In response to the need for organized research efforts directed at issues surrounding the public health workforce, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided, through their Office of Workforce and Career Development in collaboration with the Public Health Foundation, a Center of Excellence in Public Health Workforce Research and Policy (COEWRP) at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health. The Center's mission is to initiate and coordinate strategic efforts to improve the public health workforce through research. The Center identifies workforce databases and catalogues them at the National Library of Medicine's Public Health Systems and Services Research Resources website, and it provides technical assistance to those wishing to use those databases for public health workforce research. The Center also participates in other scholarly activities concerning workforce research, including data harmonization, providing a venue and support for presentation of research results, and coordination with the current efforts of the University of Kentucky's Center for Public Health Systems and Services Research. The Center envisions research outcomes will provide a basis for relevant enhancements and changes in public health policy related to the nation's public health workforce and the delivery of the essential services. To assist in these efforts, the Center has established a national advisory committee composed of prominent public health leaders and researchers who recognize the importance of strategic research in achieving Essential Public Health Service #8: Assure a competent public and personal health care workforce.
Center for Public Health Systems & Services Research and Public Health Practice-based Research Networks
Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Center for Public Health Systems & Services Research (CPHSSR) seeks to explore the impact of specific public health strategies on the quality and performance of the United States public health system. PHSSR is distinct, but related to, the established field of Health Services Research (HSR), which has traditionally focused on the delivery of medical services. The Center for PHSSR at UK offers grants for researchers, sponsors an annual conference for the discipline, publishes papers and manuscripts and increases the data available for researchers to use in this area. This developing field of research focuses on the organization, staffing, financing and management of public health. Ultimately, the answers uncovered through this body of research will help us be more effective and productive in our mission to improve health status. The Public Health Practice‐Based Research Networks (PBRN) Program is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that supports the development of research networks for studying the comparative effectiveness, efficiency and equity of public health strategies in real-world practice settings. Practice-based research networks have been used successfully to study medical care innovations and test quality improvement strategies in clinical settings. Building on this model, the Public Health PBRN Program, launched in 2008, is the first national initiative in the United States to develop PBRNs for research in public health practice settings.
Funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (CDC/NIOSH), the Central Appalachian Regional Education and Research Center (CARERC) offers research, education, and training opportunities that are designed to help meet urgent regional needs in occupational safety and health. CARERC combines the academic resources of four colleges at the University of Kentucky and Eastern Kentucky University to provide a fully equipped and recognized resource for occupational safety and health research and training in Central Appalachia. As a result of this forward-looking partnership between two leading institutions of higher education, the CARERC is proud to offer graduate programs and continuing education in Mining Engineering Safety and Health, Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing, Occupational Epidemiology, Occupational Medicine, Occupational Safety, and Agricultural Safety and Health.
The Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center (KIPRC) works with Kentucky communities and the state's Department for Public Health to promote the reduction of injuries along with related disabilities and deaths. In addition to the state's injury prevention program and CDC-funded core injury surveillance, KIPRC activities include an occupational injury and fatality program funded by grants from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health; pediatric and adolescent injury prevention programs funded by state, federal, and foundation grants; a broad-ranging community outreach program that includes full-time staff in Rowan and Whitley Counties; a CDC-funded program to foster and evaluate injury coalition development; and the development and implementation of Kentucky's Violent Death Reporting System, another CDC-funded initiative. KIPRC is located at 333 Waller Avenue and welcomes inquiries from injury community stakeholders, College of Public Health students, and area residents with an interest in reducing the toll of injury statewide.
Since 1985, College of Public Health faculty have received funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to support the training initiatives of the Ohio Valley Appalachia Regional Geriatric Education Center (OVAR/GEC), a consortium of the University of Kentucky, University of Louisville, University of Cincinnati and East Tennessee State University. The OVAR/GEC is one of 45 in a national network that is charged with improving the training of health professionals in geriatrics; developing and disseminating curricula relating to the treatment of the health problems of older persons; supporting the training/retraining of faculty in geriatrics; supporting continuing education (CE/CME) of health professionals who provide geriatric care; and providing students with clinical training in geriatrics. The most recent five-year center grant (received in 2010) totaled $2.45 million. To date during this current grant period, the OVAR/GEC has provided 864 didactic and distance learning geriatrics training programs for 4615 non-duplicated trainees. The OVAR/GEC is an important training resource for UK with 93% (4288) of trainees from KY, TN and OH, and 7% (327) from 41 additional states. All programs are designed to be inter-professional and to address geriatric education needs across diverse rural and urban populations. Many trainees attend multiple training opportunities and utilize OVAR/GEC curriculum resources for education and direct patient care.
Part of the national Prevention Research Centers (PRC) program funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the University of Kentucky Prevention Research Center (locally known as the Rural Cancer Prevention Center, RCPC) is the only PRC in the nation that specifically focuses its efforts on developing prevention research strategies for rural Appalachia and implementing them through Central Appalachian public health practice-based research networks (PBRNs) in KY, TN, GA, NC, OH, PA, SC, and VA. The first aim of the RCPC is to provide infrastructure and administrative services that support cancer prevention research activities and health promotion efforts in the Kentucky River Area Development District (KRADD). Overall, the mission of the RCPC is to prevent cancer morbidity and mortality among KRADD residents through a planned collaboration of residents, community organizations, public health professionals, and academic health center researchers designed to reduce health disparities associated with cervical, breast, and colorectal cancer. Through a Community Advisory Board (CAB) that has been highly engaged since 2004, the RCPC will continue to bridge the gap between researchers and rural public health practitioners to develop and implement effective community-based strategies designed to foster the primary and secondary prevention of colorectal, breast, and cervical cancer in this medically underserved region of Appalachia.
The mission of the Southeast Center for Agricultural Health and Injury Prevention is to develop and sustain an innovative program of research, education, and intervention services to prevent work-related illness and injury and to improve the safety and health of agricultural workers and their families in the southeastern United States. One of only seven such centers funded nationwide by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (CDC/NIOSH), the Center offers training and research funding opportunities for qualified students as well as an annual pilot studies program for new and experienced investigators. The Center emphasizes interdisciplinary applied research, and courses in the Health of Agricultural Populations concentration area are open to students in Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Gerontology, Health Behavior, and Health Services Management, as well as Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health.
The Center is dedicated to research and educational efforts intended to make a difference in the lives of older Kentuckians. Textbooks and research speak to the huge problem of abuse, neglect and exploitation of the elderly whether it takes the form of emotional, financial, mental, physical, sexual or social mistreatment.