Student having finger pricked at a health fair


Cooperative Extension Agiculture and Natural Resources

Community Health

Family and Consumer Sciences
4-h Youth Development Community Resources Development Small-Scale Farm Grant Program

Community Health


Kentucky State University aims to improve the overall public health conditions of individuals, families and communities— particularly low-income and minority populations, which are disproportionately associated with poor health outcomes— through initiatives promoting healthy lifestyles.

Health disparities are differences in health status among segments of the population such as by gender, race or ethnicity, educational attainment, income, disability, or living in a specific geographic location.

Community health by the numbers:

  • 1 in 2 adults in the U.S. has a chronic disease
  • 1 in 4 adults has two or more chronic diseases

Kentucky’s rankings:

  • 1st in cancer-related deaths
  • 10th in heart disease
  • 3rd in chronic lower respiratory disease
  • 25% decrease in the death rate for African Americans over the age of 65 in the U.S. from 1999 to 2015

There is a lack of racial/ethnic data available across public health programming, according to the 2015 Minority Health Status Report by Kentucky’s Office of Health Equity, but available data indicate disparities are often due to economic and social conditions and are more common among African Americans and Hispanics than white Americans. For example, some social factors and health risks impact African Americans at younger ages. Factors include unemployment, poverty, lack of home ownership, costs associated with seeing a doctor, smoking, sedentary lifestyles, and obesity.

The differences that create health disparities among segments of the population are often preventable; prevention strategies to address these social determinants (the conditions in the environments in which people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship and age) of health and educational information can impact the health of the communities.

Knowledge and information are important to all Kentuckians and their health. Some of KSU’s ongoing efforts focus on community violence (bullying, domestic violence, and gun violence); life-span related programming to include gang violence prevention; STEM activities and leadership development for youth; and breast cancer awareness and self-defense for seniors. We also support initiatives throughout the year to engage all ages in healthy activities and lifestyle choices through local events, festivals, camps, workshops and outreach.