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Appreciate the invitation to be part of this conversation.
Not sure how exhaustive my presentation will be, but it’s a start. Results of one general email call sent out through the College of A & S list serve and through the Appalachian Center list serve. Got responses from outside of A & S, and decided to include them just to be safe.
Will start with faculty projects, alphabetized by last name, then Graduate Students, and then one center who wanted to highlight their contribution to this type of research. I brought contact information and copies of these individuals’ CV’s to the organizers of this conversation and would be glad to share this information with others who are interested.
Mary Anglin, who is currently on sabbatical after serving a term as chair of her dept, is a medical anthropologist who does research in Appalachia on gender, health care systems, breast cancer patients, and drug addiction.
The Director of the Appalachian Center, Chris Barton, who is not in the College of Arts & Sciences is here because we were concerned that some of his smaller projects might not be located through the search of the funding data base, but they are nonetheless related to health in Appalachia. Dr. Barton has gotten funding from Monsanto to promote beekeeping and honey making to youth in eastern KY as a means of introducing them to locally grown (and healthy) foods.
That project and another funded by the US Department of Interior also are linked with youth planting pollinator friendly trees on surface mines as a means of getting kids outdoors and doing some physical activity (which is also allied to Michelle Obama's "let's move" initiative). The Monsanto grant is $30k and USDI is $25k. These may be only indirectly health related…but they are related nonetheless. These are the kinds of things you might find Appalachian Center partners doing –more holistic types of engaged or service research activities rather than strictly bio-medical research. But you knew that already!
So, next we have Professor Robin Cooper from Biology who is working with his undergraduate students and other faculty to partner with Kentucky middle and high schools to develop
curricular modules aligned to the NGSS on the science of chronic health issues.
One of the counties he’s working with is Lewis County. The goals of this project are to:
2. To increase the self-awareness of middle and high school students about their own health risks, their attitudes about life style choices, their behaviors.
3. To increase the number of teachers in 6-12 grades (middle and high school) to experience authentic STEM research at research 1 University level and experience industrial research settings so they can better educate their students in the wide range of STEM fields to consider in the future. 4. To disseminate educational modules in the STEM areas related to biomedical topics to reach a widest audience as possible throughout the USA.5. Build sustainable programs within the middle and high school classrooms for the teachers to continue to modify and use over the years of the funding period and beyond without further large financial resources.
The innovative aim of this proposal is to integrate STEM based in class hands on and research activities related to focus health care issues of the students and the local community.
The value added is the unique aspect of combining the educational investigative process of disease states with the science of the diseases in various STEM related approaches and to carry the learned STEM and health content back out to the local community with community based activities.
This community engagement / collaboration has been funded by the Center for Clinical and Translational Science, Core Community Development, and Depts of STEM and Biology
Dr. Keller from Psychology does research in the impact of marital discord, family and parental alcohol abuseon children’s sleep, stress levels and cognitive functioning. She is collaborating with Nancy Schoenberg on related research in Appalachia. The goals of the work in Appalachia are:
To determine the most serious stressors experienced by grandparents and grandchildren in grandfamilies living in rural Appalachia, and how these stressors influence physical and mental health. (2) To identify protective factors that may ameliorate the deleterious effects of stress. On this topic, she notes: “like any population, Appalachian families have strengths and challenges. Two potential strengths include social support and religiosity, both of which have been shown to buffer against the adverse effects of stress in other populations, while challenges include constrained resources and substance abuse.”19-20 (3) To establish grandparent and community preferences for future community-engaged interventions that holistically address the effects of stress on physical and mental health.
Next, we come to Dr. Analia Loria from the Department of Pharmacology and Nutrition Sciences. I am not sure why she responded to an A & S call, but she did. So, I wanted to be sure that her work also got included in our conversation. Although Dr. Loria does research on rats, she is actually interested in how this might apply to women who have experienced childhood or adolescent trauma and how this experience impacted their health later in life. This is surely of some relevance to Appalachian health.
This brings me to my colleague in Sociology, Carrie Oser, who is also the Co- Director of the Health, Society and Populations program and an affiliate of the Center for Drug Research and Behavioral Science.
Her CV is a million miles long, with grants and papers and accomplishments. You really need to know this woman! Here are a few titles of recent papers:
Oser, C., & Harp, K.L.H. (2015). Treatment outcomes for prescription drug misusers: The negative effect of client residence and treatment location geographic discordance. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 48(1), 1-18. PMID25200740.
Pullen, E., & Oser, C. (2014). Barriers to substance abuse treatment in rural and urban communities: A counselor perspectives. Substance Use & Misuse, 49(7), 891-901. PMC3995852.
Oser, C., Pullen, E., Biebel, E., & Harp, K. (2013). Causes, consequences, and prevention of burnout among substance abuse treatment counselors: A rural versus urban comparison. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 45(1), 17-27. PMC3652635. Also highlighted on DugDug’s “Research Made Simple” website: http://www.dugdug.com/carrie-oser-discusses-substance-abuse-counselors.
Jonas, A., Young, A., Oser, C., Leukefeld, C., & Havens, J (2012). OxyContin® as currency: OxyContin® use and increased social capital among rural Appalachian drug users. Social Science & Medicine, 74(10), 1602-1609. PMC3331592.
Oser, C., Harp, K., O’Connell, D., Martin, S., & Leukefeld, C. (2012). Correlates of participation in self-help groups as well as voluntary and mandated substance abuse treatment among rural and urban probationers. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 42(1), 95-101. PMC3218255.
Remaining in my own home dept, there is our Chair, Claire Renzetti who is a world-reknowned expert on domestic violence (aka intimate partner violence), human trafficking, women and crime, and law enforcement and intervention programs to assist women who are the victims or perpetrators of crimes.
Her research on the impact of economic factors on domestic violence as well as her applied and evaluative research on interventions to prevent dometic violence are of direct relevance to Appalachia.
It’s not really fair to follow up such an accomplished professor with a graduate student. But this is the one graduate student who had courage and self-confidence to respond to the College email query. So, that speaks well for her: Doctoral candidate, Leslie-Marie Buer, is doing an ethnographic study under the direction of Professor Mary Anglin on State Interventions, Gendered Inequalities, and Health.
And, finally, the applied statistics and biostatistics lab provides data analysis for many research projects related to Appalachian health. In fact, many of the research projects being presented will have data analysis done by the Applied Statistics Lab.
I think this may just be the tip of the iceberg. However, it is at least a start in some key individuals who are doing health-related research in our college. By networking with these 7 individuals, I am certain we could branch out and find scores of other faculty and graduate students who are working on health issues in Appalachia.
I’m glad to be of service to you as you move forward to address the health needs of Appalachian residents.
Appalachia Health-Related Research
College of Arts & Sciences, University of Kentucky
Shaunna L. Scott
Director of Appalachian Studies
Mary Anglin, Anthropology
Health care systems
Chris Barton, Forestry
Youth involvement in
planting trees on
surface mine sites
Robin L. Cooper, Biology
Lewis Co. middle and
Chronic Health issues
in the community
Students research local
Peggy Keller, Psychology
Impact of marital
discord, parental alcohol
Children’s sleep, stress
Impact of family stress
on child development in
Analia Loria, Pharmacology &
Impacts early stress
and high-calorie diet
Carrie Oser, Sociology
Substance abuse and
Among women and
Claire Renzetti, Sociology
Impact of economic
State Interventions, Gendered Inequalities, and Health: An
Ethnography of Women’s Encounters with Substance Abuse
Treatment in Central Appalachia
Applied Statistics &
College of Arts & Sciences
University of Kentucky