Legacy Gift for NICU Renovations Honors Mother of Outgoing KCH Council Chair

​In the Kentucky Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), a shared sense of loyalty to patients unites neonatologists, nurses, surgeons and support staff in their work.

NICU caregivers exert every effort to achieve the best possible outcome for patients and their families - through whatever means, and to whatever end.

The NICU staff’s unflinching commitment to caring for families reminds KCH Development Council Chair Missy Scanlon of someone who instilled in her the importance of pushing forward until the job was done - her mother.

“They serve the families, whether it’s a good outcome or not a good outcome” Scanlon said of the NICU staff. “They see the tiniest of babies with these situations and they don’t give up, and that’s how my mom was.”

Scanlon, the chair of the Kentucky Children’s Hospital (KCH) Council, said her mother Betti Ruth Robinson Taylor wouldn’t quit working until she finished the task at hand. While Taylor confronted a number of setbacks in her life, she faced conflict head-on and fought her battles with grace and dignity. Scanlon used the metaphor of a duck on water to describe her mother’s handling of tough situations - gliding across the surface but paddling with urgency underneath.

“She was a good soul, and she tried her best,” Scanlon said of Taylor. “You keep going until it’s done and you just don’t stop - whatever you have to do, whatever you have to make happen, you have to keep going until you get it done.”

Nearing the end of her second and final term as KCH Council Chair, Scanlon has mirrored her mother’s determination through years of leadership, volunteerism and fundraising on behalf of KCH. Sealing the completion of a renovation and relocation of the NICU, Scanlon has donated a $2 million legacy gift to name the new facility after her mother. The March 20th gift announcement occurred on the would-be 90th birthday of Taylor, who passed away in 2002. The Betti Ruth Robinson Taylor NICU, set to open in the spring of 2018, will equip the NICU staff with more resources and greater capacity to care for Kentucky families.

The new Betti Ruth Robinson Taylor NICU will feature spacious patient rooms and areas for family consultation and privacy. The 47,000-square foot facility will accommodate the rising number of patients and families receiving care at the region’s only Level 4 Pediatric Trauma Center. Patient rooms, themed after Kentucky native wildlife and landscape, will include conveniences for the long-term stay of patients, including sleeper sofas, wardrobes and kitchen spaces.

The new location on the first floor of the UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital will improve the flow of patient care with direct access to the Pediatric Emergency Department. The facility also provides new spaces for procedures and training, including a new procedure room, a simulation room for training exercises, and “huddle” rooms for staff mentoring and team building.

The KCH NICU serves as a regional hub for advanced neonatal care, with pediatric transport services from 22 hospitals across Eastern and Central Kentucky. In 2015, the KCH NICU admitted 913 babies and the NICU Graduate Clinic scheduled mored than 1,500 appointments.

UK executive Vice President of Health Affairs Dr. Michael Karpf recruited Scanlon to serve on the KCH Council more than a decade ago. Scanlon brought to the Council experience increasing awareness and fundraising for causes in the Lexington community. Scanlan’s civic life has centered on efforts to improve the health and welfare of children.

Scanlon steps down as KCH Council Chair in June but plans to continue advocating and organizing on behalf of KCH. The KCH Development Council consists of volunteer community leaders who provide organizational support and advisory council to strengthen KCH and elevate the awareness of KCH in the community. Scanlon credited the cohesiveness of a hardworking KCH Council and an exemplary KCH staff for gaining ground to transform KCH facilities. Channeling the wisdom of her mother, Scanlon emphasized that the job isn’t finished for the KCH Council.

“KCH is near and dear to my heart - it’s my happy place,” Scanlon said. “There are so many things that are happening there, and there are so many things that need to happen there.”