College of Public Health

Center for Rural Health Research Faculty Assist with COVID-19 Report


Drs. Pettyjohn and Wahlquist

Researchers at the University of Kentucky have released COVID-19 Stakeholder Experiences in Kentucky, a report that details the findings of surveys taken by more than 900 healthcare providers, school leaders, community health workers and their clients, and community members in Kentucky during the summer and fall of 2020.  (UK Press Release)

The survey was designed and implemented by researchers at UK, with the analysis being completed by the Center for Rural Health Research at the East Tennessee State University College of Public Health.  Kentucky Homeplace community health workers assisted with getting surveys to participants in hard-to-reach, underserved populations.  Dr. Sam Pettyjohn and Dr. Amy Wahlquist, ETSU faculty, led the analysis for the report.

“The data collected in this report showed the strength and resolve to adapt among Appalachian educators, community health workers, and other healthcare professionals, said Dr. Pettyjohn.  “Collected responses showed the dedication and adaptability of Appalachian educators in a time of crisis.”

The survey will be repeated later this year to see if the availability of vaccines has changed the results.   

“This report offers an important understanding of what was happening with everyday folks in Appalachia during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic,” concluded Dr. Pettyjohn.  “Despite what may be construed in other venues, most folks in our region adhered to CDC guidelines and had a strong understanding of how to keep themselves safe and protected from COVID-19.”