McCullough officially starts as Commissioner of Health

Lexington officially has a new Commissioner of Health.

Dr. Joel McCullough joined the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department on Feb. 14, with a Valentine’s Day full of meetings, greeting his team and planning how to continue the department’s mission of helping Lexington be well.

Dr. McCullough has extensive history in public health, including time as a medical epidemiologist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and as medical director of environmental health for the Chicago Department of Public Health. He describes himself as “someone who focuses on the health and well-being of people and the communities that I serve.”

“Lexington will continue with strong public health leadership with Dr. McCullough joining us as the next Commissioner of Health,” said Michael Friesen, chair of the Lexington-Fayette County Board of Health. “We are excited about the next steps for public health in central Kentucky.”

Dr. McCullough earned an undergraduate degree from Stanford University and a medical degree from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He has a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Washington.

Dr. McCullough replaces Dr. Kraig Humbaugh, who had served as commissioner of health since June 2016.

For additional information on the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department, follow us on social media: Facebook.com/LFCHD, Twitter.com/LFCHD and Instagram.com/lexpublichealth.

Public Health Clinic, Harm Reduction to have new hours

Starting Monday, Feb. 28, our Public Health Clinic will have new hours:

  • 8 a.m.-5 pm. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday
  • 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Wednesday
  • CLOSED Friday

Also, the Harm Reduction Program will have new hours starting Feb. 7:

  • 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday
  • 3-6:30 p.m. Wednesday
  • 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday

The program will no longer be open on Friday after Feb. 7.

Nominate someone for 2022 Dr. Rice C. Leach Public Health Hero Award

It is time to nominate people for the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department’s Dr. Rice C. Leach Public Health Hero Award. The award, now in its 19th year, is for individuals who have demonstrated their dedication to improving the health of Lexington residents.

Criteria for the selection of the award include:

  • Exemplary leadership and diligence in promoting public health;
  • Remarkable contributions and support in fostering public health programs; and
  • Work or actions that have impacted the community’s health in a positive way.

The Lexington-Fayette County Board of Health renamed the award in 2016 in honor of the late Dr. Rice C. Leach “so future generations will know what a true public health super hero is.” Leach, who served as Lexington’s Commissioner of Health for five years, died in April 2016 following a battle with cancer.

Past winners include Pastor Richard Gaines and Consolidated Baptist Church (2021), Jon Parker (2020), Mark Johnson (2019), Dr. Svetla Slavova (2018), Kentucky State Sen. Reginald Thomas (2017), Dr. Leach (2016), Dr. Susan Pollack and Marian F. Guinn (2015), the Rev. Willis Polk and Baby Health Service (2014), Anita Courtney and Teens Against Tobacco Use (2013); Vickie Blevins-Booth and Jay McChord (2012); 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.

If you know of someone to nominate for this award, please provide the following information:

  • Name, professional title and organization;
  • Phone number and e-mail address of nominee; and
  • Examples of why the person is worthy of the award. Descriptions should be no more than 200 words.
  • Your name and contact information.

How to Submit Someone

Nominations can be submitted here: https://www.lfchd.org/public-health-hero-award-nomination.

The deadline for submitting candidates is 3 p.m., Friday, Feb.25.

The Lexington-Fayette County Board of Health will make the final determination. The winner will receive special recognition from the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. The awards are given each April as part of National Public Health Week.

CDC Updates and Shortens Recommended Isolation and Quarantine Period for General Population

As of Monday, Dec. 27, 2021 the CDC has updated and shortened the recommended isolation and quarantine period for the general public.

The complete guidance update can be found on the CDC website. Learn more here: https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/s1227-isolation-quarantine-guidance.html

Additional guidance documents from the KY DPH can be found here:

COVID-19 Patient Guidance

Have you been exposed to or tested positive for COVID-19?

Dr. Joel McCullough to serve as new Commissioner of Health

Dr. Joel McCullough

Lexington will soon have a new Commissioner of Health: Dr. Joel McCullough formally accepted the job Wednesday after the Lexington-Fayette County Board of Health approved his appointment Monday evening. Dr. McCullough, who previously served 8 years as Public Health Director and Health Officer for the Spokane (Washington) Regional Health District, will begin the post in early 2022.

“I look forward to being part of the community of Lexington and its world-class health department,” Dr. McCullough said. “I am honored the Board of Health put its faith in me to continue the mission of helping Lexington be well.”

Dr. McCullough replaces Dr. Kraig Humbaugh, who has served as commissioner of health since June 2016.

Dr. McCullough has extensive history in public health, including time as a medical epidemiologist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and as medical director of environmental health for the Chicago Department of Public Health.

“Lexington will continue with strong public health leadership with Dr. McCullough joining us as the next Commissioner of Health,” said Michael Friesen, chair of the Lexington-Fayette County Board of Health. “We are excited about the next steps for public health in central Kentucky.”

Dr. McCullough earned an undergraduate degree from Stanford University and a medical degree from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He has a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Washington.

LFCHD unveils new mural at 650 Newtown Pike

Public health meets public art.

A colorful new mural greets guests, employees, patients and passers-by of the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department. The department joined artist Jeremey Burch, LexArts, Mayor Linda Gorton and community leaders Thursday afternoon to formally unveil the mural at 650 Newtown Pike.

The mural project began in 2019 but was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The department returned to completing the mural project in 2021 after Commissioner of Health Dr. Kraig Humbaugh announced his plans to retire at the end of the year.

“Dr. Humbaugh planted the seeds for this mural as a desire to update our building while also highlighting the importance of art and creation,” LFCHD spokesperson Kevin Hall said. “This mural celebrates the people who provide public health services to this community, as our mission says ‘helping Lexington be well.’ It also honors Dr. Humbaugh, not only for his initial idea but for helping lead this department throughout the pandemic. It’s a beautiful way to illustrate our values of caring, accountability, respect, equity and service.”

“Despite some challenges along the way, it’s a real pleasure to see this project come to fruition,” Dr. Humbaugh said. “Special thanks to our Board of Health and the selection committee who chose this outstanding design and to the artist himself for executing this work that embodies our mission and honors public health and the community’s commitment to health.”

The health department selected Burch, a Lexington artist, to paint the mural following public input from the community.

“I have been doing art my whole life, from painting to music and film,” Burch said. “What I love most is creating things that evoke feelings and hearing how my art has made them feel. The piece I have created showcases bright, vibrant representation of Lexington along with its wonderful community and the LFCHD’s values that extend out to the community and not only within the LFCHD itself.”

The health department thanks LexArts for its partnership throughout the project, Marrillia Design and Construction for donating labor to install the mural and Mike Burrell at Flying Armadillo signs for use of studio space and assistance with the project.

Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for ages 5-11 years

(En español) Caregivers, the best way to keep your child safe is with the safe, effective, thoroughly tested COVID-19 vaccine. The long-term effects of a pediatric COVID case can be serious and last months; the most common side-effect of the COVID vaccine, which provides lasting protection, is a sore arm. The best way to protect your child against COVID-19, including the Delta variant, is to get them vaccinated! Learn more about the vaccine here: CDC Information Page for Caregivers.

Public Health Clinic

Starting Wednesday, Nov. 10, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for ages 5-11 years will be available by same-day appointment in our Public Health Clinic at 650 Newtown Pike. Call 859-288-2483 to schedule your same-day appointment every Monday, Wednesday and Friday! A legal guardian MUST be present at the time of the shot.

Caregivers, the best way to keep your child protected from COVID-19 is with the safe effective, thoroughly tested vaccine. The long-term effects of a pediatric COVID case can be serious and last months; the most common side-effect of the COVID vaccine, which provides lasting protection, is a sore arm. The best way to protect your child against COVID-19, including the Delta variant, is to get them vaccinated!

Learn more about the vaccine in this FAQ from the American Academy of Pediatrics: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/COVID-19/Pages/The-Science-Behind-the-COVID-19-Vaccine-Parent-FAQs.aspx.

Vax Facts!

Protect the community through vax facts!

Misinformation about COVID-19 and the vaccines is dangerous. Learn more about claims that have been repeatedly proven false during the pandemic:

  • https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/covid-19-vaccines-myth-versus-fact?amp=true
  • https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/featured-topic/11-covid-19-myths-debunked
  • https://doh.sd.gov/documents/COVID19/Vaccine/COVID_VaxMyths.pdf
  • https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/facts.html

Anyone who talks about public health becomes a public health communicator, and more people talking about the facts will help Lexington. Share our information to help spread the word so more people hear the facts about COVID-19 and the vaccines!

Thanks, Lexington! 

COVID-19 booster dose update

(En espanol) Same-day appointments for COVID-19 vaccines, including all boosters, are available every Monday, Wednesday and Friday in our Public Health Clinic at 650 Newtown Pike. Call 859-288-2483 to schedule your appointment.

Moderna

The booster can be given 6 months after you received your second dose of the Moderna vaccine. 

Pfizer

We also continue to provide the Pfizer booster for the same groups listed for the Moderna booster. 

The booster can be given 6 months after you received your second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. More information about the Pfizer booster can be found at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/booster-shot.html.

Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)

Free booster doses of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine are available by same-day appointment for everyone who received the J&J vaccine at least two months ago. 

Third Dose for Immunocompromised

In addition, immunocompromised individuals – for example, people who are undergoing cancer treatment or who are taking a high dose of an immunosuppressant – a third shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine is recommended at least 28 days after the second shot.

Boosters are for people who got the first and second dose of the Pfizer vaccine whose protection has waned over time. The third doses are for immunocompromised people whose immune systems were not able to fully respond to the initial doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

First and Second Doses

Anyone who has yet to receive their first dose or second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine can also call to schedule their same-day appointment. Our Public Health Clinic offers the Moderna and Janssen vaccines for ages 18 and older and the Pfizer vaccine for ages 12 and older.