Baptist Health Hardin announces larger investment from Baptist Health to meet community needs

July 20, 2021

$225 million business plan to build a new outpatient medical pavilion.

Recently, members of the Baptist Health Board of Directors approved a $225 million business plan from Baptist Health Hardin to build a new outpatient medical pavilion behind the hospital’s existing facility at 913 North Dixie Ave. in Elizabethtown. 

The new 282,000-square-foot building, about 75% of the existing hospital in size, will be constructed in phases over the next three years. Detailed plans and schematics will be available in the coming months. 

When Baptist Health and Hardin County struck a deal for the hospital’s sale, the health system promised to invest $235 million in the hospital over a decade, with $150 million to be spent in the first five years.

With this project, coupled with the new electronic medical record system launched last month, Baptist Health has far exceeded its promised investments to date. 

“We know the vital role that Baptist Health Hardin plays in its region, caring for more than 400,000 Central Kentuckians, and the community’s need for this critically important outpatient medical pavilion,” said Baptist Health CEO Gerard Colman. “We want to send a clear message that we want to strengthen and fuel Baptist Health Hardin’s tremendous growth.”

“Hardin’s increase in patient volumes over the last 10 years, experienced across the system in everything from surgeries, outpatient registrations, emergency department visits and more, shows no signs of slowing down, underscoring our need for updated facilities and equipment.  This outpatient medical pavilion will offer patients the latest and best in one convenient location and aid in recruiting the best medical talent,” said Dennis Johnson, hospital President and CEO.  

The outpatient medical pavilion will house a new comprehensive cancer care center with all patient services together for the first time, 12 new surgical suites including a hybrid operating room, a multidisciplinary outpatient medical office building to accommodate new physicians and specialists, and even patient-centric spaces designed to promote emotional and spiritual healing. 

Most of Baptist Health Hardin’s existing medical offices, diagnostic centers and locations will remain as is across the 10-county service area and a few, such as the existing cancer center, will be repurposed to house other specialties after the pavilion’s completion.  

“Hardin Memorial Health performed well financially year after year, but our Board of Trustees grappled with how to accommodate the rapidly growing number of patients, to finance the latest equipment, the best and very expensive Epic electronic medical record system and with how to meet all the health system’s need for capital improvements,” said Harry L. Berry, Judge/Executive, Hardin County and current Chair of the Baptist Health Hardin Board. “Our former hospital Board worked hard to negotiate the best possible future during the sale negotiations and Baptist Health promised $361.4 million in payments and investments total.  Just since September 2020 when the sale closed, Baptist Health has invested more than $275 million in the healthcare of our community. I think that shows true commitment to Hardin patients.  We are off to a very good start in less than a year.”

Baptist Health Hardin will break ground on the new facilities and release detailed plans in the coming months. The project, which will be constructed in stages, is anticipated to be complete in 2025.