KY Hosts ARC Conference on Health

Aug 31, 2011

Gov. Steve Beshear will welcome leaders from multiple Appalachian states to Prestonsburg next week to consider the best ways to improve health for the families and children of Appalachia.  The annual Appalachian Regional Commission Conference will be held at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park Sept. 7-9. This year’s conference theme, “Healthy Families: Healthy Futures,” will focus on the unique health challenges of the Appalachian region. Health experts and community leaders from across Appalachia will examine key health issues and highlight successful health-care programs throughout the multi-state area.

KY HSome of the many topics to be discussed at this year’s conference include expanding health-care access for children, preventing substance abuse among adolescents, improving children’s oral health and using information technology to improve the quality of health care. Representatives from 13 Appalachia states are scheduled to attend the conference.

Gov. Steve Beshear announced last week that approximately 25,000 Kentucky children in Appalachia will receive preventive oral health services through a new pilot program called Smiling Schools. The program is funded mainly through a $1 million grant from the ARC.

Established by Congress in 1965, ARC partners with federal, state and local governments to support sustainable community growth in Appalachia through projects ranging from education and job training to business and infrastructure development to health-care and housing assistance. Kentucky’s 54 most eastern and south-central counties currently qualify for ARC funding.