The TCOM group is establishing the Innovations in Population Health (IPH) Center at the University of Kentucky and embedding TCOM into the core of the Center’s work. We are moving our operations to Lexington, Kentucky! We are excited about the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.
So why the University of Kentucky? First, the University of Kentucky is one of the original Land-grant universities. Established by Abraham Lincoln through the Morill Act in 1862, the idea was to expand the accessibility and practicality of higher education. Prior to this initiative, higher education was an opportunity reserved only for the rich and powerful. The notion of education for all the people is very congruent with the core values of TCOM and our group.
Second, the College of Public Health with its high-energy leadership and vision of Dean Donna Arnett and vibrant faculty offer a home in a field that is the most congruent with the mission and approaches of our work. The IPH Center will be charged with integrating across all 16 colleges at the University to bring together the best minds and a synergy of approaches to address pressing population health concerns. For example, there is a growing awareness among national child welfare leadership that the field of child welfare should be understood through the lens of public health. Further, public health has become increasingly aware that the simple delivery of health inventions, without consideration of the social and psychological determinants of health and well-being is inherently limiting. This is a good time to position the work of TCOM and the team squarely as a public health initiative.
Third, a premise of TCOM is that we should go where the need is. Few states have greater need than Kentucky. Challenges confront the state in terms of population mental health, substance use, and child welfare. The opportunity to make a difference where the need is great is compelling to our team.
As the TCOM team embarks on the transition to the University of Kentucky, I’d like to thank Bryan Samuels and Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago for the past five years. We have enjoyed working with the Chapin Hall staff and getting to know them and their work. We are grateful for the opportunity to be part of Chapin Hall’s success. We look forward to continuing collaboration with Chapin Hall in all of our efforts to improve the lives of children, youth, individuals and families with the greatest needs.