Free clinic helps care for poor workers in horse racing industry
People who don’t have health insurance but who work at Churchill Downs and elsewhere in the horse racing industry can get free care, thanks to the Kentucky Racing Health Services Center.
“The nonprofit, nurse-managed clinic started as a joint venture between the University of Louisville and the Kentucky Racing Health and Welfare Fund, a non-profit organization that gets its money from when people wager but do not cash their tickets,” The Courier-Journal‘s Laura Ungar reports.
The clinic opened six years ago and helps about 2,500 patients a year. Most earn very low wages; stable-help and groom positions pay between $150 and $250 a week plus housing, equine-related employment service Equimax found.
To be treated, workers must be able to show a valid racing license and be employed in the horse industry. Many of the clinic’s patients are Hispanics, who have a disproportionately high number of health issues compared to the rest of the population in part because language barriers can either keep them from getting care or understanding instruction. In Jefferson County, the number of Hispanics has increased — representing 4.4. percent of Jefferson County’s population in the 2010 U.S. Census versus 1.8 percent in 2000. (Read more)