UK Happenings

UK CERH announces registration and call for poster abstracts for Appalachian Research Day

Appalachian Research Day, "Come Sit on the Porch," will take place April 5, 2023, at the Ramada by Wyndham Hotel and Conference Center in Paintsville, KY.
Appalachian Research Day, "Come Sit on the Porch," will take place April 5, 2023, at the Ramada by Wyndham Hotel and Conference Center in Paintsville, Kentucky.

HAZARD, Ky. (March 8, 2023) — Appalachian Research Day, known as "Come Sit on the Porch," is an annual conference hosted by the University of Kentucky Center of Excellence in Rural Health (UK CERH) to share results of health research conducted with communities in Appalachia. This year's event will be held in person April 5, 2023, at the Ramada by Wyndham Hotel and Conference Center in Paintsville, Kentucky.

Poster abstracts can be submitted through March 13. The deadline to register to attend the conference is March 24.

This year’s presentations will include "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of COVID-19," a keynote address by Jamie Sturgill, Ph.D., a native of Appalachian Kentucky and faculty member of the UK College of Medicine. Her presentation will highlight some of the most recent findings from research being done at UK including clinical findings related to the acute phase of the virus and long-term effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection and implications thereof on public health for the state of Kentucky.

Other conference highlights include:

  • "Building Recovery Ecosystems in Central Appalachia," by Michael Meit, co-director, East Tennessee State University Center for Rural Health Research, and Andrew Howard, director of Policy Fletcher Group.
  • "Increasing Access to Healthcare Utilizing Drone Technology," presented by leaders of the USA Drone Port and community health workers at Kentucky Homeplace.

High school students from across the region will present numerous projects during a shared session. Healthy WAY (Wellness in All Youth) is a youth leadership and research development program created by the UK CERH for rural Kentucky high school students. Students selected for this competitive program will share results from their school-based projects, including:

  • "Decompression and Anxiety Reduction in Middle School Students Through Yoga and Art Therapy," Jackson Independent High School;
  • "Coping After COVID," Johnson Central High School;
  • "SMILE Club," Martin County High School; and
  • "Be Safe While You Surf," Pikeville High School.

Students from Buckhorn and Perry Central high schools will present "River Water Testing Utilizing Drone Technology," a citizen science project sponsored by the UK Center for Appalachian Research in Environmental Sciences (UK-CARES).

Poster sessions will be held during the networking breakfast and lunch. New at this year’s conference will be a health and research fair and a dedicated time for community roundtable discussions. Attendees can sign up for research projects currently recruiting in Appalachia, visit tables for a number of free health screenings, education and COVID-19 vaccines, and participate in conversations about what they believe is important for health research and well-being of local communities.

An awards session in the afternoon will recognize poster winners, the nominees and winner of the 2022 UK-CARES/UK CERH Environmental Health Community Engagement Award and other special guests.                         

“Appalachian Research Day, "Come Sit on the Porch," is all about community and coming together to talk about how we work together to be healthier. We are so honored to bring this important annual event back again this year after having to miss a couple of years due to the pandemic and historic flooding in Appalachia. It will be a wonderful day, and we are looking forward to seeing those who can join us,” said Fran Feltner, D.N.P., director of the UK CERH.

Click here to register, submit a poster abstract, see the agenda and view a list of heath and research fair exhibitors.

For more information, contact Beth Bowling at or 606-439-3557.

About the UK Center of Excellence in Rural Health: The University of Kentucky Center of Excellence in Rural Health was established by state legislation in 1990 to address health disparities in rural Kentucky and the unique challenges faced by our communities. The mission was and still is today to improve the health and well-being of rural Kentuckians. For more than three decades, the center has partnered with communities, providers, students and individuals to provide health professions education, health policy research, health care service and community engagement toward reaching this mission.

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.