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RUSSELL, Ky. — Pediatric cardiology is among the benefits now being offered at King’s Daughters Medical Center through its partnership with the University of Kentucky HealthCare center.

The medical center and UK signed an agreement to cooperate April 1 and Gov. Andy Beshear, UK President Eli Capilouto, Dr. Mark Newman and Rocky Adkins, senior adviser to the governor and an Elliott County native, were on hand Wednesday to talk about the partnership.

“This partnership is an excellent example of how health care providers can successfully collaborate to share resources to facilitate patient care, physician recruitment and improve essential services,” said Kristie Whitlatch, president and chief executive officer at King’s Daughters. “We are already seeing benefits of the collaboration.”

The partnership provides expanded access to the advanced, high-acuity care offered through UK HealthCare, including both solid organ and bone marrow transplantation, said Newman, UK executive vice president for health affairs.

“By working together to provide specialty and subspecialty care, we’re giving patients the best evidence-based care while keeping them close to home and their support networks,” Newman said.

It not only will benefit Kentucky residents, but patients in southern Ohio and West Virginia as well, he said.

The partnership came about after the closing of Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital last year, said Adkins, who helped bring the parties together.

“The power of this partnership will be seen for years to come,” Whitlatch said.

Capilouto called the collaboration “a partnership that will grow.”

“This is team Kentucky,” Beshear said. “Two of our greatest players are coming together. These two are coming together to do something special. We can do so much more by working together.”

Beshear called it an historic partnership to provide the highest quality health care to the Tri-State.

He also called health care workers “amazing heroes” who have been dealing with COVID-19 for the past 18 months.

“I can’t thank you enough,” he said.

The speakers and more than 100 people who attended the ceremony at the King’s Daughters Pavilion (the former Ashland Oil headquarters building) wore masks to comply with CDC guidelines to deal with the increase in COVID-19 cases.

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