Lexington CARES

New Health Department mural reflects mission


The past few years have been especially challenging for Lexington’s health department, mid-pandemic. The department had a full slate long before COVID arrived — from flu vaccines to restaurant inspections and food safety to smoking cessation programs.

Photo courtesy LFCHD

The department’s vision is to “move Lexington toward being one of the healthiest communities in the nation.”

A mural project celebrating the department’s core values began in 2019 but was delayed because of the pandemic. The department returned to the mural project in 2021 after Commissioner of Health Dr. Kraig Humbaugh announced his plans to retire at the end of 2021.

Dr. Humbaugh recently retired as Lexington’s commissioner of health after more than five years leading the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department.

Dr. Joel McCullough, who previously served 8 years as Public Health Director and Health Officer for the Spokane (Washington) Regional Health District, will serve as Lexington’s new commissioner.


The 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 in December to formally unveil the mural.

Artist Jeremey Burch, Mayor Linda Gorton, and Dr. Kraig Humbaugh (Photo courtesy LFCHD)

“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.

Artist Jeremey Burch with Mural (Photo courtesy LFCHD)

“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 partnered with LexArts throughout the project; Marrillia Design and Construction donated labor to install the mural; and Mike Burrell at Flying Armadillo signs provided studio space and assistance with the project.

The mission of the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department highlights its important work: CARES – Caring, Accountability, Respect, Equity and Service. The mural focuses on those core values.



Is this the year you will quit? 
The Lexington Fayette Health Department’s Tobacco Cessation and Control Program’s aim is to improve the public’s health by:
  • Preventing youth from starting to use tobacco, e-cigarettes, or hookah
  • Encouraging adults and youth to stop using all types of tobacco
  • Providing accurate and current information about tobacco use, quitting smoking, e-cigarettes, and new tobacco products
  • Protecting families, friends and community from the dangers of second and thirdhand smoke
  • Encouraging parents in Fayette County to choose 100% smoke-free child care, and for child care centers to voluntarily adopt 100% smoke-free policies
  • Providing education for community members, leaders, and policy makers, and working together continuously to protect the community from the hazards of tobacco use
Staff members are available to provide presentations to the general community, continuing education for health professionals and to coordinate tobacco education for community events. For more information about the program and its services, call 859.288-2377.
Want to Stop Smoking?  One of the best ways to stop smoking is to get help from an established program that’s been shown to help many people quit for many years. You have a much greater chance of quitting if you take this bold step. Kentucky residents can connect with their own personal quit coach by contacting Quit Now Kentucky at 1-800-QUIT NOW.


Freedom from Smoking Classes

The health department partners with community partners to offer Freedom from Smoking sessions, which is a proven method to stop smoking created by the American Lung Association. For more information about sessions in Fayette County please call 859.288-2446.


This article also appears on page 8 and 9 of the January 2022 print edition of Hamburg Journal.

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