A State and Regional Initiative

About the Project:

Kentucky will be focusing its efforts statewide, with particular focus on the eastern and southern reaches of the state. Both regions are socioeconomically disadvantaged and rural. The eastern region is primarily white while the southern region has a larger African American and Latino population than the eastern region but is still predominantly white and Appalachian. Counties form the basis for schools, parks, health departments and most all other infrastructure and county seats are the primary site for all non-agricultural economic activity in the majority of the target area. Advocates will work in teams to develop county-specific advocacy plans at both trainings. 


Key Data:

  • Obesity prevalence in KY school children:
    • Boys: KY - 19.5%; US - 14.2%
    • Girls: KY - 9.5%; U.S. - 6.9%
  • County classification: According to a national index of counties in the US, 38 of the 54 counties in eastern and southern KY are considered distressed - in the lowest 10 percent socioeconomically
  • For more prevalance data on KY, go to:

Policy Focus:

Kentucky will be focusing its efforts on four separate areas: increasing physical activity in schools, BMI surveillance, promotion of menu labeling, and general environmental changes. Each county team will determine its policy focus during the break-out portion of the training and will be supported by the Kentucky team at large. Special focus will be placed on KY House Bill 52 (a bill currently in committee that mandates improved activity and nutrition in school), on the YMCA's RWJ funded Pioneering Healthy Communities initiative and on the Kentucky chapter's ongoing efforts at obesity prevention.


Kentucky will be working in partnership with the Child Policy Research Center; Partnership for a Fit KY; Department of Telemedicine Group; YMCAs; County-specific Parks and Recreations Departments; KY Department of Public Health and KY Youth Advocates.


Project Lead: Dr. Chris Bolling and Mary York, Pediatric Associates; Kentucky Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics;

NICHQ: Jenna Williams, Project Manager

Customized Advocacy Resource Guide:

A customized version of the Be Our Voice guide has been developed to assist in training local advocates. Local government structures and processes, data, media resources, and other grantees specific to Kentucky are included. Download the Kentucky Advocacy Resource Guide (PDF).

Local Training:

Kentucky will be holding two trainings open to all in Kentucky, though they are largely centered around two specific geographic regions.

June 19, 2010 at Natural Bridge State Park, Stanton, KY
August 20, 2010 at Barren River State Park, Lucas, KY