Pikeville Medical Center now includes Eastern Kentucky’s first hospital for children, thanks to federal grants and donors

Outpatient examination room in hospital (Photo by Silas Walker, Lexington Herald-Leader)

Pikeville Medical Center has opened the first children’s hospital in Eastern Kentucky.

The 13,400-square-foot facility, with 10 child-themed patient rooms and 13 outpatient examination rooms, is named the Drs. R.V. and Jyothi Mettu Children’s Hospital, for donors of $1.5 million to the project. Jyothi Mettu has been a pediatrician in the area for almost 30 years.
Pikeville Medical Center also received a federal-state Abandoned Mine Lands Pilot Program grant of $4.78 million and an Appalachian Regional Commission grant of $1.5 million to support the project.
PMC president and CEO Donovan Blackburn told Liz Moomey of the Lexington Herald-Leader that finding a way to serve the region’s children has long been a priority. “Our kids have to travel, it’s not right, it’s not fair,” he said. “As the largest single regional institution, we had to address that.”
“Prior to the children’s hospital opening, a child with appendicitis or a heart murmur would likely be referred to a specialist in Lexington,” Moomey notes, quoting Blackburn: “A child will be able to see its extended family for support now during an overnight stay. A child will have access to urgent care instead of having delayed care when care is needed. A child will feel like they matter during some of their scariest times because of today.”
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