Forrest W. Calico, national leader in rural health care, dies at 75

Forrest W. Calico

Dr. Forrest W. Calico, a nationally recognized expert on rural health-care quality, died Monday at his home near Crab Orchard “after striving against multiple myeloma for several years,” said his obituary in the Lexington Herald-Leader. He was 75.

A native of Garrard County, Calico received his medical degree from the University of Kentucky in 1966. He also held a master’s degree in public health from Harvard University. In the U.S. Air Force, he was a flight surgeon at Area 51 in Nevada, a family physician, residency director and hospital administrator, earning the Bronze Star. He was president and CEO of Appalachian Regional Healthcare from 1993 to 1999, a health-systems adviser to the federal Office of Rural Health Policy and a senior quality adviser to the National Rural Health Association. In 2007 he was named a Rural Hero by the National Rural Assembly and in 2010 entered the UK College of Public Health Hall of Fame.
In retirement, Calico remained active at the state and local levels, serving on the boards of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, the Friedell Committee for Health System Transformation and the Lincoln County Board of Health. In 2012 he published a memoir, Out of the Blue, with the subtitle “How open doors and unexpected paths set the course of my life.”
Calico is survived by his wife
Patricia Calico, their son Jefferson and wife Cari, daughter Tricia and husband Wes Cohron, his sister Helen
Eden, a nephew and six grandchildren. A celebration of his life will be held Saturday, June 18, from 2 to 5 p.m., with a memorial service at 3 p.m., at The Church at Cedar Creek at 5787 US 150, east of Stanford. Memorial donations may go to The
Friedell Committee, PO Box 910953,
Lexington KY 40591, or the Dr. Patricia A.
Calico Endowed Nursing Scholarship at UK, 315 College of Nursing
Building, Lexington KY 40536.
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