Video Highlights from the Fourth Annual Appalachian Research Day

More than 200 people attended the Fourth Annual Appalachian Research Day on April 18 in Hazard, Ky. The event is hosted each year by the University of Kentucky Center of Excellence in Rural Health (UK CERH), to invite researchers and community members to “come sit on the porch” and share research findings with the local communities involved in the studies.

Rural Appalachian communities experience some of the most severe health disparities in the nation, and community-based research is an effective method to identify problems and develop collaborative, effective solutions.  This type of engaged research begins at the local level, built upon the foundation of relationships with individuals, neighborhoods, and groups who have common questions and concerns.

This year’s conference focused primarily on the health and well-being of youth in Appalachia.  Highlights of the day included:

  • A keynote address, Adverse Childhood Experiences and Resilience from the Porch, by Kentucky’s Senior Deputy Commissioner of Health, Connie White.
  • Panelists from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, Save the Children and Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) who discussed Opportunities for Youth in Appalachia
  • Innovation Stations were presented by students from seven local schools to showcase projects implemented by student leaders to address health issues at their schools.  Participants included:
    • Yours Mine and Ours (YMO): The Story of Addiction, Magoffin County High School
    • The Empty Chair, Pikeville High School
    • Providing Ultimate Recovery in Eastern KY (PURE KY), Paintsville Independent High School
    • UK-BREATHE Tobacco-Free Ambassador Partnership (TAP), Hazard Independent High School
    • UK-CARES Air Beam Project, Perry County Central High School
    • Re-Think Your Drink, Breathitt County Youth Health Council, Investing in Kentucky’s Future Grantee
    • Kids on the Move, Hazard Independent/Perry County Schools, Investing in Kentucky’s Future Grantee

“The students we heard from at Appalachian Research Day are truly our next generation of health researchers.  It has been impressive to see them formulate questions and pose solutions in their own schools and then share their results with the community,” said Fran Feltner, director of the UK CERH

Research posters on a variety of health topics were presented by faculty, medical professionals and students.  Posters were judged by faculty and researchers from UK, Hazard Community and Technical College and St. Claire Healthcare. Ana Bastos De Carvalho received the first place award for Telemedicine Diabetic Retinopathy Screening for Underserved Populations in Kentucky.  Second place went to Jordan Adams for Colorectal Cancer Screening QI Project.  A three-way tie for third place included Mairead Moloney, for Evaluating Electronic Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Reduce Insomnia, Sedative Hypnotic Use, and Stress in Appalachian Women Ages 45+,  Ashley Teague for Message Content and Framing: Evaluating Motivators for Male Colorectal Cancer Screening in Appalachian Kentucky, and Daria Nicole Stone for Children's Dental Outreach: the Tangible and the Intangible Benefits.

Conference attendees also had the opportunity to tour On the Move Art Studio, a mobile art room created by UK Master of Social Work graduate Joshua Nadzam.  The refurbished vintage trailer visits underserved neighborhoods to host free arts classes for at-risk youth.

Additional oral presentations included:  

  • On The Move Art Studio - Bringing Art to Kids Everywhere, Joshua Nadzam, MSW, On The Move Art Studio 
  • Lessons Learned and Preliminary Findings from the Clay County Clock Project, Jody Clasey, PhD, University of Kentucky
  • Engaging Youth Serving Communities:  Developing a Sustainably Healthy Community; Mark Mains, PhD, Valerie Stewart and April Tipton, University of Kentucky
  • Healthalachia:  Youth Innovation and Problem-Solving Targeting a Looming Opioid Crisis; Students from Paintsville Independent School, Pikeville High School and Magoffin County Schools
  • Healthy Youth Coalitions; Representatives from Perry County Wellness Coalition and Breathitt County Youth Health Council

“Hosting the annual Appalachian Research Day is important to our UK CERH mission of improving the health and wellbeing of rural Kentuckians,” said Feltner. We are committed to this annual event and we have already set the date of September 18, 2019 for the next conference,” said Feltner.

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