Pikeville Medical Center received more than $4 million in a grant to create a children’s hospital and pediatric clinic in order to improve healthcare in the Appalachian region.

Gov. Matt Bevin and U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers awarded Pikeville Medical Center the $4.7 million grant during the 2019 SOAR Summit on Friday. The grant was one of 20 grants, worth about $34.4 million, awarded by Bevin and Rogers to 14 counties in southeastern and Eastern Kentucky, including Pike, Floyd, Perry, Letcher, Johnson, Martin, Knott, Breathitt and Clay, among others.

Rogers said the children’s hospital will create 200 new jobs in Eastern Kentucky.

“It will be Eastern Kentucky’s first and only dedicated children’s hospital,” Rogers said during the announcement. “It will provide medical services for more than 100,000 children in our region, allowing families to stay close to home for difficult treatments and long-term medical care.”

The grants were awarded as a way to spur economic development and job creation in Eastern Kentucky. Projects that impact the 14 counties were chosen to receive grants through the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet’s Division of Abandoned Mine Lands, as part of the Abandoned Mine Lands Pilot Program to “revitalize the coalfields in Kentucky’s Appalachian region through economic development,” according to the governor’s office.

Donovan Blackburn, Pikeville Medical Center CEO, who spoke at the SOAR Summit, announced that Pikeville Medical Center will work to create educational opportunities, assist healthcare providers and create hundreds of jobs around the region.

Blackburn told the News-Express that the grant will allow the hospital to provide more healthcare opportunities to the region. He thanked Sen. Mitch McConnell and Rogers for supporting the Pikeville Medical Center’s application for the grant.

“This investment in Eastern Kentucky will help us reach out beyond the walls of the hospital to broaden the scope and deepen the value of what we can provide to the region’s youth,” he said. “Health care is the region’s number one industry. At PMC, we intend to continue to provide quality care, recruit excellent physicians and expand our services for the people we serve.”

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