Community Leadership Institute of Kentucky Accepting 2015 Applications

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 29, 2015) — The Community Leadership Institute of Kentucky (CLIK), which provides research and leadership training, funding, and technical support for community research projects, is accepting applications for its 2015 class. Applications materials are due Aug. 17 for approximately 10 available slots. 

Now in its second year, CLIK aims to engage and empower leaders, organizations, and communities to reduce health disparities, leverage funding and better use data to improve services and programs. The intensive five-week program is designed for community leaders who play a key role in data-based decision making related to health and health care. Participants will be supported in developing and implementing a project with a “real world deliverable” that builds organizational and community capacity.

Training sessions led by UK faculty and staff and community partners will address evidence-based practices, how to assess community health, grant writing, budgeting, accessing and using public datasets and program evaluation.  The sessions will be held at the UK Center of Excellence in Rural Health in Hazard, Ky., Tuesdays from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. from Oct. 13 to Nov. 10, 2015.

Each participant’s organization will also receive a $2,500 grant for their participation in this competitive program and completion of their proposed project. The participant’s organization must have 501c3 status or a designated lead fiscal agency (health agency or non-profit) to receive and manage the grant award. 

Priority will be given to leaders from Appalachian Kentucky and to projects related to cancer prevention (e.g., nutrition, physical activity, smoking cessation), reducing obesity and sedentary lifestyle, prevention and management of chronic diseases (e.g., diabetes and cardiovascular disease), and prevention and treatment of substance abuse. CLIK is offered through a partnership of the UK Center for Excellence in Rural Health, the UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science Community Engagement Program, and the Kentucky Office of Rural Health.

2014 CLIK Class

The inaugural 2014 CLIK class included leaders from health services, education, and community organizations:

Sandy Bowling, LKLP (Leslie, Knott, Letcher, and Perry) Community Action Council

Project: Promoting Healthy Living by Increasing Physical Activity

"The whole program was beneficial—from being there with other people and talking through ideas, to interviewing techniques, research, and formulating my program. The networking was extremely beneficial and the teachers were so informative. There wasn't a portion of it that was not beneficial. And I came back excited, and I think that helped my staff get excited, and that helped get our clients excited. We're in the third quarter of our program and I've seen a big difference in physical activity among  my clients."

Neva Francis, Kentucky One Health- St. Joseph Martin

Project: St. Joseph Martin/Floyd County Health Department Diabetes Partnership

“I am so glad I was accepted into the inaugural class of Community Leadership Institute of Kentucky; however, I hesitated to apply to CLIK for various reasons, such as programs often don’t live up to the hype. The CLIK program did live up to the hype and it was one of the most intense, fun-filled programs I have had the privilege of being a part of in my 37 years in health care.  The sessions were packed with a wealth of usable information and the instructors had a passion for what they do and it came through in their presentations.

The funding received for participating in the CLIK program was also very beneficial for Saint Joseph Martin.  It afforded us the opportunity to expand our collaborative effort with the Floyd County Health Department diabetes program by supplying all participants with test strips.

"I would encourage all leaders to participate in this outstanding program.”

Sandy Hogg, Kentucky Valley Education Cooperative

Project: Worksite Wellness Program Focused on Diabetes

"I personally benefited from participating in the CLIK program due to the leadership development that I received from the training.  At Kentucky Valley Education Cooperative we do lots of research projects and I have been able to show other staff members how the process works.  The staff have all become so excited about the health and wellness staff development that CLIK help us put together.  The chatter around the office continues to be around the number of steps each one has taken that day.  If I could encourage everyone to take this leadership training I would recommend it highly."

Stephen Richardson, Knott County Board of Education

Project: Improving Oral Health Among K-2 Students

"This was the most intense and useful leadership program I've been through. The more I learned, the more my project changed and evolved. I changed the way I thought about my project because I want them to brush their teeth today, but my real concern is what happens to them when they get out of high school -- so they can get a job and feed their families. You've got to take care of your body and your teeth. And this is formulating community partnerships so it's not standing alone. I'm really excited about seeing what comes out of it. The parents love it. "

Haley Siler, Barren River District Health Department

Project: Improving Nutrition for SNAP Recipients through Cooking Skills

"The experiences afforded me by the CLIK program helped me grow in my work as performance management coordinator for Barren River District Health Department, which covers eight counties and a primarily rural population. CLIK expanded on many areas of data management and evaluation that I had worked with and helped me better reframe my experiences and the new lessons in the context of rural community health. Working in a small cohort over several meetings also afforded the opportunity to see what lessons others learned to then apply for myself and when working with others in my community. Most importantly, the CLIK gave me the chance to work directly in my community, applying skills myself. My job experiences previously have often involved helping “behind the scenes” while others do the actual work in the community. Seeing the challenges and rewards of direct contact with my community has been my favorite part of the CLIK program."

Kelsey Tackett, Floyd County Schools

Project: Successful Women and Appalachian Girls (SWAG) Present: Take on the Greenhouse

"The girls really enjoyed the hard labor that they experienced in the greenhouse. There was a lot of talk about gender norms and how my SWAG girls really don't ever have the opportunity to be this hard working or hands on. For the most part the girls were very eager to progress in the greenhouse on a weekly basis. When the school year starts we will return to the greenhouse to continue to make it a manageable and usable space in addition to working on gaining more knowledge on how to improve our green thumbs! I do have to say that it did start conversations about health and the greenhouse space. Additionally, SWAG girls took small plants and tomatoes to work on nurturing at their homes during the summer. I'm excited to see what next steps we can take in order to improve our health, school and program!"

For questions regarding the program, contact Beth Bowling at or 606-439-3557 ext. 83545.

Media Contact: Mallory Powell,