Appalachian Research Day, known as "Come Sit on the Porch," is an annual conference hosted by the University of Kentucky Center of Excellence in Rural Health (UK CERH) to share results of health research conducted with communities in Appalachia. This year's event will be held in person April 5, 2023, at the Ramada by Wyndham Hotel and Conference Center in Paintsville, Kentucky.
This year’s presentations will include "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of COVID-19," a keynote address by Jamie Sturgill, Ph.D., a native of Appalachian Kentucky and faculty member of the UK College of Medicine. Her presentation will highlight some of the most recent findings from research being done at UK including clinical findings related to the acute phase of the virus and long-term effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection and implications thereof on public health for the state of Kentucky.
Other conference highlights include:
- "Building Recovery Ecosystems in Central Appalachia," by Michael Meit, co-director, East Tennessee State University Center for Rural Health Research, and Andrew Howard, director of Policy Fletcher Group.
- "Increasing Access to Healthcare Utilizing Drone Technology," presented by leaders of the USA Drone Port and community health workers at Kentucky Homeplace.
High school students from across the region will present numerous projects during a shared session. Healthy WAY (Wellness in All Youth) is a youth leadership and research development program created by the UK CERH for rural Kentucky high school students. Students selected for this competitive program will share results from their school-based projects, including:
- "Decompression and Anxiety Reduction in Middle School Students Through Yoga and Art Therapy," Jackson Independent High School;
- "Coping After COVID," Johnson Central High School;
- "SMILE Club," Martin County High School; and
- "Be Safe While You Surf," Pikeville High School.
Students from Buckhorn and Perry Central high schools will present "River Water Testing Utilizing Drone Technology," a citizen science project sponsored by the UK Center for Appalachian Research in Environmental Sciences (UK-CARES).
Poster sessions will be held during the networking breakfast and lunch. New at this year’s conference will be a health and research fair and a dedicated time for community roundtable discussions. Attendees can sign up for research projects currently recruiting in Appalachia, visit tables for a number of free health screenings, education and COVID-19 vaccines, and participate in conversations about what they believe is important for health research and well-being of local communities.
An awards session in the afternoon will recognize poster winners, the nominees and winner of the 2022 UK-CARES/UK CERH Environmental Health Community Engagement Award and other special guests.
“Appalachian Research Day, "Come Sit on the Porch," is all about community and coming together to talk about how we work together to be healthier. We are so honored to bring this important annual event back again this year after having to miss a couple of years due to the pandemic and historic flooding in Appalachia. It will be a wonderful day, and we are looking forward to seeing those who can join us,” said Fran Feltner, D.N.P., director of the UK CERH.
Full Press Release Below: