Fayette Board of Health takes action again regarding commissioner position

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WEKU | By Stu Johnson

Lexington,Ky.–The Fayette County Board of Health unanimously acted Monday night on two motions related to the employment of Commissioner Dr. Sheila Owens-Collins. The first motion set out that the board agrees to settlement terms, although details were not included. Board Member Jack Cornett said the action reaffirmed a previous board decision.

“There was one motion to remove the commissioner or affirm the vote from two weeks ago and then the second motion is just extending this for..extends it for a night I believe because her attorney could not make it tonight,” said Cornett.

Neither Dr. Owens-Collins nor her attorney attended the meeting. The agenda included an item listed as a hearing for the commissioner.

Prior to a closed session and during public comment, an employee expressed concern about what she felt were pay inequities. Later, another health department worker David Baker said Dr. Owens-Collins had listened to their concerns.

“We felt that the commissioner was very open to more progressive ideas that had been lacking here at the health department. More open to meeting with members of the staff as opposed to just the management,” said Baker.

Baker said Dr. Owens-Collins was attempting to change some policies. Baker was one of three health department employees attending the meeting with concerns.

Dr. Owens-Collins served in the commissioner position for less than three months before Board action on April eighth. Prior to her hiring, Dr. Joel McCullough resigned after serving less than seven months as commissioner of the health department.

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Photo: Fayette County Board of Health Meeting -5-08-23 (Stu Johnson for WEKU)