Owensboro’s Debbie Zuerner has been named one of 50 participants from across the state representing a variety of public and private sectors in the Leadership Kentucky Class of 2021.
“Being selected to the Leadership Kentucky Class of 2021 is very special and it is hard to describe just how excited I am to have this opportunity to represent Owensboro-Daviess County,” Zuerner said. “I aspired to be a part of this program when life’s timing was right and here I am. I truly love this Commonwealth, its people and my community. Leadership Kentucky will allow me to meet and work with other leaders across the state, examine the tremendous resources and assets we have in Kentucky, but also examine the tough issues we face together.”
Leadership Kentucky, the organization’s flagship program, is made up of seven three-day sessions where participants gather to gain insight on the Commonwealth of Kentucky and its challenges and opportunities. Throughout the sessions, class members will meet with many of Kentucky’s current leaders and explore the state’s opportunities and resources, as well as form lifelong relationships and visit new places.
“I hope to learn from others, gain ideas and share ideas with classmates/leaders across Kentucky and bring back fresh perspectives and new insights from what I learn back to my community, Owensboro Health and the communities we serve,” Zuerner said. “I also hope to continue to serve the citizens of Kentucky contributing however my expertise and new knowledge and connections can be utilized to continue to build healthy, vibrant, strong communities in the Commonwealth.”
Zuerner graduated from Apollo High School and the University of Kentucky majoring in Family Studies. She has her Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Western Kentucky University.
Her passion is population health management and working with all stakeholders to address health needs and disparities, using a team-based approach, and finding innovative solutions to collaboratively address them.
Zuerner is the Director of Community Engagement at Owensboro Health where she oversees community benefit, community engagement, the community health needs assessment, implementation strategy and its community health investment grant programs.
She also serves as an adjunct instructor for WKU in Leadership Studies.
Zuerner has held roles on numerous councils, committees, board and organizations both locally and statewide.
The Leadership Kentucky program, which runs June through December, will take the class across the state. The sessions will cover topics ranging from business and economic development, arts and tourism, natural resources and the environment, education, healthcare, social issues, agriculture, and government.
“You know my father always told me that in life I would find that the more I learned, the more I would realize how little I know. He was right and I never want to stop learning.”