Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

February 2, 2013

10-acre KDMC campus dedicated in Portsmouth

PORTSMOUTH — King’s Daughters Health System has a new jewel in its crown.

King’s Daughters Medical Center Ohio will open for business on Monday. A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the 10-acre campus took place Friday morning with KDMC CEO Fred Jackson, several dignitaries and more than 400 guests on hand despite unfavorable weather conditions.

Jackson said the vision for the project started a decade ago but the recession in 2008 put it on hold. It was resurrected about 18 months ago and developed to fruition during that time.

“The vision, back then, was nearly 80,000 people in the Scioto County area needed access to healthcare,” Jackson said. He said Scioto County and Lawrence County had the lowest health status factors of the 88 counties in Ohio.

Instead of traveling outside the area, healthcare was going to be closer to home, Jackson said.

“It’s a hometown hospital for the people of Portsmouth,” he said. “The vast majority of the people employed here are from the community.”

At its opening, KDMC Ohio, a $35 million project, will have nearly 90 newly created jobs. Combined with the more than 60 team members in the existing building, there will be approximately 150 employees. Eighty-five percent of those live in the Scioto County area, Jackson said. “Most of our medical staff is from Portsmouth and Scioto County.”

KDMC Ohio was designed in conjunction with several established physicians already in Portsmouth. Dr. Chris Schmidt, the president of the medical staff at the hospital, said no expense was spared in making KDMC Ohio a world-class facility.

“They said, ‘You tell us what you want,’’’ Schmidt said. “We looked at the blueprints together and told them.”

Schmidt said it was Jackson’s philosophy with this project to have the doctors on board with the project from the beginning. “It was an amazing concept,” he said.

The four physicians who assisted in the development were Schmidt, a urologist; Gerry Trinidad, an orthopedic surgeon; Sr. Velury, a cardiologist; and Charles Wong, a gastroenterologist.

Schmidt stressed the value of “teamwork” with all those on the staff at KDMC Ohio and expressed excitement about Monday’s opening.

“They’ve allowed us to do something new and great together as a team,” he said. “My fellow colleagues, see you Monday. Let’s rock!”

Ohio Rep. Brad Wenstrup also spoke briefly at the ceremony. “The community is blessed to have King’s Daughters doing something like this in the community. What a bold thing in having a hospital offering comprehensive care with so many unknowns in healthcare. The only thing we are certain of is uncertainty.

“I appreciate the community approach,” he said. “It’s going to give excellent care to this area. I applaud the newest hospital in Ohio.”

Jane Portman, who was pinch-hitting for her husband, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, also spoke at the ceremony on Friday.

“You’re not only providing improved health care but also creating economic prosperity,” she said. “This is wonderful. It’s going to have an impact on the local community.”

Jackson, who grew up in Ohio and graduated from the Ohio State University, said he is proud to be a buckeye. “I’m a buckeye. Once a buckeye, always a buckeye.”

He spent a large amount of his career in Ohio before taking over as the CEO of King’s Daughters 16 years ago. Jackson was beaming like a proud father with the completion of the latest project in KDMC’s ever-expanding healthcare system.

“It’s easy to build a facility but complicated to develop a world-class facility,” Jackson said. “Although the building is beautiful, what makes this world class are the people that work here.”

He said the sparkling and modern operating rooms and facilities also had the attention and approval from the doctors at KDMC in Ashland.

“They asked ‘Can we get this in Ashland?’’’ he said.

Jackson said Sam McKinney created a signature piece of artwork especially for KDMC Ohio that is on the hospital’s outside wall, a 14 x 14 foot structure, and a smaller version of the design is in the lobby area. The unique 3D dimensional mural/sculpture connects Buckeye Nation to Scioto County, Jackson said.

Here are some of the hospital features:

‰Two cardiac catheterization labs, including a hybrid operating room. The hybrid OR is designed for heart and vascular procedures, where a cardiologist, vascular surgeon or cardiothoracic surgeon can work together on complex cases.

‰Endoscopy and cystoscopy suites for gastroenterology and urology procedures

‰Twenty-five pre- and post-operative beds

‰A 10-bed inpatient unit, including an ICU suite

‰Laboratory

‰Pharmacy

‰Imaging services, including x-ray, CT scanner, MRI, nuclear medicine and mobile mammography

‰Pre-admission testing

‰Cardiac testing

King's Daughters Urgent Care Center, which is located in the building, expanded its hours of service to 24 hours a day, seven days a week  on Jan. 20. The Urgent Care is designed to bridge the gap between the family doctor and the emergency room.

MARK MAYNARD can be reached at mmaynard@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2648.

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