“We are the children’s hospital for the state.”
“I’m not an administrator who’s a doctor. I’m a doctor who does administrative work.”
Dr. Scottie Day is not your typical hospital chief. For one, a few days a week, you’ll find him not in his office at Kentucky Children’s Hospital, but in the ICU, where he’s a practicing pediatric critical care physician. Other days, you’ll find him serenading the children’s hospital with his guitar, or chasing chickens and children around on his farmland. As an Eastern Kentucky native, Dr. Day has a playful personality, a passion for quality care and a deep pride in his roots in the Commonwealth.
After spending two years at a community college in Hazard, Dr. Day transferred to the University of Kentucky, where he earned his medical degree. Upon finishing medical school, Dr. Day and his wife worked as physicians in Indiana, Ohio, and Hawaii—a journey that eventually led them back to Kentucky.
“I came back to do cardiac critical care and to direct the transport team for the Kentucky Children’s Hospital. Later, I was named the Associate Chief Medical Officer for Kentucky Children’s Hospital, whose primary job at that time was to re-look at the heart program—how we were going to bring it back up, what it was going to look like, and how we could take it to the next level.”
As a Kentuckian and a father of four, Dr. Day felt a pull towards helping other families through the hospital’s work. During his tenure, he’s helped increase the quality of care offered by the hospital, as well as the level of access that families across the state have to that care. His hard work—and, he’s quick to note, the hard work of everyone at the hospital—has paid off. Today, Kentucky Children’s Hospital is nationally ranked in two pediatric specialties. One of them is the heart program which initially attracted Dr. Day to return to his home state.
“It’s kind of like that saying: ‘You can go fast alone, or you can go farther as a team.’ I think we are an example of that. This has been years in the works for us. It’s not about achieving the rankings, it’s about achieving the absolute best care, and to have it here in Lexington is phenomenal.”
One of Dr. Day’s main focuses has been bringing together talent—both on the hospital’s team, and in collaborations with other health care systems like Cincinnati Children’s, Shriners, and local hospitals across the state. For him, it’s all about expanding the network of expert care, giving Kentucky families the best options for their kids, no matter where they are.
“You hear Dr. Capilouto say, ‘It’s the university for Kentucky.’ In many ways, we are the children’s hospital for the state. The idea is not to bring everything to Lexington—but to take the best care out to our surrounding communities. We want families from my hometown to have confidence that they will receive the best care here at Kentucky Children’s Hospital.”