Danville has a reputation for being known as “The City of Firsts”. Perhaps one of the more widely known “firsts” is that the community was home to Dr. Ephraim McDowell, a pioneering surgeon who performed the world’s first successful abdominal surgery. Jane Todd Crawford, of Greensburg, rode 60 miles by horseback to have a large ovarian tumor removed by Dr. McDowell on Christmas Day in 1809. The success of that surgery earned Dr. McDowell the distinction as “the father of abdominal surgery.”

The legacy of that pioneering physician continues today through Ephraim McDowell Health and the services it offers to a six-county service area. The flagship of the health care system is Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center, where innovative medical procedures are performed now much like they were more than 200 years ago.

One of the service lines where innovation abounds is cardiac care. Through the Ephraim McDowell Heart & Vascular Institute, residents of central Kentucky have access to five board-certified cardiologists who provide expert cardiac and arterial care using medical technology available in the most advanced cardiac catheterization lab in the state. Already accredited as a Certified Chest Pain Center with PCI, the Regional Medical Center is also leading the state in pioneering treatments for Peripheral Artery Disease. Just this year, the Regional Medical Center became the first hospital in Kentucky, and third hospital in the nation, to acquire and use the Pantheris lumivascular atherectomy system to remove plaque build-up in arteries blocking blood flow to the legs and feet.

The Regional Medical Center is also well-known for the care it provides to orthopedic and spine patients. The Joint Commission has deemed the Regional Medical Center a Center of Excellence for total knee and hip replacement and spine surgeries. It is the only hospital in the state to have earned that distinction and now serves as a model for other hospitals that are developing their joint replacement and spine surgery programs for accreditation as a Center of Excellence.

Cancer care is another service that impacts a great number of patients in our service area. Ephraim McDowell Commonwealth Cancer Center offers an expert team of hematologists, oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, urologists, surgeons, nurses and other health care professionals who are specially trained in the care of cancer patients and support of family members. The facility is a member of the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network. That affiliation assures our patients that they will receive safe, compassionate, high-quality and cost-effective services … and they don’t have to travel far from home to receive that expert care.

Ephraim McDowell Health focuses on providing the services most critical to the patients we serve throughout the region. The medical staff is comprised of approximately 300 credentialed providers who represent nearly 40 medical specialties. The health care system has a presence in each of the counties in its six-county service area … ranging from family medical centers that offer primary care physicians and nurse practitioners to durable medical equipment stores to outpatient rehabilitation services including physical, occupational and speech therapies.

Besides the flagship hospital, the Ephraim McDowell Health system also includes Ephraim McDowell Fort Logan Hospital, a 25-bed critical access hospital in Stanford. Both hospitals are home to birthing centers where nearly 1,000 babies are born each year, and the Emergency Departments at both hospitals are also certified Trauma Centers.

As a health care system, we want to partner with our community for the health and wellness of our residents. Our system includes McDowell Wellness Center, a family-oriented health and wellness facility that provides various classes and programs that focus on positive health behaviors, prevention and stress reduction. It is the only comprehensive facility of its kind in central Kentucky, offering a 25-yard, six-lane indoor pool, aerobics studios and a 5,000 square-foot workout area.

Our health care system also serves the needs of individuals as they near the period in their lives when they don’t want to be bothered by the responsibilities of owning a home. At McDowell Place of Danville, an independent and assisted living community that also offers respite care in its 98 residences, we offer those who call it home a greater quality of life through the variety of activities available and the nutritious meals and snacks provided daily.em-health-logo-color

Whether our patients travel near or far, our goal is to continue the legacy of our namesake to provide innovative medicine and quality care to all.


Ephraim McDowell Health is proud to sponsor A Rockin’ Christmas with Brenda Lee at the Norton Center on Saturday, December 3.  For complete show information, or to purchase tickets, click here.