Keeneland Magazine


Keeneland, Investing in Racing's Future since 1936.

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84 WINTER 2014 K KEENELAND.COM BABY HEALTH SERVICE making a difference tal on Harrodsburg Road. Since 1983 its clinic has been housed in the lower level of a white-brick building owned by the hospital at 1590 Harrodsburg Road. It pays $1 a year in rent. Thanks to a 2012 renovation, the once-drab space is bright and cheerful. Its walls of happy pastels are punctuated by colorful prints; its furniture is light and contemporary. A mural covers two walls; a Yellow Brick Road — yellow tiles along two hallways — takes children to stations where they have their weight, height, sight, and hearing tested during well-child check-ups. The makeover was funded by $25,000 in gifts in memory of the late Carole Eastland, Mattacola's mother and a longtime BHS board member and president. Boxes of free tomatoes, squash, and other seasonal fruits and vegetables line the entry hall. Several shelves are stocked with books in the large waiting room; more books and toys are in an adjoining playroom. A couple of racks hold donated clothing for children and adults. Every child is encouraged to leave with a book; parents are welcome to shop for clothing they or their children might need. Adding to the clinic's welcoming atmosphere are the women who greet clients at the reception-area window. All are members of Baby Health's board, made up of 55 to 60 women who range from their early 30s to late 70s. Volun- teering at the clinic, open weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to noon or 1 p.m., is part of the commitment they make as board members. Last year some 50 board mem- bers worked a total of 1,028 hours in the clinic's offce. "There are a lot of boards where you work on fundraising. Here, you have women who give their time as well as their support," Buchart said. Volunteer physicians and a paid staff of two registered nurses and one pediat- ric nurse practitioner provide the medi- cal care. The volunteer offce staff allows them to focus on their work. "They let nurses be nurses and doctors be doctors," Mattacola said. Unlike the early days of Baby Health, most of the 12 pediatricians who volun- teer are women. "They are the cream of the crop" in Lexington's pediatric circles, said clinic director Liz Kellen, a volunteer and board member. The nine doctors who were volunteers last year worked a total of 382 hours. A number of physicians in town also accept patient referrals from Baby Health when a specialist is needed. Its reliance on volunteers allows Baby Health to operate on a small budget. This year's is $191,000. Because Baby Health receives no government funding, it relies on private donations and grants. 1914 Led by Emma Haggin, six women found Baby Milk Supply to wipe out malnutrition and rickets in children by distributing milk, formula, and cod liver oil to poor families. Haggin's son, Louis Lee Haggin II, would become Keeneland's president. 1920 Baby Milk Supply expands services. Its nurses give immunizations and make home visits. A weekly health clinic is opened. Post-World War II Welfare is created, and Baby Milk Supply shifts its focus to children who lack any form of health care coverage. 1956 Baby Milk Supply changes its name to Baby Health Service and incorporates. St. Joseph Hospital provides space for a clinic, where children from birth to age 13 who have no medical assistance or health insurance receive free treatment. BABY HEALTH THROUGH THE YEARS From milk supplier to medical care provider, Baby Health Service's role has expanded over the years. COURTESY BABY HEALTH SERVICE

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