UK Program Wins Regional Outreach Award
Media Contact: Dan Adkins, 859-257-1754, x228
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 2, 2008) − The University of Kentucky has been selected as a regional recipient of the 2008 Outreach Scholarship W.K. Kellogg Foundation Engagement Award by the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges (NASULGC).
The university won the award for the South region for a UK College of Dentistry program that implemented a new prenatal care model that adds oral health education and dental care to existing group prenatal care. The program, which involved a collaboration with the Hopkins County Health Department and Trover Health Systems in Madisonville, Ky., significantly reduced preterm births and low birth-weight babies for participating women.
The project, led by Robert E. Kovarik in the College of Dentistry, also saved an estimated $1.5 million in health costs for premature infants in the test group. Planning is underway to extend the initiative to other rural Kentucky sites.
The project’s focus on building a relationship with local service providers and community leaders prompted UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. to designate it a "Commonwealth Collaborative" program. The designation, awarded to 36 UK research projects, provides it with supplemental funding to enhance its impact on the quality of life in Kentucky.
NASULGC’s Outreach Scholarship Award recognizes four-year public universities that have redesigned their learning, discovery and engagement functions to become sympathetically and productively involved with their communities.
By winning the regional award, which includes a $6,000 prize, the university becomes a national finalist for the 2008 C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Award, presented annually by NASULCG. The national award winner will be selected in October at the association’s Outreach Scholarship Conference at Pennsylvania State University in State College, Pa. It includes a trophy and a $20,000 prize.
Other finalists include Arizona State University, the West region winner; Ohio State University, the North Central region winner; Penn State, the Northeast region winner; and Tennessee State University, the recipient of the association’s 1890/1994 Land-Grants Award.
The Outreach Scholarship Award and the Magrath Community Engagement Award were established by NASULCG in 2006.
More information about the award-winning UK program is available online.