CHET DirectorNancy Schoenberg, Ph.D., is the Marion Pearsall Professor of Behavioral Science (College of Medicine) and Associate Vice President for Research on Health Disparities at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Schoenberg, a medical anthropologist and gerontologist, focuses on improving health equity through community-based participatory research approaches, with a specific emphasis on the prevention and control of chronic conditions. In partnership with community members, this research involves developing, administering, and evaluating community-engaged health promotion and disease prevention interventions. Dr. Schoenberg founded the Faith Moves Mountain community-based research organization in 2004 and has worked with rural residents to undertake rigorous, innovative RCTs. She has served as PI or co-PI on the following NIH grants: “An Intergenerational CBPR Intervention to Reduce Appalachian Health Disparities” (R01 DK081324, N=1200); ”Appalachians Together Restoring the Eating Environment (Appal-TREE)” (R24MD008018, N=500); “An Appalachian Cervical Cancer Prevention Project”, R01CA108696, N=460); ”Faith Moves Mountains: A CBPR Appalachian Wellness & Cancer Prevention Program” (R24MD002757, N=2400); and Patient Navigation for Cervical Cancer in Appalachia (R01 CA120606, N=350).  She currently leads several research projects including “Community-engaged Research & Action to Reduce Respiratory Disease in Appalachia” (R01 ES024771); “Appalachians Together Restoring the Eating Environment (Appal-TREE): Advancing Sustainable CBPR Interventions to Improve Healthy Diet in Rural Appalachian Children” (U01 MD010556) and “Community to Clinic Navigation to Improve Diabetes Outcomes.” (R01 DK112136). She and her colleagues have published over 130 peer reviewed publications in diverse, interdisciplinary journals. She has served as primary research mentor for over 50 junior colleagues, is a standing NIH study section member, serves on three editorial boards, regularly provides visiting lectures at the National Institutes of Health, served as the Associate Dean for Research in the UK College of Public Health, and was the Associate Editor of The Gerontologist for six years.

CHET Associate Director for Dissemination and Outreach: Carrie Oser, Ph.D., is Professor in the Department of Sociology and interim Associate Dean of Research in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Kentucky.  She has a joint appointment in the Department of Behavioral Science, and is a faculty affiliate in the Center on Drug and Alcohol Research (CDAR) and the Center for Violence against Women (CRVAW).  Dr. Oser’s research interests include addiction health services, HIV risk behaviors/interventions, social networks, and implementation science. Her research has investigated disparity in health status and access to health services among racial minority, rural, low-income, and criminal justice populations. Dr. Oser has been continuously funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) as a PI to examine these research interests since 2006 and has published findings in over 100 peer-reviewed journals and book chapters. As CHET’s Associate Director for Dissemination and Outreach, her goal is to foster the growth of collaborative research-oriented relationships with faculty across UK’s campus and with community partners to promote health equity in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Dr. Philip WestgateCHET Associate Director, Biostatistics Core: Philip Westgate, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biostatistics in the College of Public Health.  He serves as CHET’s Associate Director for Biostatistics and Research Design. Dr. Westgate received his PhD in Biostatistics from the University of Michigan in 2011, and joined the Department of Biostatistics in the College of Public Health at the University of Kentucky that same year. He has years of experience working with collaborators from across campus, and has special expertise in longitudinal studies and cluster trials. Dr. Westgate is a collaborative researcher whose skills are valuable across research areas. He is currently funded through numerous sources that include the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the Institute of Education Sciences, and the University of Kentucky departments of Pediatrics and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. The CHET Biostatistics and Research Design Core plays key and vital roles in the design and conduction of research studies, as well as the analysis of data arising from such studies and manuscript preparation. Dr. Westgate and the Biostatistics and Research Design Core team work with CHET investigators to troubleshoot and determine optimal study design in order to promote successful health equity research.

CHET Research Assistant: Myles Moody, MA, is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Kentucky.  He received a BA from Morehouse College and a MA from the University of Memphis. Since joining UK in 2015, Myles has been supported on a prestigious competitive Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Doctoral Scholars Program Fellowship. As a medical sociologist, his research focuses on racial health disparities across the life course, with a specific focus on stress. Myles has three peer-reviewed publications and several papers in various stages of the publication pipeline.

Matthew RutledgeCHET Research Assistant: Matthew Rutledge is a PhD candidate in Statistics and a Graduate Research Assistant for the Center for Health Equity Transformation (CHET) at the University of Kentucky. Before coming to CHET, Matthew received his MS in statistics from the University of Washington and volunteered as an agricultural extension agent in Madagascar with the Peace Corps. As a research assistant with CHET, Matthew helps faculty members with power analyses, statistical inference, and report writing. Matthew has enjoyed working with the faculty at CHET: “I love working with intelligent people who are passionate about their work and attempting to establish health equity means a lot to me.” Currently, Matthew is working with Dr. Carrie Oser on analyzing the relationship of social networks and mental health in rural drug-using women’s HIV beliefs, knowledge, and risk behaviors and assisting Dr. Nancy Schoenberg with implementing a culturally adapted, technology-associated intervention aimed at reducing risks for cancer, obesity, and other chronic conditions among rural residents with low socioeconomic status through their health behaviors. Matthew expects to receive his PhD in May 2020 and will pursue a career in industry. In the meantime, he hopes to continue learning from his mentors and colleagues at CHET.

Ariel ArthurCHET Manager: Ariel Arthur is a passionate, engaged public health professional with a focus on issues of equity and justice. She graduated from The George Washington University in May 2014 with a BA in Biological Sciences and a minor in Public Health. While in college she developed a keen interest and commitment to eliminating barriers to optimal health for marginalized and disadvantaged communities, and chose to pursue a career in health equity. Ariel worked for over three years as a Health Policy Analyst with the Kentucky Department for Public Health’s Office of Health Equity to reduce inequities throughout the commonwealth, and in the Chronic Disease Prevention Branch addressing issues of asthma and colon cancer. She currently serves as the Manager of the Center for Health Equity Transformation at the University of Kentucky, whose mission is to synergize innovative, transdisciplinary and impactful research and training to improve the health of the most vulnerable residents of Kentucky and beyond. Ariel is a California native and has also lived in Atlanta and Washington, D.C. Now that she calls Kentucky home, she enjoys working to ensure all populations she serves achieve the highest level of wellbeing.