Food Assistance & Food InsecurityPoverty & InequalityNational Welfare Data Set

In the News

Mission Statement

The University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research (UKCPR) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit academic research center established in 2002. Our research informs evidence-based policy on the causes, consequences, and correlates of poverty, inequality, and food insecurity in the United States.

UKCPR is a member of the Collaborative of Poverty Centers sponsored by the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin–Madison with underwriting from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The other member poverty centers are located at Columbia UniversityHoward University, Stanford University, University of California-Davis, University of California-Irvine, University of Michigan, and University of Washington. The goal of the CPC is to improve the effectiveness of public policies to reduce poverty and inequality and their impacts on the well-being of the American people.


Jennifer Rochussen Havens is an epidemiology professor in the Department of Behavioral Science and holds an appointment at the University of Kentucky Center on Drug and Alcohol Research. She has focused her research on prescription opioid abuse in rural Appalachia, with 10 Kentucky counties ranking in the top 5 percent nationally for HIV and Hepatitis C vulnerability due to proliferation of illicit drug use.

Jennifer has served as principal investigator or co-investigator on nearly 60 sponsored projects since her appointment to UK. Currently, she is principal investigator on three externally funded projects and co-investigator on six others, studying at a range of health issues affecting drug users and public health interventions.

One of her projects focuses on a population of 500 non-injection drug users in Kentucky and employs an analysis of their social networks and individual risk levels. The aim is to understand how networks of these individuals affect risk for infection and better inform intervention strategies to help combat the problem of illicit drug abuse.

Jennifer’s work on this project has led to a variety of peer reviewed publications with her colleagues, in journals such as Addiction, The International Journal on Drug Policy, and the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Visit Jennifer’s faculty page.