State Coalition & Policy

The State Coalition and Policy Team administers the state’s cancer coalition (Kentucky Cancer Consortium) and comprehensive cancer control program on behalf of the Kentucky Department of Public Health (CDC grant #NU58DP007144-01-00; Pamela Hull, PI; Jennifer Redmond-Knight, Co-PI). The Kentucky Cancer Consortium (KCC) is a statewide coalition of 120+ multi-sectoral organizations (e.g., public health, health care, payors, government, non-profits, policy, support services) and multiple UK programs united to reduce the burden of cancer in Kentucky. 

This team convenes coalition members for information sharing, coordination and collaboration to develop and implement the Kentucky Cancer Action Plan. This plan serves as a roadmap for the state, with a focus on policy, system and environmental changes and health equity. The team manages coalition activities, strategic planning, and evaluation; distributes a weekly e-newsletter with 500+ subscribers; initiates collaborations among partners and researchers; and leads policy activities. 

For more information, visit the Kentucky Cancer Consortium website.

State Coalition and Policy Team

elaine russellElaine Russell
Team Leader, Program Director

In addition to supervising staff in the State Coalition and Policy Team, Elaine provides programmatic and operational leadership for Kentucky’s comprehensive cancer control program and the Kentucky Cancer Consortium (KCC). In close collaboration with the statewide community stakeholders in the KCC Leadership Committee, she catalyzes diverse multi-sector partnerships, oversees development and implementation of the Kentucky Cancer Action Plan, and ensures a consistent focus on health equity. Elaine has over 20 years of experience in public health program management and partnership engagement and is a registered dietitian. She contributes experience in bringing diverse partners together to develop plans built upon the talents, resources and expertise of individuals and organizations. She works with groups to visualize progress, address barriers and coordinate with others to move toward the collective goal of building communities where everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible.

jennifer redmond knightJennifer Redmond-Knight, DrPH
Co-Principal Investigator, Coalition Engagement Lead

Dr. Knight works closely with Dr. Hull in providing overall leadership for Kentucky’s comprehensive cancer control program and the Kentucky Cancer Consortium (KCC). In particular, she leads coalition engagement activities and oversees program evaluation for KCC. Dr. Knight contributes expertise in cancer prevention and control, group facilitation, partnership sustainability, program development, evaluation, epidemiology, and policy, systems and environmental change efforts. She brings extensive experience in lung cancer prevention and early detection, colon cancer prevention and early detection, health care access, evaluation and resource planning. Dr. Knight is Assistant Professor in the University of Kentucky College of Public Health and a member of the Markey Cancer Prevention and Control Research Program. In addition, she has served as Co-Principal Investigator for the lung cancer screening project under Kentucky LEADS (Lung Cancer, Education, Awareness, Survivorship) Collaborative and Principal Investigator for a SelfMade Health Network grant focused on Lung Cancer Health Equity among predominately male worksites.

kristianKristian Wagner, MS, RD, LD
Health Policy Director

Kristian coordinates the Policy, Systems and Environmental initiatives of the Kentucky Cancer Consortium. Kristian oversees initiatives related to Smoke-free, Obesity and Environmental Carcinogens. Specifically, within Environmental Carcinogens, Kristian has worked to educate and inform on the dangers of radon exposure in order to reduce the burden of lung cancer in Kentucky.

Amanda BeckettAmanda Beckett
Program Coordinator

Amanda coordinates KCC meetings, events and projects. Amanda received her Bachelor’s degree in Public Health from the University of Kentucky in 2021 and joined the State Coalition and Policy Team in 2022 after working in the financial industry for 15 years. She has a passion for working with cancer research and programs that help reduce rates of cancer and improve the lives of those living in Kentucky and beyond.
NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center - A Cancer Center Designated by the National Cancer Institute

Markey Cancer Center is designated by the National Cancer Institute as a Comprehensive Cancer Center – a distinction that recognizes our commitment to accelerating precision cancer research and care to patients. We are the first and only NCI-Comprehensive Cancer Center in Kentucky, and one of 57 in the nation.