Cooperative Extension (CE) health initiatives focus primarily on providing support to improve the health of under-served and disenfranchised communities in Kentucky. This is accomplished through partnerships and collaborations with various entities including local and state leaders. Specialists work to provide researched-based information to communities through programming, training, community-based participatory research and publications.
The Kentucky State Office of Health Equity (OHE) works with communities throughout the state to ensure programs and services impacting health outcomes address issues of equity. KSU works collaboratively with the state office to address various health issues. REACH US -Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health Across the US was one collaborative effort lead by OHE to develop a comprehensive model that addresses breast and cervical cancer disparities throughout the entire healthcare continuum: prevention, early detection, treatment, and survivor-ship in the state of Kentucky. Furthermore KSU CE, in collaboration with the KY Office of Health Equity and Cervical Cancer Free KY established an awareness campaign “KSU Thorobreds Trotting On HPV and Cervical Cancer” that will used peer educators to educate college.
The Health Equity Network (HEN)—a regional collaboration with local/state health departments, hospitals, Kentucky Education Television and other community partners is also committed to addressing health equity. This coalition works collaboratively to raise awareness and educate communities by targeting a cross section of local leaders impacted by inequities in health in Lexington and surrounding counties.
Health Rocks! (HR!)
Cooperative Extension also provides leadership through Dr. LeChrista Finn for Health Rocks! (HR!) in the state for the fifth consecutive year. Approximately 4,000 youth have been reached to date and an additional 2,000 youth will be reached during the 2013-14 grant period. Health Rocks! is a 4-H Healthy Lifestyle initiative which engages youth from 10-15 in making decisions which deter the use of tobacco, alcohol and drugs. Various community partners from Extension, school districts, churches, after-school programs and other community-based organizations have been instrumental in implementing this program
4-H Healthy Living Youth Voice: Youth Choice Grant
Additionally, the 4-H Healthy Living Youth Voice: Youth Choice Grant supported by Walmart is a partnership with the National 4-H Council. Cooperative Extension will reach 2000 youth to engage them in educational and physical activities geared towards impacting childhood obesity. The grant partners with our existing Expanded Food Nutrition and Education Program and the Center for Nutrition and Wellness Education to implement in Lexington, Frankfort, Lawrenceburg, and Louisville. Sites conducting Youth Voice: Youth Choice activities are also participating in service learning opportunities to incorporate nutritional guidelines and incorporate physical activities while fostering civic engagement.
LeChrista Finn, DrPH
Assistant Professor, Interim State Specialist for Health
400 East Main Street
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601