Watch: Pikeville Medical Center officials make several big announcements

Published: Nov. 27, 2018 at 10:09 AM EST
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Pikeville Medical Center officials made several big announcements about upcoming projects Tuesday morning.

The projects mentioned include a new primary care clinic, a new coffee shop and a

"We're really excited for these announcements but more importantly, what these announcements represent and whom they represent them for," said PMC CEO Donovan Blackburn.

A new Heart and Vascular Institute is already under construction and is expected to be completed in August 2020. The $32 million investment is a USDA funded project and will expand the current institute from 26,000 square feet to 31,500 square feet.

"We have made major investments in our CT scans and our MRI's. These are state of the art systems like nobody else in the state has or very few hospitals in the state," said Blackburn. "We're one of the top heart institutions in the state by the mere numbers of operations. We have brought in new cardiothoracic surgeons. We have a couple new interventional surgeons. We're doing surgeries that nobody else in the area is doing," he added.

PMC officials said their goal is to become the number-one heart institute in the state within the next two years.

"We have been discussing it (the Heart Institute) for about the last 18 months. But pretty much everything else started back in March of this year," Blackburn pointed out.

PMC expects to create 45 new jobs by bringing back billing and coding in-house. 19 of those jobs will be filled by the first of the year, officials said. Coders will be located on the 4th floor of the Landmark, and the billing department will be in the Mark II. Renovations are expected to be complete by February 2019. This will be a $179,386 investment.

"Every announcement made today, we're going to need new doctors, we'll need new clinicians, support personnel. We're going to need maintenance folks," explained Blackburn.

However, Blackburn says the announcement does not only mean jobs but good paying jobs.

"Of course, we have everywhere from doctors to house-keeps, to valets, but our average rate is $60,000 a year," said Blackburn. "It's not just about the jobs that we're creating in the services that we are, but it's about allowing people of our region the opportunity to stay home," the CEO added.

Earlier this year, Pikeville Medical Center laid off 130 employees. Now, Blackburn says things are running much more fluid.

"We're now operating very nicely. We're in the black. Now we're making investments to serve the area so we can continue to grow," said Blackburn.

Many people are curious about where the money to fund these projects will come from. CEO Blackburn says it is simple.

"There was money actually left on the books that had not been committed yet to a specific project outside of the heart institute. So, we were able to take that money on top of other capital money that we had set aside and made very strategic investments in going out to the outlining communities that rely on Pikeville Medical Center because of our specialties," explained Blackburn.

A new Network Headquarters will manage services in more than 43 buildings. Several structures in the PMC "U" complex will begin demolition in December, and then the new headquarters will be complete by March 2019, officials project. The estimated cost for the headquarters is about $350,000.

PMC is also expanding its laboratory for $7 million. Phase one of the expansion, which includes a state-of-the-art laboratory automation line and 10 new analyzers, is already complete. Later phases include new equipment and consulting space.

Two more providers will be added to the PMC Martin Clinic, along with expanded hours in the evenings. The Whitesburg Clinic will also be expanded, with 11 providers currently and more to be added as the need arises, and full cardiac diagnostic services will be included. The opening date of the new Whitesburg facility is estimated to be Jan. 2, 2019.

The South Williamson Clinic is also being expanded to include a Heart and Specialty Clinic and Primary Care Clinic. The $2,237,977 investment is expected to be done in May 2019.

PMC officials said they needed more room for the Family Practice Clinic and Residency Program, so they are repurposing the first floor of the new IT Center directly behind the hospital. There will be front door parking and a new interior design. The new primary care center will accept appointments or walk-ins for patients from childhood through geriatrics and will be an $811,974 investment.

The second-floor atrium in the PMC May Tower is undergoing remodeling. The Corner Market retail space has already been added, and a coffee shop is close behind. Officials said this will create more jobs and will be done around March 2019.

"We're excited to be able to continue to meet and exceed hopefully, what our mission statement is. That's to bring world-class healthcare in a Christian environment. Through today's announcements, I think we did just that," Blackburn said proudly.

A total of $52 million will be invested in the numerous projects planned.