Mathew Smith is a seemingly unlikely person to be heading the Appalachian Studies Program at Miami University. Originally from the United Kingdom, Smith holds a Ph. D. in American history and directed and taught programs in American regionalism - which included Appalachian studies. Now, Smith has his hands full as the Director of Public Programs and the Appalachian Studies Program at Miami University. Smith is actively working to connect academia with the community through the arts and education. Learn more about Mathew Smith and his various projects and studies in this week's blog post.

Plus, a new photography exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum Center that features nature photos from the Richard and Lucile Durrell Edge of Appalachia Preserve System, an article about the Red Idle Rejects, the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio's launch of the Cause Connector platform, and join the Appalachian Community Update Meeting this Wednesday.

New Platform Connecting Philanthropy with Community
UACC Core members Maureen Sullivan and Debbie Zorn recently learned about a new project at the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, a partner organization that focuses on eliminating the gap in philanthropy for nonprofits, schools, and community organizations in Ohio’s Appalachian counties. On February 10, the Foundation is launching a new online giving platform, Cause Connector, that allows potential donors to search for projects to support by specific communities or areas of interest. We are excited to see this “matchmaker” tool come to life this Wednesday (just in time for Valentine’s Day!). Information about Cause Connector can be found at

New Appalachian Exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum Center
Experience 20,000 acres of wilderness through photography at the Cincinnati Museum Center! "A Year on the Edge" is a new photography exhibit featuring nature photos captured at the Richard and Lucile Durrell Edge of Appalachia Preserve System. Learn more and purchase tickets HERE.

Celebrating Black History Month in Appalachia: An early look at William Turner’s Harlan Renaissance
In this preview from the manuscript, Turner—a sociologist and recipient of the lifetime of service award from the Appalachian Studies Association—reflects on Black life in his hometown of Lynch, Kentucky. Read the full preview HERE.

Their songs are about the waning coal industry, rise of opioid crisis in Kentucky

Check out this Cincinnati Enquirer featuring Chris Bowling from the Red Idle Rejects! Read the full article HERE.


How to Get the Covid Vaccine

By Michael Maloney and John Bealle
On February 8th, all Ohioans over 65 will be eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine, as well as those with developmental disabilities and in-person K-12 school teachers and staff. The weeks preceding this will accommodate older populations:
  • Jan. 19: Ohioans 80 years of age and older.
  • Jan. 25: Ohioans 75 years of age and older; those with severe congenital or developmental disorders.
  • Feb. 1: Ohioans 70 years of age and older; employees of K-12 schools that wish to remain or return to in-person or hybrid models.
  • Feb. 8: Ohioans 65 years of age and older.
For private sector providers, Cincinnati-area residents are being advised in the media to use the website of the Health Collaborative for accurate information on appointments once they reach an eligible category. To do this, click on the "Vaccine Info" link on their website and then scroll down to the “Are You Eligible?” section.
Under “Are You Eligible?” there are large icons with appointment links and phone numbers for thirteen prominent providers, each linked to their vaccination registration portals. Below are links to longer “Vaccination Location” lists from state-run sites for Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio. The Indiana link goes directly to its provider list. On the Kentucky page, you click on the Vaccine Provider Enrollment “Register” link to go to a statewide registration portal.
The State of Ohio list is two levels down at the webpage, To sort the list by county, hover over the "County" heading and click the small “A-Z” button that as you hover appears at the right of the heading text. Then scroll down and you’ll see the providers for your county.
The City of Cincinnati Health Department has a vaccine registration portal for city health clinics and facilities at the site If you register at this site, you should expect to be contacted once you become eligible. Those who have signed up before they become eligible are reporting not having received any response at all. When you become eligible and are contacted, you are invited to a pre-screening portal where you can verify your eligibility and make an appointment.
There is a shortage of vaccine doses that will become more dramatic as more demographic groups become eligible. What we are hearing is that each provider opens up appointments only for their available doses. These appointments are quickly taken, and then you won't be able to register for an appointment with that provider. With new deliveries arriving at unpredictable times, a provider might open appointments at any time. Making an appointment may mean making repeated attempts with several providers.
Some of the providers are health care networks where you may be an established patient. If you have an electronic medical record (MyChart), you may be automatically registered and will receive appointment info through the electronic system when you become eligible. The health care network appointment portals are available for anyone to use. If you are not an established patient, the website will explain how to register.
The appointment process may vary with the different providers. They may or may not allow you to register ahead for an appointment date later when you become eligible. Appointment availability may differ with phone vs. website access. If vaccine supplies are scarce, you may spend several hours trying one provider after another. You may get an appointment based on an expected vaccine delivery, and then find the appointment canceled if the delivery hasn’t arrived.
Here are some area websites with information about getting the vaccine and the phases of eligibility through early February.  Recheck websites often as information changes frequently.

UACC’s Michael Maloney became eligible on January 19th and has received the first dose. Here is his story: “I am 80 years old.  I went to the Cincinnati Health Department site and was able to register and get my shot within 2 days.  The registration process was frustrating because it seemed like I had to repeat the same information over and over and my partner had to help.  And then they sent me multiple e-mails with instructions.  At the site, a gym in Corryville, things went very well.  I got the shot in 7 minutes and had to sit on a bench 15 minutes to make sure I was OK.  The shot was painless and I do not even have a sore arm.  Maybe some fatigue the second day.” 
Other stories we are hearing: That some providers are overbooking, and then sending email appointment cancellations when supplies run out. That some are having hour-long waits outdoors. That health care networks are indeed more sophisticated, with waiting lists, alerts when doses are unexpectedly available, etc.
Much has been said about the approximately-95% efficacy of the first group of vaccines. What this number means is that soon after the two-dose vaccine regimen your risk of infection is reduced by 95%. But remember that in the clinical trials, some vaccinated people did get sick, so there is some chance you will also. And it is not known if vaccinated people shed pathogens if they are exposed. Because a vaccinated person still has some risk of getting sick and infecting others, you still need to take precautions such as wearing masks and limiting contacts.
In the period after the first dose, manufacturer data show that your risk of infection is reduced by around 50%. In the first two weeks after your first dose, there is little protection at all. After two weeks the first dose efficacy increases substantially, but manufacturers did not test the long-term efficacy of a single dose. Once you get the second dose, you reach 95% efficacy after about one week.
Remember that when you are in contact with another person, your risk of infection is reduced not just by your vaccination but theirs also, just as by your mask and their mask also. Your vaccination does not mean you can take your mask off, it means if you wear your mask you'll be much safer. We will be free of Covid when enough people reduce their risk (by vaccination and other means) so that the virus can no longer find hosts to spread to.

Appalachian Community Update Meeting
Wednesday, February 10 @ 11-12 PM

The Appalachian Community Update meeting is designed to discuss cultural, historical, and current events focusing on the Appalachian heritage. The meeting will serve as a way to share information and provide support for the community and educational initiatives. Students, faculty, staff, and community members are invited to attend.

Join the Zoom meeting at

Meeting ID: 835 7399 9405  
Passcode: 950360  

Submit your work to the Northern Appalachia Review
Accepting Submissions beginning January 1st, 2021-February 28th, 2021 

The Northern Appalachia Review welcomes submissions of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction written about, representing, or engaging with the experience of living in or being from what we define in our mission statement as northern Appalachia. We at the Review believe that this region, while part of greater Appalachia, is also distinct in its culture, its cultural landscape, and, as a result, its literature. As such, we seek to publish writers whose work contributes to establishing a voice and literary identity for northern Appalachia, exemplifies the region and its nuanced culture, and/or furthers the ever-evolving definition of Appalachia as a whole. 

Northern Appalachia has a rich past, an ever-changing present, and an uncertain future as we inch toward a post-pandemic world. Volume 2 of the Northern Appalachia Review seeks submissions that explore how the region has undergone transformations in both the recent and distant past in its landscape, ecosystems, economics, industry, and culture. Amidst these changes, our perspectives, identities, and relationships with others and the region may be affected. We celebrate the region’s resilience and welcome work that explores this idea of transformation and the forces that contribute to it. General submissions are still welcome.

Read more about submission guidelines and deadlines HERE.

New Limestone Review & Potluck

First Place wins $500, Second Place wins $250. FREE ENTRY January 15 - February 15. 

Want to learn more? Vsit us at or follow us on Facebook!

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Urban Appalachian Community Coalition · 5829 Wyatt Ave · Cincinnati, OH 45213-2122 · USA

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