UK HealthCare

Board OKs UK HealthCare Proposed Affiliation With Shriners To Ensure Continuation of Children’s Health Service

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 11, 2012) – The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees today approved a proposal to authorize President Eli Capilouto to finalize a development plan to potentially relocate Shriners Hospitals for Children ‒ Lexington, and its critical children’s health care services, to the UK campus.

“We have an opportunity to form an even stronger partnership with Shriners and develop a service delivery model that will strengthen our ability to provide care for children and families in this region,” Capilouto told trustees. “This idea, if we can bring it to fruition, represents a win for UK, for Shriners and for the families and children we already work together to serve.”

Under the proposal, Shriners Hospitals for Children (SHC) ‒ Lexington will develop a new facility on the UK campus near Kentucky Children’s Hospital to provide outpatient surgical services, clinics, physical therapy and other related services. The proposed facility would be built by SHC on property leased from UK.

Already, the majority of medical staff at SHC Lexington are faculty of Department of Orthopaedics in the UK College of Medicine. Other faculty members in the College of Medicine also provide services at SHC Lexington. And SHC ‒ Lexington supports several medical resident and student rotations.

The majority of SHC ‒ Lexington clinical services are currently provided on an outpatient basis. That has significantly diminished the need for inpatient hospital service. Last year alone, SHC performed 689 outpatient surgeries compared to 198 inpatient surgeries – a trend found in Shriners facilities throughout the country. 

“The family centered pediatric orthopaedic care we have been delivering to children and their families since 1926 will continue,” said Tony Lewgood, administrator for Shriners Hospitals for Children – Lexington. “Relocating to the UK campus will bring us closer to the top-rated specialty and subspecialty pediatric care of UK HealthCare – a real benefit to the children we care for."

“We are proud of the long and important partnership UK HealthCare has had with Shriners,” said Dr. Michael Karpf, executive vice president for health affairs at UK. “This proposal underscores our commitment to always do what is in the best interests of our patients in the region – in this case, children and families throughout Kentucky and beyond who look to both of us for critical health care needs.”

Shriners national Board of Trustees will determine the long-term use of the Richmond Road facility and property. In addition, Shriners officials will meet with neighborhood and local government officials throughout the process to ensure they are informed, said Lewgood.

SHC’s Lexington hospital on Richmond Road – in its 85th year of operation -- currently provides care to 10,800 patients at its 114,000-square-foot facility. The hospital has 50 inpatient beds, two operating rooms, physical therapy services and outpatient clinics.

UK and Shriners officials said they hope to finalize a development plan and bring a lease and specific agreements to the Board of Trustees for consideration later this year or early next year. 

MEDIA CONTACT:  Kristi Lopez, (859) 323-6363,