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MOREHEAD, Ky. – St. Claire HealthCare and UK HealthCare, the clinical healthcare system of the University of Kentucky, are excited to announce plans to expand their partnership, a collaboration that has provided high-quality specialty care as well as clinical and medical education to the region for decades. The new agreement, approved Friday by UK's Board of Trustees with St. Claire's Board of Directors in attendance, will ensure St. Claire can continue its 60-year tradition of serving Northeastern Kentucky for decades to come, operating under the name UK St. Claire.

“We are thrilled to bring this partnership to the people of our region,” said Donald H. Lloyd, II, SCH President/CEO. “Not only will healthcare opportunities grow, but UK St. Claire will bring an abundance of investments in our facilities and educational programming, which will have an immense economic impact, benefitting our people and the following generations for decades to come.”

This transformative collaboration is an extension of a strong existing relationship between these two institutions that will prioritize patient care access, expand medical education opportunities and provide significant availability for a multitude of advanced clinical services to Northeastern Kentucky. St. Claire HealthCare has maintained a close working relationship with UK HealthCare for many years as a member of the UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute Affiliate Network (GAN), the UK Stroke Network, and numerous additional clinical affiliations, including UK Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Markey Cancer Center, which recently received a prestigious Comprehensive Cancer Center designation from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). St. Claire HealthCare is also an established training and residency site for UK’s Colleges of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health Sciences, as well as the host site for UK’s Rural Physician Leadership Program.

After an extensive, nationwide selection process initiated by St. Claire HealthCare, the St. Claire Board of Directors and the UK Board of Trustees unanimously approved the official collaboration. A new Board of Directors consisting of former St. Claire Board members and appointed governing representatives of the University of Kentucky will constitute the Board for UK St. Claire. Donald H. Lloyd II will remain in his role as President and CEO of UK St. Claire. The Catholic Diocese of Lexington has endorsed the partnership, as has the Sisters of Notre Dame National Ministry Corporation, which will relinquish its corporate membership of St. Claire to University of Kentucky. The Sisters, whose sponsorship helped build and maintain St. Claire HealthCare, will remain in the community and continue serving the people of Northeastern Kentucky through their newly established independent charitable foundation.

“The Sisters have not only blessed this partnership, they have encouraged it. This new chapter is merely a continuation of their steadfast stewardship of the region and its people that has allowed St. Claire to thrive through 60 years of growth and change. We are delighted that we’ll be able to continue working with the Sisters to support and care for our community through their foundation,” said Lloyd.

The official partnership will bring significant benefits, including major investments in a new medical center, enhanced clinical infrastructure, increased access to primary and specialty care for local patients, expansion of current health education programs, and development of new educational opportunities. The collective resources of both institutions will join forces to expand access to care and improve clinical outcomes in the region. The partnership envisions long-lasting economic, clinical and educational benefits for this region of Appalachia, with an estimated $300 million invested into the health system over the next five years. For UK, the agreement supports their mission of advancing Kentucky by enhancing the health of the Commonwealth, delivering seamless, integrated care close to home for its residents, all while enhancing quality of life through employment, economic, and educational opportunities.

“UK is committed to growing clinical services in the Morehead area as well as expanding programs in many clinical areas to grow the future health care workforce for Kentucky,” said UK President Eli Capilouto. “I would like to thank the St. Claire HealthCare Board, the Sisters of Notre Dame and all of the other constituents of this important hospital for selecting UK as the future home for St. Claire HealthCare.”

St. Claire HealthCare system began when Morehead-native Dr. Claire Louise Caudill and nurse Susie Halbleib opened a medical practice to serve the people of the region. Dr. Louise's petition to open a hospital in Morehead was answered with the help of dedicated members of the community, the Northeastern Kentucky Hospital Foundation, and ultimately through the sponsorship of the Sisters of Notre Dame-Covington Province. Throughout years of expansion and development, St. Claire HealthCare and its leaders have never lost sight of Dr. Louise’s original vision – excellent medical care for the people of Northeastern Kentucky. For this reason, UK HealthCare was chosen as the logical partner to continue this important work on behalf of the people of the region, ensuring world-class medical care remains local and accessible for all.

UK and St. Claire will now seek regulatory and other third-party approvals and finalize transition documents with a targeted closing date of July 1. For additional information on how the partnership will impact current patients, potential future patients, and the surrounding community, visit

St. Claire HealthCare is one of the largest employers in the region, with over 1,200 staff members, including a growing medical staff of more than 125 physicians and nearly 70 advanced practice professionals representing more than 30 medical specialties. It includes the largest rural hospital in Northeastern Kentucky, seven primary care locations located within five counties, a multi-specialty medical pavilion, two urgent care centers, a pediatrics clinic, as well as a retail pharmacy, counseling center, medical equipment and supply store, and an outpatient center. Additionally, St. Claire HealthCare provides home health and hospice services in eight counties within its 11-county service region. St. Claire HealthCare is dedicated to continuing its vision to provide clinical and service excellence in a personalized manner, build a leading medical community that provides a seamless system of care and education, and enhance the quality of life of the individuals and communities we serve by promoting physical, spiritual, social and emotional well-being.

UK HealthCare is committed to the pillars of academic health care — clinical care, research and education. Albert B. Chandler Hospital is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the state’s top hospital and is supported by a growing faculty and staff who provide advanced subspecialty care for the most critically injured and ill patients throughout the Commonwealth and beyond. UK HealthCare is more than an enterprise of hospitals and clinics; it is 9,000 people – physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals – all dedicated to providing the most advanced and effective care available, not just in Kentucky but anywhere.