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W I N T E R / S P R I N G U O F L M A G A Z I N E | 4 7 A C R O S S C A M P U S Researchers tackling high diabetes rates Three UofL researchers are partnering with communi- ties throughout three rural Kentucky counties in the f ght to lower area diabetes rates. Kent School profes- sors Pam Yankeelov, Anna Faul and Joe D'Ambrosio are part of the f ve-year KIPDA Rural Diabetes Coali- tion, created to learn about what communities in Bullitt, Henry and Shelby counties need to reduce diabetes rates and lengthen their citizens' lives. A $2.5 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funds the work, which engages local residents and agencies to determine what actions, such as a three-county walking contest and educational programs or better access to fresh produce, will lead to healthier lives. "This is taking evidence-based practices that you know work, taking them to the communities and modifying it for their own programs in order to be effective for their community," Yankeelov said. RAYMOND A. KENT SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK Kent School of Social Work researchers Pam Yankeelov (front), Anna Faul and Joe D'Ambrosio New undergraduate public health degree program to help meet workforce demands In an effort to meet a shortage of trained public health professionals, the School of Public Health and Information Sciences will launch a new undergraduate degree program in fall 2014 offering two degree options: a bachelor of science in public health (BSPH) for students focused on public health practice and a bachelor of arts in public health (BAPH) for liberal arts studies. According to the Kentucky Institute of Public Health Practice Enhancement, more than half of the state's public health workforce lacks formal education in the profession's essential core functions. To underscore the concern, the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services is calling for additional training opportunities to strengthen public health worker competencies. SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH AND INFORMATION SCIENCES Virtual simulation program to train home health workers Professional caregivers providing in-home ser- vices for ill and disabled patients may face any number of hazards in their day-to-day work, such as cluttered rooms, inaccessible bathrooms and rodents. But thanks to the work of a UofL researcher, home health workers will learn how to overcome these potential- ly dangerous challenges. School of Nursing Shirley B. Powers En- dowed Chair in Nursing Barbara Polivka, PhD, RN, and researchers from Ohio State Univer- sity are developing and testing a virtual simula- tion training system to help these professionals recognize, assess and respond to risks. Their research is funded by a three-year, $870,000 grant from the National Institute for Occupation- al Safety and Health, a part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The virtual simula- tion design will require trainees to actively par- ticipate. In addition to non-playing characters, such as pets and family members that will have scripted actions and responses, the program also may incorporate avatars or graphical representations of other participants, such as instructors. SCHOOL OF NURSING Virtual model will be based on in-home scenes such as this. U L _ 4 7 4 7 UL_47 47 1 / 2 4 / 1 4 9 : 5 6 A M 1/24/14 9:56 AM

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