Hazard ARH remains an engine for local economy
by IVY BRASHEAR Staff Reporter
HAZARD The Kentucky Hospital Association recently released their annual Economic Importance study for hospitals across Kentucky, including Hazard Appalachian Regional Hospital.
The study shows that Hazard ARH provided over $18 million in Medicaid and Medicare funding to low-income patients, and over $42 million in wages and salaries to its over 1,000 employees last year.
Capital investments by the hospital total over $2.6 million, and the hospital paid over $7.6 million in local and state taxes.
Hazard ARH CEO Donnie Fields said these numbers are important because they reflect the kinds of services and opportunities the hospital provides to the community.
He said that a lot of people in the region cant afford to go to places like Lexington for care and that ARH provides excellent care to those patients close to home.
Were trying to meet the needs of the patients so they dont have to go to the Lexingtons (out there), Fields said.
He said he has worked and been loyal to ARH for 26 years, and added he was proud of the hospitals accomplishments. However, the most important thing has always been patient care.
The thing I like about (ARH), is we take care of everybody, Fields said.
He said the hospital received much support from the community and that the economic impact survey reflects that support because without the community behind it, the hospital wouldnt exist.
If [the community] didnt support us, of course, we wouldnt have any jobs, Fields said.
He also said they are trying to get patients to understand they can stay in Hazard and received excellent medical care, just like the care they could receive anywhere else.
The study shows exactly how important the hospital is to the community, Fields said. He added that without it, not only would over 1,000 people not have jobs, but those who cant afford long trips to hospitals will most likely be without medical care.
Where would eastern Kentucky, especially Hazard and those areas, be without the ARH facility? Fields asked. Where would people go?
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