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Hosted by Geoffrey Blair
Community Matters is your destination for the latest news from UK HealthCare’s community engagement program.
March 17, 2014
Join UK HealthCare at the Central Kentucky Heart Walk
The spring walk/run season is in full swing and there’s no better way to get heart-healthy than by forming a walking team for the 2014 Central Kentucky Heart Walk. Sign up to be a captain and join other teams from UK HealthCare and the Gill Heart Institute […]
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Hosted by the University Health Service, your student health clinic
March 14, 2014
We encourage you to drink [WATER] on Spring Break!
Getting enough water is vital for your health. As you gear up for Spring Break, remember that sweating, hot or humid weather, high altitude, and drinking alcohol should signal you to monitor your water intake closely. Learn more about why water is important and the signs and danger of dehydration.
Hosted by Fernanda C. Camargo, DMV, PhD
March 7, 2014
Another high profile horse accident
On March 5, dressage rider Silva Martin, the wife of eventer Boyd Martin, was teaching a riding lesson while also on horseback, when her horse tripped and fell on her. She was wearing a helmet, but hit the ground unconscious and had a seizure. She was flown into the hospital and MRI showed that she […]
Hosted by Rachel C. Miller, MS, RD, LD
February 19, 2014
To drink (alcohol) or not to drink…
According to the American Institute of Cancer Research, studies show evidence that alcohol consumption increases the risk of head and neck cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx (throat) and larynx, as well as cancer of the esophagus, breast in women and colorectum in men. Drinking alcohol also has been linked to risk in colorectal cancer […]
Leading the way for every patient, every time
November 19, 2013
Kudos to UK HealthCare Staff
Working Together as a Team. Senior leadership received the following email: “You never think anything will happen, but sometimes it does. My five year old Granddaughter fell Sunday and my son brought her here. Please accept my families’ gratitude on behalf of your team for the great care and smiling faces we encountered. Everything seemed […]
February 12, 2014
UK HealthCare at Turfland
Starting in late fall 2014, UK HealthCare will occupy the renovated space of the former Dillard’s location at Turfland Mall on Harrodsburg Road. UK HealthCare will be the anchor tenant for the first floor of the building utilizing approximately 85,000 square feet.
Hosted by James C. Liau, MD
Thoughts from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons annual meeting
I attended the American Society of Plastic Surgeons annual meeting this October and had a very interesting time discussing clefts with other plastic and reconstructive surgeons dedicated to cleft care. During this meeting, several thoughts popped into my head: It is a small group nationally, but one that is passionate about and dedicated to cleft […]
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 14, 2014) - A couple of times a week during the lunch hour, the tapping of drums, strumming of guitars and harmonizing of voices trails into the hallways of the Kentucky Clinic and the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital.
Faculty and staff stop to listen at the doorway of an office used as a rehearsal room for The CatsEclectic, a band comprised of UK HealthCare employees. The six-member band plays a variety of pop music and classic hits from artists including Neil Young, The Everly Brothers, The Chiffons and Marvin Gaye, as well as a couple original songs. As part of UK HealthCare's Arts in HealthCare program, the band will perform in the Pavilion A Atrium from noon to 1 p.m. every second Tuesday of the month beginning April 15.
True to their name, the band is made up of a diverse mix of UK HealthCare staff members. Carolyn "Chef Cat" Burnette, who works in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, recruited members of the band when she was organizing a flash mob around Christmas. The band started out with Burnette on guitar and two of her department co-workers, Kim “Sugar Cat” Pugh and Teresa “Sweet-T” Harmon, on vocals. After sending out a call for band members through a UK HealthCare listserv, Mike “Riff Daddy” Bratcher, an information technology trainer, joined as a bassist, and Glen “Tigger” White, a customer relations specialist, came on board as a percussionist. The band recently added Jimmy “J Flow” Thomas, medical technician and assistant manager in Women's Health/Rheumatology, on vocals and piano.
During their first and only performance so far in Atrium A, Burnette said co-workers, students and patients gathered to groove to the music. She remembers a man sitting with his son in his lap while enjoying the performance. Burnette thinks fun and upbeat music serves to cheer up patients in the hospital.
"It's a chance for us to share some good feelings with the patients and people passing by," Burnette said. "Music is a really powerful thing - words are powerful, but when you combine them with music, it's like medicine."
The Cats Eclectic are looking for experienced instrumental musicians at UK HealthCare as new members. If you are interested in joining the band, contact email@example.com.
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, firstname.lastname@example.org
Both Slone and Schladt have first-hand experience with the organ donation process. They will answer questions about this and related topics beginning 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 15, via the university's official Twitter account, @universityofky.
Those interested in following the conversation or participating in the chat can follow the university's official account or use the hashtag #AskACat for questions and responses from the Twitter chat.
Individuals interested in asking questions about the topics of organ donation, Donate Life Month or other related topics should send their questions to twitter.com/universityofky through 3 p.m. April 15, or to the UK Facebook page prior to 2 p.m., April 15. Responses to questions will be shared with the university's Twitter followers and those following the hashtag #AskACat.
UK's transplant program is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and is one of only two transplant programs in the state of Kentucky. Founded in 1987, KODA is dedicated to saving lives through organ and tissue donation and transplantation. KODA was formed to establish a statewide educational and procurement network. For more information on the organization or to learn how to become an organ donor, visit www.kyorgandonor.org.
UK will present its next #AskACat Twitter chat June 17.
MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; email@example.com
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (April 11, 2014) – Dr. Jayakrishna Ambati, professor and vice chair of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences in the University of Kentucky College of Medicine has been named one of 14 recipients of the 2014 SEC Faculty Achievement Awards. The annual awards recognize a faculty member from every SEC university who demonstrates outstanding records of teaching, research and scholarship.
To be eligible for the SEC Faculty Achievement Award, a professor must be a teacher or scholar at an SEC university; have achieved the rank of full professor at an SEC university; have a record of extraordinary teaching; and a record of scholarship that is recognized nationally and/or internationally.
Since Ambati's arrival at UK in 2001, he has made significant contributions to the University as a teacher, physician-scientist, and researcher. His published studies appear in top-tier journals such as, Cell, Nature, and the New England Journal of Medicine. On a national and international level, Ambati and his team are perhaps most noted for groundbreaking discoveries and contributions to the body of knowledge related to Age Related Macular Degeneration.
Ambati's research has led to numerous coveted physician-scientist awards such as the Doris Duke Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Translational Research Clinical Scientist Award, the Ellison Medical Foundation Senior Scholar in Aging, the Prix Soubrane de la Recherehe en Ophthalmalogie in Paris, France, for his contributions to research in age-related macular degeneration, and the Mark Brothers Award from the Indiana University School of Medicine. Additionally, he was recently inducted as a member of Club Jules Gonin, which is regarded as the most exclusive society of retina physicians and surgeons in the world.
“The 2014 SEC Faculty Achievement Award winners are some of our nation’s most accomplished instructors, researchers and scholars,” said Dr. Jay Gogue, President of Auburn University and President of the Southeastern Conference. “It is my great pleasure to preside over an intercollegiate athletics conference that not only recognizes their work, but strives to support it as well.”
SEC Faculty Achievement Award winners receive a $5,000 honorarium from the Southeastern Conference and become his or her university’s nominee for the SEC Professor of the Year Award. The SEC Professor of the Year, to be named later this month, receives an additional $15,000 honorarium and will be recognized at the SEC Spring Meetings in May and the SEC Symposium in September.
SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said, “These 14 professors positively represent the breadth and depth of education in the Southeastern Conference, and I want to congratulate each of them. The commitment to their students, universities and communities is truly commendable.”
Selected by a committee of SEC Provosts, the SEC Faculty Achievement Awards and the SEC Professor of the Year Award are part of SECU, the academic initiative of the Southeastern Conference, which sponsors, supports and promotes collaborative higher education programs and activities involving administrators, faculty and students at its 14 member universities.
Below is a complete list of the 2014 SEC Faculty Achievement Award recipients.
UK Media Contact: Ann Blackford, firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 11, 2014) − Sarah Martin, has been awarded the prestigious Mary McMillan Scholarship from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). Martin, who is from Lexington, is a student in the University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences Doctor of Physical Therapy program.
“I'm thankful to the APTA for the Mary McMillan Scholarship,” Martin said. “I am so appreciative of the UK Physical Therapy program for nominating me for the award. It is an excellent program, and I’m excited to be able to represent the University as a student member of the APTA and as an award recipient.”
The Mary McMillan Scholarship Award recognizes students who exhibit superior scholastic ability and potential for future professional contribution. Awards are made on a competitive basis. Recipients are selected on the basis of the following criteria: superior scholastic performance, past productivity, evidence of potential contribution to physical therapy, and service to the APTA.
Martin received her doctorate degree in anatomy and neurobiology from UK in 2008 and entered the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program in August 2011. She is expected to graduate with her DPT degree in August 2014 with honors. She received the UK College of Health Sciences Academic Excellence Scholarship this year, and she was selected for the Kentucky Physical Therapy Association All-Academic Team this year as well. She currently maintains a 3.9 GPA in her major.
“Sarah’s competence has been demonstrated consistently and with high quality in her lab practical examinations and in her clinical rotations,” said Anne L. Harrison, director of professional studies for the Division of Physical Therapy. “She excels in her understanding of the didactic material, as well as in being able to translate head to hands in the psychomotor domain.”
Martin is one of only five students nationally to receive this $5,000 scholarship. She will be recognized during the APTA’s NEXT Conference and Exposition, June 11 through 14 in Charlotte, N.C.
Media Contact: Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 14, 2014) − Dr. Thomas Young, a University of Kentucky College of Medicine professor of pediatrics, had dreams from a young age of emulating Albert Schweitzer, an early 1900s medical missionary.
Thanks to a group comprised of UK employees and students and Lexington-area medical professionals, Young is closer to those dreams, while making life better for kids with disabilities in India.
In 2002, Young started Shoulder to Shoulder Global (STSG), which sent UK faculty and students to a clinic in Ecuador. Now, the organization is expanding its reach into Mayasandra, a rural Indian village.
Young and UK pediatric pulmonologist Dr. Mike Anstead were instrumental in establishing a Mayasandra clinic that is dedicated to kids with disabilities. The clinic, which the STSG group hopes to travel to annually after its first exploratory trip there in 2009, is staffed year-round, even when the Lexington professionals aren’t there.
Thirteen medical professionals and students traveled to Mayasandra during spring break as part of a multidisciplinary approach to diagnosing and treating Indian children with special healthcare needs. Physical therapists, special educators, a speech and language therapist and pediatric residents were all involved this year.
A “local champion” is necessary for these types of projects, Young said, and the STSG group found that person in Dr. M.N. Subramanya, a retired surgeon originally from Mayasandra, whose son-in-law, Dr. Harohalli Shashidhar, used to be a UK physician. Among help from Young, Anstead, Subramanya and Shashidhar, along with other STSG donations, the Mayasandra clinic was able to establish itself and purchase a van used to provide transportation to the clinic for children from 16 surrounding villages.
Although kids with disabilities were not the Mayasandra project’s original focus, Young realized during the 2009 exploratory trip, where his group saw 500 children, that the village had unfulfilled needs.
“After we saw all those kids, we all noticed the same thing,” Young said. “We saw all these kids with disabilities getting no service. I didn’t envision all this when I first started. You learn and make mistakes, and try to get better next time.”
Now, a multidisciplinary approach is being taken into Mayasandra. The Lexington community can pull from a variety of professions, and bring those talents to the village.
That approach, which allows physical therapists to work with special educators or speech therapists with medical school students in unprecedented ways, allows for an educational component for students, too.
“You’re never going to be operating on an island,” said UK medical student Justin Penticuff, who traveled to Mayasandra this year. “You’re always going to need to work with the whole team.”
Working with an entire interdisciplinary team is one part of the equation; getting real-world experience in an environment very different from what they’re used to is something else students can take away from the STSG program in India.
“We have to be able to come up with ideas for people who don’t have access to specialty things,” said Erin Sieberkrob, a UK physical therapy student on the trip. “It’s our job as healthcare providers to accommodate them and give them ideas of what they can do. That’s something important we learned just being in India.”
The program still has room to grow. Those involved want to build a new clinic in Mayasandra, which would require about $75,000. They want to hire a certified teacher at the clinic year-round. And building vocational programs at the clinic to help teach kids necessary skills is also a dream of STSG’s.
If interested in donating to STSG and its efforts in India, contact Dr. Thomas Young at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 10, 2014) − Chlodys Johnstone, a University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences Physician Assistant Studies student, has been invited to present at the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) 2014 Forum.
Johnstone, UKPAS Class of 2014, will present at the forum, which will be held in Boston in late May. She is one of only a handful of physician assistant students across the nation whose academic projects were selected for presentation. Her work titled, "Provider Plan of Care Practices for the Obese Patient in the Primary Care Setting,” was selected for poster presentation at this year’s national AAPA forum, which is held annually and is considered one of two seminal conferences for the physician assistant profession.
"I am excited not only to have the opportunity to present my research, but also to have the experience of going to the national AAPA conference," Johnstone said.
Kevin M. Schuer, who is an assistant professor for UK’s PA program, has been Johnstone’s faculty advisor on the project. Schuer said he has been impressed with her since her arrival as a new PA student in 2011.
“Chlodys has been a very high achieving student since day one," Schuer said. "Her work ethic, dedication and commitment to excellence on a daily basis are inspiring to both her peers, as well as to our faculty. We are very proud of her accomplishments and are equally thrilled that Chlodys is being recognized nationally for her work. She is a wonderful ambassador of our program and profession.”
Johnstone’s work analyzed primary care clinician’s plan of care and documentation of weight loss interventions for obese patients. Her examination reviewed whether or not providers who see obese patients utilize validated and evidence-based weight management interventions developed by the United States Preventive Services Task Force. Her study findings will help primary care providers understand what is currently being done to help patients manage weight loss, as well as identify areas of provider plan of care improvement.
Media Contact: Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 4, 2014) - A community's physical environment and social dynamics, such as the amount of green space for exercise and access to health education, are all underlying factors that impact the health of its citizens. To better understand how community influences health, a new division at UK HealthCare will examine the world around the patient.
Dr. Roberto Cardarelli is leading an effort to develop a national model for community medicine and outreach at UK HealthCare. Cardarelli joined the University of Kentucky as the founding chief of the newly established Division of Community Medicine within the UK College of Medicine's Department of Family and Community Medicine in 2013. Cardarelli was also appointed as the director of the Kentucky Ambulatory Practice-Based Research Network. The Division of Community Medicine seeks to understand and ultimately influence public health outcomes in Kentucky through education, collaborative research and community partnerships.
"The wellness of the patient doesn’t occur in the clinic - it occurs within the context of their community," Cardarelli said. "Community medicine is an effort to understand and partner with community-based organizations to identify the social determinants of health."
Last fall, Cardarelli and health care leaders across campus and Kentucky were tasked to define community medicine, taking into account historical interpretations of this branch of medicine and recent changes in the health care system. They also strategized objectives based on the four pillars of the program: administration, education, research and community service.
Cardarelli, who previously served as director of the Primary Care Research Center at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, said the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has led to a renewed interest nationally in disease prevention, intervention and management in vulnerable populations. Carol Hustedde, director of Community Medicine Education for the division, has led the division's work contributing educational content for medical students.
Other efforts have included providing consultation services to community health projects around the country, developing partnerships with local health organizations and seeking grants to support public health research projects. Cardarelli has consulted as an expert and chief investigator for national projects, including a swing bed program in Montana designed to help sustain critical access hospitals. The division is steered by an advisory board comprising health care professionals from across the state.
UK is home to one of the first departments in the country dedicated to community medicine. The department was founded in 1960 by Dr. Kurt W. Deuschle on the premise that health is driven by determinants within the patient's environment.
Currently, the Division of Community Medicine is working to forge relationships with health care providers and community-based organizations throughout Kentucky. For more information about the division, contact Cardarelli at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 7, 2014) -- From yogurts to powders and capsules, probiotic supplements have become an increasingly popular product advertised to boost your immune system and improve digestive health. But with all supplements and over-the-counter products, caution and care should be taken before adding probiotics to your daily routine.
Probiotics are living microscopic organisms or bacteria, found naturally in the human body. Probiotic supplements are made to be similar to the microorganisms that are referred to as the “good bacteria" found in the gut.
Although more strong scientific evidence to support specific uses of probiotics for most conditions is still needed, some studies suggest that probiotics may be helpful in:
· boosting your immune system by enhancing the production of antibodies to certain vaccines;
· producing substances that prevent infection and control inflammation;
· preventing harmful bacteria from attaching to the gut lining and growing;
· and aid in strengthening the mucus in your intestine and help it act as a barrier against infection.
Some of the most common digestive issues where probiotics may be beneficial include:
· Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) -- Bifidobacterium infantis, Sacchromyces boulardii, Lactobacillus plantarum and combination probiotics may help regulate how often people with IBS have bowel movements and may help relieve bloating from gas.
· Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) - Some studies suggest that probiotics may help reduce inflammation and delay the next bout of disease. E. coli Nissle, and a mixture of several strains of Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium and Streptococcus may be most beneficial.
· Infectious diarrhea -- Saccharomyces boulardii and Lactobacillus may help shorten the duration of infectious diarrhea.
· Antibiotic–related diarrhea such as Clostridium difficile (C. diff )- There is evidence that taking probiotics when you first start taking an antibiotic may help prevent antibiotic –related diarrhea. Saccharomyces boulardii and Lactobacillus may also help treat C. diff and prevent it from reoccurring.
Other potential uses for probiotics include maintaining a healthy mouth, preventing and treating certain skin conditions like eczema.
Although probiotics appear safe for most people, you should talk to your physician before adding them to your diet and make sure your pharmacist is aware that you are taking them if you take other prescribed or over-the-counter medications. Studies suggest that probiotics usually have few side effects. However, data on safety, particularly long-term safety, are limited, and the risk of serious side effects may be greater in people who have underlying health conditions.
In addition, probiotics are considered dietary supplements and therefore the health benefits claimed by manufacturers of probiotics are not FDA regulated or FDA approved. This means they are not standardized, and are made in different ways by different companies with different additives and reading the label is very important.
Aimee Adams, Pharm.D., is a UK HealthCare clinical pharmacist
This column appeared in the April 6, 2014 edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 2, 2014) -- The University of Kentucky Chapter of the International Federation of Medical Student Associations (IFMSA) will host the 10th annual Art of Healing silent auction on Wednesday, April 2. The auction will be held in Biological and Biomedical Sciences Research Building (BBSRB) atrium from noon to 5 p.m. Winning bidders may pick up their art from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The auction items feature the handiwork of local and international artists and current students, including pottery, paintings, wood carvings, and accessories. Proceeds from the art auction benefit the Shoulder to Shoulder clinic in Ecuador.
Shoulder to Shoulder, an initiative supported by many of the health colleges at the University of Kentucky, was founded in 2002 with a mission to improve global health. In 2007, the Shoulder to Shoulder Clinic (Centro Medico Hombro a Hombro) was opened in Santo Domingo, Ecuador, to serve indigent populations without access to health care.
Through fundraising efforts by UK's chapter of IFMSA, the Centro Medico is able to remain open almost every week, and special projects -- like new flooring for the clinic -- are possible. Chris Colonna, a second year medical student who visited the clinic this spring as part of a two week "medical brigade," saw the art auction as a vital part of Centro Medico's ability to provide continuity of care to the members of the community.
"Far too often, medical brigades arrive in developing countries to provide healthcare to those in need, but are only able to stay a week or two," Colonna says. "The art auction is one way to help support year-round medical staff at the Centro Medico who can manage patients' illnesses and provide treatment year-round."
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 1, 2014) — Heavy traffic, more motorists on the roadways and distracted drivers and walkers are all factors that have contributed to pedestrian safety issues in three Kentucky communities. In the past four years, 79 pedestrian fatalities and many more injuries have occurred in Louisville Metro, Lexington-Fayette County and Madison County.
Kentucky was one of four states recently awarded a grant from the Safe States Alliance to implement a multidisciplinary model for improving pedestrian safety in these three communities. The grant was acquired by the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center (KIPRC), a unified state and academic agency dedicated to injury prevention housed at the University of Kentucky. In addition to funding travel and training for a six-member team of officials representing the state, the grant provides $40,000 for resources and seed funding for community-tailored pedestrian safety initiatives.
Members of the team include: Alvin Cook, police officer and grants manager for the Lexington Fayette-Urban County Division of Police; Brad Franklin, internal policy analyst for the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety; Dirk Gowin, engineering project coordinator for the Louisville Metro Department of Public Works; Lloyd Jordison, health education coordinator for Madison County Health Department; Brent Webber, industrial hygienist for University of Kentucky Occupational Health and Safety; and Robert McCool, program manager for KIPRC. The team's workshop training was held March 17-20 in Washington, D.C., and engaged the team in classroom lectures based on the Healthy Communities curriculum, live neighborhood safety inspections and open discussions.
"Changing pedestrian safety is not something you can do with one group or one strategy," McCool said. "You have to have a holistic approach. The goal of this is to bring together people from multiple disciplines and develop group plans and processes that we can take back to communities and help them tailor those plans to their communities."
Moving forward, the team will collect data and recruit a variety of stakeholders — from political officials to engineers to concerned citizens — within each community to collaborate on projects. The team will help identify opportunities to improve pedestrian safety that are unique to specific areas of the targeted communities and provide technical support and seed funding for projects. Examples of improvements could include uncluttering sidewalks, integrating walkability measures along roadways, teaching drivers and pedestrians to share roadways safely, and providing clearer pedestrian signage. McCool said systemic change is more likely when many individuals, organizations and leaders are working together.
"A key factor is the need to integrate pedestrian safety with other community initiatives," McCool said. "It's not just a matter of improving crosswalks, sidewalks, roadway design or education — it's all of those things."
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, email@example.com
Lexington, Ky. (April 4, 2014) -- Frederick Schmitt, a professor in the University of Kentucky Department of Neurology and the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, has received the 2014 Mary Carter Award from Down Syndrome of Louisville. The award recognizes outstanding service and contributions that result in improved quality of life for people with Down syndrome.
Schmitt's research interests focus on understanding the basic mechanisms in brain aging and dementia.
While Schmitt's name is the only one on the award, he is enthusiastic about sharing credit with others.
"In my view, this is actually a team award," Schmitt says. "Research like this wouldn't be possible without a terrific group of dedicated and enthusiastic staff or, more importantly, without our participants and families who volunteer their time and energies."
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 1, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging recently welcomed two new faculty members: Anika Hartz, Ph.D., and Ai-Ling Lin, Ph.D.
“These talented individuals will contribute significantly to our knowledge of age-related disorders,” said Linda Van Eldik, director of the Sanders-Brown Center for Aging. "We are delighted to have them as part of our team."
Hartz, an associate professor with a dual appointment in the College of Medicine, comes to Sanders-Brown from the University of Minnesota. Joining her on the UK faculty is her husband, Bjoern Bauer, an associate professor in the UK College of Pharmacy. Hartz holds a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Summa Cum Laude, from the University of Heidelberg (Germany). Her research interests focus on the study of the blood-brain barrier in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
Hartz has published dozens of articles in peer-reviewed journals and has received numerous professional awards, including an NIH Fellows Award for Research Excellence, an NIH Visiting Fellow Award, and the McKnight Land-Grant Professorship from the University of Minnesota in recognition of significant potential for academic distinction.
Lin, an assistant professor, also holds an appointment in the Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences in the UK College of Medicine. Her research focuses on the development and application of neuroimaging techniques to identify biomarkers and assess treatment efficacy for aging and age-related disorders.
Lin was previously a research assistant professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. She holds a B.S. in Radiological Sciences from the National Yang-Ming University (Taiwan) and a Ph.D. in Radiological Sciences from the University of Texas Health Science Center.
Lin has numerous peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and poster awards to her credit, and directs or co-directs grants from such prestigious institutions as the U.S. Department of Defense, the National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Aging, and the American Federation for Aging Research. She was a finalist for the Niels Lassen Award at the BRAIN 2013 Meeting in Shanghai and a CTSA Mentored Research Career Development (KL2) Scholar, University of Texas Health Science Center in 2012.
This column appeared in the March 30, 2014 edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 1, 2014) — Uterine fibroids are very common, occurring in as many as 50 percent of women in their reproductive years and up to two-thirds of women by the time they go through menopause. While many fibroids cause no problems and require no treatment, for some women they can cause serious quality-of-life issues.
What are fibroids?
Fibroids, also known as "leiomyoma," are tumors that grow in the wall of the uterus. These tumors are almost always non-cancerous, but very rarely, they can resemble a uterine cancer, known as a leiomyosarcoma.
Though the vast majority of fibroids are benign, they can still cause many problems for women, including heavy, painful bleeding, bulk symptoms such as bladder or rectal pressure, and frequent urination. They can also be associated with infertility and complications of pregnancy.
What causes fibroids?
The exact cause of fibroids is unknown, but the hormones estrogen and progesterone seem to play a role in their growth and development.
In addition to a woman's age, there are other risk factors for developing fibroids. If a woman's mother had fibroids, she is more likely to develop them herself. African-American women are more likely to have fibroids that cause symptoms, and women who are overweight or who have never had children appear to be at a higher risk as well.
How are fibroids treated?
Not all fibroids need to be treated. In general, fibroids should only be treated when they are causing symptoms described as above. Some symptoms, like heavy or painful bleeding can be treated with hormonal therapy, but fibroids are most commonly treated with one of the following procedures:
A hysterectomy is the complete removal of the uterus. The most common reason hysterectomies are performed is to treat a fibroid problem. With less invasive procedures such as vaginal or laparoscopic hysterectomy, pain and surgical risk are reduced, and patients usually leave after spending fewer than one day in the hospital. However, a hysterectomy is still a major surgical procedure and requires general anesthesia.
A myomectomy is the surgical removal of fibroids from the uterus. This is the most popular option for women who are planning to become pregnant in the future. This procedure can also be performed with a minimally invasive approach. Patients' blood loss is significantly reduced with a laparoscopic surgery, and these procedures can be performed as outpatient surgery; patients can often go home the same day.
A uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is a non-surgical procedure that blocks the blood flow to fibroids, which in turn causes them to shrink. This procedure has no blood loss, it only takes a few hours with minimal recovery time. No general anesthesia is needed and it does not leave any scars. A UFE is preferred for women who are not planning for a future pregnancy and who have not yet reached menopause.
Dr. Driss Raissi is an interventional radiologist and Dr. Mark Hoffman is a gynecologic surgeon for UK HealthCare.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 31, 2014) — Arriving about 17 weeks before her due date and weighing less than a pound, Nyla Jo-el Blessing Doyle was given a 10 percent chance of survival.
With an involved parent and follow-up care at the Kentucky Children's Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Graduate Clinic, today the bright-eyed 1-year-old crawls, babbles and pulls herself up. Members of a multidisciplinary team, which includes a doctor, a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, a speech language pathologist, a registered dietician, a social worker and nurses, are encouraged with Nyla's progress in just a year. Still, they will continue to monitor her development for short- and long-term risks associated with premature birth in the months ahead.
"I look at her pictures now and cry just thinking how far she has come," Katherine Bennett, Nyla's mom, said. "She's a fighter — she has unbelievable strength."
Just short of 23 weeks into her pregnancy, Bennett delivered Nyla at the UK HealthCare Chandler Hospital, and Nyla was admitted to the UK NICU March 14, 2013. At 2 months old, Nyla underwent heart surgery for patent ductus arteriosus, or PDA, a common heart condition in premature babies. She came off a ventilator May 30 and received her first bottle of mother's milk in June. Surgeons corrected Nyla's retinopathy, a condition in which the retina of the eyes are sensitive to light, with laser eye surgery in early July. Still breathing with an oxygen tank and attached to a heart monitor, Nyla finally went home in late July. In August, she attended her first appointment at the NICU Graduate Clinic.
Dr. Nirmala Desai, who founded the clinic nearly 40 years ago, said babies born as early as Nyla are at high-risk for developmental delays, which is why it's important they receive follow-up care at the NICU Graduate Clinic located in the Family Care Center at Red Mile Place. NICU graduates are seen in the clinic at the ages of 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 2 years and 3 years. The follow-up appointments give the multidisciplinary team the opportunity to catch developmental disorders and advise parents on how to intervene.
"When babies are premature, they tend to have unique problems," Desai said.
In the first year of development, the team monitors head circumference to check for proper brain growth and body proportions. They also monitor the child's nutrition, asking if the baby has difficulty eating certain types of foods, and motor development. In the second year, Desai said they will look for speech and language development, as well as red flags in behavioral development. The team makes sure the baby is starting to exhibit the ability to think, function and respond.
Another of Desai's roles in the NICU Graduate Clinic is counseling parents on preventive measures and creating healthy environments for children. She provides education regarding immunizations for children and discourages family members' smoking around children. She said the parents have the ability to help reverse the complications of premature birth by simply being involved.
"The biggest predictor of how well these babies do is their parenting," Desai said. "It's the parents' involvement that makes a world of difference, and that's why we encourage participation. We can have a sophisticated NICU — but we cannot substitute Nyla's mom."
LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 28, 2014) — With school out for Spring Break in Fayette County next week, many families are packing their bags for the beach, the campground, the theme park or another out-of-town location. But even for families enjoying a low-key "stay-cation," Kentucky Children's Hospital Safe Kids nurse Zinnia Robinson recommends the following safety considerations for an accident-free week.
Traveling to Your Location
Long drives in the car can be taxing on the kids. Before getting on the road, make sure children are buckled up properly and young children are securely fastened in an appropriate child safety seat. More than 300 children were saved due to the use of a restraining device in 2009 alone. It's also important to remember that children younger than 13 years of age should always be seated in the backseat of the car.
When driving a long way to a vacation destination, plan for frequent breaks and stops along the way. A child's body warms three to five times faster than an adult's body, so parents should monitor the heat in the car and never leave children alone in a car. Drivers should receive adequate sleep before hitting the road, and parents should think twice before allowing an inexperienced driver to take the wheel. Teens ages 15‐19 years old made up 74 percent of motor vehicle occupant or driver fatalities in 2012.
Protecting Your Skin
Many Spring Break-bound families are headed for sunny skies and white sand beaches. But even on a cloudy day at the beach, the sun can have damaging effects on skin. The sun produces two types of ultraviolet radiation — UVA, which causes sunburn, and UVB, which has a lasting impact on the skin and increases the risk of skin cancer. Applying a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher can help protect against the harmful UVB rays.
An extended period in the sun requires frequent reapplication of sunscreen. Be sure to reapply immediately after getting in the water, sweating while playing a sport or drying off with a towel. Also, wear hats and sunglasses for extra protection and take frequent breaks indoors.
Robinson said a good rule of thumb in hot climates is to provide a water bottle for every member of the family. When active, children around 88 pounds should drink 5 ounces of water every 20 minutes and adolescents around 132 pounds should drink 9 ounces of water every 20 minutes. Severe dehydration can be a life-threatening condition, especially in children. Symptoms include cramping, faintness or dizziness, nausea, emotional instability and high body temperature.
Watersports and Drowning
Riding jet skis and boating might seem like great family activities. But without the proper certifications, equipment and, most importantly, adult supervision, these sports pose risks to youth and children. According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, sports and recreational activities contribute to about 21 percent of all traumatic brain injuries among American children and adolescents. Robinson said children and youth should always wear lifejackets on the water — no matter their age or swimming ability. It's also a good idea to do some prior research on state laws regarding the operation of watersport vehicles.
"The nice thing about our kids is they are so active and they love to explore their environment, and we don't want to stifle that," Robinson said. "We want them to explore their world, but with appropriate supervision."
According to Safe Kids, on average more than 1,000 kids die every year from drowning. Drowning accounted for 70 percent of boating accident fatalities in 2011 and is the leading cause of injury-related death for children between ages 1 and 4. While it might be too late for swimming lessons before vacation, Robinson stresses that it's critical for children who are going to be around water to learn how to swim. For older children, make sure everyone has a swimming buddy and that children are obeying the signage around pools and beaches. Robinson emphasized that no safety measure can replace adult supervision.
On big family vacations and visits to theme parks, it's important to have protocol in place to help everyone to stay connected. Before entering a theme park, mall or busy public beach, discuss an emergency separation plan with the family and designate a meeting place. Parents should make sure children know where to go and who to trust if they are separated in a crowd. Cellular devices readied with emergency numbers can also help keep families safe.
Staying at Home
For families staying home on Spring Break, safety risks exist when children are left alone at home. A parent required to leave children at home during the workday should make sure an adult checks on their children from time to time. It's also a good idea to establish a family password so children can discern whether someone at the door or a caller can be trusted. Ultimately, parents must use good judgment when leaving children at home alone. Discussing safety hazards around the house and having an emergency response plan for children is essential.
For more information about safety for children, visit www.safekidsfayettecounty.com or call Safe Kids Fayette County at UK Children's Hospital at 859-323-1153.
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