Lake Cumberland District Health Department

Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital

Hospitals across Kentucky, and the nation, continue to struggle to fill vacant positions as the COVID-19 pandemic drags on.  

WKU Public Radio reporter Rhonda Miller talked with Robert Parker, CEO of Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital in Somerset, about the vaccination status of COVID patients and employees, and the shortage of medical professionals and support staff.    

Parker: The staffing situation here at Lake Cumberland is indeed still a significant challenge. Not only in nursing, but in all of our areas. To discuss nursing first, we currently have 104 open positions for nursing at the moment. This is a phenomenon that’s going to be a challenge through the rest of the year, and into 2022 and perhaps even beyond. You know, we have seen a lot of nurses make career changes. It also is endemic at other areas of the hospital, as well, in different areas, from respiratory therapy to radiology services to food services to dietary, basically all of them. Coming out of the pandemic there are some areas all hospitals are going to have to focus on, not just Lake Cumberland.

Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital

Across the Bluegrass State, the number of COVID-19 vaccination sites increases each week, as Kentuckians continue to roll up their sleeves for the shot that promises a return to spending time with family and friends.

A hospital in Somerset has been on the front lines, providing vaccinations to area residents for several months.

Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital is currently giving about 500 first doses of the Moderna vaccine each week, in addition to the allocated second doses.

Immunization Action Coalition

Kentucky is moving faster than originally planned with the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, as priority groups move up the list for vaccinations.

But government and health care leaders warn that Kentuckians have to remain vigilant and follow safety guidelines, like masking and social distancing, because of the continuing high number of cases and the heartbreaking deaths.

WKU Public Radio reporter Rhonda Miller talked with Shawn Crabtree, public health director for the Lake Cumberland District Health Department, which covers 10 counties with a population of 200,000 people. Crabtree said it’s important to get vaccinations to older adults as quickly as possible, and to ease the burden on hospitals.