UK HealthCare, Appalachian Regional Healthcare Working Together to Tackle Heart, Health Issues in Eastern Kentucky

11/14/2012

HAZARD, Ky. (Nov. 14, 2012) – UK HealthCare and Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) are working to form collaborative agreements in which the two hospital systems would work with community physicians to strengthen cardiovascular care in southeastern Kentucky.

"UK HealthCare and ARH are both committed to improving healthcare throughout Eastern Kentucky and we have a long track record of working together toward that goal," said Dr. Michael Karpf, executive vice president for health affairs at the University of Kentucky. "Heart disease is a particularly pressing health challenge for Eastern Kentucky and the entire Commonwealth. That's why we are working together and with community physicians to establish collaborative agreements where we leverage the best of what two strong health organizations bring to the table in attacking this critical health issue."

“Serving the Eastern Kentucky region for almost 60 years, ARH is well aware of the cardiovascular health challenges facing the residents of this region,” said Jerry W. Haynes, ARH President and Chief Executive Officer. “With that overwhelming need in mind, we are excited to partner with UK HealthCare on this endeavor.” ARH provides outstanding direct patient care through its regional medical center in Hazard and several other hospitals and clinics throughout the region. UK HealthCare has become a national leader in providing high-quality advanced subspecialty care in many areas, including cardiovascular.

Specifically, UK HealthCare and ARH officials have signed a non-binding Letter of Intent that establishes that parameters for a management agreement that both parties hope to be worked out over the next few months. The management agreement could include:

  • The execution of a three-year clinical management agreement that can be extended by UK HealthCare and ARH,
  • Planning and development for the  cardiovascular program,
  • Re-engineering patient and work-flow processes to strengthen cardiovascular care,
  • Improving clinical protocols for treatment,
  • Community outreach to improve access to education regarding cardiovascular care,
  • Developing metrics aimed at assessing the work being done and progress in improving cardiovascular care and outcomes in southeastern Kentucky,
  • And improve access to staff development and training.

When executed, the management agreement would allow UK HealthCare and ARH to jointly administer and direct cardiology services at Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center as well as ARH's other hospitals where heart services are provided, including Harlan, Whitesburg, McDowell, Mary Breckenridge and South Williamson.

"One of the keys to better health outcomes is ensuring standards and protocols for continuity of care," Karpf said. "These two organizations -- UK HealthCare and ARH -- are steadfastly committed to high-quality healthcare, but also to the region that we serve. A management agreement serves to underscore our commitment to further improving that care and those outcomes for people throughout Eastern Kentucky. We are excited about what the future holds in our work together."

“ARH’s commitment to providing quality care, close to home, for the residents of Eastern Kentucky will be further enhanced through this partnership with UK HealthCare. When dealing with heart health issues, we recognize the need for a high level of care as efficiently and effectively as possibly.                                                                      

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 healthcare workers all dedicated to patient health. Currently, a $760 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, a new state-of-the art emergency department opened in July 2010 and the first two floors of the 12-story hospital opened in spring 2011. 

About Appalachian Regional Healthcare

Appalachian Regional Healthcare is a not-for-profit health system serving 350,000 residents across Eastern Kentucky and Southern West Virginia. Operating 10 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 nearly 5,000 people 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 nearly $133 million in uncompensated care for the uninsured and underinsured.

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