University of Kentucky College of Agriculture
Blue To You
KY Women's Health Registry

About Us

Blue to You is an educational series developed for the Health Education through Extension Leadership program. Created by Dr. Leigh Ann Simmons and Dr. Leslie Crofford at the University of Kentucky, the program was designed to raise awareness about depression in Kentucky. While Blue to You was developed with Kentuckians in mind, the information and teaching modules can be used by any extension agent, educator, or health professional who wishes to address depression in his or her community. If you have questions or comments about the program or how you might adapt Blue to You for your specific needs, please contact us.

Leigh Ann Simmons, Ph.D.

Leigh Ann Simmons, Ph.D.Leigh Ann Simmons, Ph.D holds a doctoral degree in child and family development from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from MCP-Hahnemann University. Dr. Simmons is a former assistant professor of the University of Kentucky and held joint appointments with the Department of Family Sciences in the College of Agriculture and the Department of Health Services Management in the College of Public Health.

Her research interests are focused on examining the mental, physical and financial well being of low-income, rural women and their families. She also works to understand health behaviors and decision making during the prenatal and postpartum periods for women. A priority of her work is to develop new models for health and poverty programs and policy.

Dr. Simmons has been published and presented nationally and internationally in the areas of the psychological well-being of rural women, the effects of poverty on health status for rural women, and mental health care policy. She has also been recognized for her research and contributions to the field at UK and internationally.

Dr. Simmons is the recipient of the National Institutes of Health, Health Disparities Loan Repayment Program (2005-2009). She is also a former Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health scholar. She is also working with faculty in the College of Medicine to develop an integrated substance abuse and prenatal care program for women in Appalachian Kentucky.

Dr. Simmons is an active member of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, the American Public Health Association, where she serves as the secretary to the mental health section, the Rural Sociological Society and the Society for the Psychology of Women.

Leslie J. Crofford, M.D.

Leslie J. Crofford, M.D.A native of Nashville, Tenn., Leslie J. Crofford is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and the University of Tennessee Center for the Health Sciences College of Medicine. Dr. Crofford completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Washington University’s Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Mo. After receiving training in Internal Medicine, she pursued research and clinical fellowships in rheumatology at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. She was a faculty member at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor for more than 10 years.

In 2004, Dr. Crofford relocated to the University of Kentucky as the Gloria W. Singletary professor and director of the Center for the Advancement of Women’s Health. She holds combined duties as professor and chief of the Division of Rheumatology & Women’s Health, and a joint faculty appointment in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics. She also serves as director of the Clinical Research Development and Operations Center of the Center for Clinical and Translational Science at UK.

Dr. Crofford’s research interests center on mechanisms that underlie chronic musculoskeletal pain and fatigue. Her specific areas of investigation are in how stress influences expression of pain and on mediators of inflammation. With Dr. Crofford’s interest in women’s health, she is the principal investigator of the Kentucky Women’s Health Registry. This registry seeks to understand all the factors that affect health and wellness in Kentucky’s women. Her research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health and the Arthritis Foundation.

Dr. Crofford’s research has resulted in the publication of more than 150 journal articles and book chapters. She is often invited to lecture nationally and internationally. Dr. Crofford continues to stay active in numerous professional societies, including service as President of the American College of Rheumatology Research and Education Foundation. Finally, she is an active clinical rheumatologist and has been consistently named as one of America’s Top Doctors.

Blue to You

Blue to You was developed through the Health Education through Extension Leadership program made possible by Senator Mitch McConnell with funds earmarked for the University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture, Lexington, KY and budgeted through the CSREES/USDA Federal Administration.