The nationally recognized UK Center for Excellence in Rural Health (CERH) – Hazard , established in 1990 and located Central Highlands Appalachia, represents a highly successful two-decade-long initiative to develop a place-based infrastructure to improve the health of rural Kentuckians through education, clinical practice, research, and community engagement. Site-based faculty are fully active UK faculty members with appointments in the health sciences colleges who have dual roles as academic health professionals embedded in a rural community. Education offerings at Hazard include a Family Medicine residency program and graduate programs in physical therapy, medical social work, and clinical management. The CERH-Hazard research portfolio exceeds $30M and represents approximately half of the Center’s total budget.
CRH-Hazard houses the Kentucky Office of Rural Health, a federal-state partnership to facilitate healthcare access and coordinate rural health resources; Kentucky Homeplace, a nationally recognized lay health "navigator" program serving 58 Kentucky counties, which generated more than $25 million in health services for underserved populations in rural areas; and the UK North Fork Valley Health Center, a joint initiative of the UK Colleges of Medicine and Dentistry and the community health board to provide primary and dental care, behavioral health, and laboratory services.
The successes generated by the CERH-Hazard formula of amalgamation and integration of programs, services and resources has led to recent establishment of four additional Centers for Rural Health, each with a regional academic partner and medical center partner. This expansion supports a state-wide REACH network of health professional liaisons and study coordinators based at each CRH and charged with developing a research agenda responsive to the needs of its region.
Centers for Rural Health and their Key Academic Partners
||Regional Academic Partner
||Regional Medical Center Partner
||University of Kentucky
||Hazard Appalachian Regional Health Center
||Morehead State University
||St. Claire Regional Medical Center