The Administrative Core is the central organizing unit for the project. The responsibilities of the Administration Core include…


–Project Management


The goal of the Administrative Core, and of Kentucky LEADS Collaborative, is to design for dissemination, creating readily implementable interventions. The Collaborative works in three distinct project phases:


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This core consists of the Principal Investigators of each of the project components, the Project Director, Communication Team, and External Evaluator, as well as the coordinating organizations, Kentucky Cancer Consortium and Lung Cancer Alliance, and collaborating organizations:


KCC Logo_FINAL-01-email




Kentucky Lung Cancer Research Program





The Administrative Core team:


picture-6064-1419362336Jamie Studts, PhD, Principal Investigator
Department of Behavioral Science
University of Kentucky
Assistant Director for Cancer Prevention and Control
Director of Clinical and Community Research Shared Resource Facility
Lucille P. Markey Cancer Center

I am a licensed clinical health psychologist who conducts cancer prevention and control research addressing the behavioral and psychosocial aspects of the cancer experience. Although I am not currently practicing, I developed the Behavioral Oncology Clinic at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center and served on several multidisciplinary cancer care teams. My major research interests involve developing and evaluating new approaches to reducing the burden of lung cancer in Kentucky. I serve as the Principal Investigator of the Kentucky LEADS Collaborative as well as the lead investigator for the Survivorship Care Component.  Outside of my work interests, I enjoy following my daughters’ various pursuits and supporting my beloved Iowa Hawkeyes in addition to the University of Kentucky Wildcats AND the University of Louisville Cardinals.


AllysonAllyson Yates, Program Director
Kentucky LEADS Collaborative
Lucille P. Markey Cancer Center
University of Kentucky

I join the Kentucky LEADS Collaborative with a recent background in administration of clinical oncology care. I have worked with faculty, staff, and patients in relation to all aspects of oncology care, and I serve as a member of the Markey Cancer Center Patient Advisory Group and steering committee. I am a native of Kentucky and have a strong interest in the betterment of the community, especially in education, prevention, and survivorship relating to oncology. I am also passionate about our partnering approach to bridging cancer research and practice. I am lucky to have found a collaboration involving all of those aspects within my beloved state (go C-A-T-S!) In addition to my professional interests, I enjoy the endless joy and entertainment provided by my family, running, hiking, and pretty much any outdoor activity, music, good food, local events, and traveling (which I hope to revitalize once both of my children are potty-independent).


Headshot Eddens

Kate Eddens, PhD, MPH, Co-Investigator, Communication Lead
Assistant Professor
Department of Health Behavior
University of Kentucky College of Public Health
Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health Scholar
Lucille P. Markey Cancer Center Cancer Prevention & Control Program

I am a health communication scientist working to increase the reach and effectiveness of health communication strategies to connect underserved populations to health services and solutions, specifically cancer prevention and control services. I am particularly interested in understanding how communication networks affect health outcomes among the poor, and in using social network analysis, word-of-mouth communication and marketing strategies, and innovative technology to reach the underserved with relevant, trustworthy, and actionable information. In my role as Communication Lead with the Kentucky LEADS Collaborative, I hope to use the power of narrative to bring you stories of Kentuckians working hard to reduce the burden of lung cancer across the state, from team members to survivors and caregivers. When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time hiking, traveling, and playing with my husband, daughter, and son, reading, doing yoga, reading about doing yoga, and making and appreciating art and music.


Headshot Higginson

Paige Higginson-Rollins
Communication and Social Media Specialist

I’m starting my second year in the Master’s of Public Health program in the College of Public Health at the University of Kentucky. I received my undergraduate degrees from UK (go Cats!) in International Studies and Economics with a dual focus on economic development and international relations. In the classroom I got the chance to learn about and understand the policies and theories that shape people’s lives everyday. However, as the international film coordinator for the student-run cinema program on campus, I had the great opportunity to show the stories of the individuals that policymakers and academics very often lose in the statistics. Not only am I an avid movie-watcher, but I have two years experience in social media management, and three years of experience in graphic design, videography and video editing. I hope that, during my time with the Kentucky LEADS Collaborative, I can help share the most up-to-date information about lung cancer while also highlighting the struggles and triumphs of those in Kentucky who are affected by lung cancer.


joelJoel Wheeler, Web Developer

I am a Technical Support Specialist at the Cancer Research Informatics Shared Resource Facility of the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Systems Analysis from Miami University in Oxford, OH. I’ve always been interested in PCs and helping people accomplish their goals by using computers. I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ukraine from 2004 to 2006, where I taught English and helped students expand their opportunities via the internet. I will be providing the back end of the Kentucky LEADS website, and I hope to help the Administrative Core use the site to effectively communicate with its users.



Lung Cancer Alliance Team:

All bios can also be found on the Lung Cancer Alliance webpage. 

staff_emilyeyresEmily Eyres
Chief Operating Officer
Lung Cancer Alliance 
LEADS Co-Investigator

Emily Eyres has more than 20 years of fundraising and non-profit management expertise stemming from her work with the world’s largest non-profit environmental organization. She has helped to design, launch and successfully complete several multi-million dollar capital campaigns, as well as lead fundraising, marketing and board development efforts for several state and international programs. Emily was inspired to join the Alliance after experiencing her mother and father-in-law’s courageous battles with lung cancer. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia.


Tina Hone, Policy


Gabby-GeierGabby Geier
Social Media
Lung Cancer Alliance

Gabby Geier joined the LCA staff in June 2013 as the Communications Manager. She works closely with the Director of Marketing to develop and execute social media tactics. Gabby is responsible for creating and managing content, expanding the online community and fostering engagement on LCA’s social media channels. She also assists in the implementation of communications and marketing projects. Prior to joining the staff she worked for MATTER, Inc., the Sports and Entertainment Marketing division of Edelman PR, in New York City. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from Trinity College, CT.


kay2Kay Cofrancesco
Director of Marketing
Lung Cancer Alliance

Kay Cofrancesco holds a BA in Biology from the University of Delaware.  She joined LCA in November 2004 as Program Specialist and has held many positions within the organization.

Kay is responsible for formulating and overseeing the execution of a comprehensive marketing and communications strategy with the goal of advancing the brand, mission, programs, events and achievements of the organization to targeted constituencies through effective and measurable communications strategies.



Angela Criswell
Medical Outreach Manager, Kentucky LEADS Collaborative
Lung Cancer Alliance

Angela Criswell joined LCA as Field Coordinator in January 2015, arriving from the Kentucky Department for Public Health where she managed the Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program.  Angela represents LCA in the efforts on the Kentucky LEADS Collaborative (Lung Cancer Education, Awareness, Detection, Survivorship) and is based in Frankfort, KY.

A Certified Prevention Specialist, Angela previously provided statewide technical assistance to Kentucky’s network of community mental health centers and substance abuse prevention boards and coalitions on the prevention of adult high risk drinking, underage drinking, and drunk driving; from 2004 to 2009 she served as State Executive Director for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Kentucky.  Angela taught political science at the college level for 8 years and has a B.A. in Political Science from Mississippi College and an M.A. in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia.

External Evaluation: 


Dr. Michelyn Bhandari, Eastern Kentucky University


Community Advisory Board


Katie Bathje, Chair, Community Advisory Board, Program Director, Kentucky Cancer Consortium

Jennifer Frantz, Nurse Navigator, Thoracic Oncology, Norton Cancer Institute

John Isfort, Director of Project HOME, Marcum & Wallace Hospital

Colette McCoyLung Cancer Alliance, Kentucky & Indiana

Elizabeth Holtsclaw, Health Systems Manager, State-Based, American Cancer Society

Heather Werheim, Advocacy Director, American Lung Association

Connie White, MD, Deputy Commissioner of Clinical Affairs, Kentucky Department of Public Health