Kentucky Establishes Practice-Based Research Network
Media Contact: Keith Hautala, 859-257-1754, x231
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 14, 2008) The Kentucky Public Health Association and the University of Kentucky College of Public Health have joined to establish the Kentucky Public Health Research Network, one of the first such networks in the nation. The primary goal of the network is to develop and strengthen relationships between local health departments and related community partners.
The initiative will be under the direction of co-principal investigators Sarah Wilding of the Kentucky Department for Public Health and Dr. Angela Dearinger of the University of Kentucky College of Public Health.
"Through collaborative partnerships with our communities, we hope to find the most effective ways to deliver the best health services to the residents of the Commonwealth of Kentucky," Dearinger said.
Through this network, 18 local health jurisdictions in Kentucky will collaborate with their practice partners and academic communities to develop a high-performing public health system. Multiple partners statewide include the Big Sandy Health Center in Floyd County and the Public Life Foundation of Owensboro.
"Public health departments see these partnerships as a way to meet the health needs of their communities by providing the best services known to promote health and quality of life," Wilding said.
Five Kentucky universities, as well as several community and technical colleges, have also committed to the effort. Additionally, several physicians from the Kentucky Ambulatory Network are eager to participate and improve the health of their patients and the communities where they live.
"The strength of the Kentucky Public Health Research Network is its unique ability to bring together this network of networks with the common interest of increasing the capacity for evidence-based public health practice through community- based research," said Cynthia Lamberth, the UK network project director.
The project was selected in early October as one of five initial sites by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Supported by this funding, the network will focus on how relationships are formed between the public and private sectors, effects of health disparities, development of effective tools to train public health leaders and quality improvement.
This network is part of efforts by UK's Center for Public Health Systems and Services Research to improve the practice of public health, nationally and internationally.
More information is available by calling Kara Richardson, Kentucky Public Health Research Network, communications coordinator, at 859-218-2289.