The CommonHealth of Kentucky

A 13-part KET production aimed at improving the health of all Kentuckians by sharing health and wellness projects from across the state that are succeeding in making their communities healthier.

Be Well KentuckyBe Well Kentucky Logo
a project of KET’s Be Well Kentucky initiative

Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky
The CommonHealth of Kentucky is a 2005 KET production. Produced in partnership with the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Programs in the Series

1 • Series Overview
When it comes to health statistics, Kentucky’s numbers are not pretty. Why does the Commonwealth rank so low on these measures? What can we do to become individually and collectively healthier? And what would it mean for the state’s economy to improve Kentuckians’ general health?
2 • Access to Health Care
In many areas, shortages of health professionals and lack of insurance can prevent people from getting even basic health care. Visits to the Lewis County Primary Care Center, the Kentucky Homeplace program in Hazard, the Calloway County Angels Community Clinic, and the Frontier Nursing Service in Leslie County highlight some innovative ways to get people the health services they need.
3 • Reducing Obesity Through Nutrition
In schools and workplaces across Kentucky, nutrition education projects are addressing the problem of obesity by helping people eat a healthier diet. This program spotlights efforts in the Owensboro and Larue County public schools; the Literacy, Eating, and Activity for Preschoolers Health Program in Lexington; Logan Alive! at Logan Aluminum in Russellville; and Fayette County’s Controlled Healthy Eating Forever Society.
4 • Reducing Obesity Through Activity
The second key to managing weight is an active lifestyle. The Owensboro Public Schools’ Fit for Life campaign, the Larue County Coordinated School Health Initiative, a Rails to Trails project in Muhlenberg County, and Erlanger’s Step Forward are examples of efforts to promote healthy activity and provide safe places to exercise.
5 • Smoking Prevention and Cessation
One major Kentucky health issue is literally home-grown: Our long history of growing tobacco is reflected in the fact that we lead the nation in the number of adult and teenage smokers—and the number of lung cancer deaths—per capita. Efforts to reduce these numbers include the Tobacco Free Academy in Boyd County, the Cooper-Clayton Method To Stop Smoking, and smoke-free initiatives in several Kentucky communities.
6 • Student Health
This program spotlights some creative ways Kentuckians have found to educate students and their families on good health habits, including Health Promotion Schools of Excellence in Louisville and three Lexington projects: the Healthy Kids Centers; the Literacy, Eating and Activity for Preschoolers Health Program; and the VERB Summer Scorecard.
7 • Surviving Violence
Domestic violence is a sad reality in nearly every community. But the Appalachian Violence Outreach Network and Hardin County’s Advocacy and Support Center have found ways to decrease the number of cases of neglect and abuse, increase reporting of existing abuse, and support the victims.
8 • Addiction Recovery
Drug and alcohol addiction are intricately linked with issues like mental health and poverty—and often have an effect on wider issues like crime and violence. This program visits Chrysalis House in Lexington and the Healing Place in Louisville to learn how they help users kick the habit while providing a wider network of support for treatment, education, employment, and much more.
9 • Workplace Wellness
In addition to improving the health of individual employees, workplace wellness plans are good for the bottom line. The Lifestyle Enhancement Activity Program created by the Lewis County Primary Care Center and the Logan Alive! campaign at Russellville’s Logan Aluminum provide incentives for employees to make healthier choices, while the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown initiative in Louisville works to spread the benefits of wellness across an entire city.
10 • Disease Management
The Fayette County Public Schools’ Healthy Kids Centers and two Louisville projects—the Living Well Workshops: Chronic Disease Self-Management Program and Staying Alive: How To Be an Effective Caregiver—educate citizens about healthy lifestyles and encourage them to take responsibility for their own health. And at home, researching your family tree can bring health benefits.
11 • Mental Health
Nationwide, nearly half of us will suffer some sort of mental disorder during our lifetimes. Among the projects working to tackle mental health issues as they relate to overall health, destigmatize mental illness, and educate the community on ways to deal with the mentally ill are the Appalachian Violence Outreach Network, Louisville’s Crisis Intervention Team, the Healthy Kids Centers run by the Fayette County Public Schools, and the Larue County Coordinated School Health Initiative.
12 • Aging
Health issues related to aging are becoming increasingly critical as the number of Americans living to the age of 85 and beyond continues to skyrocket. While Louisville’s Staying Alive: How To Be an Effective Caregiver and Living Well Workshops: Chronic Disease Self-Management Program work to make the last years of life healthier and safer, researchers at the University of Kentucky study a group of nuns to uncover the causes of Alzheimer’s disease.
13 • Learning About Health
A review of community-based health and wellness education projects spotlights health literacy programs run by the Council of State Governments, Health Access Nurturing Development Services in Lewis County, Kentucky Homeplace in Hazard, the Larue County Coordinated School Health Initiative, the Lewis County Primary Care Center, the Living Well Workshops: Chronic Disease Self-Management Program in Louisville, and Promotores de Salud in Lexington.

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