LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 5, 2019) — The University of Kentucky Human Development Institute's (HDI) State Disability and Health Program, Project CHEER (Community Health Education and Exercise Resources), has partnered with Natalie Littlefield, the community health director for the Lexington Division of the American Heart Association (AHA) and a UK alumna. Together they co-authored a presentation titled “Promotion of Successful Inclusion of Individuals with Disabilities Through Universal Design in American Heart Association’s Health Programs.” The presentation will be showcased at the 2019 American Public Health Association’s (APHA) annual meeting and expo Nov. 2-6 in Philadelphia.
The presentation will review the community collaborations, universal design strategies in health programming and pilot results of an inclusive offering of the AHA’s Mobile Kitchen series. Future directions for broadening efforts and sustainability will be explained. Additionally, presenters will briefly discuss adaptation and implementation of a second inclusive pilot of AHA’s Healthy for Life program with implementation late spring 2019.
“This is such an important partnership with the AHA because we want to promote the broad accessibility of great health services to individuals who are often at the highest risk for being unhealthy and underserved, and this presentation provides us the opportunity to encourage other programs to do the same,” said Lindsey Mullis, inclusive health director of HDI's Project CHEER, which is a program HDI administers through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“Kentucky has one of the highest rates of disability in the nation at 34.6%,” said Littlefield, who received her Master of Public Health with a concentration in health behavior from UK's College of Public Health. “The CDC reports that heart disease, stroke and diabetes occur at a rate three times higher than the general population. That’s why the AHA is partnering with Project CHEER to promote inclusion for all individuals in our community programs.”
Presenting with Littlefield from Project CHEER will be Lindsey Mullis, Megan Jaspersen and Danielle Augustin of the University of Kentucky Human Development Institute.
The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers." We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.