Louisville specialty clinic providing adult medical care for the - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville specialty clinic providing adult medical care for the developmentally disabled

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It's often hard to find adult doctors to care for the intellectually disabled, but not at The Lee Specialty Clinic -- which just opened last summer. It's often hard to find adult doctors to care for the intellectually disabled, but not at The Lee Specialty Clinic -- which just opened last summer.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- For years, pediatric doctors have provided care for patients with intellectual disabilities but as the children age it can be hard to find adult care.

Ellie Volz can sure make her mother laugh. She has Down Syndrome and suffers from epilepsy. She's considered medically fragile.

Ellie has had 48 surgeries in her lifetime -- and she needs more. Her family feels they have nowhere to turn now that she's 22.

"We have to have a transition time to transition us to maybe another hospital or another facility where we're not just set out on the street and say you can't come back, good luck and goodbye. That's what happened to us," Ellie's mother Missy Phillips said.

Advanced medicine has helped one thing.

"They're living longer," Phillips said. "Praise god, I'm glad they are."

It's often hard to find adult doctors to care for the intellectually disabled, but not at The Lee Specialty Clinic -- which just opened last summer.

The state-funded facility offers specialized care for patients who have autism, cerebral palsy, down syndrome and other conditions.

"The medical profession for many many years really thought of people as developmental disabilities as belonging to the world of pediatrics, and that's where all the education was," Lee Specialty Clinic doctor and CEO Matt Holder explained.

The clinic provides primary care, dental services and various therapies. Patients come from about 60 counties in Kentucky and it's known worldwide.

"We've gotten inquiries from as far away as Philadelphia," Holder said. "I've had people from China call me asking me how they might be able to come here."

This issue is felt around the world.

"There's really a move nationally to get more training and medical schools and residency programs to focus on developmental disabilities, that's really the first step," said Holder.

The solution won't come overnight.

"This is 24/7. This is what you do when you have a child like my daughter," Phillips said.

The Lee Specialty Clinic does not perform surgeries, but will soon offer opthamology and podiatry care.

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