Weekly update: We are Kentucky August 8, 2022
- We are the University of, for and with Kentucky. The storms that have ravaged eastern Kentucky are one more example of the role we play in serving our state.
- We are continuing to prepare for the return of students and faculty for the start of a new academic year.
- That preparation includes how we support everyone’s health and wellness.
When you work or study here day in and day out, it might be easy to forget just how tied we are to this state.
But our presence is in every corner and crevice of the Commonwealth. Our fortunes and our futures are bound together.
And, so, it is not surprising that our people leapt into action in the immediate aftermath of the storms that rocked eastern Kentucky in the last several days.
Members of our UK HealthCare team, including UK Pharmacy Services, have repeatedly made three-hour treks to the mountains to provide tetanus and hepatitis shots along with providing medications and other basic supplies. Kentucky Children’s Hospital worked with Costco to donate clothing and first-aid supplies in response to requests from local providers.
Even as they dealt with their own personal challenges, team members at our June Buchanan Clinic in Hindman have focused on keeping operations going after being under 1 to 2 inches of water.
Our Office for Student Success has now reached out to some 1,100 students from the region, including nearly 250 new students, to offer support and assistance. We are working with more than two dozen students from the region who have told us of particular and acute needs they have and which we are trying to address.
Colleagues from UK Libraries and our Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History rushed to Appalshop in Whitesburg — a long-time media and cultural center in the mountains — to try to save what has been called a “treasure trove” of archival histories and recordings housed there.
UK Student Government and other student organization leaders are working with our Crisis Management and Preparedness team to gather basic need materials and daily staples now in short supply and which are desperately needed.
Our Cooperative Extension System, so often at the center of our mission to serve, once again stood in the breach. Our Perry County Extension Office is currently hosting the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and UK's Letcher County Extension Office is hosting a Red Cross shelter.
And our men’s basketball team, working with the Red Cross and committed donors and people throughout our state and nation, have now raised some $3 million toward flood relief efforts.
There are so many stories — those that have rightly received attention and those that are occurring in quiet, often desperate, spaces and places — that reflect who we are and what we do.
Some reminders of how you can help:
- For student-related issues, please direct individuals to call our UK Center for Support and Intervention (CSI) at 859-257-3755.
- If you or someone you know has been affected by the flooding and needs support, please reach out to us at email@example.com. For more general questions, call UK Health Corps at 859-218-SAFE (7233).
- If you would like to support the UK community, you can donate to our Basic Needs and Persistence Fund for students or our Crisis Program Gift Fund for faculty and staff.
- You also can find a comprehensive list of flooding resources, including information on donations and FEMA assistance, on the state’s website.
Preparing for a new academic year
There remain plenty of opportunities to volunteer for student move-in and early activities and events on our campus as we prepare to welcome more than 6,000 new students to UK.
Also, for the latest information about COVID-19, our protocols and resources for support, visit our coronavirus website.
Some highlights of our response and places for support include:
- Anyone who is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine is strongly encouraged to do so and can request one here.
- Wearing masks — while optional on our campus (except for required UK HealthCare spaces as identified by signage) — is encouraged as an added layer of protection.
- Masks and hand sanitizer will be available in classrooms and other facilities, such as the W.T. Young Library, to start the academic year. We also will be delivering supplies of masks to our residence halls.
- UK Health Corps continues to support our students and employees through contact tracing, providing crucial resources and helping them navigate current public health and safety guidelines from the CDC.
- To provide documentation of COVID-19 vaccines or test results to UK Health Corps, please use the self-report tool.
Thank you for your continued commitment to being the place our state looks to in times of need and as a light that points the way to a brighter future.
Eli Capilouto President