, Corbin, KY

June 12, 2013

Baptist Health director speaks to Chamber

The Times-Tribune

CORBIN — By Becky Killian / Editor

Improved health is the aim of programs offered by Baptist Health Corbin hospital.

Lee Richardson, community health services director for the hospital, spoke to members of the Southern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce during its monthly luncheon Tuesday at the Corbin Center.

Richardson talked about the hospital’s recent Silver Ball Gala, held annually as a fundraiser for the hospital’s FOCUS program, which funds community outreach and assistance efforts.

The “Silver” reference in the ball’s name refers to the program’s original focus, which Richardson said was to keep seniors healthy and independent. Included among the services offered to seniors have been an exercise program for seniors, as well as a program that pays for Lifeline Medical Alert services, which allows seniors more independence and security while at home.

The FOCUS program’s outreach has been expanded to programing for area youth, including a Wellness Program that helps children learn the importance of good nutrition and exercise, as well as Project Fit America.

In the Wellness Program, Richardson said parents are involved since they typically make food purchases. The program aims to inform parents that the quick and seemingly cheap food available at fast food restaurants can result years down the road in hefty medical bills for their children.

Project Fit America provided a grant that allowed about $20,000 of fitness equipment to be installed at Corbin Intermediate School last year. Richardson talked about how the school’s students lined up, eager to use the equipment.

“They couldn’t say enough good things about it,” Richardson said.

Now Baptist Health Care aims to install similar equipment at Corbin Middle School, Richardson said.

The FOCUS program also helps to sponsor other programs, such as cancer survivor dinners, NIBROC’s “Just Lose It” competition and health fairs — anything to help people learn how to prevent illness, Richardson said.

The FOCUS program’s primary fundraiser is the Silver Ball Gala, which Richardson said was attended by about 275 people earlier this month. It made about $50,000 for the program, though Richardson emphasized that more donations are needed to ensure the program’s outreach can continue and expand.

Anyone interested in making a tax-deductible donation to the FOCUS program can do so by sending a check, payable to Baptist Health Care Foundation, to the attention of Lee Richardson at 1 Trillium Way, Corbin, KY 40701.

Tuesday’s chamber meeting was sponsored by Forcht Bank.

The Southern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce will meet next at 11:45 a.m. Tuesday, July 9, at the Cumberland Inn in Williamsburg.