PIKEVILLE — Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) is now an American Heart Association (AHA) Training Center, offering multiple certification classes for its employees and the public.

Becoming an AHA Training Center is a rigorous, two-year process that includes collecting extensive amounts of data and completing an application process. Once the application is approved, a surveyor monitors multiple courses to ensure appropriate teaching techniques are utilized. 

“The PMC Hospital Education Department plays an instrumental role in the quality of care provided by the organization,” said Rita Crum, director of Employee Education/Staff Development. “Part of PMCs mission is to provide quality regional health care, and the Hospital Education Department assists in fulfilling that mission by providing education on evidence-based care methods within the organization and the entire region.”

Courses offered through the AHA are Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support and Basic Life Support. Other courses and certifications offered to employees and the public through various professional organizations are Trauma Nursing Core Course, Neonatal Resuscitation Program check-offs and Intermediate Fetal Monitoring courses (six months experience required).

All courses come with a certification card upon completion.

For course dates, times and prices, call 606-218-3525.

PIKEVILLE — Commercial air service will soon end in Pike County, less than a year after it got off the ground.

The companies providing air service to the Pikeville–Pike County Regional Airport (PBX), Corporate Flight Management (doing business as Appalachian Air) and Public Charters, Inc., announced on Tuesday that they will end service to PBX in July.

The final date of service will be announced soon.

Appalachian Air started service between PBX and Nashville International Airport on Oct. 27, 2014, the first such air service to eastern Kentucky. In spite of nearly 100 percent operational reliability for all flights which were scheduled to operate and aggressive promotional pricing (in essence, a 50 percent discount on most tickets during this period), the service was never able to build to a sustainable level.

“Appalachian Air provided superior service to PBX and never cancelled a flight due to aircraft availability or mechanical issues, and only had two weather-related cancellations,” said Luke B. Schmidt, President L.B. Schmidt & Associates, LLC, the consultant who has been working to recruit and implement the new service with the city of Pikeville, the Pikeville – Pike County Airport Board and the Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. “However, during the run up to the service launch in 2014 and continuing into 2015, the region lost nearly 12,000 high-paying coal mining jobs, which has had a huge impact up and down the line in the local economy.”

The service was supported with minimum revenue guarantee  payments which were designed to serve as a bridge to get the new service to a sustainable position. The funds for the MRG were provided through federal and state grants. The parties recognized the inability to develop the service to a sustainable level and elected to take the fiscally responsible step of discontinuing the service, which will allow any unused funds to be returned to the grant providers.

“This service was strongly supported by the business community, the local state legislative delegation, the governor and members of Kentucky’s congressional delegation. However, the decline in the economy made it very difficult to get enough passengers on board to get to a sustainable, or even break-even position. I know that I speak for all of our project partners in expressing our appreciation for this support,” said Schmidt.

Passengers who have booked flights on Appalachian Air for July or later will be contacted directly by Public Charters, Inc. concerning their tickets.

Medical Leader | MARY MEADOWS
RIBBON CUTTING: Officials with the Pikeville Main Street Program, the city of Pikeville and the Southeast Chamber of Commerce cheer as Karen Boyd, standing in center near her husband Bobby, cuts the ribbon for their new restaurant, Bob’s Southern Smokehouse, located on Division St. in Pikeville.

PIKEVILLE — Local residents have a new place to turn to when their mouths are watering for southern-style barbecue.

Pike County residents Bobby and Karen Boyd recently opened Bob’s Southern Smokehouse, located in the former Friend Law Office building at 130 Division St. in downtown Pikeville.

The restaurant held a soft opening earlier this month, and officials with the city of Pikeville, the Pikeville Main Street Program and the Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce welcomed the restaurant with a ribbon cutting ceremony on June 11.

Bobby Boyd brought 15 years’ experience to his new business. He and his wife operated several other restaurants, including Bob’s Mountain BBQ on South Mayo Trail and Hambley Blvd. and the Garden Café on Main Street, before he started working at StoneCrest Golf Course in Prestonsburg eight years ago.

The couple live in Pikeville and wanted to open the business closer to home and be a part of the evolution of Pike-ville’s bustling downtown.

“We’ve seen a lot of changes downtown and we wanted to come back,” Karen Boyd said. “We feel like the revitalization of downtown is on its way and we wanted to be a part of the distillery and other things going on downtown.”

The restaurant, which also offers catering services, features a library-themed meeting room, murals depicting Pikeville landmarks and a southern décor.

The murals, painted by artist Kristy Townes, depict the Pauley Bridge, the old Pikeville railroad station and the former GC Murphy Building (the location of the new restaurant).

“We wanted to preserve the history of this building and respect everything that’s been here before. It’s really important to remember where you’ve been and see how far you’ve come,” Karen said.

Bob’s Southern Smokehouse wouldn’t be complete without Bob’s Famous Bourbon Burgoo Soup, and of course, a variety of barbecue recipes on the menu like Bob’s Smokehouse Pork Sirloin sandwich, the BBQ Brisket sandwich, Bob’s Famous BBQ Pulled Pork sandwich and other items. Bob’s even offers a “Half Pound Pub Burger,” a grilled bologna sandwich and a BLT topped with Gouda cheese.

Bobby Boyd uses his own barbecue sauce recipe, and, although she does not know its secret ingredients, Karen hopes to one day expand the business by selling the sweet, tomato-based sauce online.

The menu goes beyond barbecue, with appetizers like loaded nachos and fries, to fried pickles and banana peppers. It has several salads on its lunch menu, including a deep fried goat cheese salad with honey vinaigrette dressing.

The restaurant also serves breakfast, beginning at 7 a.m. Bobby and Karen plan to start offering dinner at Bob’s Southern Smokehouse next Tuesday.

“Dinner is going to be awesome,” Karen said. “We have two chefs working with us who are putting together an awesome menu. We’re going to be offering things that nobody else has downtown.” 

Deliveries are available in downtown Pikeville.

For details, visit the restaurant’s Facebook page or call 606-432-6670.

One childhood Christmas I wanted a robot.  I made a deal with my grandfather.  I told him I would give up chocolate until Christmas if he would buy me a robot.  I planned carefully the element of self-sacrifice for the desired goal.  There was only one problem:  my grandfather adamantly maintained that I did not need a robot and never agreed to buy me one.

Christmas day came, and there was no robot.  I don’t recall what my grandfather gave me that year; surely something practical, loving and thoughtful.  He was right.  I didn’t need a robot.  I needed a loving grandfather whose wisdom superseded my childish whims to provide what I required to flourish.

Sometimes we try to make deals with God.  We only have to trust Him and thank Him for giving us what we need.

“For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.”  Matthew 6:8

~PMC Chaplain Andrea Tackett may be reached at 606-218-3969.

Medical Leader | Photo courtesy of JWT
REHEARSAL: The cast and crew of Shrek: The Musical spent 13-hour days rehearsing in Prestonsburg.

Jenny Wiley Theatre

PRESTONSBURG — “Kentucky is my 50th state to visit. It’s sad that it took me so long to get here, but it’s just so beautiful here. I notice it every day,” said Shoshana Green, music director of Jenny Wiley Theatre’s upcoming show Shrek: the Musical, which opened last night. 

Both Greene and the show’s director/choreographer, Dann Dunn, are professionals based in New York City (Dunn works out of Philadelphia as well). They have 10 years of performing arts directing experience spanning across the nation, and, in Dunn’s case, across the globe.  Both can’t say enough about the professionalism and talent of the cast of Shrek: the Musical, and the natural beauty and hospitality of eastern Kentucky.

Both Dunn and Greene have impressive professional theatre resumes.  Dunn was recently associate director of Because of Winn Dixie, a Broadway-bound musical starring a famed dog, Bodie, that played “Nana” in the live Peter Pan TV special.  Dunn also contributed as associate director, assistant director or dance captain to the following national tours: CATS, Sesame Street Live!, The Adventure of Tom Sawyer, and The Music Man.  His international tour credits include CATS, The Music of Andrew Lloyd Weber, and La Traviata, in addition to numerous regional theatre productions. His choreography has also appeared on TV in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Greene, a graduate of University of California at Irvine’s prestigious acting program, has worked as a music director across the US.  Music direction credits include Singin’ in the Rain, Girl of the Golden West, Urinetown, Plaid Tidings, Pirates of Penzance, Xanadu, and Once On This Island.  A talented pianist, she has also played keyboard for the off-Broadway musical Shanghai Lil’s and recent productions of West Side Story and Ragtime.

Even with their vast theatre experience, Greene and Dunn are very impressed by both the cast of this production of Shrek: The Musical, and the naturally beautiful setting of the outdoor amphitheatre at Jenny Wiley Theatre in Prestonsburg. 

Based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animation film, Shrek is a TONY Award-winning musical fairy tale adventure. 

This show has laughs for the whole family and brings to life all your favorite characters, including the wisecracking donkey, the feisty princess, and of course, the grumpy but lovable green ogre, Shrek. 

The show will also feature a seven-piece live orchestra. “So much of the show takes place in the fairy tale forest, to have the show taking place outdoors will be an exciting natural touch,” says director Dunn.

The talented cast consists of 16 adult professional actors from out of town who were chosen from auditions in New York, along with nine local youth actors. 

Greene had plenty of praise for the actors, stating, “This is one of the best casts I have ever worked with; they just have picked stuff up so quickly. They are bringing something to it beyond what’s on the page.” 

Both music director and director had particular kudos to give to the local youth actors, as Greene stated, “They hold their own,” and Dunn remarked, “They blend together seamlessly” with the adult professionals.

Rehearsals began May 27, and Greene laughs, “Rehearsals are close to all day pretty much every day until the show opens. It’s a fast process but it allows us to focus on making it a great show.”  Dunn admitted, “At first I was a little nervous about being in a rehearsal studio for 13 hours per day, but the cast has been really great…the days have been flying by.”

All of their hard work will be well spent, as Shrek: The Musical will not only offer plenty of laughs for the whole family, but also a positive message.

“It’s a show about tolerance and acceptance and not judging a book by its cover,” Dunn explains.  “It’s a great show based on a great movie.”  Both Dunn and Green state they have felt welcome and accepted here themselves, noting multiple examples of Southern hospitality.

Shrek: The Musical opened June 11 and runs through Aug. 11 at Jenny Wiley Theatre in Prestonsburg. Shows generally run Tuesdays, Thursday, Fridays, and Saturdays this summer starting June 11; full schedule is available at http://jwtheatre.com or call 877-CALL-JWT.

PIKEVILLE —This year the American Cancer Society (ACS) Relay For Life fundraising event is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) encourages everyone to participate. The hospital will have a team at the Pike County Relay For Life, which will take place from 6 p.m. until midnight on Friday, June 12 at Bob Amos Park in Pikeville.

“This is such a wonderful event that gives us all time to stop and celebrate the survivors and honor the heroes who have walked that path so bravely,” said Marigo Werner, clinical manager at the Pikeville Medical  Leonard Lawson Cancer Center. “It brings the community together to help support increased awareness and to further cancer research.”

More than 100 PMC employees plan to walk for a cure and celebrate Relay For Life’s 30th anniversary with the 80’s theme, “Bust a Move against Cancer.”

Dr. Gordy Klatt, founder of Relay for Life, began this event in Tacoma, Wash., at the City of Destiny Classic 24-Hour Run Against Cancer in 1985 when he ran and walked a track for 24 hours.

This will be Relay For Life’s first year without the founder, as Dr. Klatt passed away in August 2014 at age 71.

According to the ACS, the organization currently helps save more than 400 lives per day.

“We would like to invite the entire community up to the park for this event to honor and celebrate the survivors and to honor the memory of those we have lost,” Pike County Relay For Life Chair Jennifer Brown-Day said.

“The American Cancer Society is the largest non-governmental cancer research organization and I want that research to provide a cure for cancer in the near future so that future generations don’t have this awful disease,” she said. “We have a great event that truly shows the character of Pike County. People from all parts of the county join together to celebrate the hundreds of survivors who join us.

It’s a special and beautiful way to show Pike County cares about our community.”

So far, 33 teams and over 400 participants are registered for the Pike County Relay For Life.

This year, the event includes a survivor ceremony and team lap, games, an auction and entertainment. 

The Luminary Ceremony, a special time to remember those who have been affected by cancer, is scheduled for 10 p.m. and a local band will follow.

The closing ceremony will begin at 11:45 p.m.

Online registration is available at www.relayforlife.org  For more information, contact Brown-Day at 606-437-2333.

For more information about PMC, call 606-218-3500.

PIKEVILLE — As summer heat waves sweep across the region, many people are turning to swimming pools for quick relief from the hot temperatures.

Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) advises the community to be safe when cooling off in the water this summer.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Each day, about 10 people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children aged 14 or younger. Drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of death in the U.S.”

“For millions of Americans, swimming pools are great places for families to spend time together having fun,” said Jackie Caudill, trauma program coordinator at PMC. “Yet it’s important to ensure everyone stay safe.

Caudill stated that 200 children drown in back yard swimming pools annually.

“Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among children ages one-four. We can change this by actively supervising children in and around open bodies of water and giving them our undivided attention. Children can drown in the time it takes to answer the phone. When there are several adults and children present, designate an adult to be the observer for a certain amount of time (such as 15 minute periods) to prevent lapses in supervision. Learn how to swim and never swim alone. Learn CPR. Also, enforce rules and safe behaviors such as no diving, staying away from drain covers, swimming with a buddy, and no running.”

The main factors that increase the drowning risk in pools include: an inability to swim, lack of barriers to decrease water access (open gate or no gate), lack of close supervision, not wearing life jackets, swimming alone and using alcohol.

Young children are specifically susceptible to drowning in the pool when proper precautions are not taken. Even water less than two inches (6 centimeters) deep can lead to a fatal situation.

To help keep your family safe this summer, adhere to the following pool safety tips:

•Watch children closely when they are in or near water, even if they know how to swim

•Invest in swimming lessons for the whole family

•Use proper fitting, age appropriate Coast Guard approved flotation devices (life vests)

•Supply plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration

•Control the water temperature to prevent a drop in body temperature, muscle cramps or hypothermia

•Isolate the pool area with a fence (at least 60 inches tall), with a self-closing, self-latching gate

•Learn CPR, in case of an emergency

•Remove toys from in and around the pool when not in use

•Invest in a power operated safety pool cover

•Keep a phone poolside

•Do not use floating chlorine dispensers that resemble toys

Medical Leader | STAFF PHOTO
PROVIDING CARE: Pikeville Medical Center’s Wound Care staff is promoting wound care awareness during June. From left to right are Pikeville Medical Center Hyperbaric Oxygen Technician Dave Thacker, Wound Care Technician Craig Staton, Medical Assistant Tabbetha Fleming, Director Richard Davis, Nurse Kayla Tackett and Nurse Amberly Johnson.

The WCC at PMC uses time-tested and clinically proven treatments with outstanding results:

• 95 percent patient satisfaction rate

• 90 percent healing rate

• 91 percent limb salvage rate

These results also mean fewer re-hospitalizations, a reduced likelihood of prolonged or permanent disability, and an improved quality of life.

The WCC also offers infectious disease consultations and nutrition support.

PIKEVILLE — Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) is celebrating National Wound Care Awareness Month during June.

 National Wound Care Awareness Month highlights the importance of treatment for non-healing wounds, chronic wounds and ulcers.

The Pikeville Medical Wound Care Center (WCC) is a member of the Healogics, an organization that promotes wound healing and prevention, and has been honored as one of the top five centers in the region.

The WCC’s  hard work and dedication to community education is valuable to patients and health care providers.

“The objective of Wound Care Awareness is to stress the importance of early detection of wounds. Just like with any other disease, this is crucial for a favorable outcome,” said Richard Davis, WCC director. “Our entire team is committed to raising awareness of the importance of proper and professional treatment of chronic wounds.”

The WCC provides advanced treatment under the supervision of physicians, nurses and technicians.

The staff evaluates and treats patients for chronic or non-healing wounds and ulcers related to the following conditions:


•Trauma and surgical wounds

•Venous insufficiency

•Pressure ulcers

•Arterial circulation disorders

•Collagen vascular disease

According to Healogics, 6.7 million patients are suffering with non-healing,  advanced wounds while each year 2.5 million patients aged 75+ acquire a pressure ulcer.

Thirty percent of patients have untreated wounds that result in amputation; 50 percent  of those patients have a mortality rate within five years.

For more facts about Wound Care, visit woundcareawarenessweek.com.

For more information about PMC, call 606-218-3500. To schedule a physician appointment, call 606-218-1000.

Medical Leader | Photo by MARY MEADOWS
RIBBON CUTTING: Local, state and federal leaders cut the ribbon on the Coal Run Community Center.

COAL RUN — Representatives of the city of Coal Run, Pike County, the state legislature and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cut the ribbon on the Coal Run Community Center on Wednesday, June 3.

Mayor Andrew Scott commended the “tireless” efforts of former Coal Run Mayor C. Laverne Dye, who worked for years to plan and obtain funding for the facility. It will be officially dedicated in her honor later this year, he said.

“This is a very exciting day for Coal Run and I’d just like to thank former Mayor Laverne Dye for all of her hard work in spearheading this project. This was her dream,” he said.

Prior to becoming mayor, Scott worked on the project as a city commissioner for four years under Dye’s leadership. He recognized current and former city officials who helped with the project and invited local residents to utilize the facility.

“This is not my community center. This is the city of Coal Run’s community center, and our community center is open for all of Pike County and anybody in eastern Kentucky who would like to come here,” he said.

The city purchased property for the facility, located adjacent to the Coal Run Fire Department, six years ago.

It opened to the public in May and has already hosted several groups for weddings, parties and other events. Scott expects it to continue to benefit residents from Coal Run and surrounding communities.

“It’s just a great asset to the community,” he said prior to the ceremony. “I’m happy for the city of Coal Run. Even though the clouds are out today, it is a very bright day in the city of Coal Run.”

Summit Engineering designed the 3,500-square foot facility, which features a large multi-purpose room for meetings of up to 125 people, a conference room, offices for city administrators, a kitchen, restrooms and a balcony deck that overlooks Coal Run City Park.

Construction was completed by Elliott Contracting at a cost of approximately $670,000.

Pike County Judge-Executive Bill Deskins, who lived in Coal Run from 1976 to 1982, congratulated city leaders for completing the project, noting that it is one of many improvements that will come to the community.

“It’s a pleasure to be here to celebrate the opening of the new city of Coal Run’s community center,” he said. “The sense of community we share in eastern Kentucky is one of the things that make Pike County and Coal Run different from other places — and by different, I mean better than others.”

“Having a facility like this not only proves that successful cooperation is possible, it helps make that cooperation possible,” Deskins said. “Facilities such as this will improve the quality of life of the city of Coal Run.”

Rep. Greg Stumbo’s Senior Policy Advisor Stephen Collins also commended city officials for the project.

“I know for the folks who put in the hard work to see this happen, it was a thankless job, but I know the outcome has been outstanding,” he said.

Other speakers included U.S.D.A. Area Specialist Elwood Howe, Pike County Attorney Keith Hall and Magistrate Jeff Anderson, who said the facility would be a “tremendous asset” to the city and the county.

The USDA Rural Development awarded a $350,000 loan in 2013 for project. The low-interest, 40-year loan was supplemented by $360,000 in local and state funds.

To make community center reservations, contact Tawny at 606-437-6032.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Christ Central School student Paul Keaton speaks to reporters during the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. He made it to the Championship Finals.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Christ Central School student spelled his way to the Championship Finals at the 88th Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee last week.

Paul Keaton, the 14-year-old son of Drs. Jill and Andy Keaton, was among 285 students who earned the right to compete at Scripps, and he was among only 49 students who advanced to the semifinal round on May 28. The competition was televised on ESPN.

By the end of the sixth round, Keaton was one of only 21 spellers left in the competition, and he and two other spellers tied for the rank of 6th among only 10 spellers who qualified to compete in the Championship Finals.

In the finals, he was one of only eight spellers standing after correctly spelling “crannog,” a word meaning an artificial island, and there were only six spellers remaining after the 8th round, when he incorrectly spelled “poikilitic,” which depicts a structural pattern in igneous rocks. He walked away from the competition ranking 7th overall.

ESPN cameras zoomed in on Emily Keaton, who covered her face as she listened to her brother misspell the word.

She, too, had been on the Scripps stage. It was Paul Keaton’s second round in the national competition. He earned 13th place in the semi-finals in 2014. He was inspired by Emily, who competed on the Scripps stage every year from 2009 to 2013, when she also tied for 13th place.

“As I watched her compete at the Scripps National Spelling Bee, I admired her for doing it,” Paul said of his sister. “I learned that persistence and hard work always pays off.”

He said that was his biggest lesson through this journey.

He and his sister have certainly left a legacy at Christ Central.

 “They’re genius little kids, that’s what they are,” Christ Central School Principal Janet Burnett said. “They’re growing up now and they’re going on with their lives, but it’s hard to hold back the tears when you think of everything they have accomplished.”

Burnette joined other school leaders in hosting a spelling bee-themed celebration for the Keaton family’s return to Pikeville on June 1. She called it “the final shin-dig of the Keaton era” at the school.

“Paul was recognized as one of the future leaders of our country, not just of Pike County or of the school, but of the country,” Burnette said. “The children who graced the ESPN stage will be the leaders of our country one day. He and Emily are a model to our children. They are a measuring stick for our kids, letting them know that whatever gifts God gives you and whatever you do, you do it wholeheartedly. Paul spoke about that in the chapel just the other day.”

Dr. Jill Keaton is thankful and proud of what both of her children have accomplished. She is also grateful for the community support they’ve received over the years.

“I would like to thank all of our friends and family and the community for their wonderful support,” she said. “We have just felt and outpouring of love and encouragement. That has been just such a blessing for us and we are just so appreciative of it. We look forward to showing that to other individuals.”

She said it’s “very humbling” to know that her family has impacted Christ Central and the community so deeply that people like Burnette dubbed their time at the school as the “Keaton era.” She is quick to point out that her children were also impacted by the lives of students they met at the school.

“We’re just very grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the Christ Central family,” she said.

The Keatons encourage their children to use their gifts to glorify God.

“It’s important as a parent to see where your child’s interests are, and, whatever that may be, encourage them,” Dr. Jill Keaton said. “Each child is unique and if you encourage them to use their gifts — whatever they might be — to glorify God, that would be best.” 

This was the final year that Paul, a soon-to-be Pikeville High School student, was eligible to compete at Scripps, which is open to children up to grade eight. That will not stop the family, however, from supporting future spelling bee contenders.

“We’ll just have to cheer on the spellers from home,” Jill Keaton said. “We’re hopeful that someone else from eastern Kentucky will have an interest in competing. We’d love to see someone else in our region competing at Scripps.”

Scripps crowned two champions, Vanya Shivashankar of Kansas and Gokul Venkatachalam of Missouri. They competed against each other for 10 rounds before judges ran out of words in the challenge.