Creating a Culture of Health in Appalachia: Disparities and Bright Spots


Creating a Culture of Health in Appalachia: Disparities and Bright Spots” is an innovative, multi-part health research project designed to, in successive reports: measure population health and document health disparities in the Appalachian Region; establish a framework for identifying Appalachian “Bright Spots,” or communities with better-than-expected health outcomes, including factors that reflect a Culture of Health; and, through in-depth case studies, explore replicable activities, programs, or policies that encourage better-than-expected health outcomes that translate into actions that other communities could replicate.

Health Disparities

The first report, Health Disparities is Appalachia, measures population health in Appalachia and documents disparities between the Region and the nation as a whole, as well as disparities within the Appalachian Region.

Statiscital Analysis

The second report, Identyfying Bright Spots in Appalachian Health: Statistical Analysis, describes the results of a regression analysis used to assess how each of the Appalachian Region’s 420 counties scored on 19 different health indicators, and then identifies counties with better-than-expected outcomes, given their characteristics and resource levels. Through this process, 42 Appalachian counties were classified as “Bright Spot” counties.

Case Studies

The third report in a series exploring health issues in Appalachia, Exploring Bright Spots in Appalachian Health: Case Studies, presents in-depth studies of 10 of the 42 “Bright Spot” counties identified through the statistical analysis described in the series’ second report.

This initiative is sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Appalachian Regional Commission, and is administered by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. PDA, Inc. performed this work in collaboration with The Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research.

More to Come

A final report identifying practical activities and strategies from the “Creating a Culture of Health in Appalachia: Disparities and Bright Spots” research initiative is expected to be released in late 2018.

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