Owensboro Health’s Muhlenberg Community Hospital partnership advances cardiovascular care

Owensboro Health’s Muhlenberg Community Hospital partnership advances cardiovascular care

GREENVILLE, Ky. (WEHT) — Owensboro Health’s Muhlenberg Community Hospital is partnering with the University of Kentucky to fight heart disease.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. According to the CDC, Kentucky has one of the highest death rates, ranking among the top 10 states.

Officials say smoking is a major cause of the state’s high death rate.

Owensboro Health Muhlenberg Community Hospital is focusing on this issue through a new partnership with the University of Kentucky Gill Heart and Vascular Institute Collaborative Network.

“When you go to a coronary care center or a place like UK … an academic medical center, more advanced imaging … they may have additional providers with more advanced modalities. They’re in an environment where they can provide services that a community of a certain size may not be able to provide,” says Dr. Michael Kelley, chief medical officer of Owensboro Health.

The affiliate network currently provides these services to 24 hospitals, 15 access points and more than 12 centers.

The partnership began in 2017 at the hospital’s Owensboro location.

“We’ve had opportunities before with UK where we didn’t have something on the shelf because the supply chain was disrupted; we were able to call UK and they were helpful. They send us something whenever we want it. There have been times when we’ve said we need additional training for our nurses in the cath lab, additional training on a particular procedure or a particular imaging readout that we might not have,” Kelley says.

When it comes down to it at Muhlenberg, they say they will have open conversations with employees to set expectations and provide clarity on where they can improve.

The partnership will also help address the massive staff turnover that often affects the medical community in rural areas.

“Many times, doctors and other healthcare personnel want to live in big cities. It can be difficult for hospitals to recruit. That’s one of the reasons why the affiliate network was started. We want to provide that level of support so that if new doctors or nurses are in a rural community … they don’t feel alone,” says Dr. Naveen Rajagopolan, director of the university’s affiliate network.

Owensboro Health Muhlenberg Community Hospital CEO said they have been working towards this day for about a year.

“We can’t do everything. I know that’s the spirit of this collaboration. This partnership with UK Gill is a good and necessary one. Their focus and expertise in cardiovascular services is so necessary for our community,” says Ed Heath.