The CommonHealth of Kentucky is a 13-part KET series that lays out some unpleasant truths about the stateand then goes looking for the people who are working to turn things around, in hopes that others will follow their lead.
According to national statistics, Kentucky is simply not a very healthy place. Comparisons among the states show that we have the highest percentage of cigarette smokers in the U.S., the second-highest rate of cancer deaths, the fifth-highest rate of cardiovascular deaths, and the sixth-highest prevalence of obesity. In addition to their devastating personal impacts on the affected individuals and their families, these rampant health problems cost the state millions of dollars annually in health care, insurance, and Medicaid costs and lost productivity.
Fortunately, inspiring leaders across the state are working to help their communities cope with todays health challenges and to prevent future health problems. The CommonHealth of Kentucky takes a close look at 29 projects throughout the state that are models for addressing a wide range of problems, from services that help first-time parents raise healthier babies to programs aimed at improving the quality of life for the elderly.
The big picture of health in Kentucky can seem overwhelming. By focusing on community-based solutions targeting specific health issues, The CommonHealth of Kentucky provides ideas for places to start. One of the goals of the series is to provide inspiration and tools that will encourage other people to replicate the featured models.
In fact, 23 of the featured projects were chosen, in a partnership between KET and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, specifically for their potential to be replicated in other communities. These Models That Work range from the Larue County Coordinated School Health Initiative to Kentucky Homeplace in Hazard, in which lay health workers help medically underserved residents access health services. The series also features other health projects, such as Mayor Abramsons Healthy Hometown Movement in Louisville and the Nun Study, a far-reaching Alzheimers research initiative of the University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging.
The series is hosted by Dr. Wayne Tuckson, the Louisville surgeon who also hosts Kentucky Health. Each program focuses on a particular health topic and features a roundtable discussion with a panel of health care professionals.
The CommonHealth of Kentucky is a KET production, produced by Jayne McClew and Deidre Clark. Judy Flavell was executive producer. The program is closed-captioned for the deaf and hard-of-hearing.
Our partners in the series and outreach tools are the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and the Partnership for a Fit Kentucky. The series was funded in part by Sound Partners for Community Health, a program of the Benton Foundation. Support was provided by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The CommonHealth of Kentucky also launches KETs Be Well Kentucky campaign, a multi-year initiative to use television, online and multimedia tools, and community outreach to improve Kentuckians health knowledge and practices.