New book explores health issues in Appalachia

JOHNSON CITY — Experts at East Tennessee State University have contributed to an award-winning new book that explores the myriad health issues and challenges facing people in Appalachia.

“Appalachian Health: Culture, Challenges, and Capacity” is co-edited by Dr. Randy Wykoff, Dean of the East Tennessee State University College of Public Health, and the late Dr. F. Douglas Scutchfield of the University of Kentucky. The book was published by University Press of Kentucky.

Using a balance of comprehensive data and narratives, contributors examine issues such as affordable and accessible medical care, the opioid crisis, and other social, political, economic, and environmental forces that impact health and wellness in Appalachia. The book focuses on both the health challenges that people in Appalachia face and the strengths and tools they can use to meet those challenges.

Copies of the book will be available for sale at the September 13 event. The book is also available online at ETSU’s Sherrod Library.

“I was honored to be asked to co-edit this important new book,” Wykoff said. “And I was particularly happy that so many colleagues from ETSU were able to contribute.”

“The book is significant, both in what it adds to our understanding of the health challenges of the Appalachian region, and in that it documents the important role that ETSU plays in the region.”

In addition to faculty and staff from the College of Public Health, researchers from the College’s Addiction Science Center, Center for Rural Health Research, and Center for Applied Research and Evaluation in Women’s Health (CARE Women’s Health) have joined the faculty of ETSU’s College of Arts and Sciences. contributing to six of the book’s 11 chapters.

This fall, the College of Public Health will host a Leading Voices in Public Health conference featuring the ETSU experts who have co-authored chapters. The conference will take place on September 13 at 6 p.m. in the ETSU Millennium Center Ballroom and will feature presentations from:

  • Dr. Randy Wykoffdean and co-editor of the book and co-author of two chapters, will provide an overview of the book “Appalachian Health: Culture, Challenges, and Capacity”;
  • Dr. Ron R. Roachchairman of the Department of Appalachia Studies, who wrote “Appalachia: An Introduction to the Region”;
  • Dr Kate Beattyassociate professor, who joined Dr Melissa Whiterecently graduated with a doctorate in public health for writing the chapter “The social determinants of health”;
  • Michael Meitco-director of the ETSU Center for Rural Health Research, who co-authored the chapter “Deaths of Despair in Appalachia” and;
  • Dr. Angela Hagamanwho co-wrote “The Opioid Crisis in Appalachia” with Dr. Bill Brooks, Dr Stephanie Mathisand Dr. Rob Packfrom the ETSU Addiction Science Center, and Dr. Kelly E. Moore of the Department of Psychology.


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