Officials of Associated Health Care, along with their attorney, Terry McBrayer, who gave a PowerPoint presentation in February, discussed the necessary steps to allow the hospital to be built.
The governor must concede that a health care emergency exists in Jessamine County, and that a hospital is critically needed in the county, McBrayer said. In order for the governor to realize this, he emphasized that citizens must contact him in Frankfort, stating their support for the hospital.
McBrayer said that since the February meeting, Associated Health Care has also filed an application to establish an ambulatory care center in Nicholasville. That type of care center is basically an urgent-treatement type of facility. He added that this is will help reinforce the need for a local hospital.
Nicholasville Mayor John Martin said he supports the petitions to establish a hospital in the county.
"The only costs will be to these people," he said. "We really need to push for this, and let our voices be heard."
The mayor also pointed out that a local hospital will help free up Jessamine ambulances, because not all of the ambulance runs being made into Lexington are emergencies, but transports of patients to doctors in non -emergency situations.
"But it ties up the ambulances, and if we had a medical center here, we wouldn't have to keep taking them to Lexington," he said.
The mayor referred to Associated Health Care's proposal to establish what they called "a full-blown medical center" next to the proposed hospital.
Jessamine County Judge-Executive Wm. Neal Cassity told Associated Health Care that they were "preaching to the choir."
"We've just got to get those petitions and letters coming in," he said.
McBrayer explained to the crowd of around 40 that a hospital cannot be built in Kentucky without being granted the Certificate of Need, and to get that, they must show that the hospital would not duplicate services offered by hospitals in nearby communities. He added that Jessamine County does not meet the criteria to put another hospital into the 17-county area of the Bluegrass Area Development District.
McBrayer said Associated Health Care intends to use statistics his firm gathered, including the number of emergency ambulance runs and patients taken to Lexington hospitals, along with petitions and letters, to convince the governor of the county's need for its own hospital. He said that Associated Health Care, which purchased Samaritan Hospital in Lexington last year, plans to meet with the governor in the near future.
Citizens who wish to contact the governor and voice their opinion on the need for a local hospital may call, e-mail or write to Governor Ernie Fletcher, 700 Capitol Avenue, Suite 100, Frankfort, KY 40601, (502) 564-2611, email@example.com. To contact Mark Birdwhistell, the Secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family: Secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, 275 E. Main St., 4W-A, Frankfort, KY 40601, Mark.firstname.lastname@example.org, (502) 564-7195.
Also, for more information, call the chamber of commerce at 887-4351.