By Yelena Sapin

Alice Bridges works to make this a healthier community. Photo by Sunni Wigginton

A woman’s choice of shoes might say something about her, but you need to spend some time walking in them to get a real sense of who she is. Alice Bridges, vice president of healthy communities for KentuckyOne Health and the new president of Rotary Club of Louisville, takes us through a typical day in her shoes. Think you can keep up with this woman on the go?

Living Her Principles
Alice starts her day at 6:15am. She eats a breakfast of oatmeal with fruit and reads the paper before heading out the door. If the day’s agenda doesn’t include a pre-work meeting at one of her go-to coffee shops sprinkled throughout the city, she makes herself a coffee for the road. “I have a lot of morning coffees with people during the week, but I limit myself to one cup a day,” she says.

By 7 a.m., she’s at work, getting in an hour of strength training and cardiovascular exercise at her downtown office building’s Healthy Lifestyle Center. “I have recently discovered that I’m more faithful to my exercise routine if I do it first thing in the morning,” Alice says.

The Center is a KentuckyOne Health resource that Alice helped launch last year to bring fitness, nutrition counseling, and health services to the public.

Alice tries to work out there a couple times a week, if not at the beginning then at the end of her workday. Most evenings she also walks around her Crescent Hill neighborhood with her husband, Barry, and dog, Nellie. “My job is very much focused on health and wellness, and I do try, as best I can, to live the principles that we’re espousing,” she says.

Fitting It All In
Alice’s position at KentuckyOne is about creating and nurturing connections and partnerships in the community to help bring about better health outcomes for Kentuckians. Important components of this effort are preventing violence and improving food access, which involve working together with other community organizations and agencies in support of the vision.

To that end, Alice might be at University Hospital in the morning to meet with KentuckyOne partners in Pivot to Peace, a collaboration to address and prevent violent crime in West Louisville. Afternoon might find her meeting with farmer and restaurateur Ivor Chodkowski at the Iroquois Urban Farm, a KentuckyOne project to transform the former site of the Iroquois Homes housing project in South Louisville into an urban farm that provides fresh vegetables to Louisville hospitals.

Her new responsibilities with the Rotary Club also require her attention. To fit it all in, she might strategize with a Rotary committee chair over coffee at 7:30 a.m., squeeze in a mid-morning phone call, or carve out several hours on the weekend to catch up on Rotary business and get ready for the weekly luncheon meeting. “I never thought when I joined 10 years ago that I’d become president,” Alice says. “It’s humbling. And I’m the second female president in the organization.”

Finding Balance
To make sure she has enough opportunity to be productive, Alice occasionally blocks off meeting-free parts in her day. “Sometimes I feel like all I’m doing is meeting, so I try to create time to actually do things,” she says. “And I’ve got a laptop, so I’m pretty mobile. If I end up in a different part of town, I might just finish my day where I am rather than go back to the office, or go home and wrap things up virtually.”

Wherever her day takes her, Alice tries to start heading home around 5 p.m. to have dinner with her husband. She likes to cook on weekends, but during the week, he prepares the meals. “He’s a great cook,” she says. “And every week he makes these really awesome energy balls with oatmeal, raisins, and a little chocolate — just enough to satisfy those cravings. I bring one of them along on days I bring my lunch to work.”

After catching up on some work and taking a walk around the neighborhood, Alice and her husband relax by watching a favorite show on Netflix before bed. “Both of us will also generally read in bed for a while, but usually it’s lights out by 10 o’clock. Sleep is very important for health, and I really need my eight hours.”