CATalyst - Winter 2020

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Sarah Wackerbarth PhD








Allison Elliott-Shannon MA DIRECTOR


Shelley Ward





UK Public Relations and Marketing PRINTER

Copy Express, Lexington KY To request additional copies or for questions or comments, contact or write to: UK College of Public Health 111 Washington Avenue Suite 112 Lexington, KY 40536 Facebook @ukcph Twitter @ukcph Instagram @ukcph






Dear Friends and Alumni: Dear Friends and Alumni: Welcome to a new issue of Catalyst, the magazine of the University of Kentucky College of Public Health. In this issue, we focus on leadership. In these pages you will meet a variety of leaders — from our founding dean and recipient of the 2019 Sedgwick Medal from the American Public Health Association Dr. F. Douglas Scutchfield, to new Epidemiology chair Dr. Erin Haynes, to bachelor of public health alumna and current master of health administration student Talia Woody. Starting on p. 9, our cover story focuses on Dr. Angelica Geter Fugerson, a DrPH alumna who is leading change on a large scale as Chief Health Officer for the City of Atlanta. Elsewhere in this issue, you will learn about exciting collaborative research led by our faculty alongside students and community partners. As we face up to the health disparities affecting our state, nation, and world, we need bold leaders who can move us toward our goal of improving health for all. I am proud to be dean of a college that is leading the charge on so many critical health issues – substance use, environmental health, cancer, and health policy, to name a few. And I am gratified to see how our faculty and staff work every day to cultivate leadership as a skill in our students. It is my great honor to lead our dedicated team as we teach and support these future health champions.

Finally, this issue includes a new feature — class notes. For alumni, I hope you enjoy reading about the achievements of fellow CPH graduates. Don’t forget to submit your own life and career updates, and check out the upcoming alumni events we are planning in locations around the country. With best wishes for a bright start to the new year,

Donna K. Arnett, PhD, MSPH Dean, UK College of Public Health



Dr. F. Douglas Scutchfield is the recipient of the 2019 Sedgwick Memorial Medal for Distinguished Service in Public Health from the American Public Health Association (APHA). The oldest and most prestigious honor bestowed by APHA, the Sedgwick Medal represents recognition by an individual’s colleagues of outstanding accomplishments in the field of public health. Scutchfield accepted the award from APHA President Dr. Georges Benjamin on Nov. 6 in Philadelphia, during the APHA annual meeting. Scutchfield, a native of Wheelwright in Floyd County, Ky., who earned his bachelor’s degree from Eastern Kentucky University and his medical degree from UK College of

Medicine, was selected to receive the honor “for his outstanding accomplishments in academic medicine and public health,” an APHA news release said. He “is being honored for his work on public health accreditation, public health services research and mentorship, among other accomplishments.” Scutchfield was the founding dean of the San Diego State University School of Public Health and the UK College of Public Health, where he is Peter P. Bosomworth Professor Emeritus. He has been an international leader in public health, serving on numerous boards and journals, and receiving several awards for his scholarship and leadership.


On Dec. 12, the College of Public Health and UK HealthCare jointly hosted a reception to mark Scutchfield’s receipt of the Sedgwick Medal. In her remarks on behalf of the College, Dean Donna Arnett said of Scutchfield “it is his excellence as a mentor that has meant the most to me. I know many of you feel the same. He richly deserves this prestigious honor, but it is we who should be thankful for the chance to work with and learn from ‘Scutch’ – our own living legend in the field of public health.”


HERE WE GROW AGAIN… ...the College of Public Health welcomed 13 new faculty in 2019, and celebrated four promotions.

Rafael Perez-Figueroa MD Assistant Professor Health, Behavior & Society

Radmilla Choate PhD

Caitlin Pope PhD

Michael Cull PhD

Dana Quesinberry JD, DrPH

Keith Knapp PhD

Anne Ray PhD

Aaron Kruse-Diehr PhD

Min-Woong Sohn PhD

Beth Lacy PhD

Jerod Stapleton PhD

John Lyons PhD

Sarah Vos PhD

Assistant Professor Epidemiology

Associate Professor Health Management and Policy

Associate Professor Health Management and Policy

Assistant Professor Health, Behavior & Society

Assistant Professor Epidemiology

Professor Health Management and Policy

Assistant Professor Gerontology

Assistant Professor Health Management and Policy

Assistant Professor Health, Behavior & Society

Associate Professor Health Management and Policy

Associate Professor Health, Behavior & Society

Lecturer Health Management and Policy


Professor Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health

David Fardo PhD Professor Biostatistics

Richard Ingram DrPH

Associate Professor with tenure Health Management and Policy

Christina Studts PhD

Associate Professor with tenure Health, Behavior & Society WINTER 2020 | UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY COLLEGE OF PUBLIC HEALTH | [ 3 ]


FACULTY NEWS BRIEFS Dr. Angela Carman, assistant professor of Health, Behavior & Society, has been cited by publications including the Rural Monitor on the pursuit of accreditation by local health departments. Carman is also first author of “Pursuing Public Health Accreditation: A Focus on HOW”, published in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice.

Dr. David Fardo, professor of Biostatistics, is principal investigator of the project “Genomic Architecture of a Key Alzheimer’s Disease Mimic: CARTS”, funded by $1.08 million from the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Yuriko Katsumata, assistant professor of Biostatistics, is first author of a study establishing a possible link between the Mucin 6 gene and the most common form of Alzheimer’s disease. Along with co-investigators Dr. David Fardo and Dr. Erin Abner, associate professor of Epidemiology, Katsumata has received pilot funding from the College of Public Health to pursue further work in this area.

Dr. Martha Riddell, associate professor of Health Management and Policy and director of the Master of Health Administration program, received a Great Teacher Award from the UK Alumni Association.


Dr. F. Douglas Scutchfield, Bosomworth Professor Emeritus, is founding editor-in-chief of the Journal of Appalachian Health. Dr. Erin Haynes, professor and chair of Epidemiology, is senior associate editor of the new open-access, peer-reviewed journal hosted online at

Dr. Svetla Slavova, associate professor of Biostatistics, has been named to the editorial board of Injury Epidemiology.

Dr. Sarah Wackerbarth, associate professor of Health Management and Policy, has been named associate dean for Academic and Student Affairs.

Dr. Kathleen Winter, assistant professor of Epidemiology, has been widely cited in news reports of Hepatitis A (HAV) outbreaks across the nation. Winter is quoted in USA Today, Kaiser Health News, and the Chicago Tribune among others. Kentucky has been hard-hit by current HAV outbreaks, with 4,800 individuals infected and at least 60 deaths.

Dr. Corrine Williams, associate professor of Health, Behavior & Society, joined the Board of Directors of the non-profit organization, Great Kids, Inc. (GKI), in June 2019. GKI is dedicated to developing exceptional early childhood and home based programs for families with children 0-5 years, aspiring to protect children and their childhoods, while giving every parent the opportunity to feel confident and competent.


NEW LEADERSHIP FOR DEPARTMENT OF EPIDEMIOLOGY Dr. Erin Haynes joined the College of Public Health in December 2018 as professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology. She also currently serves as interim chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health. Haynes came to UK from the University of Cincinnati, where she served as a professor of epidemiology in the College of Medicine Department of Environmental Health.

“With her focus on the health of rural and Appalachian populations, Dr. Haynes brings a research agenda that is in very much in line with the land-grant service ethos of the University of Kentucky and the College of Public Health,” said Dean Donna K. Arnett. “She is also an innovator, and the right person to push the College to develop new academic opportunities to fulfill workforce needs in the field of epidemiology.”

Haynes chose to join the CPH faculty because of her commitment to improving the health of people in Appalachia – a region that encompasses parts of thirteen states including Kentucky and Ohio – and the possibilities she sees for multidisciplinary collaboration at UK, one of the few universities in the nation with all colleges on one contiguous campus. “I am deeply committed and passionate about improving the health of those living in Appalachia – particularly by focusing on their environment. The University of Kentucky has a rich history of community partnership to address Appalachian health issues,” said Haynes. Haynes, who holds a doctorate of public health in Environmental Health Sciences from the University of Michigan School of Public Health, also completed a post-doctoral fellowship in molecular epidemiology in children’s environmental health at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. Her current research, funded by the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (corresponding principal investigator, R01ES02644601), focuses on the impact of environmental neurotoxicant exposure in rural adolescents, and development and validation of a real-time lab-on-a-chip sensor for blood metals detection (R21/R33ES024717-02 and R01ES022933). The sensor will be validated in Southeast Chicago with a collaborator from the University of Illinois, Chicago. Haynes is particularly interested in working with community members to address environmental health issues, and developing citizen science tools to enable environmental health research. She also serves on the NIH/NIEHS Environmental Health Sciences study section, and as Academic Counselor for the International Society for Exposure Science.

In her first year at UK, Haynes has gained a reputation as a collaborator – serving as associate director of the UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science, deputy director of the multidisciplinary UK Center for Appalachian Research in Environmental Sciences (CARES), and senior associate editor of the Journal of Appalachian Health. “My goal as chair is to harness the incredible research capacity of the Department of Epidemiology to expand our community-engaged research capacity as we address local and regional health issues in Kentucky and beyond,” Haynes said. “In the future, I anticipate developing new training programs to increase the communityengaged research workforce. But always, lots of listening! I am still learning a lot from our outstanding faculty, staff, and students as we jointly seek to strengthen and build upon our current academic programs.” By Allison Elliott-Shannon WINTER 2020 | UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY COLLEGE OF PUBLIC HEALTH | [ 5 ]


NEW $4.2 MILLION GRANT HELPS COMMUNITIES BATTLE OPIOID EPIDEMIC For two years, University of Kentucky researcher Dr. April Young and her team have been onsite in Eastern Kentucky working with community members to assess and gather information on substance use in rural communities for a project known as Kentucky Communities and Researchers Engaging to Halt the Opioid Epidemic, or CARE2HOPE. Now with an additional $4.2 million from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to continue their work, Young and her collaborators will take what they’ve learned in the field and focus the next three years on developing comprehensive approaches to prevent and treat consequences of opioid injection. The new grant brings CARE2HOPE’s total funding to over $5.5 million. Young, associate professor of Epidemiology in the College of Public Health, grew up in rural Georgia and understands the struggles smaller communities can face in addressing health crises. “Growing up in a small town, I often felt like small towns were neglected in terms of health services and important assets that they needed to address their own health issues,” Young said. “And in Kentucky, that’s also the case. I felt like there was also a lot of resilience and potential in rural communities that was not being tapped.” For CARE2HOPE, Young and co-principal investigator Dr. Hannah Cooper from Emory University partnered with communities in the 12 Kentucky counties that make up the Gateway Health Department District and the Kentucky River Health Department District. From the start, researchers knew that the success of the project would rely on the involvement of the communities where the research was conducted. From the time Young and Cooper began to draft the proposal, they sought support from organizations that operate in the region. With their initial $1.16 million in funding, the team conducted interviews and surveys with the community, collecting information on resources and factors that impact access to treatment for opioid use disorder as well as risks for related harms, such as overdose, hepatitis C and HIV. [ 6 ] UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY COLLEGE OF PUBLIC HEALTH | WINTER 2020

A vital component of the project was receiving input from people who were actively using drugs, so researchers could better understand how their addictions began and the barriers they encountered trying to access treatment. The project has two field offices – one in Morehead and one in Hazard – and Young says they took an unusual tactic to build connections and trust in the community. “I bought a grill and a tailgating tent, and we set it up in a parking lot,” Young said. “We cooked hot dogs, brought drinks and just welcomed whoever wanted to stop by.” This approach first drew curious local residents, who eventually began spreading the word to people who were actively using drugs to join the study. From there, recruitment took off, particularly once the project had communitybased staff on board to help with the effort. Young says that within nine months, they were able to enroll nearly 300 participants primarily from just one county. The input they received from community stakeholders and advisory boards composed of elected officials, health department staff, pastors, treatment providers, people in recovery, people who were actively using drugs, and people from many other walks of life yielded some surprising

RESEARCH information that Young says will need to be addressed in order to reduce harms from opioid use. For example, roughly one-third of participants indicated they had experienced homelessness in the past six months. “That was important for our research, because it’s hard enough to get people who have stable situations into treatment,” Young said. “Then you add to that unstable housing and food insecurity, and you really have to provide some wraparound care for them.” But the assessment also revealed a lot of positives, Young said. Many Kentucky communities have local expertise and ongoing activities to mobilize people around substance use that researchers will be able to leverage, rather than creating something from the ground up. “The people who are actively using drugs are as committed as anyone to seeing a change in their community,” Young said. “And the people who come and meet with us as part of our advisory boards demonstrate that. They set aside their fears and come just to contribute to the project.” In the coalition meetings, members reviewed evidence and decided what intervention would best meet the communities’ needs and build on local strengths. Together, the communities decided that they wanted an intervention that focused on reducing substance use and related

risks among those re-entering the community from jail. In response, the CARE2HOPE team crafted and received funding to support and evaluate an intervention focused on people who are re-entering the community from jail. This transition time is particularly dangerous for people with opioid use disorder — they may lose their tolerance while incarcerated, and are at a much higher risk of overdose if they use the same amount of opioids again once released. To reduce this risk and substance use, CARE2HOPE staff will work with local health departments to do a transition plan and full workup of needs for people who are nearing release from jail. Once they’re back in the community, staff will continue to meet with this intervention group via phone and in person. “We’re basically helping them navigate that really risky transition period into the community and linking them to the treatments and services they need,” Young said. A major strength of this initiative is the collaboration — not just with Young’s fellow faculty from UK’s Center on Drug and Alcohol Research and the UK Colleges of Public Health, Medicine, Pharmacy, and Arts and Sciences, but with Emory University and other institutions as well as a team of dedicated and talented community-based staff. In addition to the Gateway and Kentucky River District Health Departments, this project includes partnerships with the Kentucky Department for Public Health, Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, Kentucky Opioid Response Effort, Northeast Area Health Education Center, local jails, and other state and community leaders and organizations. All of CARE2HOPE’s partners are working toward one end goal: to reduce harm from substance use by helping communities help themselves. “When our grant ends, I don’t want to see these programs end,” Young said. “I want to see communities empowered to implement these interventions on their own.” By Allison K Perry Photofrom left to right: Rhonda Alexander, April Young, Ripley Lucas, Hannah Cooper, Roscoe Stamper, Amanda Mullins, Connor VanMeter, Veronica Jones, Lisa Maybrier, Sarah Robbins and Travis Green.


Dr. Angelica Geter Fugerson and spouse Dexter Fugerson at the 2019 Lyman T. Johnson Awards Luncheon

Past, Present, and Future Leaders:

The Legacy of Lyman T. Johnson Lives in College of Public Health Alumni In October 2019, as the University of Kentucky marked 70 years of integration, the UK Alumni Association Lyman T. Johnson African American Alumni Group honored outstanding students and alumni during Homecoming festivities. At a luncheon that included the unveiling of a new portrait of Johnson, the first African American to enroll at UK, the College of Public Health was proud to recognize Dr. Angelica Geter Fugerson (DrPH, 2015) and Talia Woody (BPH, 2019, current MHA student) as two of this years’ award recipients. Read on to learn more about the achievements of these remarkable individuals. WINTER 2020 | UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY COLLEGE OF PUBLIC HEALTH | [ 9 ]

STUDENTS AND ALUMNI Dr. Angelica Geter Fugerson is a recipient of the 2019 Lyman T. Johnson Torch of Excellence Award. A native of Mississippi and a graduate of both the UK College of Public Health and Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, Fugerson currently serves as Chief Health Officer at the City of Atlanta. She was tapped for the position in 2019 by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, and brings to the job her acumen as a scientist, as well as her skills as a convener of stakeholders focused on common goals for public health. As Chief Health Officer, Fugerson leads the City of Atlanta’s efforts to improve the overall health and wellbeing of residents. She advises the Mayor and serves as a bridge between key stakeholders including local health departments, hospitals, and other community health organizations to ensure coordination and consistency across overlapping areas of service. It is also her role to identify priorities for action and direct municipal activities and investment with the goal of improving the longterm health outcomes of Atlanta residents. Fugerson, who earned her doctor of public health (DrPH) from the UK College of Public Health in 2015, began her public health career as an undergraduate at Mississippi College. It was in Jackson, Miss., that Fugerson recalls reading an article on young people living with HIV in her community. Inspired by popular HIV awareness efforts like the BET “Rap it Up” campaign, she signed on to work as a student volunteer in the local health department, collecting and analyzing youth population data. She even decided to conduct her own campus survey on HIV testing, with the aim of applying the data to designing public health interventions. Following graduation with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, Fugerson enrolled at Emory University to earn a master of public health (MPH); she continued to focus her research on HIV and AIDS in vulnerable communities, including African American populations. With her MPH in hand, she spent the next two years working as a project director and instructor at Morehouse College before enrolling in the DrPH program in the UK College of Public Health.

was one of the few researchers doing “high-level” work on HIV in populations of African American men. With Crosby just beginning a new study in Jackson, Miss., Fugerson jumped at the chance to be part of a project that would take her back to her roots in her home community. While the DrPH has traditionally been construed as a leadership degree incorporating a broad view of public health, Fugerson credits Crosby and coinvestigator Dr. Leandro Mena of the University of Mississippi Medical Center with helping her fulfill her goals of academic scholarship, grant writing, and implementation of culturally appropriate health interventions.


Master of Public Health, Class of 2021

Talia Woody, a first-year Master of Health Administration (MHA) student in the College of Public Health, is the recipient of a 2019 Lyman T. Johnson Torch Bearer Award. Woody, who graduated from high school in Cincinnati, Ohio, came to UK as an undergraduate with a pre-medicine focus. After enrolling in the College of Public Health she completed her Bachelor of Public Health (BPH) and pre-medicine requirements in just three years before enrolling in the MHA program. While at UK, Woody has been active as a College of Public Health Student Ambassador, a teaching assistant for a Professor Angela Brumley-Shelton’s

During her DrPH studies, Fugerson was mentored by Dr. Richard Crosby, professor of Health, Behavior & Society. Fugerson was drawn to UK by the opportunity to work with Crosby, who at the time, [ 10 ] UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY COLLEGE OF PUBLIC HEALTH | WINTER 2020

STUDENTS AND ALUMNI “As a graduate student, I learned how to develop R01 grants and had the opportunity to manage programs funded by the National Institutes of Health. I left UK as a highly-published public health scientist,” said Fugerson. Following her graduation from UK, under the mentorship of the 16th U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. David Sather, Fugerson completed a year as a fellow at the Satcher Health Leadership Institute of Morehouse School of Medicine before joining the Morehouse faculty as an Adjunct Professor. Her work continued as a Research Fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Then came the

class in sexual health, and vice president of the UK chapter of HOSA – Future Health Professionals. As an undergraduate, Woody was part of the Interprofessional Healthcare Residential College living-learning program, and participated in an education abroad program led by Dr. Christy Brady (former College of Public Health lecturer) to study the universal health care system of France. Woody’s drive to understand and improve the structural causes of health disparities comes from personal experience. A Michigan native, she has several family members who have been affected by the long-running Flint water crisis. Woody is also keenly aware of issues of maternal mortality that disproportionately affect African American women, and as a physician or administrator plans to use her voice to advocate for health equity. The Lyman T. Johnson Torch Bearer Awards honor current African American students at UK who have demonstrated high academic achievement and the ability to impact the lives of others. Woody was selected to represent the College of Public Health by the College Diversity and Inclusion Committee, from a pool of nominees recommended by faculty, staff, and alumni. All 2019 recipients were honored in October at a luncheon held as part of UK Homecoming festivities. What advice does this exceptional public health and health administration student have for others who hope to follow in her footsteps? “Be open-minded. You never know what you’ll see. Reach out and find a mentor. Take that step, and never say no to an opportunity.”

call from Mayor Bottoms and her administration to serve in local government. As Chief Health Officer, Fugerson’s focus includes addressing HIV transmissions, mental health, heart disease, and other chronic illnesses affecting the Atlanta community. And – because Atlanta is a highly diverse metro area, and so many of these conditions are inextricably linked with intersectional issues of race, gender, sex, and class – she puts a great deal of time into serving as a convener of people and resources. Fugerson works every day to build trust with local populations, working within policy constraints while taking a holistic approach to health in the city. From housing and environmental health to transportation, clinic locations, health behaviors, food, and exercise culture, Fugerson takes a broad view of health determinants for Atlanta residents. She sees challenges – living in a state that did not expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, as well as grappling with a legacy of systemic racism that has bred mistrust of health care providers in African American communities – but she also sees opportunities. For example, the Atlanta Beltline that circles the city is a haven for walkers, runners, cyclists, yoga, and community festivals. And even in the deep South, healthier eating is a way of life for many Atlanta residents. “Atlanta has a big plant-based culture,” said Fugerson, who adopted a vegan diet herself in 2017 and encourages others to adopt healthier recipes for their favorite foods. Fugerson traveled to Lexington in October to receive the Lyman T. Johnson Torch of Excellence Award during UK Homecoming Festivities. The award is presented annually to African American alumni “whose faith, hard work and determination has positively affected the lives of people on the UK campus, the city, state or nation”. As the Chief Health Officer at the City of Atlanta, Fugerson is certainly creating positive change for people on a large scale. “Public health gives me the opportunity to help and empower thousands of people,” said Fugerson. “Public health is population health, and right now I have the opportunity to really scale up solutions to serve entire populations.”



OVERDOSE DATA TO ACTION (OD2A) PROJECT LAUNCHES WITH $23 MILLION FROM CDC In an effort to combat the complex opioid overdose epidemic, the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center (KIPRC) at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health has been awarded a three-year, $23 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to implement the Overdose Data to Action (OD2A) strategy, which integrates surveillance and prevention strategies to reduce the burden of substance use disorders and drug overdoses in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. In 2017, Kentucky had the fifth highest drug overdose mortality rate in the United States. The new grant will support a multi-agency collaboration between state, university, and community partners to inform targeted interventions through timely access and use of data. KIPRC Director Dr. Terry Bunn and Dr. Dana Quesinberry, public health policy and program evaluator for KIPRC, are serving as co-principal investigators on the project. “Kentucky families know better than most the plague of addiction,” said UK President Eli Capilouto. “The challenge we face is too complex for one approach or one solution. It changes shape and form too often for us not to partner in ways that make us more efficient and effective, but also nimble. We are grateful to stand with so many committed partners, determined to end the scourge of opioid abuse in the Commonwealth and beyond.”

Environmental Health at the College of Public Health. “You can’t target care until you know what’s going on. Strong surveillance allows us to develop targeted evidence-based interventions.” KyOD2A prevention strategies include: • Integrating KASPER data into patient electronic health records to inform clinical opioid prescribing decision making. • Coordinating state and local prevention/ response efforts, including support for local health department interventions and community technical assistance. • Timely linkage to substance use disorder (SUD) treatment facilities with available openings through, which was developed by UK in 2017 as a free resource for patients to find addiction treatment and recovery openings in real-time. • Establishing a perinatal quality collaborative to enhance SUD prenatal/perinatal care that will improve maternal and infant outcomes. • Partnering with the Kentucky State Police on joint public health and safety data sharing and analysis. • Creating a peer-to-peer SUD treatment locator learning network that shares evidence-based practices with other states. • Developing and evaluating bystander SUD intervention training for young adults.

KIPRC, as a bona fide agent for the Kentucky Department for Public Health and part of the UK College of Public Health, has a strong record translating public health surveillance to targeted interventions to address the opioid epidemic. With KIPRC, UK is continuing to lead the way in drug overdose surveillance by using an innovative strategy. Remnant blood and urine samples from the UK HealthCare emergency department encounters for drug overdose will be examined to identify emerging drugs and trends. “The opioid epidemic is ever-changing,” said Bunn, professor of Preventive Medicine and [ 12 ] UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY COLLEGE OF PUBLIC HEALTH | WINTER 2020

Dana Quesinberry Assistant Professor, Health Management and Policy

RESEARCH KyOD2A hopes to impact inappropriate opioid prescribing, opioid misuse and opioid use disorders, patient standard of care, referrals to SUD treatment and sustained recovery and fatal and non-fatal overdoses – all to improve Kentucky health outcomes.

professor of Health Management and Policy at the College of Public Health. “Furthermore, the collaboration of academia, public health, public safety and the medical community on evidencebased strategies proposed in OD2A can and will save the lives of Kentuckians.”

“The knowledge gained from a public health approach to the opioid epidemic can direct our intervention efforts,” said Quesinberry, assistant

By Allison K. Perry

PROMOTING ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH LITERACY IN APPALACHIA In a new National Library of Medicine-funded study, “Integrating Information Resources to Promote Environmental Health Literacy in Appalachian Kentucky”, a multidisciplinary research team from the UK Colleges of Public Health (CPH) and Engineering (CoE), the School of Human Environmental Sciences (HES), and the Kentucky Water Resources Research Institute (KWRRI) will engage Eastern Kentucky residents in evaluating, synthesizing, and improving existing environmental health information for the region. The study also will test and disseminate new resources, with a goal of improving environmental health literacy (EHL) in this population. EHL is an emerging field focused on assessing and building the knowledge and skills people need to make sense of and protect themselves from potential environmental health threats. Improving EHL requires successful transmission of accessible, evidence-based, usable, and culturally-appropriate scientific, technical, and regulatory information. “The University of Kentucky has a wealth of researchers, centers, and institutes studying environmental health issues,” noted Dr. Anna Hoover, the study’s principal investigator and an assistant professor of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health in the UK College of Public Health. “Many of these studies regularly share findings with lay audiences through risk maps, websites, fact sheets, and other materials. This grant will allow us to work with residents in Appalachian counties to ensure the real-world understandability and utility of these materials in hopes of increasing their impact across the region.”

Anna Hoover Assistant Professor, Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health

In addition to Dr. Hoover, the research team includes College of Public Health faculty Dr. W. Jay Christian, assistant professor of Epidemiology, and Dr. Kimberly Tumlin, assistant professor of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health, as well as Dr. Dawn Brewer (HES) and Dr. Kelly Pennell (CoE), with technical support from Steve Evans and Malissa McAlister (KWRRI). The new study builds on ongoing EHL research funded by a pilot grant to Dr. Hoover from the UK Center for Appalachian Research in the Environmental Sciences (UK-CARES), along with more than a decade of research translation and community engagement activities supported by the UK Superfund Research Center, for which Drs. Hoover, Brewer, and Pennell are co-investigators. UK researchers who are interested in having their translational products considered for inclusion in the study are encouraged to contact Hoover at By Allison Elliott-Shannon



DEAR COLLEGE OF PUBLIC HEALTH COMMUNITY, Greetings! In September 2019, I joined the College of Public Health as Senior Alumni Coordinator. As a UK alumna myself, I understand the depth of the UK community and the value of a strong alumni network. And as the first person to hold this position, I am excited to build an alumni program with a solid foundation of networking, professional development, collaboration, and leadership. Through partnership with our outstanding faculty and staff, building blocks for the alumni program will emerge in 2020. You will find us “on the road”, visiting alumni in various cities and creating opportunities for peer networking and friendship. Online, you will find additional avenues for communication - including an alumni newsletter and robust social network. On campus, I hope to rejuvenate alumni councils and continue conversations about the growth and progression of the College.

UPCOMING ALUMNI EVENTS January 29 Nashville UK vs. Vanderbilt Basketball Watch Party

March 25 Chicago Reception at American College of Healthcare Executives Congress

I invite you to reconnect with the College of Public Health. It is an exciting time at the College that is full of growth and big ideas. Whether it be updating your alumni information, filling out the alumni survey, joining our LinkedIn Group, or dropping in for a visit, we are happy to hear from you. Remember, you are always “at home” at the College of Public Health. Please learn about all the ways to connect at cph.uky. edu/alumni. Sincerely,

April 24 Covington Reception at Kentucky Public Health Association Annual Meeting For more details visit

Jillian Faith Senior Alumni Coordinator



CLASS NOTES Prashanth Bala (MHA, 2009)

Mabruk Quabili (MPH, 2012)

Promoted to Vice President of ASC Operations at Shields Health Care Group.

Started new position as Program Director at HNI Healthcare.

Kathleen (Katie) Roggeman (BPH, 2018)

Esias Bedingar (BPH, 2018)

Promoted to Policy Research Fellow at the Harvard Ministerial Leadership Program for the Kenyan Ministry of Health.

Leah Casanave (DrPH, 2013)

Promoted to Business Consultant for Health Care Service Corporation.

Matthew Roland (BPH, 2018)

Named as one of the 40 Under 40 in Public Health by deBeaumont Foundation.

Will join Nestlé in June 2020 as a Safety, Health, and Environmental Associate in their Factory Management Development Program.

Monica Clouse (MPH, 2009)

Richard (Rick) Schultz (MHA, 1994)

Ron Holder (MHA, 1998)

Suzanne Segerstrom (MPH, 2017)

Named Chief Executive Officer of Precision Healthcare Delivery.

Started new position as Health Policy Specialist II at the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials

Received the 2019 Kirwan Memorial Prize at the University of Kentucky.

Named COO of Medical Group Management Association.

Angela Leduc (BPH, 2016)

Robin C. Vanderpool (DrPH, 2006)

Began new position as Supervisor of Quality Improvement at Meridian.

Appointed as Chief of the Health Communication and Informatics Research Branch (HCIRB) in the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences at the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Madelyn McDonald (BPH, 2017)

Started new position with the Center on Drug and Alcohol Research.

Joseph Waring (BPH, 2017)

Maria Dombrowski (MHA, 2012)

Manuscript entitled “Evaluating the influences of social support and smoking cues on daily smoking abstinence among socioeconomically disadvantaged adults” accepted for publication in Addictive Behaviors Journal.

Promoted to Revenue Cycle Manager at Kentucky Medical Services Foundation, Inc.

Jessica Morehouse (MPH, 2018)

Began new position as Veterinary Operations Officer at Fort Bragg, North Carolina in July 2018 and welcomed baby girl, Elizabeth, in January 2019.

Xuan Zhang (DrPH, 2018)

Currently in postdoctoral training in neuroepidemiology at the National Institute on Aging.

Have news to share? Send class notes to

NEW PUBLIC HEALTH COMMISSIONER Dr. Angela Dearinger (MPH, 2007) is the new Commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health. Dearinger says: “I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as the public health commissioner, and I’m excited to collaborate with public health partners from across the Commonwealth to address our shared health care needs and challenges.”



WHY I GIVE: Alumni Perspectives

“As a graduate of the University of Kentucky Master of Health Administration program and as a working professional, I know the value of a comprehensive educational experience. I support the College of Public Health because I know the need for well-prepared leaders for the future of health care – and the quality of faculty instruction and classroom experience in the College is world-class. I want to do my part in supporting the preparation of the next generation of leaders.” Larry Gray, MHA Class of 1995 President, Baptist Health Louisville

“I remember financial considerations were a significant factor, along with program ranking, when I chose to attend UK’s MHA program. Knowing educational expenses remain a heavy consideration for most students, I give to ensure our best candidates are not limited by financial constraints. It is my way of ensuring we continue to develop the strongest possible health care leaders.” Dr. Caroline Pogge, MHA Class of 1999 Executive and Adjunct Professor of Health Care Management



DEAR FRIENDS OF CPH, At the heart of our College is our mission to develop health champions, conduct multidisciplinary and applied research, and collaborate with partners to improve health in Kentucky and beyond. It’s a tall order, but with your help we are making it a reality. The previous academic year was an exciting one for our College as we welcomed new students, new faculty focused on teaching and research, and new partners who share our vision to be the catalyst of positive change for population health. The University of Kentucky unveiled a plan for campus modernization that includes a new home for the College of Public Health in a revitalized Scovell Hall. On the academic front, we added a new University Scholars program aimed at accelerated undergraduate students. Soon we will be able to serve even more students through an all-online Master of Public Health degree. This is truly an exhilarating time to be part of the College of Public Health. As we look toward the future of the College, we need our friends and supporters more than ever. With your help we can relieve the burden of educational debt for our undergraduate and graduate students. We can recruit and retain the best scholars as teachers and researchers. And we can create a permanent home for the College of Public Health in a facility that fosters collaboration and inspires discovery. May we count on you to help us build a healthier, brighter future in Kentucky and beyond? Gifts of any size are appreciated, but we also want to meet you to learn about your story and why the work of this College matters to you. To connect with the College of Public Health, please contact me by email at shelley.ward@uky. edu, or by telephone at 859.323.4551. Thank you for your ongoing support of the College of Public Health. With your help, we can make a difference in the lives of so many.


Shelley Ward Director of Philanthropy 859.323.4551 WINTER 2020 | UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY COLLEGE OF PUBLIC HEALTH | [ 17 ]