NKU Announces Institute for Health Innovation and Selects Dr. Valerie Hardcastle as Executive Director

Dr. Valerie Hardcastle

March 6, 2018- Northern Kentucky University announces the Institute for Health Innovation (IHI), a transdisciplinary center that will further NKU’s commitment impacting population health issues.

To lead the IHI, the university has selected Dr. Valerie Hardcastle to serve in a dual role as the St. Elizabeth Healthcare Executive Director for the Institute for Health Innovation and Vice President for Health Innovation. Dr. Hardcastle will guide the IHI to develop solutions through collaboration and research, serve as a leader in health policy and promote the transdisciplinary work of health innovation across the university. She joins NKU from the University of Cincinnati where she is the executive director for UC LEAF: Leadership, Empowerment, Advancement for Women STEM Faculty and the co-director for UC’s Weaver Institute for Law and Psychiatry.

“We are so pleased to welcome Valerie as the IHI’s Executive Director and Vice President for Health Innovation. The dual title demonstrates our commitment to engaging our internal resources and external stakeholders to address the issues impacting our region,” said Provost Sue Ott Rowlands. “We want NKU to serve as a leader and inspire other academic institutions to take on population health concerns and work to find solutions.”

The Institute for Health Innovation will bring together programs and departments across the university to prepare graduates for real-world challenges. It will be housed in NKU’s new Health Innovation Center (HIC), a state-of-the-art facility scheduled to open in the fall. St. Elizabeth is sponsoring the IHI Executive Director position and providing the funding for the HIC’s Simulation Center.

“St. Elizabeth is proud to once again partner with NKU and welcome Dr. Hardcastle to the lead the IHI. We have a shared goal to make Northern Kentucky one of the healthiest communities in the country, and the Institute for Health Innovation is another step towards achieving that goal,” said Garren Colvin, St. Elizabeth Healthcare President and CEO.

Dr. Hardcastle is an internationally recognized scholar and is the author of five books and over 150 essays. Her research has focused primarily on developing an interdisciplinary framework for understanding mental health phenomena responsive to neuroscientific, psychiatric and psychological data. Currently, she is investigating the neuroscience of violence and its implications for both our understanding of human nature and the criminal justice system. Most recently, Valerie has received research fellowships from the Medical Humanities Program at the University of Texas-Medical Branch, the Center for Mind, Brain and Cognitive Evolution at Ruhr-University Bochum and the Institute for Philosophy/School of Advanced Study at the University of London.  She received a bachelor’s degree with a double major in philosophy and political science from the University of California, Berkeley, a master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Houston and an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in cognitive science and philosophy from the University of California, San Diego. 

“I was attracted to NKU because of its deep commitment to the region and to population health. Health challenges impact so many in Northern Kentucky, and I’m eager to make a difference in the community. I look forward to creating a collaborative environment that leverages the best in our students, faculty, and the community to help solve the big health issues of our times,” said Dr. Hardcastle.

The new Institute for Health Innovation’s goal is to improve population health in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati region using research, targeted health initiatives, policy development and entrepreneurial activity. The Health Innovation Center will welcome students in the fall of 2018. For more information, visit nku.edu/hicinfo.

About NKU:  Northern Kentucky University is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2018! Founded in 1968, we are a growing metropolitan university of more than 14,000 students served by more than 2,000 faculty and staff on a thriving suburban campus near Cincinnati. Located in the quiet suburb of Highland Heights, Kentucky—just seven miles southeast of Cincinnati—we have become a leader in Greater Cincinnati and Kentucky by providing a private school education for a fraction of the cost. While we are one of the fastest growing universities in Kentucky, our professors still know our students' names. For more information on our 50th, visit nku.edu/50.