Pikeville Medical Center announces new children's hospital

Published: Nov. 27, 2018 at 12:44 PM EST
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During a

, Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) officials announced a new children's hospital project.

Current administration space is designated for the $7 million investment. The new area will have a separate entrance off the second floor of the hospital with easy access to the parking garage.

Officials hope this will provide more convenience to the hundreds of pediatric patients who travel long distances to PMC.

"The people of this region, for years, have had to send our children for years to Lexington, to Cincinnati, to West Virginia," pointed out PMC CEO Donovan Blackburn.

As a grandfather of a 6-year-old and a 17-month-old, Blackburn says he personally relates to the struggles of many parents in our region.

"My granddaughter has sensory issues. We have to take her every two weeks to Lexington and once a month to Cincinnati," explained Blackburn.

The first step for the children's hospital will be to relocate and expand the PMC Pediatrics Clinic.

"In an emergency situation, we need to have the advanced technology to be able to do the basic services that not only our adult patients need but our future," said Blackburn.

The facility will include 17 state-of-the-art examination rooms, along with in-patient beds and services.

Blackburn says this addition will change the lives of many.

"We're excited to be able to provide a family practitioner to an under-served area," said Blackburn.

Officials said the project is currently under design, but expect phase 1 of the pediatric center to be completed by March 2019. Phase 2 of inpatient services is expected to be completed by mid-2020.