LOUISVILLE, Ky, December 10, 2020 - Albert Gray, Human Resources and Operations Assistant at FiveStar, has been named a Healthy Kentucky Policy Champion for his contributions to preventing the sale of tobacco products to underage consumers at the convenience store chain based in Bardstown.
The award is given by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky to recognize Kentucky individuals and organizations engaged in improving the health of people in their communities and/or the entire Commonwealth through policy change.
"Albert was an integral part of enacting a policy that required all FiveStar employees to receive training each year through the online Kentucky Tobacco Retail Underage Sales Training (TRUST) Program," said Steve Cambron, title, in his nomination of Gray for the award. Gray served on the TRUST advisory council to ensure that the TRUST training content was effective, made a Five Star store available for training videos and has been a voluntary consultant to the program.
"Thanks to his enthusiastic support, the TRUST program has been successful in reaching over 6,500 retail staff throughout the state," Cambron said.
Koleen Slusher, Director of the Behavior Health Division in the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, said that Five Star has maintained a 97.6 percent compliance rate for tobacco inspections by the Food and Drug Administration. Gray "continues to share his expertise with our staff to guide their outreach to other tobacco retailers," and "has made a lasting contribution to our efforts to reduce underage youth access to tobacco and nicotine products and the harmful consequences associated with them," Slusher said.
"I know one thing to be true of all addictions - prevention is the absolute first line of defense," Gray said. "After I retire I would like to get involved in volunteer community prevention work. "
Gray is now eligible for the Gil Friedell Health Policy Champion award, which comes with a $5,000 grant from the Foundation to be given to a Kentucky-based nonprofit of the winner's choice. The winner of the Friedell award will be announced later this month.
Nominations for the Healthy Kentucky Policy Champion Award are accepted at any time. See details on the Foundation's website here.
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 $29 million in health policy research, advocacy, and demonstration project grants across the Commonwealth.
Bonnie J. Hackbarth