Research Up-To-Date

The Newsletter of the Urban Appalachian Council Research Committee

Volume 3, Number 1

Editor:  Roberta M. Campbell

Contributors: Roberta Campbell, Michael Maloney, Phillip Obermiller

To subscribe or unsubscribe to this newsletter, send an e-mail to

The Research Committee was created at the founding of the Urban Appalachian Council more than thirty years ago and has always informed the council through active research. To be notified of future research committee meetings, which are open to all, please contact or phone 251-0202.

Please send your article, announcement, or website link to Roberta Campbell at Also, feel free to forward this newsletter to interested parties.

Appalachian Regional Commission Consults with Encyclopedia Editors

Research committee members Roberta Campbell and Michael Maloney attended a February 20 meeting between section editors of the Encyclopedia of Appalachia (Abramson and Haskell, 2006) and the Appalachian Regional Commission.  The Commission, using an asset-based development strategy, asked the editors to brainstorm on the assets that exist within the region.  John Cartwright from the ARC noted the success of the Ohio Commission.  Maloney presented the assets of the region’s urban areas. 

This consultation was the second of a series of three consultations between ARC and the Encyclopedia editors.  Campbell is the section editor of “Race, Ethnicity, and Identity”.  Maloney co-edited the section on “Urban Appalachia” with Phillip Obermiller.  The first meeting was held on January 30 and another will be held in April.  Jean Haskell led the meetings and Katie Hoffman assisted.

Ludke and Obermiller Editing Book on Appalachian Health

Research Committee members Robert Ludke and Phillip Obermiller are editing a book on rural and urban Appalachian health. Section One examines key health determinants for people living in the region. The health status of Appalachians is discussed in Section Two, including essays on the incidence of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes in the region. Section Three includes chapters on health determinants and the health status of urban Appalachians, a chapter on research methodologies, and a chapter on neighborhood-level and participatory research techniques.

Contributions to the volume are based on current research, and are being provided by doctors, nurses, dentists, epidemiologists, and public health providers in the region and in migrant destinations. The editors expect to have a completed manuscript by the end of 2009 and hope to have the volume in publication by late 2010.

Urban Appalachian Community Loses Two Vital Champions

Danny Miller
By Roberta Campbell and Michael E. Maloney

Dr. Danny Miller died Nov 9, 2008 at age 59 of a heart attack. 

A native of North Carolina, Miller brought his interest and expertise on Appalachia into his research and teaching.

Miller was also known for his sunny disposition, friendliness and outward shows of affection.  At his memorial service he was referred to as "the heart and soul" of NKU.  It was also noted that he was famous for his vigorous bear hugs.

Miller was a one-time member of the Research Committee and assisted in the planning of the committee’s 1995 Urban Appalachian Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. 

Maloney: “Danny stands out in my memory in many ways.  His contributions to Appalachian studies were enormous.  He edited at least two major books on Appalachian literature as well as a magazine.  His personal charisma gave him enormous influence over all with whom he came in contact and he always used this charisma to do good.  He did not let his brilliance go to his head.  He came out of the ivory tower to do hard work for causes like the Appalachian Festival.”

Miller was also a member of the Appalachian Studies Association.  He will be remembered in a special session at the ASA conference on March 27.

Stuart Faber
By Phillip J. Obermiller

Stuart Faber, 88, died Jan. 7 from the effects of ALS.

Son of Herbert Faber, one of the "Fathers of Formica" and founder of the Appalachian Fund located in Berea and Cincinnati, Stuart added activism to his father's philanthropy. He was personally involved in the work of the Council of the Southern Mountains, the Cincinnati Mayor's Friendly Relations Committee, the Better Housing League, and the Urban Appalachian Council.

He was a close personal friend and confidant to many in Cincinnati's Appalachian movement, including Ernie Mynatt, Michael Maloney, and Maureen Sullivan.

An independent builder and developer, Stuart brought a small businessman's insight to the many non-profits he helped nourish. A friendly and unassuming man, he devoted countless hours to community-based organizations as an advisor and board member.

Famous for getting out his pocket knife and carving on anything at hand when community meetings became particularly intense, his habit gave rise to the phrase, "It was a knives-on-the-table meeting."

The Urban Appalachian Council later instituted the Stuart Faber Award in recognition of "people who whittle away at the problems facing urban Appalachians." The award, an engraved pocket knife, is proudly carried by many activists in southwestern Ohio. 

Appalachian Studies Conference

The Appalachian Studies Association's thirty-second annual conference will be held March 27-29, 2008 at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio. The conference theme is Connecting Appalachia and the World through Traditional and Contemporary Arts, Crafts, and Music.

To view the preliminary program go to  You can also register for the conference and reserve accommodations through the website.

Research Committee members participate in ASA Conference

As usual, the Urban Appalachian Council will be well represented at the upcoming Appalachian Studies Association conference.  Among those representing the research committee are Robert Ludke who is presenting research on Dental Health Literacy, Michael Maloney (exhibit), and Phillip Obermiller, who is leading a session on writers, publishers and editors.  Several other members of the committee will attend.

Health Foundation Workshop on Data Tools

The Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati will hold a workshop on using its web-based data tools on March 30.  This workshop will introduce HealthLandscape and OASIS.  These tools can be used to tables, charts, and maps of local data that inform policy and drive decision making.

Research Notes
(From the Research Committee:  Robert Ludke, Chair)

September 12, 2008

Data Collection to Eliminate Health Disparities in Cincinnati
Monica Mitchell of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center made a presentation on a project she referred to as the City Survey Project.  The project involved multiple modes of data collection, including telephone survey, point-of-contact survey, and focus groups.  UAC contributed to the success of the project in Price Hill.  The City Survey Project had 3 primary goals: (1) Collect data on race and geographic health disparities; (2) Understand health challenges; (3) Identify strategies to reduce health disparities.  A distinguishing feature of the project was a high level of community involvement in survey design and implementation, data entry, analysis, and interpretation, and action planning. 

Summary of Parent & Caregiver Survey and Focus Group Data
Dr. Mitchell presented a summary of data collected for the Price Hill neighborhoods of Cincinnati on early childhood education.  This project is part of the Place Matters initiative at United Way of Greater Cincinnati.  Santa Maria Community Services probably has copies of the report.  Selected findings: (1) Many families eligible for child care vouchers do not use them; (2) Early childhood education is generally not highly valued by parents in Price Hill; (3) Trust is a big factor inhibiting parents from enrolling their children in high-quality early childhood education programs; (4) Other obstacles include affordability, transportation, and scheduling. 

Bob Ludke reported that the telephone survey component of the City Survey Project interviewed 1,500 adults in listed land-line telephone households in 21 low-SES Cincinnati neighborhoods.  The low-SES neighborhoods were identified through Maloney and Auffrey’s Social Areas of Cincinnati report.  The phone version of the questionnaire consisted of 120 questions covering disparities prevalence and access to care.  Ann McCracken will be asking for Research Committee input into the 2010 Community Health Status Survey.   Debbie Zorn guided Committee members through the “Strategic Plan 2015” document. She pointed out the Goals and Objectives section, noting that there is no 1-to-1 correspondence, with 3 goals and 5 objectives. 

January 16, 2009:

The Appalachian Connection is a community newspaper.  The committee believes that it is aimed at the Appalachian community but could routinely include information from the research committee in the form of a column or regular features.  Dissemination should include emailing it to schools, agencies, etc.  Bonnie suggested that we might look for a business to sponsor the paper.

UAC might also develop a newsletter showcasing the organization and its activities to stakeholders, funders, agencies, and so on.  Some of that responsibility will come under UAC’s development efforts.  Ann suggested that we tailor the delivery of information (email, mailing, etc.) to particular audiences.

Roberta will put the Research Committee newsletter, Research Up-to-Date, on a regular publishing schedule (once a quarter) and be more aggressive in soliciting submissions.  Maureen is meeting with Kristin to develop a listserv out of the subscription list.  We will also develop the subscription list to include health and education providers, news agencies, funders, and so on.  Roberta asked the committee to keep the newsletter in mind when they run across something that might be included.  We might also regularly email news briefs.

The council might also develop a blog for disseminating information.

Ann announced that the Community Health Status Survey will be conducted in 2010.  Maureen will see that the Appalachian community is represented.  The council can request questions to be added to the survey.  Bob and Phil are working on a book about Health in Appalachia which will be published in late summer or early fall.  Plans are to follow the book’s publication with a national conference.

February 27, 2009:

Bob circulated a possible Communication/Dissemination Action Plan that involved questions about dissemination and potential targets for information.  The committee helped refine those questions and add to the list of targets.

Bob believes that there are two things to keep in mind with dissemination:  routine communication (how to proceed and how often) and information that comes up that may need to be a focus.  Mike added that we could take advantage of each other’s networks for information and dissemination.  We also need to know whether various Appalachian Center websites have data pages that we could link to.  Mike suggested that we map and review formal mechanisms that we already have. 

At the next meeting we will discuss the UAC web page and a staff update on research needs.  Becky will present the results of her dissertation.

Phil announced the upcoming Appalachian Studies Association conference at Shawnee University on March 27-30.  There will be many community activities involving the local historical efforts.  Phil, Mike, and Bob will have sessions and/or exhibits at the conference.

Mike reported on the meetings between the editors of the Encyclopedia of Appalachia and the Appalachian Regional Commission.  On February 20, he and Roberta attended a meeting.  The Ohio Commission programs were highlighted as well run. 

Mike also claimed that the Appalachian activity at NKU was fragile now that Danny Miller was gone.  Scott Goebel of NKU may be the next editor of the Appalachian Connection. 

Phil and Tom Wagner are contributing to a new book called Engineering Earth.  Tom, Phil, Mike, Katie Brown, and Donna Jones are contributing to Steve Fisher’s and Barbara Ellen Smith’s anthology of social movements.  Bob and Phil have an outline for their book on Appalachian health which now will have a section on urban Appalachians.

Urban Appalachian Council Research Needs

The UAC has identified several issues that it needs to know more about in order to serve our constituency.  If you have access to data or suggestions to offer, please contact Roberta Campbell at or Maureen Sullivan at  

Following is a list of topics and questions:

Teen Pregnancy/Parenting Issues:

Education/Dropout Information:

Health/Substance Abuse:

Crime in Neighborhoods:


Additional Links:

Center for the Study of Gender and Ethnicity in Appalachia

The Appalachian Connection (newspaper)

Appalachian Studies Association

Social Areas Report of Cincinnati

Appalachian Women’s Alliance

Appalachian Studies at Miami University-Hamilton

Oral History of Appalachia Program, Marshall University

Appalachian Regional Commission

Highlander Research and Education Center

Appalachian Centers:

East Tennessee State University Center for Appalachian Studies and Services

The University of Kentucky Appalachian Center

Berea College Appalachian Center

Appalachian State University, The Center for Appalachian Studies
Eastern Kentucky University Center for Appalachian Studies

The Ohio Appalachian Center for Higher Education

Radford University Appalachian Regional Studies Center

Emory and Henry College Appalachian Center for Community Service

Morehead State University Institute for Regional Analysis and Public Policy

North Georgia College and State University Appalachian Studies Center

Sinclair Community College Appalachian Outreach and Studies program

Southeast Community College Appalachian Center

Western Carolina University Mountain Heritage Center

West Virginia University Regional Research Institute


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