KHA Presents Awards at 95th Annual Convention

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Health care leaders from across the state were honored with awards from the Kentucky Hospital Association (KHA) on May 21 at the 95th Annual KHA Convention.

KHA’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, was presented to two outstanding leaders: Nina Eisner and Charles Lovell. The Award is presented to an individual who has given untiring and exceptional service to their hospital, community, the state, and KHA.

Nina Eisner has served in clinical and administrative health care positions for 45 years. In 2002, she became the CEO of The Ridge Behavioral Health System in Lexington, which provides an integrated system of inpatient and outpatient care.

Nina Eisner receives the Distinguished Service Award
Throughout her career, Eisner has been a strong advocate for Kentucky’s psychiatric hospitals and the patients they serve. She has testified before the Kentucky General Assembly and met with the Kentucky congressional delegation in Washington, DC, multiple times to ensure behavioral health facilities can continue to provide the care the citizens of the Commonwealth deserve.

Eisner has been highly involved with the Kentucky Hospital Association for many years. She is a long-serving member of the KHA Board of Trustees, is the current chair of the Certificate of Need Committee, has served as the KHA Legislative Chair, chaired the Psychiatric/Chemical Dependency Hospital Forum for 8 years, serves on the Kentucky Statewide Opioid Stewardship Advisory Board, and has worked with many other committees in KHA.

In addition to her extensive health care career, Eisner has served on many community and statewide boards such as United Way of the Bluegrass, Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky, Family Care Center Board, and others.

Charles Lovell has been a vital part of the Kentucky and Tennessee health care landscape for the past 45 years. His journey started not in an executive suite but in the heart of the action – the Emergency Department at Methodist Healthcare in Memphis, Tennessee. This experience as a Registered Nurse instilled in him a deep empathy that would guide his entire career.
Charles Lovell receives the Distinguished Service Award

Lovell’s dedication to health care did not stop at the bedside. He transitioned to leadership with his first of several CEO positions at Perry Memorial Hospital in Linden, Tennessee.

In 2003, Lovell was appointed as the CEO of Caldwell County Hospital in Princeton, Kentucky. During his time there, he was instrumental in building a replacement hospital to serve the communities of Caldwell and Lyon counties, and the hospital’s Board Chair praised his significant contributions to the hospital and community during his 12-year tenure.

In 2015, Lovell became Community CEO at Barbourville ARH Hospital, a new addition to the Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) family. Under his leadership, Barbourville ARH thrived. Under his leadership, the hospital now provides many new services, and the impact was undeniable – Barbourville ARH became the 2023 Knox County Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year, and Lovell himself was named Man of the Year.

But achievements are only part of the story. Hospital staff describe Lovell as a servant leader, always present, building bridges with community partners, and pushing them to be their best.

However, his leadership hasn’t been confined to the walls of hospitals he has helmed. Lovell has championed improvements to health care through his many roles with the Kentucky Hospital Association. He served as Chair of KHA Board of Trustees from 2013 to 2014 and served on the Small Rural and Critical Access Hospital forum. Lovell has been instrumental at KHA, testifying in front of the Kentucky General Assembly, speaking on behalf of rural hospitals at the Mid-South Critical Access Hospital conference, and so much more.

KHA’s Award of Excellence, a prestigious award given to individuals who have made significant contributions to health care in Kentucky, was presented to State Representative Danny Bentley, PharmD.

State Representative Danny Bentley, PharmD, receives the KHA Award of Excellence

Dr. Bentley has represented Kentucky House District 98, which comprises all of Greenup County and part of neighboring Boyd County, since 2017. He has dedicated his life to helping and healing others whether through his work as a pharmacist, a long-serving university educator, hospital board member, or a legislator.

He is well known in the community for caring deeply for others and helping them with their health issues. Dr. Bentley has even been known to bundle a sick person into his own car and take them to a hospital when they showed up in his pharmacy seeking help.

That care for the people in his native Greenup County led Dr. Bentley to serve for many years on the Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital Board in Russell, Kentucky. His discernment both as a pharmacist and a businessman proved of great value to the hospital.

During his time in the legislature, Dr. Bentley has been an unfailing champion of the state’s hospitals. His keen insights and experience during policy debates have ensured the creation of effective laws that put patients first.

KHA and hospital leaders honored Dr. Bentley for a lifetime of health care leadership both in his community and in the entire Commonwealth.

The KHA Health Care Governance Leadership Award, which acknowledges individuals who have had a positive and sustainable impact on the quality of care in their communities through their work as hospital trustees, was presented to Gavin Roberts, Chair of the Owensboro Health Board of Directors.

Gavin Roberts receives the KHA Health Care Governance Leadership Award

Roberts strives every day to identify ways Owensboro Health can strengthen the overall quality of life for the entire region and is extraordinary at bringing community leaders together to develop strategies to serve this purpose. He also has a keen understanding of the importance Owensboro Health has on the community – as Owensboro’s largest employer, the hospital and health system make a substantial impact on the economy and play a role in future growth and development of the region as a whole.

As an ambassador of Owensboro Health, Roberts is a constant and positive presence in countless community engagement activities from reporting to local leaders, meeting local, state, and federal elected officials, engaging all constituents on legislative matters impacting the health system, and having a true open door where any community member can discuss ideas to advance Owensboro Health and the Owensboro community.

In addition to the hundreds of unpaid hours Roberts has put into leading the board at Owensboro Health, he has also served as a community leader in other organizations that impact Owensboro. He was a member and chair of the Owensboro Chamber of Commerce, served in classes of Leadership Owensboro and Leadership Kentucky, was a Board member for the Owensboro River Park cultural center, and served on the Board of the local Economic Development Committee.

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