PIKEVILLE, KY (January 23, 2023) – Each year, during the January meeting of the Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) Board of Directors, the new three-year term is considered for those whose terms are expiring and the annual election of officers is held.  At the January 2023 meeting, long-time Chairman of the PMC board of directors, Ron Burchett, announced his intention to remain on the board, but step down from the position and begin a seamless transition in board leadership.

Mr. Burchett has served on the PMC board of directors since 1993 and during the January board meeting, he announced he intends for his new term to be his last on the board. Burchett also announced his plan to step down from the Chairman position to Vice-Chairman, where he said he would remain for at least the first year of the new term. By the final year of the three-year term, he plans to remain a director, but would consider relinquishing the Vice Chairmanship for another director to then be elected.

During Mr. Burchett’s time as Chairman of the board, Pikeville Medical Center has celebrated substantial growth and investments in addition to navigating economic challenges brought about by a once in a lifetime pandemic and resulting inflation. Under Mr. Burchett’s leadership, the board has proudly supported many improvement projects including the opening of the new Heart & Vascular Institute of Eastern Kentucky and the expansion of the Lawson Cancer Center and PMC Emergency Department. During this time, he also helped guide projects such as advancements within the PMC Primary Stroke Center, sleep lab, NICU and the development of new a retail and specialty pharmacy, business complex, urgent care and family wellness centers in Pikeville and Prestonsburg, a primary care center in South Williamson and a specialty care center in Whitesburg. PMC also celebrated the development and opening of the Mettu Children’s Hospital and Appalachian Valley Autism (AVA) Center, both historic events for Eastern Kentucky.

Chairman Burchett has also supported administration’s plan for PMC to create additional opportunities for revenue while creating new job opportunities through the opening of Starbucks, the Corner Market and the Scrubs & More uniform shop, which were all added conveniences for patients, visitors and staff. He also has a firm grasp on the need for the board to support continued investments in advanced technology such CT scanners, PET scanners, linear accelerators, pediatric equipment and the new Epic electronic health record system.  This is only a sampling of the many historic changes and improvements PMC has announced during Mr. Burchett’s tenure as Chairman.  Eastern Kentucky is better equipped to address the health care needs of those who call this region home, due to Ron Burchett’s leadership and the support of PMC’s visionary board of directors.

“I can think of no higher honor than to have served as Chairman of this board for these past several years,” said Burchett. “I believe it is important that the employees of this facility know the transition in leadership is seamless and strong. I would not consider this move were I not convinced that the leadership I will be leaving in place is the most competent that can be had. Our employees deserve no less.”

Upon Ron Burchett’s recommendation, PMC Board Vice Chairman, President and CEO Donovan Blackburn, was elected Chairman of the board and is now serving in that capacity.  Blackburn has served as Vice Chairman for the past few years and will seamlessly switch places with Burchett to ensure a smooth transition.

“There is no question that Ron Burchett is leaving extremely tough shoes to fill,” explained Blackburn. “During his time on the PMC board, he has tirelessly fought for quality healthcare to be available for those living in our region. As Chairman, he oversaw a hugely successful transition to PMC’s current leadership and subsequent financial turnaround. Ron Burchett gets much of the credit in leading the board of directors in transforming a community hospital into the regional medical and referral center it is today.”

As a way to say, “thank you” and express the sentiment shared by the entire PMC board of directors and management, Blackburn announced that he has been working with the Pikeville City Commission on the construction of a new road soon that will bear Burchett’s name. The road, which will be named, “Burchett Way,” will begin on Hambley Boulevard near PMC’s Human Resource office and cross the hospital’s riverfill property. This project will eliminate some of the current congestion on Baird Avenue, offer a new, convenient access route to PMC’s riverfill complex and create a direct pathway from Hambley Boulevard to the hospital, especially for emergency services.