today they are partnering to provide cardiothoracic (CT) surgery in Hazard and that the Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center will become the newest member of the UK Stroke Affiliate Network, a community-based stroke initiative providing the highest quality clinical and educational programs to hospital staff and the community.

UK HealthCare CT Surgery will be located inside the North Fork Valley Community Health Center at the Bailey-Stumbo Building. Dr. Edward Setser, recently appointed as a University of Kentucky faculty member in the Department of Surgery’s Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, will be seeing patients and performing cardiothoracic procedures including coronary revascularization and heart valve replacements, at the Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center.

“At UK HealthCare we have a mission and a responsibility to improve access to high-quality care for all Kentuckians,” said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK executive vice president for health affairs. “Thanks to partnerships with community health care providers such as the Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center, we are able to team up to make this a reality benefiting the people of Eastern Kentucky.”

“The ARH mission is to improve the health and promote the well-being of all of the people in Central Appalachia in partnership with our communities,” said Jerry W. Haynes, ARH President and CEO. “This partnership with UK HealthCare will greatly enhance our ability to carry out our mission.”

Dr. Setser specializes in vascular and cardiothoracic surgeries. He received his medical degree from East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C., and completed a general surgery residency at Eisenhower Army Medical Center in Fort Gordon, Ga. He completed a cardiothoracic surgery residency at Brooke Army Medical Center in Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

“We welcome Dr. Setser to our UK team and look forward to the collaboration with the Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center,” said Dr. Joseph “Jay” Zwischenberger, chair of the department of surgery and director of the UK Transplant Center. “Not only will we be able to provide cardiothoracic procedures close to home for many patients, but all the advantages and expertise of our comprehensive academic medical center will be readily available when needed.”

In addition to the CT surgery program, the Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center has become the newest member of the UK Stroke Care Affiliate Network. As part of the network, UK’s Comprehensive Stroke Center partners with community and regional hospitals to develop community-based stroke programs for hospital staff and to community members.

“By educating members of the community and Emergency Medical Services personnel in the region, we work together to provide valuable information about recognizing the signs of stroke and the importance of early treatment,” said Dr. Michael R. Dobbs, director of the UK Comprehensive Stroke Program and director of the UK Stroke Care Affiliate Network. “Our affiliate hospitals teach us about their communities and their patients. Meanwhile, we provide access to the resources and knowledge we have as an academic medical center.”

When signing on to be a part of the UK Stroke Affiliate Network, a hospital agrees to maintain the capacity to serve as a first-line stroke treatment center.
“Many patients who go to their regional hospitals will still need to be referred to the UK Comprehensive Stroke Center- but the relationships built through the UK Stroke Affiliate Network mean patients will get optimal emergency care in their hometowns, and if they are transferred to UK Chandler Hospital we work as a team with their local physicians to ensure the patient receives the best treatment possible,” said Dobbs.

The other hospital members of the Comprehensive Stroke Affiliate Network are Georgetown Community Hospital, Harrison Memorial Hospital, Pattie A. Clay Regional Medical Center, Rockcastle Regional Hospital and Respiratory Care Center, Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital, St. Claire Regional Medical Center, and the Norton Hospital System.

About ARH
Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) is a not-for-profit health system serving 350,000 residents across Eastern Kentucky and Southern West Virginia. Operating nine hospitals, multi-specialty physician practices, home health agencies, HomeCare Stores and retail pharmacies, ARH is the largest provider of care and single largest employer in southeastern Kentucky and the third largest private employer in southern West Virginia.

The ARH system employs more than 4,700 employees and has a network of more than 600 active and courtesy medical staff members representing various specialties. Firmly committed to its mission of improving the health and promoting the well-being of all people in Eastern Kentucky and Southern West Virginia, in the past 12 months alone, ARH provided more than $120 million in uncompensated care for the uninsured and underinsured.

Consistently recognized for its medical excellence, the ARH system was one of two Kentucky health systems to be named earlier this year to the 2011 SDI IHN 100 listing of the most highly integrated healthcare networks in the nation, and was selected as the 2010 Outstanding Rural Health Organization in the nation by the National Rural Health Association (NRHA). Most recently, the Harlan ARH Hospital was named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals® by Thomson Reuters, a leading provider of information and solutions to improve the cost and quality of healthcare.

About UK HealthCare
Established in 1957, UK HealthCare consists of the patient care activities of the University of Kentucky. UK HealthCare facilities include UK Chandler Hospital, Kentucky Children’s Hospital, UK Good Samaritan Hospital, Kentucky Clinic, Markey Cancer Center and 80 specialized clinics and more than 140 outreach programs throughout Central and Eastern Kentucky. UK HealthCare is comprised of a team of 6,000 physicians, nurses, pharmacists and health care workers all dedicated to patient health. Currently, an $800 million expansion project is under way that includes a 1.2 million-square-foot facility designed to support patient care for the next 100 years. As part of the phased plan for the 12-story patient care pavilion, a new state-of-the art emergency department opened in July 2010 and public spaces including the atrium, auditorium and chapel as well as two patient floors with 128 beds opened in May 2011.

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