City of Lexington hiring logistics expert to streamline vaccine distribution

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Photo courtesy Associated Press

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton and Fayette Commissioner of Health Dr. Kraig Humbaugh have organized a Vaccine Task Force to help streamline distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We want to do everything we can to get shots into the arms of Lexington citizens as soon as possible,” Gorton said. “And we want to do it right by putting those who are most vulnerable to serious complications from COVID at the front of the line to get a vaccine. I want Lexington to be the model for vaccine distribution by providing a transparent, safe and efficient process.” The Task Force had its first meeting Tuesday.

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One of the most important steps is bringing in someone to manage the logistical challenges and coordinate distribution. “We are hiring a project manager from the private sector to help lead this effort,” Gorton said. “Chuck Mix is an expert in logistics who has worked for some of our city’s largest employers.”

The Task Force, co-chaired by Mix and Dr. Humbaugh, will work with state and federal government to streamline the distribution process at the local level. “The state and the federal governments have a lot to do with how the vaccine is distributed in our City,” Gorton said. “They determine how much vaccine we get, when we get it, and set priorities for how it is distributed. Within that framework, we will work at the local level to make sure the distribution is efficient and timely.” For example, one of the goals of the Task Force will be developing plans to offer vaccination sites around the City, specifically to provide equitable access to the vaccine.

Many members of the Task Force have been involved in coordinating Lexington’s response to the pandemic since March, when Lexington got its first case. They have also been heavily involved in vaccine planning for months and have been administering vaccines for several weeks now. The effort now is to make sure all critical entities are coordinating appropriately to manage the task of providing large scale distribution to the community.

“While there are a lot of familiar faces on this group, we have added people who are involved in vaccine distribution, for example representatives of our pharmaceutical industry,” Gorton said.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.