My son DJ, was diagnosed with Mitochondrial Disease almost three years ago. Normally, he would have been immediately sent to a metabolic doctor to confirm the diagnosis and begin a plan of treatment. However, the only two cities in KY, Louisville and Lexington, with a metabolic doctor decided nearly simultaneously to no longer have one. I thought it was a hair-brained move at the time on both their parts but there’s just no reasoning with the executives heads of hospitals.
Everyone knows the place to be for mitochondrial disease is Cleveland Clinic. Hands down they are the best of the best. The “father” of mitochondrial disease is housed there and they have an extensive research department. We couldn’t get DJ in there because getting rid of metabolic doctors wasn’t Kentucky’s only stupid healthcare move taking place. At the same time Governor Steve Beshear decided to bring in new Managed Care Organizations (MCO’s) to manage Kentucky’s ever growing Medicaid and disability healthcare. On the surface it seemed like a good idea but the companies selected (including one which was under federal indictment for Medicaid fraud) were less than stellar. Add to that the shambles KY made of installing the MCO’s and it’s easy to understand why no one outside the state would accept any of Kentucky’s MCO’s. To this date, Cleveland Clinic still refuses all MCO’s but currently accepts Anthem BC/BS which has recently become a KY MCO.
It is a shame what politicians do to those most in need of healthcare. It’s easy to talk a good game and spin a good PR campaign but it takes real men and women with guts to actually take a walk on the other side and see the reality of their decisions. Governor Beshear’s actions appear to not consider my son or others like him. Instead, he took a cue from President Obama and decided he would force his healthcare agenda through whether the people wanted it or not. That negligent, irresponsible renegade attitude has cost my son nearly three years of healthcare that could have improved his quality of life and reduced his overall healthcare costs. Instead, he has been caught in the middle of a political power struggle that I have taken very personal.
Enter Man-O-War Ford, now known as Wildcat Ford. Yep, that’s right. A car dealership, intervened and cleaned up the mess made by poor decision making on the part of hospital administrators and politicians. Today, DJ had his first referral to a metabolic doctor, Dr. R. Stephan Amato. When I Googled Dr. D’Amato I discovered that he was at the University of Kentucky on the “Man-O-War Ford Professorship”. That basically breaks down to mean that Man-O-War Ford donated a substantial sum of money to UK Hospital for the establishment of a metabolic doctor.
While I am unclear about the specifics of how this played out what I do know is that because of the professorship my son will get the medical attention that is long overdue him. As a mother that’s all I need to know. As an advocate I encourage everyone who reads this in Central Kentucky to visit Wildcat Ford for your next vehicle and invest in the lives of kids like my little boy.