Pikeville Medical Center receives $4.78 million grant for children's hospital

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PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) Pikeville Medical Center made several big announcements at the SOAR Summit Friday morning.

Governor Matt Bevin announced $4.78 million to complete the PMC Children's Hospital.

"In this environment, you have to literally crawl before you walk, so today's announcement was a huge investment by the governor and the congressman to give us a step up and push forward with this project," said Donovan Blackburn, the CEO of Pikeville Medical Center.

Blackburn says it is important to have a children's hospital so they can be close to home when they are sick.

"This allows a child again that is in need the ability to stay home and their family to stay home with them," said Blackburn.

The announcements did not stop there. Blackburn announced a partnership with the Big Sandy Community and Technical College and the University of Pikeville to ramp up their nursing programs.

"They've agreed to increase their class size on the Prestonsburg campus this year by 25 additional nursing students. With the target of working towards the future of listing this new facility as a new location," said Blackburn.

Sherry Zylka, the president of the Big Sandy Community and Technical College, says they already have a partnership with the medical center and wants to continue to help.

"A lot of our students intern there or do their clinicals there and so it was a natural progression to look at how we could strengthen that partnership and fill the need that Pikeville Medical Center was experiencing," said Zylka.

PMC is also partnering with EKCEP. They gave a $40,000 grant to hire a Pathway Coordinator to help the collaboration between the hospital and BSCTC.

Blackburn also announced the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet developed the Kentucky Advanced Technical College High (K-TECH). This is a college and high school apprenticeship program.

This is in partnership with BSCTC, PMC, Pike County School System, and Pikeville Independent School System.

"[K-TECH] will allow them the opportunity to get the experience they need, while they pursue a path while in school, of getting dual credit that will transfer to the technical or a university," said Blackburn.

This is a three-year $627,000 Pathways to STEM Apprenticeship grant.

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