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Pattie A. Clay Center to put new primary care facility in Garrard

LANCASTER — Pattie A. Clay Regional Medical Center will make its first foray outside Madison County by putting a new primary care center in neighboring Garrard County.

The center will include three leased modular buildings housing an internal medicine specialist, an outpatient laboratory, and a multi-specialty clinic, said Bob Hudson, president and CEO of Pattie A. Clay.

"They should be operational in January," Hudson announced Monday in Lancaster.

The buildings will go on a six-acre property on Ky. 52 on Lancaster's east side that previously was the site of Southern States. The care center will employ 10 to 15 people.

The Richmond hospital purchased the property for $165,000. A ceremonial "passing of the deed" was made at Monday's announcement in Lancaster.

Hudson said the primary care center could offer rotating specialists in orthopedics, gastroenterology, obstetrics, pulmonary care and cardiology. It will not offer overnight care.

Eventually Pattie A. Clay hopes to put a building on the site.

"Down the road, if we put the medical office building on the property and an acute care center on the property, the cost will be approximately $5 million," Hudson said.

Lancaster has been without a hospital since Garrard County Memorial Hospital closed in 2003.

State Rep. Lonnie Napier, R-Lancaster, said he called Hudson months ago to see if Pattie A. Clay officials would be interested in bringing services to Garrard County.

At the time of that call, Hudson and his administrative team were already considering an expansion into Garrard County.

"It was kind of like a Reese's cup; the peanut butter and chocolate kind of merged together," Hudson said.

Garrard County's rapid growth and underserved medical needs were primary factors in bringing facilities to Lancaster, Hudson said. The U.S. Census estimates that between April 1, 2000, and July 1, 2007, Garrard County's population grew by 15.2 percent, making it the eighth fastest-growing county in the state.

During a question-and-answer period, Ruth Ross said her husband Harold "Bob" Ross, who died in 2003, received chemotherapy at Pattie A. Clay.

"And we could have not been treated any nicer," Ruth Ross said.

"We are not the 900-pound gorilla," Hudson said. "We try to definitely do what's right for the patient. And we try to do what's right for the community as well."

Pattie A. Clay takes its name from a woman who took in wounded Civil War soldiers in her home. When she died in 1892, her husband gave a cottage in her name to start a new hospital.

Today Pattie A. Clay Regional Medical Center has a 105-bed hospital in Richmond and employs about 650 people.