LOUISVILLE – The Kentucky Medical Association recognized legendary Appalachian community health activist Eula Hall along with physicians from across the state at the KMA Leadership Dinner on Saturday during the KMA 2015 Annual Meeting in Louisville.
Hall, 88, of Floyd County, received the KMA Debra K. Best Outstanding Layperson Award. She is best known as founder of the Mud Creek Clinic in rural Floyd County in 1973. Big Sandy Healthcare, which now operates the clinic, started two funds to honor Hall. The Eula Hall Patient Assistance Fund covers healthcare costs for uninsured and indigent patients and the Eula Hall Scholarship Fund provides financial assistance for area students pursuing careers in health care or social services.
KMA Immediate Past President, David J. Bensema, MD, who presented the award to Hall, cited her commitment to meeting the health care needs of her neighbors.
“Eastern Kentucky is often associated with many things – coal mining, Bluegrass music, hard-working people and some of the most beautiful scenery anywhere. It has also been recognized as a medically underserved area, as well as a population with many health issues,” Dr. Bensema said. “Leading the way in the fight for this community for the last 50 years has been this year’s recipient of the KMA Outstanding Layperson Award, Ms. Eula Hall.
“She has devoted her life with a servant’s heart to her community and to the plight suffered by any person in this nation without access to health care,” Bensema said in presenting the award. “At 87, she is as dedicated as ever to being the voice for ‘her people’.”
In accepting the award, Hall committed to continue her life’s work.
“We make sure people are took care of,” Hall said. “I will help everybody I can as long as I am able … to make sure nobody goes back to suffering like we did.”
Two awards were presented at the KMA President’s Dinner, the KMA Distinguished Service Award and the KMA Debra K. Best Outstanding Layperson of the Year Award. The KMA Educational Achievement Award was presented during the Kentucky Physicians Leadership Academy earlier in the day.