Kentuckiana Childrens Center:
An Idea Before It's Time!
by Sharon Vallone
Assistant Administrator, Kentuckiana Childrens Center
What do chiropractic and Kentuckiana have in common besides helping individuals
previously thought to be helpless? Making small miracles
happen every day? Accomplishing what others never thought possible?
At their births, chiropractic and Kentuckiana both were ideas before their
time. As we enter the age of managed care, we have only had a glimpse of
an age that appreciates the efficacy, safety and cost-effectiveness of
chiropractic care for a multitude of neuromusculoskeletal and visceral
complaints. These include relieving pain and restoring function. Wellness
care and improving the quality of life has long been the message of chiropractic.
Consumers are only beginning to stir from their deep, pharmaceutically induced
slumbers to begin to appreciate what chiropractic has to offer as a drug-free,
surgery-free approach to health care today.
Just as the world of managed health-care and the public at large has yet
to learn about chiropractic, so much of the chiropractic world has yet to
learn about Kentuckiana.
Chiropractic's "Best Kept
It amazes me how often I speak to other chiropractors who have never heard
of Kentuckiana. Kentuckiana Children's Center was state chartered by
Kentucky in 1955 as a private, non-profit, non-sectarian, charitable organization
to provide direct services, free of charge, to physically
and mentally challenged children ("special needs children") in need of
health and special education opportunities. Its founder and director,
Lorraine M. Golden, DC, has been loving children
at the center since it opened its doors in 1957 in Louisville, Ky.
Now for a little chiropractic
What was the first institution or agency to provide totally free chiropractic
care for the financially indigent, challenged child?
Where was the first two-year intern program in pediatrics established
for graduate DCs, as well as a school for chiropractic aides and
Where was chiropractic care first combined with a school for challenged
or special needs children?
What was the first institution to utilize the services and care of
professionals from all health fields (chiropractors, nurses, certified
audiologists and speech therapists, optometrists, psychologists, social workers,
osteopaths and educators), working under one roof for the benefit of the
What was the first chiropractic effort to receive its major financial
support from public donations?
The answer to each of these questions is
Since its inception, Kentuckiana Children's Center has operated as an
outpatient clinic, providing evaluation and treatment
by a multidisciplinary staff, as well as a special education program for
children with special needs. Both programs have been designed to serve the
"whole" child and his or her individual needs. The program is designed to
assist the child in developing at his or her own rate of speed, manifesting
the use of innate abilities and the child's fullest potential to help him
or her to be a productive and happy human being.
A majority of children at Kentuckiana are from low/moderate income families
that are financially distressed by attempting to provide for their child's
special needs. Kentuckiana Children's Center has never
charged a child for the services or education it provides.
The entire operating budget of Kentuckiana has been provided for over 40
years by child-loving individuals, civic and religious groups, businesses,
labor unions, employee funds, foundations, bequests, professionals, professional
associations and auxiliaries, schools and the center's own auxiliary.
But the road has been long, and it is time for others
to pick up the torch. The next generation must open its hearts and minds
to the wealth of love, research and service that Kentuckiana provides to
the public and the profession. We must lend our voices to the chorus and
sing aloud the ballad of Kentuckiana.
I would like to take this opportunity to issue a challenge
to every doctor of chiropractic --academics and practitioners-- to spend
a moment thinking about what chiropractic has given to them and how easy
it would be to give something back . . . a moment, an idea, a dollar or a
prayer. Giving any of the above to Kentuckiana is giving to the past, present
and future of chiropractic.
We have not even recognized this "idea before its time." We need our scholars
to compile Kentuckiana's data and publish the multitude of case studies
available. We need our practitioners to man the center's clinic. We need
to continue to provide love and service to children with special needs just
as Dr. Golden has done for over 40 years. We need
our schools to work together to keep Kentuckiana open and to introduce many
more facilities around the country.
We need to speak out for the children. Our professional integrity demands
it, our future depends on it and our hearts can't help it!
Please give back some of yourself. Your contributions,
no matter how big or small, will never go unappreciated. The children need
Kentuckiana . . . and so do we.
Sharon Vallone, D.C., D.I.I.C.P.
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