The Kentucky Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Task Force Steering Committee is comprised of volunteers across Kentucky who represent major health partners in various fields all relating to cardiovascular and cerebrovascular health. The Steering Committee meets quarterly, creates and publishes the Strategic Map and Plan, and plans the Task Force meetings. The Steering Committee is comprised of the Chair or Co-Chair person, Committee Chairs and Co-Chairs, and the KHDSP Program.
Meet Our Members
MSN, APRN, AGACNP-BC
Kari completed her bachelor’s degree in nursing at Western Kentucky University in 1997 and her MSN in 2015. Since 2000 she has worked with the University of Louisville Department of Neurology assisting in the development, growth, and ongoing certification of the Comprehensive Stroke Program. Kari serves on the Department for Public Health Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Steering Committee and chairs the Kentucky Stroke Quality Improvement Project focused on statewide quality improvement for
stroke systems of care. She participates in nationally recognized stroke clinical trials and independent investigator initiated projects with her work presented at the International Stroke Conference and the American Academy of Neurology. Her clinical duties include serving as an acute stroke telemedicine provider, outpatient stroke and cerebrovascular disease clinics, and partnering with Family Health Centers Louisville to operate a Multidisciplinary Cardiovascular Risk clinic focused on Blood Pressure Self-Management and lifestyle modification.
MSN, FNP-BC, CHFN, AACC
Megan has worked for over 38 years in various nursing roles including bedside RN, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Manager, Director and APRN at both Baptist Health Lexington and St. Joseph Hospital in Lexington, KY. Megan completed her BSN at Vanderbilt University, MSN at University of Cincinnati (Critical Care CNS) and post-masters in Family Nurse Practice at University of Kentucky. She has been board certified by ANCC in FNP since 1996. Megan is currently the Cardiovascular Services Navigator and has worked in the cardiovascular service line at Baptist Health Lexington since 2009. Her responsibilities at Baptist have included Chest Pain Coordinator, implementation of the Field STEMI program (2010), Targeted Temperature Management “Code Cool It” program (2011) and hospital lead for the AHA Mission-Lifeline Central and Southeast KY STEMI Accelerator II Project (2015).
She has been actively involved in cardiac-related registries for 25 plus years including NCDR CathPCI, ACC CP-MI Registry(ACTION GWTG), AHA Mission-Lifeline GWTG, GWTG-HF, GWTG-AF, STS Adult Cardiac Surgery and STS/TVT TAVR, where she analyzes data and assists with PI initiatives. Additionally, she has extensive experience with cardiac-related accreditations/certifications including American College of Cardiology (ACC) CP Center with PCI (5 consecutive accreditations), ACC CP Center with PCI and Resuscitation (2 consecutive accreditations), Mission-Lifeline: Heart Attack Receiving Center (first in KY, two consecutive certifications) ACC AFib and EP Services (first in the US), AHA Cardiovascular Center of Excellence (first in KY), ACC HeartCare Achievement (first in KY) and ACC TAVR (first in KY).
Megan has been an active participant in the KHDSP Task Force since 2014 and has served as the Committee Chair of STEMI Systems of Care since 2017. She participates in the Kentucky Board of EMS Cardiac and Stroke Care Subcommittee, the Kentucky ACC Quality Chapter and is a member of the American College of Cardiology, American Association of HF Nurses, Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association and Sigma (Sigma Theta Tau).
Gina Brien is the Assistant Director for the Division of Women’s Health at the Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH). She most recently served as the Executive Director for the Appalachian Kentucky Health Care Access Network (AKHCAN) with the mission of increasing the number of Community Health Workers (CHWs) in Kentucky through training and technical assistance. She is a member of the state CHW workgroup, KDPH Asthma Leadership Team, Kentucky Asthma Partnership, and the Board of Directors for the Kentucky Association of Community Health Workers (KYACHW). Gina has over 15 years of public health experience from previously serving as the Health Education Director with the Montgomery County Health Department.
- Ashlea Christiansen, Chair of the Advocacy Committee
- Megan Switzer, Co-chair of the Heart Systems of Care Committee
- Greg Brislin, Co-chair of the Heart Systems of Care Committee
- Gina Brien, Chair of the Kentucky Against Stroke and Heart Disease Committee
- Kari Moore, Chair of the Stroke Systems of Care Committee (SEQIP)
- John Holder, Chair of Kentucky Board of EMS
- Abby Loechler, American Heart Association representative