Medical Leader | Photo courtesy of MCCC
NEW FACILITY: The new StoneCrest Substance Abuse Facility will help people overcome substance abuse problems.

PRESTONSBURG — Mountain Comprehensive Care Center hosted a groundbreaking ceremony on April 20 for its new substance abuse treatment center.

The StoneCrest Substance Abuse Treatment Center will be built at StoneCrest in Prestonsburg to increase MCCC’s substance abuse treatment capacity.

Planning has been underway for a number of years on the project, which will include five buildings, a mail campus, short-term and long-term residential treatment housing for women and short-term and long-term residential treatment housing for men.

The project is made possible through state and federal funding. The complex is being built on property on Meff Road donated by the city of Prestonsburg to MCCC.

Medical Leader | FILE PHOTO
RIVERFILL ARENA: Muscle on Main, one of many local car events, will begin next weekend in Pikeville. The event features a block party, car show and drag racing.

People flock to local communities throughout the spring and summer months because they love chrome and leather.

Numerous car clubs host monthly events throughout eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia. With so many events scheduled, local car enthusiasts can enjoy a car show or drag race nearly every week of the month.

WEEK 1: The Mingo-Pike Car Club cruise-in

The group formed with support from car enthusiasts in the Tug Valley area last year.

Members began the 2015 season by hosting monthly car shows on April 4 at the Southside Mall in Williamson and will continue to do so on the first Saturday of every month through Oct. 3. 

Its next cruise-in will begin at 4 p.m. on May 2 at the Mall.

For details, call Mingo-Pike Car Club member Peanut Bowen at 606-353-1381 or Butch Leedy at 606-237-8308 or visit the club’s Facebook page.

WEEK 1: Jenkins cruise-in and burnouts

Local car enthusiasts flock to the city park in Jenkins on the first Saturday of every month from May through October for cruise-in and burnout events.

Activities begin at approximately 4 p.m.

For details, call 606-855-7827 or 606-821-8401.

WEEK 2: Muscle on Main

The city of Pikeville is pulling out all of the stops for the 2015 season of Muscle on Main, which features two days of activities on the second weekend of every month from May 8 through Oct. 10.

Muscle on Main always begins with a block party at approximately 7 p.m. on the second Friday in the Riverfill Arena. This event will feature live music, games and cars on display.

Every second Saturday, the Muscle on Main Cruise-in will be held from noon to 5 p.m. on Main Street. Activities include Hot Wheels drag racing for kids, remote control racing, vendors and other events.

The Street Light Challenge will begin at approximately 5 p.m. in the Riverfill Arena. Drivers of all makes and models are invited to participate.

Admission to all events are free, but registration fees are required for drag racing. Vendor space is also free of charge.

Local residents may register to race at For details, call the city’s Executive Director of Tourism Larry McGaughy at 606-616-2824.

WEEK 3: East Kentucky Gearheads club hosts Cruiz-n 

The East Kentucky Gearheads club hosts “Paintsville Cruiz’n” events at 4 p.m. on every third Saturday of the month, from April through September.

The theme for May 16 is trucks.

For details, visit the group’s Facebook page or the Paintsville tourism Facebook page.

WEEK 3: Elkhorn Cruizers 

The Elkhorn City Cruizer Car Club hosts car shows in Elkhorn City on the third Saturday of every month.

The club’s next show will be held May 16 at 3 p.m. at the Elkhorn City Ball Park.

This group meets on the first Thursday of each month at Elkhorn City Hall at 7 p.m.

For details, visit the group’s Facebook page.

Other local car clubs are growing in numbers, and, yes, they are accepting new members. Local car enthusiasts may want to learn more about: 

The Good Ole’ Boys Rods & Cruisers Car Club

This car club has been going strong for a number of years, with members regularly participating in local car shows, cruise-in events and other activities. It hosts its annual car show during Hillbilly Days to raise funds for the Shriners.

This club sponsors Muscle on Main, a monthly event that is coordinated by the city of Pikeville from May through October

The club also promotes other local events. Member Hayward Scott publishes the East Kentucky Car Events Newsletter, sending it out regularly to local media and community members.

This club meets monthly at the Windmill Restaurant in Coal Run. Its next meeting will be held on May 5. For details, call 606-477-8073.

Appalachian Street Rods

Dana residents Rose and Neil Lester started a new car club, Appalachian Street Rods, about four months ago.

The couple has helped organize Muscle on Main events in Pikeville for years.

Rose Lester said the Appalachian Street Rods is planning numerous events this year. They hope to raise funds to host a “blowout” celebration for underprivileged and special needs children later this year.

The group’s first car show was held on April 25. Additional shows will be held this year. 

For details, email, visit the group’s Facebook page or call 606-226-5616.

Several other events are set to be held for car enthusiasts this year, including:

Armdrop drags

The Paintsville-Prestonsburg Combs Field Airport kicked off its drag racing season earlier this month. Events will continue with a two-day drag racing event next month at that airport.

The Combs Airport Armdrop Drags will be held May 1-2 at the airport. Gates open at 10 a.m. on May 1 and 9 a.m. on May 2.

Test and tune will begin at noon on Friday and last through 9 p.m. Racing begins at noon on Saturday and lasts throughout the day.

Admission is $5 for spectators and free for children age 12 and under.

Drivers will pay $20 registration for Friday and $20 registration on Saturday.

For details, visit the Combs Airport Armdrop Drags Facebook page.

Archery team fundraiser

The Letcher County Central High School archery team invites the public to its second car, truck and bike show from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 2.

The event begins with registration at 9 a.m. and the show begins at 10 a.m. Trophies and awards will be presented at 1 p.m.

Admission is free to the car show, which will also feature music, food and activities.

Registration is $10 for cars and trucks and $5 for bikes.

Medical Leader | Photo by TEDDY PAYNTER
RECOGNIZED: The Kentucky Hospital Engagement Network (K-HEN) honored Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) for its commitment to improving quality care for moms and babies. Pictured from left are K-HEN Project Director Donna Meador, PMC President and Chief Executive Officer Walter E. May, Pike County March of Dimes Community Director Brittany Rowe, PMC Chief Operating Officer Juanita Deskins, PMC Chief of Staff Aaron Crum, MD, and March of Dimes State Director for Program Services Katrina Smith.

PIKEVILLE  — In 2012, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services launched the Partnership for Patients’ Hospital Engagement Network.

Through that program, and through a partnership between the Anthem Foundation and the Kentucky Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, Inc. (KIPSQ), a nonprofit subsidiary of the Kentucky Hospital Association (KHA), many Kentucky birthing hospitals joined together to reduce non-medically indicated deliveries before 39 weeks.  

PMC participated in the Kentucky Hospital Engagement Network and the Anthem Foundation “Improving Patient Safety for Mom and Baby” initiatives. They significantly reduced the number of early elective deliveries (inductions) and cesarean deliveries performed before 39 weeks of pregnancy. 

March of Dimes commented that babies born full-term have a healthier start in life.

Director of Womens Services Jeanette Sexton, said, “It’s a true honor to be recognized by the Kentucky Hospital Association. PMC’s Labor and Delivery staff work hard every day to try to provide our mothers and their babies with the best and safest care possible.  I am proud to be an employee of Pikeville Medical Center and to be able to say I am a part of a team who truly cares about their patients.”

“Babies who survive an early birth often face the risk of lifelong health challenges, such as breathing problems, learning disabilities and others, said Donna Meador, the KHA Director of Quality and Patient Safety.  “Even babies born just a few weeks early have higher rates of hospitalization and illness than full-term infants. I commend Pikeville Medical Center for being a champion for babies with their quality improvement effort.  The goal for this project was an early elective delivery rate of three percent or less, and the obstetrical team at Pikeville Medical Center was able to achieve this goal,” 

“Kentucky hospitals are steadfast in their ongoing patient safety and quality improvement efforts,” said Michael T. Rust, president of the Kentucky Hospital Association. “Every year, our 46 birthing hospitals welcome 53,000 babies into the world and we want these newest citizens to have the healthiest start possible in life.  Also, as a result of the help we received from the Anthem Foundation, we are now able to use mass media to encourage conversations around breastfeeding before the baby is born.”

Medical Leader | Photo by JESSICA HOWARD
PROJECT PROM: Pikeville Medical Center’s Trauma Department held an event at Jenkins Middle/High School to show students the dangers of distracted driving.

PIKEVILLE — On April 28, Pikeville Medical Center’s Trauma Department held Project Prom at Jenkins Middle/High School to help teach students the importance of keeping their eyes and mind on the road when driving.

PMC Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Scott Suttles said, “The death rate from car crashes in Kentucky (23.2 per 100,000) is higher than that of the national average (12.9 per 1,000). At Pikeville Medical Center, we hope to decrease the overall death rate by providing trauma care for patients who are severely injured.”

At 1pm, Jenkins Middle/High School Students, along with their teachers, gathered to watch their peers in a real-life scenario of what can happen when driving distracted.

In the scenario, five students were driving to the prom when they decided to take a selfie. They unbuckled their seat belts and gathered around the driver for the picture. While taking the selfie, the driver crossed the center lane colliding with another vehicle head on.  The second vehicle had two more students who were also traveling to prom driving 70 miles per hour.

The crash resulted in one student being killed after her body was thrown 50 feet from the vehicle, one student suffering from a major head trauma and paralysis from the chest down, and another student having an arm amputated.

Two students needed to be flown by medical helicopters to the nearest trauma center and the other four students were transported to the hospital by ambulance.

PMC Trauma Outreach and Injury Prevention Coordinator Jackie Caudill said, “Current data shows that distracted driving is a bigger problem than people once thought,  and  as our society becomes more focused around technology, the problem will continue to increase. Hopefully, this event opened students’ eyes and helped them understand how deadly distracted driving can be. As Jenkins and other surrounding High School students approach Prom season, we hope they will remember this mock car crash and in turn make wiser decisions when behind the wheel of a car.”

Kentucky State Police Jody Sims, said, “Distracted driving is anything that takes your minds and eyes off the road.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, ‘driving distraction is the leading cause of most crashes. Nearly 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent  of near-crashes involve some sort of distraction within three seconds of the event taking place.  In 2014, there were 53,500 crashes reported that resulted in 14,000 injuries and 169 fatalities, all of which were related to distracted driving.’”

Many community leaders and students participated in the event.

PMC and Jenkins High School would like to give a special thanks to the students who volunteered their time to be victims in the mock event, including: Dylan Bentley, Brittany Sexton, Whitney McCall, McKenzie Gibson, John Holyfield, Ted Allen and Katie DePriest. 

PIKEVILLE — May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and the Pikeville Medical Leonard Lawson Cancer Center encourages everyone to take precautions when going outdoors this summer.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. Every year more than 3.5 million new cases are diagnosed and nearly five million people are treated for skin cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer.

There are two different types of skin cancer: non-melanoma and melanoma. Melanoma is considered to be more serious, with one person dying from this diagnosis every 57 minutes.

Even though these statistics are alarming, there are many steps people can take to protect themselves and their family.

Most skin cancers are caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays, whether from the sun or indoor tanning beds. To help prevent skin cancer, it is recommended to adhere to the following:

•Seek shade between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are the strongest.

•Do not burn.

•Avoid tanning outdoors and using UV tanning booths. New high pressure sunlamps used in tanning salons emit ray doses are as much as 12 times that of the sun.

•Cover up. Thick fabric and bright/dark colored clothing provide the best defense.

•Use broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen SPF 30 or higher.

•Apply sunscreen over entire body 30 minutes before going outside.

•Reapply sunscreen every two hours or immediately after swimming/excessive sweating.

•Keep newborns out of direct sunlight. Babies are very susceptible to the sun’s damaging effects because they do not have enough melanin (the skin’s pigment that provides some sun protection). Sunscreens should be used on babies six months old and older

•Examine your skin from head to toe every month for any changes or new spots

•See a physician every year for a professional skin exam. This is especially important for people with fair skin, light eyes and hair and those with personal/family history of skin cancer.

If you notice any of the following cancer signs when examining your skin, seek medical attention immediately:

•A spot or sore that continues to itch, hurt, crust, scab, erode or bleed

•An open sore that does not heal in two weeks

•A skin growth, mole, beauty mark or brown spot that changes color or appears pearly, translucent, tan, brown, black or multicolored; changes in texture; increases in size or thickness; is asymmetrical; is irregular in outline or border; is bigger than 6mm (the size of a pencil eraser); or appears after age 21.

A free skin cancer screening is set for this September at Pikeville Medical Leonard Lawson Cancer Center.

More information will be announced at a later date.


Theodore Thelmer Colley, better known as “T.T.,” passed away just before noon on Wednesday, April 15 at Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) at age 88.

Colley was born on Aug. 21, 1926 in Esco, Ky. After graduating from Virgie High School, he joined the Navy at age 18 and was stationed at the U.S. Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Fla.  Following his military stint, he attended Eastern Kentucky University but dropped out after two years to work in the coal business. 

Colley’s mother, the late Elizabeth Branham Colley Baker, guided him in personal and business matters. With her influence, he decided to finish college and obtained a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Transylvania University in 1955. He was proud of his connection to the university and was a donor and supporter throughout his lifetime.

Upon receiving his degree, he returned to Pike County and immediately began a teaching career. He taught economics and history at Virgie High School in 1955 and Pikeville High School in 1956.

He once again started working in the coal business while teaching, putting in many long days. He once described that time as “very tough.” After purchasing the coal company for which he worked from Tom Lucas, Colley ended his teaching career. He went on to own and operate several coal companies throughout his career.

In 1957, he established Colley Block Company, a business he operated for 35 years. He coined the advertising slogan “Colley Blocks are Best.” Hand-painted signs and buildings displaying signs for Colley Blocks could be found on roadsides throughout the area.

He built and operated the Colley Motel for many years and owned interest in hotels in Daytona Beach, Fla. He developed Colley Hills Subdivision, just south of Pikeville, in addition to other land projects. He also invested in radio stations, including WPKE in 1964.

In addition to being an educator, a coal operator and a business leader, Colley was a political force in the area. An active member of the Democratic Party, he spent two terms in the Kentucky House of Representatives (1959-1963) for the 93rd District. He was Pike County Property Valuation Administrator (PVA) from 1970-1986.

He followed local, state and national elections and supported numerous political candidates. He helped Martha Layne Collins become the first female governor of Kentucky and was a supporter and longtime friend of Gov./Senator Wendell Ford. Other friends in the political world included Carl D. Perkins and Governors Happy Chandler, Bert T. Combs and Wallace Wilkinson.

Colley brought his knowledge and business skills to different Boards and agencies.  He served on the Pike County Housing Authority for seven years.  Understanding the importance of tourism, he served on the Board of the Breaks Interstate Park for six years.  He continued his commitment to higher education by serving on the Board of Trustees of Hiwassee College in Madisonville, Tenn. 

He served 25 years on the Board of Directors of Pikeville Medical Center, bringing his expertise to the Buildings and Grounds Committee. A loyal supporter of the hospital, he actively solicited gifts for the organization.  He came to his last Board meeting on March 17, even though his health was failing. The Board gave him a standing ovation for his commitment and dedication. 

Colley was also a loyal and longtime member of the Pikeville United Methodist Church.

“T.T. Colley was well known throughout our region,” said PMC President/CEO Walter E. May. “He was raised and worked in Pike County, a place he loved dearly. T.T. and I were friends for many years. T.T. passed during one of his favorite events – Hillbilly Days. He loved the festival and made a point to always attend the festivities.  When he was no longer able to walk through the downtown area, he made sure he had a golf cart to take him through the town so he could see old friends. T. T. was truly one of a kind and he will be greatly missed by all who knew him.”

Colley is survived by two children: Teddy Colley and Cam Colley of Pikeville; four grandchildren: Rachel (Matt) Dotson of Pikeville, Colley Stevens of Orlando, Fla., Elizabeth Stevens of Washington, D.C., and Mitchell Colley of Lexington, Ky.; and one great-grandchild: Huxley Scott Dotson of Pikeville.  Also special to Colley was his godchild, Maria Musgrave; personal assistant Roger Dale Caudill; caregivers Buffie S. Johnson, Jean Adkins, Cheryl Hall and Diane Thacker; and secretary of 34 years Diana Lenox.

PIKEVILLE  Pikeville Medical Primary Stroke Center has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll Elite. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment and success ensuring that stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

This marks the third consecutive year the stroke center has earned this honor.

“Pikeville Medical Center is dedicated to improving the quality of stroke care and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines — Stroke helps us achieve that goal,” said PMC Neurologist and Stroke Center Medical Director Dr. Naveed Ahmed. “With this award, our hospital demonstrates its commitment to ensuring our patients receive care based on internationally — respected clinical guidelines.”

Dr. Ahmed continued, “This award is a great honor and is only possible by the dedication of our stroke team and continued support of PMC’s administration. I would like to personally thank President and CEO Mr. Walter E. May, COO Juanita Deskins, the Board of Directors, Neurologist Dr. Sujata Gutti, Neurosurgeons Dr. Duane Densler and Dr. Norman Mayer, our excellent Emergency Room and 7A/Stroke Unit staff and Stroke Coordinator Stephanie Turner for their daily commitment to providing quality stroke care to our patients.”

To receive the Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award, hospitals must achieve 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month periods and achieve 75 percent or higher compliance with five of eight Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality measures.

To qualify for the Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke. If given intravenously in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reduce the effects of stroke and lessen the chance of permanent disability.

Pikeville Medical Primary Stroke Center earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period.

These quality measures are designed to help hospital teams provide the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients.

“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and this award demonstrates our commitment to ensuring patients receive care based on nationally-respected clinical guidelines,” said Stroke Coordinator Stephanie Turner.  “Pikeville Medical Primary Stroke Center staff is dedicated to improving the quality of stroke care and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke helps us achieve that goal.”

Pikeville Medical Center has also met specific scientific guidelines as a Primary Stroke Center, featuring a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the emergency department.

“We are pleased to recognize the Pikeville Medical Primary Stroke Center for their commitment to stroke care,” said Deepak L. Bhatt, M.D., M.P.H., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines steering committee and Executive Director of Interventional Cardiovascular Programs at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. “Studies have shown that hospitals that consistently follow Get with the Guidelines quality improvement measures can reduce length of stay and 30-day readmission rates and reduce disparities in care.”

For providers, Get With The Guidelines-Stroke offers quality improvement measures, discharge protocols, standing orders and other measurement tools.

Providing hospitals with resources and information that make it easier to follow treatment guidelines can help save lives and ultimately reduce overall health care costs by lowering readmission rates for stroke patients.

For patients, Get With The Guidelines-Stroke uses the “teachable moment,” the time soon after a patient has had a stroke, when they learn how to manage their risk factors while still in the hospital and recognize the F.A.S.T. warning signs of a stroke.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA), stroke is the number five cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States.

On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year. 

Medical Leader | Photo by MARY MEADOWS
THRILL-SEEKER: Pikeville Medical Center Public Relations Specialist Jessica Howard  sails on one of eight ziplines offered on the White Lightning Zipline canopy tour in Pikeville.

Medical Leader | Photo courtesy of WHITE LIGHTNING ZIPLINE
PREPARING TO ZIPLINE: Members of the media pose for a picture prior to taking a ride on the White Lightning Zipline on April 16.

PIKEVILLE — People who walk the trail at Bob Amos or visit the park’s walking track will likely hear more than just the birds calling from trees.

They’ll also hear White Lightning Zipline patrons screaming with excitement as they zip down the hillside.

The zipline opened April 16, the first day of the Hillbilly Days Festival, and has since been packed with adventure-seekers who are eager to experience it.

The White Lightning Zipline is one of many attractions the city has implemented and/or supported at Bob Amos Park and throughout the city over the past several years as a way of improving the quality of life for local residents and providing activities for people to enjoy while visiting Pikeville.

“I’m eastern Kentucky, born and raised, and to see the progress that’s been made in the city over the last 10 years is something that I never thought I would see in my lifetime,” Pikeville Administrator of Operations Sean Cochran said. “It makes me very proud.”

With eight lines, the zipline has approximately 6,500 feet of total length, zig-zagging its way from platform to platform on Bob Amos mountain to the zipline headquarters located behind the park’s walking track. The longest zipline is about 1,000 feet, and the canopy tour also includes two hanging platforms and a swinging bridge for patrons to cross.

White Lightning Zipline staff members Justin Fields and Morgan Adkins took the inaugural group of zip liners out on the first official zipline canopy tour on opening day.

This group of guests — representatives from local media outlets — expressed both excitement and fear as they each took their turns on the zipline.

And that’s the beauty of the adventure, Adkins explained.

“It’s pretty typical to find people who are excited and people who are scared to ride the zipline in the same group,” she said.

“Saturday, we had this girl who was so scared we had to talk her into going, then midway down the zipline, she loved it. She was saying that she wished she hadn’t been so scared for the first few ziplines.”

“It’s a good feeling to see someone come in like that who is scared then after getting the hang of it, become excited about it and start enjoying it,” Adkins said.

Adkins also works as a bar manager at the Blue Raven Restaurant.

“It’s awesome. It’s a lot of fun. It’s exercise. I love working here,” she said. “I didn’t even take this job to make money. I applied because I knew it would be fun.”

The zipline canopy tour guides ride the zipline prior to the start of tours, and they also ride down the zipline with patrons.

They worked 12 hours on the zipline Saturday, Adkins said, because so many people were anxious to ride.

“It’s awesome to have a zipline in this area,” she said. “I never imaged Pikeville having a zipline.”

Canopy tour patrons park near the walking track and are shuttled to the start of the zipline on the mountainside.

The first zipline is shorter and closer to the ground than the other ziplines so that guests can work their courage up to ride the longer ziplines as the tour continues down the mountain.

“It’s not what you think it is,” Cochran said. “It’s just like I tell people with kayaking, come out and try it and you’ll see that it’s not as scary as what you think it is. It really is just good fun.”

All safety gear is provided for White Lightning Zipline patrons, and staff members offer safety tips and assistance throughout the canopy tour.

“We’ve got some great staff members,” Cochran said. “They’re fun. They’re professional. But, most importantly, safety is number one.”

The weight limit for the zipline is 250 pounds and children between the ages of eight and 14 who weigh at least 70 pounds may experience it.

For a limited time, the city is offering a grand opening special, discounting rides for adults from $45 to $29 and rides for children from $31 to $25. Tax is not included.

The city is also offering discounted rates for those who would like to take the Zip, Paddle & Saddle tour. It has been cut from $99 to $69 for adults and from $85 to $65 for children.

The White Lightning ZipLine is open at Bob Amos Park at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Monday, at 2 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Thursday, and at 8:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

It is closed for inspection and maintenance on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

For details or to purchase tickets, visit More information may also be available on the Visit Pikeville Facebook page.

Medical Leader | Photos by MEDICAL LEADER STAFF
PATIENT CARE: Pikeville Medical Center phlebotomists draw blood from patients for testing.

CRUCIAL SERVICE: Pikeville Medical Center laboratory staff often work behind the scenes to provide crucial services to patients.

Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) joins hospitals across the country in observing Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, April 19 - 25.

Clinical laboratory science professionals play a key role in the diagnosis and prevention of diseases. Laboratory staff usually work behind the scenes but are essential to quality patient care. 

“I am very proud of our department,” PMC Laboratory Director Carolyn Johnson said. “The lab is accredited by the College of American Pathologists Laboratory Accreditation Program, which is considered the ‘gold standard’ for laboratory accreditation.”

As PMC has grown, so has the laboratory, which is located on the second floor of the Elliott building next to the May Tower entrance, in the PMC Outpatient Diagnostic Center and the Pikeville Medical Leonard Lawson Cancer Center.  The lab has 39 full-time and three part-time medical technologists/medical laboratory technicians, 27 full-time and five part-time phlebotomists, four full-time Histotechnologists and two full-time pathologists.

 “Laboratory volumes have increased dramatically,” Johnson said.  “Over 102,801 tests were performed in the month of January alone. This compares to 80,771 done in the same period in 2012.”

Specialty areas of laboratory medicine include transfusion services, clinical chemistry, clinical immunology, hematology and clinical microbiology.

Medical decisions can be a direct result of lab test data.  Growth in new testing areas are on the rise, resulting in faster turn-around for physicians allowing patient treatment to begin quicker.

In December, the lab began testing on positive blood cultures that allows identification of organisms in about an hour, rather than the 48 hours it previously took. Lab staff are also considering implementing additional gastrointestinal panel testing that would detect 22 common gastrointestinal pathogens like viruses, bacteria and parasites. If implemented, this system would also bring results to physicians in about an hour.

Work is being done toward in-house testing of the most common sexually transmitted diseases, Chlamydia Trachomatis and Neisseria Gonorrhoeae.  The results would be available to physicians in about 90 minutes.  Johnson said that having these tests available would be especially important to patients in the Emergency Department and managing patients who may not return for treatment.

The lab is also moving closer to testing HIV patients in house with initial results available to the physician on the same day of ordering.

The lab is expected to double in size with construction planned to begin in August.

“Many of our technicians have more than 25 years of service,” said Johnson.  “The field is consistently changing and the laboratory will change with it to meet the needs of our patients and physicians.”

For more information, call 606-218-3500. To schedule an appointment, call 606-218-1000.

PIKEVILLE — The East Kentucky Leadership Foundation’s 28th Annual Conference is underway in Pikeville.

The event, sponsored by Pikeville Medical Center, brings leaders together to discuss and share ideas.

It began April 23 at the Eastern Kentucky Expo Center, with roundtable discussions on various topics, a reception and an awards ceremony featuring Lt. Gov. Crit Luallen as guest speaker.

The conference continues today in the Record Memorial Building at the University of Pikeville with the following items on the agenda:

•7:30 a.m.: Registration; continental breakfast, Booth lobby

•8:15 a.m.: Welcome by UPIKE Interim President Paul E. Patton, Pike County Judge-Executive William Deskins and Pikeville Mayor Jimmy Carter.

•8:30 a.m.: Opening session, “Youth on the Move: Growing in the Economy, Race to the Top Students,” will be held in the Booth Auditorium

•9:30 a.m.; 11 a.m.: Concurrent sessions on entrepreneurship, alternative job opportunities, tech-based entrepreneurship, health care opportunities and “youthful ideas” on growing the economy

•12:30 a.m.: Luncheon at the Expo Center will feature Shaping Our Appalachian Region Director Jared Arnett as keynote speaker

More information about the conference will be published in next week’s Medical Leader. For details, visit