Improving quality of life for all

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.


Patient-Centered Research Project to be presented at Kentucky Rural Health Association

Patrick Kitzman and Beth Hunter’s poster entitled “Perceived health and healthcare needs of people with neurological conditions transitioning back to rural communities” will be presented at the annual Kentucky Rural Health Association conference in Bowling Green KY (November 16-17). If you are attending the conference, please stop by. 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.


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.

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


“Bottom Dollars” Documentary in Lexington 

We shared the Somerset screening of this documentary with you in July, and now this documentary is coming to Lexington. This free screening and panel discussion about “Bottom Dollars”, an original film about employment for all by Rooted in Rights. “Bottom Dollars” is an hour-long documentary that exposes segregated workplaces and low wages often paid to people with disabilities. Through personal stories and expert interviews, the film presents a vision for better alternatives that promote community inclusion, equal opportunity, and fair wages.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017
6:00 – 8:00 PM
Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center
Community Room
300 E Third Street
Lexington KY 40508

For more information, contact Elaine Eisenbaum at or (859) 257=6086.

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. Videos of each session are in post-production stage, and we’ll let you know when we have those available to view.

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.


Kentucky Congress on Spinal Cord Injury Registration 

Please note that KCSCI 2017 will be on Friday, October 6. Please join us for a day packed full of topics like travel after a SCI, Wellness, Recreation and Advocacy, just to name a few. We will be providing both breakfast and lunch. Free t-shirts. Vendors with all kinds of products and services. The 2017 Tom Gravitt Advocacy Award.  It should be a great day. If you have a SCI or you are a family member, a person with a disability or advocate. Even if you are just curious.

Register for this FREE conference today.

The detailed agenda and speaker information can be viewed by clicking here.



Along with free registration to the 5th annual KCSCI meeting, we have the distinction of presenting a film viewing session in the afternoon with the producer of “The Rebound,” Mike Esposito, along with one of the star athletes in the film!

For quick info about the film, see this information sheet.


Also, KCSCI has a very active presence on Facebook – to join, search for “Kentucky Congress on Spinal Cord Injury.”


Falls Prevention in Madison County

On September 22nd, the first day of Fall, a network of service providers will offer fall prevention expertise at the Falls Prevention Awareness Day Event. This interactive resource fair is designed to help those who wish to lower their risk of falling.

A free lunch will be provided by Arcadian Cove for those who preregister by Friday, September 15. Call the Madison Count Extension Office, 859623-4072. Click here for the flyer.

Hazard Stroke Group Listed in National Registry

University of Kentucky’s Center of Excellence in Rural Health details the benefits of Hazard’s stroke support group. The monthly support group is one of many services offered to stroke patients and caregivers by Kentucky Care Coordination for Community Transitions (KC3T). For more information, the full text of CERH’s article is available by clicking here.


Keisha Hudson has registered the monthly support group on the National Stroke Association’s website, . This exposure will be beneficial as the group continues to thrive. New patients and caregivers can search for support groups in the Hazard area and find out how to connect to Kentucky Care Coordination for Community Transitions services. The national association has provided free resources and education to the stroke community for three decades. Thanks, Keisha, for spreading the word about your community activities in Hazard.


United Spinal Association newsletter available

Click here for the latest newsletter, archived newsletters, and to subscribe to future announcements. The current issue has features on advocacy events, ALS Awareness Month, and a research opportunity. Great information!