Contact Information

Dr. Graham D. Rowles


Graduate Ctr. for Gerontology
University of Kentucky
303 Wethington Hlth. Sc. Bldg.
Lexington, Ky 40536-0200
Phone: 859-231-6238
Fax: 859-323-5747

KERI Column

Link to Graduate Center for Gerontology

Link to Department for aging and independent living

Link to Area agencies on aging

Link to Kentucky Long-Term Policy Research Center

Link to UK College of Public Health


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Deborah Anderson - Commissioner

Photo of Deborah AndersonDeborah Anderson is the Commissioner of the newly created Department for Aging and Independent Living. The department focuses on serving the needs and enhancing the independent living opportunities of Kentucky’s elders and people with physical disabilities and replaces the former Division of Aging Services.

Deborah Anderson has more than 20 years of experience in the mental health, brain injuries, mental retardation and aging fields. A career CHFS employee, she most recently served as a member of the secretary’s executive policy staff and led the Kentucky Long Term Living Initiative to develop a system of care for the elderly and people with disabilities.

Deborah Anderson also was among the architects of the state Medicaid modernization effort, KyHealth Choices. During the course of her career, she has earned the respect and admiration of aging and disabilities advocates and constituent organizations and is a certified mediator through the Justice Center of Atlanta.

A former case manager and journalist, Anderson has degrees in psychology and journalism. She is nationally recognized for her work on behalf of families of children with emotional disabilities and is co-founder of the Kentucky Partnership for Families and Children.

Deborah’s dedication to improving the health and quality of life for Kentucky’s most vulnerable citizens has been invaluable in crafting effective policies and initiatives.

Graham, D. Rowles, Ph.D. - Director & Principal Investigator

Photo of Dr. Grahm RowlesGraham D. Rowles, Ph.D.
Graduate Center for Gerontology
University of Kentucky
303B Wethington Health Sciences Building
800 South Limestone
Lexington, KY 40536-0200
Phone: 859-257-1450 Ext. 80145

Graham D. Rowles is Director of the University of Kentucky component of KERI and Principal Investigator for the KERI contract with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. He is responsible for the overall direction of the University of Kentucky contribution to KERI.

Graham is Professor of Gerontology and Director of the Graduate Center for Gerontology at the University of Kentucky. He completed his bachelors and masters degrees at Bristol University in England before coming to the United States where he completed his Ph.D. at Clark University, in Worcester, Massachusetts. The focus of his research is the changing relationship between elders and their environments with advancing age and the implications of this transition for health and well-being. He has conducted in-depth ethnographic research with elderly populations in urban (inner city), rural (Appalachian), nursing home and assisted living environments. His current funded research includes a study of institutional permeability in long-term care (funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality). Reflecting a strong interdisciplinary orientation, he publishes not only in gerontology but also in fields ranging from environmental and community psychology to occupational therapy. His publications include six books, in addition to more than 60 book chapters and articles. Graham is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education, is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Gerontology (Social Sciences), is past President of Sigma Phi Omega (National Gerontology Honorary and Professional Society), and immediate past President of the Southern Gerontological Society. He has been involved in many applied gerontology research and practice initiatives including work on boards and commissions concerned with home care, housing for the elderly, intra state distribution of AoA funding, deinstitutionalization, assessment of nursing facility need, and aging and the workforce. In his spare time Graham coaches and plays soccer, keeps tropical fish, and is an avid gardener.

Bill Cooper, M.S. - Deputy Commissioner

Photo of Bill CooperBill Cooper, M.S.
Kentucky Department for Aging & Independent Living
275 E. main St. 3W-F
Frankfort, KY 40621
Phone: 502-564-6930

In July 2004, Mr. Cooper was appointed as the Director of the Kentucky Division for Aging Services and in Oct. 2007 he was appointed as Deputy Commissioner of the new Department for Aging and Independent Living. Bill served as the Associate Director for Social Services for the Green River Area Development District, Area Agency on Aging from 1994 through 2004. Mr. Cooper has his Masters of Science Degree with an emphasis in Community Planning and Gerontology from Western Kentucky University. Mr. Cooper has twenty-six (26) years experience in the field including Director of Area Agencies on Aging in Kentucky and Alabama and Project Director for the U.S. Health Care Finance Administration’s National Alzheimer’s Research Project, in Memphis, Tennessee.

He has served as President of the Southeastern Association of Area Agencies on Aging, Kentucky Association of Area Agencies on Aging, and the Kentucky Association of Gerontology. He served as Region IV, Board Member, to the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging where he also served as conference chair from 2000 to 2003. He also served on the board of the National Center for Aging Policy and as Chair Elect of the National Center for Rural Aging. Bill is currently serving on the Elder Rights Committee and the Health and Long Term Care Committee for the National Association of State Units on Aging. Mr. Cooper served as a member of the Kentucky Commission on Elder Abuse and serves on the Kentucky Elder Abuse Advisory Committee to the Cabinet for Families and Children. Mr. Cooper also serves on the HB-843 Commission of Services and Supports for Individuals with Mental Illness, Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Disorders and Dual Diagnoses and is a member of the Kentucky Anti-Predatory Lending, Task Force. Mr. Cooper has chaired many local councils and committees concerned with health, gerontology, and human services, as well as serving on a variety of local, state and national task groups and service committees.

Phyllis E. Culp, RN, MSW - Nurse Consultant & Project Coordinator

Photo of Phyllis E. CulpPhyllis E. Culp, RN, MSW
Nurse Consultant
Department for Aging & Independent Living
275 West Main Street 3-W-F
Frankfort, KY 40621
Phone: 502-564-6930
Fax: 502-564-4595

Phyllis E. Culp, RN, MSW is Nurse Consultant for the Department for Aging and Independent Living in Frankfort (DAIL). She is the project coordinator for the KERI Project for the DAIL.

Phyllis has a Diploma of Nursing from the Ball Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in Muncie, Indiana. As a Non-traditional (nee older) student she received her Bachelors degree and Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Kentucky (UK). In addition, she earned the Certificate in Gerontology at the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging at UK. Phyllis has worked in numerous nursing venues and has experience in management of a geriatric mental health unit at Saint Joseph Hospital and developed a health promotion and wellness program for seniors at Central Baptist Hospital in Lexington.

She has worked for the DAIL since November 2000 and has had primary responsibility for the Council on Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Related Dementias, developed the new Administration on Aging National Family Caregiver Support Program and is currently Project Director for the Administration on Aging (AoA) Alzheimer’s Disease Demonstration Grant, State Planning Grant and the Aging and Disability Resource Center Grant.

When asked about her hobbies, she lists being grandmother to her wonderful granddaughter Rhianna as the Number 1 favorite. This is closely followed by her obsession with finding beautiful antique clothing buttons.

Joy Jacobs-Lawson, Ph.D. - Statistician

Photo of Joy Jacobs-LawsonDr. Jacobs-Lawson is an assistant professor in the Graduate Center for Gerontology. Her research interests include cognitive aging and developmental differences in life planning. Much of her research has focused on age differences in the factors that influence individuals’ financial and late-life planning decisions. Within this line of research, she has examined how individuals’ goals, knowledge, risk tolerance, personality, and perceptions influence not only how they make decisions but also the quality of their decisions. Her teaching interests include cognitive aging, psychology of aging, decision making, and research methodology. Dr. Jacobs-Lawson is the statistician for the KERI Project and its research.

Hollie R. Sands, MPH - Coordinator & Area Agency on Aging Liaison

Photo of Hollie SandsHollie R. Sands, MPH
Graduate Center for Gerontology
University of Kentucky
306 Wethington Health Sciences Building
900 South Limestone
Lexington, KY 40536-0200
Phone: 859-257-1450 Ext. 80183

Hollie R. Sands is the University of Kentucky Coordinator and Area Agency on Aging Liaison for the Kentucky Elder Readiness Initiative (KERI). She is responsible for the overall coordination of focus groups and community forums, data collection and analysis, and is a contributor to final written reports of the initiative. Additionally, Hollie assists with the development of statewide fact sheets describing Kentucky’s older population.

Hollie is a Research Challenge Trust Fund Fellow and doctoral student at the Graduate Center for Gerontology, The University of Kentucky. Hollie received her Bachelor of Science degree from The University of Findlay in Health Sciences with an emphasis in occupational therapy, and her Masters of Public Health degree with an emphasis in health behavior and health promotion from The Ohio State University with a Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization in Aging. Her research interests include preventative health strategies, cost effective home modifications, and quality of life of rural older adults. Through the use of projective techniques, Hollie is interested in examining the delivery of services and maintenance of health for Appalachian older adults. Hollie’s previous research experience includes conducting community needs assessments, focus groups, and in-depth interviews to examine the utilization of activity centers in a naturally occurring retirement community in Columbus, Ohio. In her spare time, Hollie enjoys singing, gardening, playing tennis, and spending time with her family and friends.

Amy S. Moore, MSW, MRC - Research Assistant

Photo of Amy MooreAmy S. Moore, MSW, MRC
Social Service Specialist
Cabinet for Health and Family Services
Department for Aging and Independent Living
275 East Main Street, 3W-F
Frankfort, KY 40621
Phone: 502-564-6930 Ext. 3395

Amy S. Moore is an Internal Policy Analyst III with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Department for Aging and Independent Living, in Frankfort, Kentucky. She is serving as Project Staff for the Kentucky Elder Readiness Initiative (KERI) assisting with the KERI Advisory Work Group meetings, in data collection, and facilitating focus groups and community forums around the state. Amy received her bachelors degree in Social Work from Eastern Kentucky University, Master’s in Social Work with an emphasis of study in Gerontology from the University of Kentucky, and a second Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Kentucky. Her professional career has been primarily focused on working with the elderly where she has worked as a medical social worker on the long term care ward (individuals aged 65+) for Eastern State Hospital; medical social worker and case manager on the Stroke Unit for Cardinal Hill Hospital; and social worker for Aging Services with Durham County Department for Social Services, Durham, North Carolina. In addition, Amy worked as an independent contractor for over 20 years in the areas of vocational and medical case management, job analysis and redesign, vocational testing, career planning, and expert witness testimony. She holds national certifications as a certified social worker, certified rehabilitation counselor, and certified case manager. In her free time, Amy enjoys gardening, fishing, stain glass design, and scoping out antique malls and flea markets.

Andrew S. Horne, B.A.- Research Assistant

Photo of Andrew HorneAndrew S. Horne, B.A.
Graduate Center for Gerontology
University of Kentucky
306 Wethington Health Sciences Building
900 South Limestone
Lexington, KY 40536-0200
Phone: 859-231-6238

Andrew S. Horne graduated from Transylvania University with degrees in Biology and History. Since joining the Graduate Center, he has been working with Dr. Teaster (PI) on an NIH-funded grant studying sexual abuse of vulnerable elders in institutions. His research interests include the balance of autonomy with resident safety in the management of risky behaviors in assisted living facilities. Andrew is currently a research assistant with the Kentucky Elder Readiness Initiative (KERI).

Melissa Slone, B.A.- Kentucky River KERI Liaison

Photo of Melissa SloneMelissa Slone, B.A.
308 Maple Street
Hazard, KY 41847

Melissa Slone is serving st the University of Kentucky liaison for the Kentucky River Area Development District for the Kentucky Elder Readiness Initiative. She is currently pursing her Masters in Social Work at the University of Kentucky. She has a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Kentucky University in Corrections and Juvenile Services. Melissa has worked for Buckhorn Children and Family Services for 13 years in the Treatment Foster Care Programs. Hobbies include fishing and spending time with family and friends.