LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 18, 2020) — UK HealthCare (UKHC) and Mercy Health – Lourdes Hospital are announcing a new collaboration to expand cardiovascular services in the Paducah area.
As the first hospital in far Western Kentucky to join the UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute’s Gill Affiliate Network, Mercy Health – Lourdes Hospital now offers area residents the benefit of UK HealthCare physicians’ expertise in subspeciality cardiovascular services.
“Today’s announcement, along with the growth of our cardiovascular offerings and new providers, positions Lourdes as the area’s leader in heart care,” Michael Yungmann, president of Mercy Health – Lourdes Hospital, said. “This collaboration extends UK’s impact in our region so that our patients have access to the university’s high quality, state-of-the-art emergent cardiovascular care right in our community.”
Lourdes’ already robust cardiovascular services include a structural heart program that is the first and only in western Kentucky and Southern Illinois to offer transcatheter mitral valve treatment utilizing the MitraClip. “It is thrilling that we are now able to build on these milestones at Lourdes thanks to our affiliation with the prestigious Gill Heart & Vascular Institute,” Ashley Britton, Lourdes’ director of cardiovascular services, said. “The expansive expertise and care capabilities at the University of Kentucky will go far in providing our regional residents the care they need and deserve.”
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Kentucky, and the state has one of the highest rates of heart disease in the country. UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute is at the forefront of the battle against heart disease and stroke. Its goal is to provide every patient with exceptionally compassionate care in the safest and most appropriate manner possible based on the best evidence and the latest technological advances.
As part of these measures, UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute works with a large number of affiliate network hospitals across the state to enhance access to high-quality cardiovascular care and to provide the right care in the right place at the right time. The affiliate network includes 18 hospitals and 10 outreach locations.
Since officially joining the Gill Affiliate Network in October, Lourdes is taking full advantage of network assets, including on-site training and education at UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute to build out and support its cardiovascular program. In addition, Lourdes’ providers participated in education focused on advanced heart failure and heart attack treatment and outcomes and consulted with UKHC experts to support the expansion of their structural heart program.
Dr. Rick R. McClure, medical director of the Gill Affiliate Network, said, “working directly with strong community hospitals, like Lourdes, is key to addressing the cardiovascular needs of the region. We can help local hospitals develop customized programs and services that allow patients to receive cardiovascular care locally for as long as possible, with the understanding that UKHC and the UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute are available to provide advanced care and clinical trials for patients with complex cardiac disease.”
Dr. Susan Smyth, director of the UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute, knows this relationship will go a long way to improve the health and lives of patients and families while staying in their own community. “We are excited to have Lourdes as a new collaborator as we work together to ensure that all patients have access to premiere care,” Smyth said.
The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers." We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.