Leadership Kentucky Class of 2023 visits Paducah

Posted on: September 1, 2023
LKY 23 Paducah

Written by: Debra Hess, VP CRA Officer and Fair Lending Officer, CTBI, LKY Class of 2023


Leadership KY 2023 completed another impactful and thought-provoking session in Paducah, KY, which is a UNESCO Creative City. 

On day one, the group traveled to the Hotel Metropolitan, part of the Chitlin’ Circuit, and was listed in the Green Book, which was an annual guidebook for African-American travelers.  The book helped the travelers to avoid “sundown towns.”  The hotel hosted guests such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, and Ike and Tina Turner just to name a few. “Miss Betty” treated the group to many stories and guided the tour through the historic rooms.  She also treated us to a piece of her famous chess pie!

The next stop was at the National Quilt Museum.  The museum exhibits fiber art and quilting from around the world and is the only museum dedicated to contemporary quilts and quiltmakers.  The quilts displayed showed various methods of quilting and some had extremely intricate detailing.  Display after display of different quilting techniques and methods were viewed.  The quilts varied from the norm and truly expanded your ideas concerning what a quilt should look like.

Baptist Health Paducah gave the group a tour of their facilities, including their cardiovascular and cancer treatment areas.  It is a regional medical and referral center and serves about 200,000 patients a year from four states.  Each individual was given the opportunity to operate their newest technology for lung cancer detection.  There were several stations with information concerning each specialty.  The staff was very knowledgeable and shared great information.  The physician panel completed introductions and fielded questions from the group.  The extent of their knowledge and expertise was apparent as they answered each question in detail.

The Kentucky State Penitentiary visit was the group’s outing for day 2.  The prison is in Eddyville and is the oldest and only maximum-security facility in the state.  This facility houses Kentucky’s death row inmates.  The group was greeted by Warden Scott Jordan and other staff members.  We toured various areas of the prison.  The tour was shown the minimum-security area, the sewing area where inmates were allowed to work to make money, the maximum-security area, and other cell blocks.  One of the most powerful areas was the electric chair and lethal injection table.  The group was able to hear from inmates of various lengths of confinement, including one who was confined for life without parole, speak about their experiences and how life inside the prison has affected them.  We were also able to listen to staff discuss the focus required to be a prison guard.  One guard shared that he had been stabbed 11 times the previous Christmas but had the strength to return to work.  The visit often had one’s mind and heart at odds, feeling sorry for the inmates living in the prison, however, knowing the crimes they committed warranted their confinement. 

The group visited Patti’s 1880’s settlement which is one of the most famous vacation destinations in the United States.  This very charming and quaint area is a historical log cabin village with many unique shops, Calvin’s Swine’s Moonshine and More, and beautiful garden displays.  It’s also home to an award-winning restaurant where the group was treated to a delicious meal. 

On the third day, the group traveled to the Paducah campus of Murray State University.  Jordan Smith gave an in-depth description of the university and its campus.  He also gave us the four ingredients of true leadership:  brains, soul, heart, and good nerves.  Murray State offers flexibility and financial aid that makes sure anyone wanting to receive a degree can obtain one.  They offer a wide variety of courses of study for bachelor’s, master’s, and online degree programs.  A Paducah Community Panel also discussed the growth of Paducah and focus on continuing to expand.  The inclusion of the city in UNESCO, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, has been a driving force in the growth of Paducah.   Innovative places show growth and the city has continued to create an artistic atmosphere with their shops and restaurants.

The day ended with the healthcare class panels where the challenges and successes of the industry and of their positions individually.  The challenges of Medicaid and Medicare were also discussed.  Discussions touched on preventive care needs, insurance, access needs, and workforce issues.    

Norton Healthcare
Pikeville Medical Center
Kentucky Power
US Bank
RunSwitch PR
Stites & Harbison, PLLC
Republic Bank
Whitaker Bank
Putting Kentuckians First and Reentry with the Kentucky Office Of Adult Education and the Education and Labor Cabinet
CHI St Joseph Healthcare
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
University of Louisville
Delta Dental
Kentucky Association of Health Plans
Whitaker Bank Foundation
St. Elizabeth Healthcare
Tennessee Valley Authority
Appalachian Regional Healthcare