Local leaders, community members and officials turned out to celebrate the opening of Pikeville Medical Center’s new Prestonsburg Primary and Urgent Care Clinic in Prestonsburg on Monday.
Speakers included local officials as well as PMC officials who suggested that PMC will expand to provide more services in Prestonsburg in the future.
Donovan Blackburn, Pikeville Medical Center Board of Directors vice president and CEO, reported that the hospital invested $3 million into the project.
“I cannot be more proud to be located in downtown Prestonsburg,” Blackburn said. “This is huge for us, and hopefully, a product that everybody here will be pretty proud of.”
He praised Prestonsburg Mayor Les Stapleton and Prestonsburg City Council members for selling the property to the hospital for this project, as well as PMC officials and others who helped make it a reality. He noted that one of the buildings on the old car lot property was salvaged and will be remodeled at a later date.
“We salvaged one of the buildings because, like so many other projects that we have, we plan to expand,” Blackburn said. He described the clinic as the hospital’s “first investment” and said the building that was salvaged will be remodeled as part of PMC’s “second phase of growth.”
He said the modular clinic building was set up in a way that components may be added to it in the future.
Dr. Aaron Crum, the senior vice president, assistant CEO and chief medical officer at PMC, reported that the hospital is planning “very significant specialties” that will be offered in Prestonsburg in the future.
“This is kind of just the start of our clinical presence in Prestonsburg,” Crum said, explaining that the clinic will start out as a primary care clinic and later expand to provide urgent care services. “Also, we have plans to expand our specialties in the Prestonsburg area. We’re in some negotiations that I can’t really get deep into right now, but our intention is to provide very significant specialty care in Prestonsburg and also out of this building. And as that expands, the urgent care we’re able to provide will expand.”
Stapleton said he expects the clinic to spur economic growth in the city. He reported a couple of businesses have already opened in the area and he said that people have called the city to inquire about the zoning requirements in that area.
“... It just takes a spark to start a fire. It’s in this end of town, and there’s going to be collateral businesses that start off of it, and we’re excited about that,” he said.
Prestonsburg bought the former Music Carter Hughes lot with the intention of constructing a community center there, but Stapleton said grant funding was not available to bring that project to fruition. He recruited PMC to open a clinic there after the hospital announced numerous expansions throughout the region.
Floyd County Judge-Executive Robbie Williams talked about how this project demonstrates the benefits of regionalism.
“It seems to be a common theme here today that everyone’s talking about, is regionalization, working together, working across county lines. Who would have ever thought that we would have a Pikeville Medical Center in middle of downtown Prestonsburg? Boy, these are exciting times,” he said. “Things are changing. We realize that we have to work together. We have to cross those county lines ... In order for us to move forward, we’re going to have to look at things in a regional way.”
Rep. Ashley Tackett Laferty thanked PMC leaders for expanding in the region.
“I am absolutely honored to be here to celebrate the coming of this clinic to our community,” she said. “This building behind us is going to mean so much more to this community than just the brick and mortar that it’s built with. This building’s going to mean healing. It’s going to mean hope, It’s going to mean jobs. And in Floyd County, we need all of those things in this community.”
Sen. Philip Wheeler, R-Pikeville, also commended the hospital for its growth and for a healthcare apprenticeship program that Blackburn said is being planned for high school students.
“Pikeville Medical Center cares about their employees and they care about their community,” Wheeler said.
Melissa Thacker, vice president COO of physician practices at PMC, said the clinic will provide primary and urgent care services on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and urgent care services will expand into the evening hours at a later date. Dr. Kevin Farthing and Dr. Debra Hall are accepting new patients at the clinic.
For more information or an appointment, call, (606) 218-3500.