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Community Matters is your destination for the latest news from UK HealthCare’s community engagement program.
April 2, 2014
Help St. Agnes’ House help others in need
I had the opportunity this morning to tour St. Agnes’ House, a hospitality ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Lexington. The house provides affordable lodging to patients and their caregivers who come to Lexington seeking treatment for serious illnesses at area hospitals. Many are patients at UK HealthCare due to the house’s proximity to our campus […]
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Hosted by the University Health Service, your student health clinic
April 17, 2014
I have conjunctivitis!? Pink eye! What do I do now?
Pink eye (conjunctivitis) is more common than you might think. UHS had 551 visits for conjunctivitis in the last 12 months. Chris McGlothlin-Boggs, APRN answers some of your questions about dealing with this condition. Q: What is conjunctivitis? Is it the same as pink eye? A: Conjunctivitis is the medical term for “pink eye” so […]
Hosted by Fernanda C. Camargo, DMV, PhD
March 7, 2014
Another high profile horse accident
On March 5, dressage rider Silva Martin, the wife of eventer Boyd Martin, was teaching a riding lesson while also on horseback, when her horse tripped and fell on her. She was wearing a helmet, but hit the ground unconscious and had a seizure. She was flown into the hospital and MRI showed that she […]
Hosted by Rachel C. Miller, MS, RD, LD
April 2, 2014 Tempt your tastebuds! Change in taste is one of the unwelcome side effects from radiation and/or chemotherapy, with the sense of taste being completely dulled – or the opposite effect of some flavors being heightened, such as sweet or bitter. Either can make food seem unappetizing. This recipe includes bold flavors that may be more appealing to the […]
Leading the way for every patient, every time
April 16, 2014
Kudos to Kentucky Children’s Hospital (KCH)
The following comment was left on the KCH Facebook page: “My Son was released today; everyone went way beyond their job to make both of us comfortable! Doctor’s & Nurses kept me very well informed about the treatment of my Son. Even, dietary & house -keeping was wonderful!! And the Joy cart was such a […]
March 26, 2014
More nighttime renderings
Side views of the building at night.
Hosted by James C. Liau, MD
November 19, 2013
Thoughts from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons annual meeting
I attended the American Society of Plastic Surgeons annual meeting this October and had a very interesting time discussing clefts with other plastic and reconstructive surgeons dedicated to cleft care. During this meeting, several thoughts popped into my head: It is a small group nationally, but one that is passionate about and dedicated to cleft […]
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 23, 2014) − Richard D. Andreatta, an associate professor in the Division of Communication Sciences & Disorders (CSD) at the University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences and a member of the Rehabilitation Sciences Doctorate Program (RHB) graduate faculty, has been named the 2014 recipient of the college’s Kingston Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Andreatta is the director of Undergraduate Studies for CSD, teaches and advises undergraduate and graduate courses in the CSD and RHB programs, and serves as a research mentor. He is also a faculty associate in the Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center (SCoBIRC) at the UK College of Medicine. He received his doctorate in Speech Physiology and Neuroscience in 1999 from Indiana University, Bloomington. Andreatta also serves as the director of the Laryngeal & Speech Dynamics Lab.
“The Kingston Award for Excellence in Teaching is a prestigious honor, and it shows how much value our college places on teaching,” said Sharon R. Stewart, interim dean of the UK College of Health Sciences. “Dr. Andreatta is highly respected by undergraduate and graduate students alike. Student evaluations of his teaching are routinely very high, with students indicating that he is a dedicated and caring teacher, who is able to teach difficult content effectively. As the director of Undergraduate Studies for CSD, Dr. Andreatta provides valuable counsel and mentorship to students just entering the profession. As a member of the graduate faculty, he is viewed as an excellent academic and research advisor.”
The Kingston Award was established in recognition of Richard “Dick” Kingston’s creativity and innovation in education. This award recognizes faculty for outstanding contributions and long-term consistent excellence in teaching
Media Contact: Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 22, 2014) - At the University of Kentucky, the gross anatomy course that introduces students to the intricacies of body systems is reserved for graduate-level students. But, as Dr. April Richardson-Hatcher has discovered, real-world rules can be bent in a virtual universe.
A professor of anatomy and neurobiology in the UK College of Medicine, Hatcher teaches Anatomy 309: An Introduction to Regional Anatomy, a course that meets weekly in the 3-D virtual world of Second Life. In this preparatory course, which is not available in a live classroom, Hatcher gives students who are serious about health care professions a head start visualizing and understanding complex regions of the human body.
Hatcher's virtual course is founded on the Team-Based Learning Collaborative, a technique that engages students through team collaboration and the application of course content through critical-thinking exercises. Instructors have found the Team-Based Learning approach improves student motivation, participation, attendance and performance. Hatcher, who is studying how students respond to learning medical science through a virtual platform, offered the course for the first time during the spring semester of 2013. In March, she presented observations from the first edition of the class at the Team-Based Learning Collaborative conference in San Diego, Calif.
"Medicine is very group-oriented in some ways," Hatcher said. "In a lot of online courses, you are disconnected with the students around you. There's something about being in the virtual world. You feel immersed in the room, like you are in an actual classroom and you are having a shared experience."
Every week, students log into the virtual classroom that exists on the "UK Island," or the Second Life virtual real estate owned and managed by the University of Kentucky Information Technology Department. Before the course started, students were required to create an account in Second Life and design an avatar. Student avatars wear blue scrubs and a white lab coat to simulate a professional environment.
Hatcher's 90-minute course is divided into three activities: the individual quiz, the group quiz and the classroom discussion, all of which are centered on a specific body region assigned to the classroom the week before. After completing a timed individual quiz, the students "teleport" to an assigned classroom where they deliberate in groups of four to six to answer questions on the group quiz and clinical scenarios. Students use instant messaging and voice communication to discuss the clinical scenario. They conclude the session by teleporting to the "main" laboratory where Hatcher's avatar leads an open discussion of the clinical scenarios and reviews answers. These components of the Team-Based Learning curriculum are designed to enhance students’ confidence and group skills prior to entering their professional training programs.
Instructors and teaching assistants also wear lab coats and continuously monitor the dialogue among students during the group exercises. As an instructor in the virtual classroom, Hatcher has the advantage of engaging in multiple discussions with students at once and monitoring their thought processes.
With the help of Matt Hazzard, a biomedical illustrator in UK Information Technology, Hatcher custom built multiple classrooms and a laboratory in the Second Life program. In preparation for the weekly Team-Based Learning sessions, students study descriptive, animated PowerPoint presentations of the regional anatomy. They also study a customized list of cadaver structures through an online program Anatomy and Physiology Revealed 3.0. Students can virtually dissect the regions of interest with clickable phases revealing each layer of muscles, ligaments, vessels, nerves and bone structures. These images are then presented as practicum-style questions on the course exams to mimic the experience of a lab exam in future professional anatomy courses.
Hatcher and Hazzard also worked together to design the Cranial Nerve Skywalk, a room hovering above the UK Island in Second Life where students from all over the world can visualize and study a 3-D model of complex cranial nerves III, V, VII and IX.
Hazzard constructed the models from 3-D scans of human bones, provided by Dr. Paul Brown from Stanford University, by superimposing basic nerve structures on the skull models. Teaching and learning the cranial nerve pathways is often a challenge using only two-dimensional illustrations. Using the virtual 3-D models, students are able to grasp an understanding of the pathways of cranial nerves and the types of fibers carried within those nerves.
The virtual world also allows collaboration and conversation with students from all parts of the world. Students and professors from universities in Manitoba, Canada, and Perth, Australia, have logged into Second Life to sit in on classes and view the cranial nerve models on UK’s Island. Hatcher will present a workshop on the virtual Team-Based Learning technique at upcoming conferences for the Human Anatomy & Physiology Society in May and International Association of Medical Science Educators in June.
A student in the inaugural class offered in 2013, Mary Jennings is now a first-year medical student at UK. Jennings, a biology and Spanish major, added Hatcher's class to her final semester schedule to prepare for hands-on anatomy courses in medical school. She said the course helped her become familiar with medical terminology and develop habits to memorize an immense amount of material. In addition, the class helped her prepare psychologically for working on real cadavers in medical school.
"It was nice in the sense that you were prepared to see people who had passed and treat that in a scientific way," Jennings said.
Because medical school involves group learning and often competitive personalities, Jennings thinks the Team-Based Learning environment gave her valuable experience engaging in fast-paced scientific discussions and collaborating with a team.
"There are so many type A people who are so competitive and you are asking them to work as a team," Jennings said of medical students. "At some level, (the course) did prepare me for how tough people are on each other. Most the time, people are great, but they are really academcially strong."
Austin Stratton, a senior studying biology and psychology, echoed an appreciation for the preparatory course. As a visual learner, Stratton, who is applying to medical school, was able to get a sense of what he expects to see in medical school.
"An online interactive kind of class was very cool for me because I play a lot of video games," Stratton said. "In a great way, it contributed to my future in medicine."
To view the cranial nerve skywalk in Second Life, visit http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/University%20of%20KY/123/40/1001.
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, email@example.com
This column first appeared in the April 20 edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 22, 2014) -- For years, doctors have advised patients about the relationship between diet and health risks for conditions such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer. Now, as community health researchers, we are seeing a correlation between a self-reported unhealthy diet and reduced levels of testosterone in men ages 45 and older.
Testosterone is a androgenic hormone found in men and in lower concentrations in women. In addition to playing an important role during male puberty and sexual development, testosterone serves important functions and affects multiple organ systems. Studies have indicated that men with lower levels of testosterone have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as diabetes, obesity and all other causes of mortality. Testosterone serves an important function in developing muscle mass, especially in the face and upper body, and building bone density. Probably the most commonly known function of testosterone is its role as a sexsteriod, which means it increases libido and improves sexual function.
Our team at the UK HealthCare Division of Community Medicine in collaboration with the University of North Texas Health Science Center found a correlation between poor diet and low levels of testosterone in men ages 45 and older. The research was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health. The study, which was recently published online in the Journal of Primary Care and Community Health, analyzed testosterone levels and lifestyle factors of 147 men in the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan area.
All participants underwent a one-hour interview in addition to having blood drawn to measure testosterone levels. Participants were asked whether they had a healthy diet, which was classified as having high amounts of fruits, vegetables, poultry and fish, or an unhealthy diet, which was classified as having high amounts of red meat, fried food and fast food. The study found reduced testosterone levels were related to the increased age and unhealthy diets self-reported by participants. The study implicates that diet, in addition to advanced age, is a possible risk factor for developing reduced testosterone levels.
Testosterone levels among men decline by 1 percent per year starting at age 40. Low testosterone is defined as less than 300 nanograms/deciliter. Our study found that 39 percent of participants had levels below 300 nanograms/deciliter. According to an unaffiliated 2009 study by the National Institutes of Health, five million men have low testosterone.
While low levels of testosterone won't threaten a man's life, the condition can lead to a reduction in quality of life. Testosterone deficiency is typically only treated for symptoms as therapies to treat low testosterone levels are still under testing and review. Only a small percentage of men in the study exhibited symptoms of lower levels of testosterone. More research will be required to fully understand the relationship between diet and testosterone levels. Still, our findings point to evidence diet is a major indicator when it comes to overall health and wellness.
Dr. Roberto Cardarelli is the chief of the Division of Community Medicine at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Jason Meyer is a combined MD/Ph.D student at the University of Kentucky.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 21, 2014) — Dr. Otto Kaak, associate director of the University of Kentucky’s Center on Trauma and Children, will be featured in KET’s new Health Special Report Safe and Sound: Raising Emotionally Healthy Children in a Stressful World, premiering at 9 p.m., Monday, April 21, on KET.
Safe and Sound will discuss the e importance of young children receiving positive nurturing and early experiences in order to develop good long-term mental and physical health. The program will present ways parents can generate positive social and mental health for their children through interviews with experts an d profiles of programs across Kentucky that specialize in this field.
During the program, Kaak contributes important research findings from the UK Center of Trauma and Children and helpful advice for parents concerning the enhancement of the well-being of children. He focuses on developing and utilizing methods that can improve the health of abused children, through the research of the Center, whose main emphasis is identifying the source of problems displayed by children affected by trauma or abuse.
Kaak, a professor of psychiatry, pediatrics, and social work for UK, has worked for the university since 1972, where he now primarily assists in evaluating families with open, substantiated cases of abuse or neglect.
The Center on Trauma and Children at UK mission is to develop and distribute knowledge and practices that will contribute to the reduction and end of violence against children and its traumatic effects. The Center specializes on developing evidence-based behavioral health practices with children, families and adults whose lives have been affected by violence.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 18, 2014) -- In the waiting room at UK HealthCare's Pulmonary Rehabilitation Clinic sits a large binder labeled "Success Stories." Inside are pages and pages of testimony from patients who discovered a renewed quality of life as a result of their experience. "I can walk through the mall with my grandkids again," reads one. "Most important thing I've ever done," declares another.
But certain words appear repeatedly throughout: encouragement, support, compassion, welcoming. It's evident that these patients adore the staff that helps them breathe more fully again.
Mike Graham, 53, of Harrodsburg, hopes to add his testimony to the binder soon.
A life-long scuba diver, Graham was making a dive in Findlay, Ohio, last year when suddenly he could not catch his breath. "I panicked," he recalls. "At first I thought my tank was bad, but when I got back to the surface and still couldn't catch my breath, I knew something was wrong." His primary care physician diagnosed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD; a visit to UK in December confirmed the diagnosis. Graham was put on an inhaler to reduce airway constriction and referred to UK's pulmonary rehab program.
Just nine weeks in, Graham already delights in the return to many of his beloved activities. A self-described gentleman farmer, Graham has always shared an emotional bond with his cattle. "They're my kids," he says. Before he began his treatment, Graham couldn't climb a flight of stairs without losing his breath. "I can play with my kids again," he says with a twinkle. "A walk to their pasture used to be out of the question, but now I get to give them their 'sweet feed' treats of molasses and ground corn every morning."
COPD is an umbrella term used to describe progressive lung diseases such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, or non-reversible asthma. The disease is characterized by increasing breathlessness, frequent coughing, wheezing, and/or tightness in the chest. COPD is the No. 3 killer in Kentucky and the No. 5 killer for all Americans. It affects an estimated 24 million individuals in the U.S.
"Perhaps the cruelest aspect of COPD is that it is initially a silent disease, developing for years without noticeable shortness of breath," says Dr. John McCormick, director of the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program at UK. "Often, by the time the patient comes to us, the disease has already seriously compromised lung function, medications are less effective in controlling symptoms and patients become reliant on supplemental oxygen, all of which reduces a patient's quality of life hugely."
However, Dr. McCormick explains, pulmonary rehab can be the lifeline that returns sufferers to a fuller life. The magic comes in the form of an interdisciplinary team of pulmonologists, nurses, exercise physiologists, dietitians and lifestyle therapists -- also known as Beth Cundiff, Nancy Kessler, Jacob Stone, Craig Staub, Heather Leger and Audrey Darville.
Through exercise training, psychosocial support, and education, this team helps patients restore strength and endurance, reduce disease symptoms, self-manage common complications and know when to call for help. Patients who complete the program also often report fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety, which are commonly associated with chronic lung diseases. And, says Dr. McCormick, because it's been demonstrated that patients who participate in such programs actually end up needing less "health care" in the long run, COPD becomes less of a financial burden for those patients, particularly since many health insurance plans cover pulmonary rehabilitation programs.
"If it weren't for these people, the program would just be a roomful of machines," Graham says, counting names off using his fingers. Craig and Jake encourage me with my training and constantly monitor my heart rate and oxygen levels, which allows me to train as hard as possible without worry. Dr. McCormick and Beth taught me about how the lungs work, which really helped me understand my COPD. And Audrey helped me leave my 35 year smoking habit behind."
"I could go on and on," he says with a smile. "Absolutely everyone here contributes to my learning in a powerful way."
And that, Dr. McCormick says, is precisely the point.
"Exercise is, of course, an essential component of the program," he says. "But our patient care team goes beyond the basics by facilitating therapeutic support among participants, their family members and friends and creating a milieu where patients encourage and learn from each other."
On any given day in the clinic, there are patients on treadmills, bicycles, elliptical machines, or lifting weights. Some are on supplemental oxygen, and all of them wear equipment that monitors pulse, blood pressure and oxygen levels while they work out. Exercise physiologists crisscross the room, checking on patients and offering advice and encouragement.
Behind the exercise area is a classroom where knowledgeable clinic staff teach participants about the disease process, share breathing and other relaxation techniques, offer nutritional advice, and facilitate idea sharing and troubleshooting among members of the group.
There are even field trips -- Graham tells how dietitian Heather Leger took a group of patients to a local grocery store for a hands-on tutorial on reading nutrition labels and making healthy food choices.
"This has been an amazing process of discovery," Graham says. "I've learned so much about my COPD and how to live a full life in spite of it. If I can help just one other person by sharing what I've learned, it will be worth the effort." To that end, Graham has volunteered for a program with the National COPD Foundation that will pair newly-diagnosed sufferers with mentors like Graham who can offer advice and encouragement.
"And," he says, "I'm already hounding my brother, my sister, and two of my diver friends to quit smoking."
Those diver friends in particular are taking notice. Graham returned to scuba diving last week at the same quarry in Findlay, Ohio, where he first realized that something was terribly wrong.
"I took basically the same dive," he says. "And when I got to the spot where I panicked last time, I paused for a moment, smiled and gave my diving buddy the 'OK' sign, and then kept on going."
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 17, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society hosted their third annual "Meet the Researchers Day" on Tuesday. Meet the Researchers Day is a field trip given as a prize to two schools in the region who successfully raise more than $1,000 for the LLS's Pennies for Patients campaign.
This year, students from Meece Middle School (MMS) in Somerset, Ky., and Lexington Traditional Magnet School (LTMS) won the opportunity to visit the Biomedical/Biological Sciences Research Building (BBSRB) on UK's campus and learned more about how the money they raised for Pennies for Patients will help further cancer research.
After a formal introduction by Kathleen O'Connor, researcher and associate director of cancer education for the UK Markey Cancer Center, the students had the opportunity to rotate between presentations by pediatric hematologist/oncologist Dr. John D'Orazio and biochemist Craig Vander Kooi. Additionally, researchers Tianyan Gao and Garretson Epperly assisted O'Connor in giving the students a tour of O'Connor's research lab space in the BBSRB.
Pennies for Patients is the annual fundraiser for the School & Youth division of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. It encourages students to collect spare change during a set three-week time frame early in the year. Funds raised support leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma research; patient and community service; public health education; and professional education.
For this year's campaign, 233 schools across the region raised a total of $264,062.03. Kentucky schools participating in Pennies for Patients had to raise a minimum of $1,000 to win the chance to attend Meet the Researchers Day. MMS and LTMS were chosen in a random drawing, raising $1,216.55 and $2,505.21, respectively.
To learn more about the Pennies for Patients program, visit www.schoolandyouth.org.
MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 18, 2014) − The Dickens' twins look alike, have similar taste in food, listen to the same music, and enjoy outdoor activities. They are both good in math and science, both earned a bachelor's degree at the University of Kentucky in human nutrition science with a minor in biology, and both are pursuing careers in medicine.
However, for perhaps the first time in their lives, Brett and Blake Dickens are at a fork in the road and each are going their separate ways; one road leading to the UK College of Dentistry and other road leading to the UK College of Medicine.
Blake and Brett, 23-year-old identical twins from Owensboro, say they grew up in a big UK family that bleeds blue, many of whom are in the health care professions. They remember listening to the stories of their two older sisters, Megan and Ashley, both graduates of the UK College of Nursing, and cousins, who are all nurse anesthetists, as they talked about their experiences on the job. Blake and Brett knew at a fairly young age that they wanted to follow in their family's footsteps to UK and into some area of health care.
"We really are alike to a T," Blake Dickens says. "Growing up and being so close, we always had conversations about what we wanted to do with our lives. So while we were dreaming about being professional athletes and other things that boys do, we also spent a lot of time talking about going into medicine."
Whether by nature or nurture, or perhaps a little of both, the brothers were drawn to medical careers. Blake became interested in dentistry because it allows him to combine both medicine and working with his hands. In addition, dentistry is a profession where he feels as though he can build strong, long-term relationships with his patients.
"I like seeing the before and after of good dental work," said Blake Dickens, currently completing his first year in the UK College of Dentistry.
Brett's interest in emergency medicine was influenced by an experience he had as a teenager while out riding with his dad, a retired firefighter and EMT.
"We came upon the scene of a horrible accident. My dad got out to help until paramedics arrived. Watching him work to help those people is something I will remember for the rest of my life," he said. "If bad things have already happened, I want to be there to help with a quick response."
Brett Dickens, currently completing his first year in the UK College of Medicine, worked in UK's Emergency Department (ED) all four years as an undergraduate student, and working in an ED is where he hopes to be someday, helping people in traumatic situations.
Blake Dickens says that he and his brother have spent almost their entire lives side by side.
"It's definitely a new experience to go an entire day without having a class together," he said.
"This is probably the biggest decision that we have made independent of each other," Brett adds.
Despite the running joke among their friends about how much Blake and Brett look and act alike, they have embraced their individual roles as UK dental and medical students and are thriving on their separate paths.
"I like learning about things I have seen and questioned and gaining an understanding in those things. It enables me to put things in order," Brett Dickens said.
Outside of class and studies, Brett represents his class in the Medical Student Government Association and takes part in an ultrasound interest group while Blake is president of the College of Dentistry's Class of 2017.
"The College of Dentistry does a good job of creating a supportive, family-like atmosphere. Faculty come out and mingle with students at events. It's a very collegiate network," he said.
The bond that exists between Blake and Brett Dickens is undeniable. Even though they are on separate journeys towards a career in dentistry and medicine, they will always share the advantages that come along with being a twin; as well as the bond that links them to an entire nation - the Big Blue Nation - they bleed blue.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 16, 2014) – The Annual Barnstable Brown Derby Eve Gala, benefiting the Barnstable Brown Kentucky Diabetes and Obesity Research Center at the University of Kentucky, will be 8 p.m., Friday, May 2 in Louisville.
During the past eight years, the gala has raised more than $9.6 million for the nationally and internationally recognized Center of Excellence in diabetes and obesity research at UK. The Barnstable Brown Kentucky Diabetes and Obesity Research Center unites clinical care, research, education and advocacy to provide a comprehensive program to improve the lives of people living with diabetes.
Research at the center focuses on prevention and treatment of diabetes and targets end-organ complications of diabetes and moves from the laboratory to the clinical research center and ultimately to the clinical setting when treating patients.
The gala, which originated two decades ago, was founded by twin sisters Patricia Barnstable Brown and Priscilla Barnstable, along with Patricia’s late husband Dr. David E. Brown who passed away from complications of the disease in 2003.
The star-packed gala, known for its musical extravaganza, has released its celebrity lineup which includes Kings of Leon, Lily Aldridge, Miranda Lambert, Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart, Boyz II Men and Tom Brady.
Guests also will include: Kix Brooks, Dierks Bentley, Aaron Rodgers, Gene Simmons, Shannon Tweed, Richie Sambora, Stephen Amell, Bode Miller, Morgan Miller, Clay Walker, Pete Wentz, Salt-n-Pepa, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Mary Wilson of the Supremes, LeeAnn Womack, Josh Henderson, Johnny Gill, My Morning Jacket, Terry O’Quinn, Jennifer Holliday, Travis Tritt, Taylor Dayne, Joey Fatone, Montgomery Gentry’s Eddie Montgomery, Tracy Byrd, Jason Dufner (guest of the PGA), Wes Welker (Denver Broncos), Randall Cobb (Green Bay Packers), Vince Wilfork (New England Patriots), Larry Birkhead, Olivia Henken, Jodie Meeks (University of Kentucky, Los Angeles Lakers), Doron Lamb (University of Kentucky, Orlando Magic), Kris Humphries (Boston Celtics), Charissa Thompson (Fox Sports), and Stephen Van Treese (University of Louisville).
“Our 26th year is going to be extraordinary,” said Patricia Barnstable-Brown “It’ll be one for the history books.” For more information about the gala, call 502-491-6778.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 16, 2014) — Two years ago, John Doty came down with a cold that just wouldn't go away.
After weeks of dealing with the symptoms, Doty was diagnosed with walking pneumonia and received antibiotics. He started to feel better, but the illness crept back. Finally, after a trip to Red River Gorge — where he felt he just couldn't catch his breath — he went back to his physician and was referred to a cardiologist.
After running tests, his doctors gave him a new diagnosis — a severely weakened heart with an ejection fraction of less than 10 percent. The ejection fraction is a measure of how effectively the heart can pump blood volume into the body — and in a healthy heart, that number falls between 50-65 percent.
At a local hospital, Doty underwent a procedure to have a defibrillator implanted. However, during the procedure, he became very unstable and his blood pressure began to drop.
Doty's heart was so weak, he needed a left ventricular assist devices or LVAD. He was swiftly transferred to UK Chandler Hospital — the only hospital in Lexington and only one of two in the state that perform VAD procedures for emergency treatment.
“When Mr. Doty was transferred to UK, he was very sick, on a ventilator and requiring two medications to support his blood pressure,” says Dr. Navin Rajagopalan, a heart failure cardiologist at the UK Gill Heart Institute. “He was going into kidney and liver failure. It was clear that he needed an assist device as soon as possible before the damage to his body was irreversible.”
VADs are devices that are used to partially replace the function of a failing heart. Though they are frequently only used on the left ventricle (LVAD), some patients may require an assist device to support the right ventricle (RVAD). Some patients may also require two devices to support both ventricles (BiVAD).
VADs are sometimes used briefly following heart attacks or surgeries because they can allow the heart to rest and even heal. Some patients require them long-term — as a bridge to transplant, for instance — and some patients with advanced congestive heart failure require a VAD for the rest of their lives.
Andy Baker, a UK patient whose heart was damaged by a viral infection, says he was initially reluctant to get a VAD. Now, however, the Danville resident says he's happy to keep the device and has no interest in getting a heart transplant. With the VAD, he's able to stay active and busy, noting that he "doesn't see any sense in just sitting around."
"I had mixed feelings about it," Baker said of getting the VAD. "But it's given me life again."
UK began performing VAD procedures in 1995, and each year, UK performs about 20 to 30 procedures on patients all across the Commonwealth and beyond. UK's Advanced Ventricular Assist Device program recently received their third straight biannual Certificate of Distinction from The Joint Commission (TJC), the leading accreditor of health care organizations in America. To earn this distinction, eligible VAD programs must demonstrate excellence in TJC's standards, clinical practice guidelines and performance measures.
"Receiving the VAD Certificate of Distinction for the third straight review cycle shows just what an outstanding job our physicians, nurses and support staff are doing when it comes to treating patients who require these assist devices," said Dr. Maya Guglin, director of UK's Mechanical Assisted Circulation Program. "It's proof that we are going above and beyond to ensure our patients are receiving the best quality care."
For most patients, a VAD provides an opportunity to recover at home without the repeated readmissions to the hospital that may come from other heart failure treatment options — thus saving costs for both the hospital and the patient. With a VAD, many patients are able to return to their everyday lives and still do many of the same activities they did before.
And in some cases, the VAD allows the heart to heal enough so that the device is no longer needed. Doty is one of the lucky 5 to 10 percent of patients who recovered enough to warrant removal of the device. After 16 weeks of being on his VAD combined with regular cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, his ejection fraction had improved to 55 percent, and his device was explanted in December 2013.
"I almost feel like I never had it," Doty says, noting that having the VAD was a small price to pay for being healthy. "It wasn't that great of an imposition, considering that it was keeping you alive."
Baker, a father of three, echoes a similar sentiment.
"I had three girls at home, and I wanted to see them grow up," he said. "The LVAD has allowed me to do that."
MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 14, 2014) - A couple of times a week during the lunch hour, the tapping of drums, strumming of guitars and harmonizing of voices trails into the hallways of the Kentucky Clinic and the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital.
Faculty and staff stop to listen at the doorway of an office used as a rehearsal room for The CatsEclectic, a band comprised of UK HealthCare employees. The six-member band plays a variety of pop music and classic hits from artists including Neil Young, The Everly Brothers, The Chiffons and Marvin Gaye, as well as a couple original songs. As part of UK HealthCare's Arts in HealthCare program, the band will perform in the Pavilion A Atrium from noon to 1 p.m. every second Tuesday of the month beginning April 15.
True to their name, the band is made up of a diverse mix of UK HealthCare staff members. Carolyn "Chef Cat" Burnette, who works in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, recruited members of the band when she was organizing a flash mob around Christmas. The band started out with Burnette on guitar and two of her department co-workers, Kim “Sugar Cat” Pugh and Teresa “Sweet-T” Harmon, on vocals. After sending out a call for band members through a UK HealthCare listserv, Mike “Riff Daddy” Bratcher, an information technology trainer, joined as a bassist, and Glen “Tigger” White, a customer relations specialist, came on board as a percussionist. The band recently added Jimmy “J Flow” Thomas, medical technician and assistant manager in Women's Health/Rheumatology, on vocals and piano.
During their first and only performance so far in Atrium A, Burnette said co-workers, students and patients gathered to groove to the music. She remembers a man sitting with his son in his lap while enjoying the performance. Burnette thinks fun and upbeat music serves to cheer up patients in the hospital.
"It's a chance for us to share some good feelings with the patients and people passing by," Burnette said. "Music is a really powerful thing - words are powerful, but when you combine them with music, it's like medicine."
The Cats Eclectic are looking for experienced instrumental musicians at UK HealthCare as new members. If you are interested in joining the band, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Both Slone and Schladt have first-hand experience with the organ donation process. They will answer questions about this and related topics beginning 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 15, via the university's official Twitter account, @universityofky.
Those interested in following the conversation or participating in the chat can follow the university's official account or use the hashtag #AskACat for questions and responses from the Twitter chat.
Individuals interested in asking questions about the topics of organ donation, Donate Life Month or other related topics should send their questions to twitter.com/universityofky through 3 p.m. April 15, or to the UK Facebook page prior to 2 p.m., April 15. Responses to questions will be shared with the university's Twitter followers and those following the hashtag #AskACat.
UK's transplant program is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and is one of only two transplant programs in the state of Kentucky. Founded in 1987, KODA is dedicated to saving lives through organ and tissue donation and transplantation. KODA was formed to establish a statewide educational and procurement network. For more information on the organization or to learn how to become an organ donor, visit www.kyorgandonor.org.
UK will present its next #AskACat Twitter chat June 17.
MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; firstname.lastname@example.org
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (April 11, 2014) – Dr. Jayakrishna Ambati, professor and vice chair of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences in the University of Kentucky College of Medicine has been named one of 14 recipients of the 2014 SEC Faculty Achievement Awards. The annual awards recognize a faculty member from every SEC university who demonstrates outstanding records of teaching, research and scholarship.
To be eligible for the SEC Faculty Achievement Award, a professor must be a teacher or scholar at an SEC university; have achieved the rank of full professor at an SEC university; have a record of extraordinary teaching; and a record of scholarship that is recognized nationally and/or internationally.
Since Ambati's arrival at UK in 2001, he has made significant contributions to the University as a teacher, physician-scientist, and researcher. His published studies appear in top-tier journals such as, Cell, Nature, and the New England Journal of Medicine. On a national and international level, Ambati and his team are perhaps most noted for groundbreaking discoveries and contributions to the body of knowledge related to Age Related Macular Degeneration.
Ambati's research has led to numerous coveted physician-scientist awards such as the Doris Duke Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Translational Research Clinical Scientist Award, the Ellison Medical Foundation Senior Scholar in Aging, the Prix Soubrane de la Recherehe en Ophthalmalogie in Paris, France, for his contributions to research in age-related macular degeneration, and the Mark Brothers Award from the Indiana University School of Medicine. Additionally, he was recently inducted as a member of Club Jules Gonin, which is regarded as the most exclusive society of retina physicians and surgeons in the world.
“The 2014 SEC Faculty Achievement Award winners are some of our nation’s most accomplished instructors, researchers and scholars,” said Dr. Jay Gogue, President of Auburn University and President of the Southeastern Conference. “It is my great pleasure to preside over an intercollegiate athletics conference that not only recognizes their work, but strives to support it as well.”
SEC Faculty Achievement Award winners receive a $5,000 honorarium from the Southeastern Conference and become his or her university’s nominee for the SEC Professor of the Year Award. The SEC Professor of the Year, to be named later this month, receives an additional $15,000 honorarium and will be recognized at the SEC Spring Meetings in May and the SEC Symposium in September.
SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said, “These 14 professors positively represent the breadth and depth of education in the Southeastern Conference, and I want to congratulate each of them. The commitment to their students, universities and communities is truly commendable.”
Selected by a committee of SEC Provosts, the SEC Faculty Achievement Awards and the SEC Professor of the Year Award are part of SECU, the academic initiative of the Southeastern Conference, which sponsors, supports and promotes collaborative higher education programs and activities involving administrators, faculty and students at its 14 member universities.
Below is a complete list of the 2014 SEC Faculty Achievement Award recipients.
UK Media Contact: Ann Blackford, email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 11, 2014) − Sarah Martin, has been awarded the prestigious Mary McMillan Scholarship from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). Martin, who is from Lexington, is a student in the University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences Doctor of Physical Therapy program.
“I'm thankful to the APTA for the Mary McMillan Scholarship,” Martin said. “I am so appreciative of the UK Physical Therapy program for nominating me for the award. It is an excellent program, and I’m excited to be able to represent the University as a student member of the APTA and as an award recipient.”
The Mary McMillan Scholarship Award recognizes students who exhibit superior scholastic ability and potential for future professional contribution. Awards are made on a competitive basis. Recipients are selected on the basis of the following criteria: superior scholastic performance, past productivity, evidence of potential contribution to physical therapy, and service to the APTA.
Martin received her doctorate degree in anatomy and neurobiology from UK in 2008 and entered the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program in August 2011. She is expected to graduate with her DPT degree in August 2014 with honors. She received the UK College of Health Sciences Academic Excellence Scholarship this year, and she was selected for the Kentucky Physical Therapy Association All-Academic Team this year as well. She currently maintains a 3.9 GPA in her major.
“Sarah’s competence has been demonstrated consistently and with high quality in her lab practical examinations and in her clinical rotations,” said Anne L. Harrison, director of professional studies for the Division of Physical Therapy. “She excels in her understanding of the didactic material, as well as in being able to translate head to hands in the psychomotor domain.”
Martin is one of only five students nationally to receive this $5,000 scholarship. She will be recognized during the APTA’s NEXT Conference and Exposition, June 11 through 14 in Charlotte, N.C.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 14, 2014) − Dr. Thomas Young, a University of Kentucky College of Medicine professor of pediatrics, had dreams from a young age of emulating Albert Schweitzer, an early 1900s medical missionary.
Thanks to a group comprised of UK employees and students and Lexington-area medical professionals, Young is closer to those dreams, while making life better for kids with disabilities in India.
In 2002, Young started Shoulder to Shoulder Global (STSG), which sent UK faculty and students to a clinic in Ecuador. Now, the organization is expanding its reach into Mayasandra, a rural Indian village.
Young and UK pediatric pulmonologist Dr. Mike Anstead were instrumental in establishing a Mayasandra clinic that is dedicated to kids with disabilities. The clinic, which the STSG group hopes to travel to annually after its first exploratory trip there in 2009, is staffed year-round, even when the Lexington professionals aren’t there.
Thirteen medical professionals and students traveled to Mayasandra during spring break as part of a multidisciplinary approach to diagnosing and treating Indian children with special healthcare needs. Physical therapists, special educators, a speech and language therapist and pediatric residents were all involved this year.
A “local champion” is necessary for these types of projects, Young said, and the STSG group found that person in Dr. M.N. Subramanya, a retired surgeon originally from Mayasandra, whose son-in-law, Dr. Harohalli Shashidhar, used to be a UK physician. Among help from Young, Anstead, Subramanya and Shashidhar, along with other STSG donations, the Mayasandra clinic was able to establish itself and purchase a van used to provide transportation to the clinic for children from 16 surrounding villages.
Although kids with disabilities were not the Mayasandra project’s original focus, Young realized during the 2009 exploratory trip, where his group saw 500 children, that the village had unfulfilled needs.
“After we saw all those kids, we all noticed the same thing,” Young said. “We saw all these kids with disabilities getting no service. I didn’t envision all this when I first started. You learn and make mistakes, and try to get better next time.”
Now, a multidisciplinary approach is being taken into Mayasandra. The Lexington community can pull from a variety of professions, and bring those talents to the village.
That approach, which allows physical therapists to work with special educators or speech therapists with medical school students in unprecedented ways, allows for an educational component for students, too.
“You’re never going to be operating on an island,” said UK medical student Justin Penticuff, who traveled to Mayasandra this year. “You’re always going to need to work with the whole team.”
Working with an entire interdisciplinary team is one part of the equation; getting real-world experience in an environment very different from what they’re used to is something else students can take away from the STSG program in India.
“We have to be able to come up with ideas for people who don’t have access to specialty things,” said Erin Sieberkrob, a UK physical therapy student on the trip. “It’s our job as healthcare providers to accommodate them and give them ideas of what they can do. That’s something important we learned just being in India.”
The program still has room to grow. Those involved want to build a new clinic in Mayasandra, which would require about $75,000. They want to hire a certified teacher at the clinic year-round. And building vocational programs at the clinic to help teach kids necessary skills is also a dream of STSG’s.
If interested in donating to STSG and its efforts in India, contact Dr. Thomas Young at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 10, 2014) − Chlodys Johnstone, a University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences Physician Assistant Studies student, has been invited to present at the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) 2014 Forum.
Johnstone, UKPAS Class of 2014, will present at the forum, which will be held in Boston in late May. She is one of only a handful of physician assistant students across the nation whose academic projects were selected for presentation. Her work titled, "Provider Plan of Care Practices for the Obese Patient in the Primary Care Setting,” was selected for poster presentation at this year’s national AAPA forum, which is held annually and is considered one of two seminal conferences for the physician assistant profession.
"I am excited not only to have the opportunity to present my research, but also to have the experience of going to the national AAPA conference," Johnstone said.
Kevin M. Schuer, who is an assistant professor for UK’s PA program, has been Johnstone’s faculty advisor on the project. Schuer said he has been impressed with her since her arrival as a new PA student in 2011.
“Chlodys has been a very high achieving student since day one," Schuer said. "Her work ethic, dedication and commitment to excellence on a daily basis are inspiring to both her peers, as well as to our faculty. We are very proud of her accomplishments and are equally thrilled that Chlodys is being recognized nationally for her work. She is a wonderful ambassador of our program and profession.”
Johnstone’s work analyzed primary care clinician’s plan of care and documentation of weight loss interventions for obese patients. Her examination reviewed whether or not providers who see obese patients utilize validated and evidence-based weight management interventions developed by the United States Preventive Services Task Force. Her study findings will help primary care providers understand what is currently being done to help patients manage weight loss, as well as identify areas of provider plan of care improvement.
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