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5 Requests Supported by This Year’s Grace Jones Memorial Fund

by Ryan Clark
CHS Communications Director

This year, five requests were awarded support by the Grace Jones Memorial Fund.

“We received nine applications and we able to fund five requests,” said Patrick Kitzman, Ph.D. PT, Professor of Physical Therapy and Director of the Kentucky Appalachian Rural Rehabilitation Network.

With $4,200 in funding this year, the fund was able to support:

  • Funding of additional community-based out-patient therapy sessions to support a person’s recovery.
  • Purchase of new wheels for a person’s manual wheelchair.
  • Purchase of a chair lift to help with transfers.
  • Purchase of additional parts for a ceiling track support system to allow a person mobility in a larger portion of their home.
  • Purchase of a scooter to allow a person community mobility.

The Grace Jones Memorial Fund was established in memory of Grace Jones, who joined the faculty of the Department of Entomology at the University of Kentucky in 1984 and later became a Professor in Molecular and Cellular Biology in 1999 in the renamed Department of Biology.

After suffering a severe stroke in 2000, she inspired many as she overcame difficult physical challenges and continued her academic teaching and research in Biology which she so much enjoyed. She passed away in 2019.

“As a faculty member and a scholar, Grace was inspiring,” said Anne Harrison, Emeritus Associate Professor. “As a patient even on her most difficult days, she was a joy. It was a privilege for all of us — students and faculty — to work with her.”

Gifts to this fund are used to help persons with physical/stroke disability and their families. Funds can be used to pay for adult day care, medical equipment, therapy services (such as PT, OT, or Speech), transportation costs related to attending disability support services, short-term respite care, program development, education, assistive technology and marketing. The Kentucky Appalachian Rural Rehabilitation Network, a collaborative team that advocates to empower communities impacted by disability and is directed by the UK College of Health Sciences, has the privilege of helping to oversee this fund, a decision that was made by her husband, Davy Jones, PhD, Professor of Toxicology.  

“We are honored that Dr. Davy Jones chose the College of Health Sciences and specifically the Kentucky Appalachian Rural Rehabilitation Network (KARRN) to administer the Grace Jones Memorial Fund,” Kitzman said. “Through this funding we have been able to support individuals through providing access to essential medical equipment, as well as follow-up services that they would not otherwise be able to obtain.

“We have a very dedicated group of KARRN members who serve as the review committee,” he continued. “These individuals donate their time and expertise so that we can make the best possible funding decisions possible.”

Those who received help were thankful.

“I realize that we have been doubting ourselves to find/ask for help because we had received not few, but many rejections in the past,” said recipient Astri Karniani. “As a spouse whose husband is living with paralysis and no family around, it makes me realize that I am only a small person to care for him, although I have to manage time and energy to provide resources for us. Resources and opportunities such as the Grace Jones Memorial Fund are truly appreciated.”

“Being one of the recipients of this grant is amazing!” said Dene’ Eldridge. “As you know, the cost of physical therapy adds up. With this grant I'll be able to get the one-on-one help I need. I am so glad that you’re able to offer this to people who need help in getting equipment or therapies they need. It is truly a blessing to be able to do this.”

If you wish to give to this fund you can following this link to the College of Health Sciences Giving page: https://uky.networkforgood.com/causes/13992-other-awards-scholarships-and-funds

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