The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky announced Tuesday it has named five new members, including two from Hardin County, to its Community Advisory Council.

Lincoln Trail District Health Department Director Sara Jo Best and Health Promotion Manager and Public Information Officer Terrie Burgan are joining other health officials from across the state on the council, which is tasked with providing advice and recommendations regarding overall policy direction and adherence to foun­dation’s mission to its board of directors.

The three other new members are Leigh Ann Ballegeer of Paducah, the Rev. Kent H. Gilbert of Berea and Joel Thornbury of Pikeville.

According to a news release, members of the council are Kentucky residents committed to addressing the unmet health needs of Kentuckians. The members also serve as a liaison between the work of the foundation and their respective communities. They serve three-year, renewable terms.

Best began her health department career in 2002 as a community health educator. She was named director of the department in 2013. Additionally, Best is president of the Kentucky Health Directors Association, has been an officer of the Kentucky Public Health Associ­a­tion and served on the Passport Board of Directors.

During her career, the release said Best has established four new public health programs – health education, preparedness, harm reduction and health equity – received approval for three local environmental health ordinances, added three harm-reduction syringe service sites and helped win smoke-free ordinances in Bardstown, Radcliff, Elizabethtown, Hodgenville and Hardin County.

Burgan is responsible for all health education and outreach programs in the district. According to the release, her previous roles at the health department include clinical director, managing the Women, Infants and Children, family planning and childhood/adult immunization programs; and maternal child health coordinator. Her public health career has spanned 23 years, 10 of which have been with the Lincoln Trail District.

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