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Mtn. News: Regional History & Health Research

Mtn. News: Regional History & Health Research

In this episode we bring you stories on regional history, and innovative new approaches to meeting the healthcare needs of east Kentuckians. 

First from Ohio Valley Resource Reporter, Brittany Patterson, we look back on two decades of organizing in resistance to mountain top removal with the Coal River Mountain Watch. 

Then, Sydney Boles brings us a story about respiratory health in Eastern Kentucky. Researchers at the University of Kentucky and the Mountain Air Project wanted to learn what young people in Eastern Kentucky think about lung disease, air quality, and environmental health. So they gave digital cameras to 10 students at Letcher County schools, and asked them to photograph things in their communities that could contribute to lung disease. The results appeared in a journal article earlier this year. WMMT’s Sydney Boles spoke with one of the study’s participants, Bella Back. 

Bella Black, in front of her family’s custom metal shop. Letcher County, KY 2019. Photo by Sydney Boles.

And finally: like too many other health issues, eastern Kentucky has higher rates of diabetes than the rest of the state, and the rest of the country.  So, odds are you know something about it. But something you might not know is that even if it runs in your family, diabetes is one health issue that, in many cases, can be prevented.  And a program that’s being offered across East Kentucky is trying to help people do just that. As part of an ongoing series featuring stories of local people dealing with diabetes and prediabetes, Parker Hobson brings us a story.

Music on this episode features Jean Ritchie with a tune called Stream of Time from her album Sweet Rivers.  Sweet Rivers was released by Appalshop’s own JuneAppal Recordings in 1981.




appalachian history,
coal industry,
economic transition,
education in the mountains,
mountain healthcare,