Courtesy photo Dr. Joe Lee poses for a photo alongside his Don Cantley Award given by the Kentucky Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Courtesy photo

Dr. Joe Lee poses for a photo alongside his Don Cantley Award given by the Kentucky Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Dr. Joe Lee, of Leitchfield Pediatrics, on Aug. 24 received the Don Cantley Award from the Kentucky Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The award is given annually to pediatricians who have demonstrated a commitment to children and families in their communities, as well as a passion for the practice of pediatrics, and it was presented to Lee on Aug. 24 at the Kentucky Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics' yearly meeting at Berea College.

The award itself is named after pediatrician Dr. Don Cantley, a former president of the Kentucky Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, who devoted his life to improving the physical and mental health of children in his own community of Henderson, Kentucky. He established a number of school-based clinics to provide care for children with inadequate health coverage or other barriers to care.

"I am very humbled and honored to receive the award," Lee said. "Having known Dr. Cantley, to receive an award in his name is a very high honor...I've been privileged to work in this community for 43 years, and it's been rewarding every day."

As a native of Leitchfield, Lee had always desired to return to serve the people of his community. He attended the University of Kentucky Medical School and did his residency at Akron Children’s Hospital. With his wife, Nadyne, as his first nurse, he opened his practice in a small, minimally renovated house on Aug. 2, 1976.

Dr. Lee served the children of Grayson County as a solo practitioner for 17 years, taking call every night and every weekend. Since then, he has grown his practice into what is now known as Leitchfield Pediatrics, a multi-practitioner group that serves as an outpatient clinic to the children of Grayson, Breckinridge, Hardin, Edmonson, Butler, Hart, and Ohio counties.

In addition to his healthcare service, he has held numerous community leadership positions including Treasurer of the Grayson County Board of Health, President of the Kentucky Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, trustee of the Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center Hospital Board, and, currently, Medical Director of the Grayson County Health Department.

Now 72, Dr. Lee sees patients three days a week, attends C-sections, and performs rounds at the local hospital. He also sees newborns and hospitalized patients at Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center, as well as takes calls from parents of sick children.

He wished to thank the Kentucky Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics for the recognition and to also address rumors that he has retired or will soon retire, saying that those rumors are not true and he currently has no plans to retire anytime soon.