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Hazard ARH expansion project nearly complete

By: Laura Beranek, Erika Glover Email
By: Laura Beranek, Erika Glover Email
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PERRY COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) Earlier this year, Hazard native Joe Craft provided a large donation to Appalachian Regional Healthcare hospital in Hazard.

The gift helped fund a $47 million expansion project.

When patients walk into the new Joe Craft Tower, they'll be facing more options than ever before.

The three story addition will house fifty more patient rooms and sixteen ICU beds, all topped with a helipad.

Thirty four private rooms will be featured on the third floor, totaling 100,000 square feet.

"Instead of flying their patients out to Lexington, they can fly their patients into here," said ER Director Dr. Bart Francis, "And hopefully they'll see that we have a great facility now."

Hospital officials hope this expansion not only with decrease wait times for patients, but will also serve as a model for other hospitals in the area.

"The area definitely needs it," said Chief Nursing Officer Judy Craft, "Our goal also is to keep the people in this community and still offer the same level of care that they would receive in the bigger cities."

Officials say the expansion will boost the Perry County economy, and hope to eventually bring in more staff.

"We can recruit more doctors to a nicer facility," said Dr. Francis, "A nicer place to work, with more support services. So that improves the health of our citizens, they don't have to travel as far for health care."

The first-floor emergency department will open next Thursday.

All other units will be opened mid-Spring.

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