State Sen. Dennis Parrett Honors HMH’s First Female Physician
Elizabethtown, Ky. – State Senator Dennis Parrett, D-Elizabethtown, honored the late Astra Kidd, M.D., with a very rare Senate Citation at Thursday’s special event on the hospital main campus. Dr. Kidd was the first female physician in both Hardin County and at Hardin Memorial Hospital.
HMH and Hardin Memorial Health Foundation officials joined community leaders and Kidd’s goddaughter Robin Wharton, M.D., a veterinarian and equine acupuncturist from Lexington, for the special recognition.
Kidd, who joined the hospital staff in the 1970s and practiced medicine for more than 20 years in Hardin County, passed away earlier this year at 82.
“This is such a wonderful honor for my godmother,” said Wharton. “She was a pioneer in her field and such an inspiration to so many others.”
Parrett usually reserves citations for military veterans but when he learned of Kidd’s many “firsts” and lasting contributions to the community and to medicine, he felt compelled to recognize her with this highest honor.
“There is a saying that you cannot be what you cannot see,” said Parrett. “Dr. Kidd defied the odds, stepped out in faith and paved the way for the women who practice medicine at HMH and across Central Kentucky.”
Today, more than one third of the physicians in the HMH Medical Group are women.
Kidd was born in Latvia and immigrated to the United States through Canada. The then president of Berea College, Francis S. Hutchins, sponsored Kidd’s family into the United States. She later studied at Berea and Columbia University and then obtained her medical degree from the University of Louisville School of Medicine.
Kidd also obtained her master’s degree in public health from the University of Michigan and was a leader in the Hardin County Health Department for many years.
About HMH: Hardin Memorial Health (HMH) is an integrated system of healthcare providers throughout a 10-county region of Central Kentucky. HMH is committed to delivering the highest-quality patient-centered healthcare to the more than 400,000 people it serves. With more than 2,100 medical professionals including 400 first-in-class physicians in over 45 specialties as well as primary care and a 300-bed hospital, HMH provides comprehensive healthcare close to home for the residents of Hardin, Meade, Nelson, LaRue, Breckinridge, Grayson, Hart, Bullitt, Green and Taylor counties. HMH is a county-owned system under a management contract with Kentucky’s Baptist Health, headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky.