LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 28 2019) — In 2016, the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center launched the Appalachian Career Training in Oncology (ACTION) Program. The program offers both high school and college students the opportunity to gain cancer research, clinical, outreach and educational experiences that will enrich their interest in pursuing a future cancer-focused career.
At Saturday’s football game, more than 25 of the participating students were honored on the field alongside ACTION program director Nathan Vanderford, Ph.D., and program coordinator Chris Prichard.
Kentucky has the unfortunate distinction of being ranked first in the nation in overall cancer incidence and mortality, with the greatest disparity falling in the Appalachian region of the state. Additionally, the region faces other issues compounding the problem, including lower education rates and a lower socioeconomic status compared to other parts of the country.
Since its inception, ACTION has been designed to train and educate students to help them make a difference in their own communities – and to ultimately become prepared to pursue a cancer-focused career. Currently, the program is training 16 UK undergraduates and 20 high school students.
Vanderford and Prichard recently sat down with UK Research Media for a podcast on the ACTION program, available here.