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Behind the Blue

Some stories require a little more – a little more discussion, more context, more depth and breadth. That’s the idea behind “Behind the Blue” – a weekly podcast created by UK Public Relations and Marketing. It is designed to explore through probing interviews the in-depth the stories that make UK the university for Kentucky and that have impact across the institution, the Commonwealth and, in some cases, the world.
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Now displaying: March, 2019
Mar 26, 2019

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 27, 2019) – The numbers tell a startling and numbing story:

 In 2017, 70,000 Americans lost their lives to drug overdoses – a number that is expected to continue to rise for the near future.

  • The life expectancy of Americans has actually declined each of the last two years, largely driven by deaths resulting from drug addiction and overdoses.
  • Some 2.6 million Americans are addicted to opioids and three-quarters of heroin users first misused prescription opioid drugs.

But there are names, people and stories behind each of those daunting numbers and statistics – the family members, prosecutors, police officers and medical professionals toiling in communities each day to attack the scourge and epidemic of opioid abuse in America.

That story is what journalist and author Beth Macy sought to document in her compelling bestseller, Dopesick. The 2018 book focuses on the impact of opioid addiction in rural America, particularly the communities of Appalachia where Macy has been a journalist for more than 30 years.

“There’s a cavernous space between seeing a person as worthy medical care and seeing them as a criminal and that’s where the opioid crisis was able to grow,” Macy said during a recent lecture at the University of Kentucky.

Macy was the keynote speaker last week at the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Enrichment Seminars, a conference hosted at the University of Kentucky. 

Macy’s book was provided in October to every member of UK’s Board of Trustees as they prepared for their annual retreat, which focused on the university’s efforts in the area of drug and opioid abuse.

UK is home to several nationally recognized researchers and clinicians, who are working across several disciplines, to attack opioid addiction and substance abuse disorder.

On this episode of “Behind the Blue” Macy discusses her book, some of the challenges she sees in addressing this epidemic and her process as a writer.

“Your job is to impose hope and order on a sad and chaotic story,” Macy said.

Become a subscriber to receive new episodes of “Behind the Blue” each week. UK’s latest medical breakthroughs, research, artists and writers will be featured, along with the most important news impacting the university.

For questions or comments about this or any other episode of "Behind the Blue," email BehindTheBlue@uky.edu or tweet your question with #BehindTheBlue.

Mar 18, 2019

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 18, 2019) - John Thelin is widely regarded as one of the country’s experts on higher education.

The long-time University of Kentucky professor of higher education and public policy has written what many consider to be the definitive history of American higher education – A History of American Higher Education from Johns Hopkins Press – along with accounts about collegiate sports and university fund-raising efforts. 

Now, in his latest book – Going to College in the Sixties, also from Johns Hopkins – Thelin examines both the reality, and sometimes the misperceptions people have about change and evolution of the college experience in the 1960s.

“The change in the mood of American higher education from 1960 to 1969 was incredible and surprising -- from optimism and confidence to exhaustion and uncertainty,” Thelin recently told InsideHigherEducation. “If I were asked for a eulogy or epitaph for the decade, I would note that much of the ’60s happened in the ’70s. The countercultural innovations that took root in the late 1960s continued and grew into the mid-1970s. I also think the cultural legacies surpassed the political changes.”

In this edition of Behind the Blue, UK’s office of Public Relations and Strategic Communications sat down with Thelin to discuss his new book and how UK has evolved, particularly as the institution recently commemorated Black History Month and begins a series of events this year to mark 70 years of integration.

Become a subscriber to receive new episodes of “Behind the Blue” each week. UK’s latest medical breakthroughs, research, artists and writers will be featured, along with the most important news impacting the university.

For questions or comments about this or any other episode of "Behind the Blue," email BehindTheBlue@uky.edu or tweet your question with #BehindTheBlue

Mar 11, 2019

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 11, 2019) – The University of Kentucky community is celebrating Women’s History Month. Throughout March, UKNow will feature the women — past and present — on whose shoulders we stand and whose hard work has made our achievements possible. With a combination of fierce resolve and deep compassion, UK women have left indelible marks on our university. Join us as we highlight these #WomenOfUK.

As part of her early graduate work, Karen Clancy, interviewed 10 physicians and staff affiliated with the UK College of Medicine for the school’s fiftieth anniversary. One of her subjects, Dr. Jaqueline Noonan, was the first woman to chair a clinical department for the college. During the interview, Noonan talked about the ways in which women had changed not only the face of medicine, but how it was practiced. 

That conversation led Clancy, a faculty member in the UK College of Health Sciences to ask, “how have women changed medicine?” To date, Clancy has interviewed 25 women who graduated from the UK College of Medicine between 1964 and 1975. She focused on this group because UK began admitting women to medical school in 1960, and she wanted to learn about their experiences prior to the adoption of Title IX.

The “Women in White: Women Physicians Oral History Project” is a collection of oral histories featuring the perspectives and memories of ground-breaking women who completed medical school when only six to 10 percent of physicians were women. They were trailblazers who successfully pursued professional careers, made scientific contributions and brought a new dimension to medicine. They became leaders of medical associations, chairs of academic departments, discoverers, scientists and givers of compassionate and innovative care in their communities. 

They told stories of barriers, triumphs and leadership. Dr. Jacqueline Noonan, a pediatric cardiologist went on to have a medical condition, Noonan Syndrome, named after her. Dr. Flora Johnson came the United States with her sisters when she was just 14 years old. She was told by countless people along her journey that she couldn’t make it in medical school and wouldn’t become a physician, she still practices family medicine in Alhambra, California. Dr. Ardis Hoven, one of the first women to serve as president of the American Medical Association and the first woman elected chair of the World Medical Association said, “Women have a special something that makes them ready to care and to lead. They’ve made medicine more personal, we go the extra mile.”

On this week's episode of "Behind the Blue" you’ll hear these stories and more as we talk with Clancy about her project. The Women in White: Women Physicians Oral History Project is housed in the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky.  Support for the collection was funded in part by the Arvle Turner Research Fund and the Kentucky Oral History Commission of the Kentucky Historical Society.

Become a subscriber to receive new episodes of “Behind the Blue” each week. UK’s latest medical breakthroughs, research, artists and writers will be featured, along with the most important news impacting the university.

For questions or comments about this or any other episode of "Behind the Blue," email BehindTheBlue@uky.edu or tweet your question with #BehindTheBlue

Mar 7, 2019

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 7, 2019) – What does it mean to plan for not just this year or next year, but for the next five years? 

That’s the innovative idea behind the five-year financial plan known as Our Path Forward. The strategic roadmap is a long-term examination of the revenues UK must generate to meet its mission of education, research, service and care for the Commonwealth and beyond the state’s borders.

In this edition of Behind the Blue, Provost David W. Blackwell and Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Eric N. Monday discuss Our Path Forward, what it means, and why it’s so critical for UK’s future and that of the entire state.

Monday said the campus had been involved in recent years in an important and engaging conversation around disruption – the idea of how technological and other changes are forcing industries, large and small, into seismic shifts in their basic business models.

“We are in the two markets – higher education and health care – that still have the most disruption in front of them,” Monday said.

Blackwell said the university’s deans – as UK’s academic leaders – have been at the forefront of the discussion around change and disruption.

“We’ve got to look beyond this year, into next year and the next five years to determine what we are going to be about,” Blackwell said. “We need to serve the entire commonwealth.”

Become a subscriber to receive new episodes of “Behind the Blue” each week. UK’s latest medical breakthroughs, research, artists and writers will be featured, along with the most important news impacting the university.

For questions or comments about this or any other episode of "Behind the Blue," email BehindTheBlue@uky.edu or tweet your question with #BehindTheBlue.

Mar 4, 2019

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Mar. 4, 2019) - In the late 1960s, P.G. Peeples made his way to the University of Kentucky from the coal town of Lynch in Eastern Kentucky.

He thought he would be a teacher – studies he focused intently on.

But five decades later, Peeples has been marking some 50 years as President/CEO of the Urban League of Lexington. There, he is known as a national leader in urban redevelopment, training and housing efforts.  

In this edition of Behind the Blue, you can listen to how UK helped prepare him not only to be a teacher, but a community leader across generations in Lexington and beyond. It’s a path he didn’t know he would take at the time, but one that has changed the trajectory of Lexington.

Become a subscriber to receive new episodes of “Behind the Blue” each week. UK’s latest medical breakthroughs, research, artists and writers will be featured, along with the most important news impacting the university.

For questions or comments about this or any other episode of "Behind the Blue," email BehindTheBlue@uky.edu or tweet your question with #BehindTheBlue.

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