Kentucky Schools Invited to Participate in Research Project on Mental Health Stigma

(Note: This guest column was written by Dr. Stephen O’Connor, a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Louisville and associate director of the University of Louisville Depression Center)

The KHC has embarked on a unique research project with students from duPont Manual High School, Somerset High School, and Sayre School to better understand the factors that contribute to mental health stigma among high school students in the Commonwealth. The KHC previously featured an overview of this work in a blog entry by Allison Tu, founder of  the Student Alliance for Mental Health Innovation and Action (StAMINA). In that blog post, Allison described a three-phase approach, beginning with a needs assessment and student conference, followed by an action phase in fall 2018.

Through the generous support of a grant from GE Appliances, we have been able to move forward with Allison and her team to conduct a statewide needs assessment on the topic of mental health stigma in high school students. Allison and a few other trained students who are part of her research team aim to conduct 10 focus groups with high school youth that each last 1-1.5 hours. We believe that the youth-driven aspect of this study helps ensure that their collective voices are heard when we consider how best to support their mental health concerns. I am helping the StAMINA team conduct the study and will lead five separate focus groups with parents to gain insights into their perspectives on contributors to mental health stigma in high school youth. We will use the focus group data to identify themes about barriers for youth with mental health concerns to access available resources, as well as their preferences for support by family, friends, and the larger community.

This is where we need your help. We are trying to cast a wide net in recruiting students and parents from different schools across our state to participate in focus groups so that they can share their thoughts on what factors contribute to mental health stigma. If you know of a contact in your local school system, such as a Superintendent, Principal, or Vice Principal, who might be in a position to support their high school’s participation in our study, please reach out to us. We are hoping to complete all of our focus groups by May 2018 in order to analyze our results and finalize a written report on our findings this summer. Adhering to this timeline will enable Allison and her team to move forward with the action phase of their project, where students step forward to address mental health stigma in new and innovative ways in our state.

Please contact Kaitlyn McClain at of (502) 238-3603 if you would like to learn more about the StAMINA needs assessment and how you might be able to help us identify interested schools.

Moving Past the Stigma of Addiction: Implementing National Principles of Care

(Note: this column was written by Samantha Arsenault, Director of National Treatment Quality Initiatives at Shatterproof, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to ending the devastation addiction causes families. Samantha will speak at the 2018 KHC Annual Conference.)

Samantha Arsenhault

In the past year, 20.1 million Americans had a substance use disorder (SUD), of which more than 2 million were addicted to opioids. Approximately 90,000 Americans die every year related to the misuse of alcohol, and in 2016, 63,600 people died of a drug overdose. Of those, approximately two-thirds were related to prescription or illicit opioids. In addition to rising mortality and morbidity, the cost of the opioid crisis to our society in lost productivity, healthcare, and criminal justice costs exceeds $500 billion per year.

Many of us are all too familiar with these statistics. In fact, addiction affects 1 in 3 people in the US. Yet, many people are not aware that addiction is a chronic relapsing disease, or that decades of scientific evidence has shown that it can be treated with the same effectiveness as other chronic illnesses, such as diabetes or hypertension. Evidence-based SUD treatment can reduce the risk of overdose while improving outcomes and reducing costs.

What is “good” addiction treatment?

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all model. There is no standard programmatic combination or duration of medications, behavioral therapies, or social supports that will reliably bring about recovery for all those affected with SUD. Individuals with SUDs vary substantially in the nature, complexity and severity of their health problems as such, treatment should include an individualized combination of FDA-approved medications, behavioral therapies, and social supports to reduce or eliminate the substance use and to improve general health and function. The National Principles of Care for SUD Treatment are core components of addiction treatment that are shown to improve patient outcomes. These include:

  1. Universal screening for substance use disorders (SUDs) across medical care settings
  2. Rapid access to appropriate SUD care
  3. Personalized diagnosis, assessment, and treatment planning
  4. Engagement in continuing long-term outpatient care with monitoring and adjustments to treatment
  5. Concurrent, coordinated care for physical and mental illness
  6. Access to fully trained and accredited behavioral health professionals
  7. Access to FDA-approved medications
  8. Access to non-medical recovery support services

Implementing the National Principles of Care

There is a deadly stigma around addiction – a misconception that it is a moral failing rather than a manageable disease. Stigma causes individuals to suffer in silence rather than seek life-saving help and has resulted in a fragmented treatment system separate from mainstream healthcare. Currently, only one in ten people with an SUD receives any form of treatment, and many of those receive care that is absent of the evidence-based best practices highlighted above. This can result in poor outcomes and significant costs for patients and families seeking help, as well as a blemished reputation for the field.

While legislative and regulatory mechanisms, including the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and Affordable Care Act require insurance coverage of addiction treatment at par with other medical conditions, and the passage of the Comprehensive Addiction Recovery Act (CARA) and Twenty-First Century Cures Act seek to expand prevention, education, and treatment around this disease, there has been slow adoption of life-saving treatment modalities.

Shatterproof is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to ending the devastation that addiction causes families and the lead convener of the Substance Use Disorder Treatment Task Force. This coalition of key stakeholders and experts in addiction treatment is working to close the gap between the tragic outcomes of those suffering from SUDs and the promise of effective treatment. Currently, this work is focused in four key areas: payer-based strategies, provider practices, consumer education, and legislative and regulatory policies.

In addition to the responsibility to cover mental health and addiction treatment at parity with physical health conditions, payers can influence access, availability, and delivery of evidence-based treatment modalities. The first deliverable of the Task Force was a publicly signed agreement by sixteen large insurers, representing more than 248 million lives, to recognize and adopt the National Principles of Care. The agreement among payers included a commitment to identify, promote, and reward addiction treatment practices consonant with the Principles. The Task Force is now working with payers to adopt strategies which reduce barriers and incentivize high quality care.

Groups across the country, big and small, are working to reverse stigma and improv access to life-saving addiction treatment. Join us at the Fourth Annual KHC Conference to learn more about 1) the core components of evidence-based addiction treatment, and 2) understand current systemic barriers and opportunities to changing this system.

The Joint Commission Sets Standard of Care for Providers of Substance Use Disorder Treatment

(Note: This column was written by Julia Finken, Executive Director of Behavioral Health Care and Psychiatric Hospital Accreditation for The Joint Commission)

I’m sitting in my office and yet another article arrives in my email regarding a substance use provider delivering substandard services. On any given day, in any selected media, there are dozens of stories about unethical practices by substance use disorder (SUD) treatment providers. What we don’t hear about every day is the high quality and effective SUD care provided by many organizations on a daily basis. We don’t regularly hear about those individuals who remain abstinent after completing treatment, or those individuals that return to productive, meaningful lives with the support of medication assisted treatment, or individuals who are reunited with their families and loved ones after years of battling addiction. Every day, thousands of SUD providers strive to provide quality services to those individuals in need so that they can live productive, meaningful lives surrounded by those they love. The Joint Commission is helping these providers achieve these goals by raising the bar for the quality and safety of the care treatment and services these organizations provide to the individuals they serve.

In 2016, approximately 20.1 million people aged 12 or older had an SUD in the past year, including 15.1 million people who had an alcohol use disorder and 7.4 million people who had an illicit drug use disorder. In 2017, approximately 3 million people received SUD treatment. It is estimated that approximately one in six problem drug users globally receives treatment for drug use disorders or dependence each year. The overriding finding regarding the efficacy of SUD treatment is that treatment is associated with a reduction in harmful behaviors that are associated with problem drug use. The majority of treatment seekers received care-coordinated treatment, expressed satisfaction with their care, were retained in treatment beyond three months, and reported significant and substantial reductions in drug use and offending, and improvements in mental well-being and social functioning. Medication assisted treatment (MAT) has been shown to increase participation in behavioral therapy and reduce both drug use and criminal behavior. Yet, because of what consumers, payers and providers read regularly in the media, there is a lack of confidence that there are an ample number of ethical, effective SUD providers in the United States today.

So how can one discern between the providers that adhere to a higher standard of care and those that don’t? Joint Commission accreditation is one way to identify the providers who achieve a higher standard of care. The Joint Commission has accredited Behavioral Health Care (BHC) providers since 1969. Accreditation of Substance Use Disorder providers has been a growing segment of Joint Commission accredited BHC providers, with the fastest expansion beginning in 2013 and continuing through 2017. The Joint Commission currently accredits more than 2,800 BHC providers, more than half of which offer SUD services. Substance use disorder providers who are Joint Commission accredited must adhere to a rigorous set of standards, covering topical areas including:

  • Care Treatment and Services
  • Human Resource Management, Leadership
  • Environment of Care
  • Emergency Management
  • Infection Prevention and Control
  • Information Management
  • Life Safety
  • Medication Management
  • National Patient Safety Goals
  • Performance Improvement
  • Record of Care Treatment and Services
  • Rights and Responsibilities of the Individual
  • Waived Testing

Map of The Joint Commission accredited and/or certified providers, all programs.

What does Joint Commission Accreditation mean for providers and consumers? It means that Joint Commission accredited SUD providers must admit only those individuals in which the provider can deliver the care, treatment, and services that will meet that individual’s needs. The Joint Commission has developed a set of standards in collaboration with BHC industry leaders that are based on trauma informed concepts and the tenents of resilience and recovery. This means that care, treatment, and services must be patient centered and developed through the process of a comprehensive individual assessment, development of a plan of care, treatment, and services based on needs identified for the individual served and the implementation of such plan. This plan for care, treatment, and services includes objectives and goals for each individual served. The individual’s progress towards goal is monitored and outcomes of the plan are measured through the use of a standardized instrument.  Only qualified staff who meet the requirements for licensure, certification, education, and training as required by the organization, State, or Federal authority may provide care, treatment, and services. Joint Commission Accredited organizations must provide a safe environment of care including minimizing the risk for infection and having a regularly tested plan to manage emergencies. The buildings in which care, treatment, and services are provided must be determined to be in compliance with Life Safety Code Requirements. Individual care is documented, and that documentation is maintained in a manner compliant with organization, Federal, and State requirements to preserve the integrity and confidentiality of the record. Medications must be procured, stored, prepared, dispensed, and administered in compliance with strict standards of safety. Organizations must regularly evaluate their own performance and gather information from the individuals they serve regarding the perception of the quality and safety of the care provided. The findings from this data must be utilized to improve the quality and safety of the care, treatment and services provided to the individuals served and the population served.

Map of The Joint Commission accredited and/or certified Behavioral Health Care providers.

Substance Use Providers who seek to become and maintain Joint Commission Accreditation must undergo an initial on-site survey, conduct a self-assessment of standards compliance at 12 and 24 months following their last survey, and an on-site survey every three years. These surveys are performed by field representatives, including Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Clinical Psychologists, Registered Nurses, Psychiatrists, Advanced Practice Nurses, Physician Assistants, and Engineers.  These field representatives have extensive experience in the BHC services and settings that they survey. They hold advanced degrees and must have substantial clinical and administrative level experience in the services and settings in which they survey. During the survey, the Field Representative will identify Requirements for Improvement and offer organizations ideas for correcting such findings. Based on customer feedback, the survey is highly consultative and educational in nature. Within 60 days of completion of the survey, the organization must complete an Evidence of Standards Compliance (ESC) for each survey finding. Once the ESC is accepted, the organization is granted an Accreditation for 36 months.

Many consumers seeking care for a substance use disorder also need assistance with their physical health needs. Some SUD providers take the extra step to become a Behavioral Health Home, meaning that they’ve taken the extra step to earn a Behavioral Health Home Certification on top of their accreditation. This certification validates that the provider demonstrates a high level of integration of treatment of substance use disorder and/or mental health and physical health care services. A BHH-certified provider must demonstrate that there is a consistent high degree of coordination and communication between the mental health, SUD and physical health care staff in order to develop an integrated plan of care and meet the goals of the plan of care. The staff must demonstrate additional competencies and training in MH, SUD and physical health services, integration of care, care coordination, and care management. Organizations are required to perform additional measurement, such as disease management outcomes, the individual’s access to care within timeframes determined by the organization, the individual’s perception of the coordination of care, treatment and services, the individual’s perception of the continuity of care treatment and services and the individual’s experience and satisfaction in regard to access to care, treatment, and services, to name a few.

So if you are looking for a Substance Use Disorder provider that is held to a higher standard of care, look for the Joint Commission “Gold Seal” of Accreditation. You can find a directory of Joint Commission Accredited providers at Joint Commission Accredited Behavioral Health Care providers can be found in all 50 states, U.S. principalities, and internationally. As I shut down my computer for the day, I am heartened by the data showing that we continue to accredit additional Substance Use Disorder providers every day.

Progress Update: KY Core Healthcare Measures Set

Last year, the KHC began a partnership with the Kentucky Department for Medicaid Services (KDMS) to create a core healthcare measures set for Kentucky’s primary care providers, with the ultimate goal of aligning the priorities of Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial insurers. The project was announced in September by Secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services Vickie Yates Brown Glisson, and soon after, four subcommittees formed in key areas got to work, evaluating national core measures sets, Kentucky performance data, organizational healthcare priorities, and more.

There continues to be much interest in the work, called the Kentucky Performance Measures Alignment Committee (PMAC). But the KHC hasn’t provided an update recently on PMAC or what the 73 experts from around the state are doing as part of the measures selection process.

After spending a considerable amount of time considering local and national priorities, the landscape of healthcare metrics, and data collection capabilities, the members of the subcommittees – Preventive Care, Chronic and Acute Care, Pediatric Care, and Behavioral Health Care – began the process of evaluating possible measures for inclusion using a scoring rubric that the subcommittees collaboratively created. For the last few weeks, each subcommittee has been going through the process of going over these evaluations to reach consensus on the status of these measures. Committee members are weighing a number of criteria, such as reporting capabilities, national and local measure priorities, and health and cost impact.

By the end of March, each subcommittee will finalize its list of measures to propose of the large oversight committee, which was announced in November. This large oversight PMAC team will meet for the first time in April, when it will hear the presentations of each subcommittee and kick off the next few months of work on their own deliberations.

PMAC members are working hard to release the measures set by August. Look for more updates on progress in the near future.

A Year in Numbers for the KHC

In a previous blog, I reviewed the 2017 highlights of the Kentuckiana Health Collaborative (KHC). The quick view of these highlights can also be seen in our “A Year in Numbers,” a one-page view of KHC activities in 2017. We divided our work into three categories: 1) Healthcare Measurement, 2) Stakeholder Convening, and 3) Operations.The biggest change to our healthcare measurement numbers in 2017 was the increase of group practice reporting from 125 to 400 groups receiving reports. This significant increase was a result of a colon cancer grant that helped fund our consolidated measurement reports from the Kentuckiana area to the entire Commonwealth. 

A key change we saw in our convening work was the large increase in healthcare stakeholder meetings we helped convene in our new partnership with the Kentucky Department for Medicaid Services to develop a Kentucky Core Measures set.

As for the KHC’s operations in 2017, the most notable change is the number of Executive Committee members moving from only five elected officials to a much larger and broader group of 12 key stakeholders. Overall, the KHC members were very proud of the 2017 accomplishments, and we are already full steam ahead on our 2018 priorities.


2017 Round-up: Top Stories from the KHC

Last December, the KHC launched a blog with the goal of improving communication with our members and the community about KHC activities, partner work, local and national news, and industry updates. Although that meant that our lean KHC staff had additional work to do in addition to our already heavy workloads, we determined that it was an important endeavor. It seems that our readers agree. We have enjoyed much interest in our blog and its content.

Now, a year into our blog, we want to wrap up 2017 with a “Best of” for our blog, looking at posts that have had the heaviest readership and those that our staff deemed its favorites.

Most Read Posts
  1. Our Diabetes Data Points Us to Top Priorities. Our inaugural blog post, a summary of the landscape of diabetes prevalence and management in the Kentuckiana region, was also our highest read of the year.
  2. New Members Added to KHC Executive Committee. The KHC restructured its leadership team in 2017, doubling its size and representing a broader perspective of key community stakeholders.
  3. Mental Health Integration: The Focus of 2018 Annual KHC Conference. Our focus for the KHC Annual Conference has narrowed to mental health and substance use disorder for 2018.
  4. Managing Specialty Drugs a Top Priority for Kentuckiana and National Employers. Top areas of healthcare benefits priorities for area employers include managing specialty drugs, the topic of our February 2017 employer round table.
  5. KHC Joins Forces with Other Healthcare Stakeholders in Measurement Alignment Initiative. KHC joined Kentucky Department for Medicaid Services to launch an initiative to create a core measures set that healthcare stakeholders in Kentucky can align around.
KHC Staff Favorites

Managing Specialty Drugs a Top Priority for Kentuckiana and National Employers

Selected by: Teresa Couts

My favorite blog came from Randa Deaton on Specialty Drugs. Specialty Drugs are a high cost for employers, however essential for the health of their employees. There are many lifesaving specialty drugs that can now cure a disease or give individuals an extended quality of life. Employers do need to put controls in place to manage cost and avoid waste since these drugs come with a high price tag. The overall goal is improving outcomes for people taking specialty drugs.


Kentucky Sees Big Gains in 2017 Commonwealth Fund State Health System Performance Scorecard

Selected by: Randa Deaton

My favorite blog came from Stephanie Clouser on eight state ranking improvements Kentucky saw in the Commonwealth’s annual Scorecard. Community health improvement is painfully slow, but even the smallest bend of the arc can mean health improvements for real people in our community. The Commonwealth Fund data is one of our most closely watched public health data sets, and while the ranking still shows significant areas of concern, I did take a few moments to enjoy the progress made.


New Board, New Data Vendor Drives More Project Work for the Kentuckiana Health Collaborative in 2017

Selected by: Stephanie Clouser

Randa Deaton’s year-end summary of KHC activities really highlighted the progress we’ve made as an organization in 2017. Sometimes it’s easy to minimize our accomplishments when we just look at our list of unfinished business, but we really have taken large steps towards great things this year.


High School Students Found Action Group to Improve KY Youth Mental Health

Selected by: Michele Ganote

It’s a good feeling knowing that we have really smart, compassionate young people in our community who have a desire to help change the stigma of mental illness among their peers. Statistics are alarming, “…rates of depression, anxiety, and the ‘self-medication’ associated with substance abuse are skyrocketing among Kentucky students,” and it will be a pleasure to work with these students in the next several months to make a start in tackling this issue. I know I am not alone in saying that mental illness has affected my life, many times in many ways, so any effort to create a positive change is exciting to me!

New Board, New Data Vendor Drives More Project Work for the Kentuckiana Health Collaborative in 2017

The Kentuckiana Health Collaborative’s new Executive Committee (EC) structure began in January of 2017. This new board, double in size compared to the previous KHC leadership team, represents a broader perspective of key community stakeholders, and they quickly reached consensus on what they felt the KHC’s 2017 priority should be: to define, standardize, and align key community metrics. This set a clear direction for the KHC team.

With this priority in mind, the KHC began discussions and then ultimately partnered with the Kentucky Department for Medicaid Services (KDMS) to create a core healthcare measures set for Kentucky’s primary care providers that align the priorities of Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial insurers. The goals of the core healthcare measurement set are to establish broadly agreed upon priority measures that improve the quality and value of care, reduce provider reporting complexity, and align Kentucky’s healthcare organizations on shared areas of focus. The KHC and KDMS have selected more than 70 experts across Kentucky to form a Performance Measures Alignment Committee (PMAC) and four subcommittees on Pediatric Care, Behavioral Health, Preventive Care, and Chronic and Acute Care. Stephanie Clouser is leading this work, which is already in progress and is expected to be completed in August of 2018.

Another big change in 2017 was the formation of a new measurement strategy team to help guide the KHC’s signature and most resource-intense work, the annual healthcare quality reports. In 2017, the KHC calculated and distributed Consolidated Measurement reports on 23 quality indicators to nearly 400 group practices and more than 4,000 primary care providers in Kentucky and Southern Indiana from aggregated quality data provided by Anthem, Humana, Passport, and WellCare. This was the first year that group practices outside of Greater Louisville received reports and was made possible through a grant from the Kentucky Department of Public Health to improve colorectal cancer screening rates. For the first time, all 100 percent of eligible groups in Greater Louisville voluntarily agreed to share their quality data with the public at Additionally, the KHC documented current reporting methodology to transition the 2017 fall reporting work to our newly selected analytics vendor, Northern Kentucky University. This transition was critical to free up time for the PMAC project.

Our first newsletter was launched in 2017 to improve communication with the community on KHC and partner work. The team has written more than 40 blog posts and spotlighted 10 of its members in just one year. We have also hosted content from local and national thought leaders on the site. The newsletter surprisingly outperformed expected readership, and we plan to continue the newsletter in 2018.

We held three informative community health forums titled “Healthcare Measurement in Action,” “The Rise of Worksite Health Centers to Address the Unmet Health Needs of Employees,” and “Improving Health through Literacy.” We hosted two employer round tables on “Trends in Benefit Design & Specialty Drug Management” and “The Staggering Impact of Depression on a Company’s Bottom Line and Resources for Employers to Tackle This Growing Health Challenge.” We also hosted a small employer focus group with research and consulting organization Altarum on “The Medical Episode Spending Allowance Plan: A New Value-Based Insurance Design.”

Our third annual conference brought together national and local thought leaders to discuss “The 2017 Healthcare Question: What’s Coming, What’s Going?” to explore measurement, data, and payment innovation; cultural competency; and the game changers expected over the next few years. The conference had a great lineup of speakers with high evaluation scores but fell short of financial or participation goals. As a result, the KHC EC decided that the focus needed to be narrowed and identified mental health and substance use disorder as the topic for the 2018 annual conference. Most of the speakers are already confirmed for this event, and registration is now open. Be sure to join us on March 14, 2018 to learn the latest evidenced-based approaches, best practices, and successful models of addressing mental health issues and substance use disorders (SUD).

Mental health and SUD became a new area of focus, when the KHC members agreed that the annual conference should not be a one-day event but rather a kickoff to meaningful community work. The KHC team spent a great deal of time meeting with experts in the field and developed a plan for work in this area. Based on these plans, the KHC received a grant from GE Appliances, a Haier company and has already hired a part-time research assistant for work on this project. In addition, Stephanie Clouser was selected to represent the KHC on the National Quality Forum’s Opioid Stewardship Action Team. The KHC is also hopeful to announce another grant on this topic in the near future.

From an organizational perspective, the KHC facilitated 24 committee meetings in 2017 and added six new members for a total of 50 organizational members. The Collaborative maintained membership with the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement (NRHI) and sent three members to the Affordability Summit. The KHC also maintained membership with the National Alliance for Healthcare Purchasers Coalitions (NAHPC). In addition to national memberships, the KHC team participated in other local community coalitions that align to its work, such as the Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness Opioid Action Planning team, Center for Nonprofit Excellence, and the Louisville Health Advisory Board.

It was exciting to move back into more project work in 2017, and none of it would be possible without the dedicated members of the KHC. As we look to 2018, we are excited about what progress we can make together for the good of our communities.

It’s Not Too Late to Promote World Diabetes Day Efforts to Protect our Future

(Note: This guest blog post was written by Andrea Doughty, Louisville Metro Department of Health & Wellness and Co-chair of the Louisville Health Advisory Board Diabetes Committee)

This November we ‘celebrated’ World Diabetes Day (WDD). Led by the International Diabetes Federation, WDD unites the global diabetes community to produce a powerful voice for diabetes advocacy, and awareness to the impact that diabetes has on individuals, our communities and our world.

In Kentucky, 1 in 8 Kentuckians have diabetes, 27.8% are presently undiagnosed, and don’t know they have diabetes.* Even more worrisome, 1 in 3 Kentuckians have pre-diabetes, a reversible cardio metabolic risk factor in which plasma glucose levels are above normal but not high enough to diagnose type 2 diabetes.   With pre-diabetes alone, a person has a 3-5 times higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes* as well as an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and death. Of the 1 in 3 estimated to have pre-diabetes in our state, 9 of 10 don’t know they have it.*

These statistics are staggering and highlight the need for better understanding of the risk of diabetes, as well as systems that connect those at risk to sufficient, preventative, and supportive care.

With this in mind, a group of local organizations, including the YMCA, Metro United Way, the Kentuckiana Health Collaborative, Norton’s Office of Church and Health Ministries, KIPDA, and Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness, connected with a state wide initiative led by the Kentucky Diabetes Network. This group met to plan and coordinate Diabetes awareness day activities in the KIPDA region. The group focused its planning on an awareness campaign to bring diabetes risk screening to where people live work, pray and play in the KIPDA region, so that all people have the opportunity to know their risk, and more importantly, know how to connect to evidence based interventions for diabetes and prediabetes.

In the KIPDA region, we are lucky to have several providers using evidence based interventions for diabetes, and the screening campaign hopes to raise awareness of these services. Diabetes education is a collaborative process through which people with, or at risk for, diabetes gain the knowledge and skills needed to modify behavior and successfully self-manage the disease and its related conditions. Skill building is accomplished through multiple sessions that can be delivered where people live and work.

With this in mind, the following ASK drove the group’s efforts;

A Spread Awareness of the Risk factors of Diabetes. Encourage people to know their numbers and risk factors. Plan an event, bring in a speaker, and distribute materials to inform your sphere of influence on the risk of diabetes.

S Screening– Use the diabetes risk test to help individuals assess their risk for Diabetes.

K Key Follow-up- Call Metro United Way 211 or one of the provider partners to learn more about local programs and services that can help prevent and manage diabetes.

In addition to marketing and distributing an evidence-based toolkit for diabetes risk screening, the group worked to develop a pipeline to shepherd people through risk awareness to connection to evidence based support and diabetes care. Though knowledge is the first step, the ultimate goal of the campaign is to inspire people to take action once they know their risk of diabetes or get the support they need if they are already dealing with the disease.  The screening campaign will continue through the first of the year, and the diabetes risk screening is currently available in print copy, online at, and through text by texting ‘myrisk’ to 898-211. Once completed, these screening tools direct users to Metro United way’s 211 information line, where operators are then equipped to make referrals to our various local providers of Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support and the National Diabetes Prevention Program.

We are approaching our goal of 10,000 local distributions of the Diabetes risk test, but it is not too late to involve your group in this initiative. If you would like to partner with us to make your communities of influence healthier, contact Andrea Doughty,, Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness for more information on how you can bring better awareness of diabetes risk to your group.

* Referenced from 2017 KY Diabetes Report

KHC Attends National Alliance of Healthcare Purchasers’ Annual Conference, Employers Take the Wheel

Members for KHC/KDMS Measurement Alignment Committee Announced

Members have been selected for the Kentucky Performance Measures Alignment Committee (PMAC), a public-private committee formed to create a common primary care measures set in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Applicants were selected jointly by the Kentuckiana Health Collaborative and Kentucky Department for Medicaid Services.

Kentucky PMAC will oversee the measurement alignment work and determine the final core measurement set. KHC received an overwhelming response from individuals and organizations with a passion for quality healthcare measurement from various types of stakeholders, including plans, providers, purchasers, consumers, academia, and government.

Committee members will attend meetings in-person or virtually from April 2018 to July 2018. PMAC committee member organizations and individual representatives are below.

PMAC Members

Aetna Better Health of Kentucky

Donna Hall


American Board of Family Medicine

Michael Hagen


Anthem BCBS

Amy Mattingly


Ashland Children’s Clinic

Ishmael Stevens Jr.



Nicole Johnson


Estill Medical Clinic

Donna Isfort


Family Health Centers

Julia Richerson


Foundation for a Health Kentucky

Rachelle Seger


GE Appliances, a Haier company

Diana Han


Friedell Committee

Richard Heine



Misty Roberts


Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Judy Baker


Kentucky Department for Medicaid Services

Gil Liu


Kentucky Employees’ Health Plan


Kentucky Equal Justice Center

Cara Stewart


Kentucky Medical Association

Lindy Lady


KentuckyOne Health Partners

Don Lovasz


Kentucky Primary Care Association

Kayla Rose


Kentucky Regional Extension Center

Trudi Matthews


Kentucky Rural Health Information Organization

Andrew Bledsoe


Kentucky Voices for Health

Emily Beauregard


Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness

Lori Caloia


Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness

Sarah Moyer


Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation

Mahala Mullins


Norton Healthcare

Ken Wilson


Papa John’s

Greg Potts


Passport Health Plan

Jamie Long


Passport Health Plan

Stephen Houghland



Margie Banse


St. Elizabeth Physicians

Dan Cole


WellCare of KY

Laura Betten


White House Clinics

Brittany Arthur


University of Kentucky

Scottie Day


UofL Hospital

Tina Claypool


UAW/Ford Community Healthcare Initiative

Randa Deaton


UAW/Ford Community Healthcare Initiative

Teresa Couts


University of Louisville Physicians

Jamie Jenkins