Friday, March 17, 2023

Ernie Scott of Letcher County dies of rare brain aneurysm at 46; had been director of the State Office of Rural Health since 2013

Ernie Lee Scott
Funeral services were held Friday for Ernie Scott, who was director of the State Office of Rural Health in the University of Kentucky Center of Excellence in Rural Health. He did Sunday, March 12, at his home in Partridge, in Letcher County. He was 46.

The cause of death was a "random and rare" aneurysm in the brain, Coroner Perry Fowler told The Mountain Eagle of Whitesburg.

Scott started his career as a radiology technologist, earned a bachelor’s degree in health care administration at Midway College, was director of planning and special projects for Mountain Comprehensive Health Corp. in Whitesburg, and became director of the Office of Rural Health in 2013.

In 2014 Scott received the Emerging Leader Award from the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health, and in 2020 he won the Kentucky Rural Health Association's Dan Martin Award for lifetime contributions to rural health. Last year, the office was one of three organizations in the nation to receive a three-year, nearly $900,000 grant from the federal Office of Rural Health Policy to improve access to health care for veterans living in rural Kentucky and to improve coordination of veterans' care.

Scott is survived by his wife, Tiffany Bullock Scott, and their daughter, Addyson Grace Scott. The couple owned and operated the General Store at Pine Mountain Crossing on US 119 and ran a hospital gift shop. Other survivors include his mother, Iris Jean Scott; siblings Howard Wayne Scott (Renee) and Sherry Scott Geiger (David); and many nieces and nephews.

"To know Ernie was to love him," his obituary says. "He quickly became a friend to all he met. He always greeted folks with a smile and often a big hug. He was a planner, a goal setter, and achiever. He loved his family, friends, church, and his community. He poured his heart and soul into Letcher County (specifically Cumberland River) and made huge impacts in many other rural communities."

His funeral was at Lewis Creek Pentecostal Church, along the Poor Fork of the Cumberland River in Partridge, with burial in the D.L. Creech Cemetery four and a half miles downstream, at Cumberland. Tri-City Funeral Home was in charge. Memorial donations may be made to a health-care scholarship fund in Scott’s name at Commercial Bank, 1701 E. Main St., Cumberland KY 40823.

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