Dan Martin, rural health champion in Western Kentucky, dies at 92

Dr. Dan Martin, a leader in rural health for Western Kentucky, died Aug. 14 at the age of 92.

The Harvard Medical School graduate moved to Madisonville in 1965, where he served in many roles to improve the health of his community and surrounding areas.

He served for many years as medical director of the Hopkins County Health Department, where he established a dentistry clinic, later named in his honor. He was the executive director of the Trover Clinic Foundation and was instrumental in bringing a medical residency program to Madisonville from the University of Louisville; and he helped found the Western Kentucky Area Health Education Center and a nurse anesthetist program.

He is also credited with much of the growth of the Madisonville Community College and helped create health and human-services organizations throughout the community.

In appreciation for his service, the Kentucky Rural Health Association created an annual award, the Dan Martin Award, for lifetime achievement in improving rural health care in Kentucky, presented each year at its annual meeting. Martin was named its first recipient in 2003.
“His dedication to improving rural health care in Kentucky and passion for medical education extended until the end of his life,” says his obituary in The (Madisonville) Messenger.
Prior to coming to Kentucky, Martin served in the Navy during World War II as a hospital corpsman working with blind soldiers at the Philadelphia Naval Hospital and the New York Institute for the Education of the Blind. He was also an associate professor of preventive medicine at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
Martin was preceded in death by his wife, Gladys C. Martin; and his brother, William T. Martin Jr. He is survived by his children, Dan “Andy” Martin Jr. of Atlanta, Dr. Joel Martin (Julie) of Thousand Oaks, Calif., Dr. Paul Martin (Dana) of Atlanta, and Dr. Nina Martin of Nashville; and five grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at First Presbyterian Church of Madisonville at 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, with visitation beginning at 2 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to Mahr Park Charitable Trust, P.O. Box 339, Madisonville KY 42431.

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