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Changing the Face of Lung Cancer in Kentucky: New Program May Serve as National Model

By Jamie L. Studts, PhD and Allyson Yates
Published: Friday, Nov 27, 2015
The Survivorship Care component of Kentucky LEADS is dedicated to developing an innovative program that can be offered by survivorship care specialists throughout the state. The intervention is designed for dissemination and is targeted to the unique needs of the lung cancer survivor population, but it can also be adapted and tailored to the specific symptoms and issues experienced by each lung cancer survivor.

This component of Kentucky LEADS, led by a team at UK in collaboration with partners at the University of Louisville and the Lung Cancer Alliance, has spent the first year developing the intervention and is preparing to evaluate the intervention in 10 community settings throughout Kentucky in the second and third years of the project.

Prevention and Early Detection

The third component of the Kentucky LEADS Collaborative seeks to facilitate high-quality lung cancer screening statewide. Led by investigators at the University of Kentucky, this team has translated results of the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) and subsequent lung cancer screening guidelines into quality screening standards. These quality metrics can help lung cancer screening programs throughout Kentucky offer high-quality lung cancer screening, and deliver the tangible benefits of reducing lung cancer mortality throughout the state. Importantly, this component proactively tackles the issue of healthcare disparities that could be exacerbated if individuals who live in rural and underserved areas of Kentucky do not have access to optimal lung cancer screening programs.

Given that rural and Appalachian residents of Kentucky suffer a disproportionate share of lung cancer risk, incidence, and mortality, it is vitally important that residents have access to quality screening and lung cancer care to prevent even greater health inequalities that are already commonplace in these areas.

In the upcoming phase of the effort, the team will begin to work with 10 implementation partners throughout Kentucky to support and evaluate lung cancer screening program development, quality, and sustainability.

A Unique Opportunity

In summary, the efforts of the Kentucky LEADS Collaborative offer a unique opportunity to change the face of lung cancer in Kentucky by harnessing new lung cancer care and control strategies. While the burden is great, this also means that Kentucky stands to benefit most from these innovations, provided they are delivered throughout the state in a manner consistent with quality care standards. Ultimately, this project seeks to make us the transformative leader in lung cancer care and control efforts and reduce the personal, social, and economic toll of lung cancer on Kentucky.


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