Martin said he thought the meeting went well.
"The governor has a good understanding that we need an acute care hospital here, not an ambulatory care center," he said. "I thought he gave Secretary Birdwhistell some direction on how to research that," he said.
Martin was referring to the fact that Fletcher made no commitments one way or other, but rather, assigned the Health and Family Services Secretary Mark Birdwhistell to look into the matter and put together an analysis of the situation. The mayor said that although he was pleased with the meeting with the governor, he is anxious to hear some word back about the outcome.
"I just wish they would hurry up," Martin said. "I want this to happen, and we need it really, really badly."
But Jeff Barnett, deputy executive director for health policy, who heads up the Certificate of Need Office, said they won't know anything for some time. Barnett said the deadline for filing a certificate of need application is Sept. 27, and that's not the end of the process.
"The September date is just the deadline for the filing of the applications," he said. "We have a schedule in place that applies to all of these various cycles, and the decision date on that type of application will not be rendered until Feb. 14 of 2007."
Barnett added that his office is always interested in any pertinent information that people want to pass along to him.
"One of the things that I suspect we are going to be doing to asking these people, like the mayor and other groups, to share with us the actual information that they've made reference to because these are not items that we've seen, nor have they been made available to us," he said. "There's been a lot of discussion about the amount of time it takes for an ambulance to get from point A to point B, or the number of people who may be seeking services in Fayette County. Again, anyone possessing information like that, we would welcome. We've not yet had that made available to us. I think we're at a stage now where these groups who have put together information, or who have at least made reference to it, would be in the best position to share with us what they think is important going forward on this issue."
Barnett asked that people use the following e-mail address: email@example.com.
Foster said he also felt that the health care situation in Jessamine met with understanding from the governor and his staff, but it remains to be seen if the certificate of need will be granted.
"He (the governor) was certainly receptive, but was non-committal at this point," he said.
Hinkle and her firm has made two presentations to Jessamine County officials so far this year. The first presentation featured a PowerPoint presentation that outlined the need for a hospital in Jessamine, using statistics from traffic accidents, ambulance emergency care runs to Lexington hospitals, and the number of local people who had been patients in Lexington hospitals last year. Associated Health Care, which purchased Samaritan Hospital last year, proposed at the meeting to build a full-service hospital in Nicholasville as well as an ambulatory care center. The second meeting was an update which included the how the petition-gathering process was going. At the first meeting, the firm told Jessamine officials that they should take along such documents to the meeting with the governor to show the people's support of the project.
Martin said Tuesday that he was still collecting signatures, and that so far, only five people had refused to sign the petitions.
"I've got so many names here, there are just too many to count," he said.
Jessamine County, with a population of more than 42,000, is the only county in the vicinity of Fayette County, which does not have a full-service hospital. Hinkle said at the meeting with the governor that building an ambulatory care center in Nicholasville is only the first step in bringing a full service hospital to the county. But, she said, the county still needs its own hospital, with diagnostic and surgery facilities.
Saint Joseph HealthCare has also filed for a Certification of Need application to build an ambulatory care center in Jessamine.