Our Shared Mission: Improving Louisville's Health

Our Shared Mission: Improving Louisville's Health

In spring 2019, the Louisville Health Advisory Board (LHAB) expressed a need and interest in better understanding what other local health collaboratives’ objectives and key initiatives were, such that it could identify intersection points and/or how the collaboratives could best support each other. 

While there are lists/resource directories (Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky’s Kentucky Health Coalition Directory) and visuals (Health Enterprises Network’s Map of Health-related Companies), there is not a consolidated document to depict the primary entities focused on health in Louisville, along with mission statements, key initiatives, and leadership contacts.  In consideration of this, LHAB leadership engaged in discussions with the following organizations to identify how it could partner with and showcase our efforts collectively:

These discussions proved fruitful and each organization aligned on the creation of a document, with an objective of:

  • Providing education for the community on key entities working towards a healthier Louisville

  • Increasing awareness and understanding of respective missions and initiatives

  • Increasing collaboration and support of one another’s work

Take a look at the document accessible below and let us know if it created more awareness of health entities beyond those which you may be directly or indirectly involved in, or if it inspired you to get involved with these organizations in a new way.

Recap: LHAB Quarterly Meeting Q3 2019

Recap: LHAB Quarterly Meeting Q3 2019


Neither the heat nor summer vacation schedules kept Louisville Health Advisory Board (LHAB) stakeholders away from their most recent quarterly convening.  On July 18, 56 invested members representing 33 social services, for-profit, and academic organizations with a common mission to improve the health of the Louisville community gathered at Metro United Way to share progress and consider the future - investing in sustainability and leaving a legacy through collective impact.


Committee Updates:

The quarterly meetings are an important way for committees – who are meeting monthly to advance research, pilots and initiatives related to their focus area – to learn about each other and identify relevant intersection points. 

  • Community Coordination of Care – Tom Walton described the committee’s three focus areas of 1) screening, 2) navigation and 3) increasing capacity.  As it relates to screening, Tom highlighted the Family Health Centers’ pilot to initiate the PRAPARE screener, mentioning to the group that one of the key pilot leaders would share more later in the agenda.  For navigation, the committee continues to bolster support for the United Community initiative. To increase capacity, the committee has been looking into innovative solutions – both within our community and outside – related to food, housing and transportation – hoping to identify opportunities to scale.

  • Behavioral Health – Joe Bargione shared that the committee’s interest this year is twofold – 1) to sustain the Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) suicide prevention training with monthly offerings and 2) explore how to do psychological autopsy to understand what triggers, events and commonalities may be identified and targeted to increase prevention success. Check out this fascinating example from Washington County (OR) about how the county now trains animal shelter employees to engage/intervene as it relates to individuals who are dropping off their pets.  Visit www.qprlou.com to learn more about suicide prevention training and consider hosting a public session at your location.

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  • Respiratory Health – Tami Cappelletti, of the American Lung Association, shared how in addition to a focus on e-cigarette and air quality policies and initiatives, the committee is excited to welcome the Chest Foundation to Louisville next month for a lung screening event.  The event will take place on August 24 from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. in the West Wing in the Health Expo Area.  This large, interactive booth – located amongst other health organizations/screening opportunities – will feature screenings, education (for patients and caregivers alike), engaging exercises to demonstrate aspects of lung health and more.  Please email if you would like to volunteer at this event.

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  • The Communications committee, designed to support communication across the Board and into the broader community, highlighted the value of promoting our work to others in the community and asked each member to consider how his/her organization is contributing to #MoreHealthyDays in Louisville. During the Quarterly meeting, attendees were asked to respond with 1 sentence about how their organization’s work supports more healthy days. Weren’t able to attend, or forget to leave your response? Send it to LouisvilleCultureofHealth@gmail.com

Community Data Sharing

After learning about each committee’s impact, the agenda moved into a data sharing component, where thought leaders and subject matter experts featured various local health data and initiatives.  The intent of this segment was for meeting attendees to leave with a well-rounded look at the health of Louisvillians through the lens of different organizations, as well as insight into the direction Louisville Metro is taking towards health for the next five years – using all of this information to inform their work.

  • Humana’s Bold Goal was the impetus for the Louisville Health Advisory Board, started in 2015. Since then, Humana has been measuring progress on an annual basis of Humana members’ Healthy Days, as a proxy for the community as a whole. Humana Associate Director, Population Health Insights, Angela Hagan, shared 2018 figures which demonstrate an overall improvement in Healthy Days among Bold Goal Communities from 2015. Of the Bold Goal Communities, Louisville started with the fewest number of Unhealthy Days (12.66) and has stayed statistically flat over the years. What Angela shared is the social determinants of health – like food insecurity and severe loneliness - are the highest contributors to Unhealthy Days which makes the focus of the LHAB so critical in improving lives and health outcomes.

  • Speaking of social determinants, the community understands the necessity of assessing its residents. This is what prompted Family Health Centers, support by the Community Coordination of Care committee, to pilot screening for the social determinants of health with the PRAPARE survey. Cynthia Cox, Director of Health Information Management for Family Health Centers, shared the impressive results of the initial pilot, including how specific social determinants link to others. Due to the early learnings in the pilot, Family Health Centers has expanded the use of the PRAPARE tool to 7 other sites.

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  • Once social determinants of health are assessed, the LHAB understood that there is a need to then connect people to the resources to support them. Enter United Community. Metro United Way Senior Project Manager, Keni Brown, shared the new platform that over 40 social services are using to refer clients to services. When holistic needs of individuals and families are met, we can expect better outcomes. United Community intends to simplify access to services, and improve outcomes to collaboration, communication and activity. Round one launched April 1 and the current Round 2 there are 50 partners offering more than 90 unique programs. As Keni said, Metro United Way is “Helping to ensure that ‘United Community’ is financially sustainable so our citizens have an "easy button" to get connected to all the resources they need through any door they enter.”

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  • Dr. Sarah Moyer, Director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness and Louisville Health Advisory Board Co-Chair talked about how its Healthy Louisville 2025 approach takes a health equity lens, and includes a focus on policy, access to critical services, and more. In addition to highlighting what the community shared that it needs to be healthy, Moyer shared a preview of the Community Health Improvement Plan.

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  • After reviewing our progress throughout the community, Chief James, Chief of Community Building Louisville Metro Government, joined the group to frame the work we have ahead of us, specifically in light of the new budget cuts to services. The need for services that address the social determinants of health, are greater now than ever before. The Chief outlined some programs that impact social connectivity and support of our most vulnerable residents, no longer getting funding. Although remaining optimistic, Chief James, challenged us to continue the work we are doing and find ways to work collaboratively and more effectively to support all residents.

Though the formal meeting came to a close, the room remained buzzing with attendees remaining afterwards to discuss points of interest with one another.  Co-chair Dr. Bryan Loy reflected on the success of the convening:  It was a great meeting. The committee updates have now transitioned from reporting out on progress to reporting out on impact.   Chief Vincent James' report out on the status of the budget underscores the need for this group of community leaders to create and administer solutions in a world of diminishing resources to improve the health and wellbeing of this community. I continue to be impressed with the resolve of the Louisville Health Advisory Board. I anticipate that the best is yet to come from this talented and resourceful group.  

Recap: LHAB Quarterly Meeting Q1 2019

Recap: LHAB Quarterly Meeting Q1 2019

On February 27 the Louisville Health Advisory Board (LHAB) held its first quarterly meeting of the year at the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health & Wellness. Over forty LHAB members representing twenty-two organizations from across Louisville attended and participated in the collective forum.

The keynote speaker - Dr. Robert Bailey, Director, Population Health Research, Real World Value & Evidence, Janssen Scientific Affairs - presented on his experience as a researcher in population health management and highlighted case studies that address social determinants of health. He also shared Janssen’s perspective, as a pharmaceutical company, on why addressing the social determinants of health are important.

Following a discussion with Dr. Bailey, attendees reflected on the work of the past three and a half years and began to discuss strategic direction moving forward.


Quarterly Meeting Highlights included:

  • Dr. Robert Bailey discussed the nature of population health research and how healthcare has evolved in recent years. Historically, allocated spending has been focused on clinical care, including access and quality of care. However, clinical care only has a 10% effect on outcomes whereas genetics have 20% and external factors have 70%. The external factors are further broken down into health behaviors, physical environment, and social/economic factors.

    Additionally, Dr. Bailey called attention to several case studies that addressed social determinants of health and emphasized the importance of physicians being aware of how these factors affect certain populations. One referenced study examined the relationship between hypoglycemia hospitalizations, food security, and income. It found a connection between these hospitalizations and the pay cycle and food expenditures of low-income households.

    To maximize the effectiveness of population care outcomes, Dr. Bailey provided a 3-part equation to deliver the right care to the right patient at the right time. This includes working to make better predictive models so treatment can be proactive rather than reactive.

  • Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness Director and LHAB co-chair, Dr. Sarah Moyer, reflected on the accomplishments and value the LHAB cultivated over the past several years and raised the question of whether the LHAB should stay on same course or evolve its direction to focus more on systems. She shared the direction the health department is taking towards addressing the social determinants of health, or root causes, rather than focusing on specific diseases. This shift means that the department is relying on community partners to provide health services, such as vaccinations, while the health department focuses on addressing inequities and system changes. When thinking about the future, it is important to consider how LHAB’s goals and the community at large will be affected by this shift in priorities, in addition to the recent budget cuts that will also impact health services in our city.

  • Members brought up ideas and opportunities for LHAB to consider moving forward. These included:

    • Capacity building within the committees around storytelling,

    • Improved engagement of the entrepreneurial ecosystem to infuse new ideas and approaches into the approach,

    • Further maximizing efforts by intentionally connecting to other collective impact and multi-stakeholder groups working in Louisville,

    • Putting a stronger focus on making sure that LHAB represents the many stakeholders we touch because investing in diversity and taking inclusive approaches are the fuel of community transformation.  

  • The need to connect to and understand other local collaboratives. When informally polled, only 2-4 individuals knew of the following programs/initiatives: Health Enterprise Network (HEN), Kentuckiana Health Collaborative (KHC), Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, Louisville Resiliency, Worksite Wellness Council and Louisville Entrepreneurship Accelerated Program (LEAP).

  • London Roth, Humana, shared that other Humana Health Advisory Boards have evolved their structure and many committees no longer meet monthly; also the Clinical Town Hall has transformed in other cities and there is an opportunity for us to re-design that forum to better meet the current LHAB focus.


Formal committee updates weren’t presented, however, during the larger conversation about the LHAB, several members provided updates on the committee work that helped inform the conversation. The Behavioral Health Committee is focused on expanding Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) training, specifically to businesses and parents. They are examining methods to prevent mental health issues that lead to suicide ideation. Jan Sherrell co-chair of the Community Coordination of Care Committee gave an update on United Community and Tom Walton, co-chair of the committee, shared the research being done on best practice business models that could be useful in the committees work and highlighted the pilot being led by Family Health Centers to utilize the PRAPARE survey.

The LHAB looks forward to sustained strength and impact in the community. Stay tuned for an invitation to our next quarterly gathering on July 18.

By Brianna Bragg, Bellarmine University Student and LHAB Communications Committee Intern with additions/edits suggested by Josh Miller, London Roth, Alicia Ariatti

Communications Internship: Louisville Health Advisory Board

Communications Internship: Louisville Health Advisory Board

Louisville Health Advisory Board Communications Committee Internship

About The Initiative

We have representatives from all parts of the community: businesses, government, schools, civic and nonprofit organizations.  Our mission is to improve the physical, mental and social well-being of Louisville, with the goal of increasing the number of Healthy Days  – your quality of life – 20 percent by 2020 and beyond.

The Louisville Health Advisory Board (LHAB) believes that by coming together we can collectively create positive change that enables our community to enjoy more Healthy Days. We are doing this by focusing in the following areas: Behavioral Health, Community Coordination of Care, Cultural/Social Impact, Diabetes, Respiratory Health, and Communications.

Having more Healthy Days means things like spending quality time with family, exploring the outdoors, working jobs that challenge and fulfill us and opportunities to learn new skills.

Internship Responsibilities

The Communications Intern would work closely members of the LHAB Communications Committee to help drive the mission of the Louisville Health Advisory Board forward.  The focal point of the internship would be to create and assist in implementing a comprehensive communications strategy for the Louisville Health Advisory Board.

Desired Deliverables and Ongoing Tasks

  • Comprehensive communications strategy

  • Draft and manage the editorial calendar

  • Author and/or co-author blog and committee posts

  • Maintain collateral materials

  • Serve as an administrator for social media accounts

  • Attend monthly meetings of the LHAB communications committee

  • Attend additional LHAB meetings as assigned

Your daily work may require you to:

  • Understand timelines and manage projects over time

  • Apply customer service skills

  • Use Excel, PowerPoint, Word, and the Googles

  • Use Squarespace and Facebook

  • Use graphic design platforms

  • Schedule and post content on website and social media

Personal and professional characteristics

  • Maintains punctual, regular and predictable attendance    

  • Works collaboratively with a spirit of cooperation       

  • Displays excellent communication skills including presentation, persuasion, and negotiation skills required in working with clients/ coworkers and including the ability to communicate effectively and remain calm and courteous under pressure   

Workspace Standards

  • Maintains a workspace free of unnecessary distraction where client and internal calls may be taken in a professional manner

  • Professionally dressed manner at both in-person and video-chat meetings

  • Keeps information secure


  • Time commitment will be determined by degree program requirements and applicant preference.

  • This is a self-directed role, the intern will not have to report to an office for all service hours, but will be expected to attend committee meetings as needed.

  • This position is unpaid.

Applications accepted on a rolling basis for Spring 2019, Summer 2019, and Fall 2019.  To apply, email a resume, cover letter, and work sample to louisvillecultureofhealth@gmail.com.

Photo by Daniele Riggi on Unsplash

Humana Foundation Thought Leadership Series: Dr. Stephanie Cacioppo

Humana Foundation Thought Leadership Series: Dr. Stephanie Cacioppo


On November 7, 2018, the Humana Foundation’s Thought Leadership series, designed to spark innovative and collaborative thinking, brought Dr. Stephanie Cacioppo, Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience to Louisville to discuss over 20 years of work and research done by she and her late husband Dr. John Cacioppo around social connection and loneliness. “Social isolation is a discrepancy between our current and expected relationships,” she said.

Research has shown that loneliness and social isolation are correlated with poor health and more unhealthy days. Whether it’s making new friends, finding a new place to live, getting around, or managing stress, staying meaningfully engaged and keeping strong connections may be crucial to your emotional and physical well-being.

“Loneliness is contagious, heritable, affects one in four people – and increases the chances of early death by 20%,” said social neuroscientist Dr. John Cacioppo in an interview with The Guardian.

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“Your brain is your main social organ,” shared Dr. Stephanie Cacioppo, “It makes you feel connected or disconnected to others. And, social media can either increase loneliness or be used as an avenue to generate in person gatherings, rather than just observing others social posts and feeling more lonely.” 

Dr. Cacioppo went on to describe that our mind, and the way we view a relationship, moves on a continuum between negative and positive. She talked about “loneliness as perceived social isolation,” saying that it is a “biological signal that we need to connect with others, to take care of our social body.” This signal triggers an approach/avoidance disparity - approach for social interactions, don’t approach - they could harm you.

So what do we do about it? Dr. Cacioppo described 8 areas that loneliness impacts, delving into how social connection during hospitalization can be important to prevent additional strokes and poor health, and that loneliness can predict depression, showing up 2-3 weeks before depression hits. “We’ve developed exercises for moving people from me to we through cognitive behavioral therapy,” she said, “And validated them with the army.”


  1. Decreases sleep salubrity (you’re “fire alarm is always on”)

  2. Increases HPA activation (stress response)

  3. Increases vascular resistance and blood pressure

  4. Increases inflammatory substrate

  5. Decreases viral immunity (you can catch the flew more often, and the flu shot can be less effective)

  6. Increases depressive symptomatology

  7. Increases suicide rates

  8. Increases self-centeredness  

Dr. Cacioppo went on to describe how critical our notion of self is, highlighting three areas:

  • Intimate self (self you have with your partner, best friend),

  • Relational self (who are you at work or perceived by others in social settings),

  • Collective self/identity (culture in country, neighborhood, workplace, etc).

You read more about the three areas breakdown here.

“Collective identity tends to be protective of intimate loneliness”, she went on to explain. “If you have something bigger than yourself you can relate to, it helps to prevent loneliness at the individual level.”

After her presentation, Dr. Cacioppo engaged the audience in a conversation, talking about the impact of culture on loneliness. “Collective cultures tend to be more lonely, because of all the social pressure they put on individuals,” she said. An introvert may only need one good friend/partner to feel fulfilled, while extroverts may have multiple people to engage with for different activities.

You have to ask, “Is what you have what you want?” And if the answer is no, consider what needs to change in your expectations or how you are organizing your life, and who you are surrounding yourself with.

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Walter Woods, CEO of the Humana Foundation said, “We’ve been evolving the Humana Foundation's strategy – to find new ways to make a more sustainable impact in Louisville and the other seven communities we serve, because we know that for far too many people in our community, achieving their best health is not easy.  One area of focus for the Humana Foundation is social connection, as loneliness and social isolation are correlated with poor health and more unhealthy days. Dr. Stephanie Cacioppo and her husband, the late Dr. John Cacioppo, are experts in this field. Dr. Stephanie Cacioppo’s research shows that human meaningful connectedness has a function — not only to bond with people emotionally but also to improve our cognition and behavior, and indirectly our mental, physical and brain health. We invited Dr. Cacioppo to speak at our Thought Leadership series to bring more awareness to this important issue that’s impacting all of our communities, and to spark innovative and collaborative thinking to help address it.”

 — photos and story by Josh Miller




Recap: 2018 Clinical Town Hall

Recap: 2018 Clinical Town Hall

Since 2015, more than 150 individuals, representing nearly 70 local organizations – who share an understanding of the impact of social determinants of health on clinical outcomes -  have been engaging in legacy work to positively influence residents with prediabetes, behavioral and respiratory health needs, as well as seeking to improve health by connecting care and building a healthy culture in Louisville.  This group – the Louisville Health Advisory Board - and other interested stakeholders gathered earlier this month at St. Stephens Community Center for the 4th annual Clinical Town Hall to discuss how we are making health easier in Louisville.  This annual event is an opportunity to learn from each other, share our work, and celebrate and affirm our collective commitment to this work.

Highlights from 2018:

  • Humana’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Roy Beveridge, kicked off the day by stressing the importance of this collective impact work and introduced Caraline Coats, Vice President, Bold Goal & Population Health Strategy – the new leader of Humana’s Bold Goal efforts.

  • Coats shared her vision and gratitude for the collective efforts of the Louisville Health Advisory Board (LHAB) and was pleased to welcome Louisville Health Advisory Board co-chairs Dr. Sarah Moyer and Dr. Bryan Loy, sharing that they will be honored with the Centerstone Kentucky Healthcare Advocacy Award that recognizes individuals who have worked to raise awareness of health challenges in our community.  Dr. Moyer and Dr. Loy welcomed the group, set expectations for the day and thanked Board members for their ongoing contributions.

  • Shelley Hearne, President of CityHealth, was the morning keynote speaker.  She discussed the importance of policy in improving health, and how her organization assesses the nation’s 40 largest cities in an effort to improve the lives of those citizens.  She commended the LHAB’s efforts and accomplishments. Hearne inspired a moderated conversation with several community leaders challenged the LHAB to maintain its momentum and strive for the highest (gold) status.

  • The Clinical Town Hall participants then participated in breakout sessions that addressed the impact of social determinants of health on Healthy Days, engaged in a deeper conversation to impact and  leverage health policy positively affect community change, allowed participants to obtain certification in Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) suicide prevention and learning about local organizations that support health and well-being in Louisville outside the conventional methods.  This session included speakers who shared technique on how writing can positively combat loneliness and isolation (Angela Burton, Feet to the Fire Writing Workshops); how the new participatory budget that Metro Louisville is piloting increases engagement and promotes equity in our community (Aja Barber, Louisville Department of Public Health & Wellness; Center for Health Equity); and how a restaurant can make a big difference in the community and the lives of the residents they serve (Larry Stoess, The Table).

  • Next, the group gathered for lunch and a volunteer opportunity, enjoying time networking and supporting a local food insecurity need.  Town Hall attendees assembled 350 snack kits for The Kling Center, an organization who provides assistance for older people to enjoy active, healthy and independent lives. The snack kits were then decorated with positive messages/affirmations to inspire a smile, lending support to those who may feel lonely or socially isolated.  The kits will be distributed at an upcoming Halloween party.

  • The six Louisville Health Advisory Board subcommittees – Behavioral Health, Community Coordination of Care, Cultural & Social Impact, Diabetes, Respiratory Health and Communications – provided updates and shared how their work was impacting individuals in our community via testimonials.

  • Steve Tarver, YMCA of Greater Louisville’s President and CEO led the group in an invigorating well-being exercise (“Let’s Get Ready to Rumble!”).

  • The group then heard from Monty Robertson, director of the Alliance for a Healthier South Carolina.  Robertson shared how the Alliance, a coalition similar to the Louisville Health Advisory Board, has been working together to ensure that all people (not just the citizens) in South Carolina have the opportunity to have healthier bodies, minds, and communities while reducing the future cost of care and cited key learnings from its work.

  • The day concluded with Louisville’s Chief of Community Building, Vincent James. Chief James highlighted the importance of this work in the community and the lasting impact the LHAB is making on Louisville and it’s residents. He encouraged the committees to continue the work and partner with other organizations and the city as we all try to improve the health and well-being of all our residents.

Thank you again for your commitment towards our collective efforts towards making Louisville a healthier city!

Photos and videos by Molly Jett.

3 major areas established for Healthy Louisville 2025... and your voice is crucial to its completion.

3 major areas established for Healthy Louisville 2025... and your voice is crucial to its completion.

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On September 12, Louisville Metro Department of Public Health & Wellness hosted a kickoff event for Healthy Louisville 2025 at the Louisville Free Public Library Main Branch. If you were not able to attend, there will still be plenty of chances for you to participate.

Based on input at the event, along with the data gathered during the focus groups, community health needs assessment survey, the Forces of Change event, and the Health Equity Report, they have established three major areas for our Community Health Improvement Plan – Healthy Louisville 2025 to focus on:

  • Access to Healthcare  (access to timely services, navigating the health care system, transportation, etc)

  • Socioeconomic progress (Reliable employment, living wage jobs, paid sick leave)

  • Environmental equity  (safe housing, built environment, empowering self-advocacy, environmental justice)


The best way to achieve health equity is a strategic plan that represents the diversity of our community.

Dr. Sarah Moyer, Director, Chief Health Strategist Louisville Metro Department of Public Health & Wellness

 Some of the plan’s values include:

  • Collaboration (considering ways to connect groups who are already working in these areas to join forces and strengthen each other)

  • Using evidence-based practice (relying on what already works)

  • Equity and Social Justice

  • Multi-generational approaches

  • Education

  • Consideration of groups that are often invisible (e.g., non-English speaking communities, people experiencing homelessness, etc.)

If you would like to continue to be involved (or would like to contribute and get involved now) with the creation of our city’s Community Health Improvement Plan – Healthy Louisville 2025 - Click here!

Click here  for the presentation that summarizes the results of the Community Health Needs Assessment Survey and Focus Groups, and the Forces of Change event.

Click here for the presentation that summarizes the results of the Community Health Needs Assessment Survey and Focus Groups, and the Forces of Change event.

Louisville Health Advisory Board Quarterly Meeting: July 2018

Louisville Health Advisory Board Quarterly Meeting: July 2018

Top: Kelsie Smithson presents Greater Louisville Project's Poverty Beyond Income report, Bottom Left: Learning From Other Louisville Collaboratives Panel discussion, Bottom Right: Rain Liu sharing the Communications Committee update.

Top: Kelsie Smithson presents Greater Louisville Project's Poverty Beyond Income report, Bottom Left: Learning From Other Louisville Collaboratives Panel discussion, Bottom Right: Rain Liu sharing the Communications Committee update.

On July 26, 2018 the Louisville Health Advisory Board (LHAB) held its third quarterly meeting for the year at Metro United Way. Over 40 LHAB members attended representing over 35 organizations across Louisville.

Keynote speakers included Keisha Deonarine, Executive Director of the Passport Foundation, Kelsie Smithson, Chief of Operations of the Greater Louisville Project and a panel including Randa Deaton from Kentuckiana Health Collaborative, Emma Horn from College Promise, and Phil Marshall from Health Enterprise Network. In addition, all six committees gave updates of their progress and future goals.

Quarterly Meeting Highlights Included:

  • Passport Foundation - Strategic Vision for Louisville
    Keisha Deonarine discussed how the Passport Foundation is working in Louisville and across the state of Kentucky to achieve equity, including long life and access to the services, for all. One program the Passport Foundation initiated to help achieve this goal leads substance abusers out of their addiction and into the workforce holding a stable job. Another program the organization is planning to launch is called Thriving Mother, Thriving Babies. This program will train doulas who will work with mothers and babies in the West end of Louisville. These doulas will ensure the mothers they work with have adequate prenatal care. This program is unique in that the doulas will be trained in substance abuse detection so they can detect any mothers abusing substances and help them overcome their addiction for the health of themselves and their babies. The doulas will stay a year after the birth of the baby to provide guidance and support for both mother and child.

  • Greater Louisville  Project - Poverty Beyond Income Report
    Kelsie Smithson from Greater Louisville Project discussed the social determinants driving poverty in Louisville. As highlighted in the Poverty Beyond Income report, she shared that 1 in 5 children in Louisville are living in poverty. Of these households, 67% have at least one person working but are still not making enough to escape poverty. A few of the drivers that contribute to poverty in Louisville are job, quality of place, health and education level of parents. Smithson emphasized that Greater Louisville Project collects all this data, but does not have the resources to do much about it. That is why it is so vital that other organizations such as those involved in LHAB use this data to drive their own work.

Top: LHAB Communications Committee Interns Hannah Deaton (Bellarmine) and Grace Jin (Yale) following their presentations during Committee Updates. Bottom: Will Hancock from NovoNordisk shares an update from the Diabetes Committee. 

Top: LHAB Communications Committee Interns Hannah Deaton (Bellarmine) and Grace Jin (Yale) following their presentations during Committee Updates. Bottom: Will Hancock from NovoNordisk shares an update from the Diabetes Committee. 

Committee Updates:
Progress Against 2018 Goals

  • The Community Coordination of Care committee launched PRAPARE in Family Health Centers this month, which is a series of questions medical professionals ask patients concerning social determinants of health such as income and safety.

  • The Cultural/Social Impact committee launched its year of Arts HeALIng, & Action! (AHA!) earlier this year which is a year-long series of events focused on social, mind/body, environmental, and economic health. The next event centers around environmental health, and is planned to be held in September, organized in partnership with the Louisville Ballet. November’s AHA! event will be centered around economic health. Email theo@ideasxlab.com to get involved in AHA!

  • This year the Behavioral Health committee is working toward zero suicides in Louisville. Their goal is to set a world record during Suicide Prevention Week (September 9 - September 15), to have the most people trained in Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR). This training, like CPR, is designed to save the life of someone in danger. For more information on this training and how you can get involved visit www.qprlou.com.

  • The Diabetes committee is working to increase the number of people with prediabetes enrolled in CDC recognized diabetes programs. Their goal is to have 25% more people enrolled this year than last year. They are currently exceeding that goal for 2018.

  • The Respiratory Health committee has successfully increased its number of members from 7 to 22. They are on track to ensure that metro housing moves to smoke-free facilities by the end of July. The committee is also working to get two counties adjacent to Jefferson County to be smoke-free. Oldham County just passed a stricter smoke-free law that includes e-cigarettes, although it is facing some opposition. In addition, there are currently six counties in Kentucky moving toward becoming smoke-free. The Respiratory Health committee’s ultimate goal is for the state of Kentucky to pass a smoke-free law.

  • The Communications committee has added a few new members including Rain Liu, a communications professor at Bellarmine University, and two summer interns Grace Jin and Hannah Deaton. The committee is analyzing current and potential communication tools that could help further its goal of raising awareness of the LHAB work and Healthy Days both internally and externally. The committee is particularly working to raise awareness about the Behavioral Health committee’s QPR training in September. It will continue to publish a bimonthly newsletter and asks all committees to submit updates as needed.
LHAB Co-Chair Dr. Sarah Moyer discusses Louisville's fight against Hep A.

LHAB Co-Chair Dr. Sarah Moyer discusses Louisville's fight against Hep A.

Learning From Other Louisville Collaboratives:

The panel discussion consisted of Randa Deaton from Kentuckiana Health Collaborative, Emma Horn from College Promise, and Phil Marshall from Health Enterprise Network. Each one provided advice on how their collaboratives have overcome challenges and pressed forward to reach their goals.

  • Deaton said that one of Kentuckiana Health Collaborative’s greatest strengths is its people. One challenge she has noticed within her collaborative is getting everyone to agree on priorities. She says that when there are 55 members in an organization, as there are in Kentuckiana Health Collaborative, it is unlikely everyone will agree on the top priorities. In a collaborative such as this one it is helpful if instead of striving for a unanimous vote, you strive for a majority vote.

  • College Promise’s goal is to provide all students with the access and opportunities they need to achieve their education goals. Horn admits this is a lofty goal and therefore, can be slow-moving. She advises that when progress feels slow, organizations should stay focused on the “little wins” and remember that the slow progress is necessary to achieve the end goal.

  • Health Enterprise Network (HEN) promotes economic growth in the healthcare sector in Louisville. Marshall, Chair of HEN, says there are times when the overall purpose of the organization gets lost in its many different efforts. While these efforts may be beneficial to the community, it is important not to lose sight of the organization’s ultimate goal.

Stopping the Spread of Hepatitis A in Louisville

  • This quarter, instead of completing a volunteer activity during the meeting, Dr. Sarah Moyer asked all present members to get the Hepatitis A vaccination. She also challenged members to engage five of their family members or friends to get vaccinated. During the recent breakout of Hepatitis A in Louisville, there have been 540 cases and 4 deaths. Dr. Moyer says one of the best ways to stop the spread of this illness is by getting vaccinated. You can be vaccinated at any clinic offering the Hepatitis A vaccination and the cost is covered under the Affordable Care Act. For more information click here.

Recap: RWJF Sentinel Communities Surveillance Project

Recap: RWJF Sentinel Communities Surveillance Project

RWJF Sentinel Communities Surveillance Project - Louisville Community Portrait

The May 2018 RWJF Culture of Health Portrait for Louisville, KY overviews the progress Louisville has made in its efforts to create a healthier and more equitable city for all residents. A large driver of the city’s efforts is the local government including the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health & Wellness and its Center for Health Equity, the first of its kind in the country. Local schools, health systems, businesses and nonprofits are also working toward the goal of improving the health of all Louisville residents. These organizations are not just considering the traditional avenues of promoting health, rather they are focusing on the social determinants of health, such as food scarcity, transportation, employment, air quality and violence. While the progress in Louisville faces many challenges, the city has dedicated individuals and organizations working toward the ultimate goal of creating a healthier environment for all.

  • Efforts in Louisville include:

    • Encouraging resident engagement on topics that affect health and well-being

    • Collaboration between the government, education and business sectors, and community-based organizations

    • Increasing the tree canopy within the city

    • Research to discover connections between equity and health drivers

    • Improving data collection and its availability to the public

The full Community Portrait drafted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation can be accessed here.

The Sentinel Communities Surveillance Project is involved in collecting data on 30 communities across the United States that are building their own Culture of Health. The project aims to discover the various ways a community may successfully improve its health and reoccurring themes across all 30 communities. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation expects to monitor these communities for at least five years. Click here to learn more about the project.

The video below provides more information on how Louisville is building a Culture of Health.

Inspiration from the Ring through AHA! Moments

Inspiration from the Ring through AHA! Moments

On Thursday June 7, a cross-sector group gathered at Top Notch Boxing in Louisville for AHA! Moments: Mind/Body Health as part of the Year of Arts, HeALIng & Action! The #YearofAHA was born out of a collaboration between IDEAS xLab, the Muhammad Ali Center, and the Louisville Health Advisory Board (LHAB) to engage Louisvillians around creative approaches to improve social, mind/body, environmental, and economic health through lightning talks, art+health activities and arts/culture performances.

The June event, facilitated with strong leadership from the Louisville Sports Commission, featured lightning talks from Carlos Rivas (ProFormance Health & Wellness), Dr. Val Slayton (Humana and LHAB Behavioral Health committee), Herb Henry (former University of Louisville football star; Competitor's Edge Sports Apparel) and Montre Davis of Linkin' Bridge, along with an arts and cultural performance demonstration by David Thurman of Developing Excellence Together. From the ring, each speaker delivered a unique yet complementary message about mind and body, our ability to take action, and inspiring others to improve our community's health.

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Carlos Rivas opened the event with a focus on two words: “I am.” Two words with the power to attribute anything that follows to ourselves; yet, every morning most people say “I am tired.” That, Carlos explained, gives us a negative start to our days. When we think about change, we ought to begin with spirit and positivity. Carlos highlighted how Muhammed Ali did that perfectly, by making his mantra “I am the greatest.”

Photo by  Josh Miller

Photo by Josh Miller

Dr. Val Slayton took to the ring next, providing the history of his work with the Louisville Health Advisory Board (LHAB), a community-based organization comprised of nearly seventy businesses, government, schools, civic and nonprofit organizations focused on Louisville’s well-being. Dr. Slayton shared a personal story to create perspective and gravitas to an initiative the LHAB is spearheading for September 9th-15th, National Suicide Awareness Week: setting a world record in the number of people trained in Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR). The LHAB will facilitate QPR—an established program dedicated to reducing suicidal behaviors and save lives—training the entire week to achieve this goal. To get trained or host one of the 90-minute classes please email louisvillezerosuicide@gmail.com.

Photo by  Josh Miller

Photo by Josh Miller

Next up, Herb Henry provided some inspiring advice. To improve our health, we ought to be mindful of what take in, and put out. When working on ourselves, we have to do research, work slowly, and be confident. Herb provided the perspective of a former athlete: in order to change the game, we must play the game. He finished with a call to action: by actively creating ways to improve our communities, our individual spaces will transform, as well.

Photo by  Josh Miller

Photo by Josh Miller

Montre Davis of Linkin’ Bridge graciously shared his journey. America’s Got Talent, he says, changed his life. By believing in his dreams endlessly, he was able to achieve the astounding success that Linkin’ Bridge has. However, Montre knows fame isn’t all good: his touring has made him careless with his health, and he’s now taking action to work with Heuser Health, a local physical therapy facility in Louisville, to lose 250 pounds. Good luck Montre!

Photo by  Josh Miller

Photo by Josh Miller

James Dickson entered the ring next with ease—after all, boxing is his wheelhouse. James told us about his experience in foster homes, and when he was formally adopted at 13. His adoptive parents gave him the opportunity to pursue his dreams, and now he’s able to give back. Now, James works with children from all around Smoketown, providing them with academic and athletic support while simultaneously being an incredible role model.

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The event closed with a performance demonstration by David Thurmond, a former dancer with the Louisville Ballet, along with a multitude of other roles. David led the audience, including the previous speakers, in a dance lesson. However, this wasn’t just any dance—the dance was comprised of sports movements supplied by the audience, strung together into fluid motion. The demonstration got the audience up and moving, but it also served as a comfortable gateway into dance for non-dancers.

Before everyone left, there was a call to action. We were handed forms to say what we could do to help the greater Louisville community in the goal of becoming more active. The morning was filled with inspiration, and the audience was finally able to reflect on how we can exercise everyday activism to shape our community’s health. After all, the amazing speakers at Top Notch Boxing once asked themselves that same question.

Photos by Josh Miller

Louisville's Multi-year Focus on Suicide Prevention Ramps up to Set a World Record, Save Lives

Louisville's Multi-year Focus on Suicide Prevention Ramps up to Set a World Record, Save Lives

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According to recently published data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide rates are on the increase, and more than half of people who died by suicide did not have a known mental health condition.  For the years 2008-2014, Jefferson County ranked 11th out of 50 peer counties in terms of highest rates of suicide.  This is a change from the prior ranking of 8th, however the suicide mortality rates were higher nationally.  In essence, while other counties increased at a higher level, our suicide mortality rate still increased.  These statistics are what inspired a cross-sector of community partners to come together and set an objective to design and implement a community-wide, evidence-based and data-driven program to eliminate suicides in Louisville.

So, what are we doing about it?


This group, called the Louisville Health Advisory Board (LHAB) Behavioral Health committee,  is focusing its full energy towards the setting of a world record during National Suicide Prevention Week,  September 9-15, 2018. The committee wants Louisville to have the most individuals trained in Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) in one week. Similar to CPR, QPR is an emergency response to someone in crisis and can save lives.

To learn more and sign up to participate in a training course, visit www.qprlou.com.

For those who like history, here is a bit of background of the LHAB committee’s work as we lead up to a record setting initiative:

Bold Moves Against Suicide Summit 2016

In the fall of 2016, the Louisville Health Advisory Board’s (LHAB) Behavioral Health committee hosted the community’s first ever Bold Moves Against Suicide Summit – designed to bring together thought leaders and community partners to raise the level of awareness for the issue, increase the sense of responsibility in our community to reduce suicide, provide tools and resources to address the issue of suicide and discuss adopting the Zero Suicide initiative across the city. The Summit accomplished these goals, and since then we have been engaging key stakeholders in a community-wide coalition to consider how to implement Zero Suicide across a variety of organizations in Louisville. 


On June 26, 2017, the LHAB’s Behavioral Health committee shared a condensed version of the Zero Suicide Academy and how one might implement at his or her organization.  The group spent the afternoon with grounding on what Zero Suicide is, and resources available to implementing within an organization.  The group reflected on its experiences within its respective organizations and learned about the Zero Suicide Organizational Assessment.  Next, participants created a 90-day plan for implementing Zero Suicide at their organization, and wrapped the day with an interactive assessment of Louisville’s current state as it relates to suicide prevention. 

Then, on November 28, 2017, 25 individuals representing 15 organizations from a cross-sector of our community spent time together recapping the Zero Suicide framework, brainstorming solutions to opportunities in our city, and learning about early successes as they have engaged in their 90-day plans.  In learning from Jeff Felty, Compliance & Privacy Officer from Centerstone, the group addressed one of the biggest challenges discussed in the June session about how to effectively transition individuals across our organizations.

And most recently, on February 21, 24 individuals representing 17 organizations gathered for continued discussion about how to eliminate suicides in our city.  The group heard from guest speaker Andy Lawrence, Director of Suicide Prevention for Centerstone who walked through his organization’s initiation of the Zero Suicide framework and learnings on the journey, since launching in 2011.  Then, at the request of participants, a discussion was facilitated with several local media partners to learn more about their experiences covering suicides in Louisville.  Then, the group discussed the concept of setting the world record for the most individuals trained in QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) in a week. 

We hope you will join us in our effort September 9-15, National Suicide Prevention Week.

Please remember there are resources for you, family and friends related to suicide prevention.  The national suicide prevention hotline is 1-800-273-8255 and a local (Louisville) crisis line number at Centerstone (formerly Seven Counties) is 502-589-4313.

Graphic Facilitator Katalyst Creative Consulting captured this graphic rendering of the community discussion at Louisville's first ever Bold Moves Against Suicide Summit, in the fall of 2016

Graphic Facilitator Katalyst Creative Consulting captured this graphic rendering of the community discussion at Louisville's first ever Bold Moves Against Suicide Summit, in the fall of 2016

Dreaming Big with AHA! Moments

Dreaming Big with AHA! Moments

“If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.” 
— Muhammad Ali

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The sun rose over Louisville, illuminating the 6th floor of the Muhammad Ali Center on April 13, 2018 for the inaugural AHA! Moments event as part of the Year of Arts, HeALIng, & Action!

The #YearofAHA was born out of a collaboration between IDEAS xLab, the Muhammad Ali Center, and the Louisville Health Advisory Board to engage Louisvillians around creative approaches to improve social, mind/body, environmental, and economic health through lightning talks, art+health activities and arts/culture performances.

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Recap of April’s AHA! Moments…

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“There is so much potential for artists and what art can do to shape change in a school with students,” shared artist Brianna Harlan of her artist engagement as part of the Hero+Shero Journeys project organized by IDEAS xLab at Meyzeek Middle School.

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“Together, the Smoketown HOPEBOX and The People’s Corporation will focus on positively impacting mind/body, social, economic, and environmental health while meeting needs and desires of community,” shared Tom Walton [Executive in Residence at UofL] and Tonia Phelps [Bates Community Development Corporation].

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“I want Ali to hear us rumble up in here,” shouted Trinidad Jackson of the Youth Violence Prevention Research Center. “The Ferguson uprising was in my neighborhood, and our office @yvprc has deep connections to these efforts… our responsive approach includes being critically conscious and focusing structural violence prevention.”


“This year we partnered with @LouMetroHealth on our latest series of billboards in #Smoketown,” explained artist and IDEAS xLab team member Hannah Drake. “Whatever it is you want to do, you can do it. These are regular people in Smoketown — that was very important to us.”

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“The Guide to Greatness is an art + health neighborhood toolkit being designed and organized by IDEAS xLab with support from the Humana Foundation and Fund for the Arts,” shared Josh Miller, co-founder of IDEAS xLab before engaging participants to try one of the activities titled, “We are Worthy.” The toolkit will be free and available to community members, neighborhoods and organizations to use starting Spring/Fall 2018.

For the evening event, Steam Exchange setup their mobile screen printing cart to print posters with attendees!

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Louisville Health Advisory Board Quarterly Meeting: March 2018

Louisville Health Advisory Board Quarterly Meeting: March 2018

On March 7, 2018, the Louisville Health Advisory Board (LHAB) held its quarterly meeting at Metro United Way, bringing together over 50 LHAB members representing 33 organizations.
From Humana Foundation’s CEO Walter Woods who talked about the Foundation’s BOLD new 3-year plan embodying its mission to “co-create communities where leadership, culture, and systems work to improve and sustain positive health outcomes” to opportunities for leveraging technology to support the social determinants of health including LouieConnect, and updates from all six committees, the half-day session reminded attendees of the complexity of cross-sector work, and further demonstrated the opportunities for driving toward more healthy days in Louisville and beyond.


Quarterly Meeting Highlights included:

Humana Foundation – Strategic Vision for Louisville

  • Kicking off the day, Humana Foundation CEO Walter Woods shared the Foundation’s BOLD new strategy that will launch in April. “Everyone does better when everyone does better,” said Walter, quoting T. Vaughn Walker, Ph.D., Senior Pastor of First Gethsemane Baptist Church while describing how he and his team have been engaged in a listening tour, engaging with over 100 organizations in Louisville and across the country to realize their mission to “co-create communities where leadership, culture, and systems work to improve and sustain positive health outcomes.”

Walter cited the Center for Health Equity’s 2017 Health Equity Report and Louisville Urban League’s State of Black Louisville as important and informative in shaping a focus for addressing health disparity. 

As Walter and Remy Noble of the Foundation shared, their grant making will focus on two key areas in Louisville:  Post-secondary Success and Sustaining Employment, and Asset Security.  The grant cycle will kick off in April and more information can be found on the Humana Foundation’s website.

In addition, the Humana Foundation in partnership with Humana Inc. will launch this year a Community Relations Program in Louisville providing grants to organizations providing critical safety net services as well as those focused on civic and cultural opportunities. In addition to the financial support, the new program also aims support local nonprofits through skills-based volunteerism. Details about the new Community Relations program will be available in the coming months.

Leveraging Technology to Support Social Determinants of Health in our Community

  • LouieConnect, a web-based application designed for people who are in crisis is currently being beta-tested by Family Scholar House. “You can’t handle a lot of info when in crisis,” shared Tony Whelan of Family Scholar House about the app's design. “You just want the facts - Who, what, when, where, and why. And, the Live Help button connects you to a 211 operator.”

    Tony is looking for opportunities to train organizations and their staff on the tool.  If you would like your staff to be trained, please email Tony at  LouieConnect@familyscholarhouse.org.
  • Jan Sherrell, Senior Manager Basic Needs, Metro United Way and LHAB Community Coordination of Care Committee Member shared how LouieConnect features 212 resources and serves as a nice complement and connection point into Metro United Way’s 2-1-1 tool which has 17,000 resources associated with 900 organizations.  2-1-1 has been in Louisville now for 11 years and has served over 750,000 individuals.  Individuals can access the system and its information via a phone call (dial 2-1-1), via text message (text your zip code to 898211) and online (www.metrounitedway.org/211).  Calls are answered in the Center for Women & Families Call Center. 
  • Theresa Reno-Weber, President and CEO, Metro United Way shared with the group the desire of Metro United Way to serve as a unifier, bringing together historical and present conversations and associated stakeholders around how we best utilize technology to assess for social needs and connect individuals to those programs and resources designed to help.  She shared how the group has been exploring a specific technology solution from a firm called PCCI (Parkland Center for Community Innovation) that has been operating successfully in Dallas for 3 years.  As part of the presentation attendees watched a video that highlights this technology, and Theresa expressed her interest in engaging the full community as she highlighted next steps of confirming feasibility of incorporating health, education, & social services within one system or two that are linked, conducting readiness assessments with community partners and fundraising for a joint investment. 

Committee Updates – Progress Toward 2018 Goals

  • 1 in 3 persons has prediabetes, yet only 115 persons participated in a Diabetes Prevention Program in Louisville in 2017.  The Diabetes Committee seeks to address this gap by understanding barriers and partnering with employers and physicians to screen for, diagnose and route individuals through completion of a Diabetes Prevention Program. There are three pilots currently underway – two with local employers Norton and Papa Johns and one with UofL Physicians.
  • The Community Coordination of Care committee is seeking to build awareness for 2-1-1- and the PRAPARE needs assessment as well as pilot screening and community services with Family Health Center patients.
  • The Behavioral Health committee recently held its third Zero Suicide Community Action Planning session at the end of February, where the group heard from Centerstone Tennessee’s Director of Suicide Prevention about how they have implemented the Zero Suicide framework within their organization.  The group also engaged in an enlightening fireside chat with three media representatives about how suicides are covered in the press.  The committee has set a goal for Louisvlile to set a world record for most individuals trained in QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) in a day, targeting National Suicide Prevention Day on September 10.
  • The Respiratory Health committee highlighted its advocacy work to increase the cigarette tax as well as support public housing facilities who will be required beginning in August, 2018 to be smoke-free.
  • The Culture/Social Impact Committee announced the Year of Arts, HeALIng, and Action! (AHA!) that will launch it’s year-long AHA! Moments event series on April 13. AHA! will focus on how creative approaches and grass-roots to grass-tops network building can impact social, mind/body, environmental and economic health in Louisville, KY. 

    From providing opportunities for co-creation, customer discovery and launching the GUIDE TO GREATNESS, an art + health neighborhood toolkit being developed by IDEAS xLab in partnership with the Muhammad Ali Center, with support from the Humana Foundation and Fund for the Arts to operationalizing the 6 Core Principles of Ali, the committee is excited to engage everyone from corporate leaders to neighborhood associations in the planning and implementation of AHA! Click here to learn more.
  • The Communications Committee outlined the results of the Communications Survey, announcing that LHAB Committees and members can self-select into using Slack as a communications channel – How To Use Slack instructions will be provided to all Committee Co-Chairs for sharing with members. In 2018, the Communications Committee will focus on deploying a comprehensive bi-monthly newsletter “Our Healthy Days” to highlight and share the work of LHAB Committees and member organizations, along with opportunities for LHAB members to participate, support and promote various health and wellbeing initiatives.

Engaging local Physicians in our Work

  • Dr. Wayne Tuckson, President Elect, Greater Louisville Medical Society said, "An educated populous makes for an ideal patient." He used the analogy of grace notes making something better to describe the mission of the Greater Louisville Medical Society to improve health literacy in our community. He echoed the sentiments of other speakers and the work of the LHAB, that the social determinants of health are the most important factors affecting the health of patients, stressing that health literacy is one piece of ensuring that patients are able to get the care they need and are able to implement the care that is recommended by health providers. Dr. Tuckson praised the work that the Louisville Metro Department of Health and Wellness is doing around the social determinants of health and especially the recently published Health Equity Report.

Walking the Talk – Volunteer Experience

  • Thank you to Metro United Way for hosting our second group volunteer experience – something LHAB members requested as a way to directly contribute to the community during  quarterly meetings.  The group enjoyed building snack bags with inspirational messaging for participants of the Louisville Urban League’s Street Academy program, engaging 4th and 5th grade males at high schools in the Zones of Hope, where 4 of the 5 participating schools are located in food deserts. 

Healthy Food for All Hackathon

Healthy Food for All Hackathon

The Healthy Food for All Hackathon was held on Saturday, February 17th, 2018 at the PNC Gigabit Experience Center in Louisville Central Community Center’s Old Walnut Street building. The event brought approximately 70 civic innovators and dozens of engaged youth together to brainstorm solutions for Louisville’s food access resources.

Photos by Monique Kuykendoll Quarterman.

Photos by Monique Kuykendoll Quarterman.

Prior to the event, participants were provided a video reel of eligible projects to spark their curiosity and creativity. Hackathon organizers kicked off the event with live project pitches from local food organizations and individuals seeking new food-related technologies. Attendees ranged from local tech legends to community organizers to people actively suffering from food insecurity.


New Roots, a local organization that organizes the Fresh Stop Markets each year, used the hackers to rethink their digital and consumer engagement strategies. One team began work on an application to support the organization’s complex partnership with local, organic farmers. Another team focused solely on New Roots’ consumer engagement strategy, from assessing their overall marketing strategy to evaluating their new Pollinator model of neighbor-to-neighbor food access support. For more on New Roots, please visit: http://www.newroots.org/.



The Lazarus team from the University of Louisville developed a map of local food sources, as part of a project with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). They leveraged data from the federal SNAP program and Dare to Care food bank’s online resources to identify specific food access points throughout Louisville. The main goal of their project is to increase access to data that can promote the development of vacant and/or underutilized properties.


Good to Grow Green (GTGG), an organization managed by local high school students, gives back to the community by building vertical gardens in classrooms. The gardens are then used to introduce food education and literacy. After the learning modules, the vegetables are harvested and offered to students as a free way to introduce fresh produce into their diet. A group of hackers united to advise GTGG on next steps to market and grow their organization.


As progress continued in the main area, Pat Smith of Civic Data Alliance and team members from IDEAS xLab engaged young innovators in the instruction area. IDEAS xLab led the group of high school students, from Eastern Kentucky and Louisville, to explore issues in community culture and representation. One activity involved the design of a more truthful commercial, empowering the students to take control of how their communities’ needs are represented in the media. The students presented their commercials to their peers and other hackathon attendees.

Themes of innovation, inclusion and dignity flowed throughout the hackathon. Individuals from all backgrounds were empowered to express community needs and lead projects, including youth and people who struggle with food access. When solutions are developed in diverse partnership, they are more relevant and respectful to the communities they will serve. The Healthy Food for All Hackathon’s unique collision of participation and compassion could serve as a model for future civic projects in the greater Louisville community.

If you are interested in volunteering your help to an organization, please visit VolunteerMatch Louisville to find posts related to hunger.

The Hunger Innovation Fellowship is a collaboration of the Lift a Life Foundation and the Community Foundation of Louisville to support systems-level food access in Louisville, KY. For more stories from the 2018 Hunger Innovation Fellowship, click here!

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Monique Kuykendoll Quarterman, MBA specializes in community-focused innovation and partnerships in the Louisville, KY area. As the 2018 Hunger Innovation Fellow, she is actively working to accelerate and elevate the collective efforts of local food access organizations and their partners. The Hunger Innovation Fellowship is a collaboration of the Lift a Life Foundation and the Community Foundation of Louisville.

Louisville’s Journey to Eliminate Suicide

Louisville’s Journey to Eliminate Suicide

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The second Louisville Health Advisory Board Zero Suicide Community Action Planning Session occurred on a beautiful sunny day in November. Twenty-five community members gathered at Metro United Way on Tuesday, November 28 to discuss the city’s collective interest in eliminating suicide by embracing the Zero Suicide framework - Our target is Zero Suicide in our community.

Participating organizations included:

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  • Centerstone
  • Department of Public Health and Wellness
  • JCPS
  • Wellspring
  • Family & Children’s Place
  • Our Lady of Peace
  • VA Medical Center
  • Department of Neighborhood Health
  • Jensen (J&J)
  • Humana
  • Louisville Urban League
  • Louisville Metro Police Department
  • Assure Partners (Employer Wellness)
  • Passport
  • University of Louisville. 

Community members were greeted by Wayne Crabtree, Director of the Office of Addiction Services at Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness. He shared the history of the Louisville Health Advisory Board Behavioral Health Committee, provided an overview of the committee’s goals, and its focus on Zero Suicide. Wayne shared current statistics on suicide rates in Louisville compared to peer cities and left us with the important message that “Zero Suicide is not a mental health issue. It’s a public health issue.”

Kelly Gannon, Chief Operating Officer at Centerstone, reviewed an exercise completed during the first Community Action Planning session on June 26that was designed to capture strengths and opportunities for how we currently address suicide in our city. She and community members looked at all four areas of the “SWOT” diagram to identify additional strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for the Zero Suicide efforts in Louisville. Many other partners were identified as needed voices to fully represent all of Louisville.

Guest speaker Jeff Felty, Compliance & Privacy Officer for Centerstone, presented information about health information privacy. During the last planning meeting, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was identified as a barrier for communication between community partners. Jeff provided guidelines based on covered and non-covered entities, following the strongest language of the law, exceptions such as medical emergency, psychotherapy notes and programs providing substance abuse treatment. Jeff recommended making sure to always ask for a release of information, making sure your agency’s release contains the ten elements required by HIPAA and 42 CFR Part 2, and documenting when there is a need for disclosure. A key insight from this session is that there can be non-emergent (though not drug/alcohol related) communication between covered entities for treatment purposes with or without the client’s authorization.

Wayne facilitated a discussion about early successes and barriers to implementing Zero Suicide, based on the 90-day plans that were assigned and completed at the first planning session.  It was exciting to learn of the ground taken by a number of community organizations! Kelley wrapped the session by reiterating the importance of this work to our community and thanking all attendees for their commitment and progress within their organizations. The Louisville Health Advisory Board Behavioral Health committee will be reviewing session notes and action items as they set forth their 2018 goals.

Post authored by members of the LHAB Behavioral Health committee.

HiAP Ambassadors share what a "healthy day" means to them (Part I)

HiAP Ambassadors share what a "healthy day" means to them (Part I)

Members of the first class of HiAP Ambassadors.

Members of the first class of HiAP Ambassadors.

In 2017, the Institute for Healthy Air Water & Soil launched the Health in All Policies Ambassadors (HiAP Ambassadors) program in Louisville, KY.


The goal of the HiAP Ambassadors is to bring together people of all ages and backgrounds to represent each petal of the Harmony Circle.

The idea is for the Ambassadors to be bridge-builders among companies, schools, elected officials and government employees throughout the city. The Ambassadors advocate for a health in all policies approach whether it is at a personal, organizational, community, or state/federal level. This is a collaborative approach to improving the health of all people by incorporating health considerations into decision-making across sectors and policy areas.

From environmental and financial health to spiritual and physical, the HiAP Ambassadors program has brought together two cohorts of more than 70 individuals.

As an initiative supported by the Louisville Health Advisory Board’s Cultural/Social Impact Committee, we are excited to share how members of the inaugural cohort think about a Healthy Day – and its all encompassing impact across the networks where we live, work, worship, learn and play.

To see a full list of the HiAP Ambassadors click here.

We asked several Ambassadors what a Healthy Day meant to them – how does a good day make you feel? What would you do with a Healthy Day?

Here are their answers.

Nasra Hussein, PACT in Action

When I wake up happy and energized, ready to tackle whatever life is throwing at me. A healthy day for me is when I’m happy and able to make someone else happy and that person is able to make some else happy and so on, a happy you is a happy neighbor and a happy neighbor is a happy community.

Pam Darnall, Family & Children’s Place

Personally, a healthy day includes a full day of work at F&CP, coordinating and collaborating with staff, donors, funders, partners and policy makers to help ensure the children and families that need us the most receive exceptional services, assuring we have the resources we need to provide these critical services, and sharing the mission of F&CP with the entire community. Following work, a five-mile run helps to manage the stress of the day and get the endorphins flowing, and get the heart rate up.

Dr. Eddie Woods, No More Red Dots

No gunshot wound victims, a Healthy Day.

Rev. William D. Hammer, St. Margaret Mary

It begins after a good night’s rest and some time for prayer. A light healthy breakfast and walk to work, my residence is not far from the office. I try to get in as much walking as possible during the day, always a goal of 10,000 steps. Being an extrovert, the day also includes time socializing with students in our elementary school, and a time for non-work related conversation during lunch. The evening meal is the main meal of the day and it is one that is one filled with fresh produce and heart healthy protein in the meat selection. Evenings involve relaxing for at least an hour before going to bed, working the crossword puzzle to relax the mind and prayer before sleeping.

Sadia Abdirahaman, PACT in Action

A healthy day to me looks like a day where everything around me is positive. Everyone is on the same page where I don’t have go on the news and all I hear is about violence and hate. A Healthy Day is when everyone around me is having a good day where certain people don’t have to worry about anything going outside. A Healthy Day to me is when everyone is POSITIVE.

Hannah Drake, IDEAS xLab

Peaceful, rest, love, no hate, no racism. Needless to say, I have not seen a healthy day in a long time.

Michael Fraade, Jewish Community Center

It involves lots of fruits and vegetables! It also includes exercise or outdoor time, ideally in the garden. Whenever possible I like to create space for others to be healthy as well, especially through the teaching work that I get to do at the J. To me, educating others — especially youth, like our preschoolers — about health is a critical part of creating strong communities.

Theo Edmonds, IDEAS xLab

A day when my “lived experience” of Louisville is one where I witness the care and celebration of one another as our highest priority and justice as our guiding value.

Chanda Glover, National Black MBA Association, Kentucky Chapter

A healthy day to me is being able to have a good meal with good friend with as little worries as possible and the ability to simply enjoy life.

CEO Roundtable Held During World Diabetes Month

CEO Roundtable Held During World Diabetes Month

Louisville Health Advisory Board & CEOs Come Together to Prevent Diabetes

Jenny Goins, Commissioner, Department of Employee Insurance, State of KY.

Jenny Goins, Commissioner, Department of Employee Insurance, State of KY.

Did you know? 

  • Kentucky is 4th in the nation for deaths related to diabetes,
  • 1 in 8 Kentucky adults are estimated to have diagnosed diabetes (138K undiagnosed),
  • 1 in 3 KY adults are estimated to have prediabetes (1.1M); 90% do not know they have it,
  • Diabetes leads to many complications including stroke, heart attack, cataracts, glaucoma and amputation,
  • One-third of Kentucky adults with prediabetes will develop diabetes within 5 years,
  • Individuals with diabetes have a medical expenditure 2.3x higher than people without diabetes,
  • The American Diabetes Association estimates diabetes costs KY $3.85 billion in total medical costs, lost work and lost wages.

As a part World Diabetes Month in November, the Louisville Health Advisory Board (LHAB) Diabetes Committee sponsored a CEO Roundtable on November 2, bringing together 30 community leaders from 18 local organizations to discuss the prevalence of diabetes and prediabetes (a condition that can ultimately lead to diabetes).


The morning’s event included speakers who addressed the employer audience on the growing epidemic of diabetes in Kentucky. Two large employers - the Kentucky Employee Health Plan and Humana – shared what they are doing to help their employees avoid prediabetes and manage diabetes, as well as reducing medical expenditures for the employer health plan and improving their employee’s Healthy Days*.

Both employers identified the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) as an excellent resource for their employees who currently have prediabetes. A research-based prevention program like DPP shows that a lifestyle change program is a proven way to prevent or delay diabetes.

Jenny Goins, Commissioner, Department of Employee Insurance, for the state of KY was very passionate about the DPP results generated for their employees. The KEHP’s DPP program has 416 employees actively enrolled in classes. Overall their employees have had an average of 5% weight loss and an average of 196 minutes of physical activity per week. DPP is a covered benefit for their plan. Jenny said, “DPP is making a big difference for our KEHP employees.”

You too can join the fight against prediabetes and diabetes in Louisville! Here are 6 ways how:

  1. Learn about the potential opportunity for addressing prediabetes in your organization with the CDC’s employer calculator.

  2. Provide education to your employees about prediabetes and/or host a screening event at your worksite.

  3. Consider covering the cost of a Diabetes Prevention Program in your workplace.

  4. Look for approved DPP providers in your area. A statewide list of CDC recognized programs can be obtained here.

  5. Learn more about Louisville’s activation of World Diabetes Day on November 14.

  6. Join the LHAB Diabetes Committee. To learn more about our work visit the Louisville Health Advisory Board website and Facebook page.

*Healthy Days is a tool created by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that tracks quality of life by measuring individual physical and mental health in a 30 day period. The LHAB is using Healthy Days to track progress toward our Bold Goal – to make Louisville 20% healthier by 2020.

Post authored by members of the LHAB Diabetes Committee.

Culture, policy and data as key drivers of community health.

Culture, policy and data as key drivers of community health.

One Poem At A Time billboard as part of Project HEAL.

One Poem At A Time billboard as part of Project HEAL.

It’s time for Louisville to lead in health, and that means taking three steps.

The first is to ensure that everyone can afford to see a doctor when they’re sick.

The second is to make preventive care, like screening for cancer, available to people who otherwise won’t or can’t go in for it.

The third is to stop thinking of health as something we get at the doctor’s office but instead as something that is rooted in the culture of our families, neighborhoods, schools, and workplaces.

The more health is seen this way, the more opportunities are available to improve it. This is why the Louisville Health Advisory Board’s Cultural/Social Impact Committee is focused on culture, policy and data as key drivers of community health.

Some may think that culture, policy and data aren’t related. However, it is the intersection of these three things that we often find breakthrough solutions that drive social innovation.

Core Cultural/Social Impact committee strategies include:

  • Health in All Policies Ambassadors – This networking opportunity organized by the Institute of Healthy Air Water & Soil brings together everyday citizen’s who have made the health of their communities a priority. The group shares learnings, and best practices.
  • One Poem at A Time – a policy initiative stemming from IDEAS xLab’s Project HEAL that seeks to mitigate the negative impact of the predatory, high-density messages on billboards and posters in low-income neighborhoods with significant health disparities like the Smoketown neighborhood.
  • Health Impact Assessments – the committee is playing a supporting role in promoting the use of Health Impact Assessments in Louisville.
  • Creating a Wellbeing Index for Louisville – through an innovative partnership with the City of Santa Monica's Office of Civic Wellbeing (CA), the committee is in the early stages of developing a create a "wellbeing index" for Louisville as part of IDEAS xLab’s Project HEAL. This new data, which will be open-source, development and planning tool for all Louisville neighborhoods, assesses 5 factors (data, impact, equity, culture, policy) of community readiness for change across 5 dimensions: Community; Place + Planet; Learning; Health; Economic Opportunity. 
  • Louisville Sports Commission – the committee is engaged in finding new ways to build active lifestyles into the culture of Louisville’s many diverse neighborhoods. Example of projects include: Louisville Active; Kids Finish First; Corporate Games; and Play It Forward.

Our understanding of what creates healthy communities is in a period of significant change. Grappling with the authenticity that makes each community unique; ensuring equity for the most vulnerable; and actively creating new models for wellbeing, inclusive economies and civic engagement; these are the challenges that may also present significant opportunities to accelerate the pace of positive impact in community health.

Thanks to the work of the LHAB Cultural/Social Impact Committee, a cross-sector team is coming together for a learning exchange and to create innovative approaches to policy change and new data tools that can support the social, economic, and environmental health of Louisville communities. The unique approach being deployed by this committee is also geared toward building civic trust, opportunities to increase transparency, and nurture a shared desire to make government more accessible and responsive to the needs of all people.

About the authors:

Theo Edmonds and Grace Simrall co-chair the Cultural/Social Impact Committee for LHAB.

Theo Edmonds, JD, MHA, MFA is Chief Imaginator + Co-Founder of IDEAS xLab. He is a futurist, artist, poet and social entrepreneur. A former healthcare executive and champion clogger, he was named as one of "50 People Changing the Face of the South" by Southern Living Magazine.

Theo Edmonds, JD, MHA, MFA is Chief Imaginator + Co-Founder of IDEAS xLab. He is a futurist, artist, poet and social entrepreneur. A former healthcare executive and champion clogger, he was named as one of "50 People Changing the Face of the South" by Southern Living Magazine.

Grace Simrall was named Chief of Civic Innovation and Technology for Louisville Metro Government in August 2016 and in that role is responsible for advising the Mayor and leading Louisville Metro’s initiatives on emerging technologies and breakthrough innovations.

Grace Simrall was named Chief of Civic Innovation and Technology for Louisville Metro Government in August 2016 and in that role is responsible for advising the Mayor and leading Louisville Metro’s initiatives on emerging technologies and breakthrough innovations.

Respiratory health... Let's breathe better.

Respiratory health... Let's breathe better.

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  Veronica Combs of the Institute for Healthy Air, Water and Soil describes the work of AIR Louisville during LHAB quarterly meeting.

Veronica Combs of the Institute for Healthy Air, Water and Soil describes the work of AIR Louisville during LHAB quarterly meeting.

The Respiratory Health sub-committee is the youngest of the Louisville Health Advisory Board (LHAB) sub-committees, having formed in August 2017. Many of our committee members have been involved with other committees or have been interested in serving since LHAB launched in fall 2015. 

We remember at the inaugural Clinical Town Hall, Humana shared data about the many health conditions that were driving unhealthy days and lung health was one of the major contributors. Sadly, at the kickoff meeting when committees formed, there were not enough folks interested to get a workgroup going at that time. Fast forward a few years and a number of developments have occurred that allowed us to rekindle the flame. 

For example, the community asthma intervention project called AIR Louisville launched two years ago, and today, under Veronica Combs' (Institute for Healthy Air, Water and Soil) leadership, there are many community stakeholders that are excited to tackle asthma and make our city a place that promotes lung health. Similarly, a short time ago, Ben Chandler took the reigns at the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and made “Smoke Free Kentucky” a major focus of their work. The clinical science is definitive that reducing smoking is one of the best ways to get more healthy days in Louisville and surrounding counties.

Beyond this new energy, the committee is trying to embrace the best of the ideas of the Bold Goal effort. The idea was always to align the stakeholders in the community to work together to make more progress. We have taken that to heart. For example, we know the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky needs help getting their policy and program ideas shared across communities that simply have not taken steps to reduce smoking. We are working together to rally the networks of AIR Louisville, supporting employers and the great grass roots of the ALA to move advocacy to the next level. Similarly, the American Lung Association has partnered with Revon Systems to help the Community Health Clinic in Butchertown, and now holds regular lung screening clinics for those without health insurance. These are just some examples of how we are trying to maximize the common interests of our committee members.

Our committee recognizes that this is a bit of an experiment. Engaging around respiratory health at this point is new territory, and we hope to benefit from the pioneering work of the other LHAB committees, who share in the philosophy of a Bold Goal that is not time-bound and is inclusive. We care about the health of our community in 2017, 2020, 2040 and beyond.

We will work hard to raise awareness for the many important and simple things that our community can do to breath better and promote the good health of future generations, and welcome others to join us.

About the authors:

As co-chairs of LHAB’s Respiratory Health sub-committee, Deena Adams brings the full force of the American Lung Association, and Ted Smith brings the health tech entrepreneurial community to the table.


Deena Adams is Development Manager for American Lung Association in Kentucky and advances the capacity for the organization to deliver health- promoting programs.



Ted Smith.jpg

Ted Smith is CEO of Revon Systems which develops lung health tools for those suffering from COPD and Asthma and he has many years of community-based civic health tech experience.



Our Target - Zero Suicides.

Our Target - Zero Suicides.

Photo from the 2016  Bold Moves Against Suicide  Summit in Louisville, KY.

Photo from the 2016 Bold Moves Against Suicide Summit in Louisville, KY.

We as a society have a difficult time dealing with the subject of death. When someone takes their own life, that conversation proves even more difficult. No other situation can elicit such immense grief and remorse as the subject of suicide. Losing a loved one to suicide forever changes a family. For those left behind there is the litany of, if only I had… I should have… I could have… etc. 

Louisville ranks 8th for the highest rate of suicide compared to peer cities.

It is for this reason that the Louisville Health Advisory Board’s Behavioral Health sub-committee (LHAB) decided to take on the challenge of addressing suicide in our city.

This Behavioral Health sub-committee reviewed the suicide data in our city and at first looked at reducing the incidence of suicide in Louisville Metro, but after much discussion agreed that not even one suicide is acceptable. We decided that the Zero Suicide Initiative was the only real option for our city. This initiative does not settle for the reduction of suicide, but its elimination. This is our only target. 

In November, 2016, LHAB and the Behavioral Health sub-committee sponsored the “Bold Moves Against Suicide Summit” where community partners, clinicians, educators, social service providers, and faith-based organizations convened to raise the level of awareness for this issue. 

The goals were to:

  1. Increase the sense of responsibility in our community to eliminate suicide,
  2. Provide tools and resources to address the issue of suicide,
  3. Discuss the goal of Zero Suicide,
  4. Create a community approach to eliminate suicide.

At the close of the summit, the attendees were asked to pledge their commitment to Zero Suicide and to continue meeting to explore ways to implement it throughout the city. On June 26, 2017, about 25 organizations rose to this challenge and met to develop their 90-Day Action Plan to implement Zero Suicide in their organization.

We are in the process of meeting again in early October to discuss and encourage these organizations to continue their implementation of Zero Suicide. We invite any organization wanting to assist us in this initiative to join us. Together we can become a city where not even one suicide is acceptable.   

About the author: Wayne Crabtree serves as the Director of the Office of Addiction Services at Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness. He has served there for over 26 years with some great community partners in order to increase the health and well-being in Louisville metro citizens.

Graphic Recording by Katalyst Creative Consulting.