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CHFS Community

Julianne Hatton

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CHFS Community is an award-winning podcast featuring ordinary people doing extraordinary work at the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Hosted by Secretary Eric Friedlander and produced by Julianne Hatton, you'll hear inspiring stories from the people who serve every Kentuckian in some way. Join our community so you'll never miss an episode and tell your friends about the show. Until next time, stay healthy Kentucky!
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On today’s episode, Kendra Steele describes growing up in the coal fields region, becoming an Emmy nominated broadcaster and her path to the Emergency Preparedness Branch. Kendra utilizes her media expertise to spread awareness about public health preparedness. Tune in to hear our impressions and takeaways from the deadly tornadoes in western Kentu…
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Jennifer Dudinskie was raised in Spencer County and went on to graduate from Eastern Kentucky University with a double major in music and elementary education. Beginning as a Medicaid services specialist, she has come full circle in the span of 20 years as the director of program integrity. Today, we discuss her inspiring career path, management st…
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Food safety is something we take for granted, until there is a food-borne illness or outbreak. The Food Safety Branch at Public Health makes sure our food products stay safe. This includes grocery stores, restaurants, hospitals, nursing homes and other locations where food is available to Kentuckians. Today’s guest, Mark Reed, is the food safety br…
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How does one begin to tell the story of Medicaid? It is a state and federal program that provides health care for eligible populations. But there’s so much more to Medicaid than programs and services. Medicaid is about individuals: children, pregnant women, elderly adults and people with disabilities. Today’s guest Beth Fisher manages communication…
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I first met Jason Bagley when I was chief resilience officer at Louisville Metro government. Together, we advocated on behalf of homeless individuals and families who were facing tremendous obstacles. Today we discuss his path from the foothills of Mt. Hood, Ore., to the circus, and then to the city of Louisville where he worked at a homeless shelt…
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Storytelling is an important part of what we do at the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Sharing genuine stories about our lives and the Kentuckians we serve boosts morale and builds trust. Today’s guest Susan Dunlap is Executive Director in the Office of Public Affairs. As spokesperson for the largest cabinet in state government she brings c…
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National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is ideal for a conversation with Chief Privacy Officer Kathleen Hines in the Office of Legal Services. Raised in the south end of Louisville, she was a French language and literature major at Rhodes College in Memphis and attended law school at Case Western Reserve University. After graduating from law school,…
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Kentucky Medicaid is a state and federal program authorized by Title XIX of the Social Security Act to provide health care for eligible, low-income populations. This population comprises around 1.6M children, low-income families, pregnant women, the aged and those who are disabled. Today’s guest works behind the scenes as an important part of the M…
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Greta Greenwade Jones, Ed.D., is assistant director in the Program Integrity Division at the Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities. Born number 12 out of 13 children, she was raised in a loving home with a single mother in Western Kentucky. In today’s episode, we discuss Greta’s family life, career path and p…
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Did you know that almost 185,000 people in the U.S. are expected to be diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma in 2023? Most patients do not have a fully matched, healthy donor in their family and have to depend on national registries for bone marrow donations. A group of employees from the Office of Data Analytics are doing something about th…
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Wanda Hartley is the longest serving employee at the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. After a diligent and productive career, she is retiring with almost 50 years at the cabinet. Hartley remembers the days of mimeographing, copying letters with a noisy hand-cranked machine and stamping envelopes. Today, we are rebroadcasting our 2020 convers…
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Born in Germany to a military family, Kyra Dailey lived in Oklahoma and Texas before landing in Frankfort, Ky. at age 10. After graduating from Midway College, she accepted a job at the Kentucky Community Crisis Response Board and was later hired at the Kentucky Department for Public Heath following graduate school. In today’s episode we discuss th…
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Today’s discussion is about what we did right during COVID-19 and the amazing team behind our success. Dr. Keith Knapp arrived at the cabinet with 37 years of practice as a licensed nursing home administrator from managing stand-alone skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities, to leading continuing care retirement communities. When many states …
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Kentucky’s community health workers (CHW) have connected clinics with communities since 1994. These public health advocates provide access to medical, social and environmental services while striving to overcome health inequities. Laura A. Eirich, M.P.H., manages the Kentucky Office of Community Health Workers. On today’s episode we discuss her edu…
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Taban Herrington brings a unique perspective to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. While growing up, her father’s job took the family to Mexico to build self-sustaining communities. At times, the family lived without electricity and running water. This and other experiences deepened her empathy and commitment to help others in meaningful w…
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Sarah Cooper is executive director at the Office of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs (OLRA) with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Her state government career began in Protection and Permanency at the Department for Community Based Services before moving to OLRA as a policy analyst and staff assistant. Today, we discuss her current role…
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Steve Cambron is a program administrator for the Purple Star Program in Kentucky. On the Friday episode before Memorial Day, we discuss the importance of supporting military-connected children in their diverse communities across the state. Son of a Korean war veteran, Cambron was raised in a Louisville neighborhood along the Ohio River called Rubbe…
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I often say, “All means all y’all,” and today’s episode reminds listeners that every Kentuckian deserves to be part of a caring community, despite our differences. My guest, Vestena S. Robbins, is a senior executive advisor in the Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities. Raised in Bell County, her Berea College…
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As we work to improve the health of all Kentuckians, vaccines are a key part of the process. Vaccines are safe and scientifically proven to protect the individual who receives the vaccine as well as families, friends and communities that interact together. Amy Herrington, RN, is the clinical team manager for the Department for Public Health Immuniz…
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April is Autism Awareness Month and today’s guest, Devenna C. Bales, is a nurse administrator with the Office for Children with Special Health Care Needs in Somerset. She describes growing up in Appalachia, donating plasma to help pay for college and raising three children while working full time. Bales’ vast experience and special insight as an au…
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The Cabinet for Health and Family Services has made great strides in quality improvement initiatives. From working to improve visitation rooms by expanding culturally appropriate toys, books, and music, to improved support for social workers, and increased recognition to community partners. Jessica Bowman, a resource management analyst in the Depar…
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March is National Social Work Month, and a time to recognize the courage and dedication of Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) workers and staff. Today’s guest, Monica Gregory, shares her journey from college to DCBS and what makes her job so rewarding. Everyday heroes at DCBS strive to protect the vulnerable, enhance self-sufficiency an…
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Shannon Dussault is a human resource specialist III with the Office of Human Resource Management. After 12 years in the private sector, she came to the cabinet for work-life balance and better opportunities. She said it’s the best decision she has ever made. On Employee Appreciation Day, I am grateful for Shannon and for every employee at the Cabin…
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Ambre Irby grew up on a farm in Bracken County where she learned to work hard. After marrying and moving to Ohio, her husband suffered a catastrophic brain injury following a car accident. One month later, Irby gave birth to a son and moved back to Kentucky to be near family. As a newfound sole provider, she signed up for the Ready to Work (RTW) Pr…
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In January 2022, Adam T. Trosper transitioned to state opioid coordinator with the Kentucky Opioid Response Effort (KORE). Previously a program administrator in the Adult Substance Use Treatment and Recovery Services Branch of the Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities (DBHDID), Trosper oversaw the Oxford Hous…
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Walking down the streets of San Francisco, today’s guest heard Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Spanish and many other languages growing up. It was a desire to bring people together that propelled Child Support Enforcement Division Director Lily Chan Patteson to become a mediator in sixth grade. Later on, an undergraduate degree in criminal justice led …
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Today’s guest is Program Manager Beth Jordan with the Children’s Mental Health and Recovery Services Branch at the Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities (DBHDID). We discuss her training and accomplishments from girl scout leader and horseback riding instructor to graduating from a clinical master’s program a…
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I hope you enjoy today’s discussion with Angela M. Kik, supervisor at the Emergency Preparedness and Response Branch with the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH). Kik is an RN with a passion for emergency preparedness, who has been on several strike team missions, most recently in Florida after Hurricane Ian. She shares fascinating insights…
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Leslie Hogue Hoffmann is Deputy Commissioner with the Department for Medicaid Services (DMS). Today we discuss her life, education and where our careers have crossed paths over the years. In addition to her other responsibilities, Hoffmann serves as a Medicaid racial and health equity champion tasked with ensuring that the program is diverse and in…
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As former Chief Resilience Officer for Louisville–Jefferson County Metro Government I was involved in discussions around equitable economic development, racial equity, homelessness, sustainability, infrastructure and the environment. Participating in homeless outreach during this time taught me that helping people reach their full human potential i…
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Hillary Lantrip Croft has been part of the legal community for half of her life. Her father is a narcotics officer, and she took an early interest in criminal justice. At the age of 15, Croft became an intern at the Hopkins County Attorney’s Office and returned to her hometown after graduating law school. She’s come full circle as Assistant County …
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Former clients are some of our finest employees at the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), and today’s guest is no exception. When Tammy Thornsberry applied for Medicaid as a young mother-to-be, her case worker encouraged her to consider a job with the state. A year later, Thornsberry accepted a job at the Department for Community Based …
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The Kentucky Prescription Assistance Program (KPAP) helps qualified individuals identify sources of free and low-cost medications offered by pharmaceutical companies. The process reduces paperwork and offers more direct access to programs. Today’s guest, Bryant Hileman, is a KPAP Western Kentucky community consultant. At the age of 22, he launched …
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Before joining the Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities (DBHDID), Commissioner Wendy Morris worked for Appalachian Regional Healthcare Inc. in Hazard for over two decades. Following the historic flooding in eastern Kentucky, we traveled to the region to meet with people and find ways that the Cabinet can ass…
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LaToya Payne is director of the Division of Administrative Hearings Office of the Ombudsman and Administrative Review (OOAR). A graduate of Centre College with an MS in Family Studies from the University of Kentucky, she takes pride in the commitment of the Division to serving the residents of Kentucky. In today’s conversation, we discuss the lesso…
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Jennifer Craig is the coordinator of the Office of Dementia Services in the Department of Aging and Independent Living (DAIL). The office was established in 2021 after Gov. Beshear signed KY SB74. The program provides education, outreach and resources to over 75,000 Kentuckians living with dementia, their families and their caregivers. Craig has wo…
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Arielle D. Akin is a resource management analyst III in the Integrity Analysis Section within the Program Integrity Branch at the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS). Over the years, she has acquired a knack for investigative work, particularly related to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits trafficking. Having witnes…
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As a former Chief Resilience Officer in Louisville, I noticed that trauma was a common thread among Kentucky’s most vulnerable populations. Trauma, an emotional reaction to a distressing experience, affects both mind and body and its symptoms can be short or long-term. However, a person does not need to experience trauma firsthand to be affected. F…
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Julie Watts McKee, DMD, knew she wanted to be a dentist by the eighth grade. After graduating from dental school and practicing for 10 years in Mt. Sterling, she went on to work for the Governor’s Office, Inspector General’s Office and local health department as a director. Currently, the director of the Kentucky Oral Health Program (KOHP) in the D…
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Is is significant but not surprising that in addition to serving Kentuckians for a living, many Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) employees volunteer in their spare time. Today’s conversation is with Daniel J. Owens, human resources administrator with the Office of Human Resources and Management (OHRM), and community volunteer. The Fran…
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There was a time when health equity was a new term and social determinants of health was a new concept for Kentucky. Our Cabinet, the Department for Public Health (DPH) and community partners have discovered that those terms are midstream indicators that impact health and health outcomes. There are also important systemic, institutional, and histor…
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Today’s conversation is about leadership. Not the type of leadership that you study in college or self-help literature. I’m talking about values-centered leadership based on equity, empowerment and program excellence. Along with these shared values, my guest Marta Miranda-Straub brings lived experience to her role as commissioner of the Department …
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Today’s conversation is to honor those who died while serving in the United States military and mourn with friends and loved ones left behind. Heath Dolen is the Service Members, Veterans and their Families (SMVF) Behavioral Health Project Manager for the Kentucky Division of Behavioral Health (DBH) within the Kentucky Department for Behavioral Hea…
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Some of the most important work we do at the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) happens behind the scenes. The Kentucky Health Information Exchange (KHIE) is a perfect example. KHIE allows participants with certified electronic health records technology to access, locate, and confidentially share necessary health information with other h…
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Prevention, detection and investigation of fraud, abuse, waste and mismanagement is a responsibility that the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) takes very seriously. The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is in charge of investigating these and other matters related to the Cabinet and its programs. Today’s guest, Flo Brown, is a cert…
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Today’s guest on CHFS Community is Jiji Masri, executive advisor with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Born in Lebanon, to a family who valued public service, Masri moved to Louisville to attend graduate school. After receiving an MBA, she spent time in banking and at a tech start-up before discovering her true calling. We talk about tha…
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There are many unsung heroes at the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), and I am continually amazed at the tireless work you do to help everyday Kentuckians. Today’s guest, Julie A. Son, is a field services supervisor at the Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) Family Support Services. A lifelong resident of Princeton, she know…
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Today’s episode of CHFS Community is a discussion with Adam Berrones about Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting (KASPER) and the importance of data. An epidemiologist with a doctorate from the University of Kentucky, Berrones loves to tackle critical problems through research, discovering new questions he can answer statistically…
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I never tire of interviewing Cabinet employees who worked their way into management through sheer effort and determination. Sapna Sairajeev is one of those people; she began her career at the Department for Medicaid Services (DMS) provider enrollment call center. Eleven years later, she manages the Provider Licensing and Certification Branch at the…
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Part of our mission at CHFS is to protect and promote the health and well-being of all Kentuckians. For this reason, kynect resources was created as a one-stop-shop to reduce barriers for applicants while promoting a holistic approach to service for community partners. Seth Butt is with the OATS Division of Eligibility Systems (DES), and part of th…
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