On Thursday, December 2nd, Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) representatives as well as state and local leaders gathered to celebrate the ribbon cutting of Eastern Kentucky’s only children’s hospital. The opening of the Drs. R.V. and Jyothi Mettu Children’s Hospital at Pikeville Medical Center is the culmination of a multi-year initiative centered around enhancing pediatric healthcare services for the children of the region.


Beginning Monday, December 6th, 2021, the new children’s hospital will begin providing much needed pediatric healthcare for the region, allowing more families to stay close to home, thus greatly reducing the financial burden that comes with traveling to hospitals hundreds of miles away.


The Mettu Children’s Hospital spans more than 13,400 square feet and houses both inpatient and outpatient pediatric service areas. Inpatient services are located in an 8,130 sq. ft. area consisting of a family-friendly waiting room, 10 private patient rooms (two of which are isolation rooms), a consultation room, a treatment room, a medication room, a nourishment room and more. Pediatric outpatient services are located in a 5,290 sq. ft. area consisting of separate sick and well waiting rooms, check-in and registration area, 13 exam rooms, a medication room, nurse’s station and more.


The Mettu Children’s Hospital at PMC transitioned from a dream to a reality due to a collaborative effort from many different funding partners who shared a common vision for a brighter future for Eastern Kentucky. In 2019, PMC received two grants totaling nearly $6.3 million from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet’s Division of Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) to construct and equip the region’s only children’s hospital and pediatric clinic.


“Thanks to many answered prayers and the overwhelming support of Congressman Hal Rogers, Governor Andy Beshear and AML’s grant selection committee, our dream of developing a children’s hospital has finally become a reality,” said PMC President and CEO Donovan Blackburn. “We have spent many years working to find ways to better serve our pediatric patients, and the new Mettu Children’s Hospital will definitely help fill the existing gap in pediatric care that exists within our region.”


“ARC is proud to have provided a grant through our POWER Program that was a significant piece of the puzzle in helping this project come to fruition,” explained ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “This new opportunity for pediatric care in Eastern Kentucky will provide much needed relief for families, many of whom will no longer have to worry about leaving our region in order to receive quality healthcare for their children.”


In addition to grant funding, financial contributions from devoted private donors played a key role in the completion of the hospital. Thanks to a very generous gift from long-time local physicians Drs. R.V. and Jyothi Mettu, the children’s hospital will bear the name “The Dr. R.V. and Jyothi Mettu Children’s Hospital.” The Mettus’ donation came after what they both explained was a deep longing to make a contribution that would affect current and future generations of children in Eastern Kentucky.


Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear was among those in attendance for the ribbon cutting celebration and shared his excitement about the positive energy originating from Pikeville Medical Center and spreading throughout the entire region.


“I’m beyond excited to cut the ribbon on the Drs. R.V. and Jyothi Mettu Children’s Hospital as well as take part in the Leonard Lawson Cancer Center expansion announcement,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “I’m incredibly proud of the partnership we’ve established with Pikeville Medical Center, one of its region’s leading hospitals and one of its major employers. The kind of energy and momentum we’re seeing in Pikeville creates prosperity, hope and opportunity, and that’s what Team Kentucky is all about.”


“Pikeville Medical Center is transforming healthcare in the mountains by utilizing federal funds to provide specialized medical care to fight cancer and to establish the region’s very first children’s hospital. Just a few months ago, we celebrated the expansion of the Appalachian Valley Autism Center and the Heart and Vascular Institute, providing critical medical services right here at home,” said Congressman Hal Rogers. “This is why I fight so hard in Washington for every available federal dollar in our region, because leaders like PMC use it to improve the lives of our people in Eastern Kentucky.”



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