(LOUISVILLE, Ky - September 18, 2019) The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky has named Neva Francis of Lexington a Healthy Kentucky Policy Champion for her career-long commitment to improving community health.
Francis is vice president for healthy communities at CHI Saint Joseph Health.
"Neva understands that there are a multitude of factors that define health and wellness for each unique person and community," said Jane Chiles, formerly chair of the board for CHI Saint Joseph Health, who listed several programs Francis has led during her career as a registered nurse for more than 40 years. "She explores these challenges to design and deliver successful programs in coordination and collaboration with key stakeholders."
Among the programs Francis leads is the "Total Health Roadmap," supported by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Catholic Health Initiatives, which has engaged community partners in Laurel, Madison and surrounding counties to provide services for more than 8,000 residents who had undergone screenings, Chiles said. Francis leads various diabetes and nutrition program education programs and efforts to reduce hospital readmissions for chronic diseases throughout the state. Her work also has extended to preventing violence, substance use and impaired driving, especially among youth and young adults around key milestones in their lives, such as prom and graduation.
Elizabeth Wendeln, another KentuckyOne Health board member, noted that Francis outlines for the board the priorities that result from the organization's community assessments in the counties it serves. "Neva travelled to the counties to get firsthand information on the systemic causes of any particular need," goes to Frankfort as an advocate and also educates and activates Board members to "be a voice for the people in influencing policies particularly regarding health in the state of Kentucky."
Francis is now eligible for the Gil Friedell Health Policy Champion award, which comes with a $5,000 grant from the Foundation to a Kentucky-based nonprofit of the winner's choice. The winner of that award will be announced on Sept. 23 at the Foundation's Howard L. Bost Memorial Health Policy Forum in Lexington. Nominations for the Healthy Kentucky Policy Champion Award are accepted at any time. See details on the Foundation's website.
About the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky
Funded by an endowment, the mission of the nonpartisan Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky is to address the unmet health needs of Kentuckians by developing and influencing policy, improving access to care, reducing health risks and disparities, and promoting health equity. Since the Foundation opened its doors in 2001, it has invested more than $27 million in health policy research, advocacy, and demonstration project grants across the Commonwealth Follow the Foundation on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, and visit our website at www.healthy-ky.org.
Bonnie J. Hackbarth