New mobile clinic rolls across the state to deliver specialized pediatric care

Published 4:00 pm Friday, November 25, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By Hilary Brown

University of Kentucky

Far too often, children and teens can’t get to Lexington to get the specialized care they need. With the new mobile clinic, the providers at Kentucky Children’s Hospital will bring the care to them.

Email newsletter signup

Funded by grants from the Colonel Harland Sanders Foundation and the Coaches for the Kids Foundation, and supported by gifts from other generous donors, the mobile clinic will visit areas of the state that lack access to specialty care, such as pediatric cardiology, adolescent medicine and high BMI clinic. It will also provide vaccinations and telemedicine services. In the event of an emergency or natural disaster, it can be dispatched to provide care and support to children in the affected areas. When fully operational, the clinic will be able to accommodate more than 1,000 patient appointments every year.

“One in four children in Kentucky don’t have a pediatrician in their home county, and many families aren’t able to travel long distances to get specialized care,” said Scottie B. Day, M.D., physician-in-chief for Kentucky Children’s Hospital. “This mobile clinic will help us meet our mission to create a healthier Kentucky.”

Staffed by a clinic practice manager, nurse, medical assistant and a dedicated driver, the clinic will transport staff and providers from several pediatric specialties to regional hospitals, county health departments, affiliate clinics and other community locations throughout the Commonwealth. The clinic’s first outing will be in early 2023 to Georgetown Community Hospital, where pediatric cardiologists will meet with both new and current patients who need heart care.   

“The Coaches for the Kids Foundation is thrilled to be partnering with Kentucky Children’s Hospital and the Colonel Harland Sanders Foundation in funding a mobile clinic for the children of Eastern Kentucky,” said Ralph Coldiron, board member for Coaches for the Kids. “The goal of the CFTK organization is to save children’s lives. Putting this mobile clinic on the road accomplishes this goal.”

The clinic is housed on a 35-foot Ford F-550 and has a number of features, including:

• Child-friendly interior design

• Sensory devices for children with anxiety or unique developmental needs

• Satellite internet access

• Power awning for expanded registration and waiting

• Electric ADA ramp

• 32” LED screen for telemedicine and interpreter services

“In Colonel Sanders’ last years, he was asked to be the national chairperson for a major children’s hospital fundraiser,” said Pat Walter, president of the Colonel Harland Sanders Foundation. “Though approaching 90 years of age, he took on the job, saying ‘I don’t want to be a figurehead, I want to visit the hospitals and see the work being done.’ We have to take care of our little ones. They are the ones who will step up later to keep our country strong.”