Improving quality of life for all

Call for posters: Appalachian Research Day

Community-based research begins at the local level, built upon the foundation of relationships with individuals, neighborhoods and groups who have common questions and concerns. Appalachian Research Day is an opportunity to join in the discussion and learn about findings from research studies that have occurred in local communities. 

Registration and poster abstract submissions are now open.

Kentucky Stroke Registry Article Published

An in-press article in Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases documents the Kentucky Appalachian Stroke Registry. This registry was developed and has been utilized to determine healthcare needs. This article addresses how the registry’s aggregated data  quantifies the relationship between stroke and diabetes.

Individual researchers can request data from the registry for their own projects, as well.


End of Year Announcements

Thank you for your participation in our network over the past year! We wish you a safe and happy break and best wishes for the coming year. Our year-end report and December meeting minutes are provided for all of the latest details on our network and programs.

Please note that our KARRN offices (and UK) will be closed after December 22 and will reopen January 2.

We anticipate that everyone will be busy at the beginning of the year. KARRN will not meet in January, but we will be in contact by email to continue planning for the 2018 KARRN conference.

We’ll be back to our regular times for meetings in-person and by Zoom on Tuesday, February 6 at noon.

KARRN 2017 Conference – Recorded Sessions Available

  • Did you attend our conference, and want to revisit some of what you heard?
  • Were you unable to attend our conference, and want to see it archived?
  • Did you love it, and want to share with colleagues?

All sessions can be accessed through our website’s Video Library in the lower left corner, or through the direct link:


Article Features Kentucky Care Coordination for Community Transitions

Hazard’s Navigator for neurological conditions, Keisha Hudson, is recognized in a UKNow article for the extensive and innovative services she provides in her community. The health outcomes, quality of life improvements and financial savings of the KC3T program are very much appreciated by patients, families and healthcare providers. Pictured at right is a recent Stroke Support Group. The group, which meets monthly, recently celebrated its two year anniversary.

PCORI Data presented at Kentucky Rural Health Association Conference

Pat Kitzman and Katy Sutton traveled to Bowling Green on November 16 to present the poster based on our PCORI project. The poster title was “The Road Back Home: Perceived Health and Healthcare Needs of People with Neurological Conditions Transitioning Back to Rural Communities.”
In this study, participants have given their time in interviews, work groups, half-day meetings and Zoom video conferencing. They have shared what their health information sources are and what their own health research priorities are. Participants are working to develop projects to address some of these research questions that they have identified. The findings from this two-year project also will be presented at the annual conferences of the American Occupational Therapy Association and the American Physical Therapy Association next year.

Congrats to authors Sheppard-Jones, Hunter and Bower

KARRN members Kathy Sheppard-Jones, Beth Hunter and Walter Bower have a new chapter published entitled “Capacity Building in Rural Communities Through Community-Based Collaborative Partnerships.” It is included in the book Disability and Vocational Rehabilitation in Rural Settings, which is now available. 

For more information, see:



Waiver Webinar by HDI

Join HDI online or in person at Coldstream on Friday, November 17, 2017 from 1:00-3:00 pm as Lori Gresham from the Department of Medicaid Services provides an overview of waivers, addresses the application process, and discusses upcoming waiver redesign. Visit HDI Seminar Registration to register.




North American Spinal Cord Injury Consortium is established – includes KCSCI

We were excited to hear about Kentucky Congress on Spinal Cord Injury’s latest news. They, along with other states’ organizations have grouped together to form the North American SCI Consortium (NASCIC). The purpose is to convene organizations in North America that advocate, represent or communicate with people living with spinal cord injury. Their inaugural meeting was October 12, 2017, and their initial focus will be on research and connecting the research community with the SCI community.


Research study: Meditation for People after Stroke

Patrick Kitzman met recently with Cheryl Carrico and discussed a current project that is based at Cardinal Hill in Lexington. The study will teach stroke survivors a meditation technique and look at the effects on attention. Ms. Carrico is currently recruiting participants, and more information can be found in this recruitment flyer. The researchers hope to expand the medical conditions and the research sites in future work.



Bravo, Kentucky Congress on Spinal Cord Injury &
Independence Place!

The 5th annual KCSCI meeting on October 6 was packed full of energy,  information, and fellowship. Cardinal Hill was a wonderful location, as always, and Independence Place did a fantastic job planning, staffing and carrying out the day’s events. Jason Jones and Sasha Rabchevsky provided the framework of the past’s years accomplishments and plans for the coming year. Willis Deitz provided a presentation about Independence Place’s history and services, followed by journalist Lilly Longshore’s session about accessible international travel. After lunch, Mike Esposito shared his experience of producing the wheelchair basketball documentary “The Rebound.” A lively panel discussion offered multiple perspectives, and the Tom Gravitt Advocacy Award was given to David Allgood in recognition of his contributions.

Keep in mind that there are plenty of opportunities to stay involved with Congress throughout the year! Congress is very active on Facebook and posts about advocacy events, and is always in need of interested Advisory Board members.

Planning for New Center

As a natural extension of KARRN, we are in the process of developing the concept for a new center called the Kentucky Appalachian Assistive and Rehabilitation Technology Center. We envision this community-engaged center to be based in Eastern Kentucky  and to provide state of the art rehabilitation and assistive technology services, interdisciplinary research, and collaborative education with high schoolers through professionals.

To view the prospectus publication, click here.


Waiver Program Update

KARRN member Carolyn Wallace and her son Aaron recently attended a focus group in Frankfort to provide stakeholder experiences, with the goal of shaping the services the Kentucky Department of Medicaid Services provides. In this current phase, input about the importance and impact of the community-based 1915(c) waiver program (which includes Acquired Brain Injury Medicaid waivers) can be sent by email to or by phone to Lori Gresham at (502) 564-7540.

Thank you, Carolyn, for representing! If anyone has any success stories, improvements that occurred through the use of the waiver program, or other input, please email or phone.
KARRN Conference Recap & Supplemental Resources

The 8th annual Kentucky Appalachian Rural Rehabilitation Network conference on August 29 from 9:00-5:00 at Eastern Kentucky University was well attended. We brought together 199 students, providers, and individuals and caregivers affected by stroke, spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury.

As promised, our speakers have provided supplemental resources. CLICK HERE to view them. 

A very special thank you to our sponsors:

  • Paralyzed Veterans of America Education Foundation (conference grant)
  • University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences
  • Eastern Kentucky University
  • Spinal Cord & Brain Injury Research Center (SCoBIRC)
  • Kentucky AgrAbility
  • Advanced Medical Group LLC

Much appreciation also goes to our speakers who generously provided their time and expertise: Jennifer Hastings, Don Helme, Beth Hunter, Patrick Kitzman, Jane Kleinert and our panelists: Jason Jones, Tonya and Mark Kincaid, Sasha Rabchevsky, Sara Salles, DO, Carolyn and Aaron Wallace.

To review the conference agenda and speaker information, click here.