Government and business leaders across the state are addressing the negative economic and social impact facing the area after news broke of the impending closure of Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital.
“Bellefonte Hospital is an economic driver with tremendous impact, and is tremendously important to the Tri-State,” Rocky Adkins said on Friday. Adkins has spent his career serving Kentucky as a State Representative, and is now Senior Adviser to Gov. Andy Beshear.
Adkins said his heart goes out to the (estimated) 1,000 people who are slated to lose their jobs at the hospital by Sept. 30. Adkins said the blow is felt keenly, more so given that it follows recent problems with the railway and with AK Steel.
“This is personal to me,” Adkins said. “And it is personal to the governor. We are staying in contact with all local government, and I am briefing the governor every morning as we try to gather information and assess possible solutions. The governor is completely engaged.”
Added Beshear: “While this announcement is devastating for so many families in the Ashland area, I am committed to working with regional leaders to ensure access to affordable health care and to replace the jobs being lost. My administration will do everything we can to help those directly impacted by the sudden closure.”
According to the Cincinnati Business Courier, OLBH reportedly had total revenue of more than $752.7 million annually, but the non-profit lost more than $1.78 million in fiscal 2018. American Hospital Directory provided that information. According to the same two sources, King’s Daughters Medical Center had a total revenue of more than $1.5 billion and net income of more than $11 million.
“We are trying to do everything possible to save the Bellefonte infrastructure, and to save the hospital that has been so great a part of the area for so many years. This is on the front burner,” Adkins said. “And we are interested in doing everything possible to lift up eastern Kentucky and improve it in every way we can.”
Adkins said he encourages people to write to Gov. Beshear both to show their support for Bellefonte Hospital and for forward-thinking and business-minded individuals to offer ideas and potential positive solutions to the issue. Adkins said that “we are all in this together,” and that together is the way to discover the solution.
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