PINEVILLE, KY – A USDA loan, along with strong partnerships among Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation, First State Financial and Pineville Community Hospital, have saved more than 300 jobs and created 12 new jobs at the hospital.

Local, state and federal officials celebrated this achievement today as they announced a $3.1 million USDA Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan as well as $3 million line of credit from First State Financial.

“Pineville Community Hospital has been providing critical health-care services and jobs in southeastern Kentucky for nearly 80 years, and today, we’re celebrating another milestone of service and dedication to the people of this region,” Congressman Hal Rogers said. “I commend the board of directors for not only diligently working to protect the jobs at this facility, but for having the vision to expand health care in an area underserved for mental health concerns.” “By working together to find an innovative solution, the partners here today have not only protected existing jobs, but created new ones at the same time. All the while improving health care for our seniors and the entire community,” said Governor Bevin. “We thank the hardworking team at Pineville Community Hospital for their dedicated servant leadership and commitment to their neighbors.” USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development Lisa Mensah also attended the event.

The nonprofit hospital, which was formed in 1938, is located in a region that has state and federal designations such as SOAR, Promise Zone and StrikeForce. “The $3.1 million USDA loan guarantee is important to the Pineville community in many ways: It provides residents access to quality health care, supports the employment of 326 employees and allowed for the creation of 12 additional jobs,” said Thomas G. Fern, state director for USDA Rural Development in Kentucky. “In a time when the region has seen a significant loss of employment, these existing and new jobs being created by Pineville Community Hospital are critical.”

The hospital used some of the funds to convert an unused labor-and-deliver wing into a 12-bed geriatric psychiatric unit, which treats patients over age 65 who have depression, PTSD and other issues. Other funds were used for repairs and to restructure existing debt.

“Pineville Community Hospital converted the unused 10-bed obstetrics unit into a geriatric psychiatric unit,” said Stace Holland, CEO of Pineville Community Hospital. “Research showed this type of service was not being offered within 30-mile radius, which affects more than 38,000 residents.

Working together with First State Financial and the hospital, KHIC was able to restructure the hospital’s existing debt into the USDA loan, which then gave the bank an opportunity to provide private working capital through a line of credit. “This is a great example of how strategic partnerships can attract public and private investments to benefit the health and economy of our region,” KHIC President & CEO Jerry Rickett said. “Working together at the local, state and federal level, we can leverage our resources and maximize our results.”