NKU continues fight against heroin with Health Innovation Center

Grace Jackson, Student

Northern Kentucky University has been a driving force in the fight against heroin in northern Kentucky. Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Sue Ott Rowland, talked about many examples including the needle exchange, rehab not incarceration, and informing the public on the power of addiction

“With the building of the new innovation center, we’ll be able to expand those programs and we’ll be able to offer new ones that we currently have at NKU,” Rowland said.

What makes the new center stand out is its size and its focus on what Rowland calls, “population health”. She clarified that their focus will look at the health issues that people in the Northern Kentucky region are struggling with. The new facility will allow NKU to be even more involved in helping fix issues that directly affect the region.

They’re starting a new program in neuroscience “which will conduct research on the psychological side of addiction and related mental illnesses,” according to Sue. When asked why she thought those issues were important she replied that the quality of life is important in any community and academic involvement has many positive effects.

The university has other plans to help better the community. According to Tess Phinney, Sustainability Manager, the Health Innovation Center will be a “LEED Silver” building. LEED Certification grades the energy efficiency of a building. The Health Innovation Center will be energy efficient, money saving, and helpful to community.