Department of Public Health and Wellness Announces Nurse of the Year Winners
Nurses of the yearThe Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness recently honored two of its staff members as “Nurses of the Year.”  Each year the department names a winner in both the Clinical Nurse and Outreach Nurse categories.

The 2009 winner in the Clinical Nurse category is June Weaver, RN. Weaver, who lives in Fern Creek, knew she wanted to be a nurse when she was six years old. She says she loves to “care for people.” Although she retired from full time employment with the health department in 1992, Weaver has continued to work for the department part time. This year, she assisted in the operation of two emergency medical shelters, helped during flu season and with clinical services such as TB testing, counseling and family planning services.

“June has been a huge help to us this year particularly with the emergency medical shelters we operated for Gustav and the ice storm,” says Public Health and Wellness Medical Director Dr. Matt Zahn. “She works long, odd hours and does whatever we ask of her. She has a true ‘servant’s’ heart and the ability to deeply connect with our clients and patients.”

The winner in the Outreach Nurse category is Highlands’ own Barbara Reck, RN. Reck, who joined the health department in 1998, is a supervisor in the Healthy Start program, which works to reduce infant mortality in west Louisville neighborhoods, where the infant mortality rate is more than double than that of the community as a whole. Healthy Start also works to reduce the number of low birth weight babies (less than 5.5 pounds) and very low birth weight babies (less than 3.3 pounds) among participants and to ensure that women receive early and continuing prenatal care.

Reck oversees the day-to-day activities of a staff of nine, who work with pregnant women through home visits to assess their overall health and wellness, and provide education and resources to ensure the delivery of their healthy babies.

“Even before puberty, I knew that I had to become an RN,” says Reck. “That was triggered by the events of my ailing stepmother who was hospitalized and whom I visited daily. It was then I observed the hospital staff and concluded that I, too, had to ‘save the world.’”

“Barbara has a long history of service in the Healthy Start program,” says Zahn.  “She is a dedicated, knowledgeable and compassionate nurse. She deeply cares about our mothers and children and she’s a fantastic role model for her staff. She is a hardworking, ethical and caring person and always has the interests of others in mind.”

Wild and Woolly Video and Heine Brothers’ Working Together

Two local businesses have teamed up to offer a convenience to their customers. Now, any movies rented from Wild and Woolly Video can be dropped off at any of the seven Heine Brothers’ Coffee locations. Customers are taking advantage of the environmentally friendly concept, with an average of 73 driving trips to Wild and Woolly’s  Bardstown Road location saved each day.

The concept was conceived by Todd Brashear, who began Wild and Woolly Video twelve years ago. “Our main goal was to offer an added convenience to our customers, which is always a win-win situation. At the same time, we wanted to bring a benefit to another non-competitive, independent business, in hopes of growing their business and ours,” says Brashear. “This is a time when we should all work together and be a little more creative in our efforts.”

Brashear is a member of LIBA, the Louisville Independent Business Alliance, through which he encourages other small, local businesses to team together in helping each other thrive. He welcomes phone calls from other business owners who want to discuss ideas on how to better serve their customers through joint promotions. Brashear can be reached at (502) 473-0969. He states, “There are so many possibilities out there.”

Animal Food Bank

As part of its outreach efforts to the community and its commitment to all of God’s creatures, the Church of the Advent (Episcopal) has opened an Animal Food Bank on the fourth Saturday of each month, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The Animal Food Bank will help low-income families and individuals – who are already struggling to feed themselves – continue to care for their animal companions. The goal is to keep pets and their caretakers  together, rather than the owners being forced to abandon or relinquish their beloved pets.

The Animal Food Bank relies on donations from Advent parishioners, local pet supply stores and individuals in the community. Dog food, cat food and cat litter are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The Church of the Advent is located near the main entrance to Cave Hill Cemetery at 901 Baxter Avenue. For further information or to make a donation, contact Gail Bonnell at (502) 581-1686 or leave a message with the church at (502) 451-6066.

Local Resident Joins Ride to Conquer Cancer

Tarah ChieffiTarah Chieffi of the Highlands is gearing up for the inaugural “Ride to Conquer Cancer” benefiting Norton Cancer Institute, which provides cancer care in the Louisville and Southern Indiana region. Chieffi will be joined by thousands of men and women who will travel over 150 miles through the Kentucky Bluegrass Region on September 25-27. Funds raised from the event will support breakthrough cancer research, treatment, and the discovery of new therapies.

With one in four U.S. deaths resulting from some form of cancer, Chieffi views the Ride to Conquer Cancer as a call to action, and is rallying for the cause because the funds raised through the ride will stay in the local community.

Throughout their journey, riders will be supported by hundreds of volunteers and crew members, who will provide food and hydration, portable restrooms, safety on the road, comprehensive medical services and an overnight campsite complete with tents and hot showers.

Chieffi, Participant ID #530645-1, has set a personal fund-raising goal of $2,500. Visit to make a donation, or call (877) 688 -BIKE (2453).

Legal Aid Launches New Program to Help Domestic Violence Victims

The Legal Aid Society has launched the Domestic Violence Advocacy Program, providing free legal help at Domestic Violence Order (DVO) hearings to low-income victims of domestic violence in Jefferson County.

Recognizing that victims are more likely to return to their abusers when they do not have access to sufficient support, the DVO program meets victims at their point of need, providing the legal support necessary to prevent further abuse, and shifting the burden of presenting evidence in court from a vulnerable victim to a trained attorney.

A DVO (sometimes referred to as a protective order) may require the abuser to vacate the residence and/or terminate contact with the victim and her family.

Thirteen local law firms and many members of the private bar have volunteered to provide pro bono representation to victims at DVO hearings. Clients may apply for this service at the time they file for a DVO at the courthouse.

“I’m grateful for the incredibly positive response this initiative has received from the Legal Aid Society in their decision to administer the program.  I’m also grateful so many lawyers in this community recognize the need and are generously donating their professional time to provide representation. From managing partners to the newest lawyer, victims of domestic violence will have effective, trained advocates in court,” says Senior Judge Ann Shake, who was instrumental in developing the project with Legal Aid.

Shake continues, “Courts will be significantly aided in their search for the truth, and victims will be more likely to receive protection and justice. The goal is to save lives. Death by intimate partner violence is the seventh leading cause of premature death among women in this country.”

The Domestic Violence Advocacy Program was developed through collaborative efforts of the Legal Aid Society, the Mary Byron Foundation, the Center for Women and Families, the Louisville Bar Association, the Louisville Bar Association Family Law Section, the Pro Bono Consortium, Stites & Harbison, the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office, the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, Metro Government Office for Women, the Office of the Circuit Court Clerk of Jefferson County, and the Mortality Review Committee. Verizon Wireless has also provided generous financial support. For more information, visit

LYO Auditions

The Louisville Youth Orchestra (LYO) will be holding auditions for its 51st season in early September. These auditions are for musicians through age 21 who play any orchestral instrument.

The LYO is comprised of six orchestras of varying ability levels, ranging in age from five to 21. The LYO performs an average of 15 concerts per season in a wide range of locations and is one of the largest youth orchestras in the nation based on metropolitan size with total membership topping over 350.

Students should have a solo of approximately two minutes in length, and be ready to play selected scales. Visit for an audition application and requirements. For questions, call Melody Welsh-Buchholz at (502) 896-1851.