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Medical Professional Salute: Kelly Martin



Kelly Martin – Pembroke, Kentucky

WHAT IS YOUR OCCUPATION?
Healthcare Administration for the past 30 years

WHERE DO YOU WORK?
Pennyroyal Hospice in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, as Executive Director for the past 10 years.

WHAT DOES YOUR JOB ENTAIL? TELL US ABOUT A TYPICAL DAY FOR YOU.
I oversee all daily operations of the organization. We cover five counties. I am closely involved with the Clinical Director, Rebecca Boggess, as she leads the clinical team. My typical day may consist of meetings with her, team meetings with our group, conference calls, and usually a lot of laughter keeping everyone’s spirits up for the task at hand. In addition, I am the Chair of the Aging Council of Christian Co, and volunteer in the schools teaching economics to 7th and 8th grade students two hours per week. I stay in close communication with our state association for hospice as well, and serve on the board of directors. I love what I do, and it allows me the opportunity to do motivational speaking related to hospice and life in general. To us it is a unique calling to be a part of a hospice team. There is no greater honor than to be a part of the transition of someone’s loved one from this life to the next. Our motto is “Living Life to the Fullest". As long as a person has breath, they have a purpose for being here. They are not finished making an impact, until that final breath is taken. Even then their legacy will live on.

HOW HAS THE CORONAVIRUS AFFECTED YOUR JOB?
It has been the most intense time of my career. Of course that is the same for all of us with life in general right now. For us, we have cleared the office of all but four people on a daily basis. We have other office team members working from home, and all of the clinical team from their homes and cars. None of them are allowed in the office during business hours. It is taking too much of a risk in spreading the virus. The clinical team will text or call us with supplies they need, and we will have them at the back door of the office for pick-up. We are very much a close knit work family, and this separation has been difficult for all of us. We have team meetings by the “go to meeting” app. The biggest change for me during all of this has been how often the emergency regulations change through CMS (Center for Medicare Services). In a matter of three days it changed three times for all of us. You pray every day that none of our patients, patient families, or team members contract the illness. So far we have been very fortunate and blessed. Our organization has kept all of our team working. Not one has missed a check. We are very lucky. 

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN THE HORSE BUSINESS AND/OR HOW ARE YOU RELATED TO THE TENNESSEE WALKING HORSE INDUSTRY?
My brother, Al Martin, was showing when I was just a kid. I started showing about the age of 16. I worked for the late Rick Sullivan and Ken Taylor in my later years of high school and early college in Missouri. My parents have been attending the Celebration since 1963. They have never missed a year since. So, you might say it was in my blood. For the last 13 years it has been all about our daughter, Svanah, showing. She started on a flat shod horse in Tallahassee, Florida. Then began showing performance and flat shod once we moved here 10 years ago. So many people have done so much to help us along the way, and we are forever grateful.

DO YOU CURRENTLY HAVE HORSES IN TRAINING AND IF SO WHO ARE THEY AND WHO IS YOUR TRAINER?
We have only one horse in training with Chad Williams. In A Danger Zone and Svanah have had a lot of fun living her dream. Who am I kidding? It has been the whole family's dream!

TELL US ABOUT A SPECIAL HORSE RELATED MEMORY WHETHER IN THE RING, ON THE TRAIL OR AT THE BARN?
So many special memories with so many great friends. My favorite was Svanah winning the 11 & Under World Championship on Danger Zone in 2013. She had won two reserve world championships leading up to that point and one since then, but this is my favorite story. Svanah had made a “build a bear” in Tallahassee to give my dad for Christmas. In it she made the following recording: “Grandpa I love you, I miss you, and I am going to win a world championship!”

She was four, and we could not even afford a horse. When she fulfilled that dream with my parents in the stands, never really believing this could be possible, it was a culmination of so many emotions. So much hard work, so much help from those in the business that did not have to help us, the tears flowed for Svanah as she rode to center ring as a world champion. I remember as we ran to center ring to greet her in the winner’s circle Svanah and I both were in tears. I slapped her on the leg and managed to get out the words, "You did it, you are a world champion!" As she made her victory pass we have a pic of my dad on the rail, the hardcore, old time man’s man in tears as she passed him. For Svanah and us every ride has been special. I have always told her that every time she was lucky enough to swing her leg over a horse, she was doing it for every kid that never had that chance to live that dream. She has viewed every ride as a gift!

DO YOU HAVE ANY PERSONAL WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO PASS ALONG TO YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY IN THE HORSE INDUSTRY?
Never take for granted the blessings of being able to ride, being able to afford a horse, or the blessing of being able to make a difference in the lives of others. Thank you all for being our blessing, and making a difference in our lives! 

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