Easter Seals Adding Medical Child Care in 2013
By WestKyStar Staff
PADUCAH, KY - Easter Seals West Kentucky unveiled plans Friday for a new ground-breaking program in the region designed to provide medically specialized child care for children who have complex medical conditions.
They will be renovating a 5,000 square foot part of their building on North 29th Street to house “The Lily Pad at Easter Seals West Kentucky”. It is a Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care, and will provide new and better lives for families who are often restricted due to their child’s medical condition.
The Lily Pad will be the first PPEC in western Kentucky, although there are a half-dozen in other parts of the state. It is tentatively scheduled to open in Summer 2013.
Because of the complex nature of their health condition, many parents' lives are consumed by caring for their child, and are unable to work or attend school. The Lily Pad will serve a maximum of 48 children, ages 0-20 (primarily 0-12), who have conditions ranging from asthma and diabetes to respiratory conditions, heart conditions, leukemia, cancer, or Cystic Fibrosis, just to name a few. The 3:1 patient to nurse ration will allow comprehensive care during the day. Transportation to and from the facility will be available.
Children enrolled at The Lily Pad may be eligible to have program costs funded through Kentucky Medicaid, including all three Managed Care Organizations. Other funding sources include private insurance and private pay, with a sliding payment scale available.
Prominent Paducah pediatrician Dr. John Cecil will serve as the Lily Pad's consulting Medical Director and the program will employ a Registered Nurse experienced in pediatric care to serve as the Nursing Director. In addition, The Lily Pad will be staffed with RN’s, CNA’s and child developmental specialists. This group, along with each child’s primary care physician, will work as a team to provide the best medical, developmental and educational care possible for the child and support for the child’s family.
Dr. Cecil said, “I am very excited to be a part of this unique new program. Families with medical fragile children in our region have long needed a specialized daycare for their children. The Lily Pad at Easter Seals West Kentucky will provide these services in a medically safe environment.”
At The Lily Pad, children with complex medical conditions can play and learn with other kids in a safe nurturing environment freeing their parents to work and/or attend school. Another advantage to the program comes in the form of saved health care dollars. Since the child will be receiving daily medical care trips to the emergency room and doctor’s office should be reduced, which could save money.
The Lily Pad will be housed inside the Easter Seals West Kentucky Ethel Dubois Smith Child Development Center, which is a 3-star rated Kentucky Stars for Kids-rated daycare and is McCracken County’s only three-star rated daycare program.
Tara Beyer, Vice President of Children/Medical Services, said that Easter Seals West Kentucky already does two-thirds of what a PPEC accomplishes: Therapy and Early Childhood Education, and now with Lily Pad, it will add Pediatric Nursing.
Easter Seals West Kentucky plans to begin construction on The Lily Pad in January, by Ray Black and Sons and the contractor. The organization is able to begin sooner than originally planned due to a generous $250,000 donation made by The Charity League of Paducah.
Kate Gay, president of the Charity League of Paducah, said, “This is an incredible moment for us. To see this center be constructed and know the countless families it will help is absolutely amazing. Having this facility in our community and knowing we had a part in its development motivates us to continue with our diligent efforts to support Easter Seals West Kentucky.”
Final construction costs are estimated at $500,000.
The organization plans to raise the remaining funds through donations and grants. Painting contractors and suppliers have already donated good and services, and Easter Seals is hoping the community's generous spirit extends to this new endeavor.
Danny Carroll, CEO and President of ESWK said that families who are interested in using the new service can contact them with questions. Similar to other ESWK programs, this will be a service available to the entire region. Referrals may come from anywhere, but it will be a prescription-based program.