Assistant Director Chris Doll Crowned Community Health Champion

Doll Named WellCare of Kentucky's Region 8 Hero, Wins $3,000 Grant for HDA

*All photos courtesy of WellCare of Kentucky

HAZARD, Ky. – Chris Doll, the Assistant Director of the Housing Development Alliance (HDA), was honored Wed., Oct. 20 at the 2nd annual Community Health Champions Celebration, hosted by WellCare of Kentucky. The awards ceremony, which took place at the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, recognized nine grassroots Kentucky leaders for their volunteerism and service across the Commonwealth.

Candidates were nominated by Kentucky nonprofit or community organizations and selected from a pool of more than 200 nominees. A panel of judges selected a champion from each Medicaid region (8 in total), as well as an overall statewide winner.

Doll was selected as the Region 8 winner. Region 8 covers a 19-county area in southeastern Kentucky and includes Perry County.

Doll first arrived in Hazard as an AmeriCorps Vista, serving two years at HDA. Instead of returning to his native Illinois, he fell in love with the place, and now, has lived a life of service in eastern Kentucky for 25 years. He’s played a crucial role in crafting HDA’s affordable housing programs, specifically Homeownership and Home Repair, where his efforts have directly assisted over 310 families in purchasing a home and in over 800 families getting their home repaired.

The services Doll has helped provide equal about $40 million of investment in the region.

“I help people get home, and I’m blessed to be able to have that job,” Doll said.

The work he has been directly a part of has changed the lives of over 1,000 low-income families, and he is committed to finding the funding needed to continue to bring better, healthier homes to hundreds more East Kentucky families.

Chris Doll with wife Jennifer Weeber
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“Over the years, lots of other housing directors have asked me for advice on how to grow their organization. I always tell them, ‘You need a Chris!' His passion, hard work, and dedication have been a key part of HDA’s success. HDA would not be HDA without him.”

- HDA Executive Director Scott McReynolds

In his nomination, officials at HDA also said, “When a family achieves homeownership and the keys to that home are given to them – and for many of them, this will be the first home they’ve ever owned, Chris is always overcome with emotion. He knows what that moment means, and it is the culmination of a year-long commitment he makes to each family.”

Along with Doll’s recognition, WellCare awarded HDA a $3,000 grant for putting forth a winning nomination and for its incredible contributions to the community.

“Taking care of people’s health starts with taking care of people,” WellCare officials said in a special video compilation of all the year’s honorees. “Access to fresh food, reliable transportation, gainful employment – all these things affect people’s health in direct and indirect ways. Our Community Health Champions program recognizes people throughout the Commonwealth who share that mission to make a remarkable difference in the lives of Kentuckians.”

WellCare of Kentucky’s nine Community Health Champions 2021

WellCare said they named Doll one of this year’s nine outstanding individuals because of the amazing work he’d done to remove barriers to care and build brighter futures through affordable housing. 

“I’m honored to receive the award,” Doll said. “It’s great to be recognized for what I’ve done, but what I always tell people is that I have the best job in the world – I get to hand people the keys to their new home! I get to make people’s dreams come true.”

Discover more about the Housing Development Alliance and the programs and services offered to the community on its website.

Find out more about WellCare of Kentucky here

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