Buhl Regional Health Foundation Director Jennifer Barborak

Jennifer Barborak, the new director of Buhl Regional Health Foundation

SHARPSVILLE — The Buhl Regional Health Foundation board selected Jennifer Barborak as its executive director.

The board announced the move Monday.

Barborak will replace Mickey Gula, who has led the foundation since its inception in 2012. Gula will retire Sept. 30.

The foundation has disbursed grants twice a year to organizations and projects that promote the health of residents in the region. It is funded by proceeds of the sale of Sharon Regional Hospital, then a non-profit entity, in 2014 to a for-profit business.

Since its first round of grants in 2017, the foundation has issued more than $1.5 million in funding to organizations in the area, including $78,000 in emergency COVID-19-related grants.

Barborak has worked with many organizations in the Shenango Valley and Mercer County, most recently as grant writer and interim director at UPMC Community Health Foundation in Farrell.

She has also served as water operations manager and volunteer co-coordinator WaterFire Sharon.

Barborak also has experience in the health care field, with more than 10 years as a nurse at Sharon Regional Medical Center and UPMC Horizon-Greenville.

She earned her registered nursing certificate at Sharon Regional Hospital School of Nursing, a bachelor's degree in geography geology and environmental studies from Slippery Rock University and a master's degree in grant writing in grant writing and management and non-profit program evaluation from Concordia University in Chicago.

This story will be updated for publication Wednesday.

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