Healthy Times

LFCHD Employee Newsletter

Archive for the category “Staff Highlights”

Diabetes team participates in Diabetes Fun Camp

On Saturday, July 15, our diabetes team, Nancy Hiner, Tara Mason, and Tami Ross participated in the annual Diabetes Fun Camp. We were excited to partner with WEDCO District Health Department, Jessamine County Health Department, and other great community partners! Check out some of the great pictures from the day:

Admin teams Breakout of daily schedule

As part of each section’s annual team-building exercises, administrative employees participated in the Breakout games. Split into three teams, each group had 60 minutes to use various clues to work together to unravel the mysteries hidden inside each room.

The Derby Heist team successfully broke out in just under 53 minutes! Nicely done, Jason Foley, Bailey Preston, Christy Nentwick, Teresa McCarty, Gigi McCann, Misty Rasche, Jill Keys and Estephany Romero.

Lowe attends Pediatric Obesity Mini CoIIN meeting

Catherine Lowe, Child Care Health Consultant (CCHC) Trainer, attended the Pediatric Obesity Mini Collaborative-Improvement-Innovation Network (CoIIN) June 13-14, 2017 in Minneapolis, MN. Kentucky’s team consists of representatives from DPH, the Fayette County Cooperative Extension Office, Child Care Aware, and CCHC. The aim of the Pediatric Obesity Mini CoIIN is to embed policies/practices that support healthy weight behaviors in early care and education systems. The long-term goal is to increase the percentage of healthy weight in children 2-5 years old. The intent of the Pediatric Obesity Mini CoIIN is to engage state teams in a quality improvement process to support and enhance the work of improving nutrition and physical activity in early care and education (ECE) settings.


“It was a wonderful experience to meet so many professionals from other states and hear their stories about how they are helping ECE settings stay healthy. We learned successful strategies from other states and the CDC,” said Lowe. “We heard best practices from Dr. Robert Murray from the Ohio State University. I appreciated having this wonderful learning experience.”


A poster Lowe worked on showing how KY is joining forces with the extension office, Child Care Aware, and CCHC to improve nutrition practices in ECE’s.

Sara Gabbard selected as Sullivan Lexington’s “Alum of the Month”

Congratulations to Sara Gabbard, Human Resource Generalist! She was selected as Sullivan Lexington’s June “Alum of the Month”! Read Sullivan’s write-up about Sara below to find out more:

Pic for Sullivan Alum June 2017

“Being chosen is an honor; not only on a personal level, but also as a Fayette County community partner,” said Sara of being selected as Alum of the Month. Having graduated with her Executive Masters of Business Administration, the program “fell at an opportune time” and she knew this level of education would set her apart from others. The program was a good fit for her due to the flexibility of online learning, so she could work toward her degree without negatively impacting her job.

Sara currently works for the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department in Human Resources. She handles many aspects of HR, including recruiting, Workers’ Compensation, FMLA, training, and employee relations. “Human Resources has evolved to become more of a strategic role in today’s business.” She is “in the business of people every day, whether it be an internal or external customer.”

Her favorite thing about Sullivan, and specifically the EMBA program, is the “invaluable knowledge gained from others in class.” She stays connected and participates in Sullivan’s mock interviews with current students. “It is encouraging to know that Sullivan University is still turning out graduates who are eager to join the work force for his/her first time or venture an entirely new career path.” Sara finds her career at Lexington-Fayette County Health Department very fulfilling, and she is “looking forward to helping them move into the next phase, which is helping find the balance between [their] millennial population and the baby boomer generation.”

Sara’s advice: “From my experience, I think it is important to realize that immediate gratification is not always the best avenue. There is something to be said for those who hold out for a bigger picture. Money, though important, is not always the most important factor when finding your dream job. Sometimes a lesser-paying job is often more rewarding because the grass is not always greener. Tie a monetary value to every perk and benefit offered by a company, then weigh every pro and con before making a decision on a job offer.”

Diabetes program earns national accreditation

June 5 diabetes team.JPG

LFCHD’s “Healthy Living with Diabetes” program received national accreditation from the American Association of Diabetes Educators. This will allow people with diabetes in Fayette County to received increased access to quality diabetes education services. The application process took more than a year to complete national standards.

Congratulations to Melissa Smith, Nancy Hiner, Laura Martinez, Carol Hisle, Tara Mason and Tami Ross for this exciting honor!

LFCHD teams put together care packages for Ronald McDonald House

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Thirty staff members from the Public Health Clinic, WIC, medical records, clerical, DIOS and TB spent Friday putting together 171 breakfast care packages for the Ronald McDonald House as part of the section’s annual team-building project. The Ronald McDonald House serves families of children 21 years and under that are being treated by local hospitals by providing housing options for $10 per night while the child is hospitalized. While seeking ideas for this year’s project, staff learned that the Ronald McDonald House often needs “grab-and-go” packages for families who are heading out in the mornings to go to an area hospital to see their child.

After the morning packaging the items, the LFCHD team enjoyed an outing for bowling and pizza.

Preparedness event showcases responses to opioid crisis

The Region 15 Healthcare Coalition sponsored a MASH Showcase event Thursday, May 25, at Bluegrass Airport as part of its annual disaster preparedness planning to showcase resources available for medical emergency response.

The event featured a presentation on the opioid crisis in Kentucky, especially the Central Kentucky area made up by Region 15. Emphasis was placed on how communities must work together to fight the problem. Information on needle-exchange programs was also shared, along with other avenues of reaching vulnerable populations affected by the opioid crisis.

LFCHD staff who participated included: Dan Satterfield,  Skip Castleman, Laura Collins, Lindsay Earlywine, Kevin Hall, Kim Harris, Dr. Kraig Humbaugh, John Isaac, Cara Kay, Jill Keys, Ralph McCracken, Lynnsey McGarrah, Molly Roberts and Kara Stanfield.

You can see more from the event in the pictures below and through our Facebook Live broadcast: Region 15 Healthcare Coalition Showcase.


Special testing event marks National Youth HIV and AIDS Awareness Day

National Youth HIV and AIDS Awareness Day

Monday was National Youth HIV and AIDS Awareness Day, and to honor the day, our staff provided special free testing on campus for University of Kentucky students in addition to normal testing hours at 650 Newtown Pike.

In the United States, almost 10,000 people ages 13 to 24 were diagnosed with HIV in 2014, and 81 percent of those were ages 20-24.

In addition to social media posts, the special event received coverage in the UK student newspaper, The Kentucky Kernel.

Mason receives honor for diabetes work

Tara Mason, a health educator in the diabetes program with Community Health Equity and Education) recently received an award from the Kentucky Diabetes Network. The statewide diabetes coalition honored Mason for her work using the KDN website to connect Fayette County residents to networking, diabetes improvement tools and resources.

Tara Mason receives honor


Peace Corps Week: our staff share their stories

Tara Mason’s story:


World map project with 7th graders.

Ten years ago, I sold my car, stored all my belongs and said goodbye for two years to my friends and family to embark on what would end up being the hardest, most rewarding experience of my life. I joined the United States Peace Corps as a Health Promotion Officer in the Fiji Islands. The country was beautiful – a place many vacation, but also a country full of people who are yearning for help. My life was very different from in the US. I walked to work every day, sat on the floor at most people’s home because no one had furniture, had an abundance of fresh vegetables and fruit in my yard (papaya, eggplant, passion fruit, lemons, beans), had no AC or hot water. It was quite an adjustment. However, stepping outside my comfort zone and living among different cultures was eye-opening and just what I needed to jump start my career.


Students from a dental lesson.

My work there focused on HIV/AIDS education and outreach. I also worked on projects involving dental education, physical geography, water quality upgrading, and life skills training. Peace Corps helped me prepare for work in the Public Health field. It helped me prepare and learn how to empathize with the underserved population here in Fayette County.

February 26-March 3 is Peace Corps week. We take this time to celebrate all the ways volunteers have made a difference at home and abroad. If this interests you, I highly recommend you read more and maybe one day you will join too.


Cooking okra with coconut milk on a kerosene stove.

Lynnsey McGarrh’s story:


Sightseeing in Imbabura, Ecuador.

Like my colleague, I too, joined the Peace Corps ten years ago; packing up my belongings, selling my car, and saying goodbye to the people who were my life and my comfort zone. What I know now is that I was also saying goodbye to my language, my culture, and everything I had ever known. It wasn’t easy. In fact, it was the hardest thing I have ever done. There were days I didn’t think I could spend one more day in a foreign land, but in the end, the worldview I gained was more valuable than my unreasonable longing for Fazoli’s.

I served two years in Quito, Ecuador in the Youth and Families Program. I worked at a youth rehabilitation center for homeless children. I took them to school, helped with their homework, and let them beat me at soccer. I later became the head English teacher at a local high school and worked with local sex workers at my community’s Centro De Salud (health department).


Kids from the rehab center in Quito, Ecuador.

It was the hardest, most rewarding experience of my life and I’ve got tons of stories if anyone ever wants to listen to me talk for hours on end. I could tell you about the time I almost drowned in a river in the Amazon, or the time I swam with phytoplankton on a black sand beach in Mompiche. And, I could tell you about the time I found my common humanity with a mother I could barely communicate with as I held her in my arms after her son passed from cancer.

I could tell you so much. In honor of Peace Corps week, it would be my honor to continue to fulfill my life long duty as a Peace Corps volunteer by helping to “promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.”

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