Academic Health Department

The Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health and the KU Center for Community Health and Development created a partnership called the Academic Health Department, the first in Kansas and one of only a few in the country.


The Academic Health Department is an academic-practice collaboration, which effectively pools assets of both institutions. The Public Health benefits from the knowledge and expertise that KU research provides; meanwhile, KU faculty and students are able to put their research into practice at the Public Health. The goal is to address the basic conditions that affect the health of the community:
  • Access to health services
  • Mental health
  • Nutrition
  • Physical activity
  • Poverty
Community Health Forum
Pictured: Vicki Collie-Akers, faculty liaison for the Academic Health Department, talks about the community health plan during a community meeting at the Public Health.

Health in the 21st Century Summit 2019

The summit Bold Solutions for Healthier Kansas Communities” will be Friday, Dec. 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Lawrence. This event is open to the public.

Please join us for a day of learning and discussion regarding Bold Solutions for Healthier Kansas Communities

Brian Castrucci, DrPH, MA, President and CEO of de Beaumont, will provide the keynote Canuteson Memorial Lecture. Speakers from local communities, the state of Kansas, and the region will discuss opportunities to advance bold solutions in Kansas through the use of data and working with policy makers.

 You can register here  by the deadline of Tuesday, Nov. 26.

A full agenda is below.

Health in 21st Century Agenda


Vicki Collie-Akers, associate professor in the Department of Public Health at the University of Kansas Medical Center, serves as the faculty liaison for the Academic Health Department. The Academic Health Department’s work includes:
  • Establishing a shared research agenda
  • Increasing support for participatory research on health issues in Douglas County
  • Supporting the implementation and evaluation of Douglas County’s first community health plan, Roadmap to a Healthier Douglas County (PDF), and working on the second community health plan.
  • Connect staff and students to meaningful learning and professional development opportunities


  • Completed an assessment of barriers to active transport for older adults
  • Supported the successful application to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention resulting in a funded Partnerships in Community Health grant
  • Completed a yearlong project with the University of Kansas School of Journalism and Mass Communications to better understand branding of the Health Department
  • Conducted a performance management project to improve accessibility of clinic services with the Applied Behavior Science Department
  • Comprehensive Community Health Assessment featured by the Institute of Medicine in its "Evaluating Obesity Prevention Efforts: A Plan for Measuring Progress"
  • Project LIVELY program evaluation and recommendations for evidence-informed model.
  • Facilitation of Local Public Health System Assessment and report development.

Contact Information

For more information about the Academic Health Department, please contact Vicki Collie-Akers, associate professor, Department of Population Health, University of Kansas School of Medicine, Email Vicki Collie-Akers.