LiveWell Douglas County, a coalition that aims to make the county healthier for all who live and work here, has named Virginia (Ginny) Barnard as its new executive director.
Barnard, who lives in Eudora, will join LiveWell later this month. She holds a Bachelor of Science in public nutrition and a Master of Public Health in nutrition from Kansas State University, according to a Thursday news release from LiveWell.
She teaches culinary arts, human growth and development, and nutrition and wellness classes at Baldwin High School, according to the release. She held a similar position at Lawrence High School from 2017 through 2019.
She will be responsible for “building and maintaining community partnerships and supporting the core functions of the coalition,” according to the release. “In her position she will provide cohesive leadership and backbone support for coalition.”
Barnard also has previously worked at LMH Health in community outreach and engagement serving as coordinator of the Safe Kids Douglas County Coalition, and as an extension agent for K-State Research and Extension in family and consumer sciences in Riley County.
“I’m very excited to help support our coalition work groups,” Barnard said in the release. “Building communities where everyone can thrive in Douglas County is not easy, but when we work together the challenges don’t seem so overwhelming.”
LiveWell Douglas County’s six work groups include Healthy Built Environment, Healthy Food For All, Healthy Kids, Tobacco-Free Living, WorkWell, and Sexual Violence Prevention.
Marlin Bates, Douglas County Extension director, said he is happy to welcome Barnard into this role.
“Her passion for community health and her experience with building community coalitions are a great fit for this position,” Bates said in the release. “As we all know, there is no shortage of work to be done improving the opportunity for Douglas County residents to lead healthy lifestyles. We are happy to bring Ginny alongside that work throughout our community.”
Barnard is originally from Paola. She and her husband have three daughters.
LiveWell Douglas County is funded by a Pathways to a Healthy Kansas grant from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas.