UK HealthCare

UK HealthCare’s Gill Heart & Vascular Institute Expands Affiliate Network in Neighboring Communities

Bluegrass Community Hospital
Bourbon Community Hospital

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 27, 2021) — UK HealthCare, Bluegrass Community Hospital and Bourbon Community Hospital are announcing a collaboration to expand cardiovascular services to more Kentuckians.

As the home-base community hospitals in Versailles and Paris, respectively, Bluegrass Community Hospital and Bourbon Community Hospital have strong cardiovascular services that will be further enhanced by the collaboration with UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute.

“We are excited about the opportunities that our new affiliation with the UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute will bring to our existing cardiology services in Versailles,” said Dave Steitz, CEO of Bluegrass Community Hospital. “Collaborating with UK HealthCare helps to ensure that we have access to their expansive expertise to offer high quality cardiovascular care right here in our community.”

Bluegrass Community Hospital is a licensed critical access hospital that offers a broad range of inpatient, surgical, emergency and diagnostic services.

“As an accredited chest pain center with the American College of Cardiology, we know the importance of expanding our knowledge and resources,” said Joseph Thomas, M.D., cardiologist at Bluegrass Community Hospital. “The UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute Affiliate Network will help us access experts around the country and help us stay current on the latest research and treatments.” Thomas also serves as an associate professor at the UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute.

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.

Officially established in 2014, the UK Gill Affiliate Network now boasts 20 affiliate hospitals across the Commonwealth, from Pike County to McCracken County. The network allows the UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute to work closely with regional hospitals to provide the highest quality of cardiovascular care. Through the network, specialists at the UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute provide cardiovascular-specific education and training programs for network doctors, advanced practice practitioners, nurses and staff to ensure the most up-to-date cardiovascular knowledge is available to them. Network members have remote access to cardiovascular educational opportunities and complimentary participation in cardiovascular conferences as well as personalized and customized attention from the UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute to support the network hospitals’ needs across the cardiovascular spectrum.

The UK Gill Affiliate Network also assists cardiovascular programs in achieving and maintaining subspecialty accreditations and supports cardiac program growth and development. In addition, the network facilitates collaboration between local providers and Gill cardiologists, vascular surgeons and cardiothoracic surgeons. Developing these relationships allows for open communication and collaboration of care for patients.

“Kentuckians rely on their local community hospitals to provide lifesaving treatment and therapies,” said Navin Rajagopalan, M.D., heart failure cardiologist and director of the UK Gill Affiliate Network. “The more collaborative relationships we can cultivate with hospitals across the Commonwealth, the better. Combining all of our expertise will help reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease and provide more Kentuckians the opportunity to receive the advanced care they need.”

“We are thrilled about joining the UK HealthCare Gill Heart & Vascular Institute Network,” said Tommy Haggard, CEO of Bourbon Community Hospital. “This new collaboration will allow us to access their expansive resources and expertise to enhance our high-quality cardiovascular care in Paris.”

Bourbon Community Hospital is a 58-bed acute care facility that boasts a medical staff of 140 physicians covering 22 specialties.

“Our new affiliation with UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute will give us access to experts around the country to stay current on the latest research and life-saving treatments,” said Kelly Waespe, M.D., a cardiologist at Bourbon Community Hospital. “As an accredited chest pain center with the American College of Cardiology, we know the importance of expanding our knowledge and resources to better serve our patients.”

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