NEWS RELEASE – April 27, 2022

Appalachian Regional Healthcare and AppHarvest Launch Partnership to Advance Joint Vision for a Healthier Appalachia


Collaboration to bring improved healthcare education and monitoring to combined employee population of 8,000+ in the region.



West Liberty and Morehead, Ky. April 27, 2022Multi-hospital healthcare system Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) and AppHarvest, a Morehead, Ky., sustainable food company building some of the world’s largest indoor farms, have launched a mission-aligned partnership focused on improving the health and well-being of their employees in Central Appalachia.


ARH President and CEO Hollie Phillips and AppHarvest Founder & CEO Jonathan Webb discussed the partnership Wednesday during an event at the Morgan County ARH Hospital in West Liberty, Ky. 



Following the announcement, ARH providers offered free diabetes screenings for AppHarvest employees at the company’s flagship 60-acre high-tech farm in Morehead. These screenings follow free cardiac evaluations ARH provided to more than 50 AppHarvest employees in February.  



It is the ARH mission to improve the health and well-being of our communities. This employee- and community-focused partnership with AppHarvest is one way we are putting that mission into action by jointly embracing our shared mission of prioritizing overall wellness through preventative health screenings and good nutrition to help build healthier communities,” said Hollie Phillips, CEO/President, ARH. 



ARH currently employs 6,000 people, while AppHarvest employs 500 people, scaling to about 1,000 employees by the end of 2022 when its three additional indoor farms in Kentucky are expected to be operational. Together, the organizations make up one of the largest employee populations in the region, with combined workforces that are expected to exceed 10,000 people in eastern Kentucky and West Virginia over the next three years. 



One of AppHarvest’s key advantages is the employees we have who are working to provide better access to nutritious fruits and vegetables, and we want to support their wellbeing and the health of those in the communities where we operate,” said AppHarvest Founder & CEO Jonathan Webb. “Appalachia is one of the most underserved regions of the country. Our partnership with ARH is another step in helping to improve knowledge around health, wellness and nutrition.”



ARH and AppHarvest are now building resources and collaboration opportunities for health and wellness initiatives. Further plans for the partnership include:



Administering onsite preventive health screenings, nutritional education, and other healthcare services
Providing nutritious produce to the hospital and staff
Establishing an employee-led joint Healthcare Steering Committee 
Developing regional leaders through participation in the ARH Leadership Academy’s 2022 cohort
Sharing access to health education, pharmacy services, and workplace telemedicine
Providing joint support at public health and wellness events
Sharing best practices for workforce development in the region



ARH and AppHarvest first connected around activities for 2021 Earth Day and World Food Day events to increase awareness about the effects that diet and food production have on both people and the planet and the ability of increased vegetable consumption to drive better health outcomes. AppHarvest donated vine-ripened tomatoes from their flagship 60-acre high-tech indoor farm in Morehead to ARH communities and nursing staff in Hazard, Prestonsburg, and West Liberty.





Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH), is a not-for-profit, accredited healthcare system operating in southeastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia with 14 hospitals in Barbourville, Hazard, Harlan, Hyden, Martin, McDowell, Middlesboro, Paintsville, Prestonsburg, West Liberty, Whitesburg and South Williamson in Kentucky and Beckley and Hinton in West Virginia, as well as 90+ multi-specialty physician practices, home health agencies, home medical equipment stores and retail pharmacies. ARH serves approximately 400,000 people and employs nearly 6,000 people, with an annual payroll and benefits of $330 million generated into local economies. ARH also has a network of more than 600 active and courtesy medical staff members. ARH is the largest provider of care, the single largest employer in southeastern Kentucky, and the third-largest private employer in southern West Virginia.





AppHarvest is a sustainable food company in Appalachia developing and operating some of the world’s largest high-tech indoor farms, designed to grow non-GMO produce using up to 90 percent less water and only rainwater while producing yields up to 30 times that of traditional agriculture on the same amount of land without agricultural runoff. The company boosts nature with world-class technology and is developing artificial intelligence and robotics to improve access for all to nutritious food. Farming more sustainably, the company is building a climate-resilient domestic food supply while increasing investment and providing good jobs in Appalachia. The company’s flagship 60-acre Morehead, Ky. facility dedicated to tomatoes is among the largest indoor farms in the world, and the company expects to quadruple its number of farms in 2022—diversifying into salad greens and berries. AppHarvest is a public benefit corporation and a Certified B Corp. For more information, visit