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Lexington health leader plants family roots in new health department garden

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Posted at 10:17 AM, Oct 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-21 10:17:41-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Between counting COVID cases, testing and vaccines, health officials have been busier than ever.

The commissioner at the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department is rolling up his sleeves to provide a garden for his employees to enjoy. These roots dig a little bit deeper for Dr. Kraig Humbaugh.

Erin Kelley is a member of the green team at the health department. Since 2019, she has helped plant the seed to make this garden grow.

"We want to get our staff out here, we want to get everyone here but having to socially distance has made it a challenge to get everyone involved," Kelley said.

For the last year and a half and counting, they've been counting COVID cases, contact tracing and much more. Now this place of peace and serenity is a must.

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"The rest of life is important and these small activities that you can do that make you feel better to feel fortified to go back out and keep doing the hard work, to know that you're supported in that and it's promoted," Kelley said. "I think that's incredible."

"He [Humbaugh] has brought in beautiful flowers from his family farm in Indiana since I've worked here for the last three years," Kelley said.

These are more than just flowers from his family's farm. Dr. Humbaugh has brought his family's roots to this garden to plant a new tradition.

"It says a lot that he's willing to have those come up here and they'll keep coming up year after year, spring after spring, and I think it'll be a really great memory," Kelley said.

"The thing is Dr. Humbaugh really did quite literally start bringing the veggies in here," said Alan Smith, another member of the green team. "He would bring tomatoes, he would bring potatoes, the corn, he'd set them on a big conference table, send an e-mail out and people would come running to get it."

Healthcare heroes have been pushed and tested. They've held on, and they'll keep doing so.

"It shows he's putting boots to the pavement quite literally and doing the work that it takes to make something like this take off," Smith said.