Committed to building a skilled, educated, and healthy workforce throughout the state, the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce is placing a spotlight on rural health delivery in the Commonwealth, partnering with our business members and providers to showcase the care in rural areas. The series will cover a wide range of healthcare topics and providers, starting with cancer care at Flaget Memorial Hospital in Bardstown, Kentucky.
“The mission of Flaget Memorial Hospital is very simple: we want to improve the lives of the people we serve, which is our community,” said Jennifer Nolan, President of Flaget Memorial in Bardstown.
Nolan said the hospital has gone from serving about 5-6 cancer patients per day when it opened in 2010 to nearly 60 patients per day since the hospital’s foundation helped raise about $1.3 million over a three-year period.
“We worked really hard to ensure the folks in this community were aware of the services we offer, in hopes that they wouldn’t have to travel to Lexington or Louisville for their services, and that they would stay close to home for their care.”
Dr. Monte Martin, Medical Director at Flaget Cancer Center, stressed the importance of being close to home for cancer care, saying that individuals diagnosed with cancer will sometimes forgo the necessary treatment because they are afraid of placing an added burden on family or friends to drive them to the necessary hospital.
“Transportation logistics is a major problem in cancer care,” Martin said. “I think that’s one of the biggest barriers that we still have.”
The Flaget Cancer Center also has an affiliation and partnership with the Cleveland Clinic, which provides the hospital with easy and quick access to second opinions from experts at a hospital that is consistently ranked in the top five nationally in terms of cancer care delivery.
“When you live in a rural area, there has to be a focus on the interdisciplinary team and the resources provided, because there are fewer resources in the rural communities,” Nolan said. “So, we’re really proud here that our clinical team has the knowledge and expertise, along with our affiliation with other professionals in Lexington and at the Cleveland Clinic, because that teamwork is even more critical in a rural community.”