PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (WYMT) - A big announcement came Monday in Prestonsburg as Pikeville Medical Center and Highlands Healthcare team up to fight heart disease, a leading cause of death in eastern Kentucky.
Heart disease rates in eastern Kentucky are nearly double that of the state. It is the leading cause of death in men in eastern Kentucky and the second leading cause of death in women.
Groups from both hospitals gathered at Highlands Regional Medical Center to announce a partnership between the two.
Officials from both hospitals say healthcare is changing rapidly, and they feel the best way to stay on top of it is to join together and increase their resources.
"I think the way healthcare is changing, working together in collaboration is going to be the key to success. Money is getting tighter. Resources are getting scarcer. The need to exchange information is getting more important," said Bud Warman, Highlands Healthcare CEO.
They all agree the patients are first, offering quality healthcare while increasing their medical minds. They hope to add more research capabilities to improve the level of medical treatments patients here in eastern Kentucky receive.
"The whole thing boils down to what's the best for patients. If this works for the patients they're better served, it's going to be good for Highlands. It's going to be good for Pikeville," said Walter May, Pikeville Medical Center CEO.
They are focusing on cardiology in the partnership right now and hope to expand the partnership over time.
Pikeville Medical Center officials say they also have partnerships in Buchana, VA, and Cleveland, OH.