Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) released the following statement in response to a report about health challenges in Appalachia conducted by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), the Robert Wood Foundation (RWJF) and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

“Appalachia has always faced more health challenges due to a variety of factors, including poverty, unhealthy lifestyles, long commutes for health care, fewer physicians, and others listed in the report. It is heartbreaking to see our people continue suffering from high rates of heart disease, lung disease, cancer, obesity and diabetes.

"However, despite our challenges, I’m encouraged by the lives being saved as a result of the work going on in our communities, hospitals, colleges and universities. For instance, the report shows less people are dying in the Appalachian region from heart disease - down 39%, cancer - down 14% and infant mortality - down 19%. Every life saved sparks hope for us to continue the work of advancing health care, education and other measures that improve the quality of life for people living and working in Kentucky’s Appalachian region.

"Working in concert with the mission of SOAR – Shaping Our Appalachian Region – I've invited federal leaders from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to join us in Eastern Kentucky on several occasions over the last several years to examine our health challenges first-hand and offer expertise and assistance. Together, we will continue to make critical strides in the health and well-being of everyone in Appalachia."

The first report of the mutli-part health research project entitled, Creating a Culture of Health in Appalachia: Disparities and Bright Spots, is available at

Rogers has served Kentucky’s 5th Congressional District since 1981. With a focus on economic development, job creation, fighting illegal drugs and preserving Appalachia’s natural treasures, he has a reputation for listening to his constituents and fighting for the region he represents. For more information, visit Congressman Rogers' online office at or follow him on Twitter or Instagram @RepHalRogers, and on Facebook.