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Health Care District Pays Tribute to the Legacy of Sandra Gove Chamblee

Sandra Chamblee

The Health Care District of Palm Beach County honors the life and memory of Sandra Gove Chamblee who passed away December 4, 2018.  Ms. Chamblee was Vice Chair of the Lakeside Health Advisory Board, which guides the Health Care District’s rural, acute care teaching hospital, Lakeside Medical Center, in her hometown of Belle Glade. Ms. Chamblee was a champion of improving health care for Palm Beach County residents with a focus on those living in the rural Glades communities.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of a dedicated health advocate whose compassion and initiatives made a positive impact countywide,” said Darcy J. Davis, the Health Care District’s Chief Executive Officer.  “Ms. Chamblee had the vision to promote the creation of the Health Care District 30 years ago and we are grateful for her continued support of our safety net health care system and leadership on the hospital board. We extend our sincere sympathies to Ms. Chamblee’s family.”

This October, Ms. Chamblee received a Lifetime Achievement award from the Lake Okeechobee Rural Health Network for her legacy improving rural health in the Glades region. Early in her career, Ms. Chamblee was called upon by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to oversee a study on HIV and TB in the Glades area. The study evolved into the Glades Health Initiative, a nonprofit organization that provides HIV education, testing, and linkage to care services.  She served as the organization’s Executive Director, founded The Arc of the Glades and was a former chair and member of Palm Beach County Community Services Department’s Citizens Advisory Committee on Health and Services.

Over the years, Ms. Chamblee was recognized for her outstanding leadership and service on numerous community, civic and governmental organizations.  In 1980, she was named Belle Glade Citizen of the Year by the Belle Glade Chamber of Commerce.  While she retired in 2010, she served on the Lakeside Health Advisory Board, Lake Okeechobee Rural Health Network Board and was president of the Women’s Club of Belle Glade.

“Ms. Chamblee’s unwavering commitment to ensure the health and well-being of residents in Palm Beach County, particularly in the Glades, is commendable,” said Brian R. Lohmann, Health Care District Board Chair. “Her decades of advocacy helped improve and expand access to quality health care for many in our community.”

Sandra Chamblee receiving a lifetime acheivement award
Sandra Chamblee receiving the Athena Award

Upon receipt of the Athena Leadership Award presented by the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches in 2013, Ms. Chamblee spoke of her pride in serving on the committee that drafted the state legislation establishing the Health Care District and then promoting the passage of that bill which county voters approved in 1988.  Ms. Chamblee served as one of the initial members of the Health Care District’s volunteer Board.

“I encourage others, even in their retirement years, to give back to the community,” said Ms. Chamblee in her acceptance speech in 2013. “I hope that my service will leave a better place for my children, my grandchildren and other generations. And I’m very proud of what I’ve been able to do for the people that I love in my home area of the Glades and for Palm Beach County.”