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A Visit to Rockcastle Regional Hospital (Part 1)

Published 07-29-2010 3:36 PM | Mark D. Birdwhistell  

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Earlier this week I had the opportunity to make a return visit to Rockcastle Regional Hospital to present my health care reform presentation to their board of directors. This is one part of my job that I love; being able to hit the road and discuss health care reform and help people understand the facts.  

I had not visited this facility for almost ten years, and I must say I was very impressed by the growth that has taken place in this health care system. As the Rockcastle CEO, Steve Estes says, "We hit the big time when we opened a covered walkway between our hospital and the clinic."  Check out the pictures below of the covered walkway.

While there I couldn't help but reflect upon my earliest memories of Rockcastle Regional Hospital which dated back to the early 1980's when I was working in the state Medicaid program. At this time I was working with my Medicaid mentor, Roy Butler, and my colleague, Janie Miller, who is the current Secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.  The three of us had the opportunity to work with the Rockcastle leadership on the development of the ventilator care program, which is still thriving today.  When the ventilator program was created, Kentucky was sending patients who needed this service out of state for care.  It was exciting to hear that the current facility has received referrals from 23 other states. Melissa Brock, Oncology Service Line Manager at Rockcastle Regional told me that the facility now has 93 beds dedicated to respiratory residents.  The Respiratory Care Center at Rockcastle Regional is the largest nonprofit nursing facility treating both adult and pediatric ventilator-dependent patients in Kentucky.  It is also one of the largest in the United States!  While at the board meeting I was very pleased to realize that Mr. Bill Bailey who was one of the original members from Rockcastle leadership who had been involved in working with the former state Medicaid team is still serving on the board and  he was present at the meeting this week. 

UK HealthCare and Rockcastle Regional Hospital work together in many capacities. They have been one of our UK HealthCare Markey Cancer Center Affiliates  since 2004. Patients in Rockcastle and the surrounding area can receive the best cancer care services including chemotherapy five days a week.

My readers should look forward to the second part of this post tomorrow which will focus on the "Healing Gardens of Rockcastle Hospital"

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