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UK Center for Excellence in Rural Health Announces Clinical Laboratory Sciences Academic Program

CONTACT: David A. Gross, (606) 439-3557 ext. 83525

HAZARD, Ky. (Oct. 13, 2008) − The University of Kentucky Center for Excellence in Rural Health will begin offering an academic program next summer that is designed to prepare students for a variety of laboratory positions in clinic and hospital settings.

The Clinical Laboratory Sciences program, which is scheduled to begin in July 2009, is intended for students who have demonstrated an undergraduate interest and aptitude in areas such as biology and chemistry. Graduates of the 10-month program, which requires substantial college prerequisites, earn a bachelor’s degree from UK’s College of Health Sciences and are eligible to take national certifying examinations.

Registration will begin in December, with up to 10 students being accepted into the program during the first academic year.

“I am thrilled that we can offer a bachelor’s degree that will allow Eastern Kentucky residents to stay at home while obtaining a higher education,” said Dr. Baretta R. Casey, director of the UK Center for Excellence in Rural Health, located at 750 Morton Blvd. in Hazard. “It is our hope that this program will address a critical workforce need within our region’s health care system.”

Among other things, clinical laboratory scientists ensure the accuracy and validity of laboratory information, direct and supervise laboratory resources and operations, and collaborate in the diagnosis and treatment of patients.

“Our faculty in the Department of Clinical Sciences continues to support the center’s efforts in helping to meet the health manpower training needs of the region,” said Karen O. Skaff, chair of UK’s Health Sciences Education and Research Department.

The admissions process for prospective students begins with an application to UK by April 1, 2009, for summer enrollment. Courses to be offered next summer are Laboratory Techniques, Blood Collection, Basic Chemistry and Basic Hematology. Instructors will be on-site for some courses, while other classes will be taught using a combination of interactive television and Blackboard technologies.

Besides additional coursework, students must complete clinical practicums during the fall 2009 and spring 2010 semesters. Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center and Pikeville Medical Center will serve as clinical rotation sites for students.

“The College of Health Sciences at the University of Kentucky is committed to providing education that benefits all Kentuckians,” said Lori Gonzalez, dean of the college. “By expanding the Clinical Laboratory Sciences program into Hazard through a satellite program, we hope to provide educational opportunities that are ‘close to home’ and may not have been possible otherwise.”

Academic offerings currently available at the UK Center for Excellence in Rural Health include a bachelor’s degree in clinical leadership and management, a master’s degree in social work, a doctoral degree in physical therapy, and residency programs in family medicine and dentistry. The center also houses Kentucky Homeplace, the Kentucky Office of Rural Health and the UK North Fork Valley Community Health Center.

Additional information about the Clinical Laboratory Sciences program at the UK Center for Excellence in Rural Health, including prerequisites and other admission criteria, can be found at or by calling Pam Bates at 1-800-851-7512, ext. 83508, or Marilyn Underwood at (859) 323-1100, ext. 80546


The University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences consists of nine programs: Athletic Training; Communication Sciences and Disorders; Physical Therapy; Rehabilitation Sciences PhD Program; Clinical and Reproductive Sciences; Clinical Nutrition; Physician Assistant Studies; Radiation Sciences; and Clinical Leadership and Management.