Politics & Government

Former U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler to head health foundation

Former U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, D-Ky., in his office on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC Sept.14, 2006.
Former U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, D-Ky., in his office on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC Sept.14, 2006. MCT

Former U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler of Versailles will become the new president and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky in September.

Chandler, a Democrat, was unanimously selected to the positions by the foundation’s board of directors. He will succeed Susan Zepada, who has led the agency since 2005.

Chandler, who represented Central Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District from 2004 to 2013 and is a former state attorney general and state auditor, will step down as the executive director of the Kentucky Humanities Council.

Since the health foundation was formed in 2001, it has invested more than $25 million in health policy research and pilot project grants across the state.

Funded by an endowment, it tries to address unmet health care needs of Kentuckians by developing and influencing health policy, improving access to care, reducing health risks and disparities, and promoting health equity.

“Having fought so hard for a healthier Kentucky during my time as attorney general, I am beyond thrilled to be invited to build on the good work of Susan Zepeda and her team and to lead the foundation to even greater impact,” Chandler said in a news release. “The health challenges in our state are very real, but so is the commitment to a healthier future for all our citizens.”

Chris Roszman, chairman of the foundation’s board of directors, said Chandler’s experience as “a bipartisan leader in championing health policies through collaboration and effective consensus-building will serve the foundation well.”

Chandler and a group of concerned citizens were instrumental in creating the foundation through a charitable trust established as a result of the merger of Blue Cross Blue Shield and Anthem in 2000.

Chandler will be introduced in his new role at the foundation’s annual Howard L. Bost Memorial Health Policy Forum, to be held Sept. 19 in Lexington.

Jack Brammer: 502-227-1198, @BGPolitics