Nancy Schoenberg

PI: Nancy Schoenberg
Co-I: Roberto Cardarelli
PROJECT NAME: Community to Clinic Navigation to Improve Diabetes Outcomes
GRANT ID: National Institutes of Health, R01-DK112136
PROJECT DATES: 08/01/2017-06/30/2022
DESCRIPTION: With a sample of 1280, test a randomized behavioral trial to improve diabetes outcomes. The arms include a Community Health Worker-led diabetes self-management education group, a Patient Navigation to clinical care arm, and a combination the self-management and clinical navigation.

M-PIs: Nancy Schoenberg & Mark Swanson
PROJECT NAME: Appalachians Together Restoring the Eating Environment (Appal-TREE)
GRANT ID: Advancing Sustainable CBPR Interventions to Improve Healthy Diet in Rural Appalachian Children” National Institutes of Health, U01-MD010556
PROJECT DATES: 04/26/2016-12/31/2020

  • GoH20 To Decrease Childhood Obesity: Implementation of water refill stations and provision of water bottles to decrease intake of sugar sweetened beverages. Results were outstanding, with over 20,000 water bottles filled during a brief 2 month period, an average of 11.4 quarts per student; increased frequency of water consumption by 0.13 days per month, compared to a decrease of 1.84 days per month for students in control schools (p=0.02), and the amount of water consumed increased by 3.95 ounces per time consumed, compared to a decrease of 1.44 ounces at control schools (p<0.0001).
  • Cooking Classes: The Appal-TREE Project has offered dozens of healthy cooking classes in diverse environments, including the Public Housing authority, churches, and community centers. Results indicate significant improvements in fruit and vegetable consumption, increased likelihood of preparing meals at home, and decreased fast food consumption. (p<0.01). • Twenty-two sets of cooking classes have been held, each of which includes eight sessions (a total of 176 sessions) in several Appalachian counties. These classes consist of essential skills (knife handling, nutrition education) and provide step by step instructions on culturally appropriate, low cost, and nutritionally sound recipes.
  • Summer Feeding Program: We conducted the first national summer feeding program to be held at farmer’s market to promote children’s healthy food consumption. We compared the nutritional quality of meals received at the school versus at the farmer’s market. Nutritional quality of meals consumed at the farmer’s market far surpasses those consumed at the schools, with significantly more fruit and vegetables consumed (p<0.001).

M-PIs: Nancy Schoenberg & Steven Browning
PROJECT NAME: Community-engaged Research & Action to Reduce Respiratory Disease in Appalachia
GRANT ID: National Institutes of Health, R01-ES024771
PROJECT DATES: 05/15/2015-03/14/2020
DESCRIPTION: Collected a comprehensive survey of health history and home characteristics, with pulmonary function tests from 972 adults in Letcher and Harlan Counties, Kentucky. Of households contacted, 82.1% consented to participate in this community-based study. Participants recruited and stratified by “hollers” (mountain neighborhoods), an innovative approach to insure representation of hard to reach, vulnerable populations. Have begun an intervention aimed at reducing asthma symptoms by offering asthma education by a visiting nurse, smoking cessation classes, and a Healthy Homes inspection and remediation for allergens in the home. This will reach 200 adults with asthma.

Carrie Oser

PI: Carrie Oser
Co-I’s: Michele Staton, Hannah Knudsen, and Katherine Eddens
PROJECT NAME: Improving Outcomes After Prison for Appalachian PWIO: The Role of XR-NTX & Networks
GRANT ID: National Institutes of Health, R03-DA043377
PROJECT DATES: 9/1/2016-8/31/2018
DESCRIPTION: The primary goal of this timely and significant natural history study is to understand the facilitating factors and barriers in Appalachia associated with the continuum of care at re-entry for persons who inject opioids (PWIOs) who do and do not initiate extended-release injectable naltrexone (XR-NTX, Vivitrol®, Alkermes Inc.) while in prison. Specific aims include: (1) To identify the individual-level factors, including XR-NTX initiation, and personal (egocentric) network factors associated with continuity of care and adverse health outcomes among re-entering Appalachian PWIOs, and (2) To describe individual, network, and institutional gaps in the XR-NTX continuum of care among Appalachian PWIOs re-entering the community after initiating XR-NTX in prison. 


PI: Lauren Brinkley-Rubinstein
KY PI: Carrie Oser
Co-I’s: Kathryn Nowotny, David Wohl, and Nick Zaller
PROJECT NAME: The Southern Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Cohort Study: Longitudinal PrEP Initiation & Adherence among Parolees
GRANT ID: National Institutes of Health, R01-MD013573
PROJECT DATES: 9/1/2018-8/31/2023
DESCRIPTION: Little is known about PrEP knowledge, acceptability, initiation, and sustained use among parolees recently released from prison or how these patterns vary by individual (HIV risk factor, sociodemographic characteristics), social (stigma, social support), and structural (housing, employment) factors. Therefore, are conducting an observational, multi-site cohort study in North Carolina, Kentucky, and Florida—the Southern Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis [PrEP] Cohort Study among Parolees (SPECS-P). The specific aims are: 1) characterize PrEP knowledge and acceptability among parolees; 2) identify the multi-level factors that predict PrEP initiation and sustained use among parolees; 3) qualitatively assess the multi-level factors that affect PrEP acceptability, initiation and sustained use to inform future intervention development. The proposed project will be the first observational cohort study that includes a CJ involved population at extreme risk for HIV acquisition. Our study is aligned with the following high priority topics as defined by the NIH, NIMHD Science Visioning, and Office of AIDS Research: a) advancing evaluation of approaches to improve minority health or to reduce health disparities; and b) reducing incidence of HIV/AIDS and implementing strategies to improve entry into prevention services.


April Young

PI: April Young
PROJECT NAME: Role of Social Media and Mobile Apps in Sexual and Drug Co-Usage Networks of MSM
GRANT ID: National Institutes of Health, R03-DA039740
PROJECT DATES: 9/1/2016–8/31/2018
DESCRIPTION: The goal of this project is to examine overlap in the sexual and drug co-usage networks of men who have sex with men (MSM) and to overlay information about sexual partnerships facilitated by the use of social networking applications to determine the association between app use and spatial and network-level patterns of HIV risk behavior in a mid-size city in the South.

M-PIs: April Young and Hannah Cooper
PROJECT NAME: Kentucky Communities and Researchers Engaging to Halt the Opioid Epidemic (CARE2HOPE)
GRANT ID: National Institutes of Health, UG3-DA044798
PROJECT DATES: 8/15/2017–7/31/2019
DESCRIPTION: The proposed project will employ community/academic partnerships to build effective, evidence-based, community-grounded public health responses to combat the intertwined epidemics of heroin and non-medical prescription opioid injecting, overdoses, and HCV, and imminent HIV outbreaks, in 12 of the hardest hit rural counties in the US. Located in Central Appalachian Kentucky, 10 of the 12 counties are in the top 5% for HIV/HCV vulnerability in the US. 

M-PIs: April Young and Hannah Cooper 
PROJECT NAME: Novel methods for research on young rural opioid users at risk of HIV, HCV & OD
GRANT ID: National Institutes of Health, R21-DA042727
PROJECT DATES: 7/28/2016–7/27/2018
DESCRIPTION: The overarching aim of this mixed-methods study is to lay the foundations to launch a new generation of high-impact multilevel research and interventions into how risk environments influence NMPO and heroin use; injecting transitions; and HIV, hepatitis C, and overdose risk among young adults in multiple US rural counties. The study aims to develop and test the feasibility of using (a) WebRDS, a virtual form of respondent-driven sampling, and (b) a virtual eligibility screener to create a sample (N=200) of young adult opioid users in a rural epicenter of NMPO use, heroin use, and related harms. The study will also create and validate novel survey-based and virtual geospatial measures of features of rural risk environments, and develop and pilot (a) an internet survey of the rural risk environment; drug use patterns; HIV and HCV risk; and OD risk and occurrence and (b) a system of at-home HIV testing.


Matthew L. Bush

PI: Matthew L. Bush
PROJECT NAME: Promoting Early Diagnosis of Congenital Hearing Loss Through Patient Navigation
GRANT ID: National Institutes of Health, K23-DC014074
PROJECT DATES: 3/1/2015–2/28/2019
DESCRIPTION: Hearing loss affects millions of adult and pediatric patients and can impair communication, education, employment, and quality of life. Deaf and hard of hearing individuals may lack the knowledge, resources, and/or community infrastructure to obtain timely diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Bush leads a trans-disciplinary multi-institutional team in developing innovative interventions to improve diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss. This team has a diversity of experts from audiology, speech language pathology, behavioral science, public health, biostatistics, healthcare policy and economics, local community partnerships and the Kentucky Cabinet of Health and Family Services and have successfully conducted clinical trials involving behavioral interventions within vulnerable populations.


Roberto Cardarelli

PI: Roberto Cardarelli
PROJECT NAME: Lung Cancer Screening Implementation in a Vulnerable Appalachia Community
PROJECT DATES: 01/2016-12/2019
DESCRIPTION: The goal of this project is to disseminate and implementing lung cancer screening and tobacco cessation program in NE Appalachia across a spectrum of learners and within the integrated clinic systems associated with St. Claire Regional Medical Center.