Environment and health experts gather for Wyatt Symposium on April 4

Arthur Frank, professor and chair emeritus in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at Drexel University will present the keynote at the 2024 John P. Wyatt M.D. Environment and Health Symposium on April 4.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 14, 2024) — The 2024 John P. Wyatt, M.D. Environment and Health Symposium will be held 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday, April 4, 2024, at the J. David Rosenberg College of Law Grand Courtroom on the University of Kentucky campus.

The Wyatt symposium honors the legacy of John P. Wyatt and his pioneering environmental clinical research on air pollution and lung pathology. Universities and agencies from across the state have partnered to present research and practice on the environment and its impact on health.

The symposium will begin with a poster session at 9 a.m. followed by welcome remarks from UK President Eli Capilouto, Lexington-Fayette Urban County Mayor Linda Gorton, and Acting Dean of the UK College of Public Health Heather Bush at 10 a.m.

Arthur Frank, MD, Ph.D., will present the keynote: “Minerals, Plants, and Policy – Public Health in Action.” Frank is professor and chair emeritus in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the Dornsife School of Public Health, Drexel University. 

“Dr. Frank is an exemplary public health champion who has dedicated his career to research and advocacy on occupational and environmental issues including lung diseases, such as asbestosis, an entirely preventable disease," said symposium organizer Erin Haynes, the Kurt W. Deuschle Professor of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health and director of the UK Center for the Environment. "He has achieved international acclaim in the area of pulmonary occupational safety and health. As the first chair of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health in the UK College of Medicine and initiator of the Master of Science in Public Health, Dr. Frank is one of the founder fathers of the College of Public Health. It is a tremendous honor to recognize his accomplishments as we celebrate our college’s 20th anniversary."

Frank said, “It is a true pleasure to return to the University of Kentucky and I am honored to be the Wyatt keynote speaker this year. The discipline of Public Health has contributed greatly to the betterment of mankind and progress has been made in protecting the health and well-being of workers and those with environmental exposures. Work still needs to be done, but training and educating new public health practitioners will assist in continuing progress as the solutions of unfinished problems continue to be addressed.”  

Lunch will be provided, and the noon panel discussion will focus on “Public Health in Action,” with moderator Luz Huntington-Moskos, Ph.D., RN, CPN (associate professor, School of Nursing and director of the Community Engagement Core for the Center for Integrative Environmental Health Sciences, University of Louisville), and subject experts Jessica Dean, Esq. (Law Offices of Dean Omar Branham Shirley), Thomas C. Tucker, Ph.D., MPH (professor, UK College of Public Health and senior director for cancer surveillance at the Markey Cancer Center) and Cheryl Dean-Witt, Ph.D., RN (senior agriculture extension specialist, UK Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment).  

Registration is still open. Registrants can participate in person or by zoom. For a complete agenda and to register, visit

This event is made possible by the generous support of the John P. Wyatt family and most notably a gift from his son, Philip Wyatt. Symposium partners include the UK Center for the Environment, UK Office of the Vice President for Research, UK Center for Appalachian Research in Environmental Sciences, UK Superfund Research Center, Kentucky Climate Consortium, Kentucky Water Research Institute, Kentucky Geological Survey, UK Office of Sustainability, UK Tracy Farmer Institute for Sustainability and the Environment, Eastern Kentucky University, Kentucky State University, Murray State University,  Northern Kentucky University, Thomas More University and the University of Louisville.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.