2014 Public Health Heroes recognized
The Lexington-Fayette County Board of Health and the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council recently honored the health department’s 2014 Public Health Heroes, Baby Health Service and the Rev. Willis Polk with Imani Family Life Center.
The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department’s Board of Health recently selected the Rev. Willis Polk and Baby Health Service as the 2014 Public Health Heroes. The award is given annually to individuals who have demonstrated their dedication to improving the health of Lexington residents. The awards are given each April as part of National Public Health Week (April 7-13).
Polk, the executive director of Imani Family Life Center, has “answered the call on numerous occasions to support the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department,” including providing space to stage the Free Flu Friday event the past two Octobers, according to his nomination. This allowed the health department to provide crucial public health services by giving almost 3,600 free flu shots over the two years combined. Polk has also partnered with LFCHD on community grants and works with youth to provide structured activity, educational support and guidance every summer.
Baby Health Service is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2014. It provides free quality medical care to children from birth to age 17. Services include drop-in sick visits, school physicals, lab tests, X-rays and free medicine, from inhalers to vaccinations. In 2013, nearly 2,000 children received free care through Baby Health Service, and the volunteered medical services were valued at $233,000 in savings to the community. Baby Health Service has developed partnerships to offer free dental checkups and care to uninsured children. As the oldest free children’s clinic in Kentucky, it continues to improve the lives of uninsured children and their families.
Past winners include Anita Courtney and Teens Against Tobacco Use (2013); Vickie Blevins and Jay McChord (2013); Jill Chenault-Wilson and Dr. Malkanthie McCormick (2011); Dr. Jay Perman (2010); the Lexington Lions Club (2009); Dr. David Stevens and the late Dr. Doane Fischer (2008); Dr. Ellen Hahn, Mary Alice Pratt and Therese Moseley (2007); Dr. Andrew Moore and Rosa Martin (2006); Jan Brucato and Dragana Zaimovic (2005); and Dr. John Michael Moore, Ellen Parks and Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government (2004). Dr. Robert Lam received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.