Research Up-To-Date

The Newsletter of the Urban Appalachian Council Research Committee

Volume 4, Number 2

Editor:  Roberta M. Campbell

Contributors: Robert Ludke, Michael Maloney, Phyllis Shelton, Debbie Zorn

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.

From the Editor: editor

The Urban Appalachian Council Research Committee and UAC staff have continued to work together and with other agencies throughout the summer both in the immediate sense and in cyberspace. In this issue the Research Committee Chair, Dr. Robert Ludke, and UAC Associate Director Phyllis Shelton report on their collaboration with a multi-agency, federally-funded research program. The Social Areas of Cincinnati Study, with which UAC has been an integral contributor, has provided data for studies throughout the greater Cincinnati area and beyond. Read the stories and glean the research notes for more information and ideas for creative research initiatives.

Also, be sure to click on the link to the Community Research Collaborative Blog under additional links. Debbie Zorn outlines the issues of urban Appalachian children and youth in the latest blog from the collaboration between the United Way and the University of Cincinnati.

Engaging Urban and Rural Appalachian Communities in Clinical Research

By Robert Ludke and Phyllis Shelton

The Urban Appalachian Council (UAC), in collaboration with the Ohio State University and the Cincinnati Center for Clinical and Translational Science and Training (CCTST) Community Engagement Core, is examining the problem of diabetes among urban Appalachians. Funded by a two year grant from the Department of Health and Human Services (American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009), the project will use a community-based participatory research approach to develop and pilot test a diabetes prevention program.

The first step involved forming a community Diabetes Advisory Committee, which held its first meeting in May and which will continue to meet throughout the duration of the project. Committee members were strategically chosen to be representative of the Lower Price Hill community, the Urban Appalachian Council, the CCTSA and medical professionals, and other key people in the field of diabetes prevention and treatment. The Advisory Committee is currently reviewing data on diabetes issues and developing plans for collecting additional information. The next task will be to obtain community input about the needs and concerns regarding diabetes prevention and treatment using town hall meetings or focus groups with Lower Price Hill residents. A similar project is being conducted by the Ohio State University with rural Appalachians in Pike County, Ohio. The data gathered from the two projects will be used to develop a model for diabetes prevention programming that can be used to make a positive impact on both urban and rural Appalachians.

Social Areas of Cincinnati Still a “Hit”

By Michael Maloney

The Social Areas of Cincinnati study continues to provide a template for geocoding various social, economic and health data. Health Commissioner Dr. Noble Maseru has used it to plot crime data and Dr. Robert Ludke has plotted health data. More recently, Dr Andrew Beck of Children's Hospital Pediatrics has used the four social areas to plot child health data. The website ( has had over 80,000 hits from all over the world. The authors and editorial team will decide this fall whether a fifth edition is feasible.

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

From June 18, 2010:


Robert Ludke reported that he and Phillip Obermiller have sent the draft of their book on Health in Appalachia to Richard Couto who will write the Epilogue.

Phyllis Shelton reported further on the Ohio State University’s and the University of Cincinnati’s Clinical and Transitional Science Awards (CTSA). They have started the project and a steering committee is meeting (see story in this issue).

Mike Maloney noted that he and Phil now have a draft of their working paper on the question of Appalachian culture. Mike also reported that the Social Areas of Cincinnati report has become a template for geo-coding data. The report website has about 1600 visits a month (see story this issue). He also said that the booklet Cincinnati, a City of Immigrants has its own website. The link is

Robert Ludke Presentation continued:

In preparation for the Diabetes CTSA project reported on by Phyllis Shelton, Robert Ludke presented diabetes-related data from the City of Cincinnati survey conducted by Cooper Research in Blue Ash. It was conducted in association with the Center for Closing the Health Gap in Cincinnati. The presentation focused on the rates of diabetes and on how much residents know about diabetes in the Price Hill neighborhood. This neighborhood was compared to other lower socioeconomic status neighborhoods along the areas of access to health care, compliance, and ethnicity.

Dr. Ludke asked for recommendations for future research. The committee suggested that research might focus on who is providing health care in Price Hill, what access to residents have to healthy food, how mortality is related to diabetes, and how to empower the residents. Dr. Ludke thought a longitudinal study might be a good idea.


Mike Maloney suggested that the UAC might develop a fund for assisting neighborhood residents with burial information and expenses.

The next research committee meeting will be held on August 20, 2010 at 10 am at UAC headquarters.

From May 21, 2010


Robert Ludke reported on the search for funding the Center for Appalachian Health Research. He also reported further on the Ohio State University’s and the University of Cincinnati’s Clinical and Transitional Science Awards. The awards are for investigating diabetes and obesity in rural and urban Appalachia. OSU has developed a pilot study in Pike County, Ohio. The UAC is involved developing a similar study in Cincinnati focusing on diabetes (see Engaging Urban and Rural Appalachian Communities in Clinical Research) in this issue. . Lastly, Dr. Ludke noted that Humana is requesting proposals for a $100,000 Community Benefit Grant.

Maureen Dillon participated in a conference on the benefits of immigration sponsored by the Greater Cincinnati Commitment alliance.

Roberta Campbell has submitted a pre-proposal to the National Storytelling Network to develop the oral history project at Miami University Hamilton.

Kay Russ guest lectured on Appalachian culture in a multicultural class at UC.

Rebecca Lee presented her research to Roberta’s Integrative Studies Seminar at MUH. Rebecca is also getting the UC Alumni Association 2010 Mosaic Award in recognition of her leadership in serving underserved populations.

Robert Ludke Presentation:

Dr. Ludke presented an update on the book that he and Phil are editing on Appalachian Health. There are three sections: one on health determinants, one on health status, and one on urban Appalachians. Richard Couto will write the epilogue and the University Press of Kentucky will publish it. It will be around 550 pages and should be available in downloadable format for ebook readers as well.

The next research committee meeting will be held on August 20, 2010 at 10 am at UAC headquarters.

Additional Links:

Community Research Collaborative Blog

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

Cincinnati, a City of Immigrants

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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