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At Kentucky Children's Hospital, our dedicated staff and advanced technology work hand-in-hand to serve you.
As an integral part of UK HealthCare, Kentucky Children's Hospital consolidates our extensive array of comprehensive pediatric services
under one roof.
At Kentucky Children's Hospital, it's the people that make our healing environment one-of-a-kind. Doctors, nurses and other health care professionals work as a team to treat and to heal this region's children. Since its inception, Kentucky Children's Hospital has greatly benefited from a community of generous donors. It's through their support that the children's hospital continues to grow and flourish.
But don't just take our word for it, experience it yourself by viewing the video above. And, thank you to our gracious donors for their unwavering support of Kentucky Children's Hospital.
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A prenatal ultrasound revealed a bowel blockage, neonatal surgery was the answer.
Learn about the children like Jeffrey Clemons who found hope and help at Kentucky Children's Hospital.
Expert Dr. Jaime Pittenger, at Kentucky Children's Hospital, Talks About Child Abuse Prevention - 04/18/2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 28, 2015) — Carrying a baby with a fatal heart condition, Morgan Drury was presented with a devastating picture of how her pregnancy might end. As soon as her fragile daughter received the gift of life, it would almost certainly be stripped away.
When Drury was nine weeks pregnant, a genetic test detected an abnormal chromosome in her baby Alex’s genetic makeup. Additional tests conducted at 12 weeks confirmed the genetic disorder caused a heart defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome. In nine out of 10 cases, the condition is fatal.
After first coming to Kentucky Children’s Hospital, the Drury family sought out second opinions from pediatric heart specialists around the region. All returned with the same grim outlook: no medical intervention could save Alex’s life. Because of complications with her lungs, Alex wasn’t a surgical candidate. She wouldn’t survive the stress of traveling through the birth canal, so a cesarean section was the only option for keeping Alex alive during delivery. Doctors also questioned whether the pregnancy would remain viable until the time of delivery — most babies with Alex’s condition don’t survive the first trimester.
“We were told she would eventually stop growing, and more than likely she would be stillborn,” Drury said.
Soon, the Drury family became accustomed to getting “no” as an answer from health care workers. But in the midst of a dire prognosis, Drury couldn’t deny the image of Alex’s heartbeat flickering on an ultrasound monitor. A little heart doctors deemed unfixable continued to beat, and the baby continued to grow.
Drury decided to carry out the pregnancy until 36 weeks — giving her daughter a chance at life, even if that life was momentary. With mixed emotions and instances of self-doubt, Drury prepared for a cesarean section schedule for Dec. 31, 2014. The plan was to celebrate the birth of Alex, and then grieve her passing, before the close of the year.
During conversations with the Pediatric Advanced Care Team (PACT) at Kentucky Children’s Hospital, Drury learned not every question regarding Alex’s fate warranted a negative response. Dr. Lindsay Ragsdale, a KCH pediatrician and director of the PACT, met with Drury throughout her pregnancy to develop a birth plan specific to the needs and wishes of the family. PACT, which consists of Dr. Ragsdale, a pediatric intensive care unit doctor, a nurse practitioner, a social worker and a chaplain, is devoted to guiding families through the process of treating a seriously ill child and, in some cases, the bereavement process. PACT members empower families facing an inevitable loss by giving them options, affirming their medical decisions, and providing ongoing emotional support during the many stages bereavement.
“It seemed like everybody was telling her, ‘No, we can’t do anything,’” Ragsdale said. “I told her, ‘Sure, we can take pictures. We can make this a memory for your family that’s not all about saying no,’ and that was a turning point for her.”
Ragsdale, who completed a fellowship in pediatric palliative care at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, walks through the birth and dying process with patients whose babies and children suffer from a terminal illness or condition. Ragsdale said often families confronting the loss of a newborn baby aren’t fully aware of the opportunities to bond with their child, even if death is imminent. PACT professionals coordinate special services, such as newborn photography through Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, and facilitate opportunities for families to create lifelong memories with their children.
“In my mind, there are always things we can do to make a situation that’s not optimal better for the family,” Ragsdale said.
Early in her medical training, Ragsdale remembers feeling helpless when a grieving mother asked her why her newborn baby was dying. While Ragsdale doesn’t always have answers to her patients’ toughest questions, she’s now more prepared to assist patients in a state of grief. Ragsdale believes patients shouldn’t have to bear the weight of making life and death decisions for their babies alone. PACT members share the decision-making process, so parents are reassured their children are receiving the most compassionate care from a medical professional’s perspective.
In Drury’s case, the PACT plan was designed to keep Alex safe, warm and comfortable until her passing. Drury expressed a desire to hold Alex as soon as possible, so the team arranged for maternal-fetal bonding immediately after the surgery. Ragsdale and Drury discussed the family’s wishes regarding the use of medication if the baby was experiencing discomfort after birth. The baby wouldn’t be bombarded with standard procedures or painful pricks. They discussed whether Alex would receive ointment and what clothes she would wear on the day of her birth. The team also addressed different scenarios and what to expect if each scenario should arise on delivery day. PACT informed Drury’s obstetrics team of the plan, so no question about Alex’s care was left unanswered on delivery day.
“It was a way she could control an out of control situation,” Ragsdale said of the PACT plan. “Parents want to help their kids, and making these plans is a way to put them in control.”
Drury’s only additional wish was to receive some sign of proof the baby was alive. A cry or a heartbeat — something only Alex could give.
On delivery day, Drury, overwhelmed with emotion, hesitated to check into the hospital. Ragsdale, who communicated with the family in the waiting room and was at Drury’s side during delivery, eased her patient’s stress by recounting the plan and describing the goals Drury originally set for Alex’s life. Drury believes having a PACT plan in place helped to create realistic expectations, keep Alex’s care fluid and prevent any surprises, which could have provoked more grief on an already emotional day.
“We were glad she was there because we had built that trust and a relationship,” Drury said of Ragsdale and the PACT. “They are not just there because that’s their job; you can tell that's what they want to be doing.”
The moment Alex was delivered, a sense of relief fell over Drury as she listened to her newborn baby cry. Ragsdale reported Alex’s arrival to family and friends waiting in the lobby, who received the news with joy and relief, but sorrow too. Immediately after surgery, Drury, her 2-year-old daughter Isabella and her husband Russ were able to hold, touch and bond with Alex. Nurses swaddled Alex in a blanket and put a cap on her head.
“That’s the part I love to see,” Ragsdale said. “They are beautiful parents and they cried over her and loved over her and really enjoyed looking at her face, and her ears, and her nose — and just seeing how cute she was.”
With no lingering questions about care or decisions to make in the moment, Drury was able to focus all her attention on the baby. Alex’s heart beat for three hours before Dr. Ragsdale officially called her passing. During this critical time, Drury was granted much-needed closure, which could only come from intimate time with her daughter.
“I just want proof of life — to know that she did live. I wanted her to tell us, ‘I'm okay,’” Drury said. “And she did just that. Then she went on peacefully.”
While Drury recovered from surgery, a pair of butterfly wings was hung on her hospital door to symbolize the passing of a child. Later, Drury got a tattoo of purple butterfly wings and Alex’s footprints as an enduring reminder of the daughter she lost.
“I still dream about her and look at her pictures — she is still my daughter,” Drury said. “But I have that sense of relief that I did what I had to do to keep her alive.”
Now 15 weeks into her third pregnancy, Drury, a nurse in the UK Department of Pediatrics, looks forward to welcoming another child, whose heart is developing healthy and strong.
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, firstname.lastname@example.org
This article first appeared in the Lexington Herald-Leader July 12 edition.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 13, 2015) – As we enter the dog days of summer, when the heat and humidity seems unbearable at times, it’s important to remember steps to protect our children against heatstroke.
Heatstroke, also known as hyperthermia, is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths for children younger than 14. In 2014, 32 children died from heatstroke, and heatstroke deaths have been reported in all 50 states, 11 months out of the year. Since 1998, more than 636 children across the U.S. have died from heatstroke when unattended in a vehicle.
Tragically, most child deaths caused by heatstroke are preventable. More than half of all heatstroke deaths occurred when a busy or distracted caregiver forgot a child was riding in the backseat of a vehicle. One-third of heatstroke deaths resulted from a child becoming trapped inside a vehicle after climbing in on their own.
Heatstroke dangers are entirely avoidable when caregivers take time to observe safety protocols. Remember to ACT against heatstroke through these safety tips recommended by Safe Kids Worldwide:
· A: Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving your child unattended in a vehicle. A young child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult’s body, and the internal temperature of a car can increase 20 degree in just 10 minutes. Cracking windows won’t make the car environment any safer.
· C: Create reminders for those chaotic days. Hang a note on your rearview mirror or make a habit of placing your purse or briefcase beside a car seat. Create an alarm or alert on your Smartphone. Be accountable to someone else for dropping a child off at a daycare.
· T: Take action. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911.
On July 31, National Heatstroke Awareness Day, Safe Kids Fayette County will host an event at Buy Buy Baby in Hamburg to spread awareness of the Never Leave Your Child Alone in a car campaign. The event will take place from 3 to 6 p.m., with car seat checks until 5:30 p.m. In addition to car seat checks, Safe Kids representatives will provide information and tips for preventing heatstroke deaths. For more information about heatstroke prevention, visit kidsandcars.org.
Sherri Hannan is a registered nurse and director of Safe Kids Fayette County based at Kentucky Children’s Hospital.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 10, 2015) — In the Melton household, the reality of fighting cancer was never an excuse to stay home from school.
So, like most second-graders in Science Hill, Kentucky, Kelly Melton started public school in the fall of 2014. Unlike his classmates, Kelly, a patient at the DanceBlue Kentucky Children's Hospital Hematology/Oncology Clinic, went to school with a compromised immune system. A month and a half later, he ended up back in the hospital because of complications with his disease.
Ever since Kelly was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2012, the Melton family's primary focus has been getting Kelly well again. But despite the frequent late-night trips to the UK Emergency Department and routine inpatient chemotherapy treatments at Kentucky Children's Hospital, Kelly's mom Lisa refused to watch Kelly slip behind in his education. When he was well enough to go, Lisa Melton sent her son to school.
"In our home we think education is one of our top priorities," Lisa Melton said. "We couldn't allow him to not take his education seriously."
For nearly two years of Kelly's treatment, Lisa Melton was responsible for communicating with the school system about Kelly's missed days and coordinating at-home learning opportunities. In addition to taking care of a young child and managing doctor's appointments, Melton was tasked with meeting with school administrators and filing paperwork for special learning accommodations for her son. Now, a new program at the DanceBlue Clinic, which is funded in part by the DanceBlue Marathon and the nonprofit Cowboy Up for a Cure, provides a school intervention specialist to serve as a liaison between educators and the medical teams and families of children who must miss school to fight cancer.
With many families needing assistance with education during a child's cancer treatment, the DanceBlue Clinic introduced the Providing Assistance With School (PAWS) program in August 2014. Courtney White, a certified K-12 teacher who has taught general education as well as special education, was the first interventionist hired with PAWS.
White performs multiple roles, including individualizing academic programs for children unable to attend traditional school hours, communicating with doctors about the learning capabilities of each child, teaching educators in the school system about how cancer treatment interferes with a child's daily life, and working with families to ensure a child remains engaged in learning activities at the home, hospital or school. White accommodates children who are physically unable to attend school on a regular basis by arranging for Homebound, a state-funded program permitting students to progress academically at home with two visits per week from a certified teacher.
"With Courtney helping us, he could have Homebound on a more consistent basis," Lisa Melton said. "As a parent, you don't always know these things. You are so wrapped up in getting your child well that some things fall behind."
Before accepting the job with PAWS, White served as a volunteer for the Kentucky Children's Hospital pediatric oncology survivors' picnic and attended a couple DanceBlue marathons. She remembers crying through her first DanceBlue Marathon.
"I was just in awe over the commitment of the students and their willingness to make a difference," White said of her first DanceBlue experience. "The support of DanceBlue makes me want to be in this position — I know I am not alone in this job."
As part of her position, White advocates at the state legislative level for laws accommodating at-home education for pediatric oncology patients. White is pushing to reform laws to increase the number of Homebound instructional hours to five per week for children who are receiving education at home due to illness. She would like to see laws allowing children who miss school for serious illness to have the opportunity to make up more lost hours through Homebound sessions. Currently, in all Kentucky jurisdictions, missed days at school cannot be made up through Homebound, even when a child misses school as a result of the cancer treatment process.
White also assists children with re-integrating back into the school system once their treatment period has come to an end. Chemotherapy and other medications during cancer treatment can stall a child's cognitive development long-term. White can help recommend special education for children encountering learning disabilities.
Dr. Lars Wagner, the chief of pediatric oncology and hematology at Kentucky Children's Hospital, said White's position and the PAWS program was only possible through fundraising efforts of students and the local community. The PAWS program widens the scope of services provided to families at the DanceBlue Clinic. Wagner said offering this kind of specialized service to patients puts the DanceBlue Clinic on par with some of the top pediatric oncology centers in the country.
"Many parents don’t understand what could be accomplished in the school system or how to educate their child fully," Wagner said. "The PAWS program adds a more comprehensive dimension to the care we give kids."
According to Wagner, 80 percent of pediatric cancer patients will survive and grow up to become adults. He believes cancer treatment shouldn't cause major setbacks for people at such a young age. With the PAWS program, Wagner hopes his patients will seamlessly transition back into academic environments and leave the cancer journey behind them.
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 19, 2015) — The University of Kentucky's Health Care Committee of the UK Board of Trustees were presented a strategic plan that will guide UK HealthCare through 2020. The committee met Thursday during their annual retreat.
Building upon the success of the past 10 years, the plan continues to emphasize caring for the most complex, critically ill patients in Kentucky and beyond.
Some of the statistics and figures presented that reflect UK HealthCare's growth include:
In approving the new strategic plan, UK HealthCare officials asked for a commitment from its leaders, stakeholders and partners to move forward and achieve its vision by giving latitude for collaborative models, committing to clinical excellence and providing an outstanding patient experience as well as service line integration. From its statewide partners, it was asked for participation in a statewide collaborative that fosters success against the challenges of the future.
"The 2020 Strategy is built on a foundation of patient-centered care and a patient-centered culture that includes growth in complex care as well as ambulatory care; strengthening partnership networks to reduce costs, and increase efficiency; and value-based care and payments which improve predictability of outcomes and cost while adopting evidence-based leading practices," said UK Vice President for Health Affairs Dr. Michael Karpf.
The plan includes developing a cultural change program in order to support the 2020 strategic vision. The program will identify key cultural strengths and opportunities. The goal will be to design a patient-centric experience that positions UK HealthCare to be Kentucky's destination provider for complex care and it will enable staff and leadership to be ambassadors of the patient-centered culture and UK HealthCare brand.
Also detailed in the Strategic Plan is growth in complex care and in ambulatory (outpatient care). As part of this goal, substantial service line growth is needed in the next five years. Additionally, ambulatory specialty care will also need to grow by improving access to UK HealthCare specialists and developing a patient-centered care model as well as partnering with community physicians.
As part of the service line growth, the focus will continue to be on treating the most complex patients and partnering with community providers to keep lower acuity patients in their home community.
Service line areas of primary focus for growth will be the Gill Heart Institute, Kentucky Children's Hospital, Markey Cancer Center, Kentucky Neuroscience Institute, High-Risk Obstetrics and Neonatal Intensive Care, Solid Organ Transplantation, Digestive Health, Musculoskeletal, and Trauma and Acute Care Surgery.
Clinical and support services that UK HealthCare will invest in to enable growth in these service lines includes excellence in quality and operational efficiency; redesigning the transfer management processes in order to create capacity and treat patients in the appropriate care setting and return them to our community partners; and develop a service line operating model to support and coordinate comprehensive, multidisciplinary care across the continuum and community.
These same strategies will be used to expand ambulatory specialty care.
To achieve this plan, a new service line operating model will be implemented to enable and enhance the organization's strategic initiatives. This new model will incorporate the transition from department and specialty driven care to multidisciplinary, multi-specialty care; episodic and high-acuity focused care to disease and cross continuum focused care; from provider centric to patient centric; from individual physician or specialty care to team care delivery involving multiple specialties; and UK HealthCare management of high-acuity care to collaboration with external partners to optimize site and level of care.
Integrated technology that standardizes data across the organization and enables population health management will be utilized.
Another overarching premise of the 2020 Strategic plan is the strengthening of partnership networks including acute care partnerships, post-acute care partnerships, primary care and community care. As part of future planning, UK will develop a primary care network to ensure a seamless experience across the care continuum and position the organization for value-based care and population health.
The third selected strategy in the plan is value-based care. In order to provide enhanced value for patients, UK HealthCare will develop a "best in class" quality management program.
This strategy includes improving the predictability of outcomes, cost of care, and adoption of evidence-based practices throughout the enterprise across all settings of care.
"To be successful, patient care in the future must be affordable, accessible, coordinated, efficient and high quality with a shift to improving health outcomes and rationalizing but not rationing care," said Karpf.
He added that although a significant amount of time and effort has been invested in developing this strategic plan, UK HealthCare’s strategic journey does not end here.
"We will continue with work in the weeks and months to come to set priorities, develop timelines, and track progress and results."
Media Contact: Kristi Lopez, 859-323-6363, Kristi.firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 16, 2015) — Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear joined child safety advocates at Kentucky Children's Hospital on June 15 to sign a bill aimed at improving safety for child passengers in motor vehicles.
House Bill 315 brings Kentucky’s current booster seat law in line with 31 other states, including all seven neighboring states. The previous law required children younger than 7 years old who are between 40 and 50 inches in height to ride in booster seats before graduating to adult seat belts. The enhanced bill increases the height requirement to 57 inches and the age requirement to 8 years old, the size and age at which children begin to fit properly in adult seat belts.
“Passage of this bill provides greater safety and protection to our most precious asset – our children. I commend the Kentucky Senate and House for their effort on enhancing our existing booster seat law,” Gov. Beshear said.
House Bill 315, which passed with a vote in March, was championed by child safety experts in the Kentucky Injury and Prevention Research Center (KIPRC), the Kentucky State Safe Kids led by KIPRC and the Kentucky Department for Public Health, and the Fayette County Safe Kids Coalition led by Kentucky Children's Hospital. The bill also received support from the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety, safety advocates from Kosair Children’s Hospital, and Safe Kids coalitions, law enforcement officials, emergency responders, pediatricians and booster seat advocates from around the state.
“Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children above the age of 1 in Kentucky," Dr. Susan Pollack, a Kentucky Children's Hospital pediatrician, Safe Kids Kentucky coordinator and director of the Pediatric and Adolescent Injury Program at KIPRC, said. "We know many Kentucky children are saved every year, even in serious crashes, by being properly restrained and protected in a booster seat. The revised law gives parents better guidance for safely transporting their children.”
A properly installed, belt-positioning booster seat lowers the risk of injury to children by nearly 60 percent, compared with seat belts alone, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“The reason is simple: Motor vehicle seat belts were designed for adults, not children. The added height of the booster seat enables the child to fit into a seat belt properly,” Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock said.
Effective on June 24, the bill requires law enforcement officers to issue citations with a $30 fine with no court costs. In addition, violators will have the option to purchase a booster seat instead of paying the fine.
Click here for a link to House Bill 315.
For more information about the bill:
Kentucky Office of Highway Safety
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Kentucky Children's Hospital
Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center
Safe Kids Kentucky
Safe Kids Fayette County
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 8, 2015) — On Sunday, June 7, 8-year-old Cassie Rickerson boarded a Delta Air Lines flight to Atlanta, Georgia, to kick off the first leg of her Champions Ambassador Tour for Children's Miracle Network hospitals.
Cassie, a Kentucky Children’s Hospital (KCH) patient, will join 52 other “champion” children who have personally benefited from donations to the charity and exemplify how vital community support is for local children’s hospitals.
Cassie was selected to represent the state of Kentucky for bravely facing her unique medical challenges and will serve to illustrate the impact of local donations to KCH. When Cassie was 2, she had unexplained leg pain, nosebleeds, bruising and recurring fevers. Her mother brought her to KCH, where Cassie was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). After an aggressive round of chemotherapy and radiation treatments, Cassie is now in remission, and is happy and healthy. She is very devoted to her cheer team and loves her pets, reading and the 80s.
The 2015-2016 Champions program is presented by Delta Air Lines, Marriott International and Chico’s FAS, Inc. The tour includes a gathering in Atlanta, Delta’s headquarters and largest hub. The champions will then be transported to the nation’s capital where they meet with local representatives on Capitol Hill, participate in a satellite media tour and continue to raise awareness for the charitable needs of children’s hospitals.
The 2015-16 Champions will reunite in February 2016 for the final leg of their Ambassador Tour in Orlando, Florida. To learn more about the champions, and for a short video of last year’s Ambassador Tour, visit CMNHospitals.org/Champions.
Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals raise funds and awareness for 170 member hospitals that provide 32 million treatments each year to kids across the United States and Canada. Donations stay local to fund critical treatments and health care services, pediatric medical equipment and charitable care.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 5, 2015) — A resolve to breastfeed her child resulted in many tearful nights for first-time mom Jenny Tzeng. Feeling desperate and alone, she struggled for months to establish a breastfeeding routine with son Jacob.
"It was the biggest stressor from my first pregnancy," Tzeng said. "I cried a lot."
When her second child Jackson was delivered by caesarian section at UK HealthCare Birthing Center last March, the baby was immediately placed on Tzeng's chest to initiate skin-to-skin contact, a technique known as "Kangaroo Care." Tzeng was overjoyed when son Jackson began suckling on his own in the recovery room. Once discharged from the hosptial, Tzeng and baby Jackson received ongoing breastfeeding support through the Kentucky Children's Hospital (KCH) Mommy and Me Clinic.
Tzeng is one of many moms who have succeeded with breastfeeding through resources and instruction provided by the UK HealthCare Birthing Center. By fostering a birthing environment that encourages optimal infant nutrition and mother-baby bonding, the center recently obtained accreditation from Baby-Friendly USA. Baby-Friendly USA is a global initiative sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The initiative encourages hospitals to provide breastfeeding mothers with information, confidence, support, and skills necessary to initiate and continue breastfeeding. The UK Birthing Center is the first academic medical center in Kentucky and the second hospital in the state to gain the Baby-Friendly USA accreditation.
Baby-Friendly USA facilities have achieved a gold standard of care in maternity care practices and education. The criteria for this accreditation is based on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, which were developed by a global team of health care professionals representing the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Nurses, the American College of Nurse-Midwives, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and more. To achieve the accreditation, facilities must demonstrate adherence to the 10 steps, which include routine communication about a breastfeeding policy, informing mothers about the benefits of breastfeeding, helping mothers initiate breastfeeding and in-room practice, keeping mothers in-room with their baby 24 hours a day, eliminating the use of artificial nipples or pacifiers for breastfeeding infants, and providing follow-up support after mother and baby are discharged from the hospital.
During her first pregnancy in Houston, Texas, Tzeng read books about breastfeeding and discussed what to expect with her obstetrician. But her decision to breastfeed baby Jacob was complicated by several unforeseen circumstances during and after his birth. Jacob was delivered by emergency caesarian section, which can sometimes interfere with an important period of maternal-infant bonding known as the "golden hour." In addition, the hospital staff prematurely exposed Jacob to bottles and pacifiers, which hindered his motivation to latch to his mother's breast. Once Tzeng brought Jacob home, her breastfeeding challenges continued to persist. Tzeng was producing a small amount of breast milk and had to pump breast milk for six months.
Tzeng could tell the difference in maternal care when she delivered her second child at a facility that upheld Baby-Friendly USA standards. She said every nurse, doctor and lactation specialist at the UK HealthCare Birthing Center encouraged and supported her efforts to breastfeed her second baby. She felt empowered to achieve what she believed was the best decision for her baby and herself.
"This time around it was such a better experience," Tzeng said. "I think a little encouragement goes a long way."
Many evidence-based studies have shown breastfeeding promotes the long-term health of mothers and babies. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children who are breastfed have a reduced risk of acute diseases, including otitis media and gastroenteritis, and a reduced severity of infections and long-term diseases such as diabetes and certain types of cancer. Breastfeeding babies are also at a lower risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). They are also less likely to suffer from obesity as adults. Moms who breastfeed reduce their risk of ovarian cancer, anemia and osteoporosis. The decision to breastfeed is also economical for every household. All of these benefits are dose related, so the longer a couplet breastfeeds, the higher their protection.
KCH pediatrician Dr. Rebecca Collins emphasizes the numerous benefits of breastfeeding to her patients, colleagues and pediatric residents. Beyond nutritional and health benefits for both members of the couplet, Collins said breastfeeding strengthens an emotional bond between mother and child that will last a lifetime.
"We're teaching moms to act as a couplet with their baby from the very beginning," Collins said. "It's not just about nutrition, it's about bonding."
Extending information and resources about breastfeeding to parents is especially important in Kentucky. Kentucky trails national averages in breastfeeding initiation and duration rates. A 2011 state report cited Kentucky as 48th in the nation in breastfeeding rates, with a 59 percent initiation rate. The national average of breastfeeding initiation is 75 percent.
Gwen Moreland, the assistant chief nursing executive for Kentucky Children's Hospital, led the interdisciplinary effort to transition UK Birthing Center to a Baby-Friendly USA facility. The accreditation, which took two years and several on-site evaluations to obtain, required the entire staff to adopt a new mindset in how to approach maternal bonding and feeding. Even the way the nurses handle and administer formula are strictly regulated to promote a "baby friendly" environment. Moreland applauds collaborative effort of the departmental team in implementing the highest standards of maternal care and infant nutrition.
”Our staff is consistently focused on how to support new mothers and babies," Moreland said. "The goal is to help mothers be successful in providing the best start for their babies.”
For more information about breastfeeding and Baby-Friendly USA, click here.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 3, 2015) — This Friday, June 5, hundreds of patients, friends and family of patients, and University of Kentucky faculty and staff will gather in the UK Markey Cancer Center courtyard to participate in "Expressions of Courage," a creative exhibit celebrating the work of those who have been affected by cancer.
This year's event will feature the creative work of more than 50 participants.
Exhibits include visual art, poetry readings, dance exhibitions, and vocal and instrumental performances by patients, survivors, and friends and family. Light refreshments will be served.
Art displays of survivor contributions will go on display today in the Combs Atrium Building of the UK Markey Cancer Center. On Friday afternoon, Dr. Edward Pavlik will officially welcome attendees at 1 p.m., followed by a few remarks from Markey Director Dr. Mark Evers and Markey oncologist Dr. Edward Romond.
The full schedule of events include:
· 1:45 p.m. - Literary readings
· 2:15 p.m. - Dance exhibitions
· 3 p.m. - Literary readings
· 3:45 p.m. - Vocal and instrumental performances
· 4:30 p.m. - Closing remarks by cancer survivor Darwin Holloway
Markey is currently running two fundraisers that directly support this event. The "Tastes of Courage" cookbook contains more than 500 recipes contributed by Markey patients and staff. The cookbooks are $20 each or two for $30.
Additionally, Expressions of Courage t-shirts are available for sale. The purple short-sleeved shirts are $10 each; the white long-sleeved shirts are $15.
To purchase a cookbook or a t-shirt, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your request.
Video by UK Public Relations & Marketing. To view captions for this video, push play and click on the CC icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen. If using a mobile device, click on the "thought bubble" in the same area.
MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399; email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 1, 2015) -- Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death among people ages 1-44 years. As with most U.S. hospitals, the University of Kentucky experiences the highest number of trauma related hospital visits between April and September.
Traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries are devastating and the effects can be irreversible. Your brain is the “boss of your body" because our brain "tells" our body to do virtually everything. Unfortunately, once the brain is damaged, there is not much a physician can do to reverse it. The good news is that most injuries are easily preventable. This is why we need to use our brain to protect our body and to think before we act.
As the school year ends and summer activities pick up, here are some helpful tips on how you and your family can stay safe during "trauma season."
Always wear a helmet and wear it properly. Whether it’s a casual family bike ride or cruising the back trails on an ATV, you should always wear a helmet. According to the ThinkFirst Foundation, helmets are up to 87 percent effective in reducing the risk for a brain injury. If it has wheels but no roof, you need to wear a helmet.
Feet first! First time! Most diving accidents occur in lakes, rivers or other natural bodies of water. If you are unsure of how deep the water is, enter the water feet first the first time to prevent potentially life-threatening brain or spinal cord injuries.
According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2012 a pedestrian was killed every 2 hours and injured every 7 minutes due to traffic accidents in the U.S. alone. Be a smart and predictable pedestrian. Walk only on sidewalks or paths. If there is no sidewalk, walk as far away from traffic as possible on the left side of the road. Stay alert and don’t be distracted by electronic devices; make eye contact with drivers and be predictable by following the rules of the road.
More than 200,000 children visit emergency rooms each year due to playground injuries, and 79 percent of those injuries are due to falls from playground equipment.
Never leave your child unsupervised on a playground. Make sure the equipment is sized properly for your child: equipment 4 feet tall or lower is appropriate for children up to age 5; equipment up to 8 feet tall is sized for children ages 5-12. Make sure there are guardrails on all elevated platforms and remove your child's drawstring hoodie or jacket before they play to prevent strangulation injuries.
The University of Kentucky Trauma Program and the National Injury Prevention Foundation offer education programs free of charge. If you would like more information or would like to schedule a program, visit us at: http://www.mc.uky.edu/traumaservices/ or The National Think First Foundation at: http://www.thinkfirst.org/
Have a safe and fun summer!
Amanda M. Rist, RN BSN, is Injury Prevention and Outreach Coordinator for the University of Kentucky Trauma Program
This column ran in the May 31, 2015 edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 1, 2015) -- Two-week old Bransen Roberts sleeps peacefully despite the bustle of the Pediatric Clinic at UK Healthcare. When his mother Becky Triplett removes him from his car seat to be weighed and measured, he grimaces slightly and stuffs his fist into his mouth, annoyed at the interruption, but otherwise submits quietly to the gentle poking and prodding.
Bransen appears the picture of health, with 10 perfect fingers and toes that his parents, like so many parents before, counted when he was born. But he's here today to be examined by Dr. Ali Ziada, a pediatric urologist, who will evaluate Bransen's condition and map out a treatment strategy.
Before Bransen was born, he was diagnosed with hydronephrosis, a rare condition where urine backs up in the kidney as a result of an obstruction in the ureter or backward flow of urine from the bladder. The condition is potentially dangerous and can result in the loss of one or both kidneys without proper intervention.
"They way they described it to me was it was like a kink in a garden hose," Becky said.
Early diagnosis and intervention in most instances is key to assuring the best possible health outcome, and hydronephrosis is no different. In Bransen's case, a new UK HealthCare program called The Blue Angels made this early intervention possible.
Becky and Bransen's father Jason are from Manchester, Kentucky. Kentucky is well known for its poor marks on health measures like obesity, diabetes, smoking and heart disease, and Clay County is among the worst of its 120 counties. The situation is further exacerbated by the lack of specialty health care nearby.
UK HealthCare saw an opportunity to fulfill its institutional mission to keep patients as close to home for their treatment as possible and worked with Manchester Memorial Hospital (MMH) to forge a partnership providing high-level specialty care to MMH patients in several areas, including cardiology, optometry, and obstetrics. In the latter case, UK HealthCare set up a twice-a-month clinic where highly trained obstetricians use special equipment to review fetal ultrasounds remotely, in real time, and talk with the patient simultaneously.
Dr. John O'Brien, director of Maternal Fetal Medicine at UK HealthCare, says the program fills a need in a meaningful, expedient and personal way.
"Before Blue Angels, patients had two choices: they had to travel to Lexington for their high-risk consult, or a technician did the ultrasound in their hometown and it was shipped up to Lexington for us to assess," he said.
According to Dr. O'Brien, neither option was ideal, since it meant that either the patient wasn't with him while her ultrasound was evaluated, or she would have to travel -- sometimes a far distance -- for her ultrasound. Furthermore, explains O'Brien, if the patient's ultrasound didn’t answer all of his questions, it had to be repeated.
"It was a burden for the mother to travel, or it was expensive, or both," he said. "And the time spent traveling or waiting and wondering was stressful for the mother."
Now ultrasound techs travel to locations throughout Kentucky with a portable videoconference device, seeing patients whose hometown obstetricians have identified as high-risk based on their own ultrasound technology.
The briefcase-size video system, which includes a camera and microphone, connects to the ultrasound equipment in each location and allows O’Brien to see the ultrasound as it is being performed, guide the technician through difficult studies and communicate with the patient just as if they were in the same room.
"I can talk directly with the patient to explain right away what I see and what the next steps should be," O'Brien said. "It provides a measure of comfort to the mother when we can tell her immediately what’s going on and if necessary we can intervene more quickly, which is always the best option for both mother and baby."
In Becky's case, the ultrasound scheduled as a routine part of her checkups with her obstetrician in Manchester revealed some troubling abnormalities in one of Bransen's kidneys. She was immediately scheduled for a follow-up ultrasound with Dr. O'Brien via the Blue Angels.
“Based on my review of the ultrasound, I was concerned that Bransen's condition was worsening," he said. "I felt it was imperative that we preserve Bransen's kidney function and the best way to do that would be follow up with a pediatric urologist. So I reviewed the information with Bransen's parents and referred them to Dr. Ziada."
"I really appreciated how much time they spent with us explaining the situation, the next steps, and the possible outcomes," Bransen's father Jason said.
Bransen will continue to be followed by Dr. Ziada, who will schedule periodic tests to ensure that Bransen's condition isn't worsening. Ultimately, should the "kink in the garden hose" not resolve on its own, Dr. Ziada might recommend surgery to correct it.
"No matter what," Dr. Ziada said, "Bransen is likely to come out of this a healthy boy."
Dr. O'Brien firmly believes that Blue Angels and programs like it increase access to the highest level of health care for the poor and the rural, both of which are numerous in this state, and therefore promote more equity in the health care system. In particular, by improving access for high-risk pregnant women, the program helps build faith in the healthcare system and reinforce the connection between mothers and their physicians -- both of which serve to maintain good health long term.
"Obstetrics is the most cost-efficient way to invest healthcare dollars, since it helps prevent mortality and improves healthcare outcomes for decades," said Dr. O'Brien. "And Blue Angels is a cost efficient way to bring the highest level of obstetric care to the patient, wherever she may live."
Media Contact: Laura Dawahare, firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 29, 2015) – The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center held its sixth annual Markey Cancer Center Research Day, highlighting the work of UK students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty from the past year.
Research Day provides an opportunity for investigators to showcase their work and also view the work of their colleagues across the campus. Markey researchers are housed all across the University, spanning seven colleges and 26 departments.
“We’ve investigators interested in cancer research from all across the campus coming together to talk about their latest findings and sharing those findings,” said Dr. Mark Evers, director of the UK Markey Cancer Center. “We’re seeing new collaborations being formed through this day, and overall it’s just a wonderful event that brings researchers together.”
UK College of Pharmacy graduate student Sherif El-Refai, who presented a poster for the first time at Research Day this year, echoed Evers’ sentiment.
“This is the best way to get a feel for the research being done all across campus, and to find collaborators interested in the same subjects that you are,” El-Refai said, noting that he’d already met several professors and statisticians to collaborate with in the future.
This year’s event featured 122 posters; oral presentations from a current medical student, two graduate students, and one postdoctoral fellow; and faculty oral presentations from Ellen Hahn, the Marcia A. Dake Endowed Professor in the UK College of Nursing, and Dr. John D’Orazio, Drury Pediatric Research Endowed Chair in the UK Department of Pediatrics.
Dr. Edward Romond, breast oncologist at Markey, was honored for his years of breakthrough research and stellar patient care with a lifetime achievement award from the Markey Cancer Foundation.
Additionally, Evers presented his annual State of the Cancer Center Address, highlighting major accomplishments from Markey over the past year. Evers’ annual address is a highlight for many attendees.
“I really appreciate the opportunity to hear Dr. Evers talk about the Cancer Center – especially everything we’ve done well over the past year, and also what we need to do in the future,” said Jamie Studts, associate professor of behavioral science at the University of Kentucky and director of the Kentucky LEADS Collaborative.
To finish the afternoon’s presentations, Kentucky native Phil Sharp, Nobel Laureate and Institute Professor for the Koch Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, gave the Susan B. Lester Memorial Lecture.
The event concluded with an award ceremony. Awards were presented in two different categories - basic science and clinical/translational science - for both graduate and postdoctoral fellows. An Overall Winner was honored, as well as a Researcher's Choice Award, based on a popular vote by people who attended Research Day.
The winners are:
Basic Sciences - Graduate
FIRST: Lin Ao
SECOND: Payton Stevens
Basic Sciences - Postdoc
FIRST: Yekaterina Zaytseva
SECOND: Jie Chan
Clinical and Translational Sciences - Graduate
FIRST: Meghana Kudrimoti
SECOND: Kristine Song
Clinical and Translational Sciences - Postdoc
FIRST: Rachel Stewart
SECOND: Swati Yalamanchi
Researcher's Choice Award
MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 28, 2015) — Chance Ridgeway hasn’t stopped moving for 45 straight minutes.
Sweat beads form on the brow of the 11-year-old as he vigorously touches his left elbow to his right knee, then meets his right elbow to his left knee. This jerky dance move is repeated again and again. To his right, exercise partner Chris Brown challenges Chance to pump his knees up a little bit higher.
When the hip-hop song blaring from a nearby lap top computer stops, Chance collapses to the bed of grass beneath his feet. Right now, Chance isn’t interested in counting calories or heeding his doctor's recommendation of daily exercise. As evident by the grin sealed across his face, Chance is fixated on having fun with Brown, a third-year medical student who pushes him to try harder every few seconds.
“It’s a team effort,” Chance said, sipping a bottle of water before springing back to his feet.
Since February, Chance has gathered with about 25 to 30 patients from the UK Pediatric High BMI Diagnostic Clinic every Sunday at the UK Arboretum or the Charles Young Community Center gymnasium to exercise with a UK medical student mentor. The patient-student pairs stretched their muscles, ran laps, performed aerobic routines and played active games during the clinics, which were held throughout the spring season.
The weekly outdoor clinics, or "fun runs," were organized by UK medical students committed to helping pediatric BMI patients incorporate an hour of outdoor exercise into their weekend schedules. Patients were assigned at least one medical student partner before every clinic. Some children set a goal of running a full lap around the arboretum's paved trail, which is about 2 miles long. Other children experienced the delight of group exercise and exercise partner accountability for the first time.
Nazeeha Jawahir, a third-year medical student, introduced the idea of a weekly exercise clinic for pediatric BMI patients after working in the clinic and volunteering with children at a hospital in rural Asia. She realized unhealthy habits were spreading to children in underdeveloped parts of the world, and she wanted to do something to prevent more children from suffering from the dire effects of inactivity and obesity.
She recruited a group of her medical student peers, some of whom already had experience working in the Pediatric BMI Clinic, to serve as exercise mentors to children on a weekly basis. Rather than shaming or forcing children to work out, the medical students modeled physical activity as something fun, easy and rewarding.
"I think we can make little signs of progress," Jawahir said. "I don't know if we can overcome it, but it doesn't mean we shouldn't try. Emphasizing the importance of being active and making exercise a part of daily life can only help them."
Chance's mom Tonya Ridgeway notices her son is more energized when he's engaged in some form of physical activity. Instead of napping, Chance chooses to go play outside, fly a kite or ride his bike. Chance has worked with Dr. Aurelia Radulescu, a pediatrician at Kentucky Children's Hospital, for two years, and he is maintaining his current weight.
"As long as there's a game involved, he's interested," Ridgeway said of Chance.
Stephanie Day knew her son Travis Lowery needed to change his habits when he had trouble with snoring and breathing at night. Since the 11-year-old started being seen at the UK BMI Clinic, he's lost 13 pounds. Travis plays team sports including football and baseball, but the Sunday clinic with the medical students is his favorite event of the week.
"You can tell the kids are so excited," Day said. "They get so involved. The medical students being with them makes it even better because they have a partner."
More than 50 UK medical students volunteered as exercise partners for children this spring. Jawahir and a team of students are working to continue offering outdoor clinics to pediatric patients starting again in August.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 14, 2015) — Keeneland Concours d’Elegance will host the Maserati Mingle Friday, May 15, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the Court House Square in downtown Lexington.
Sponsored by Maserati of Cincinnati, event admission is free to the public and will feature a variety of exotic automobiles, including vintage models from Maserati, Ferrari and Porsche. Food and beverages will be available for purchase on site.
“This will be a fun, memorable event with a number of local classic cars on display at downtown Lexington’s Court House Square,” Connie Jones, Concours co-chair, said. “It serves as a warm-up for the upcoming Keeneland Concours d’Elegance on July 16-19, and all proceeds will benefit Kentucky Children’s Hospital."
Tickets and information for the Keeneland Concours will be available at the Maserati Mingle.
For the 2015 Keeneland Concours d'Elegance on Saturday, July 18, the featured marque is Maserati, in celebration of the company's 100th anniversary in 2014. Supporting sponsors for the Maserati Mingle event include the UK Federal Credit Union, WEKU and Harp Enterprises.
Since the first event in 2004, the Keeneland Concours d’Elegance has showcased the finest in automobiles and the attractions of central Kentucky on the lush grounds of the Keeneland Race Course. Activities include a Bourbon Tour, Hangar Bash and the Tour d’Elegance of scenic Kentucky back roads. Proceeds benefit Kentucky Children’s Hospital to help bring better health care to the children of Kentucky. For more information, visit www.keenelandconcours.com.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 17, 2015) — Bullying, peer pressure, substance abuse and suicide — these are all serious issues voiced by teens in the opening segment of a Kentucky Educational Television (KET) special report on teen health. Dr. Hatim Omar, chief of the University of Kentucky Division of Adolescent Medicine, is one expert featured in the program who is committed to helping teens overcome these issues as they progress toward adulthood.
KET Health's "What Does Every Teen Need?" explores the unique generational challenges confronting Kentucky's youth and offers insight into how parents can support teen health. During the documentary, Omar describes his comprehensive approach to teen health, which emphasizes prevention and the principles of Positive Youth Development. Omar claims three essential components are necessary to foster positive youth development: a caring adult, a safe place to connect with others and a meaningful activity.
The documentary also highlights partnerships forged by Omar between the UK Division of Adolescent Medicine and two rural Kentucky school systems. Through these partnerships, the UK Adolescent Medicine conducts health screenings to identify at-risk teens and provides in-school clinical hours at middle and high schools. The programs have helped improve accessibility to treatment for many teens in Harrison and Lincoln Counties.
"What Does Every Teen Need" was produced by Laura Krueger and premieres on Monday, April 20, at 9 p.m. on KET. To view a preview of the program, click here.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 15, 2015) — Kentucky Children's Hospital pediatrician and child safety researcher Dr. Susan Pollack was recently honored as one of the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department’s 2015 Public Health Heroes. The award is given annually to individuals who have demonstrated their dedication to improving the health of Lexington residents.
Pollack has advocated for injury prevention and safety measures for children of all ages. Her areas of expertise include safe sleeping areas for infants, car seat safety, drowning and fire prevention, teen driving, and head protection for bicyclists, skateboarders and ATV riders.
She frequently assists with the Child Care Health Consultant Program, which promotes healthy child development in safe environments. Pollack is the coordinator of the Pediatric and Adolescent Injury Prevention Program at the Kentucky Injury and Prevention Research Center, and an assistant professor in the UK Department of Pediatrics and the UK Department of Preventive Medicine. She serves on the Child Fatality Review committee in Fayette County and on the state level through the Department for Public Health.
Pollack considers her advocacy of revisions to booster seat laws in Kentucky and work to improve child care programs among her most important contributions to child safety. She thanked the many collaborators in Fayette County and at the Kentucky Department for Public Health who joined her efforts to make environments safer for teens and children.
"It's an incredible honor," Pollack said of the award. "I'm really proud of how much working together has made things possible, even when resources were scarce. We couldn't have done it without each other."
Pollack was selected for the honor with Marian Guinn, the CEO of God's Pantry Food Bank. The two women were recognized during an April 13 meeting of the Lexington-Fayette County Board of Health.
Past winners of the award include the Rev. Willis Polk and baby Health Service (2014); Anita Courtney and Teens Against Tobacco Use (2013); Vickie Blevins and Jay McChord (2013); Jill Chenault-Wilson and Dr. Malkanthie McCormick (2011); Dr. Jay Perman (2010); the Lexington Lions Club (2009); Dr. David Stevens and the late Dr. Doane Fischer (2008); Dr. Ellen Hahn, Mary Alice Pratt and Therese Moseley (2007); Dr. Andrew Moore and Rosa Martin (2006); Jan Brucato and Dragana Zaimovic (2005); and Dr. John Michael Moore, Ellen Parks and Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government (2004).
Kentucky Children's Hospital | Driving Directions »UK Albert B. Chandler HospitalPavilion H, Fourth Floor800 Rose St.Lexington KY 40536Phone: 859-323-5000
Kentucky Clinic | Driving Directions »Second Floor740 S. LimestoneLexington KY 40536Phone: 859-323-5625
Twilight Clinic (after-hours clinic) | Driving Directions »Kentucky ClinicSecond Floor, Wing D740 S. LimestoneLexington KY 40536-0284Phone: 859-257-6730Hours: Mon - Fri, 5:00-9:00 p.m., weekends and holidays, noon-5 p.m.
UK Pediatrics @ MaxwellUK Good Samaritan Hospital Professional Arts Center | Driving Directions »135 E. Maxwell St., Suite 200 Lexington KY 40508