LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 24, 2015) — Low back pain affects 67 to 84 percent of people residing in industrialized nations, including the United States, and is responsible for more lost workdays than any other health condition.
While a number of over-the-counter and prescription medications target the condition, non-medicinal therapies, including cognitive therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy, are also effective treatments for relieving low back pain. Cognitive therapy is a type of treatment that focuses on the relationship between thoughts, feelings and behaviors. During treatment, a therapist teaches patients about these relationships and how thought processes can be changed to improve health outcomes.
Many research studies describe the effectiveness of cognitive therapy to improve aspects of health such as pain, anxiety, depression and physical functioning in patients suffering from low back pain. A recent clinical trial found that over the course of a year cognitive therapy administered early to high-risk low back pain patients reduced pain and disability, and increased return-to-work rates.
Despite the known benefits of this therapy, researchers at the University of Kentucky’s College of Nursing conducted a study reporting that only 6 percent of low back pain patients in Kentucky and 8 percent of low back pain patients in the United States received cognitive therapy. Accessing cognitive therapy in Kentucky is difficult because there are few therapists available to administer the treatment. Cognitive therapy has been administered to some patients using technology such as a computer.
Researchers at the University of Kentucky are currently conducting a study that will examine the effects of a cognitive treatment in patients with low back pain. The study will administer cognitive therapy using mobile health technology, such as FaceTime and iPads. Researchers hope to learn more about the factors that impact the effectiveness of cognitive therapy and the effect of this therapy during specific time periods.
Individuals ages 18 years or older who are being treated for low back pain that was diagnosed by a health care provider and have experienced low back pain for less than three months are invited to participate in this research study. For more information about the study, please contact Elizabeth Salt at (859) 433-5393 or email: email@example.com.
Elizabeth Salt is an associate professor with the University of Kentucky’s College of Nursing.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 24, 2015) – The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Foundation is pleased to announce the hiring of Michael Delzotti, CFRE, CSPG, as new president and chief executive officer. Delzotti will begin his new role in early December.
The UK Markey Cancer Foundation serves as the fundraising arm for the UK Markey Cancer Center, the only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center serving Kentucky and the surrounding Appalachian area. The Foundation underwent a nationwide search for their new president and chief executive officer this past summer.
Delzotti comes to Markey from the world-renowned and number one-ranked University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, where he served as senior director of philanthropic resources. There his role focused on two successive $1.25 billion campaigns. He also directed a $60 million campaign focused on discovering novel drug therapies for Alzheimer’s disease.
Prior to Delzotti’s tenure with MD Anderson Cancer Center, he held major leadership positions with Rice University, UCLA and the Special Olympics of Southern California.
“I am honored to have been chosen by the UK Markey Cancer Foundation Board to join them in their effots,” said Delzotti. “This Center has such a distinguished history of providing world-class care for the citizens of Kentucky and producing cutting-edge research for the entire field of cancer care.
“Our number one goal will be to build the relationships necessary to support Dr. (Mark) Evers’s vision of elevating Markey to NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center status. This designation is so important because it means additional advanced research and comprehensive care for our patients and their families. The Center and the Foundation have one focus – to care for the patient and cure this disease.”
In his new role with the UK Markey Cancer Foundation, Delzotti will also serve as the Foundation’s chief development officer, focusing on major gift development and corporate and foundation grants, as well as overseeing capital campaign initiatives and all other aspects of the Foundation.
"With government funding for cancer research waning, philanthropy is critical to the continued success of NCI-designated cancer centers," said Dr. Mark Evers, director of the UK Markey Cancer Center. "I look forward to working with Mike to help support and grow so many of the outstanding clinical and research programs we have here at Markey."
With Kentucky’s status as the nation’s leader for overall cancer incidence and mortality, the UK Markey Cancer Center plays an important role in supporting patients around the Commonwealth. Since achieving NCI-designated status in 2013, the Markey Cancer Center has undertaken several new initiatives in the areas of research, treatment and prevention.
“From the moment the search committee sat down with Mike for the first time, we knew he had so much to offer, said UK Markey Cancer Foundation Board Chair Sally Humphrey. “Mike’s experience at MD Anderson, one of the world’s most respected cancer centers, and his thorough knowledge of healthcare fundraising will allow him to best equip the Foundation to secure financial support for groundbreaking research and ultimately help Dr. Evers and his team to achieve NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center status.”
Media Contact: Kristi Lopez, firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 24, 2015) — Darrell Raikes waved sleepily to his wife as they wheeled him down to the operating room for a routine knee replacement last May.
He woke up in the Critical Care Unit four weeks later.
Darrel had an adverse reaction to his anesthesia and began bleeding into his lungs post-operatively. Dr. Ashley Montgomery, Darrell's critical care physician, had to navigate tricky territory: the drugs that are standard care to prevent blood clots post-knee replacement would also contribute to Darrell's bleeding.
"We like to think that medicine is an exact science, but there often isn't a 'yes or no' answer to a patient's medical problems, particularly in an ICU situation where multiple organ systems are involved and the treatment for one problem is contraindicated for the patient's other problems," Montgomery said. "We talk to the patient, use the best data available and make an informed decision about how to best care for them."
Montgomery and her team in the UK HealthCare Intensive Care Unit were able to stabilize Darrell without compromising his knee replacement by inserting an inferior vena cava filter (IVC filter). This umbrella-like device catches circulating clots and prevents them from travelling to the lung. Darrell was discharged from the ICU on June 29 and felt well enough to run (although Darrell admits it was more of a walk) his first 5K in his hometown of Lebanon, Kentucky, this past September.
Darrell's journey — or "scenic tour," as he says jokingly — didn't end with his hospital discharge. Darrell now attends Dr. Montgomery's Critical Care Survivors Clinic (CCSC) at UK. One of only a handful in the country, the CCSC's purpose is to help patients navigate the complicated and often confusing decision matrix that follows a high-maintenance hospital stay.
Solving one problem often uncovers a new problem, and critical care is no exception. As advances in medicine have reduced mortality rates, critically ill patients fortunate enough to recover and be discharged are suffering cognitive impairment, depression, and/or ongoing physical disabilities, Montgomery said. These conditions, particularly when in concert with complex post-discharge care, often lead to hospital readmission. Patients with comorbidities — or more than one chronic or complex condition — and those from rural areas are even more vulnerable when their hometown primary care specialist is overwhelmed by their patient's challenging care requirements.
"Most doctors are trained to handle one organ system at a time, whereas in ICU we handle multiple organ systems simultaneously which complicates things even further," said Montgomery. "Their post-discharge care can be so complicated and disjointed that these patients often end up back in the hospital."
This, in turn, runs afoul of one of the major tenets of the Affordable Care Act, where hospitals are penalized for patient readmissions within a certain timeframe.
The first CCSC was established in Indiana in 2011 with the goal to improve long-term outcomes, decrease hospital readmission rates and improve quality of life for critical care survivors. Montgomery, who was then in her fellowship here at UK, immediately recognized the value of a similar program in Lexington.
"The population we serve is strongly rural and has a high rate of comorbidities," Montgomery said. "These people struggle to balance their follow-up care, because they typically have a lot of it to keep track of and a long way to travel to get it."
Furthermore, Montgomery explains, rural physicians and other providers who care for these patients back home often are uncomfortable making decisions on how to move forward with aftercare. In addition to seeing the patients face to face, Montgomery frequently also talks with a patient's community providers, advising them and facilitating services that keep the patient as close to home as possible.
"It doesn't hurt that the CCSC is a fiscally sound proposition, but in the end for me it's about providing quality of life for these people," Montgomery said.
Originally, the clinic met once a month but is now several times a week. Montgomery typically sees patients for one to six months post-discharge, but some are followed longer term if necessary.
Being able to see these patients in a non-crisis situation often provides opportunity to ask important quality of life questions.
"Remember," Montgomery says, "that these people were recently very sick, and for many of them chronic illness is a fact of life. To be able to sit down with them when they aren't in a hospital bed opens up all sorts of opportunities to ask important quality of life questions, which then inform our care plan."
Examples include life goals such as "do you want to be able to drive again or work again" as well as "end-of-life goals and how can we make you comfortable?"
While a career path is rarely a straight line, Montgomery's earlier training clearly influences her work today. Before medical school, she had her own business coordinating services for families with autistic children. "It's perhaps overly simplistic, and really obvious, but I learned then that if you support people, they do better," said Montgomery.
It's especially true in health care, she continues. Even with a medical degree, Montgomery felt lost as she helped a family member navigate her care when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Darrell Raikes has been back to the CCSC twice so that Montgomery could chat with him face to face about his progress with physical therapy and assess whether the time was right to remove the IVC filter. At his second follow-up there was a snafu with his CAT scan scheduling and Dr. Montgomery's staff helped resolve the issue.
Eventually, Darrell will be discharged from the CCSC, but he and his wife Sarah will still keep Dr. Montgomery and her staff in their hearts.
"We come to Lexington often and every time we come we visit the ICU and Dr. Montgomery," said Darrell. "What these people did — not just the big things, but all the little things that kept our spirits up during a horrible time — is a blessing to us, and we will be telling them 'thank you' forever."
Media Contact: Laura Dawahare, email@example.com
HAZARD, Ky. (Nov. 20, 2015) – The Kentucky Office of Rural Health (KORH) and the University of Kentucky Center of Excellence in Rural Health (UK CERH) joined the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) and other state/national rural stakeholders to celebrate National Rural Health Day.
NOSORH created National Rural Health Day as a way to showcase rural America; increase awareness of rural health-related issues; and promote the efforts of NOSORH, State Offices of Rural Health and others in addressing those issues. Plans call for National Rural Health Day to become an annual celebration on the third Thursday of each November.
Events recognizing National Rural Health Day and “Celebrating the Power of Rural” occurred today across Kentucky.
In Hazard, UK CERH Director Fran Feltner displayed a proclamation from Governor Steve Beshear during a reception honoring the many providers, nurses, educators and employees who work to assure healthcare is available in rural communities.
“We are honored that Gov. Beshear has chosen to proclaim a special rural health day just for Kentucky that aligns with this important national initiative. This is an opportunity for us to recognize and appreciate those who demonstrate their passion for helping neighbors, friends and fellow community members by providing essential healthcare services to our small towns and rural counties,” said Feltner.
In Bowling Green, the KORH hosted The Rural Collaborative: Kentucky’s First Rural Health Network Showcase, Funding Workshop, and Idea Exchange. The one-day event highlighted the work that has been accomplished across the Commonwealth as it relates to the HRSA Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) Community Based Division grants. Attendees also received assistance in preparing to submit competitive applications for upcoming opportunities.
“It is encouraging to witness the impact these investments have made across our rural communities”, said Ernie Scott, KORH Director.
Approximately 62 million people – nearly one in five Americans – live in rural and frontier communities throughout the United States. In Kentucky, that percentage is even greater, with just over 40 percent of residents living in rural communities. Healthcare for these communities comes in many forms. Kentucky has 68 rural hospitals located throughout the state, including 28 Critical Access Hospitals. There are also 187 Rural Health Clinics and 15 rural Community Health Center grantees with multiple locations throughout the state.
“These small towns, farming communities and frontier areas are wonderful places to live and work; they are places where neighbors know each other and work together,” notes NOSORH Director Teryl Eisinger. “The hospitals and providers serving these rural communities not only provide quality patient care, but they also help keep good jobs in rural America.”
These communities also face unique healthcare needs. “Today more than ever, rural communities must tackle accessibility issues, a lack of healthcare providers, the needs of an aging population suffering from a greater number of chronic conditions, and larger percentages of uninsured and underinsured citizens,” Eisinger says. “Meanwhile, rural hospitals are threatened with declining reimbursement rates and disproportionate funding levels that makes it challenging to serve their residents.”
State Offices of Rural Health play a key role in addressing those needs. All 50 states maintain a State Office of Rural Health, each of which shares a similar mission: to foster relationships, disseminate information and provide technical assistance that improves access to, and the quality of, health care for its rural citizens. In the past year alone, State Offices of Rural Health collectively provided technical assistance to more than 28,000 rural communities.
In Kentucky for example, the KORH supports rural citizens through a number of programs such as the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program, Rural Hospital Flexibility Program, and the State Loan Repayment Program.
The UK CERH serves as the federally designated KORH. The mission of the UK CERH is to improve the health of rural Kentuckians. The UK CERH accomplishes this through education, research, service, and community engagement. The KORH mission is to support the health and well-being of Kentuckians by promoting access to rural health services.
For more information on KORH and UK CERH services and resources, please visit www.kyruralhealth.org. Additional information about National Rural Health Day can be found on the Web at www.celebratepowerofrural.org.
MEDIA CONTACT: Beth Bowling, firstname.lastname@example.org, 606-439-3557, ext. 83545
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 20, 2015) — An ensemble of youth from the Chinese Music, Dance and Arts Program (CMDAP) of Lexington will perform traditional Chinese music and dance at the Pavilion A atrium of the UK Chandler Hospital at noon, Sunday, Nov. 22.
Presented by the UK Arts in HealthCare program, students of the CMDAP will play the pear-shaped pipa, a traditional Chinese stringed instrument, and perform cultural dances, including the popular Taiji Chinese fan dance, which incorporates martial arts movement. They will model traditional Chinese attire and customs. Students from Garth Elementary School will join the students in singing traditional American holiday carols to conclude the performance. The 45-minute show is free and open to the public.
The Chinese Music, Dance, and Arts Program (CMDAP) encourages students to get to know Chinese cultures and develop their interests through learning Chinese music concepts, dances, percussion instruments and visual arts. Eligible students are ages 4 and older and may come from any cultural heritage or background. For more information, visit www.lexcmdap.com.
The UK Arts in HealthCare program strives to create a healing environment for patients and visitors through multiple forms of art distributed throughout the facilities. The program features exhibits from local, international and national artists, as well as a schedule of live musical performances and volunteer opportunities. For more information, click here.
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 18, 2015) — UK HealthCare faculty and staff members will brighten the holidays for children across Central Kentucky by shopping for gifts to go under the Christmas tree this season.
The 2015 Circle of Love gift drive, coordinated by the UK HealthCare Volunteer Services Office, kicks off today with volunteers handing out wish lists for 800 Kentucky children whose families need help during the holiday season. Individual UK HealthCare employees and their families or departments can sponsor a child’s wish list, or multiple wish lists. Wish lists can be picked up at the following locations and times from Nov. 18 to 20, Nov. 23 to 24 and Nov. 30 to Dec. 4:
· Pavilion H near the gift shop: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
· Kentucky Clinic near the Wildcat café (third floor): 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
· Good Samaritan Hospital cafeteria: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Gifts must be wrapped and returned with wish list cards on Dec. 7 or Dec. 8. If your wish list was picked-up at the UK Chandler Hospital or Kentucky Clinic, please drop off at the Chandler Hospital North Lobby from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. If your wish list was picked-up at Good Samaritan, please drop-off at the Good Samaritan Administrations Office from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Donors should not include personal notes, photos or any identification with their gifts. Those employees who work off-site or work evening shifts can request a wish list by contacting Volunteer Services at (859) 323-6023.
“Through the generosity and kindness of our employees, we’re able to make the holidays a bit merrier for families who would otherwise be struggling to put gifts under the tree,” Katie Tibbitts, manager of UK HealthCare Volunteer Services said. “We encourage everyone to get into the spirit of giving to make the drive a success again this year.”
On Dec. 11, Santa will help UK HealthCare volunteers load gifts into yellow school buses and vans bound for households needing help in nine Kentucky counties.
Individual gift donations are also accepted. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 17, 2015) – UK HealthCare has been recognized as a 2014 Top Performer on Key Quality Measures in seven categories by The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health care organizations in the United States.
UK HealthCare — which includes the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital, UK Good Samaritan Hospital and Kentucky Children's Hospital — was recognized as part of The Joint Commission’s 2015 annual report “America’s Hospitals: Improving Quality and Safety,” for attaining and sustaining excellence in accountability measure performance for:
UK HealthCare is one of only 1,043 hospitals out of more than 3,300 eligible hospitals in the United States to achieve the 2014 Top Performer distinction.
The Top Performer program recognizes hospitals for improving performance on evidence-based interventions that increase the chances of healthy outcomes for patients with certain conditions. The performance measures included in the recognition program including heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care, children’s asthma, inpatient psychiatric services, stroke, venous thromboembolism, perinatal care, immunization, tobacco treatment and substance use.
To be a 2014 Top Performer, hospitals had to meet three performance criteria based on 2014 accountability measure data, including:
“Delivering the right treatment in the right way at the right time is a cornerstone of high-quality health care. I commend the efforts of UK HealthCare for their excellent performance on the use of evidence-based interventions,” said Dr. Mark R. Chassin, president and CEO, The Joint Commission.
“Quality and safety is vital to our success at UK HealthCare in providing the best care for patients across the Commonwealth and beyond," said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK executive vice president for health affairs. "This recognition is an acknowledgement of the commitment and dedication of our staff working hard day in and day out."
For more information about the Top Performer program, visit www.jointcommission.org/accreditation/top_performers.aspx.
MEDIA CONTACT: Kristi Lopez, (859) 323-6363, firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 17, 2015) – At age 16, Greenville, Ky. native Emily Austin Rhoads went to get her driver's license, just like any other teenager. When asked about signing up for the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry, she agreed to join without a second thought.
"At the DMV, they asked if she wanted to become an organ donor, and she said, 'Why wouldn't we do that?'" her mother, Martha, recalls. It was typical of Emily's selfless nature.
"She was beautiful inside and out," Martha said.
Last year, a car accident tragically cut short Emily's life at age 27. Honoring her wishes, Emily's heart, liver, and kidney were donated to patients in need of a transplant.
Meanwhile, Tennessee native Becky Hayes suffered from an inherited liver cancer, causing her to spend 15-20 hours a day in bed. She worried she wouldn't live long enough to spend time with her youngest grandchildren.
On Aug. 18, 2014, Becky got word that a matching liver was on its way. After a successful surgery at the University of Kentucky Transplant Center, she recovered well and says her health has dramatically improved.
"It's made my entire life better," Becky said. "I feel like the most blessed woman in the world."
This past Saturday, Nov. 14, Becky got the opportunity to thank her donor family in person. She and Martha – along with several of their family members – attended the fourth annual Gift of Life Celebration together. Hosted by UK HealthCare and Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA), the event celebrates organ donors with a special ceremony and the unveiling of their names on the Gift of Life Memorial Wall, located prominently inside UK Chandler Hospital's Pavilion A.
Every year, the wall is updated to honor both new donors and those who have donated in years past. This year, 41 names were added to the wall. To date, more than 360 donors have been honored on the memorial wall.
“Creating a lasting tribute to those who have given hope and new life through donation has been a dream of UK and KODA for many years,” said Donna Slone, client services coordinator for UK HealthCare and KODA. “There have been nearly 1,000 donors at UK since transplantation began here in 1964. Some have chosen to remain anonymous, but we hope other families of UK donors that we have not reached will see the Gift of Life wall and allow us to add those names in the future.”
In addition to the official recognition of donors, the ceremony also featured a vocal performance by KODA Client Services Coordinator Diana Thacker as well as remarks from liver recipient Amelia Brown Wilson, UK HealthCare's Chief Administrative Officer Ann Smith, and Dr. Andrew Bernard, UK's director of trauma and acute care surgery. Bernard, also the chair of the Donation and Transplantation Action Council, emphasized the importance of organ donation in Kentucky and beyond.
“UK HealthCare is both a major trauma center and a transplant center, so we see each day how donation and transplantation touch the lives of fellow Kentuckians in very remarkable ways,” Bernard said. “Each donor family’s generosity and their loved one’s gifts are represented in the more than 28,000 lives saved each year in the United States through transplantation.”
Every year, an estimated 6,000 people die while waiting for an organ transplant. More than 122,000 Americans are currently waiting for donated organs, including more than 1,000 people in Kentucky. Their names are on the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) waiting list. The level of necessity, blood type, and size are among several criteria that determine who can receive a donated organ. One individual donor can provide organs and tissue for nearly 50 people in need.
Though honoring Emily's legacy is emotionally tough, Martha says that looking for the good that has come from Emily's donations helps the family heal.
"We prefer to remember Emily's life, not her death," she said. "You look for the positive things that you can find. We're happy that other people have been able to benefit from this."
Becky says that the gift she received has given her a second chance at life – she and her husband had planned to go to Paris for an anniversary trip that was cancelled when she became ill. Next year, they have plans to finally take that trip, an opportunity that seemed unthinkable five years ago. Attending the ceremony with Martha gave her a chance to show her profound thanks.
"She saved my life, and I'm so beholden to [Emily and the Rhoads family]," Becky said. "I wanted to honor her – she gave me the gift of life, and how can you thank anyone for that?"
Although hospitals are obligated by law to identify potential donors and allow the organ donor procurement program to inform families of their right to donate, anyone can sign up to become an organ donor by joining the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry. The registry is a safe and secure electronic database where a person’s wishes regarding donation will be carried out as requested.
To join the registry, visit www.donatelifeky.org or sign up when you renew your driver’s license. The donor registry enables family members to know that you chose to save and enhance lives through donation. Kentucky’s “First Person Consent” laws mean that the wishes of an individual on the registry will be carried out as requested.
If your loved one was an organ donor at UK Chandler Hospital and you would like to have him or her honored on the Gift of Life wall in the future, contact the KODA office at UK HealthCare at (859) 323-7343.
MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 17, 2015) — Many people think there's never been a darker time for Alzheimer's disease (AD).
There's no cure, they point out. The field is littered with treatment failures; the last time the FDA approved a drug to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease was 2003.
Dr. Ronald Petersen is adamant that this is wrong-headed thinking. "We learn even in failure," he said, "and we know more than ever before about how and when the AD disease process begins."
Petersen is the director of the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer's Disease Center and the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging, a population-based study of aging with a cohort of more than 2,800 men and women. The study generates a massive amount of data that might help tease out the causes, markers and subtle signs of AD.
Petersen is coming to UK as the keynote speaker for the community session of the fifth annual Sanders-Brown Center on Aging's Markesbery Symposium on Nov. 21 to reinforce the idea that there is hope.
He will bring with him a clip from the documentary "Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me." Petersen has helped care for the country music star since he was diagnosed with AD in 2011.
"Glen Campbell's situation is a terrific example of both how frustrating and confusing AD can be, but also how the support of family and others can make the best of a bad situation," said Petersen, who is professor of Neurology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
The title of Petersen's presentation for the Markesbery Symposium's community session is "How early can we diagnose Alzheimer's disease?" In addition to the Glen Campbell clip, he'll share the story of a 53-year old woman recently diagnosed with AD.
"We've made great strides in the last decade or so, and are now able to detect the disease earlier than we formerly could," said Petersen. "While we currently have very little in the form of drug therapies to treat AD once it's diagnosed, we still encourage an early diagnosis to allow for lifestyle modifications and planning for the future."
The research community is focused on biomarkers as a means to that end. Biomarkers are biological hallmarks of disease: the urine contains hints that a patient has diabetes, for example, or the blood can tell someone whether they perhaps have prostate cancer.
(Sanders-Brown researchers have also been looking into biomarkers for AD. For the story click here)
Identifying AD's current biomarkers — amyloid and tau — require advanced imaging techniques or lumbar punctures for an accurate diagnosis. The hope, says Petersen, is that a simpler test — blood or urine, perhaps — will be developed to reveal changes in the brain before irreversible cognitive decline has begun.
Also on Saturday, a research highlights session with moderator Fred Schmitt and researchers from Sanders-Brown: Erin Abner, Steve Scheff, Donna Wilcock, and Greg Jicha — will present the latest findings on research into age-related dementias and answer questions from the audience.
On Friday, Nov. 20 is the Markesbery Symposium's scientific session, with a poster presentation and a keynote address by Dr. Sam Gandy, Ph.D., of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, who will discuss new concepts in the development of therapeutics for AD. Sanders-Brown researchers Steve Estus, Elizabeth Head, Mark Lovell, and Dick Kryscio will also discuss their research at the session. Petersen will be presenting as well.
"We are fortunate to have accomplished scientists like Drs. Petersen and Gandy here to complement the work of our own researchers for this very important weekend," said Linda Van Eldik, Ph.D., director of the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging. "The Markesbery Symposium has traditionally been a time when researchers convene to share their ideas about the diagnosis and treatment of age-related dementias like Alzheimer's disease, and from those conversations often come new collaborations and meaningful progress."
Both sessions are free and open to the public, however, registration is required. For more information on registration call (859) 323-6040, email Paula.Thomason@uky.edu, or go to http://www.centeronaging.uky.edu
Scientific session: Nov. 20, 2015
11 a.m.- 4 p.m.
University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital Pavilion A auditorium
Community session: Nov. 21, 2015
8:30 a.m. - noon
Lexington Convention Center Bluegrass Ballroom
(Free breakfast provided)
The symposium is named in honor and memory of the late Dr. William R. Markesbery, founding director of the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease Center at UK. Dr. Markesbery’s legacy of groundbreaking research at the Center on Aging has formed the bedrock for the quest to understand and treat Alzheimer’s disease and to improve the quality of life of the elderly.
The Sanders‐Brown Center on Aging (SBCoA) was established in 1979, and received funding as one of the original ten National Institutes of Health Alzheimer’s Disease Centers in 1985. Internationally acclaimed, the SBCoA is recognized for its contributions to the fight against brain diseases associated with aging.
Media Contact: Laura Dawahare, Laura.Dawahare@uky.edu, (859) 257-5307
LEXINGTON, Ky (Nov. 16, 2015) – Analia Loria, assistant professor of pharmacology and nutritional sciences at the University of Kentucky, will be a featured presenter at the First Physiology and Gender Conference organized by the American Physiological Society this week.
At the conference, Loria will be discussing her research on the susceptibility of rodents to develop cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome in adulthood after being exposed to high-stress situations early in life. Loria utilizes animal models to study the effects in the cardiovascular system to mimic children that have been exposed to psychosocial stresses such as abuse, neglect, parental loss and other traumas. The stress, in addition to challenging the animals with a high-fat diet, leads to the manifestation of obesity, diabetes and other components of metabolic syndrome.
Loria has found that as a result of the combination of emotional stress and unhealthy diet, female rodents show worse outcomes than male rodents.
This is important since studies in humans have shown that female subjects have a poorer response to stresses than male subjects, making them more susceptible to these health issues.
Loria’s research is funded through the National Institutes of Health. The American Physiological Society Symposia will meet Nov. 18-20 in Annapolis, Maryland.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 14, 2015) —The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) has named Dr. Jonathan H. Smith of the University of Kentucky a recipient of its Faculty Innovation in Education award to support the development of innovative education projects that provide effective residency and fellowship training, as well as lifelong learning for practicing psychiatrists and neurologists.
Every year up to two neurologists are selected for this prestigious award. The two-year award provides a maximum of $100,000. Smith's project will explore the use of unannounced simulated patients to evaluate neurology residents' communication and interpersonal skills.
Dr. Larry Goldstein, chair of the UK Department of Neurology, said Smith's work reflects the department’s long-term emphasis in providing the best possible experience for trainees. “Jonathan is an excellent teacher with a creative approach to neurology resident education, and this award is a well-deserved acknowledgment of that," said Goldstein.
Smith is currently an assistant professor in Neurology and the program director of adult neurology residency at UK. He is a graduate of the University of Rochester with a B.S. in biochemistry and a minor in clinical psychology. He received his M.D. from the Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. He completed his neurology residency and headache fellowship at the Mayo Clinic, where he also served as chief resident.
Some of Smith's previous awards include the American Academy of Neurology’s (AAN) Annual Meeting Resident Scholarship Award in 2011 and the Chief Resident Award at the Mayo Clinic Department of Neurology in June 2012, and the Excellence in Teaching in the Department of Neurology award at UK in June 2015.
The ABPN’s main mission is to develop and provide valid and reliable procedures for certification and maintenance of certification in psychiatry and neurology. They have been a non-profit since 1934 and are one of 24 boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS).
Media contact: Laura Dawahare, Laura.Dawahare@uky.edu, (859) 257-5307
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 13, 2015) -- Last year at UK HealthCare, about 140 families experienced the loss of an infant from stillbirth, miscarriage or neonatal death. To honor and acknowledge the lives of the infants and the loss experienced by their families, UK's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and Labor and Delivery unit hold an annual event to remember these loved ones.
UK HealthCare's annual Walk to Remember is held the first Sunday in October each year at The Arboretum at UK and is an event that has been occurring now for more than 20 years.
"This service provides a way for families to honor and remember their child that they have lost," said Michelle Steele, chair of the NICU/Labor and Delivery Bereavement Committee. "We walk to previously planted trees that were planted in honor and memory of the babies that had died during previous years. At the end of the walk, our grieving families help plant a new tree for that year in memory of their loved one."
In addition, families can write a message to their baby and plant it with the tree that includes an inscription and bronze plaque provided by UK HealthCare administration that reads, "In memory of your baby's life, gone but still cherished. Your baby will always be remembered."
For UK HealthCare Palliative Care and Oncology Chaplain Diana Hultgren the Arboretum at UK is a very symbolic setting for the event. "It not only provides a beautiful, family-friendly setting, but a living framework for reflecting on and experiencing the cycles of life," She said. "In many cultures, trees are symbols of life and renewal, the span of generations and hope for the future and by blessing and dedicating these trees, we share in one another’s sadness and joy, knowing we are not alone and do not remember alone."
Families take pictures by the trees year after year, and it is amazing to watch the trees grow, Hultgren added. "Through these gestures and rituals of healing, we strengthen the bonds between us, draw our UK community closer together and let our love and remembrance take form in new ways to bless family and stranger alike."
Steele, a NICU nurse who has been a member of the committee for 16 years, said the event is a time of healing not only for the families but also the nursing staff. "We feel that it’s a way to give back to the families and help provide closure," she said. "We want them to know that we share in their loss by providing a service where they can remember and honor their beloved child."
Sandy Mojesky, divisional charge nurse in Labor and Delivery, is also a longtime committee member and says providing a memorial and remembrance for these babies and their families has been her calling since she first became a labor and delivery nurse 27 years ago.
"The ceremony means so much to the families and I find especially it is important for the families who have experienced a miscarriage or early loss because it gives them an opportunity to memorialize their baby that they may not otherwise have had."
For more information about the event, contact Shannon Haynes at
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 13, 2015) — Dr. Barbara Phillips, professor of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Kentucky, was elected the 78th president of The American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) effective Nov. 1, 2015.
Phillips previously served as president-elect in 2014. In 1982, she became an active member of CHEST, and in 1983 advanced to Fellow. She served as editor of CHEST SEEK Sleep Medicine, working on the second, third and fourth editions. Phillips also served as Regent-at-Large for the American College of Chest Physicians for eight years.
Phillips is also involved with numerous other outside organizations. She has been chair of the National Sleep Foundation and has also served on several boards including the American Lung Association, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the American Board of Sleep Medicine. She was awarded with the Sleep Academic Award from the National Institutes of Health. In 2013, she was presented with the College Medalist Award at CHEST.
"The American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) has been an important part of my life for most of my professional career." Phillips said."As incoming president of CHEST, I am excited about this opportunity to work with the next generation of clinician educations and leaders."
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 11, 2015) — Two women, seated at a table, told their stories in quiet tones. A group of chefs, some standing, others seated, leaned forward eagerly, clearly interested in what these two women had to say. They peppered the women with questions: did food taste better cold or hot? Was texture an issue? Did a glass of wine before dinner help or hurt the flavor experience?
The women have both taken chemotherapy for their cancer. One of them — Gina Mullin — will be taking chemotherapy every three weeks for the rest of her life. Both she and patient Jen Cooper tell heartbreaking stories about a side effect of chemotherapy that gets swept under the rug: food tastes terrible.
"Can you imagine how much quality of life you lose when you can't enjoy your food?" asked Cooper.
Chemotherapy, by design, kills all fast-growing cells in the body. As cancer cells die, so do all the healthy fast-growing cells, including the cells responsible for hair growth and taste buds. So your hair falls out and everything tastes metallic.
"Here they are, critically ill, needing good nutrition more than ever and they can't enjoy food? It's beyond unfair," said Dan Han, a neuropsychologist at the University of Kentucky.
Han has become an ardent advocate for the concept that quality of life issues — specifically, the enjoyment of food — should be measured as a clinical outcome for patients. A chance meeting in 2012 with internationally acclaimed chef Fred Morin brought the issue to his attention.
"Like most clinicians, when patients brought up the issue of reduced or distorted flavor perception (if they brought it up at all), I was sympathetic but not motivated, because there's not much we can do to help," said Han.
But Morin, chef and owner of the legendary restaurant Joe Beef, is a bioengineer by training and hugely interested in the concept of neurogastronomy, which merges the science and culinary worlds by studying the human brain and the behavior that influences how we experience food. Morin encouraged Han to read a book by Yale neuroscientist Gordon Shepherd, who coined the term in 2006.
"I was hooked," said Han. "I knew that if we could bring together chefs, neuroscientists and food scientists to explore ways to help these patients enjoy a meal, break bread with family and friends and enjoy that process again, it would be a significant contribution to science and to life."
That chance meeting was the spark for the founding of the International Society of Neurogastronomy (ISN), and last week more than 200 scientists, patients, chefs, foodies and others gathered at UK for the inaugural ISN Symposium, sharing their knowledge and exploring opportunities to improve quality of life for people who have lost their perception of taste or smell due to cancer, brain injury, stroke, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, or other neurological disorders.
During breaks, participants were encouraged to visit eight tasting stations, where experiments demonstrated how the perception of flavor is shaped by more than just the tongue. Attendees wore blindfolds, sniffed scent jars, held their noses, and more while they sampled. At one station, tasters eating a pink cookie while listening to gentle music were astonished to learn that it was equally as sweet as the black cookie paired with harsh music.
The most emotional part of the day looped back to the conversation between the chefs and the cancer patients. Chefs were paired with neuroscientists and physicians to create two teams, which then competed in the "Applied Neurogastronomy Challenge "— a friendly competition to make food that appealed to Mullin and Cooper.
"Team Morin" prepared a chunky potato soup with a range of toppings to customize the flavor experience: diced potato and bacon, pulled chicken and ginger, garlic broccoli, and fried chicken skin with paprika. "Team Mehta" also took a mix and match approach, offering peppered scallops, grilled chicken and mustard lime halibut to be paired with chili jam, apple goji reduction, lemon marinated apples, carrot yogurt salsa, or a chocolate chili mole.
"I tried every dish, and it was really fun," said Mullin, who said the only time she cried during her diagnosis and treatment was the day she ordered two of her favorite restaurant dishes only to throw them away after one bite because they tasted so bad.
"Potato soup wins!" shouted Jen Cooper to widespread applause. In truth, replied Leah Sarris, program director for the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine at Tulane University and a member of Team Morin, everyone won.
"I learned so much from you, Jen and Gina, and it will inform the way I cook and teach others to cook," she said. "We read in books about how chemo affects taste, but your stories made it real."
While neurogastronomy, as a science, is still in its infancy, the symposium has opened the door to the flow of information and ideas among neuroscientists, culinary professionals, food scientists and agriculture scientists. Participants were enthusiastic about the day's successes and the prospect for continued conversations that advance the science in the context of neurologically-related taste impairments, sustainability, disease prevention, and more.
"This really organically grew into something amazing, because people from such randomly different disciplines came together," said Han. "The commonality that united us was to achieve better food, better flavor, better health, and better quality of life."
To view the symposium presentations, go to https://vimeo.com/album/3650327
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 10, 2015) — On Dec. 10, a lucky ticket holder will walk away with a new 2016 Lexus ES 350 because they chose to support Kentucky Children’s Hospital (KCH) through the third annual Lexus for the Little Ones raffle.
Every raffle ticket sold through Lexus of Lexington will improve facilities for children receiving treatment at KCH. Lexus of Lexington has set a fundraising goal of $100,000 for the 2015 raffle. Lexus of Lexington sponsors the Ocean Pod, a section of aquatic-themed patient rooms at KCH.
“Giving back to the community has always been an important part of our business, and who better to support than KCH, the pediatric care center that takes care of Kentucky’s kids,” Lexington businessman Rick Avare, co-owner of Lexus of Lexington, said.
Raffle tickets are $100 each and can be purchased online at www.givetokch.org/lexus, in person by visiting the Lexus dealership on 1264 E. New Circle Road, or by contacting the KCH Development office at (859) 257-1179. There is no limit on the number of tickets purchased, and ticket holders do not have to be present to win. A maximum of 1,000 tickets will be sold. The drawing will be held at 1 p.m. in Pavilion A of the UK Chandler Hospital on Dec. 10.
“Lexus of Lexington’s annual raffle has allowed us to create a more vibrant and kid-friendly care environment at KCH,” Dr. Carmel Wallace, chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Kentucky Children’s Hospital, said. “The improvements in our facilities made possible by their fundraising contributions have benefited everyone at the hospital, from our patients and families to our providers.”
The KCH Development office welcomes groups or individuals who would like to sell raffle tickets to family, friends and colleagues. If your group is interested, please contact Chloe Hurley at (859) 859-257-1121 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Facts about the Ebola Virus: October 2, 2014. The current outbreak of Ebola in West Africa has involved the countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria. This has become the largest outbreak of Ebola to date. At the end of September, the first case of Ebola was diagnosed in the United States in a person who had traveled to Texas from West Africa. Although an outbreak in the United States is unlikely, it is important to know the facts.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 5, 2015) — The reasons why a teen might consider, attempt or commit suicide are complex. But according to Dr. Hatim Omar, University of Kentucky professor and chair of the Division of Adolescent Medicine, reducing youth suicide begins with a simple act — caring for teens.
“It’s not rocket science to help kids,” Omar said. “It’s just getting people to understand the message.”
Omar believes getting to the bottom of the problem of youth suicide requires dialogue among parents, ministers, school staff, health care providers, and counselors — but most importantly, teens themselves. For this reason, he helped to establish the Stop Youth Suicide Conference, which celebrates 15 years preventing and educating communities about youth suicide in Kentucky this week.
The Stop Youth Suicide (SYS) Conference on Nov. 5-6 will engage teens, parents, counselors, health professionals, and University of Kentucky employees in conversations about suicide risks and prevention. World-renowned teen health experts will discuss achievements of SYS through the past 15 years, risky behaviors, self-image, mental health, LGBT suicide risks, sexually transmitted infections, substance abuse, anxiety disorders and more during the full-day conference at the Doubletree Hilton and Suites in Lexington. In addition, teens will participate in an evening of socializing with Miss Kentucky 2013 Jenna Day during the Teen Event on Thursday, Nov. 5.
Since coming to UK in 1998, Omar has focused on enhancing teen wellness and preventing suicide through his efforts with the Stop Youth Suicide Campaign, a community-based youth suicide prevention program. In addition, Omar provides comprehensive teen health services through the Adolescent Health Clinic at the Kentucky Children’s Hospital and school-based outreach clinics in Lincoln and Harrison counties. He has advocated legislation to improve teen health and make resources available to families and youth with disabilities.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, physical health peaks during the adolescent years, but this age group is susceptible to mental health problems and suicide. Suicide is now the second-leading cause of death for teens and young adults across the nation and in Kentucky.
Since the UK Division of Adolescent Medicine, led by Omar, introduced the Stop Youth Suicide Campaign in 2000, suicide attempts in Kentucky’s youth have dropped in areas where school-based access to teen health services is available.
Omar’s recently published book, “Youth Suicide Prevention: Everybody’s Business,” chronicles the experiences and successes of the Stop Youth Suicide Campaign. The book describes a holistic approach to youth suicide from several perspectives, as well as strategies for reducing suicide that have worked in Kentucky.
Teens can attend the conference free of charge. For more information about the conference, visit www.stopyouthsuicide.com.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 4, 2015) — Presley Collins spent the first 12 hours of her life like most newborns — swaddled in blankets and fawned over by family members in a hospital room.
On the outside, Presley appeared healthy and normal. But on the inside, Presley’s small intestines, the portion of the gastrointestinal system responsible for absorbing nutrition, were cut off from blood flow and oxygen. Only a couple inches of viable tissue remained in the small intestines of the 2-day-old baby.
After Presley was born in August 2014, a pediatrician at Baptist Health in Richmond suspected a serious problem with her gastrointestinal tract. She was sent to the neonatal intensive care unit at Kentucky Children’s Hospital where pediatric surgeon Dr. Sean Skinner received the family’s permission to perform emergency surgery to diagnose the condition. The operation revealed tissue death in most of Presley’s small intestines, with only 1-centimeter sections at opposite ends of the intestinal tract viable.
Skinner diagnosed Presley with ischemic bowel, a condition in which diminished blood flow prevents oxygen from getting to the cells in the digestive system. During development in the womb, a blockage in the vessels prevented blood flow to the intestines, and the damage to the baby’s vital organ was irreversible.
“We got a call from (Dr. Skinner) pretty much saying we needed to get to UK as soon as we could because chances were slim our daughter would live,” Derrick Collins, Presley’s dad, said. “He explained what he found and told us she had a 10 percent chance of living.”
Presley would likely need a bowel transplant, but even as a full-term newborn, she was too small and vulnerable for the procedure. Skinner obtained second opinions from colleagues at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, who confirmed his conclusion that Presley was not yet a candidate for bowel transplant. He held a teleconference with the family, the KCH medical team and specialists at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. The medical teams offered two possible courses of action for Presley: take her off her breathing ventilator and go home or put her through an additional surgery to remove the dead bowel and begin the long and risky wait for a transplant.
Neither action seemed desirable for the parents. The parents didn’t want the memory of their daughter dying at home. And removing the dead bowel was a temporary intervention to protect Presley from infection while awaiting a transplant. To receive the transplant, she needed to survive without small intestine until she gained 20 pounds and turned 1-year old.
NICU nurse Mary Smith, who was Presley’s primary nurse, gained the family’s trust and empathized with their struggle. While caring for Presley, she talked to the parents about their options. Even after receiving consultation from the pediatric palliative care team, Jessie Roney, Presley’s mom, believed her daughter was going to survive. During casual conversation in their NICU room, Collins and Raney asked Smith what she would do in their position.
“I had this gut feeling, and as a nurse you always follow your gut,” Smith said. “I just wondered if it would be different if Dr. Skinner went back in? I couldn’t live with myself wondering, ‘What if?’”
Smith’s advice encouraged the parents to allow Skinner to perform the second procedure and remove the dead bowel in preparation for transplant. The next day, Skinner took Presley into a second surgery to remove the dead bowel. When he opened Presley’s abdomen, he found only two-thirds of the original portion of dead bowel measured during the first procedure. He couldn’t explain why, but Presley’s body rejuvenated a portion of the intestines enough, Skinner determined, to salvage the entire organ.
“That was letting the body sort out what it could,” Skinner said. “Kids’ bodies are more resilient that adults.”
Skinner extracted 75 centimeters of dead bowel and left 50 centimeters of viable bowel. After two hours of surgery, Skinner reported the news of a medical “miracle” to the family.
“I fell down and started crying like a baby,” Collins said of hearing the outcome of the surgery. “But her mom didn’t even budge — she knew the whole time her baby was going to be fine.”
The surgery signified a turnaround in Presley’s treatment. Skinner’s ability to keep several centimeters of Presley’s bowel negated a transplant, and subsequent procedures performed by Skinner enabled the baby to eventually go home with a feeding tube. Presley transitioned from breast feeding to formula within a year of her treatment at KCH, and now eats regular food. Collins said he wouldn’t have trusted anyone but Skinner to work on his daughter.
“Even though he gave us all the bad news, there was just this trust there that I felt like she was in good hands every time she went into surgery with him,” Collins said of Skinner.
The family also praised Smith for the support she provided during an uncertain time. They felt Smith was the best person to parse down complex and overwhelming medical information when they were facing decisions concerning their daughter’s fate. Smith became an advocate for their daughter’s care.
“We owe everything to Mary and the support that she gave us,” Collins said. “She treated us like we’d known each other our whole lives.”
Smith has heard of dramatic recoveries and unexplained phenomena in the NICU, but Presley was the first miracle baby under her care. She won’t ever forget the resilience of Presley, who is now a toddler and recently visited Mary in the NICU.
“She is why I love my job,” Smith said. “I’ve never felt this way about a patient — I’ve never seen a miracle like this.”
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 21, 2015) – The University of Kentucky Gill Heart Institute and UK Transplant Center are hosting the Kentucky Advances in Heart Failure 2015 conference on Saturday, Oct. 24 in Pavilion A of the Albert B. Chandler Hospital.
The conference will feature talks from Dr. Rita Jermyn, medical director of Heart Failure at North Shore University in New York; Dr. Maya Guglin, medical director of the UK Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) Program; Dr. Navin Rajagopalan, medical director of the UK Cardiac Transplant Program; and other UK faculty.
Designed for cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, primary care and family care physicians, physician assistants, registered nurses and nurse practitioners, as well as students, residents, fellows and other providers interested in learning more about advanced heart failure and its treatments, the Advances in Heart Failure conference will look at various developments in medical treatment of both acute and chronic heart failure patients.
The conference will begin at 8:15 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m., followed by a tour of the cardiovascular floor.
Day-of registration will open at 7:30 a.m. on Oct. 24. You can register online at visit http://www.cecentral.com/live/10732. The cost of the conference is $30 for physicians, nurses and other healthcare providers. There is no charge for University of Kentucky faculty, residents and medical students, Gill Heart Affiliates, and UK HealthCare Organ Failure and Transplant Affiliates.
MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, 859-323-2399 or email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 20, 2015) — The rosy flush of Ethan Abel’s cheeks comforted school nurse Cassandra Artrip as she watched the 10-year-old doze with a plush dog in his arms.
“He’s pink and breathing on his own, and I am tickled to see he’s doing so well,” Artrip said during her visit to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Kentucky Children’s Hospital on Oct. 9.
Only a few days earlier, Artrip found Ethan unconscious and with a blue tone to his skin before she started administering CPR and rescue breathing on the playground of Robinson Elementary School. Her entire body was still sore from pushing chest compressions as she worked to save Ethan’s life.
Speaking to Ethan’s mother Marla Miller at KCH the first time since the day of the emergency, Artrip said she pleaded with Ethan to stay strong as she replenished his lungs with oxygen during a rescue period that seemed like “an eternity.” When the emergency responders arrived at the remote rural school, Artrip was given affirmation that Ethan’s heart was still beating. Moments later, she delivered the news to Miller in the school’s parking lot, where the worried mother collapsed in a wave of panic.
Now, as a hospital heart monitor attached to Ethan beeped in a rhythmic pattern, Artrip could release a sigh — and a few tears — of relief.
“The truth is no matter how much fight he had in him, if you weren’t there, he wouldn’t be here right now,” Miller said. “You are my angel.”
Around 2 p.m. on Oct. 6, as students at Robinson Elementary were lining up from recess, a classmate spotted Ethan lying on the playground struggling to breathe. A teacher reached Ethan in time to hear him mention a feeling of “being hit in his chest” before he passed out.
As soon as the front office received an emergency call from the playground, Artrip bolted down the school’s main hall. After reading Ethan’s faint pulse, she utilized the school’s automated external defibrillator (AED) to shock his heart back into a regular pattern — a decision emergency responders and cardiologists at Kentucky Children’s Hospital credit with saving his life. With the help of another volunteer nurse who was visiting the school that day, Artrip continued chest compressions and rescue breathing until emergency responders arrived at the country school in Perry County.
“The whole time I am thinking, ‘Please, God, don’t take him. He’s just kid — he has his whole life ahead of him,’” Artrip said.
The moment Ethan’s heart beat out of sequence on the playground marked the first time his chronic heart condition disrupted his life since birth. As a newborn, Ethan was treated at the Kentucky Children’s Hospital neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for an infection in his heart. Although Ethan recovered from the infection as baby, pediatricians were concerned with the long-term risks associated with a scar left from the infection. The abnormal tissue put Ethan at heightened risk of arrhythmia, an irregular heartbeat, which could one day result in a cardiac event.
Kentucky Children’s Hospital cardiologists Dr. Louis Bezold and Dr. Mark Vranicar, who travels to the KCH clinic in Hazard, followed Ethan’s case as he continued to grow older. Vranicar prescribed medications to help control the condition, and until the incident on the playground, Ethan lived a normal life.
According to Vranicar, a number of factors and influences might have triggered the ventricular arrhythmia in Ethan’s already vulnerable heart. Vranicar said the principal and school nurse’s assertiveness in retrieving the AED saved Ethan’s life, but also averted long-term damage to the lungs and brain.
“I believe it was life-saving in Ethan’s case,” Vranicar said of the AED. “And there may be other children that develop arrhythmias that could be saved by AEDs too.”
Estill Neace has served as the principal of Robinson Elementary School for four years and as a school administrator in Perry County for more than 20 years, and in that time he’s never had to access a school’s AED. Neace, who knows all 300 children at his school by name, followed the ambulance to Appalachian Regional HealthCare where the Pediatric Transport Team transported Ethan to Kentucky Children’s Hospital. In addition to the principal, Ethan’s homeroom teacher, physical education teacher and school nurse Artrip were aware of Ethan’s heart condition prior to the emergency. When Neace learned Ethan was the child down on the playground, he knew there was a chance they were going to need the AED.
“It doesn’t matter how small a school you are or how large, if there is one child that for whatever reason has his heart stop beating, (the AED) is the difference in that child having a chance to live,” Neace said. “You have to have it.”
Through Kentucky Children’s Hospital’s developing pediatric heart program with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Ethan underwent surgery Oct. 13 to receive an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). If his heart goes out of rhythm, the device will automatically administer a shock to bring the rhythm back to normal. Vranicar said the device serves as a reliable preventive measure to ensure Ethan’s safety no matter where he’s located in the event of cardiac distress.
“Obviously, we don’t want it to happen again, but despite what we do, there is still a chance,” Vranicar said. “We are treating him to prevent another episode. The goal is to get him back to where he was before and let him run and play and lead as normal a life as he can.”
Miller feels some comfort knowing the ICD will administer an automatic shock if Ethan is struck with another cardiac event. But she was most touched by the dedication to keeping her child alive demonstrated by the Robinson Elementary School staff.
“If he was home, he would have been dead because (we don’t have) an AED,” Miller said. “I can say I am not scared to send him back to school because I know they’ll do everything possible and more for my son.”
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 20, 2015) – Time for Three, a string trio known for defying tradition and reinventing classical music in the contemporary world, will perform four pop-up concerts at UK HealthCare locations and in the Lexington community this week.
Known for their virtuosity and showmanship, Time for Three takes an innovative approach to classical composition by incorporating a variety of musical styles, including country western, Bluegrass and jazz, in their high-energy performances. Violinist Zach DePue, violinist Nick Kendall and double-bassist Ranaan Meyer share a passion for improvisation, composition and arrangement, which are prime elements of their musical ensemble. The classically trained musicians blend Bach with the Beatles, specializing in original mash-ups with hits from artists including Katy Perry, Kanye West and more.
The group went viral on YouTube and debuted as a top-10 album on Billboard’s Classical Crossover chart. In addition to appearances on the BBC and ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, the group has performed with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and at Carnegie Hall. Individual soloists have performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra and completed prestigious residences at the Kennedy Center.
Pop-up concerts will be held:
· October 21 at Noon, UK Chandler Hospital Pavilion A Atrium
· Oct. 21 at 2:30 p.m., Eastern State Hospital
· October 22 at 10 a.m., Discovery Education Concert at Keeneland and Keeneland National Anthem
· Oct. 22 at 7 p.m., Ethereal Brewery
The pop-up concerts build momentum to the group’s Oct. 23 performance and presentation at the Singletary Center for the Arts as part of the UK HealthCare Saykaly Garbulinska Performer in Residence Series. The UK Arts in HealthCare program in partnership with the Lexington Philharmonic and the UK School of Music will present Time for Three Music Entrepreneurship Assembly at 1 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.
The UK School of Music at UK College of Fine Arts has garnered national reputation for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition and music theory.
The UK Arts in HealthCare program's mission is to harness the healing power of art to create a comfortable environment focused on the spiritual and emotional well-being of patients, visitors and employees.
The mission of the Lexington Philharmonic is to foster excellence and innovation in the performance and presentation of great music; to enrich the lives of our diverse citizenry; to educate current and future audience and to bring distinction to our community through the orchestra’s presence and standing.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 7, 2015) – UK HealthCare has more than 125 physicians practicing medicine with UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital, Kentucky Children's Hospital, UK Good Samaritan Hospital and Shriner's Hospitals for Children who appear on the Best Doctors in America list for 2015-16 – more than any other hospital in Kentucky. Only 5 percent of doctors in America earn this honor, decided by impartial peer review.
The Best Doctors in America list, assembled by Best Doctors Inc. and audited and certified by Gallup, results from polling of more than 40,000 physicians in the United States. Doctors in more than 40 specialties and 400 subspecialties of medicine appear on this year’s List.
The experts who are part of the Best Doctors in America database provide the most advanced medical expertise and knowledge to patients with serious conditions – often saving lives in the process by finding the right diagnosis and right treatment.
2015-16 Best Doctor's List:
Sadiq Ahmed Nephrology
Kenneth B. Ain Endocrinology and Metabolism
Michael I. Anstead Pediatric Specialist
Rony K. Aouad Otolaryngology
Susanne M. Arnold Medical Oncology and Hematology
Henrietta Salvilla Bada Pediatric Specialist
Hubert O. Ballard Pediatric Specialist
Robert J. Baumann Child Neurologist
Louis Bezold Pediatric Specialist
Peter James Blackburn Ophthalmology
Christopher A. Boarman Pediatrics
David C. Booth Cardiovascular Disease
Edwin A. Bowe Anesthesiology
Robert A. Broughton Pediatric Specialist
Raeford E. Brown, Jr. Pediatric Specialist
Scottie B. Day Pediatric Specialist
Christopher P. DeSimone Obstetrics and Gynecology
Philip A. DeSimone Medical Oncology and Hematology
David J. DiSantis Radiology
John Draus Pediatric Specialist
John H. Eichhorn Anesthesiology
Eric D. Endean Vascular Surgery
Deborah R. Erickson Urology
B. Mark Evers Surgery
John L. Fowlkes Pediatric Specialist
Peter J. Giannone, Jr. Pediatric Specialist
Jacqueline S. Gibson Internal Medicine
Larry B. Goldstein Neurology
Donna G. Grigsby Pediatrics
John C. Gurley Cardiovascular Disease
Wendy Fetterman Hansen Obstetrics and Gynecology
Andrew Hoellein Internal Medicine
Robert Hosey Family Medicine
Joseph A. Iocono Pediatric Specialist
Mary Lloyd Ireland Orthopaedic Surgery
Henry Iwinski Pediatric Specialist
Gregory A. Jicha Neurology
Darren Lee Johnson Orthopaedic Surgery
Raleigh O. Jones Otolaryngology
Jamshed F. Kanga Pediatric Specialist
Dennis Karounos Endocrinology and Metabolism
Edward J. Kasarskis Neurology
Douglas G. Katz Ophthalmology
Philip A. Kern Endocrinology and Metabolism
Stefan G. Kiessling Pediatric Specialist
Mahesh R. Kudrimoti Radiation Oncology
Cheri D. Landers Pediatric Specialist
Philip B. Latham Pediatrics
Steve W. Leung Cardiovascular Disease
Robert W. Lightfoot, Jr. Rheumatology
Richard Lock Anesthesiology
Grace F. Maguire Pediatrics
Scott D. Mair Orthopaedic Surgery
Hartmut H. Malluche Nephrology
Jeremiah T. Martin Thoracic Surgery
Erich C. Maul Pediatrics
Hanna W. Mawad Nephrology
Ronald Charles McGarry Radiation Oncology
Patrick C. McGrath Surgical Oncology
Adrian W. Messerli Cardiovascular Disease
Todd Milbrandt Pediatric Specialist
David J. Minion Vascular Surgery
Amr El-Husseini Mohamed Nephrology
David J. Moliterno Cardiovascular Disease
Alba E. Morales Pediatric Specialist
Peter E. Morris Critical Care Medicine
Timothy W. Mullett Thoracic Surgery
Kevin R. Nelson Neurology
Nicholas J. Nickl III Gastroenterology
M. Elizabeth Oates Radiology
John M. O'Brien, Jr. Obstetrics and Gynecology
Hatim A. Omar Pediatric Specialist
Amit Patel Plastic Surgery
Kevin A. Pearce Geriatric Medicine
P. Andrew Pearson Ophthalmology
Luther C. Pettigrew, Jr. Neurology
Barbara A. Phillips Sleep Medicine
Thomas Pittman Pediatric Specialist
Andrew R. Pulito* Pediatric Specialist
Marcus E. Randall Radiation Oncology
Annette Rebel Critical Care Medicine
Hassan K. Reda Thoracic Surgery
Aru Reddy Pediatric Specialist
L. Raymond Reynolds Endocrinology and Metabolism
Julie Ribes Pathology
Scott A. Riley Hand Surgery
John J. Rinehart* Medical Oncology and Hematology
Kimberly Ringley Pediatrics
William C. Robertson, Jr. Child Neurologist
David W. Rudy Clinical Pharmacology, Internal Medicine
Sarah S. Rugg Cardiovascular Disease
Sibu P. Saha Thoracic Surgery
Sheila P. Sanders Ophthalmology
B. Peter Sawaya Nephrology
Douglas J. Schneider Pediatric Specialist
Jeffrey Bryan Selby Orthopaedic Surgery
Lori Shook Pediatric Specialist
Michael Sekela Thoracic Surgery
John Slevin Neurology
David A. Sloan Surgical Oncology
Charles D. Smith, Jr. Neurology
Mikel D. Smith Cardiovascular Disease
Susan Smyth Cardiovascular Disease
Vincent L. Sorrell Cardiovascular Disease
William Henry St. Clair Radiation Oncology
Carol Steltenkamp Pediatrics
Julia C. Stevens Pediatric Specialist
Stephen Strup Urology
Lisa R. Tannock Endocrinology and Metabolism
Vishwas R. Talwalkar Pediatric Specialist
Alice C. Thornton Infectious Disease
Kathryn M. Thrailkill Pediatric Specialist
Phillip A. Tibbs Neurological Surgery
Dale E. Toney Internal Medicine
Fred Rand Ueland Obstetrics and Gynecology
Joseph Valentino Otolaryngology
Craig Van Horne Neurological Surgery
Woodford S. Van Meter Ophthalmology
John R. van Nagell Obstetrics and Gynecology
Henry C. Vasconez Pediatric Specialist, Plastic Surgery
Lars M. Wagner Pediatric Specialist
Carmel Wallace Pediatrics
Gretchen Lois Wells Cardiovascular Disease
Thomas French Whayne, Jr. Cardiovascular Disease
Michael L. Wittkamp Pediatric Specialist
Thomas L. Young Pediatrics
Khaled M. Ziada Cardiovascular Disease
Joseph B. Zwischenberger Critical Care Medicine, Thoracic Surgery
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 4, 2015) — UK HealthCare and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to move toward a significant partnership to provide pediatric heart care services in the region.
The partnership combines the strengths of the region's leading provider of advanced subspecialty care in UK HealthCare with one of the country's undisputed leaders in children's health care, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. The collaboration will enable more Kentucky children to receive care closer to home.
"In partnering with Cincinnati Children's we will be teaming-up with one of the top three children's hospitals in the country and a Top 10 pediatric heart care program," said Dr. Bernard Boulanger, UK HealthCare chief medical officer, who led a review of UK's program and has helped lead discussions with Cincinnati Children's.
Under the terms of the proposal, a heart surgeon will be jointly recruited and have a primary appointment at Cincinnati Children's in a "two sites, one program" model; the surgeon will be based in Lexington and perform services at Kentucky Children’s Hospital.
In addition, a director of the pediatric heart program will be recruited immediately to oversee the program and drive its development.
The program director position also will be based in Lexington and serve as program liaison for both sites. The director will be employed by UK HealthCare, report to UK HealthCare's chief medical officer and will also have reporting responsibilities to Cincinnati Children’s Heart Institute leadership team.
“We are excited about the opportunity to work with UK HealthCare to serve pediatric cardiac patients and their families in the Commonwealth,” Dr. Andrew Redington, executive co-director of the Heart Institute and chief of the Division of Pediatric Cardiology at Cincinnati Children’s, said. “Our collaboration will be a comprehensive, multidisciplinary, team-based approached focused on quality and safety in cardiac care.”
Initial joint negotiations began earlier this year and led to the LOI being signed. Details of the program are to be finalized during the next few months. Once the program is operational, a clinical team of physicians from both hospitals may direct regional patients needing care to Kentucky Children's Hospital or Cincinnati Children's according to the complexity of their case. Initially, more complex cases will be sent to Cincinnati Children's. Over time as the Lexington site program matures, more complex cases may be performed at UK.
Although details are still being worked out, the first surgical procedure at UK would be targeted for late 2016 or early 2017. UK HealthCare will also work toward having cardiac subspecialists performing diagnostics and therapeutic interventions at Kentucky Children's Hospital with the support of Cincinnati Children’s subspecialists when necessary.
"Overall, it is the aim to keep patient care local and close to home, when clinically appropriate. This will include post-surgical care and pediatric cardiology subspecialty care that will be available in Lexington even for patients who travel to Cincinnati for complex surgical procedures," said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK executive vice president for health affairs.
Training, support, infrastructure development and reactivation of on-site surgery at Kentucky Children's Hospital will be done in a manner to ensure sustained outstanding outcomes as measured by national registries and reporting mechanisms, he said.
This includes developing and implementing shared and common clinical standards for environment, design, equipment, operations, staffing and personnel. Additionally, training will be provided at Cincinnati Children's initially and on an ongoing basis for Kentucky Children's Hospital personnel.
UK HealthCare's pediatric cardiothoracic surgical program was temporarily suspended after questions were raised internally about how best to improve the program.
"When we voluntarily suspended Kentucky Children's pediatric cardiothoracic (CT) program in October 2012, we said we would only re-open the program when we were ready to provide the best care for our patients and their families. We are confident that this collaborative arrangement meets that mark with the highest quality surgical and clinical care, education and research in pediatric cardiovascular services for patients of Kentucky and their families," Karpf said.
A task force was formed in 2013 and charged with providing recommendations regarding the future of the Kentucky Children's Hospital Pediatric Heart Program including program scope, resource planning, strategy for launch and a post-launch monitoring and oversight plan.
At the time of the release of the task force's findings in October 2013, Boulanger said the commitment was to re-open the program as soon as possible, but only after the resources and process improvements are in place to ensure the delivery of high quality, safe and compassionate cardiac care for the children of Kentucky and beyond.
"There is also a firm commitment to transparency and as we iron out the details and development of this program, we are committed to fully reporting our data and measures that detail our performance for everyone to see," he said.
The plan is to establish a transparent data-driven quality and safety program with outcomes reported jointly to the Society for Thoracic Surgeons (STS) as well as other regional and national programs that monitor surgical and clinical outcomes.
"Already, the majority of Kentucky Children's Hospital pediatric CT surgery patient families who need clinical referrals for care are choosing Cincinnati Children’s," Boulanger said. "This new two site, one program model will provide an even more seamless process for these patients and families as well as the new patients and families needing these services each year throughout the Commonwealth."
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 19, 2015) – For women younger than 40, cervical cancer is among the leading causes of cancer-related death. With modern vaccines to protect against the underlying cause, human papilloma virus (HPV), cervical cancer is also one of the most preventable types of cancers.
As a society, we have the opportunity to wipe out or significantly reduce a disease by vaccinating the population. Still, many American health care providers and families aren’t getting their children and teens vaccinated, and our youth are suffering the consequences.
Cervical cancer, as well as cancers of the throat, penis, rectum, vulva and mouth, can develop from changes in cells caused by HPV. Since the FDA approved the first versions of the HPV vaccine in 2006, nearly 7 billion doses have been administered worldwide. HPV continues to spread because of a national resistance to accepting the vaccine as part of standard preventive care.
Because of social stigmas surrounding HPV vaccinations, only around 30 percent of men and women under the age of 25 have been vaccinated in both Kentucky and nationwide. Only 27 percent of women between the ages 13 to 17 have received the recommended dosages of the HPV vaccine. Many health care providers and parents view these vaccinations as elective or irrelevant unless a youth is sexually active. In reality, HPV can be transmitted a number of ways, including from a mother to a child during delivery. Statistics show most people will contract one form of the virus at some point in their lives.
Until 2014, the two vaccination options were Gardasil 4 and Cervarix, both of which protect against HPV strains 16 and 18 or the strains responsible for 70 percent of cervical cancers and Gardasil 4 also protects against 90 percent of genital warts (Strains 6 & 11). Last year, Gardasil 9 entered the market targeting strains 16 and 18, as well as five additional strains, covering HPV types responsible for almost 90 percent of cervical cancers. The vaccine also protects against HPV strains 6 and 11, which cause genital warts.
Parents and adolescent providers must seize the opportunity to vaccinate their youth before infection occurs. Countries that provided massive free vaccination such as Australia have experienced a 70 percent drop in cervical cancer rates, as well as other cancers associated with HPV.
Next time you visit your pediatrician or adolescent health provider, insist on including an HPV vaccine in your child’s preventive health care plan. Both boys and girls should be vaccinated. The vaccine is safe and effective, and prevents 70 to 90 percent of the disease. As a parent, doing everything in your capacity to protect your child from harm means making the decision to get the HPV vaccine — the only certain way to prevent these forms of cancer.
Dr. Omar is the chief of the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Kentucky Children's Hospital.
This column appeared in the Aug. 16 edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader
Media Contact: Elizabeth Troutman Adams at email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 14, 2015) – Governor Steve Beshear held a ceremonial signing of Senate Bill 82 on Thursday at the University of Kentucky.
The measure aims to increase research dollars designated for the study and treatment of pediatric cancer by creating a “check-the-box” option for an individual’s tax refund to be diverted to a newly created Pediatric Cancer Research Trust Fund.
The legislation was sponsored by Sen. Max Wise, of Campbellsville, whose young son is a pediatric cancer survivor. Senate Bill 82 became law June 24.
“Every child deserves to live a healthy, active life, but many children in this state - and all across the country - are battling cancer,” said Gov. Beshear. “In fact, cancer is the second leading cause of death in children. This law will help us raise more funding for research for pediatric cancer in the hope that one day we can celebrate finding a cure.”
The Pediatric Cancer Research Trust Fund will be administered by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. A board will be established to provide additional oversight and guidance.
“As the first pediatric cancer bill to be signed into law in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, this bill is dedicated to the families who have been affected or are dealing with pediatric cancer,” said Sen. Wise. “SB82 is a testament to our republican & democrat legislators working together to do what is right for Kentucky families.”
From 2008-2012, Kentucky had approximately 200 cases each year of cancer among children up to the age of 19, according to the National Cancer Institute. The American Cancer Society, meanwhile, reports that about 10,380 children in the United States under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer in 2015.
“This legislation will fuel innovative pediatric cancer research being done here at the University of Kentucky and will directly benefit some of the sickest children in the Commonwealth,” said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK Executive Vice President for Health Affairs. “Thanks to this bill, now all Kentuckians will have the opportunity to advance pediatric cancer research.”
The bill also allows individuals to designate a portion of their tax refund to a new trust fund to support rape crisis centers throughout Kentucky.
“I was proud to include this provision in the law, because these centers play such a critical role in giving rape victims the care and support they need,” said Rep. Chris Harris, of Forest Hills. “This additional revenue will provide better financial stability and enable the centers to do even more to help.”
Gov. Beshear encouraged Kentuckians to look for the check-off option when filing their taxes next year so they can donate a portion or all of their refund to the Pediatric Cancer Trust Fund, or the Rape Crisis Center Trust Fund.
“I hope all Kentuckians will take advantage of these new check-off options and join us in the fight to end childhood cancer and support for victims of assault,” said Gov. Beshear.
Video Produced 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.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 10, 2015) – The University of Kentucky's Dr. John D'Orazio recently received grant funding totalling $375,000 over three years to further his research on melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
Three organizations provided an equal share of the funding: the Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA), the largest private funder of melanoma research; the Markey Cancer Foundation; and DanceBlue, the University of Kentucky's student-run fundraiser for pediatric cancer. Additionally, much of the preliminary data used in the MRA grant application was facilitated by pilot funding from the University of Kentucky’s Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences.
D'Orazio's research focuses on the hormonal pathways that protect the skin from sun damage and how efficiently the skin's DNA may be able to repair itself. In a previous study, D'Orazio's team discovered a genetic defect in the melanocortin1 receptor (MC1R) leads to a reduced ability to repair DNA, making people more susceptible to developing melanoma.
The new project will focus on the specific hormones that appear to "turn off" MC1R signaling, also leading to an increased likelihood of developing the cancer.
Melanoma of the skin is one of the most common cancers in the United States and among the top 10 causes of new cancer cases. In the United States each year, more than 76,000 Americans are diagnosed with melanoma, and it is one of the most common cancers for young women. While the overall five-year survival rate for people diagnosed with melanoma is high at 92 percent, the survival rate decreases dramatically once melanoma spreads to other parts of the body.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 30, 2015) — Kentucky Children’s Hospital is giving Lexington families another great reason to beat the heat with a chilly soft-serve treat on Thursday.
The 10th Annual Miracle Treat Day will raise funds to support Kentucky Children’s Hospital, a member of the Children’s Miracle Network. For today only, one dollar of every Blizzard sale at Dairy Queen (DQ) and DQ Grill and Chill locations across the country will be donated to a local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. Last year, DQ operators raised more than $5 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals on Miracle Treat Day.
Lexington DQ Grill and Chill locations include 2300 Palumbo Drive, 350 Virginia Ave., 464 New Circle Road and 3509 Lansdowne Drive. This year the Miracle Treat Day Blizzard treat of the Day is Oreo, the franchise’s most popular Blizzard treat.
Help spread awareness of Miracle Treat Day on Twitter by using the hashtag #MiracleTreatDay and tagging @DairyQueen. Blizzard fans are also encouraged to post about their Miracle Day treat at www.facebook.com/dairyqueen.
Since 1984 DQ and Children’s Miracle Network Hospital have partnered to provide life-saving treatments to children across the U.S. and Canada. More than $100 million has been raised through donations from DQ franchisees, fans and the corporate office. Funds raised by DQ stay local to fund critical treatments, health care services, pediatric medial equipment and charitable care.
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.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 14, 2015) — A University of Kentucky study shows that withaferin A, a component of Withania somnifera (winter cherry) plant extract, may hold promise as a new treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Winter cherry extract was used in traditional Ayurvedic Indian medicine for thousands of years before it caught the interest of Subbarao Bondada, a University of Kentucky College of Medicine professor and researcher for the UK Markey Cancer Center. Because withaferin A shows promise in treating other cancers without the side effects associated with current treatments, Bondada’s laboratory tested it against lymphoma. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is one of the most common cancers in the U.S. and is known for being particularly aggressive.
Unlike other studies using withaferin A to treat cancer, Bondada’s study, published in the journal Cancer Biology and Therapy, is the first to test the chemical against a blood cancer. Previous studies using withaferin A focused on cancers producing tumors that grow as a mass in tissue, more commonly known as solid tumors.
Katie McKenna, a graduate student in Bondada’s laboratory, found that withaferin A prevented the lymphoma cells from dividing and ultimately killed them. Specifically, they found withaferin A directly targeted a signaling pathway in the cancer it needs to survive.
“It may be possible to develop orally administered versions of withaferin A that could be used in lymphoma patients with fewer side effects than current chemotherapy regimens,” Bondada said.
Because withaferin A shows promise in treating non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Bondada’s team is now testing the chemical on chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells.
Bondada's group collaborated with University of Louisville Professor Ramesh Gupta, who aided in the isolation of withaferin A. This work was funded by the National Cancer Institute to the UK Markey Cancer Center, the National Institutes of Health, Office of Vice President for Research for Core Research facilities and the Sabinsa Corporation and does not necessarily represent the views of these institutions.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 2, 2015) – This Saturday, the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center is hosting its second annual "Tealgate" event before the UK vs. University of Louisiana at Lafayette football game.
The event was created to raise ovarian cancer awareness. UK offers an UK Ovarian Cancer Screening Program, a free program that offers ultrasound screenings to Kentucky women over the age of 50 and women over the age of 25 who have had a family history of ovarian cancer.
Tealgate is free and open to the public. Participants are encouraged to wear teal, the color that represents ovarian cancer. Parking is free beginning at 5 p.m., but participants must request a parking pass in advance by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, email@example.com or (859) 323-2399
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 8, 2015) -- An investigational medical device for the treatment of late stage lung cancer, pioneered by researchers at University of Kentucky, has been approved for clinical trials by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). UK is the only site in the country approved to test this new treatment on advanced lung cancer patients.
The Exatherm Total Body Hyperthermia System (Exatherm-TBH) was developed at UK in a public-private partnership with Exatherm Inc. The project is supported by grant funding from the National Institutes of Health.
The research team includes Dr. Jeremiah Martin, surgical director of the UK Markey Cancer Center’s Multidisciplinary Lung Cancer Clinic; and Dr. Kevin Hatton, chief of anesthesiology critical care at UK.
“Cancer cells are more susceptible to damage from heat than normal tissue, so the development of a safe method to deliver heat throughout the body may be a key step forward for advanced lung cancer patients,” said Martin.
Whereas most thermal treatments are specific to the area of the body where a tumor is located, UK researchers are examining total body hyperthermia, a treatment utilizing a perfusion circuit that circulates the blood through the patient’s vascular system at a target temperature.
“Patients with advanced lung cancer, who have completed standard therapy and for whom there are no additional conventional options, are invited to learn more about this trial,” Martin said. “This initial safety trial will lay important groundwork for patients with other tumor types in the future.”
The goal in any cancer treatment is to attack the diseased cells and leave the healthy cells alone. Healthy cells have a signaling mechanism that protects them from increases in body temperature. This mechanism is defective in cancer cells, which the potential new treatment aims to exploit.
The treatment, which lasts approximately four hours under a general anesthetic, uses the Exatherm-TBH System to heat and circulate the blood throughout the body. The device heats the patient’s blood to a temperature of 42 degrees Celsius, or about 107 degrees Fahrenheit.
Because systemic hyperthermia attacks cancer cells throughout the body all at once, the research team hopes the project will lead to a new and safe method for treating patients whose cancer has metastasized through the body.
"If results meet our expectations, the approach would present an advantage over other methods of thermal treatment, particularly in later stages of the disease," said Martin.
Patients who want to find out if they are eligible to participate in this study may visit UKClinicalResearch.com or call the division of UK Cardiothoracic Surgery at 859-323-6494.
Physicians: to refer a patient, contact Dr. Jeremiah Martin through the UK physician referral service toll free at 800-888-5533 or 859-231-9922.
To learn more about participating in research, including current opportunities at UK and across the country, visit http://www.ccts.uky.edu/ccts/participate-research.
MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, firstname.lastname@example.org; or Mallory Powell, email@example.com
GLASGOW, Ky. (Aug. 27, 2015) – T.J. Samson Community Hospital in Glasgow, Ky., announced that it has entered into a formal collaboration with the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center to further develop its oncology service line.
“At T.J. Samson we have wonderful medical professionals that are excellent at providing individualized treatment options. By collaborating with the Markey Cancer Center, we have just provided them a whole new world of resources to offer their patients locally,” Bud Wethington, CEO/President of T.J. Regional Health.
Kentucky faces some of the highest rates of cancer incidence and mortality in the nation. By working with Markey, T.J. Samson is committed to providing top-notch care for its cancer patients. The hospital is considered a candidate member of the UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network (MCCAN) and is making steps toward becoming a full affiliate member.
As part of the formal collaboration, the UK Markey Cancer Center will assist T.J. Samson in preparing for their American College of Surgeons' Commission on Cancer accreditation, which is the quality standard for all MCCAN sites.
"We are excited to work with T.J. Samson in building a strong oncology program," said Dr. Timothy Mullett, medical director of the MCCAN. "Our state unfortunately ranks at the top in terms of cancer incidence and mortality, but by working together with hospitals across the state, we have the potential to make a serious impact on cancer prevention and care."
T.J. Samson currently provides oncology services at the T.J. Health Pavilion under the direction of Dr. Donald Goodin. Goodin is board-certified in hematology/oncology and works closely with Dr. William Tyree at the Barren River Regional Cancer Center, a joint venture between T.J. Samson Community Hospital and The Medical Center of Bowling Green. Tyree is board-certified in radiation oncology and has been practicing in southcentral Kentucky since 2013.
These physicians, along with their highly trained staff, provide complex oncology services including diagnostic imaging, surgery, radiation, palliative care and chemotherapy close to home. The new relationship with Markey will strengthen patient navigation, psychosocial support, survivorship and rehabilitation services.
“I look forward to being able to expand the scope of services at T.J. Samson Community Hospital,” Goodin said. “Our specialized physicians desire to provide opportunities for their patients to participate in clinical trials through a collaborative affiliation with a nationally recognized program such as the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center.”
The Markey Cancer Center was founded in 1983 and is a dedicated matrix cancer center established as an integral part of the University of Kentucky and the UK HealthCare enterprise. Markey functions as a multi-faceted, multidisciplinary complex whose mission is to reduce cancer morbidity and mortality through a comprehensive program of cancer education, research, treatment and community engagement.
In July 2013, Markey was designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to receive research funding and many other opportunities available only to the nation’s best cancer centers. Markey is the only NCI-designated center in Kentucky and one of only 69 in the country.
The clinical programs and services of the Markey Cancer Center are integrated with the UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital. Markey's cancer specialty teams work together with UK Chandler Hospital departments and divisions to provide primary patient care and support services as well as advanced specialty care with applicable clinical research studies. All diagnostic services, clinical and pathology laboratories, operating rooms, emergent and intensive care, and radiation therapy services are also provided to cancer patients through UK Chandler Hospital. Attending Physicians affiliated with the Center are board certified in their respective oncologic specialties, and its research scientists are generously funded by nationally prominent funding agencies, including the National Cancer Institute.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 13, 2015) – The National Cancer Institute (NCI) recently awarded a $750,000 grant to University of Kentucky researcher Fredrick Onono to study the potential link between obesity and breast cancer.
Obese women are four times more likely to develop treatment-resistant breast cancer, but the exact mechanism for this observation is still largely a mystery. The link between high-fat diets and cancer development provides a clue that fats themselves may somehow be responsible for causing cells to malfunction.
Onono, who recently became an assistant professor at the University of Kentucky, will work with fellow UK researchers Andrew Morris, Ashwini Anand Professor of Cardiology; Dr. Susan Smyth, Jeff Gill Professor of Cardiology; Kathleen O’Connor, professor of molecular and cellular biochemistry; and Andrew Lane, professor of toxicology and cancer biology.
This research is made possible by an award from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health under award number 1K01CA197073-01 and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 6, 2015) – Jennifer Bradley, the Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner at the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center, has been nominated for a Buffalo Trace Distillery Eagle Rare Life Honor for her hard work and devotion to Markey's Jin Shin Jyutsu program.
Buffalo Trace Distillery recognizes and honors those who share a passion for excellence with their Rare Life Award. The nominee in each of five categories who receives the most public votes will win $5,000 for the charity of their choice and the top overall winner receives $50,000.
Bradley became interested in Jin Shin Jyutsy after seeing how the practice helped two of her own family members who had been diagnosed with cancer. Jin Shin Jyutsu is an ancient form of touch therapy similar to acupuncture in philosophy. Studies have shown that it can help to reduce the physical and emotional effects of cancer diagnosis and treatment. Jin Shin Jyutsu has been offered at the Markey Cancer Center since 2009.
Voting for the award is open through December and you may vote up to once each day.
MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 7, 2015) – A new study led by University of Kentucky researchers suggests a new approach to develop highly-potent drugs which could overcome current shortcomings of low drug efficacy and multi-drug resistance in the treatment of cancer as well as viral and bacterial infections.
Published in Nanomedicine, the study identified a new mechanism of targeting multi-subunit complexes that are critical to the function of viruses, bacteria or cancer, thus reducing or possibly even eliminating their resistance to targeted drugs.
The study was led by Peixuan Guo, director of UK's Nanobiotechnology Center and one of the top nanobiotechnology experts in the world. Guo holds a joint appointment at the UK Markey Cancer Center and in the UK College of Pharmacy.
"Efficacy is the key in drug development,” Guo said. "Inhibiting multisubunit targets works similar to the series-circuit Christmas decorating light chains; one broken bulb turns off the entire lighting system."
By targeting RNA or protein subunits that have multiple sites for inactivation, but that are inextricably linked, this method allows for killing or disabling the RNA or protein without requiring the inhibition of multiple pathways that might be used by the organism to remain active and viable (and thus, multiple drugs are not needed, as well). Using this method, a single subunit targeting to the target RNA or protein subunits that is unique and assenting for the organism, the organism will be disabled or die and thus, no longer able to cause disease.
“One of the vexing problems in the development of drugs is drug resistance,” said Tim Tracy, former Dean of the UK College of Pharmacy and current UK provost. “Dr. Guo's study has identified a new mechanism of efficiently inhibiting biological processes that are critical to the function of the disease-causing organism, such that resistance is minimized or eliminated.”
Guo focuses much of his work on the use of ribonucleic acid (RNA) nanoparticles and a viral nano-motor to fight cancer, viral infections and genetic diseases. He is well-known for his pioneering work of constructing RNA nanoparticles as drug carriers. Guo's research team also includes Dan Shu, Farzin Haque, Mario Vieweger, Fengmei Pi, Hui Zhang, Yi Shu, Chi Wang, Peng Zhang, Ashwani Sharma, Taek Lee and more than 10 graduate students.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 7, 2015) — Ephraim McDowell Health last week announced that Ephraim McDowell Commonwealth Cancer Center (EMCCC) in Danville has joined the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network. Kentucky faces some of the highest rates of cancer incidence and mortality in the nation, but EMCCC sees this relationship as stepping up the fight against cancer. The UK Markey Cancer Center is the state's first and only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center.
Ephraim McDowell Health’s President and CEO Vicki Darnell said the announcement meant great things for their patients.
“The Ephraim McDowell Commonwealth Cancer Center affiliation with the UK Markey Cancer Center will allow us to provide new treatment options for our patients that are only available to National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers," Darnell said. "We believe this is a big step in the continuing battle against cancer.”
"We are extremely excited and proud that our cancer treatment program is of the caliber that Markey Cancer Center would want to partner with us," said Dr. Tom Baeker, medical director of EMCCC Cancer Program. "This alliance means great things for our patients. It will enable us to offer access to the latest practices in diagnosis and treatment of cancers and blood disorders, including clinical trials – which means providing a higher level of cancer care."
The UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network was created to provide high-quality cancer care closer to home for patients across the region, and to minimize the effects of cancer through prevention and education programs, exceptional clinical care, and access to research.
By becoming a UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate, EMCCC is keeping with the organization’s mission to provide safe, compassionate, high quality, and cost-effective services to the communities served. The Ephraim McDowell Health system will now be able to offer their patients access to additional specialty and subspecialty physicians and care, including clinical trials and advanced technology, while allowing them to stay in Danville for most treatments.
The UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network supports UK HealthCare's overall mission of ensuring no Kentuckian will have to leave the state to get access to top-of-the-line health care.
"Unfortunately, Kentucky is home to some of the worst rates of cancer in the country," said Dr. Tim Mullett, medical director of the UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network. "By collaborating with our affiliate hospitals across the state, we have the potential to make a serious impact on cancer care here in the Commonwealth."
"UK HealthCare doesn't just serve Lexington and central Kentucky – our mission is to provide all Kentuckians with the best possible care right here in the state," said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK executive vice president for health affairs. "The Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network allows us to collaborate with community hospitals to provide top-notch cancer care much closer to home — saving both travel expenses and time for the patients, in addition to keeping them close to their personal support system."
Markey is one of only 68 medical centers in the country to earn an NCI cancer center designation. Because of the designation, Markey patients have access to new drugs, treatment options and clinical trials offered only at NCI centers.
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 25, 2015) — At one time, the plastic mesh head and neck mask Richard Powers wore during 33 rounds of radiation therapy was bound for the bottom of a lake. When asked what he’d do with the mask after six weeks of treatment, the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center patient told nurses he planned to hurl the mask into the water on a fishing trip.
But once he completed his treatment, Powers changed his mind about the fate of his mask. For the 75-year-old who’s battled three different types of cancer in his lifetime, an art therapy workshop at the UK Markey Cancer Center allowed him to reimagine the mask as a symbol of victory over his disease. Powers, a descendant of the Cherokee Nation, decided to transform the mask into a sculpture of a decorated Native American chief.
“I have Cherokee blood in me from my grandmother – they’re very strong people,” Powers said. “So I’m making him up as a warrior.”
During an art therapy workshop hosted at the UK Markey Cancer Center on May 29, Powers smeared handprints of bright red “war” paint across the cheeks of his Cherokee warrior. With help from his stepson Eddie Roberts, he assembled a headdress of feathers on the top of the chief head and attached a sheet of leather cut from an old purse across as a chest piece. A former member of the military, Powers hung an anchor symbolizing his service on one ear and a tiny fleur de lis, a token from a memorable trip, on the other ear.
“I’m going to take it home and put it in my living room somewhere hopefully or my hall entry way, and it will be a reminder and a conversation piece,” Powers said. “People will come in and say, ‘What is that?’ And I’ll be able to tell them that’s the mask I wore to cure my throat cancer.”
Throughout the summer, Fran Belvin, an art therapist with the UK Markey Cancer Center and UK Arts in HealthCare program, is hosting a series of mask-making workshops for head and neck cancer patients. The workshops include both a therapeutic and expressive component.
Belvin starts the day by leading the participants in a discussion of their experiences with radiation treatment, providing patients with the opportunity to share both positive and negative emotions tied to the treatment process and their mask. Then, the patients transition to an art studio setting where they use a varied array of art materials provided by Belvin, as well as personal items, to paint and embellish their masks.
Radiation treatment to the head and neck requires patients to wear a stiff plastic mesh mask to secure their positioning. Patients feel supressed and confined during the treatment process. Radiation for throat and head cancer causes patients to feel weak and tired, and can have long-term side-effects such as a hoarse voice and difficulty swallowing. Patients commonly fantasize about elaborate ways to rid themselves of the masks after treatment.
But given the opportunity to repurpose the mask, patients finished with radiation treatment are eager to let loose their imaginations and creativity. As a medium for art, Belvin said the large masks tend to inspire dramatic themes and extravagant interpretations of the self. The themes displayed through the masks range from humorous and gaudy to powerful and spiritual.
“It’s a way for the patient to transform the experience of having cancer and having radiation – which can be an uncomfortable and confining feeling – into something really positive and beautiful – or dramatic and exciting,” Belvin said.
Belvin is offering the workshops to any head or neck cancer patient from the Markey Cancer Center who has completed radiation treatment. If a patient did not keep their mask, one is provided. The workshops are scheduled one Friday per month throughout the summer. Participants may come just for the morning or the afternoon, or may stay all day. Patients also may come more than once to complete their sculptures and may bring a friend or family member to help them. Future workshops are scheduled to take place on June 26, July 24 and Aug. 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. To register or for more information, call Christina Jewell at (859) 323-4895.
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 25, 2015) – Could a fatalistic attitude toward cervical cancer serve as a barrier to prevention of the disease? A recent study conducted by University of Kentucky researchers in the Rural Cancer Prevention Center suggests a link between fatalistic beliefs and completion of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine series among a sample of young Appalachian Kentucky women.
The HPV vaccination series consists of three shots and helps prevent HPV infection and cervical cancer. Previous studies have shown that cost, lack of transportation, cultural views, and lack of knowledge about cervical cancer prevention as well as limited support from health care providers has prevented Appalachian women from getting or completing HPV vaccination in the past.
The concept of fatalism as it relates to health asserts that individuals perceive themselves to have limited control over what happens to their health and that health outcomes may be determined by fate. Previous research has found that some Appalachian women have reported fatalistic beliefs regarding their health, including the perception that being diagnosed with or preventing cancer is out of their control.
Published in The Journal of Rural Health, the study involved research nurses administering the first dose of the HPV vaccine series free of charge to Appalachian Kentucky women aged 18-26. The young women were then surveyed about their beliefs regarding cancer and followed for nine months after receiving the first dose to determine vaccination series completion; nearly 350 women participated in the study.
The study found that women who held fatalistic beliefs about their perceived lack of control over their health and cervical cancer had a significantly lower likelihood of completing the HPV vaccination series.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States, affecting more than 79 million people. Nationally, Kentucky has some of the highest rates of HPV-related cancers; according to the Kentucky Cancer Registry, these elevated cancer rates are primarily attributable to cancer disparities observed in the 54-county Appalachian region of the state.
Almost all cervical cancers are caused by HPV, and several other cancers are linked to the virus as well, including head and neck, anal, penile, vulvar, and vaginal malignancies. Completing the vaccination series is the best way for young women (and men) to protect themselves against HPV infection and HPV-related cancers.
Personal beliefs like fatalism can serve as barrier to preventive health care measures such as HPV vaccination. Findings from the study indicate that fatalistic beliefs should be addressed in a culturally sensitive manner through education and tailored communication messaging. Such efforts may help increase HPV vaccination rates and decrease cervical cancer rates in Appalachian Kentucky.
"Results from this study may encourage health care providers to proactively assess and address young women’s personal health beliefs and develop a strategy for helping them complete the HPV vaccination series," Robin Vanderpool, associate professor in UK's Department of Health Behavior and deputy director of the Rural Cancer Prevention Center, said.
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."
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