Journal of Appalachian Health Publishes Inaugural Issue

By Kara Richardson

Scholars based at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health recently launched a new, open-access, online publication — the Journal of Appalachian Health (JAH) — to highlight research focused on the health of people living in Appalachia. In collaboration with UK Libraries and the University Press of Kentucky, and with the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and partner institutions across Appalachia, the founding editors took the first issue live in the spring of 2019. 

“I am delighted to have worked with colleagues to create a source for disseminating solutions to the health problems of the region where I was born, raised and practiced. I hope it will serve to improve the information that all of us need to improve the health of those in Appalachia,” said Dr. F. Douglas Scutchfield, editor-in-chief of the JAH and Bosomworth Professor in Health Services Research and Policy.

The first issue of the JAH includes articles on topics including childhood exposure to second-hand smoke, the relationship between income inequality and early mortality, and efforts to increase preventive care to in hopes of decreasing the prevalence of diabetes.

The inaugural issue also includes an introduction to the new publication, “Delivering health knowledge and wisdom from the hills and hollows of Appalachia,” wherein the editors invite readers to find the “knowledge in the pages of Appalachia’s hills.” In this opening essay, the editors lay out the case for the JAH. They describe “a need to provide an outlet for scholarship about Appalachia’s health so that knowledge, and occasionally wisdom, is shared with those who care about and are committed to improving the region’s health.”

“We are very excited to launch this new journal as a hub for community and academic research in Appalachia,” said Erin Haynes, DrPH, senior associate editor of the JAH and professor and chair of Epidemiology at the UK College of Public Health. “We anticipate that the journal will foster new research collaborations that will ultimately improve the health of the region.”

“UK Libraries is proud to publish the JAH on the UKnowledge platform,” said Adrian Ho, director of Digital Scholarship of the Libraries. “Our collaboration with the journal team is an exemplar of how UK can make a positive impact on the Commonwealth and Appalachian communities through the synergy of expertise and resources from different campus units. We look forward to publishing more research focused on improving people’s health in the Appalachian region.” 

The JAH will be released quarterly. Submissions for future issues may be directed to AppalachHealth@uky.edu. More information on the journal, as well as an option to sign up for publication alerts for future issues, can be found at https://uknowledge.uky.edu/jah/. The JAH is also on social media platforms FacebookYouTubeLinkedInInstagramand Twitter

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 two years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. The Chronicle of Higher Education judged us a “Great College to Work for,”  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 three 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.

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