Health foundation appoints Long as Board representative

Haley Russell
Assistant News Editor

Bob Long, professor of nonprofit leadership, says he looks forward to his upcoming work on the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

Jordie Oetken/The News

Bob Long, visiting distinguished professor of nonprofit leadership, was appointed to the Board of Directors for the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky to represent the western region of the state.

The Foundation works to address the unmet healthcare needs of Kentuckians in three focus areas: fitness and nutrition for children and families, youth smoking prevention and youth substance abuse prevention, according to the Foundation’s website.

Mary Jo Dike, chief operating officer for the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, said Long was one of 26 nominees.

“When we have Board members whose terms are going to expire, we send out a call for nominations asking all over the state of Kentucky for people to be nominated to replace these outgoing Board members, and Bob (Long) was nominated by Keith Travis,” she said.

Keith Travis, vice president of institutional development at Murray-Calloway County Hospital, said he nominated Long because of his work in nonprofit organizations.

“I can’t think of anyone else that I know who has the understanding and embodies the concept of philanthropy better than Bob Long,” he said. “His service on the Board will be an asset to the state and the region.”

Because of the Kellogg Foundation’s grants, Long said he was familiar with the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

“We kind of knew all the other grant makers that were working on this issue of health and the awareness would be more of an awareness that there was really interesting work being done by a foundation in Kentucky, focused in that state and really focused on the community level,” he said. “That’s kind of what I knew about them before I came (to Murray State).”

After accepting a position at the University, Long said he discontinued his work on the various boards and organizations he was active in to focus solely on teaching.

Long said he never thought of becoming a part of the Foundation even after he was introduced to Board members.

“I remember thinking that was a really great thing to do and I’m really glad we had one, but I wasn’t thinking about it in any way connected to me,” he said.

Because of the experience he gained through the Kellogg Foundation and work in non-profit organizations, he said he could not turn the position down.

“I took my time thinking about it,” Long said. “I’ve got a lot of experience in grant making, I’ve got a lot of experience in grant making around issues of health with the Kellogg Foundation. I love this region; I’m from this region originally. How could you say no? It felt like the right thing to do.”

Long said the chance to be a part of this organization was one he was honored to have.

“I really am honored to have the opportunity to represent my home region,” he said. “Health issues that we wrestle with in the country and around the region are significant.”

Long will officially join the Board in January 2012 and will serve for three years. After his three-year term is over, he will have the opportunity to stay for an additional three years.

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