Kosair Children's Hospital reaches out to E'town

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Just for Kids center joins local Chamber

By Bob White




ELIZABETHTOWN – Representatives from Kosair Children’s Hospital are looking to engage the communities throughout Kentucky and southern Indiana served by the hospital.

As a new member of the Elizabethtown-Hardin County Chamber of Commerce, three representatives from the hospital joined scores of medical professionals from throughout the area for a luncheon Tuesday.

“We want to make sure people understand that we welcome feedback from the community,” said the hospital’s director of development Jenny Stith. “And the main thing is for people know we’re here for children.”

Stith was joined by paramedic Lesli Carter and EMT Jim Baker – arriving at Elizabethtown in an impressive mobile intensive care ambulance specially equipped for the emergency medical needs of infants and children.

The hospital uses the unit, along with two more vehicles to transport some of the 109,000 patients seen at Kosair Children’s Hospital annually.

Of the thousands of trips made yearly, more than 100 are to Hardin Memorial Hospital where sick or injured children up to 18-years-old are picked up and driven or flown to Louisville for further treatment by pediatric specialists in every field.

In 2008, 79 pediatric specialty and 40 neonatal transfers were made from HMH to Kosair, according to HMH records.

Ambulances, helicopters, such as that stationed at Elizabethtown’s airport, and fixed wing aircraft used by the hospital generally are staffed by a respiratory specialist, such as Carter, and an EMT, such as Baker.

Along with the necessary tools used to save young lives, the vehicles also offer televisions and other aids, such as simple toys, to ease young people in distress, Carter said.

The calming bits are valued highly in emergency situations.

“I walk in a door and people hand me their newborn,” Carter said. “They do that, not for my name on my badge, but because of the Kosair name and the confidence they have in the hospital.”

Stith, a native of Rineyville, credits experienced staff such as Carter, who has 30 years as a nurse and 17 years as a paramedic, for the hospital’s phenomenal reputation.

“People have confidence in us because they treat patients as though they were their own children,” Stith said. “We’re a resource for Hardin Memorial and the community.”

Hardin Memorial Hospital officials agree.

“Hardin and surrounding counties are very fortunate to have a specialized children’s hospital in such close proximity,” HMH spokeswoman Michelle Murphy said.

To better acquaint communities it serves, Kosair Children’s Hospital publishes numerous brochures, and hosts a Web site at www.kosairchildrens.com.

The children’s hospital foundation also offers a free subscription to Cartwheels, a magazine that features children’s health issues, stories of hope and available treatments. To order a subscription, send an e-mail to foun dations@nortonhealthcare.com.

Bob White can be reached at (270) 505-1750.