Health and Family Services Cabinet
State nurse consultant honored for work protecting children from abuse; Kentucky Medical Association gives Peggy Arvin its top award for nonphysicians
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 25, 2006) – A nurse service administrator in the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services’ Department for Community Based Services has received one of the highest honors from the state’s primary medical association.
At a dinner reception earlier this month, Peggy Arvin, R.N., was awarded the Kentucky Medical Association’s Outstanding Layperson award, which is given annually to nonphysicians who have made outstanding accomplishments in the field of public heath and/or medical care.
Arvin was nominated by Dr. Vesna Kriss, a pediatric radiologist at the University of Kentucky and vice-chairwoman of the Administrative Council of the Lexington Medical Society.
“I have known Peggy for a decade with her contributions to our University of Kentucky Child Abuse Review Team, which meets monthly,” she said. “She is a wonderful lady whom I admire for her efforts and greatly respect for her expertise and conscientiousness.”
Arvin, a nurse consultant with DCBS, said she never expected such a mark of distinction.
“I truly feel honored and humbled to be the recipient of this award,” Arvin said. “There are so many passionate and dedicated individuals serving the abused and neglected children in this state who go unrecognized.”
Arvin is medical coordinator for the DCBS’ medically fragile foster care program, which includes more than 140 children determined to have a life-threatening condition. She visits the children and supervises medical care plans to meet their needs. She assists social workers to coordinate children’s care with foster parents, primary health care providers and medical specialists.
She also consults with child protective services staff in abuse cases, trains staff to recognize signs of physical abuse and coordinate with local medical providers in cases that require special care.
Arvin developed the state’s medical protocol for children removed from homes with meth labs and has studied the high risks for kids’ prolonged exposure to meth.
has worked to give DCBS staff coordinating care for medically fragile foster children better access to medical assistance. Beginning this summer, DCBS social workers statewide have a new resource; they may collaborate with registered nurses from the cabinet’s Commission for Children with Special Health Care Needs.
Arvin will help train the nurses, who are located in each of the cabinet’s nine DCBS regions.
“This has been a goal of mine for the past 10 years,” she said. “To see this much needed resource materialize now is exciting, because staff can have local access to the expert knowledge they’ll need to tend to these children’s special conditions.”
DCBS Commissioner Tom Emberton Jr. said Arvin has made an impact on the department’s foster care program.
“Peggy understands both the scientific and social aspects of caring for the children in our care,” he said. “Staff often relies on her expertise to guide them in making decisions that will mean improved health. Her award is well-deserved.”
Arvin has been with the cabinet for 21 years and has also worked in the Department for Medicaid Services and the Office of the Inspector General.
In addition to UK’s Child Abuse Review Team, Arvin also serves on the state’s Fatality Review Team, the Drug Endangered Children’s Task Force and the board for the Franklin County Court Appointed Special Advocates.
Arvin lives in Frankfort with her husband, George.
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