Ulmer family gift will support underserved children

Programs aim to help with parenting, school success; new initiative a first for Norton Healthcare

Some of Louisville’s most underserved children will get help thanks to a $500,000 gift from the Ulmer Family Foundation. The newly created Norton Children’s Medical Group – Broadway Ulmer Family Wellness Program will provide expanded programming to assist families, including a full-time social worker.

The goal is to help kids succeed inside and outside of the classroom. Families will have access to safety supplies such as helmets and car seats; bus vouchers; and on-site workshops for parents with a focus on job training, parenting, child health and breastfeeding.

“The goal of this new program is to provide additional resources to underserved children and families in our community,” said Erin Frazier, M.D., pediatrician, Norton Children’s Medical Group – Broadway. “Having a dedicated social worker will allow us to not only support the physical health of our patients but also help them address social and mental health issues that impact their education and family life.”

Few children get the help they need

The School Social Work Association of America found that nearly 20 percent of students have mental health issues significant enough to interfere with major life functions, yet only one in five receives the help they need.

Once hired, the Norton Children’s social worker will be able to assist with many stresses that may interfere with success in school, including anxiety, phobias and ADHD. The social worker also will help children with social skills, anger management, self-confidence and stress management.

“We know that there are many families in Louisville that can benefit from this kind of additional help at a pediatrician’s office,” said Daniel C. Ulmer Jr., founder of the Ulmer Family Foundation. “Our goal is to do what we can to help children succeed.”

In recent years, the Ulmer Family Foundation has concentrated on community educational needs, having made major gifts to the Catholic Education Foundation for scholarships and teacher awards as well as School Choice Scholarships and Nativity Academy at St. Boniface.

“Hopefully, this gift will encourage others to support underserved children in our community,” Ulmer said.

Children’s Hospital Foundation

As a not-for-profit organization, Norton Children’s Hospital and its sister facilities rely on the generosity of people like you to support our mission of serving all children, regardless of their families’ ability to pay.

“We’re grateful to the Ulmer family for leading the way in helping us provide tools for success to families who can really use our help,” said Lynnie Meyer, Ed.D., R.N., CFRE, senior vice president and chief development officer, Norton Healthcare. “They are setting the stage for so many children to have better lives.”

Kids from lower-income families at greater risk, less likely to get help

Norton Children’s Medical Group – Broadway was chosen for the program because nearly 85 percent of its patients are on Medicaid, and nearly half come from medically underserved areas of the west end of Louisville.

“Students from lower income families are at a greater risk of mental health challenges but are less likely to receive the services they need,” Dr. Frazier said. “If a child is not doing well in school, a social worker can help us determine why. Our goal is to help foster success and support our community.”

The social worker will be the first employed in a pediatrics office at Norton Healthcare. Currently, there are two in primary care offices within Norton Medical Group: Norton Community Medical Group – Dixie and Norton Louisville Primary Care Center on Hill Street in West Louisville. Based on the success of this program, Norton Medical Group hopes to obtain funding for additional pediatric social workers.