There are several ways our residents can be involved in advocacy at the University of Kentucky!
Our curriculum cycles include conferences on advocacy including topics such as "Introduction to Child Advocacy," "Legal Aspects of Advocacy", and "Communicating with Legislators." These are given by both Pediatric Faculty and visiting lecturers. Advocacy curriculum is also incorporated into our School Health Rotation for PGY-1 residents.
Residents can additionally choose to take an Advocacy Elective during their second or third year of residency. Our goal with this elective isn't to assign you advocacy responsibilities, but rather to allow you to advocate for children in your own way. We will provide you with the guidance and oversight to be able to fulfill your goals for the month, so that you can truly do what you are passionate about. Previous residents have completed projects in Trauma Informed Care Medical Education Curriculum, ACE Screening in General Pediatrics Clinic, and obtaining government-funded grants for gun trigger locks to be provided by our clinics free of charge.
Pediatric Residents participating in an AdvoCats Fundraiser at a local fitness facility
AdvoCats is a resident-run child advocacy group that started in 2010. The group comprises residents and medical students interested in child advocacy that plan local and state-wide activities promoting child health and wellbeing. Advocats participates yearly in Kentucky Youth Advocates' Child Advocacy Day in conjunction with the Kentucky Chapter of the AAP. They use this day to pick several topics pertinent to child health in Kentucky to discuss with local legislators. Additionally, residents work throughout the year to promote advocacy campaigns. Previous resident-chosen advocacy campaigns have included the incorporation of Trauma Informed Care into Public School Education, Taxation of E-Cigarettes, Bike Helmet Safety, and Child Immigration Protection.
Child Advocacy Day in Frankfort: This image shows the advocacy group at the Capitol Building in 2018.
AdvoCats serves our local community and campus by multiple fundraisers throughout the year that is used to help with back-to-school assistance for local elementary school children, holiday food assistance, and Adopt-A-Family Holiday program.
Pediatric Residents shopping for Thanksgiving Meals for local families in need
Child Advocacy Today (CAT) is our Medical-Legal Partnership at UK. CAT has three main objectives: 1) Our lawyers provide direct legal services to families where civil legal needs are preventing children from being healthy; 2) We train physicians to recognize civil legal needs affecting child health; 3) We engage in systemic advocacy in partnership with AdvoCats to improve policies related to child health and well-being.