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For the first time in 6 years, Robertson County will have a primary care doctor

“My message to them is, hope is coming, very soon.”
Published: Jun. 4, 2021 at 7:10 PM EDT
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ROBERTSON COUNTY, Ky. (AP) - The residents of Robertson County will soon have access to something most take for granted—a primary care doctor—for the first time since 2015.

Greater Cincinnati-based Next Direct is stepping in to help. The company, located in Kenwood, offers physician services by membership. Unlimited doctor visits are $65/month for an individual and $85/month for a family of four.

The company held a meet-and-greet in Mt. Olivet on Friday evening—a good ol’ country-style barbecue with live music.

“We are here,” Next Direct Practice Administrator Megan Cathey said, “to bring healthcare to Robertson County.”

It’s something residents who attended Friday say is long overdue.

FOX19 NOW first began reporting on the shortage of primary care in the Appalachian county in April in our ongoing series, Bridging the Great Health Divide.

The county, according to Registered Nurse Allison Alexander, who lives there, had “zero” doctors when we spoke to her in April.

Cathey says she and Next Direct’s marketing director were at lunch before a meeting when they saw the story online.

“So I opened it and read it, and it just made me so sad,” Cathey said, “and [Next Direct Owner Dr. Alan Lee] was sitting there, and I said, ‘Hey, what can we do to help?’”

But access to primary care isn’t the only problem in Robertson County.

In FOX19 NOW’s May follow-up story, we learned how long it takes for help to arrive during a medical emergency: 45 minutes or more. And that doesn’t include another 30-minute drive to the nearest hospital, located in Maysville.

That’s something Next Direct is working on too.

Said Lee, “We’re actually trying to work out a plan right now to provide an ambulance that’s dedicated to Robertson County.”

Roberston County currently relies on neighboring counties to provide its ambulance services, so having a life squad parked in town would drastically reduce response times.

“I think it’s wonderful,” resident Karen Graves said. “I have an elderly mother, and she’s had a stroke, and you just never know when you’re going to need ambulance service, any time of the day or night. I’m just so thankful to have this.”

“My message to them is, hope is coming, very soon,” said Cathey.

Next Direct says they hope to have the primary care clinic opened in Robertson County by the end of July. Their leading candidate is a doctor who is from Greater Cincinnati but now works in Maysville.

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