News and Media

April 2021

CIK held its Spring 2021 Research Meeting on April 8th. This research meeting featured several Commonwealth Scholars and state government officials who shared their work on the Kentucky COVID-19 response, research, and vaccine strategy. 

Speakers included:

 “Kentucky’s COVID-19 Response and Surveillance Strategy: The Role of Governmental Public Health, Researchers, and Local Communities”
Steven J. Stack, MD, MBA, FACEP
Commissioner for Public Health for the Commonwealth of Kentucky

 “Projection of COVID-19 Trends in Kentucky Counties and Regions”
Seyed Karimi, PhD
Assistant Professor, Dept. Of Health Managment and Systems Sciences, SPHIS
Health Economist, Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness (LMPHW)

 “Defining and Achieving Equity in Allocation of Vaccines Against COVID-19”
W. Paul McKinney, MD
Professor and Associate Dean, SPHIS
Acting Chair, Dept. of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, SPHIS

 “COVID Metro Louisville Vaccination Strategy and Local Response”
Sarah Moyer, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor, Dept. Of Health Managment and Systems Sciences, SPHIS
Chief Health Strategist, Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness (LMPHW)

To access the recording of this meeting please follow the link below:


July 2020

 The Commonwealth Institute of Kentucky (CIK) is pleased to announce that nine State-University Partnerships (SUPs) have been selected by the Kentucky Department for Medicaid Services (DMS) to receive funding for Fiscal Years 2021 and 2022. The SUP offers a unique funding opportunity, leveraging university funds to receive a federal match, while supporting state government to make informed policy decisions around its Medicaid program. 

Five of the current projects are supported by the infrastructure of CIK, and four projects are housed in the School of Medicine.  All nine projects employ the skills and expertise of Commonwealth Scholars across the university. 


1)   Alcohol Use Disorder: Its Risk Factors, Comorbidity, and Long-term Care Cost

Co-PIs: Maiying Kong and Karunarathna Kulasekera

2)   The Effect of Market Changes on KY Medicaid: Utilization and Cost Savings for Three Chronic Diseases 

PI: Seyed Karimi

3)   Systemic Complications of Oral Diseases among Medicaid Beneficiaries with Type 2 Diabetes in Kentucky

PI: Bert Little

4)   Predictive Analytics for Type 2 diabetes with Social Determinants of Health in Medicaid Beneficiaries

PI: Bert Little

5)   Identifying and Removing Barriers to Treatment of Hepatitis C infection in KY Medicaid

PI: Bert Little


School of Medicine

1)   Disparities in Cancer Screening Using Cancer Registry Data

PI: Michael Egger (Bert LIttle involved)

2)   Colorectal Cancer Surveillance Patterns After Initial Treatment in Young Adults with Medicaid

PI: Clayton Ellis

(Bert Little involved)

3)   Gastroesophageal Reflux in the Era of Medical and Surgical Treatments: A Look at Cost Effectiveness and Practice Patterns in Kentucky Medicaid Patients

PI: Farid Kehdy

(Bert Little involved)


School of Medicine, CAHRDS Unit

1)   Improving Care Quality for Children Receiving KY Medicaid

Interventions to decrease antibiotic use

2) Safeguarding the prescribing of psychotropic medication in youth

PI: Deborah Davis (Liza Creel involved) 

March 2020

CIK Scholar Seyed Karimi:  

Depth of recession depends on containment of COVID-19, says UofL health economist

Q&A with Seyed Karimi : Impact of COVID-19 on the economy


February 12, 2020


Food Literacy Project partnership serves the local youth and SPHIS students


February 2020

Find your ikigai-- Q&A with SPHIS alumna, Dr. Nida Ali

February 6, 2020
  • The American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP) awarded Scholar Demetra Antimisiaris, PharmD, CGP, FASCP, with the George F. Archambault Award, the organization’s highest honor, during its annual meeting in November. ASCP Archambault Award honorees are selected by past recipients and based on their significant contributions to consultant or senior care pharmacy. Congratulations, Dr. Antimisiaris!
  • Congratulations to CIK Executive Committee member, Shari Kretzschmer, chief nursing officer and vice president of UofL Health Patient Care, who was recognized by Business First as a Health Care Hero for 2020.
  • Dr. Cate Fosl, Commonwealth Scholar and director of the Anne Braden Institute, will present Black Freedom, White Allies, and Red Scare on Monday, February 10, 2020, 6:00-7:30pm, at the Portland Branch Public Library. The talk explores how controversy ensued when an African American family moved into a segregated, all-white neighborhood of Louisville, highlighting ongoing issues of racism, and how the culture of the "Red Scare" was used to reinforce white supremacy.
January 23, 2020
  • CIK welcomes new Commonwealth Scholars: Samuel Carson, MD, Assistant Professor of Surgery in the Division of General Surgery, Michael Egger, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Surgery in the Hiram C. Polk Jr., M.D. Department of Surgery, and Robert Martin, MD, PhD, Sam and Lolita Weakley Professor of Surgery and Director of the Division of Surgical Oncology.
  • Congratulations to Commonwealth Scholar and Entrepreneur-in-Residence Brad Shuck, EdD, who has invented a newly licensed software, the Employee Engagement Scale (EES)! As a researcher of organizational culture and applied behavioral economics, Dr. Shuck designed EES to help companies measure and monitor employee engagement, which notably impacts productivity. Louisville startup Unitonomy plans to make EES a central part of their business and is now working to get the software to market. Read more about Dr. Shuck’s work in UofL News.
  • Since graduating in May, CIK’s former GRA, Tasha Golden, PhD, has accepted a position as Senior Arts in Health Research Scientist at the International Arts + Mind Lab (IAM), in the Brain Science Institute at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In this role, Dr. Golden  has begun work with IAM and the Aspen Institute to launch The NeuroArts Blueprint: The Science of Arts, Health and Wellbeing, which is designed to identify and investigate "the measurable ways that art can change the brain and the body.” She was also a lead author on the Fall 2019 white paper released by the national Creating Healthy Communities initiative, and was invited to present her arts+health research at POLITICO’s European Health Care Summit in November.
January 10, 2020
December 19, 2019
  • SAVE THE DATE! CIK’s spring research meeting will be the morning of April 15, 2020.
  • CIK is grateful for each of you and the work you do to advance population health and health equity. We are also grateful for the time off that working at a university affords us between semesters to enjoy holidays, spend time with family and friends, and recover from the busyness of academia. Best wishes for a fabulous break and holiday season, and we look forward to an excellent new year!
December 5, 2019
  • CIK welcomes new Commonwealth Scholars: Demetra Antimisiaris, PharmD, CGP, FASCP, of the Department of Health Management and System Sciences; Tyler Ellis, MD, MSCR, of the Department of Colon and Rectal Surgery; Ghiyoung Im, PhD, of Computer Information Systems in the College of Business;  Seyed Karimi, PhD, who holds a joint appointment in the Department of Health Management and Systems Sciences and the Louisville Metro Department of Health and Wellness; Emily Noonan, PhD, research coordinator in Undergraduate Medical Education; and Rui Sundrup, PhD, of Computer Information Systems.
  • Congratulations to Commonwealth Scholar José Fernández, PhD, associate professor of economics, who has been elected president of the American Society of Hispanic Economists. Dr. Fernandez conducts research in crime, health, and labor economics. He will serve as president-elect of ASHE in the upcoming year, and his term as president will begin in 2021.
  • Yesterday the Metro Housing Coalition released the 2019 State of Metropolitan Housing Report, co-authored by  Commonwealth Scholar, Lauren Heberle, PhD.
November 21, 2019
  • CIK released the 2018-19 annual report this week. Read it here.
  • Congratulations to Priya Chandan, MD, MPH on her recognition by the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation as a recipient of the organization’s 2019 Distinguished Public Service Award! A Commonwealth Scholar and Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery, Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Dr. Chandan has dedicated her work to improve health care for people with intellectual disabilities.
  • Commonwealth Scholar and CIK Executive Committee member Deborah Winders Davis, PhD serves as co-PI on a five-year study, Contribution of Child Development, Biological Aging, and Beta-amyloid to Cognitive Function of the Louisville Twins at Midlife. In partnership with Dr. Christopher Beam at USC, Dr. Davis’ work brings $3M to UofL. We look forward to learning more about the team’s findings!
November 7, 2019
    • Commonwealth Scholar Marissa Yingling, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Kent School of Social Work recently published “Participation in Part C Early Intervention: One Key to an Earlier Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder?” in The Journal of Pediatrics. The study finds that participation in a publicly-funded early intervention program may improve early diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, which can facilitate earlier treatment and improved outcomes. Read the study here:
    • Congratulations to Nida Ali, PhD, MPH, former CIK postdoctoral associate, on her new position as a health scientist at the CDC! Dr. Ali works in the Division of Overdose Prevention providing evaluation and scientific expertise to funded jurisdictions, conducting applied research, and building scientific evidence to support state, community, and tribal efforts to address the complex and changing nature of the drug overdose epidemic. She is also a member of the newly formed drug overdose health equity workgroup.
    • CIK GRA and doctoral candidate in the Department of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences Gabe Jones, MPH, will present his dissertation for final defense on November 22, 2:30pm, in the School of Public Health and Information Sciences. His study, “’Pissing in the Wind’: Racially Discriminatory Economic Policies’ Impact on Today’s Banking Status, Use of Alternative Financial Services, and Health Outcomes,” highlights personal financial health as an important factor in population health.
    October  17, 2019
    • CIK is excited to announce that Liza Creel, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor, SPHIS Health Management and Systems Sciences, will serve as the Commonwealth Institute’s Co-Director. Dr. Creel brings her background and research in health policy to CIK’s leadership team, and she is ready with many ideas about how CIK can work with Commonwealth Scholars to impact policy and practice.
    • Welcome new Executive Committee members! CIK is grateful to J’Aime Jennings, PhD (Assistant Professor, SPHIS Health Management and Systems Science); Debbie Davis, PhD (Director, UofL CAHRDS Unit); Grace Simrall (Chief of Civic Innovation and Technology, Louisville Metro Government) and Will Metcalf, JD (Executive Director, UofL Research Development and Strategic Initiatives) for their willingness to dedicate their time, expertise, and leadership to our mission.
    • CIK has been selected as a partner in the expansion of Drexel University’s Urban Policy and Program Surveillance Project. We join researchers examining policy and programming in 7 other cities. Stay tuned for more details on our local launch!
    October 8, 2019

    UofL launches new database to support parents of LGBTQ youth. Dr. Ryan Combs, the lead on the project that  launched the Embrace The Journey website,  pointed out that the website is aimed at parents of LGBTQ youth and offers advice on how to deal with mental health issues experienced by LGBTQ  youth. The aim is to reduce the number of LGBTQ teenagers who end up suffering from life-threatening mental health issues.

    Jul. 2019

    Dr. Susan Buchino in Advocates discuss future of homeless camps, WDRB 4 pm News, July 16, 2019

    Jun. 2019

    Experts Say Changing Policies, Practices Can Help Louisville Better Address Homelessness

    Buchino, S., Fosl, C., Haynes, L., Kinahan, K., Omer, L., Zero, D. (2019). Solving Street Homelessness in Louisville, KY: Improving the Climate of Care for Individuals Experiencing Homelessness. 

    Apr. 2019 U of L Today with Mark Hebert: Dr. Susan Buchino Homelessness study
    Mar. 2019

    YVPRC Wins Awards for “Pride, Peace, Prevention” Campaign

    Mar. 2019 In Focus: The Battle Against Homelessness in Kentucky at Spectrum News1
    Mar. 2019

    U of L Today with Mark Hebert: Drs. Liza Creel & Monica Wendel were invited to respond to news that Kentucky ranked 45th for overall health in 2018.


    Mar. 2019


    The role of community health workers in improving health outcomes  - on KET's Kentucky Health with Dr. Wayne Tucson

    Feb. 2019

     UofL researchers to study homelessness, provide recommendations to city task force


    Jan. 2019


     UofL professors take their expertise to the public as part of MyLibraryU program:

    • Feb. 21 – “Transgender Health and Social Justice,” Ryan Combs, public health and information sciences
    Aug. 2018


    Student Spotlight August 2018: Tasha Golden 

    Aug. 2018


    U of L Today with Mark Hebert: Dr. Ryan Combs and Baraka Muvuka on their research on the health insurance literacy gap in west Louisville

    July 2018


    U of L Today with Mark Hebert: Tasha Golden, Graduate Research Assistant at YVPRC, discusses a writing contest held this spring in partnership with Sarabande Books.

    Jul. 2018


    Louisville Youth Violence Summit

    Jun. 2018


    UofL researcher: Systemic racism needs more examination related to health

    May 2018


    Equity at the 2018 Black Family Conference



    LGBTQ adolescent health study seeks to understand local issues and priorities 

    Jan. 2018


     Public health faculty uses research-based strategy for HIV campaign development 

    Jan. 2018


     Using Research and Knowledge Translation to Address HIV Stigma

    Dec. 2017


     Study finds rural residents experienced greater gains from expanded Medicaid 

    Nov. 2017


    The Power of Truth

    Nov. 2017


    Tasha Golden, Health and Social Justice Scholar

    Jun. 2017


    SPHIS May Newsletter, HSC Office of Diversity and Inclusion: Youth Violence Prevention Media Campaign Begins

    May 2017


    Small Louisville company hosts national health care players



    UofL kicks off youth violence prevention campaign

    Apr.  2017


    Susan Buchino was selected as one of the 2017 Ambassadors for Health in All Policies

    Apr. 2017


    Imagine Greater Louisville 2020 plans a more competitive, educated and creative region

    Mar. 21, 2017


    Buchino serves on a panel related to health care access and utilization

    May. 2017


     Joseph Benitez, PhD, featured in Health Services Research journal

    Feb. 2017


    Public health and local art thought leaders collaborate to improve community health

    Feb. 2017


    What does the Humana departure from ACA exchanges mean for Obamacare?

    Jan. 2017


    In Old Louisville, Loss Of Kroger Could Bring Isolation

    Dec. 2016


    Dr. Gil Liu is the new medical director for the Kentucky Department for Medicaid Services

    New medical director named for Medicaid Services department

    Louisville pediatrician Dr. Gil Liu named medical director for the Department for Medicaid Services

    Dec. 2016


    Jackson presents at the American Evaluation Association’s 30th Annual International Conference

    Dec. 2016


    Depression is Real discussed on WLOU

    Dec. 9, 2016


     U of L students from west Louisville developing campaign to address crime

    Nov. 25, 2016


    'Depression is Real' speaks to West End angst

    Nov. 21, 2016


    University campaign targets African-Americans with depression

    Nov. 16, 2016


     UofL professor: Trump’s election puts future of ‘Obamacare’ in doubt

    Nov. 14, 2016


    Health literacy campaign to focus on depression in African Americans

    Nov. 3, 2016


    Report released on Affordable Care Act implementation in Louisville

    Nov. 2, 2016


    Uninsured rate in Louisville decreased by more than half in one year


    Report released on Affordable Care Act implementation in Louisville

    Oct. 27, 2016


    Get to know some fellows making a difference

    Oct. 12, 2016  UofL’s Office of Public Health Practice involving youth in violence prevention campaign
     Aug. 31, 2016Standing up to childhood obesity by not sitting as much in school
    Aug. 26, 2016ACA impact on Kentucky - radio show video

    Aug. 11,  2016

    Concern and passion captured in West Louisville Photovoice exhibit
    Aug. 8, 2016Joseph Benitez, Ph.D. quoted in US News and World report article on Medicaid expansion
    June 14, 2016Office of Public Health Practice presents at an international conference on justice
    June 3, 2016Commonwealth Institute of Kentucky names inaugural scholars to address health care disparities
    March 2016                


    More of Kentucky’s low-income adults enrolled in health coverage under the Affordable Care Act 

    Health insurance, LGBT health disparities and health-related needs assessment all part of the latest   Commonwealth Institute efforts

    Feb. 18, 2016Study: Medicaid Expansion Led To Dramatic Drop In Kentucky Uninsured. 89.3 WFPL.
    Citing Study Data, Beshear Continues Bid to Preserve State Health Exchange. WTVQ
    Feb. 17, 2016


    More of Kentucky’s low-income adults enrolled in health coverage under the Affordable Care Act-University of Louisville study supports other national findings

    Nov. 20, 2015


    UofL establishes Youth Violence Prevention Research Center 


                                             LouisvilleMetro TV Video

    U of L creates youth violence research center 
    Oct. 19, 2015


    Improving health literacy in West Louisville is the focus of Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence gift

     Aug. 26, 2015Office of Public Health Practice relocates to West Louisville


    YVPRC Wins Awards for “Pride, Peace, Prevention” Campaign

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