ASHLAND, KY (WOWK) — Governor Andy Beshear (D-Kentucky) made a rare appearance Wednesday in Ashland to celebrate a new alliance between the University of Kentucky HealthCare and King’s Daughters.
The alliance comes after Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital in Ashland announced it would close its doors after 67 years last January.
It cost 1,000 people their jobs and left residents with one less place to go to get healthcare.
But on Wednesday, the medical and business community celebrated the new partnership in the region that aims to bring more jobs, education, and expanded medical services to the area.
“You know nobody should ever be told that the best thing that they should do to find a good job is to move — that’s wrong, and far too many of your kids and daughters have heard that — but here’s the other thing that nobody should ever be told, that the best way to find crucial healthcare is to move,” said Beshear.
Beshear was there as the keynote speaker and he told the audience that “healthcare is a human right.”
“We are now going to be able to provide that right,” he said.
One of the things people said they were most excited about the new partnership is that it will bring pediatric cardiology to the King’s Daughters Medical Center.
University of Kentucky’s President Eli Capilouto said as the state’s land-grant institution, the partnership made sense.
“We are stronger together, the idea that there is great power in partnerships and collaboration, so today is another example of how we can answer the call to uplift our people,” said Capilouto.
Gov. Beshear says the commonwealth of Kentucky is now on the precipice of prosperity as we come out of the pandemic.
“And you know what? It oughtta start in places that haven’t seen enough prosperity and I think it oughtta start here in eastern Kentucky,” he said.
The partnership among UK HealthCare and King’s Daughters has been active since April.