Foundation, UK name endowed co-chairs in rural health policy

The University of Kentucky College of Medicine and the UK College of Public Health will be home to the new Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky Endowed Co-Chairs in Rural Health Policy. Tyrone “Ty” Borders of the College of Public Health department of health services management, and Brady Reynolds of the College of Medicine department of behavioral science, will jointly hold the endowed chair position. 

A $1 million gift made by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky to the College of Medicine was matched through Kentucky’s Research Challenge Trust Fund. The endowed chair position was formed with the goal of enriching Kentucky’s research capabilities in regards to rural health policy.  The College of Medicine is collaborating with the College of Public Health to share the resource, and to enhance UK’s research capacity on rural health issues and rural health policy

Reynolds earned doctoral and master’s degrees in life-span developmental psychology from West Virginia University. He also holds a master’s degree in general/experimental psychology and a bachelor’s degree (magna cum laude and with distinction) from James Madison University. He completed postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Chicago and the SUNY Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions. Most recently, he served as associate professor of pediatrics at The Ohio State University. His research has been funded by NIDA and NCI. Reynolds is the lead author of many peer-reviewed articles in the field of nicotine use by adolescents, drug use, gambling and other addictive behaviors. In recent years Reynolds also has begun research to promote smoking cessation among pregnant smokers in rural Appalachia.

PIB_Reynolds“I am delighted to have this opportunity to help the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky achieve its mission. I believe that improving health in rural Kentucky requires interplay between research and policy that is informed by the communities to be served. To this end, one of my primary objectives as Endowed Chair in Rural Health Policy will be to engage rural Kentucky communities in our efforts to fulfill the Foundation’s mission.”

Borders earned doctoral and master’s degrees in health administration, as well as a master’s degree in epidemiology from the University of Iowa, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Kansas.  His research focuses on the conduct and analysis of population-based studies to identify subgroups of persons at risk for poor health and problems obtaining health services, with an emphasis on rural populations.  His research has been funded by AHRQ, RWJF, NIAAA, and NIDA and has culminated in numerous peer-reviewed articles.   Borders serves as editor of The Journal of Rural Health, the world’s foremost academic publication devoted to rural health research.  In 2007, he was inducted as a Fellow into the American College of Epidemiology.

PIB_Borders“I am also proud to be named a Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky Endowed Chair in Rural Health Policy,” said Borders. “This will help me investigate how our health care system can be improved to better meet the needs of rural residents in Kentucky and the nation.”

The mission of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky is to address the unmet health care needs of   Kentuckians.  Mission objectives are advanced through two initiative areas: promoting responsive health policy and a new children’s initiative named “Investing in Kentucky’s Future.”   Foundation work aims to improve access to health care, reduce risks and disparities, promote health equity and healthy lifestyles.   Since 2001, over $22 million has been invested in health policy research and demonstration grant projects across Kentucky.

Reynolds and Borders begin as joint co-chairs immediately.

“This innovative approach to filling the endowed chair position allows the foundation and university to make excellent use of the experience and expertise of these two highly qualified individuals,” commented Susan Zepeda, President and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

“Drs. Reynolds and Borders have skills in intervention research and rural health policy expertise that can help the University remain at the forefront of rural health policy work in today’s rapidly changing healthcare environment,” concluded Zepeda.

Reynolds and Borders begin as joint co-chairs immediately.


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