Faculty and Staff

Division of Population Medicine

Roberto Cardarelli, DO, MHA, MPH, FAAFP serves as Chair of Family & Community Medicine and Professor and Chief of Population Medicine. Since joining the University of Kentucky in 2013 he has built an academic division focused on population medicine education and research across a spectrum of learners and serves as Director of the Kentucky Ambulatory Practice-Based Research Network (KAN). He received his Doctor of Osteopathy and Master of Public Health Degrees from University of North Texas Health Science Center at Ft. Worth and his Master in Health Administration from the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Cardarelli completed a residency in Family Medicine and a fellowship in Faculty Development at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston. He is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. Dr. Cardarelli is an active researcher in implementation science and clinic transformation research in chronic pain management, lung cancer screening, tobacco cessation, care transitions, and cardiovascular health. He has been funded by NIH and other federal and nonfederal organizations throughout his career. He continues to educate medical students during their Family Medicine clerkship and the UK Family Medicine residents in both outpatient and inpatient settings.

Carol Hustedde, PhD is Associate Professor and Director of Population Medicine Education where she teaches medical students and Family Medicine residents about Community Medicine and Population Health. She has had a career-long focus on the health inequities of underserved populations and has served as Principal Investigator and Co-Investigator on four HRSA training grants that aimed to increase the number of physicians who practice in rural areas of Kentucky and, currently, to train medical students about caring for complex patients with an inter-professional team of providers. Dr. Hustedde has developed curricula that include community engagement principles and content that defines the health care needs of underserved individuals in Kentucky and beyond. She serves as leader of the department's Population Medicine Innovation Team (PMIT) to guide improvements in patient care, especially for underserved populations. Dr. Hustedde collaborates with Dr. Roberto Cardarelli to serve as an academic advisor for the UK College of Medicine MD/MPH dual degree program, and is seeking funding to study innovative care models that will demonstrate improved health outcomes for high risk patients.

Karen L. Roper, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Department of Family & Community Medicine, and serves as the Director of Research for the Division of Population Medicine. She earned her graduate degree in Experimental Psychology from the University of Kentucky and holds a certificate in practice-based research. Her research interests span areas of basic science; specifically the science of learning, comparative psychology and choice behavior, as well as applied translational investigations of health behaviors. She has been the recipient of both federal and foundation funding, as well as receiving private industry support for clinical trials. Her current work investigates functional goals and non-pharmacological treatments for chronic pain, and she is a collaborator on projects with several of her departmental colleagues to evaluate patient behaviors regarding prediabetes care, lung cancer screening, and opioid use.

James Keck, MD, MPH is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine. He holds a medical degree from the University of Minnesota and a Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University, and is a graduate of the Epidemic Intelligence Service program from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He is dually board certified in Family Medicine and General Preventive Medicine. Dr. Keck's current scholarly focus in on diabetes prevention. His approaches incorporate implementation science, lifestyle interventions, health disparities, and population health. He is currently NIH-funded and previously was funded by the CDC. Previous research has explored health services evaluation in Africa and infectious disease epidemiology in Alaska, for which he received the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Innovation Award for contributions to influenza surveillance. Additional research interests include climate and health, quality of care in low resource settings, and deprescribing.

Mary Sheppard, MD is an Assistant Professor in the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Department of Family & Community Medicine, Department of Surgery, Department of Physiology, and Saha Cardiovascular Research Center. She received her medical degree from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and completed a residency in Family Medicine at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. Dr. Sheppard's research investigates pharmacologic management of genetically-triggered and acquired aortic aneurysms. She currently has NIH funding to identify treatments for Marfan syndrome, a connective tissue disorder that primarily affects the aorta, eyes, and skeletal system. In addition to her basic science projects, Dr. Sheppard is committed to improve aortic aneurysm screening and treatment in the state of Kentucky. To achieve these goals, she has founded an Aortic Clinic at the University of Kentucky and works as a Master Educator in the College of Medicine.

Lars Peterson, MD, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family & Community Medicine at the University of Kentucky and also serves as Vice President of Research for the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM). He received his medical and graduate degrees from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio and completed residency at the Trident/Medical University of South Carolina family medicine residency program. At the ABFM, Dr. Peterson leads a research team focused on elucidating the outcomes of Family Medicine Certification, in particular the impact that certification activities have on the quality of care delivered by family physicians. Additionally, Dr. Peterson's research seeks to understand the ecology of family medicine over time–what physicians do in practice and their contribution to high quality health care. His other research interests include investigating associations between area level measures of health care and socioeconomics with both health and access to health care, rural health, primary care, and comprehensiveness of primary care.

Kim Haney, MLS
Research Analyst, KAN Coordinator



Madeline Slimack
Administrative Assistant



Jackie King
Administrative Assistant