UofL Health – Shelbyville Hospital is expanding its services and is now offering a higher level of inpatient care through a newly-opened intensive care unit.

“Having an intensive care unit at UofL Health – Shelbyville Hospital will allow people to stay close to home as they recover from more significant illness,” said Aaron Garofola, CEO of UofL Health – Shelbyville Hospital. “Through the hospital’s affiliation with UofL Health, we have been able to bring new outstanding new specialists to our community, such as Valerie Briones-Pryor, M.D., hospitalist, and Greg Pfister, M.D., pulmonologist, who are leading this effort. We want our patients to feel comfortable and be assured they will receive excellent care at their community hospital.”

The intensive care unit opened on Monday, June 14 and admitted the first patient within hours. The unit has six beds, with a focus on pulmonary care and is staffed with experienced registered nurses who have specialized training to treat patients of a higher acuity. The ICU team has expertise to provide care for advanced pulmonary disease including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), congestive heart failure (CHF), as well as other conditions.

Dr. Briones-Pryor began providing hospitalist care in Shelbyville this spring. A physician at Jewish Hospital since 2012, this past year Dr. Briones-Pryor has been a lead physician in care provided to patients with COVID-19. “I am thrilled to be part of the work here in Shelbyville and offer expertise to take medical care to the next level. This investment truly demonstrates the commitment UofL Health has made to all the communities it serves. We truly want to provide the best possible care to the citizens of Shelbyville and surrounding counties without having to leave home.”

So far, UofL Health has invested $650,000 in the Shelbyville Hospital ICU.

Dr. Pfister comes to the Shelbyville Hospital from Florida, where he provided inpatient pulmonary care, medical leadership, and consulting for several health organizations. A graduate of The College of William & Mary and the Virginia Commonwealth University, Dr. Pfister competed his residency and pulmonary fellowship at the University of Louisville. “I am excited to help bring intensive care and pulmonary expertise to the Shelbyville Hospital. The clinical and administrative team here is impressive and I wanted to be a part of their efforts to revive this hospital,” said Greg Pfister, M.D.

Since joining the UofL Health network, Shelbyville Hospital has brought otolaryngology (ENT), pain management and vascular care to the community, is expanding gastroenterology services. According to Garofola, efforts will continue to add more primary care and specialists to meet the community’s health care needs.