BOLD SOLUTION: In response to an outbreak of HIV in Austin, Ind., only 35 miles from Louisville, Dr. Moyer led the department to create Kentucky’s first syringe exchange program (SEP). To date the SEP has served more almost 19,000 unique participants, safely disposed of more than 2 million syringes, tested thousands for Hep C and HIV and referred hundreds to medical or drug treatment.
Five Questions for Sarah
1. What are the greatest challenges you face in your work?
As the city’s chief health strategist, my biggest challenge lies in communicating the principles of Public Health 3.0 and science to our political leaders, the healthcare industry, the public and my staff. Learning to frame these concepts in a way that nonprofessionals find compelling is an ongoing endeavor.
2. What would success in public health look like to you?
Our vision is a Louisville where everyone and every community thrives. When health equity is achieved in Louisville, our efforts will have been a success.
3. What’s a story or experience that keeps you going, even when you’re feeling challenged?
I remember a patient whose sugar levels were always fine at the beginning of the month but were out of control in the middle of the month. It turned out she ran out of money for healthy food in a couple of weeks and relied on friends and foodbanks the rest of the month. Medication is never going to solve that problem. Every day when I drop my four children off at a quality daycare, or take them to a safe, well-maintained neighborhood park, or feed them nutritious food, I am reminded that not everyone has access to the same opportunities my children do.
4. As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an Olympic gymnast like Shannon Miller. Unfortunately, no matter how hard I worked, I couldn’t stop growing!
5. Describe yourself in three words.
Mom, analyzer, problem-solver