ASHLAND, Ky. (July 29, 2021) — Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear joined officials from King’s Daughters Health System (KDHS) and UK HealthCare, the clinical health system of the University of Kentucky, in officially celebrating their new partnership yesterday in Ashland. Several other state and local lawmakers, dignitaries and community leaders also attended the event hosted by KDHS.
The partnership, which went live April 1, creates new opportunities for both organizations to better serve patients throughout Kentucky, southern Ohio and West Virginia by expanding the delivery of specialty health care services throughout the region.
“I believe health care is a basic human right. As governor, I will always fight to provide all our people with access to quality, affordable health care in every corner of the Commonwealth. Today’s announcement of this historic partnership will help make that a reality right here in Eastern Kentucky,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “Both UK HealthCare and King’s Daughters are key Team Kentucky players in building a healthier, better Kentucky. Thank you to all of our health care heroes for your hard work, dedication and sacrifices.”
“This partnership is an excellent example of how health care providers can successfully collaborate to share resources to facilitate patient care, physician recruitment and improve essential services,” said Kristie Whitlatch, president and chief executive officer of King’s Daughters Health System. “We are already seeing benefits of the collaboration as we are able to invest in our team members and our facilities.”
UK’s Albert B. Chandler Hospital, the cornerstone of the UK HealthCare hospital system, was just ranked as the No. 1 Hospital in Kentucky for the sixth year in a row by U.S. News & World Report. The partnership provides expanded access to the advanced, high-acuity care offered through UK HealthCare, including both solid organ and bone marrow transplantation.
“Today, we celebrate another example of partnership that will uplift our people for decades to come,” said Dr. Eli Capilouto, UK president. “It’s a promise to work with our fellow Kentuckians, as the state’s land-grant institution, to provide high-quality health care to communities throughout the Commonwealth and surrounding region.”
The partnership expands upon the strong existing relationship between King’s Daughters and UK’s Markey Cancer Center, which was just ranked as a top 50 cancer center for the fifth year in a row by U.S. News & World Report. As a longtime member of both the UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate and Research Networks, King’s Daughters Oncology Center for Excellence has been able to offer patients access to advanced cancer treatment and cancer clinical trials not available anywhere else.
Moving forward, the partnership will allow for expanded offerings in other needed health care services for the area, including pediatric cardiology. Last week, the two organizations collaborated on their first pediatric echocardiogram read, and in the near future the UK HealthCare Kentucky Children’s Hospital team will be providing onsite pediatric cardiology services at King’s Daughters. Additionally, UK HealthCare will soon provide additional support and direction within King’s Daughters Pharmacy Department.
“Partnerships like this one are crucial to advancing the health of Kentucky citizens,” said Dr. Mark F. Newman, UK executive vice president for health affairs. “By working together to provide specialty and subspecialty care, we’re giving patients the best evidence-based care while keeping them close to home and their support networks. We’re excited to be partnering with King’s Daughters Health System, a leading health care provider in the region, to improve access to health care.”
With the Commonwealth facing a shortage of physicians, the partnership also presents new opportunities for King’s Daughters to continue working with the UK College of Medicine to train the next generation of Kentucky doctors.
About UK HealthCare
UK HealthCare employs more than 9,000 people with 945 licensed beds at UK Chandler Hospital, UK Good Samaritan Hospital and UK Kentucky Children’s Hospital. It also includes UK Markey Cancer Center, Gill Heart and Vascular Institute, Kentucky Neurosciences Center and more than 150 outpatient clinics and services.
About King’s Daughters
King’s Daughters Health System includes two acute-care facilities — 465 licensed beds in Ashland and 10 licensed beds at King’s Daughters Medical Center Ohio, located in Portsmouth. The system includes a long-term care facility; seven urgent care centers; and 30 primary care and 36 specialty physician practices. King’s Daughters serves residents from Prestonsburg, Kentucky, to Jackson, Ohio, and from Vanceburg to Catlettsburg, Kentucky.
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.