NEWS RELEASE – December 10, 2021

$13 Million Long-Term Acute Care Hospital 
Project Announced For Pike and Perry Counties



(Dec 10, 2021)As part of efforts to continuously evolve to meet the changing healthcare needs of eastern Kentucky, Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) and the ARH Advanced Care Board of Directors announced today a nearly $13 million investment in the creation of two Long-Term Acute Care hospitals in Pike and Perry counties geared at providing highly specialized care to patients requiring longer hospital stays.



Long-Term Acute Care Hospitals (LTACHs) are independent hospitals located within the walls of an existing acute care hospital or can be a freestanding hospital. Most community hospitals provide medical and surgical care to treat and stabilize patients and often discharge them within a few days. Long-Term Acute Care Hospitals are set up to give sicker patients with complex medical conditions a longer recovery time and slower, more supervised care.



Plans for the project call for space on the Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center campus to be converted into a 25-bed, nearly 16,000-square-foot Long-Term Acute Care Hospital that will operate as ARH Advanced Care – Kentucky River. An 11,000 square foot, 25-bed ARH Advanced Care – Big Sandy hospital will be located at Tug Valley ARH Regional Medical Center in South Williamson.



The ARH Advanced Care hospitals have been specifically designed for patients with multiple serious medical conditions requiring highly specialized care for more than 25 days, says Jerry Haynes, chair of the ARH Advanced Care Board of Directors.



Through the “hospital in a hospital” model, the LTACHs can access multiple levels of medical, rehabilitative, and psychological services tied to a single system while also supporting continuity of physician and specialist oversight of patient care.



Haynes says the ARH Advanced Care locations, which will open by summer 2022, will bring a much-needed service to eastern Kentucky that patients currently must be transported to other areas of the state to receive. The location of these existing facilities places those patients at a distance much farther away from their support network of family members, friends, and their familiar healthcare provider.



The closest LTACHs to the Hazard Advance Care location are in Corbin and Lexington, where bed availability at both is limited. In the Advance Care Big Sandy region, the closest LTACHs are located in Huntington and Charleston, WVa, and are consistently at full capacity.



“The healthcare needs of the people of Central Appalachia continue to change. ARH closely monitors those changes and works to evolve its services to meet those needs,” Haynes said. “A major priority has always been to bring a higher level of services to the ARH service area so that patients and their families do not have to face the financial and logistical burdens associated with seeking care out of the area. Locating these ARH Advance Care hospitals in eastern Kentucky is another step in that direction and is a move that will have a major impact on the health and healing of many of the area’s most acutely ill patients.”