The Bluegrass State is famous for breeding horses, tobacco farms, fine bourbon and the Kentucky Derby. Kentucky covers 39,728 square miles, with a 2011 estimated population of 4,369,356 people – with 1,820,571 people living in rural Kentucky (USDA-ERS). Frankfort is the state capital. The state’s largest cities are Louisville, Lexington-Fayetteville and Owensboro. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 88.9% of the state’s population is white, 8.0% is Black/African-American, and 3.2% is of Hispanic/Latino origin (2011).
There are 106 hospitals in Kentucky (Kaiser, 2010), 29 of which are identified by the Flex Monitoring Team as Critical Access Hospitals (March 2013). There are 147 Rural Health Clinics in Kentucky (Kaiser, 2012) and 19 Federally Qualified Health Centers provide services at 84 sites in the state (Kaiser, 2010). 15.0% of Kentucky residents lack health insurance (Kaiser, 2011).
According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the average per-capita income for Kentucky residents in 2009 was $32,258, although rural per-capita income lagged at $27,149. Estimates from 2010 indicate a poverty rate of 22.9% exists in rural Kentucky, compared to 16.0% in urban areas of the state. 2010 ACS data reports that 25.7% of the rural population has not completed high school, compared to 14.1% of urban populations. The unemployment rate in rural Kentucky is 10.1%, while in urban Kentucky, it is 9.2% (USDA-ERS, 2011).
For a national comparison, please see an overview of the United States.
U.S. Census Bureau: State & County QuickFacts; USDA Economic Research Service: State Fact Sheets; Kaiser Family Foundation State Health Facts; Flex Monitoring Team: Critical Access Hospital List
Appalachian Community Fund (ACF)
Provides resources and support to grassroots organizations working to overcome the underlying causes of poverty and injustice in Central Appalachia (East Tennessee, Eastern Kentucky, Southwest Virginia and West Virginia).
Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)
Supports economic and social development in all of West Virginia and parts of twelve other states: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
Community Action Kentucky (CAK)
Works to build and strengthen the network of Kentucky's Community Action Agencies resulting in the improvement in the lives of the people they serve.
Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky (CEDIK)
Provide education, research, and assistance to people, communities, and organizations in Kentucky related to economic, agricultural, family, social, and community development.
Great Lakes Rural Community Assistance Program (RCAP)
Assists rural low-income individuals and underserved populations in developing and maintaining community infrastructure to improve rural quality of life through a network of community action agencies.
HUD Community Development Block Grants: Kentucky (CDBG)
Contact information for the State CDBG program. Provides funding for community development projects.
Institute for Rural Journalism & Community Issues (IRJCI)
A multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional, multi-state effort, based at the University of Kentucky to help non-metropolitan journalists define the public agenda for their communities, grasp the local impact of regional and national issues, and interpret rural issues for national media.
Kentucky Area Health Education Centers (AHEC)
Works to improve the recruitment, distribution and retention of health care professionals (particularly in Primary Care) in medically underserved areas of Kentucky. Their website provides information on and contact details for each of the eight regional AHECs in the state.
Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services
Works to improve the health of Kentucky residents.
Kentucky Child Support Enforcement (CSE)
Provides assistance to parents with minor children seeking financial support from a noncustodial parent.
Kentucky Hospital Association (KHA)
Represents hospitals, related health care organizations, and integrated health care systems dedicated to sustaining and improving the health status of the citizens of Kentucky.
Kentucky Medical Association (KMA)
A professional organization of physicians in Kentucky working towards physician advocacy and affordable, accessible health care delivery.
Kentucky Primary Care Association (KPCA)
Determines and promotes the mutual interests of its members with a mission of promoting access to comprehensive, community-oriented primary health care services for the underserved.
Kentucky Regional Extension Center (KY REC)
Kentucky State Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center (REC) that helps health care providers become meaningful users of electronic health records by providing information and technical assistance.
Kentucky Rural Health Association (KRHA)
Educates providers and consumers on rural health issues and advocates actions by private and public leaders to assure equitable access to health care for rural Kentuckians.
Kentucky State Office of Rural Health
Partners with hospitals, community organizations, and non-profit groups, in promoting health care in rural Kentucky. Part of the Center of Excellence in Rural Health run by the University of Kentucky Medical Center.
Kentucky Youth Advocates (KYA)
Promotes positive changes in programs and policies that affect large numbers of children in Kentucky.
Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center
One of the telehealth resource centers funded by the federal Office for the Advancement of Telehealth. Assists health care organizations, health care networks, and health care providers in the implementation of cost-effective telehealth programs to serve rural and medically underserved areas and populations. Includes Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware and North Carolina.
National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Greater Midwest Region (NN/LM-GMR)
Works to improve access to health information for health professionals, librarians and members of the public in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
Rural Cancer Prevention Center (RCPC)
Funded through the CDC Prevention Research Centers program, the RCPC works as an interdependent network of community, academic, and public health professionals and researchers to reduce the health disparities associated with cervical cancer, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer throughout the Kentucky River Health District.
Southern Rural Development Center (SRDC)
One of four regional rural development centers in the nation. Works to strengthen the region's 29 land-grant institutions in addressing rural development issues. Serves a 13 state area in the Southern region which includes TX, LA, AR, OK, AL, MS, GA, FL, KY, SC, NC, VA, and TN.
Tri-State Regional Extension Center
Serves southwestern Ohio, northeastern Kentucky, and south-central Indiana. State Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center (REC) that helps health care providers become meaningful users of electronic health records by providing information and technical assistance.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: Kentucky (HUD)
Works to increase homeownership, support community development and increase access to affordable housing. The HUD state office provides information about HUD housing programs and local contacts for the state.
University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research (UKCPR)
Research institute focused on a multidisciplinary approach to the causes, consequences, and correlates of poverty and inequality in the southern United States. One of three federally designated Area Poverty Research Centers.
University of Kentucky Center of Excellence in Rural Health
Created to address the unique and growing problems of rural health. They offer health professions education, health policy research, health care service and community engagement.
USDA Rural Development Kentucky State Office
Committed to helping improve the economy and quality of life in all of rural America. The Rural Development State Office provides information about Rural Development programs and applications for financial assistance.
ERS State Fact Sheet: Kentucky
Lists statistics on population, educational attainment, employment, income, farm characteristics, and farm financial indicators for the state.
Kentucky AgrAbility Project
Provides education and technical assistance to Kentucky farm women, older farmers, farm children, minorities, and limited resource farmers who face the challenges of a disability.
Kentucky Health Centers Data
Provides access to information on Federally Qualified Health Centers for the state. Includes a map of FQHC locations, as well as information on the populations served by health centers, services provided, staff, patient visits, costs of care, and use of electronic health information.
Kentucky Health Information Exchange (KHIE)
Facilitates the safe, secure electronic exchange of patient health information among participating providers and organizations throughout Kentucky. Website offers information on associated technology and the state's Medicaid EHR Incentive Program.
Kentucky KIDS COUNT Data Center (KCDC)
Provides data on child well-being for the state.
Basic demographic and economic statistics for the state, with links to county-level data.
Kentucky State Health Facts
The latest state-level data on demographics, health, and health policy, including health coverage, access, financing, and state legislation. Individual state profiles and 50-state comparisons.
National Healthcare Quality Report State Snapshot: Kentucky
Health care quality report for the state, based on the National Healthcare Quality Report.
NN/LM Greater Midwest Region: Kentucky Resources
Overviews the state, and provides links to state agencies, health associations, and other resources for Kentucky.
Southern Rural Development Center: Success Stories
Describes successful programs involving states within the coverage region of the Southern Rural Development Center: stories currently feature Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Texas.
See also: State-by-State Resources: Tools
Appalachian Community Fund Technical Assistance Grants
Funding for technical assistance needs for community-based organizations that address underlying causes of economic and social distress in the Appalachian region.
Appalachian Health Career Scholarships
Offers scholarships to Appalachian students pursuing careers in health care or a health-related field.
Delta Health Care Services Grant Program
Provides financial assistance for the development of health care services, health care cooperatives, health education programs, health care training programs, and public health-related facilities in the Delta Region.
Delta Regional Authority States Economic Development Assistance Program (SEDAP)
Grants to help Delta communities create jobs and improve infrastructure.
Dollar General Youth Literacy Grants
Funding to schools, public libraries, and nonprofit organizations to help students who are below grade level or experiencing difficulty reading.
Gannett Foundation Community Action Grants
Supports local organizations with funding priority given to programs that focus on education and neighborhood improvement, economic development, youth development, community problem-solving, assistance to disadvantaged people, environmental conservation, and cultural enrichment.
Georgia-Pacific Foundation Grants
Grants for organizations projects that focus on education, the environment, community enhancement, affordable housing, arts and culture, and entrepreneurship.
Kentucky Community Engagement Matching Grants
Awards grants to nonprofit organizations in Kentucky working toward promoting responsive health policy and developing comprehensive community-based initiatives, including school programs.
Kentucky State Loan Repayment Program
A 50/50 matching program that increases availability of primary health care services through repayment of education loans to eligible health professionals practicing in Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs).
Mission and Ministry Fund Planning and Project Grants
Grants to build community capacity and work in collaboration with others to implement action plans that address specific, documented community needs.
Mission and Ministry Fund Violence Prevention Grant
Funds may be requested to cover the costs of community-based planning, conducting community meetings, assessing community violence-related assets and needs, continuing specific community-based violence prevention efforts and related activities.
National Network of Libraries of Medicine Greater Midwest Region Funding
Provides funding for National Network of Libraries members located in the greater Midwest region to assist them in conducting outreach and technology projects.
Rural Health IT Workforce Loan Fund
Loans for health care providers in underserved communities to successfully adopt and utilize a Health IT system.
Inactive Funding Opportunities -
Lists additional funding programs for this state that are not currently accepting applications. Programs that are inactive may be offered again in the future.
Documents, Reports and Other Publications
Accuracy of Referral for Portable Lipid Analyzers in an Old Order Mennonite Population
Author(s): Maria Eve Main, Susan Jones, Cathy Abell
Examines an old order Mennonite population through a comparison to a national standardized reference laboratory, regarding cholesterol, and the health care services in this community located in south central Kentucky.
Journal citation: Online Journal of Rural Nursing and Health Care Volume 10 Issue 2 Pages: 55-64
Date: 09 / 2010
Around the Country: Local Programs Help Patients Navigate Medical Care
Author(s): Candi Helseth
Sponsoring organization: Rural Assistance Center
A look at patient navigator programs in four states: a statewide program in Georgia; a program in Kentucky for cervical cancer patients; a promotores program in Texas for chronic conditions; and a coordinated care program for cancer patients in Vermont.
Journal citation: Rural Monitor Volume 2012 Issue Spring
Date: 05 / 2012
Around the Country: Network Brings Better, More Efficient Care to Cardiac Patients in 68 Counties
Author(s): Candi Helseth
Sponsoring organization: Rural Assistance Center
Highlights the Saint Thomas Chest Pain Network in Tennessee and Kentucky, which is proving that moving patients into and through a system quickly and efficiently is critical to saving lives.
Journal citation: Rural Monitor Volume 2012 Issue Winter
Date: 02 / 2012
Customizing Solutions for Rural Appalachia: Hazard Perry County Community Ministries
Author(s): Gerry Roll
Sponsoring organization: Housing Assistance Council
Describes how a Continuum of Care operating in rural Kentucky creates innovative plans to combat homelessness and provide services in rural Appalachia.
Demographic and Economic Profile: Kentucky
Author(s): Kathleen K. Miller
Sponsoring organization: Rural Policy Research Institute
Discusses demographic and economic data including population, race, education, age, poverty, income, and more. Includes maps and graphics.
Housing in the Mississippi Delta
Sponsoring organization: Housing Assistance Council
Provides statistics and describes the housing needs of the Mississippi Delta region that will require multi-level approaches to address the social, political, and economic infrastructure of the region.
Date: 10 / 2011
KYHealth Choices Medicaid Reform: Key Program Changes and Questions
Sponsoring organization: Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured
Kentucky obtained a state plan amendment for its Medicaid program, becoming one of the first states to utilize new options available through the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005.
Date: 07 / 2006
Making it Work: Combating Rural Homelessness
Sponsoring organization: Housing Assistance Council
This entire issue of Rural Voices is dedicated to the topic of rural homelessness. Highlights some of the innovative ways rural homeless providers are accessing and using
resources in Michigan, Minnesota, California, Georgia, and Kentucky.
Journal citation: Rural Voices Volume 12 Issue 3
Mental Health and Aging Initiative: Intervention Component Effects
Author(s): Faika Zanjani, Tracy Davis, Tina Kruger, Deborah Murray
Evaluates the Mental Healthiness and Aging Initiative (MHAI) intervention in rural Kentucky and finds that it is feasible and has increased awareness and knowledge about mental health and substance abuse and aging.
Journal citation: Rural and Remote Health Volume 12 Issue 2154
Date: 11 / 2012
Rural Dropout Problem: An Invisible Achievement Gap
Author(s): Jerry Johnson, Marty Strange, Karen Madden
Sponsoring organization: Rural School and Community Trust
Reviews high school dropout rates and related factors in rural high schools throughout 15 states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia.
Small Business Profile: Kentucky
Sponsoring organization: Small Business Administration
Profile of the state's economy, covering the number of firms, industry composition, small business income, banking, women and minority business ownership, and employment.
Date: 2 / 2013
Southeastern Kentuckians Remain Optimistic Through Great Recession: Growing Concerns about Sprawl, Housing, and Recreational Opportunities
Author(s): Jessica D. Ulrich
Sponsoring organization: Carsey Institute
Investigates how perceptions of socioeconomic and environmental issues in the economically vulnerable rural region of Southeastern Kentucky have changed during the recession from 2007-2009.
Southern Rural Development Center: 2011 Annual Report: Regional Innovations, National Applications
Sponsoring organization: Southern Rural Development Center
Describes the programs and progress of the Southern Rural Development Center, one of four regional centers coordinating rural development research and extension education programs.
USDA Rural Development 2011 Progress Report
Sponsoring organization: USDA Rural Development
Reports on investments made by USDA Rural Development intended to have a lasting, sustainable impact on rural American by supporting job creation, housing programs, broadband implementation, public utilities and economic activity. Features programs implemented in Kentucky, Michigan, and Oregon and includes total funds granted to each of the 50 states from 2004 - 2011.
Date: 12 / 2011
See also: State-by-State Resources: Documents
Program designed to provide affordable housing solutions to build better communities.
The Southern Kentucky Initiative for Pediatric Asthma (SKIPA) project conducted home visits to provide caregivers with knowledge, training, and support to decrease emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and school absenteeism related to asthma.
Western Appalachian Kentucky Health Care Access Consortium
The consortium's mission is to improve access to primary care and dental care among low-income, uninsured, and underinsured residents, with a special emphasis on providing outreach services for the unmet needs of an expanding Latino population.