The University of Kentucky is teaming with hospitals and doctors to combat high rates of heart disease in eastern Kentucky.
UK’s Gill Heart Institute will work with the Appalachian Regional Healthcare network, including the ARH hospital in Whitesburg, and Appalachian Heart Center.
UK health affairs executive Dr. Michael Karpf said Tuesday the goal is to allow more heart patients to stay close to home for cardiac care.
He says the result will be more heart surgeries at Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center. UK has a surgeon assigned at Hazard.
Patients needing more complex surgeries including heart transplants will be transported to UK Medical Center in Lexington.
The agreement also includes ARH hospitals in Harlan, McDowell, Hyden and South Williamson. Karpf says those hospitals will perform cardiac tests and make referrals for surgery in Hazard or Lexington.