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February 6, 2013

‘Coming together and getting better’

Baptist Health Corbin new name for hospital

CORBIN — By Jeff Noble / Staff Writer

At 1 Trillium Way in Corbin Tuesday evening, the clock countdown ended at 6 p.m. Within seconds, Baptist Regional Medical Center officially became Baptist Health Corbin.

Also at the stroke of six, the lights from the hospital’s new sign lit up a still lightened sky as the sun hadn’t set just yet. With the four-leaf display of Baptist Health’s corporate logo on the side of the medical center’s outpatient surgery lobby, those celebrating the milestone saw the lighting as a new era for a proud Kentucky organization, and a celebration of a storied past and a promising future.

Baptist Health Corbin’s CEO, Larry Gray, called the ceremony to welcome the new name and logo a time of “coming together and getting better.”

“As of six o’clock Eastern time, five Central time, this sign went on at every Baptist Health hospital in Kentucky, including here at what is now Baptist Health Corbin. It is a new look, but it is the same great care. Taking care of families, because we are family. Your graciousness and hospitality are wonderful,” Gray said as the ceremony began.

He thanked the large crowd that came out to the reception, promising the newly-named hospital would continue to be a part of the Corbin landscape as it has since its beginnings as Smith Hospital many years ago.

“We’ll continue to look forward to engage the community in better health care and health practices. We have a long, strong heritage of community here, and it’s a great heritage in Corbin. We still believe health care is local, but we also have the expertise and resources of our facilities across Kentucky.”

For many like the Rev. Bobby Joe Eaton, the celebration mirrored that time to reflect on the past and dream of a bright future.

“I think about the old Smith Hospital, where I was born, and the other names for the Corbin hospital. Now with the new facility on this hill and today’s name change, it shows how far we’ve come, and how exciting the times will be ahead. We don’t have to go to Lexington, or Louisville or Knoxville. We’ve got good doctors here,” said Eaton, who is the chaplain at Baptist Health Corbin.

The name change in Corbin is part of a change that went on last September for their parent company. Once known as Baptist Healthcare System, Inc.. the Louisville-based organization rebranded their hospitals and medical facilities to Baptist Health on Tuesday.

In addition to Baptist Health Corbin, six other hospitals owned and operated by the organization in Louisville, La Grange, Lexington, Paducah, Madisonville and Richmond, plus two hospitals they manage in Russell Springs and Elizabethtown, switched over to the Baptist Health name.

“I think it’s smart to put all their facilities under one name. It’s not only cutting costs in the long run and there’s no duplication of marketing, but it’s also helping to get their name known across the state. Anyone in Lexington or Louisville who’s down here can see the Baptist Health name and sign and recognize the quality anywhere in Kentucky,” said Bob Terrell Jr., of Corbin, one of scores of people who attended the reception.

Prominent during the day’s events was Baptist Health’s new logo. Baptist Health Corbin officials said the logo sign was inspired by nature, conveying a company that’s growing and nurturing the vision of a healthier Kentucky.

“The leaves signify as a group vibrancy, growth and nurturing. The space between the four leaves forms a cross to recognize our spiritual roots as a Baptist organization. And the veins of the leaves create a starburst which represents the vitality of an innovative and dynamic organization today and for years to come,” Gray noted.

A long-time resident of the region, and a member of the hospital’s Board of Trustees, also agreed.

“This day is a good positive. It shows we all work together for a great system. My father and Dr. Edwards, pastor of First Baptist Church in Corbin, were instrumental in getting Southeastern Baptist Hospital started here on Mitchell Street. I’m proud of all this, and for the service we provide to many counties in this region,” said Judge Eugene Siler, of Williamsburg.

Before and after the lighting ceremony, friends, guests and employees were treated to food, refreshments and cake celebrating the occasion. Brandi Kilburn, of Corbin, joined her friend Jeanne Skidmore in the food line before they sat down and watched the clock countdown on a digital TV.

“All this is good for our community. It will bring new hope, new excitement and hopefully some more new jobs to come in with all the doctors coming,” said Kilburn, who works with Baptist Health Cardiology in Corbin.

“Where the four leaves come together on the sign outside, we’re coming together as one big happy family,” added Jennifer Osborne, of Corbin, who works in the kitchen with the medical center’s food services, and helped with the serving line Tuesday.

After the lighting of the new sign, there were fireworks before night fell.

And there were promises from Gray that despite the name change, some things remain the same. He reminded those attending the same services would continue to be provided in Corbin. And he also pointed out the new name reflects a new vision for the future, one that focuses on keeping folks well and preventive health measures.

Most of all, Gray asked them to join in the celebration of a storied heritage, while keeping an eye to a future where the sky’s the limit.

“We’ll be looking for engaging ourselves with being more accountable, more resourceful and use our strength and size. And to continue to remember we’re about close-to-home care. That’s who we are. Baptist Health Corbin. We will all get used to saying that.”

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