Kent’s Drennen receives MLK service award from Upthegrove

She is founder and executive director of the Pediatric Interim Care Center in Kent

Barbara Drennen

Barbara Drennen

Kent resident Barbara Drennen received a Martin Luther King Medal of Distinguished Service from King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove.

Drennen, who is the founder and executive director of the Pediatric Interim Care Center in Kent, has spent the last four decades of her life caring for premature newborns who were exposed to drugs while still in the womb. The center opened in 1990.

It is an award that recognizes individuals whose work has answered the question asked by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “What are you doing for others?”

“For over four decades, Barbara has selflessly cared for the most vulnerable babies and supported their families during the challenging early months of their fragile lives,” Upthegrove said in a Nov. 16 news release. “She truly personifies the ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and is a deserving recipient for this distinguished award.”

Over the years, Drennen has managed the care for over 3,300 drug-exposed newborns and has trained thousands of caregivers along the way. She continues to lead the center today.

This marks the sixth year that council members have each selected someone from their district whose work embodies the spirit of King’s question.

Drennen has lived in Kent for more than 50 years. She graduated from Kent-Meridian High School and attended Highline and Green River colleges.

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