Washington, D.C. – SOAR Principal Officer, U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers, announced that Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) has been awarded a $1.5 million POWER Grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to establish Eastern Kentucky’s first dedicated Children’s Hospital, which will be located in Pikeville, Kentucky.
Pikeville Medical Center will construct and equip a new facility to provide health care for over 100,000 children in 23 counties in Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia. The project will create 50 permanent jobs, while retaining over 100 other pediatric medical and non-medical staff.
“PMC’s new Children’s Hospital will help address a multitude of healthcare challenges in Eastern Kentucky, allowing families to stay close to home when a child needs extended care, and providing emergency services faster and more effectively right here at home,” said Congressman Rogers, who supported PMC’s grant application and annually advocates for ARC federal funding. “Eastern Kentucky has some of the highest rates of disease in the country, including cancer, obesity, diabetes and heart disease. I believe this new facility will help us address those health challenges earlier in life and incorporate more prevention for our youngest Eastern Kentuckians.”
The new facility will bolster the health care industry cluster, diversify an economy that has been heavily dependent on coal, and strengthen the regional workforce. The children’s hospital will treat children from birth to age 18, including infants born with drug dependencies.
“On behalf of Pikeville Medical Center, the Board of Directors, physicians and staff, I want to extend our sincere appreciation to Congressman Hal Rogers. He has always been a strong advocate for this area and he understands the desperate need for pediatric healthcare in Appalachia,” said PMC Vice President of the Board of Directors and CEO Donovan Blackburn. “ His continuous support and this $1.5 million dollar ARC POWER Initiative grant bridges the gap in the region’s healthcare network through the development of a children’s hospital in Eastern Kentucky. It will broaden the scope and deepen the value of what we can provide to the region’s youth.”
PMC will work with the University of Pikeville and Big Sandy Community and Technical College to strengthen the regional healthcare workforce.
Today’s announcement is one of 54 investments totaling $44.4 million via ARC’s POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative, a congressionally funded opportunity targeting federal resources to help communities and regions that have been affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries.
“I congratulate the Pikeville Medical Center for being an FY 2019 POWER grantee and commend them on the leadership they have shown in their community,” said ARC Federal Co-Chairman Tim Thomas. “POWER grants are playing a critical role in supporting coal-impacted communities in the Appalachian Region as they diversify economies, invest in growth-oriented infrastructure, train a next-generation workforce, and ingrain resiliency and hope into their local fabric. Projects like this help ensure a prosperous future for Appalachia.”
In September, Congressman Rogers, Senator Mitch McConnell and Governor Matt Bevin also announced a $4.78 million grant through the Abandoned Mine Lands Pilot Grant Program for PMC’s Children’s Hospital and pediatric clinic.