Redbud Family Health Center

Her entire life has been marked by an instinct to to serve others. It was a trait that she had before she entered Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1950. Ironically her unanticipated retirement in 2006 with her “boots on” after fifty-two years in the medical field highlighted the unexpected influence and an unanticipated accomplishment that she had as a primary care doctor on her rural community.

In December 2008, one of her classmates nominated her for the Boots Cooper Community Service award bestowed by her medical college, now known as Drexel University College of Medicine. On May 1, 2009, Dr. Sullivan traveled to Philadephia to receive her recognition and have a chance to see several of her classmates – one of whom still practices medicine in Alaska. When her classmate contacted me about her idea to nominate my mother, I offered to write an essay that she could use in support of the nomination. At the time, I wasn’t sure of what I would write, but I thought that an idea would spring forth from some of the materials and newspaper articles that I saved from my mother’s home in Thousandsticks, Kentucky in 2006. It became apparent that focusing on her twenty-two years operating her Redbud Family Health Center in nearby Hyden, Kentucky provided the best story line. To read my essay in full screen view, please click on the thumbnail below.

I welcome your comments and contributions of other memories and stories about this or other periods of my mother’s career from friends of my mother. Feel free to email me at myles at

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