Doraine Bailey and John Moses received Kentucky Public Health Association awards April 26. We salute them for their work in helping Lexington be well!
Congratulations to our Doraine Bailey, the 2018 winner of the Kentucky Public Health Association’s Helen B. Fraser Maternal and Child Health Award, given annually to honor someone who has made an exceptional contribution to the health and well-being of mothers and children in Kentucky. Doraine, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, received the award for her work educating Lexington parents about the health benefits of breastfeeding.
The following is the nomination recognizing Doraine:
Doraine Bailey will talk to anyone, anytime, anywhere about the benefits of breastfeeding. In some situations, this could potentially be awkward, but Doraine has an innate ability to disarm discomfort, making the conversation as relaxed and natural as the topic itself.
In my time at the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department, she has conducted numerous interviews, often with little notice. It doesn’t matter – she can fill an hour-long interview or a 30-second soundbite with ease, providing the information in easy-to-understand language.
Recently, Doraine has given special consideration to groups who have traditionally been outside the standard breastfeeding conversation. She wants to make sure every parent, no matter religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or income background, feels part of the benefits offered by breastfeeding. By learning more about their backgrounds, including potential obstacles, she is able to speak more directly to the potential clients, allowing their voices to be heard, reminding them that they are important to us.
Over the past few months, Doraine has started talking about the possibility of retiring. It’s something she has most certainly earned, but selfishly, I want her to stay as long as possible – her knowledge, her passion is unparalleled. Because of that, it is with great
pleasure I nominate Doraine for the Helen B. Fraser Maternal and Child Health Award.
Congratulations to our John Moses, the 2018 winner of the Kentucky Public Health Association’s Paul Mason Memorial Award, given annually to honor a Kentuckian who has made a significant contribution to benefit our most vulnerable population – the indigent and uninsured. John, who is a linkage navigator ensuring HIV patients get into medical care, received the award for his contributions to Lexington’s needle exchange program!
The following is the nomination recognizing John:
“We have to get past the thinking that they’re ‘junkies behind a dumpster.’”
That comment, made in March 2015, paved the way for the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department’s approach to our needle-exchange program. To make it a success, everyone involved had to get past the notion that the clients would somehow be “lesser” humans, the clichés we’ve seen time and again in movies, TV and various pop culture. Instead, they are “somebody’s mother, father, brother, sister, lover, friend – they mean something to someone. They should mean something to us, too.”
Since opening in September 2015, our program has served more than 2,200 individuals, all of whom have their own stories, unique to them despite their shared addiction. Some are homeless; some are professionals; some are young, fresh-faced, almost as if they arrived straight from the University of Kentucky’s campus; some are older, weathered, withered, their bodies likely belying their actual age. All, however, are human, a fact we are reminded of time and again, even (perhaps particularly) whenever we get too bogged down in the numbers of our program. Sure, the epidemiology side of the program is amazing — all the used needles taken in, the hepatitis C and HIV tests given – but there are some things you can’t measure: chances, second, third, beyond; lives changed; lives saved. How do you measure the look on a mother’s face when they thank us for what we’ve done, what we’ve provided?
The men and women who walk through our needle-exchange program are some of Lexington’s most-vulnerable population, a drug-injecting community, often with no insurance, no home, no hope. No matter where they come from, no matter where they’ve been, though, we are there, letting them know that between these doors and under this roof, they matter. They are more than “junkies behind a dumpster.”
That’s why I’m honored to nominate for the Paul Mason Memorial Award, given annually to honor a Kentuckian who has made a significant contribution to benefit our most vulnerable population – the indigent and uninsured – the man who first said the above quote to remind of us the humanity we serve: John Moses, of the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department.