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Better health for Kentucky. Together.
The Institute for Health Innovation (IHI) at NKU pioneers solutions to the health challenges facing Northern Kentucky. We drive change that directly addresses urgent unmet health needs.

EDA Sprint Grant

Northern Kentucky University received a $750,000 grant from the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Scaling Pandemic Resilience Through Innovation and Technology (SPRINT) Challenge. The grant will support NKU’s Collaborative for Economic Engagement, a one-stop innovation hub for businesses and entrepreneurs to accelerate economic growth and recovery throughout the region.

Map of Owen and Caroll Counties

What We Do

Venn diagram with IHI in the middle surrounded by linking community, working together, and innovative solutions.

Linking Community

Building on NKU’s rich tradition of community engagement, the IHI seizes the opportunity to work with communities to change and improve lives by addressing population health challenges. The Institute believes we can solve the biggest, most important health challenges facing our communities by engaging with the people directly impacted.

Working Together

The Institute's focus on working together is a key piece of NKU’s commitment to forging partnerships to address population health initiatives. When we come together, we can uncover breakthrough solutions to our society's most challenging population health problems.

Innovative Solutions

Working with our campus and community partners, we are making investments in health entrepreneurship, innovation, and education. We encourage our community to envision the future of healthcare and help us transform what we do to better equip, empower, and most importantly, inspire health workers of tomorrow.


 Focus Areas


Close up of Collaborative for Economic Engagement sign outside of the 112 Pike St building.

Start Your Business Expo

Saturday August 28
2 - 6 pm
Collaborative for Economic Engagement
112 Pike St & Innovation Alley, Covington, KY 


 Featured Faculty & Staff


Rhyanne McDade

Rhyanne McDade, PhD, CHES  CHHS Diversity Post-Doctoral Fellow   

Dr. Rhyanne McDade was born and raised in Lincoln Heights, Ohio, the First African American self-governing community north of the Mason-Dixon Line. Dr. McDade completed her undergraduate studies at the College of Mount St. Joseph, now renamed Mount St. Joseph University, where she received her Bachelors of Science in Biology in spring 2011.  Dr. McDade then went on to receive her Doctorate of Philosophy in Health Education in spring 2016 from the University of Cincinnati.  While completing her doctoral degree, Dr. McDade’s research centered on social morbidities impacting the African American adolescent population, including illicit drug use, in school bullying and teen suicide. Further, Dr. McDade received post-doctoral training as a 2016 Leadership in Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities (LEND) trainee at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. Additionally in 2018, she completed a 1-year research fellowship at Cincinnati Children's Hospital in the Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology.  Dr. McDade’s research foci included self-management, patient engagement and medication adherence in pediatric patients with sickle cell disease.    

Fall 2018, following the completion of her research-fellowship, Dr. McDade then went on to accept the position of Community Health Program Director at the Health Gap, where she served for two years.  Dr. McDade oversaw program evaluation for all community based health initiatives. Fall 2020, Dr. McDade accepted a Diversity Post-Doctoral Fellowship with the College of Health & Human Services at Northern Kentucky University. While completing her fellowship, Dr. McDade’s work will focus on grant procurement, research, teaching, and assisting with efforts to increase both diverse faculty/student recruitment. Dr. McDade’s background in health education, along with her passion for teaching and social equity inspire her to strive for cultural inclusive practices both inside and outside of the classroom.  It is Dr. McDade’s desire to utilize her professional experience and expertise to further Northern Kentucky University’s mission to promote student centered education and contribute to the civic and social vitality of the region.