UK HealthCare

Volunteers Make Quilts and Blankets for Pinkstaff Clinic

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 24, 2010) – The Thomas H. Pinkstaff Medical Home Clinic is receiving beautiful quilts and blankets made by creative Kentucky women.

The items are regularly donated by the women including Jetta Woodward and Mary Beitz from the Sunshine Sunday School Class at Broadway Baptist Church, Lexington; Judy Cuppy of Strands Hair Salon, Lexington; Mary White, a nurse in labor and delivery at University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital; Linda Meredith of Wilmore; and several other women from Lexington.  

"The handcrafted quilts and blankets are beautiful works of art," said Dr. Grace Maguire, medical director of the clinic. "So much time and love goes in to each one, and our patients truly appreciate these gifts. The ladies are angels." Maguire also is a professor of pediatrics, UK College of Medicine, and a pediatrician at Kentucky Children's Hospital.

The clinic is a joint venture of the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services’ (CHFS) Commission for Children with Special Health Care Needs (CCSHCN), the UK College of Medicine Department of Pediatrics and CHFS’ Department for Community Based Services (DCBS).

"My son, Bill, found out about the need for blankets through his doctor, Dr. Lawrence Maguire," said Woodward. "I approached my friend, Mary, and she said, 'This wonderful project was dropped in our hands by the Lord.' My daughter, Linda Brown, and I knit blankets and Mary crochets them. Mary is now 86 and even crocheted blankets with a broken arm. The women in our class always donate funds and bought 15 receiving blankets to give to the clinic at Christmas. We do this because we enjoy it and are glad to know that children benefit from it."

Judy Cuppy is a barber at Strands Hair Designs and Dr. Lawrence Maguire is a client and also her doctor.

"I found out about the need from Dr. Larry and he brags on Dr. Grace Maguire's kids and how she was doing back packs for them," said Cuppy. "I said that sounds like a good reason for a quilt. The next time I saw him I had four quilts for him to take to the clinic. Both of my grandmothers were quilters and I grew up with it and have a love for it. Quilting is wonderful and in the last 10 years, I've been consistent and have quilts all over the house. I'm a mom and understand kids and have an empathy for kids. Quilting is my passion and it's nice to be able to find something I can give back and it makes it more special since I love to do it. Knowing that children will get some pleasure and comfort from it is beyond words."

Cuppy says she frequents Quilters Square and asked them if they were interested in getting more people together and they were. "We meet monthly and I have gotten a half dozen quilts to donate. We refer to our quilts as 'Grace Quilts,' and it seems so appropriate give with grace to Grace."

The clinic provides comprehensive, compassionate, coordinated pediatric primary care for children in foster/kinship care, as well as those with special needs, such as children with cerebral palsy or birth defects. The center, located in the CCSHCN’s Waller Avenue office in Lexington, serves children in foster care from Fayette and 19 surrounding counties.

"I caught the quilting bug from my best friend, Judy Cuppy, about eight or nine years ago," said White. "Quilting has grown into more that a hobby for me; it has become an absolute joy. Making the 'Grace quilts' warms my heart, plus it gives me reason to collect more fabric. It's a special feeling to know how much the patients and their families appreciate the quilts. This is truely a labor of love." 

The staff at the clinic address each child’s needs, make appropriate referrals and coordinate follow-up care. The clinic, coupled with the nine commission nurses stationed in DCBS offices across the state, provides a level of medical expertise that has been desperately needed. This continuity gives the children a medical home. The clinic also provides support for families in the Kinship Care Program, which places children with relatives rather than in a foster home.

Approximately 7,000 Kentucky children are in state foster care. About 122 children in foster care are considered medically fragile with specialized health care needs.