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Bechtel-Parsons Blue Grass gives $300,000 gift to help expand mental health services in central Kentucky

Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass Deputy Project Manager John McArthur, left, Baptist Health Richmond President Greg Gerard, center, and departing Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass Project Manager Ron Hink pose with a check for $300,000 for expanded behavioral health services.
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Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass Deputy Project Manager John McArthur, left, Baptist Health Richmond President Greg Gerard, center, and departing Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass Project Manager Ron Hink pose with a check for $300,000 for expanded behavioral health services.

The company that was hired to destroy the chemical weapons at the Blue Grass Army Depot is helping provide mental health services in central Kentucky. Late last week, Bechtel-Parsons Blue Grass awarded $300,000 to Baptist Health Richmond to expand behavioral health services.

Ron Hink is the outgoing project manager at Bechtel-Parsons. He said this is part of what he calls an “endearing gift” to the area as the company makes plans to move out.

“Chem demil is a little bit different, we come here to make something go away, and we leave and there is nothing there. We improve community safety for sure, but no real monument to what we contributed.”

Hink said it will still be a few years before his outfit completely leaves Richmond. He said they wanted to focus on expanding behavioral health services because that was am important aspect of the high stress job of demilitarizing chemical weapons.

“We have been, as a project, been very focused on it because we do high hazard work and we get very concerned with our workforce that might be dealing with added stress because we need them focused on their job, and any detractors from that create risk to us.” 

In 2023, the Thrive Center at Baptist Health opened to provide inpatient behavioral health services.

People who may be experiencing a mental health crisis can receive care in a local Emergency department or by calling the suicide and crisis hot-line at 9-8-8.

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Stan Ingold is WEKU's News Director. He has worked in public broadcasting for 18 years, starting at Morehead State Public Radio before spending the past 10 years at Alabama Public Radio. Stan has been honored with numerous journalism awards for his public radio reporting.
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