By Bobbie Poynter
Members of the Knox County Health Coalition were stunned at the end of Tuesday’s meeting when the coalition’s chair, Belinda Pritchard, announced her resignation. Pritchard said she would also be leaving the Knox County Health Department at the end of November.
With the advent of Pritchard’s resignation, Coalition Vice Chair Josh Callahan will continue to head the coalition until a new chair can be elected.
With the support of the Knox County Health Department, Belinda Pritchard was instrumental in first organizing the Knox County Health Coalition around five years ago.
Since the coalition’s inception, several programs have been initiated to help make Knox County a healthier place to live, like the Sandy Bottoms Hike and Bike Trail and the publication of smoke-free restaurants in Knox County. Pritchard was instrumental in getting exercise equipment installed in Thompson Park, and applying for and receiving oral health grants.
“Belinda is a person that will work on a job until it’s completed,” said Claudia Gibson, Knox County UNITE co-chair. “She works well with not only those in the coalition, but with the community leaders as well. There will be a void in the coalition that will be hard to fill.”