UK HealthCare

St. Claire HealthCare officially becomes part of UK

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 1, 2024) —  Morehead-based St. Claire HealthCare officially became part of the University of Kentucky today — a move that will expand academic programs and greater access to quality patient care for more Kentuckians.

"At the University of Kentucky, we dream big dreams — for communities in every county of our Commonwealth, where we serve and seek novel solutions to old challenges in our hospitals, where we work to fulfill the promise that you should never have to leave this state to receive the best of care for the worst of moments," said UK President Eli Capilouto. "Today, because of the support of policymakers, legislators and so many others, we welcome and celebrate St. Claire HealthCare as part of the promise we make to the state whose name we bear and whose future we are committed to serve.  We are forever grateful to Gov. Beshear, Senate President Stivers, Speaker Osborne and the entire General Assembly for affording UK the authorization to make today a reality.”

St. Claire HealthCare is one of the largest employers in the greater Morehead region with more than 1,300 employees including over 50 physicians and nearly 50 advanced practice professionals representing more than 20 medical specialties. 

"Today is the culmination of many years of work, searching for the best solution to serve our community with the highest level of care and access to care for many decades to come,” said St. Claire President and CEO Donald H. Lloyd II, who will remain in his position. “Through this partnership, our neighbors will enjoy top-quality medical care in their own backyard. We know health outcomes improve greatly when care is easier to access, and we are confident – as are St. Claire's stewards for these past many years, the Sisters of Notre Dame – that joining the UK family will lead to transformative changes in our region."

Since the 1960s, St. Claire HealthCare has partnered with UK on many successful academic and clinical programs to grow the health care workforce of northeastern Kentucky. UK and St. Claire co-developed the nationally recognized Rural Physician Leadership Program, in collaboration with Morehead State University. St. Claire is also home to the UK College of Health Sciences Physician Assistant Program. In addition, it is an established training and residency site for UK’s Colleges of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

The UK Board of Trustees on April 26, approved plans to proceed with the acquisition and regulatory and other third-party approvals have now been finalized.

In 2023, St. Claire HealthCare began an extensive request for information (RFI) process and reached out to 12 national and regional organizations. After consideration by the St. Claire Board of Directors and the Sisters of Notre Dame, UK was chosen as the best option to partner to serve the people of this region, said Lloyd.

UK was identified as the partner that could carry forward the previous work and ongoing investment while growing the health care workforce, said Lloyd.

St. Claire HealthCare includes a hospital with 139 licensed beds as well as seven primary care locations located within five counties, a multi-specialty medical pavilion, two urgent care centers, a pediatrics clinic, a retail pharmacy, counseling center, a medical equipment and supply store, and an outpatient center. Additionally, St. Claire HealthCare provides home health and hospice services in eight counties.

St. Claire President and CEO Donald H. Lloyd II, UK President Eli Capilouto and Rocky Adkins, senior advisor to Gov. Andy Beshear, at a community celebration recognizing the partnership. Photo by Morgan Ravencraft.

UK HealthCare is the hospitals and clinics of the University of Kentucky. But it is so much more. It is more than 10,000 dedicated health care professionals committed to providing advanced subspecialty care for the most critically injured and ill patients from the Commonwealth and beyond. It also is the home of the state’s only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, a Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit that cares for the tiniest and sickest newborns, the region’s only Level 1 trauma center and Kentucky’s top hospital ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

As an academic research institution, we are continuously pursuing the next generation of cures, treatments, protocols and policies. Our discoveries have the potential to change what’s medically possible within our lifetimes. Our educators and thought leaders are transforming the health care landscape as our six health professions colleges teach the next generation of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health care professionals, spreading the highest standards of care. UK HealthCare is the power of advanced medicine committed to creating a healthier Kentucky, now and for generations to come.