HDA’s McReynolds Recognized as Health Champion

Organization Receives Grant Award With Prize

McReynolds holds the Health Champions trophy.

HAZARD, Ky. (Oct. 29, 2020)Scott McReynolds, the Executive Director of the Housing Development Alliance (HDA), was honored Wed., Oct. 28 at the inaugural Community Health Champions Awards, hosted by WellCare Health Plans of Kentucky. This virtual ceremony 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.

McReynolds became the executive director of HDA, a nonprofit affordable housing developer in Hazard, in 1994. Over 25 years later, he still leads the agency, which has grown from a staff of one to a staff of 31, with a full, highly experienced, and talented crew of carpenters that routinely builds 18 to 20 new homes for low-income families each year. Under his leadership, HDA has completed over 300 new homes and over 800 home-preserving repairs for families in need of affordable housing across four counties (Breathitt, Knott, Leslie, and Perry – four of the poorest counties in the country), and it has developed 39 affordable rental units.

“Putting a family in a new home never gets old,” McReynolds said.

McReynolds still often works alongside his staff of carpenters as they build home after home, and quietly, he has secured and successfully administered over $50 million in state and federal grants. HDA has invested over $55 million back into the local economy and added $35 million to the local tax base, resulting in over $350,000 in local tax revenue. In addition, 80 local jobs are supported by HDA’s work. All told, HDA has served over 2,700 people with McReynolds at the helm, and over the next decade, the agency is determined to serve 1,000 more.

WellCare awarded HDA a $3,000 grant for their successful nomination of McReynolds and for their incredible contributions to the community.

“One of WellCare’s goals in hosting the Community Health Champion Awards was to highlight the role that organizations like these play in improving the health of Kentuckians,” said Ben Orris, Chief Operating Officer for WellCare of Kentucky. “The services these organizations provide—whether it’s helping people find transportation or secure housing, improving food security for families, helping victims overcome trauma – all of these services improve their communities, and improve the overall health of Kentuckians.

“It’s a real honor to receive this award and to have the work of HDA recognized,” McReynolds said. “We’ve known for a long time that there is a strong connection between having a good home and being healthy, but the pandemic has really brought this to the forefront – you can’t be healthy at home if you don’t have a home or if your home isn’t a healthy place to live. WellCare has been a great partner for HDA, providing support and referrals, and their staff has even volunteered with us several times. We look forward to continuing our partnership as we both strive to make sure all eastern Kentuckians are healthy at home and in their communities.”
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