$8 million in funding for Eastern Kentucky at SOAR Summit

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Two new projects in Pike and Boyd counties have been selected for more than $8 million in funding through the Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) Pilot grant program.

According to Governor Beshear’s Office, Pikeville Medical Center, if approved by the federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, will receive $4.27 million to expand and equip the Pikeville Medical Center’s Leonard Lawson Cancer Center. With the expansion, the Pike County cancer center will increase the chemotherapy treatment area by 7,000 square feet.

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They say the King’s Daughters Health System expansion project will receive $4 million, if approved by OSMRE, for the purchase of health care equipment. This is expected to result in the creation of 250 full-time jobs and mitigate job losses and concerns about availability of care in the region after the closure of Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital.

“These grants will bring real improvements to the lives of our people in Eastern Kentucky. My administration knows that health care is a basic human right, and it has never been more important than now, as we battle this global health pandemic,” said Gov. Beshear, who has made improving Kentucky’s health a central initiative of his administration. “We are committed to working with our federal partners to help deliver the best possible care for all of our citizens. It’s how we build a stronger Eastern Kentucky and a better Kentucky for everyone.”

Congressman Rogers, along with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has championed $540 million in federal funding for the AML Pilot program since 2016, of which $130 million has been awarded to Kentucky, according to officials.

“We face some of the highest rates of health disparities in the country, so we must remain vigilant in our work to improve medical services and access to quality care in every community,” Congressman Rogers said. “Together these grants ensure that the people of Eastern Kentucky have a place close to home for the medical care they need, whether they have an emergency or face an extended battle with cancer. Ultimately, we hope to save lives and improve the quality of life through these two investments.”