University of Louisville recognized for exemplary community engagement project

A UofL nursing student (in red) and program director Dedra Hayden provide care to a patient at the clinic for racetrack workers. (UofL Photo)

September 22, 2022

In recognition of its community engagement efforts, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) today recognized the University of Louisville for its exemplary community engagement project.

UofL received the honor for its health care clinic for racetrack workers at Churchill Downs. Seeking to improve access to health care, the UofL School of Nursing spearheaded efforts to partner with the Kentucky Racing Health and Welfare Fund to provide health care services to uninsured workers in the Kentucky horse racing industry. Many workers are non-English speaking with little access to and support finding health care. The partnership provides primary care, women’s health care, and mental health care to workers and their families as well as care focused on preventing costly chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and asthma.

UofL School of Nursing faculty and advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) Krista Roach and Dedra Hayden, who also serves as the program’s director, engage UofL Latin American and Latino Studies program students to help with interpretation, dental students to provide care to patients with complex dental cases, and nursing students to provide care alongside nurse practitioners. In addition to ongoing year-round health services, during the pandemic the program’s nurse practitioner providers played an indispensable role in addressing vaccine hesitancy among their client population.

“At UofL, we are committed to directly impacting the health and well-being of Louisville and beyond,” said UofL Interim Vice President for Community Engagement Douglas Craddock. “Our clinic for equine industry workers both cares for an often-marginalized community and provides essential hands-on, experiential learning to our students, empowering them to make a difference in the lives of the people they serve.”

“Health care provided by our highly qualified nurse practitioners is critical to helping address the shortage of primary care providers in Kentucky. The UofL School of Nursing is honored to play such an important role in providing care to those who otherwise may not have access. We are thrilled by this recognition,” said Interim Dean of the School of Nursing Mary DeLetter. 

Michigan State University, Texas Tech University and West Virginia University also were recognized for exemplary projects. Additionally, APLU announced that four of its member universities have been selected as regional winners of the 2022 W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Engagement Scholarship Award. As regional winners, the University of Georgia, the University of Texas at San Antonio, the University of Vermont and the University of Wisconsin-Madison will compete for the national C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship Award, which will be announced in November.

 Since 2007, APLU and the Engagement Scholarship Consortium, with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, have partnered to honor the engagement scholarship and partnerships of four-year public universities. The award recognizes programs that demonstrate how colleges and universities have redesigned their learning, discovery and engagement missions to deepen their partnerships and achieve broader impacts in their communities. The national award is named for C. Peter Magrath, APLU president from 1992 to 2005.

“Congratulations to this year’s regional winners of the Kellogg Community Engagement Scholarship Awards and our exemplary projects,” said APLU President Mark Becker. “Community engagement is a critical part of public universities’ mission and we’re pleased to highlight the work of institutions that are engaging communities in need. From the underserved areas of their communities and states to overlooked regions of the world, public research universities are engaging communities to solve the most pressing problems they face.”