Annual policy forum will focus on role of education in health

Individual and public health are influenced by many things, including the educational characteristics of people and their communities. Education will be the focus of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky’s 2022 Howard L. Bost Memorial Health Policy Forum, to be held virtually from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 17.
The forum will look at the connection between educational opportunities and health outcomes of Kentuckians, as one of the social determinants of health. Presenters and panelists will consider education as a cornerstone of Kentucky’s health outcomes. It is offred free of charge. Register here.

“Education is more than what happens between the four walls of a school building,” said Ben Chandler, president and CEO of the foundation. “Educational factors that influence health outcomes include everything from life skills — mental health, emotional literacy, financial literacy, and nutritional literacy — to local community programs, such as out-of-school care and workforce training, to equity issues. It’s important we consider all the factors of health to find ways to make a positive impact.”

Looking beyond the K-12 education system, panelists and presenters will discuss programs that can enhance education and provide more equitable access, while leading to better health outcomes for individuals and communities. Attendees will learn about replicable community-oriented collaborations and coordination between sectors that have led to improved health overall.

The 2022 Kentucky Teacher of the Year, Willie Carver, will give the keynote address. Sessions will include:

  • Making the Case for Funding, in Education and Beyond: Considering education as a social determinant of health, panelists will discuss school funding, social safety net programs’ impact on education, and real examples from urban and rural schools.
  • Literacy for Life (Critical Lessons for Positive Health): They’re lessons most don’t receive in school but can mean the difference between addressing and overcoming life’s challenges or becoming overwhelmed. Panelists will discuss mental health and emotional literacy, financial literacy and navigating systems, and how nutrition education impacts hunger long-term.
  • Linked but Addressable; Helping Families Overcome Obstacles: A look at how family income plays a critical role in the academic outcomes of students, and therefore, the lifelong health of individuals.
  • Breaking Down Barriers; Real Examples of Kentucky Communities Making Positive Change: Learn how local communities are lifting up families. Panelists will share about connecting families with early childhood intervention services; public schools and public health collaborating on mental health services; and, how a community is working to chart paths for non-traditional career building.

The forum is designed to raise awareness of the health issues impacting Kentuckians and highlights model strategies and policy opportunities to improve Kentucky’s health. The foundation created it to honor Dr. Howard L. Bost, a notable health economist and a founding member of the foundation’s board of directors. It welcomes a range of audiences, inside and outside the health industry – including health care advocates, providers and educators, business professionals, civic leaders, policy makers and more.

Updates on the forum are at

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