People cooking in a kitchen

Project CHEER Collaborates with the American Heart Association to Present at APHA

Natalie Littlefield, the community health director for the Lexington Division of the American Heart Association (AHA) has partnered with the Kentucky’s CDC State Disability & Health Program called Project CHEER (Community Health Education & Exercise Resources) to co-author a presentation titled “Promotion of Successful Inclusion of Individuals with Disabilities Through Universal Design in American Heart Association’s Health Programs,” that will be presented at the 2019 American Public Health Association’s (APHA) annual meeting and expo, November 2 – 6 in Philadelphia.
Presenting with Littlefield from Project CHEER will be Lindsey Mullis, Megan Jaspersen, and Danielle Augustin of the University of Kentucky Human Development Institute.
The presentation, scheduled for 3 pm EST on Monday, November 4, will review the community collaborations, universal design strategies in health programming, and pilot results of an inclusive offering of the AHA’s Mobile Kitchen series. Future directions for broadening efforts and sustainability will be explained. Additionally, presenters will briefly discuss adaptation and implementation of a second inclusive pilot of AHA’s Healthy for Life program with implementation late spring 2019. “This is such an important partnership with the AHA because we want to promote the broad accessibility of great health services to individuals who are often at the highest risk for being unhealthy and underserved, and this presentation provides us the opportunity to encourage other programs to do the same.” Lindsey Mullis, Inclusive Health Director, Project CHEER. Continue reading

Parents with baby with Down syndrome

Fall Research Brief 2019

Adherence of cell-free DNA noninvasive prenatal screens to ACMG recommendations in providing patient education resources
Research Brief by Stephanie Meredith & Mark Leach

Cell-free DNA prenatal screens (also known as NIPS or NIPT) were released in the US by commercial labs eight years ago as screening tests for conditions such as Down syndrome, Trisomy 18, and Trisomy 13. When these screens were originally released in 2011, they were largely covered in the media as non-invasive prenatal diagnostic tests that could detect conditions with a simple blood draw. However, even though cell-free DNA noninvasive prenatal screens are more sensitive than traditional screening tests, there are still chances for false positives and, less often, false negatives. Therefore, they are considered screening tests and are not actually diagnostic (Mozersky, 2012). The introduction of this new technology and some of the confusion surrounding it prompted national medical and genetics societies to issue guidelines about the administration of these screens. Continue reading
Athletic man in a wheelchair lifting weights.

Wellness Edge Subawardees Announced for Year 2!

In 2018, the University of Kentucky Human Development Institute (HDI) received a three-year grant totaling $600,000 from the Administration on Community Living. The project, Wellness Edge, is a Paralysis Resource Center State Pilot program grant. This grant builds connections within local communities to enhance and facilitate access to recreational programs to better serve people with paralysis and their support networks.
Each year, Wellness Edge provides grants of up to $10,000-$24,999 to community organizations that provide organized recreational activities that are intentionally designed to benefit individuals, groups or communities. Wellness Edge is led by a ten-person advisory committee made up of advocates who understand the importance of recreation in the overall quality of life for people with paralysis. Smaller review teams from that group grade the applications and decide on awards. Read more below about each of our subawardees for Year 2 and their proposed programs! Continue reading

Child reading a book with teacher.

Latest Fund for Excellence Awards: August 2019

The Human Development Institute (HDI) established the Fund for Excellence for the development of innovative programs, services or products to address the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families, for which funding is not currently available. In the July, 2019 funding cycle, HDI awarded three Fund for Excellence projects:

  • Universally Designed Health Coaching Pilot with Danielle Augustin, Lindsey Mullis, and Morgan Turner
  • You Can Do So Many Things project with Caroline Gooden, Kathy Sheppard-Jones, and Brittany Granville
  • Disability in Public Health Training with Tony Lobianco and Donald Lollar

Continue reading

Athletic man in a wheelchair lifting weights.

Project CHEER offers Adaptive Exercise Videos to Improve Health for Everyone!

Individuals with disabilities experience many barriers that prevent them from living the healthiest lifestyle possible. Ability to participate in regular physical activity is a common barrier that individuals with disabilities face due to lack of guidance and inaccessible equipment. Inability to engage in regular physical activity puts individuals at a higher risk of developing chronic conditions such as heart disease and stroke. One of HDI’s grant funded efforts, Project CHEER, has made it one of their missions to eliminate as many barriers to physical activity as possible for all individuals. Throughout the past year, Project CHEER has been working to create a series of adaptive exercise videos which provide instruction on physical activity that everyone, regardless of knowledge or ability level, can participate in. Continue reading