Passport and the American Heart Association Distribute CPR Anytime Kits around Appalachian Region

Soar logoPassport and the American Heart Association (AHA) are working together to create a new generation of lifesavers in eastern Kentucky.

In conjunction with SOAR (Shaping Our Appalachian Region), the AHA and PHP are giving away “CPR Anytime” kits in rural areas of Kentucky throughout the spring and summer of 2017. The groups will be working together to assure the kits are distributed to families and at-risk groups where CPR training will have the best opportunity of saving lives. 

“We are proud to be collaborating with the American Heart Association to provide these CPR Anytime kits to our friends at SOAR and share them all over the region,” said Jill Bell, Passport Vice President and Chief Communications Officer. “It is our mission to help improve the health and quality of life of all our members, and by working together, we can help all Kentuckians live healthier lives.”

The first distribution of these lifesaving kits was held March 16 at Union College at the SOAR Obesity and Diabetes Roundtable and representatives from PHP, as well as the AHA were in attendance. SOAR’s involvement in this program is in direct correlation with their mission to improve the quality of life and support all those working to achieve these goals in Appalachian Kentucky.

For more information, please click here. For more information about SOAR, please click here.


Passport bringing Health and Resource Fair to Eastern Kentucky on October 24

Passport logoPassport Health Plan is co-sponsoring a Health and Resource Fair with the UK Center of Excellence in Rural Health on Monday, October 24, in Hazard, Kentucky.

At the event – which will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the UK Center of Excellence in Rural Health, 750 Morton Blvd., in Hazard – people will be able to learn all about the importance of receiving preventive care and having a relationship with their primary care physician (PCP).

There also will be a number of different vendors at the Health and Resource Fair, offering health screenings and educational information about resources that are available in the community to help people live healthier lives. In addition, there will be door prizes, entertainment, refreshments, and much more!

Some of the groups that will be in attendance at the event include Kentucky HomePlace, Appalachian Regional Hospital, Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR), Application Assistors (formally Kynectors), and more.

The event is free of charge and no registration is required.


Passport co-sponsors SOAR Hackathon for teams to find solutions to health problems in Appalachia

Soar logoHigh school students in Eastern Kentucky will have the opportunity to work alongside researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, thanks to Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR), Passport Health Plan, and the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative (KVEC).

Students from Pikeville, Paintsville and Whitesburg will participate virtually in the first-ever Appalachian Health Hackathon, scheduled in Somerset at The Center for Rural Development from October 6-8.

Students will work with their teachers, KVEC staff and local subject-matter experts – alongside more than 150 medical professionals, engineers, social workers and entrepreneurs gathered in Somerset – to solve healthcare challenges in Appalachia.

“The Hackathon is part of a larger health initiative that fits with SOAR’s mission of bringing experts together to find solutions to larger problems facing Kentucky’s Appalachia,” said Jared Arnett, executive director of SOAR. “Engaging students in this mission is critical. We not only will be opening up the world to these students, but we will be bringing the world to them.”

Passport will provide two prizes to the team that can best answer these challenges:

  • How can we improve pain management among the Medicaid population – both before and after people receive prescriptions for medicine that could potentially lead to inappropriate use and/or abuse?
  • How can we improve the A1c screening rates for diabetes (and other diabetes-related screening rates) among the Medicaid population?

“Passport Health Plan is pleased to be a founding partner of the SOAR initiative,” said Passport CEO Mark B. Carter. “We are dedicated to working together for a healthier Kentucky, and we have a special commitment to Eastern Kentucky. Through innovation and combined expertise found from events like this hackathon, we will build a healthier future for all Kentuckians. Thanks to all who are participating in this exciting event.”

The event, sponsored by SOAR and facilitated by MIT, is free.  Those wanting to participant should register as soon as possible at because space is limited. For more information, please click here.


Hepatitis takes center stage during annual conference in Lexington and town-hall meeting in Hazard later this month

Soar logoKentucky, which leads the nation in hepatitis C infections, will have its third annual hepatitis conference July 26 in Lexington, followed by a Hepatitis C Town Hall Meeting in Hazard on July 28, World Hepatitis Day.

The first meeting, “Hepatitis: Breaking the Silence,” is hosted by the Kentucky Rural Health Association, the state Department for Public Health’s Adult Viral Hepatitis Prevention Program, and the Kentucky Immunization Program, according to Kentucky Health News. It will be held from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, July 26, at the Embassy Suites in Lexington and will offer continuing education credits for medical professionals. Click here to register and view the draft agenda.

The conference will also look at screening strategies in children and infants, an update on syringe-exchange programs, diagnosis and treatment, barriers to treatment, using telehealth to treat hepatitis in primary care settings, and regional data on addiction and treatment.

“The Kentucky Rural Health Association has fast become the premier organization to educational outreach throughout Kentucky and some nationally,” KRHA Executive Director Tina McCormick said in an e-mail to KHN. “We will have attendees from other states at this year’s conference, which spreads the word across state lines.”

Then, on Thursday, July 28, the state Department for Public Health is partnering with Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) to host a Hepatitis C Town Hall Meeting at  Hazard Community and Technical College.

“The meeting aims to increase community awareness, provide best practices on prevention, detection and treatment of Hepatitis C, HIV and substance abuse and engage multi-sector community, state and national stakeholders to organize resources and enhance engagement,” says a news release.

This meeting is free and open to the public, though registration is required because space is limited. Click here to register.


Eastern Kentucky communities can apply for grants of up to $250,000 through new SOAR fund

SOAR logoThe executive board of the Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) organization has created the  Kentucky Appalachian Regional Development (KARD) fund to support work being done by Eastern Kentucky communities on job creation and retention, health and wellness, entrepreneurship, broadband deployment, workforce training, leadership development, economic diversity, and much more.

“We’re excited to see what our communities are doing to impact important community challenges like job growth and leadership training,” Jared Arnett, executive director of SOAR, said in a news release.  “Successful local initiatives can be replicated, and KARD grants are a good chance for the region to see what’s working.”

The state established KARD through a $2 million appropriation during the 2015 legislative session. SOAR is a homegrown movement in Eastern Kentucky that was created by Gov. Steve Beshear and Congressman Hal Rogers in 2013 to build on the strengths of the region and shore up its weaknesses. Passport Health Plan is a proud sponsor and partner in the SOAR initiative

“SOAR is designed to support locally-driven efforts to advance job development, workforce training, health access and other markers that enhance quality of life,” Governor Beshear said in the release.  “These KARD grants will give local programs a jump start toward making important community improvements.”

“The KARD fund gives SOAR the opportunity to support and invest in local projects that will create jobs and increase economic opportunities,” added Congressman Rogers. “This is a way for SOAR to help advance the vision of projects that will benefit the people of eastern Kentucky the most.”

Organizations can apply online at The first round of applications are due Dec. 18. The maximum grant amount is $250,000.