Most of the schools seem to be county schools with one high school, one middle school, and two elementary schools. School functions and activities seem to be the main events of the community, which brings everyone to together and provides them with community involvement. There are relatively new school buses that transport children. However, there are limited other transportation options since a public transport system is not in place and there are no taxis. Despite the cold weather, there were people walking around the town.
There is one acute care facility which is the Marcum and Wallace Hospital. They offer limited services which include specialty clinics that are offered from Doctors from surrounding facilities. Expectant mothers must travel to Richmond to Patty A Clay Hospital or St. Joseph in Mount Sterling. They offer a program called DISH which assists patients who are attempting to pay medical bills on their own without the help of insurance. However for a large amount of patients the hospital ends up writing off the overdue medical bills. Beside the hospital is an EMS services with 3 trucks. There are two home health agencies available within the community, one nursing home, 5 dentist, and two pediatric clinics.
The local health department services most of the population by providing primary care at reduced prices based on a sliding scale. The county appears to have adequate health care services to offer the community considering the population is majority rural. The clients are seen in the health department for family planning, woman’s health, WIC programs, nutrition education, Well Baby check-ups, and immunizations. We noticed from browsing the lobby that there was a large quantity of brochures available pertaining to pregnancy prevention and infant care and health which made us wonder if early unwanted pregnancy was an issue. The health educator we spoke with confirmed our suspicions. *Statics show that 12.5% of households in the community have absent fathers. Also, there is a high smoking population in the community. The health department offers free smoking cessation classes, however the turnout is often low and those that do attend often do not compete the thirteen week course. The largest employer in Estill County is the school system, which is followed by the local Carhartt factory. Other jobs include small privately owned business and local restaurants and the hospital. It was mentioned that it is necessary to know someone in order to get a job in the town. Many of the residents that do work commute to the outlying communities of Richmond or Winchester. Most of the jobs that are within the community are of minimal wage as reflective by the annual house-hold income. In addition, the pay is “rural” pay which is much less than the pay rate in a larger city.
The county is nestled among the foothills of the Mountains of Appalachia. The Kentucky River runs through the center of town and requires crossing a bridge to get to either side. A train track runs alongside the river and looks to be in use. There are very few parks. Most parks in the area are considered part of the Daniel Boone National forest and is not available for widespread recreation. There are no major supermarkets within the county. Save-a-lot and Dollar General are where residents do their grocery shopping. There was one gym, “Every Body’s Gym,” that appeared under used based on the vacant parking lot. Other than school buses, there’s no public transportation provided.
There are many strengths and weaknesses noticed