The Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) Senior Vice-Presidents and Board of Directors visited the nation’s capital last week for their executive board retreat.

The primary goal for this getaway was to educate the board on the daily operations of the hospital. Nearly 50 percent of the board members have been in their position for less than 18 months. In the training meetings, each member of senior leadership presented a power point in their area of expertise to the board to deepen their understanding of the hospital’s inner workings.

“We felt it was important for the newer members of the board to be more familiar with certain aspects of hospital business,” said PMC Board of Directors President, Ron Burchett. “An area I have wanted to concentrate/focus on since becoming president is recognizing conflicts of interest and how it is dealt with.”

Another area Burchett made sure to discuss with the board was Certificate of Need and what requirements PMC must fulfill in order to secure it.

Aside from educating the board, the secondary goal of the retreat was to allow this diverse board to get better acquainted and socialize in an important setting.

“As a group, we toured much of the capital,” said Burchett. “We visited the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, Vietnam and Veterans Memorials, as well as Arlington National Cemetery.”

Burchett feels that this trip accomplished all the goals that were set.

The group met with Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, in the Capitol Building to discuss the health care needs of PMC and all of eastern Kentucky. PMC Vice President of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer Donovan Blackburn felt this meeting was particularly crucial because the hospital is seeking partial government funding for the new PMC Children’s Hospital.

“We spoke with Senator McConnell and his staff for over an hour in the Capitol Building,” said Blackburn. “The result of the meeting was several initiatives that they’ve agreed to support, and two letters of full support for grants we have applied for to benefit not on only PMC, but the entire eastern Kentucky region.”

With the significant changes in culture, policy and investments that PMC and the Board of Directors have undergone, Blackburn felt it necessary to get the whole group together for a few days of training and comradery. He believes that Washington was the perfect setting because there is a lot happening in health care on the national stage.

“I have always been fascinated by government and was honored to have served Pikeville as the City Manager,” said Blackburn. “The Capitol Building is a special place where our laws are written and history is made. I found it very rewarding to have a meeting in the Capitol representing this great organization, and to share that with our board of directors and executive staff was fulfilling.”

The retreat involved two very full days of work in which the board voted on several initiatives and policy changes that will roll out to PMC in the coming weeks. Blackburn went on to say that these changes were heavily debated and are in the best interested of everyone at PMC.

“Board Members expressed that they felt more informed about the mechanics and financial operations of PMC,” said Burchett. “They felt better able to make important decisions with their newly gained understanding of the hospital.”

Afterwards, many of those who attended expressed that it was the best PMC retreat they had been on. Blackburn says the retreat was very fiscally responsible, traveling to a place within driving distance, negotiating room rates, eating at the hotel and taking walking tours. He feels it has been a stand-out favorite because of the togetherness, learning and friendship that took place between them.

“We have such great leadership on the board and in senior leadership,” said Blackburn. “The way our team interacts with each other is so much better now. We are celebrating our victories and we are turning the hospital around in all facets.”

Blackburn added that PMC is in better shape financially than it has been in three years.

“We left the retreat refreshed, focused, energized and excited about the future of the organization,” concluded Blackburn. “The board is looking forward to what the next year holds. We plan to continue making investments in outlying communities and writing new chapters to the PMC story.”

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