The Commonwealth Institute of Kentucky

Welcome to the website of the Commonwealth Institute of Kentucky (CIK). Established in 2015 with funding from KentuckyOne Health, CIK obtained recognition from the Board of Trustees in January 2016.  The institute began to build its infrastructure almost immediately and initiated several projects.  Through the work of the CIK executive committee, we have established guiding principles, goals and organizational structure that is strongly aligned with CIK’s mission of informing policy and practice that will improve the health of populations in Kentucky and beyond by facilitating and supporting transdisciplinary collaborations for research and data analytics.

 CIK was fortunate to recognize considerable growth during the past three years with the hiring of our deputy director, assistant director, four faculty members, research staff, and several graduate assistants.  At the same time, CIK has been actively targeting faculty from the University of Louisville and other institutions to become Commonwealth Scholars. Currently we have 49 scholars who, as recognized affiliates of CIK, comprise the base of expertise on which CIK draws for transdisciplinary research projects focused on population health improvement, policy, and analytics.

In an effort to enhance our capacity to link urban and public health researchers, CIK has been cultivating relationships with researchers from multiple disciplines and organizations across diverse sectors. We currently collaborate with the U of L Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Business, Arts and Sciences, the Kent School of Social Work, the College of Education and Human Development, the Department of Justice Administration, the Department of Urban and Public Affairs, and the Kentucky State Data Center. Within Louisville Metro Government, we work with the Center for Health Equity, Department of Public Health and Wellness (LMPHW), the Office of Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods (OSHN), and the Police Department (LMPD). Other state and local partners include the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, the Kentucky Center for Education & Workforce Statistics, Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS), and many community-based, civic, and faith organizations.

Collaborating with the Center for Health Equity within LMPHW, we created a shared post-doctoral research associate, submitted several project and research proposals, enhanced training for our graduate students, and engaged our young people with the 2017 Health Equity Youth Council.  Our partnership with the Kentucky State Data Center, led by Commonwealth Scholar and CIK Executive Committee member Dr. Matt Ruther, enabled CIK to facilitate U of L researchers’ access to the new Federal Statistical Research Data Center at the University of Kentucky. At the same time, CIK formalized its partnership with IDEAS xLab, a network of artist-innovators driving change, to advance our collective efforts to create the Center for Art + Health Innovation to conduct cutting-edge research and practice marrying community, arts, culture, and health equity.

With over $13 million secured for infrastructure, data warehousing, and research activities, CIK researchers engaged in 29 projects. Nine of these projects were completed, sixteen are currently ongoing, and four projects will start in July 2018. Through infrastructure and project funds, CIK has partially supported 24 U of L faculty members, and fully funded nine staff members, 22 graduate assistants, and three postdoctoral fellows.

 We are proud of these accomplishments and eager to advance and pursue new opportunities!

 

Monica Wendel, DrPH, MPH
Director, Commonwealth Institute of Kentucky
Associate Dean for Public Health Practice
School of Public Health and Information Sciences | University of Louisville

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