CARE2HOPE Project Wins 2023 APHA Epidemiology Section Public Health Practice Award

October 23, 2023


The CARE2HOPE project, a partnership between the Rollins School of Public Health and University of Kentucky College of Public Health, has been selected by the American Public Health Association (APHA) Epidemiology Section as the winner of their 2023 Public Health Practice Award. This award is given in recognition of excellence in public health practice and impact on population health. It will be presented at the APHA Annual Meeting in Atlanta on November 13.

April Young, PhD, professor of epidemiology at University of Kentucky College of Public Health, and Hannah Cooper, ScD, professor of epidemiology at Rollins, were co-principal investigators on the project.

“We are so grateful that APHA has recognized the CARE2HOPE project,” Cooper says. “This award reflects the dedication of so many people to ending drug-related harms in Appalachian Kentucky, including the CARE2HOPE advisory board of people who use drugs; our community-academic partnership groups; and local, state, and academic leaders.”

Rollins faculty leaders of this project include Doug Livingston, PhD; Umed Ibragimov, MD; Regine Haardörfer, PhD; Natalie Crawford, PhD; and Kelli Komro, PhD. There were also many doctoral and master’s students engaged in the study, including April Ballard, Snigdha Peddireddy, Carla Jones-Harrell, David Cloud, Zora Kesich, and Monica Fadanelli.


Kentucky Communities and Researchers Engaging to Halt the Opioid Epidemic, or CARE2HOPE, was one of eight projects funded by the National Institutes of Health as part of the National Rural Opioid Initiative. The project worked in 12 counties in rural Appalachian Kentucky to build evidence-based, community-rooted public health responses to the opioid epidemic.

“This project is a testimony to the power of local communities to effectively address drug-related harms,” Cooper says. “Preliminary evidence suggests that the intervention reduced drug use frequency, reduced HCV and HIV risk behaviors, and increased naloxone access.”