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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.
MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 13, 2015) — As a final step before leaving the United States to serve abroad, U.S. Army Logistical Chief Warrant Officer Four Josie Evans went for a routine medical exam at her base in Fort Knox, Kentucky. Expecting to be found medically fit for deployment, instead Evans was given much different news.
“They first thought it was a cyst,” said Evans. “After going to a doctor in Elizabethtown to have it cleaned out, a biopsy came back that it was odontogenic myxoma.”
Odontogenic myxoma is a rare abnormal growth in tissue, in many cases, seen in the lower jaw area. Young adults are more commonly diagnosed with odontogenic myxoma, although cases have been identified in patients ranging from ages 10 to 50 years old. While painless and benign, it is often referred to as “locally malignant.” If left untreated it grows aggressively, and is invasive and destructive.
“After seeing how extensive the problem was, and what all it entailed, Dr. Larry Cunningham at the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry was the only surgeon my doctor in Elizabethtown would recommend.”
At the suggestion of her local doctor, Evans made the trip to UK to undergo an extensive surgery performed by Cunningham of the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Department and Dr. Daniel Stewart of the Plastic Surgery Division. Her first surgery, which lasted over 14 hours, involved the resection, or removal, of her entire lower jaw and the reconstruction of the area.
“I lost from the left side of my chin all the way down the right side completely. All my chin, my lower teeth, there was nothing. My left fibula bone was used to rebuild my face.”
After Dr. Cunningham and his team removed the tumor and rebuilt the area, Evans began her road to recovery. The tumor had been very invasive. With the amount of facial reconstruction preformed, Evans remained in the hospital for some time following the operation. Due to swelling, she relied on a breathing tube for one month and a feeding tube for two months during recovery.
When recalling the support of her family, local church, Army organization, and health care team, Evans says, “God put the right people in my life. I had to learn to do everything all over again. I had to learn how to speak with the breathing tube. I refused to leave the hospital in a wheelchair. Before I left, I learned to use a walker. I had to learn how to walk without the one bone in my leg. I didn’t eat solid food for months after the feeding tube was removed. It was all very difficult.”
Following the initial surgery, Evans visited Drs. Cunningham and Stewart regularly for check-ups to review progress. Several additional surgeries were needed in order to care for issues involving infection. Engineered bone was added to address damage caused by infection to the fibula bone used during the reconstruction process.
“After the final surgery to treat infection, my lips and face were swollen again. They were two times their normal size. It was another hard process to go through,” says Evans. “The swelling went down really fast. I’m at the point now where I can get dental implants.”
“The staff at UK, the doctors, everybody was just awesome. I couldn’t have asked for a better team. It’s been a long road, a hard transition. When people see me, unless I tell them my story, they don’t know. That’s how great a job Dr. Cunningham and Dr. Stewart did on the resection and the reconstruction work.”
"Part of UK’s mission is to serve as a resource for community providers. Working as a multidisciplinary team, UK HealthCare providers are able to offer the support patients need in such complex cases, and assist community physicians in helping their patients reach a favorable outcome. Opportunities to make such a positive impact and take care of patients like Josey makes my work very fulfilling,” says Cunningham.
Just several months after the last surgery, Evans was able to return to teaching aerobics, running five miles or more every other day and go back to active status in the armed forces, where she has served for nearly 20 years.
“When you think you are in a bad place, you can look to your left and your right. There are people in worse conditions than I was in, so I thank God things are as good as they are for me. I just believe that God orchestrated it so I was put in the right place, at the right time, to get the right care. The University of Kentucky was the right care for me. I was absolutely blessed with the doctors I had. Dr. Cunningham and Dr. Stewart have blessed hands. They will always be a part of my life. They changed my life…I’m very grateful.”
“I met a lady at church that has been going through a similar process for about four or five years now. She had surgery somewhere else and things didn’t go well. When she saw me, and she learned my story, she asked for my doctors’ names. She’s now coming to UK after seeing me and hearing what great care I was given.”
Media Contact: Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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. 12, 2015) — You finish some online window-shopping for a new pair of Nikes and move on to check your Facebook feed. Something to the right of the feed catches your eye: it's that same pair of Nikes you haven't yet bought, with a link to a website that has it in your size.
Big Brother? No, Big Data.
In The Digital Doctor, big data's daunting definition is: "High volume, high velocity and/or high variety information assets that require new forms of processing to enable enhanced decision making, insight discovery, and process optimization."
But Joe Labianca describes big data in simpler terms.
"Our use of computers, smartphones and other devices generates massive amounts of data, much of which can be used to customize your shopping experience and make life easier," he said. "For example, with Google, perhaps the world's leading corporate user of big data analytics, users can download their smartphone app that tells you how long it will take you to get home (taking traffic into account) and whether the books you ordered from Amazon have arrived on your doorstep."
According to Labianca, Gatton Chair in Management at the University of Kentucky's Gatton College of Business and Economics, companies around the world are rushing to adopt big data analytics as a means to streamline product delivery, improve the shopping experience and boost sales. And that, in turn, is catching the eye of the health care industry, where the health records of a single patient can easily top thousands of pages and a larger health system, processes about 10 million computerized transactions a day — twice the number of transactions that takes place every day on the NASDAQ.
Dr. Mark Williams, chief transformation & learning officer at UK HealthCare and director of the Center for Health Services Research, is one member of the team committed to explore how UK HealthCare can use big data analytics to make the patient experience better.
"Health care is a contradictory enterprise, generating terabytes of data in the course of a month but still requiring a high level of human touch," Williams said. "The challenge for us is to find ways to use that data to help patients get better faster while maximizing efficiency and lowering costs — all without compromising the human element of the patient experience."
A visit to one of UK Chandler Hospital's Intensive Care Units (ICU) illustrates Williams' assertion. A single patient can be connected to as many as 12 machines monitoring blood pressure, IV drips, dialysis, ventilators and so forth. The nurse assigned to that patient must watch each and every one of those monitors for signs of trouble and coordinate care with each element in mind. Though technology has made health care better, it has also fostered new challenges for the people who are responsible for delivering it.
The greater UK health care enterprise already has big data analytics available. Jeff Talbert, professor in the UK College of Pharmacy, runs the UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science Enterprise Data Trust, a repository of health care data from a number of sources, including links to the state's Medicaid program, the Kentucky Cancer Registry and health data from the insurance industry. He sees data as a strategic asset with enormous opportunity to inform policy and change the way patients are treated, and points to patient research participation as a prime example.
"We can cull through the data to find patients who have a certain disease and might be eligible for a clinical trial, which can increase research participation and collect feedback about new treatments on a faster timetable," said Talbert.
But there are large pieces of it scattered around campus, and none of it thus far directly addresses the enabling technology for big data and patient experience. To tackle that, UK has recently brought acclaimed computer scientist and informatician GQ Zhang to campus to lead the newly formed Institute of Biomedical Informatics. Zhang is charged with integrating and leveraging large data systems across the academic and medical enterprises to improve patient care, research and education, creating what is increasingly known as a "Learning Health System."
"Many people refer to volume, velocity and variety when discussing big data, but I like to add two extra 'Vs' — vision and value," said Zhang. "If someone doesn't have the big idea that will help leverage the data in the right way to answer a relevant question or provide a new way to solve a problem, the untapped potential of big data will not be realized."
As an example, Zhang tells the story of a program developed by the mayor of the city of Boston to improve the driving experience in an unusual way: by fixing potholes.
Bostonians can download a free app to their smartphones and let the app run in the background while driving through town. The jolt of a pothole is sensed by the phone, which then transmits georeference data to the city's databases, requiring no active input from the driver. As increasing numbers of drivers bump through the same pothole, the accuracy of the pothole's location increases significantly and road crews are dispatched to the area to repair the pothole with pinpoint precision. Saves time, saves money and makes countless drivers happy.
The same principle can be applied to critical care, said Zhang. Currently, nurses collect basic data about an ICU patient from the monitors at periodic intervals and enter it into the patient's chart.
"A trend can be more important than an absolute value and this sporadic recording of data may not be responsive enough in spotting subtle trends that predict whether that patient is in need of immediate attention," said Zhang. "If that equipment recorded data second-to-second, we could potentially develop a real-time index or score for each patient in the ICU that would allow us to monitor subtle changes in vitals that are predictive of real trouble and respond accordingly."
Furthermore, says Zhang, because this data would be stored cumulatively, researchers may use the data to develop analytics that look at outcome trends for large populations of patients and provide new ways to improve patient care. Like the Boston pothole app, data gathered over time in a larger setting can help provide important information useful to improve real-life experience.
Dr. Peter Morris, chief of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine at UK HealthCare, embraces Zhang's ideas, saying big data capture and analysis is crucial to process improvement in ICU management. Morris and Philip Eaton, DNP, director of Nursing -Medicine Service Line, will apply Zhang's techniques in the ICUs to simultaneously improve health outcomes while lowering the costs of expensive ICU care.
"If we can use data to, say, predict how flu season will spread and peak in Kentucky, we can anticipate the ICU resource allocation needs — for both staff and equipment — and have all the necessary personnel and equipment on standby and ready to deploy as needed," said Morris. "The same is true for day-to-day operations: we have learned patients admitted to the Medical ICU from outside hospitals peak between 2 p.m. and midnight, so we have adjusted staff levels to meet that demand."
Morris ticks off other opportunities: GPS locators on gurneys, for example, might help track wait times for imaging and other testing. "We need to look at ourselves every minute of every day to get patient care optimal and cost-efficient," he said. "Big data analytics will help us get the right care to people at the right time."
Media Contact: Laura Dawahare, Laura.Dawahare@uky.edu
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 11, 2015) — The debilitating pain of tophaceous gout, a chronic form of arthritis, has shackled William Tincher from a decent quality of life since he was a young man.
Eager to serve his country, 18-year-old Tincher enlisted in the Marine Corps only to be sent home because of his chronic medical condition. After participating in Future Farmers of America as a teenager, Tincher bought a small farm in Carlisle, Kentucky, where he owned horses, cattle and chickens.
“I used to pick up a 100-pound sack of feed and bale of hay and off I’d go,” Tincher said.
Eventually, the excruciating pain, manifested in the form of nodules on his hands and feet, prevented him from performing regular farm duties or working any job. He once enjoyed walking down to his fence line to watch the baby calves, but even walking short distances became unbearable. Today, with massive nodules on the bottom of his feet and swelling in his legs, Tincher can’t wear shoes and rarely leaves his house.
As the pain intensified through the years, Tincher continued to receive higher doses of anti-inflammatories and opioids. Fifteen years ago, surgeons removed three-quarters of Tincher’s stomach because of an ulcer attributed to years consuming high dosages of the drug. He’s suffered from many other serious medical conditions, including blood clots, and had surgeries to replace his hip and remove cartilage in his knees.
Then, two years ago, Tincher met the “man who saved” his life. After seeing countless pain specialists through the years, Tincher was referred to Dr. Roberto Cardarelli, the chief of the Division of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Kentucky. While Cardarelli couldn’t completely erase the pain of an incurable and late-stage disease, he knew of interventions to improve Tincher’s quality of life that weren’t limited to writing a prescription.
“He is the only one who’s ever sat down, looked me in the eye, and talked to me and helped me,” Tincher said of Cardarelli.
Rather than examining a single organ or treating a definitive disease, Cardarelli focuses on addressing his patients’ whole being, taking into account many environmental, physical and lifestyle factors influencing wellness. This holistic approach to managing pain relies on a team of multidisciplinary health professionals and involves adjunctive therapies, such as medical massage, behavioral medicine and physical therapy. Cardarelli puts his patients in control of their wellness decisions, allowing them to take the lead during conversations regarding their care. The integrative health care team supports patients suffering from chronic pain by helping them set realistic goals and providing both pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions to optimize their function and comfort in daily life.
In addition to gout, Tincher suffered from a number of secondary health complications, including high blood pressure, kidney disease and a swelling in the legs caused by lymphedema. Cardarelli prescribed a regimen for Tincher accounting for all the complexities of his physical body, as well as mental and emotional state. He eliminated all medications for one month to delineate each of Tincher’s symptoms and the trace the cause of those symptoms. Through this holistic wellness evaluation, Cardarelli discovered Tincher’s blood pressure medication was causing inflammation exacerbating the pain from the gout. Instead of raising his dosage of opioids to fight the pain, Cardarelli included a non-opioid medication to relieve the inflammation caused by the other drug.
“Having everything balanced and controlled contributes to him and his overall wellbeing, but also helps him feel better knowing that his physical health is balanced,” Cardarelli said. “We are trying to take care of his whole being.”
As part of his treatment philosophy, Cardarelli strives to keep care as close to home for his patients. Cardarelli and his team arranged for a local home health service to visit Tincher on a daily basis and provide physical therapy services. Cardarelli also found a health care provider locally to change bandages on Tincher’s legs. Tincher performs exercises in his home and keeps a journal of all the activities he completes during a day. Working with Cardarelli and the entire health team, Tincher has gained a renewed sense of hope.
“I told the doc, they aren’t going to close the lid on me because of you,” Tincher said.
Cardarelli and Dr. William Elder, a faculty member and behaviorial specialist in Family and Community Medicine, have worked with colleagues around the region to develop a training program based on the pain management principles effective in helping Tincher. The Central Appalachia Inter-Professional Pain Education Collaborative (CAIPEC) provides educational resources centered on chronic pain management for heath providers in the Appalachian region. Divided into several online modules, the program addresses important pain management questions, including when to prescribe opioids, how to reduce the risk of opioid abuse, when to incorporate adjunctive therapies and more.
Funded by an unrestricted educational grant from Pfizer, CAIPEC is a collaborative effort uniting the University of Kentucky and the Kentucky Ambulatory Network, West Virginia University, Kentucky All Schedule Prescriptions Electronic Reporting Agency (KASPER), West Virginia RxDataTrack Controlled Substance Automated Prescription Program (CSAPP) prescription monitoring agencies, Pikeville Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine, Kentucky and West Virginia Area Health Education Centers (AHECs), and various Kentucky and West Virigina professional organizations.
CAIPEC is offered through the University of Kentucky’s CECentral website (www.cecentral.com/CAIPEC), which provides free continuing education for health professionals. Emphasizing the interdisciplinary team approach, the trainings are targeted to a variety of professionals including doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians assistants, behavioral scientists, massage therapists, and physical therapists. The modules address topics such as managing the risks of opioid addiction, psychosocial factors influencing chronic pain, involving the patient in care decisions, and applying the team-based approach to clinical workflow. The program highlights the benefits of non-pharmacologic adjunctive therapies, which are scientifically proven to help mitigate pain in patients.
Cardarelli has led the implementation and distribution of the toolkit, hosting live roundtable sessions and talks on chronic pain management in both Kentucky and West Virginia. Since the program launched in February, more than 350 health care providers have participated in conference trainings. The online modules are available to any health care professional around the nation.
According to the Institute of Medicine, chronic pain affects 100 million Americans and costs the U.S. government more than $635 billion annually. More Americans suffer from chronic pain than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined.
Tincher attests to the effectiveness of the integrative approach to pain management implemented by Cardarelli and his colleagues. For the first time in years, he’s regained his strength and is able to do 25 pull-ups. He said he feels like “Hulk Hogan.” He acknowledges some level of pain from his disease will always be with him, but he’s relieved it’s under control with the help of Cardarelli and his medical team.
“I’m not healthy, but I’m in a whole lot better shape than I was,” he said.
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 11, 2015) – Kentucky Regional Extension Center (Kentucky REC), based at the University of Kentucky, has announced six Kentucky health care organizations participating in Kentucky REC’s inaugural Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Cohort, have received national recognition from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), a well-respected, non-profit organization that has been a central figure in driving improvement throughout the healthcare system. PCMH designation by NCQA is an indicator that healthcare practices and clinics are providing high-quality, patient-centered care to their clients and in their communities.
Recognized are: UK HealthCare Family and Community Medicine – Lexington - Level 3 Georgetown Pediatrics – Georgetown - Level 3 Central Internal Medicine - Lexington – Level 3 Bluegrass Community and Family Practice – Bardstown – Level 3 Family Medicine Clinic of Danville – Danville, KY – Level 2 Primary Care Centers of Eastern Kentucky – Hazard – Level 2
The pioneer provider organizations, representing more than 75 primary care providers, joined Kentucky REC’s inaugural group of PCMH practices in early 2014 and have worked diligently to improve patient care in their practices and communities.
"This is a major accomplishment for these practices. These six practices worked with us over 15 months, dedicating the time and resources needed to transform their practices to this patient-centered care model," said Dr. Carol Steltenkamp, executive director, Kentucky REC. "The hard work by everyone involved allowed the practices to achieve the highest levels of recognition and improve the quality of care for their patients."
Kentucky REC provides coaching and assistance to support practices and clinics as they transform from a traditional sick care model to new models focused on comprehensive, coordinated care that keeps patients healthier and reduces complications. At the center of the PCMH model is a primary care physician office, where healthcare professionals work as a team to provide care that is individually determined to meet each patient's specific need.
This approach fosters an environment in which patients develop and maintain an ongoing relationship with their primary care physician and a healthcare team focused on enhanced care coordination and office-based disease management planning. As such, the practice becomes the patient's "home" for preventive, chronic, and ambulatory care.
The Kentucky REC PCMH Cohort focused on helping the practices demonstrate that they meet nationally recognized NCQA PCMH standards. Practices that achieved recognition worked with Kentucky REC to demonstrate the practice is able to:
· Provide access during and after business hours and communicate effectively with patients
· Use readily accessible, clinically useful information to assist in comprehensive care
· Collaborate with patients and families to pursue goals for achieving optimal health
· Improve effectiveness of care, safety, and efficiency by accessing timely information for tests and results, measuring and reporting performance, giving physicians regular feedback, and taking actions to improve, and maximizing use of electronic communications to facilitate coordination of care
Care provided by primary care physicians in a PCMH is consistently associated with better outcomes, reduced mortality, fewer preventable hospital admissions for patients with chronic diseases, lower utilization, improved patient compliance with recommended care, and lower Medicare costs.
“UK congratulates these pioneer practices for becoming nationally recognized Patient-Centered Medical Homes,” stated Trudi Matthews, managing director, Kentucky REC. “UK and its Kentucky Regional Extension Center are pleased to provide support for innovative approaches to improving care for Kentuckians.”
Kentucky Regional Extension Center is a trusted advisor and strategic partner for healthcare providers in their efforts to improve care and patient outcomes, reduce healthcare costs and improve the overall health and well-being of the Commonwealth and beyond. The Kentucky REC offers a comprehensive set of transformation services include: Meaningful Use Assistance, EHR Implementation & Optimization, HIPAA Privacy & Security Risk Analysis, Patient-Centered Medical Home Consulting, ICD-10 Training, and Quality Improvement Support. For more information about the Kentucky REC, visit www.kentuckyrec.com. Follow @KentuckyREC on Twitter and connect on Facebook at www.facebook.com/EHRResource
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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. (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. (Aug. 5, 2015) – Dr. Darren L. Johnson, professor and chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Kentucky, was elected the 33rd Southern Orthopaedic Association president.
Johnson is the first president from the state of Kentucky. There are more than 1,400 orthopaedic physicians who are members of the SOA.
Johnson earned his medical degree at UCLA and began his UK career in 1993. He currently serves as director of sports medicine and head orthopedic surgeon for the Kentucky Wildcats.
Johnson has been awarded several honors during his career, including 2012 SEC Physician of the Year and being selected for Castle Connelly America's Top Doctors List annually since 2002. In 2013 he was named one of the top U.S. sports medicine specialists by Orthopedics This Week, the most widely read publication in the orthopaedics industry.
The Southern Orthopaedic Association was founded in 1983 by a small group of orthopaedists with a goal to establish a regional orthopaedic association for physicians living in the southern states of the United States. The purpose of SOA is to develop and foster scientific medicine in the specialty of orthopaedic surgery.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 4, 2015) -- The inaugural International Society of Neurogastronomy symposium will be held at the University of Kentucky on Nov. 7, 2015. Featuring speakers like Emmy-winning chef Sean Brock and the father of neurogastronomy, Dr. Gordon Shepherd, the symposium will explore the concept of brain and behavior in the context of food.
The term Neurogastonomy was coined by Dr. Gordon Shepherd, professor of neurobiology at Yale University, in 2006 in an article in Nature and six years later in an eponymous book. While Shepherd has been interested in the concept from a research perspective, UK neuropsychologist Dan Han and a group of neuroscientists, chefs and food scientists are enthusiastic about making it a clinical translational science, with applications in cancer, stroke, and brain injury (which can destroy the sense of taste) and disease like diabetes and heart disease.
The day's format differs from the typical symposium, featuring brief presentations modeled after the popular TED talks and punctuated with breaks for tastings and an iron chef-like contest where the food from regional and national chefs will be judged by patients with taste impairments.
Symposium registration opens Aug. 7. For more information about the symposium and how to register, click here.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 4, 2015) – The University of Kentucky College of Medicine welcomed the Class of 2019 on Friday, July 31 at UK's Singletary Center for the Arts. The presentation of white coats, provided by the UK Medical Alumni Association, symbolizes the commitment to clinical service, care and professionalism.
"The white coat is an important symbol of the medical profession," said Dr. Charles H. Griffith, III, senior associate dean for Medical Education. "It was an honor to participate in this ceremony acknowledging the students' entrance into the profession. Although the future physicians in the Class of 2019 face many changes in today's health care environment, I am confident that over the next four years they will become exemplary physicians. We welcome them to the UK College of Medicine family." Dr. Griffith delivered the keynote address.
The Class of 2019 includes 137 medical student, 99 of which are Kentuckians and 54 are from rural and Appalachian counties. The class is 42 percent women. Ten students will enter the Rural Physician Leadership Program. This program works to better serve the Commonwealth by training future physicians in medically underserved rural areas through a regional medical school site Morehead, Ky.
Taking the "Pledge of Professionalism for Students of Medicine" during the ceremony, the students committed themselves to a life of compassion and respect for their patients, educators and colleagues.
Media Contact: Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 3, 2015) —Your liver processes all the nutrients the body requires. It produces bile, which helps the body absorb food and also eliminates potentially toxic substances. Damage to the liver can impair these and many other processes.
Cirrhosis is the scarring of the liver and is a result of various disorders that can damage the liver over time. The damage and scarring caused by these disorders is often irreversible and may potentially lead to the need for a liver transplant.
Many people don’t realize they have cirrhosis until it has significantly progressed. There’s a misconception that cirrhosis is due to heavy alcohol use, but there are many other potential causes of cirrhosis, including:
· Hepatitis B and hepatitis C
· Non-alcoholic liver disease
· Alcoholic liver disease
· Primary biliary cirrhosis (destruction of the bile ducts) and primary sclerosing cholangitis (scarring of the bile ducts)
· Autoimmune hepatitis (a condition where your immune system attacks your liver)
A person with liver disease may experience fatigue, jaundice, itching, easy bruising, fluid buildup in the abdomen and even poor memory or confusion due to high ammonia levels in the body. It's extremely important to see your doctor if you have any of these symptoms prior to the disease progressing further.
Though liver damage is irreversible, there are numerous medications that can be helpful in controlling some of the symptoms of liver disease if diagnosed in time. Your doctors may also perform endoscopic procedures to screen for abnormalities.
To help determine how sick your liver is and if you need a transplant, a MELD score is calculated using basic lab tests. A MELD score is used to determine your risk of mortality without a liver transplant and prioritizes people for liver transplant based on how sick they are.
Waiting times for a liver transplant vary greatly. The higher the MELD score, the quicker you may be transplanted. At each clinic visit prior to transplant, your labs will be checked for changes in your MELD score. If your score changes significantly, your position on the waitlist may change.
Once on the transplant list, you will be “on-call” for a new liver. You can be called in at any day or time to come in for a liver transplant. A liver transplant surgery usually takes 4-6 hours.
In general, people spend between 7 and 14 days in the hospital recovering from a liver transplant. You will receive antirejection medications that you must take for the rest of your life to prevent your body from rejecting the liver. After a few months of frequent check-ups, patients typically check in with their doctor on a yearly basis.
Following a successful liver transplant, patients are able to return to their normal everyday, healthy lives. It is likely you have seen people who have had a liver transplant without even realizing they had a transplant.
Dr. Malay B. Shah is the Surgical Director of the Liver Transplant Program at UK HealthCare.
This column appeared in the August 2, 2015 edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 31, 2015) — University of Kentucky College of Nursing professor Sharon Lock was one of four Kentucky nurse practitioners recently inducted as a Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (FAANPs).
Lock and her Kentucky colleagues were among 70 nurse practitioners nationwide to receive the honor, which recognizes members of the profession who have made significant contributions to health care through clinical practice, research, education or policy. FAANPs are considered visionaries within the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), and convene every year to strategize about the future of the nurse practitioner profession and health care. Lock participated in an induction ceremony on June 11, 2015, during the AANP National Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Other Kentucky nurse practitioners inducted include Elizabeth Partin, Julianne Ewen and Kit Devine. The new FAANP members will continue the tradition of impacting national and global health through their outstanding contributions and uphold the mission of the AANP.
Lock serves as professor, director of faculty practice and coordinator of the primary care doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program at the University of Kentucky. She provided leadership in the first Doctor of Nursing Practice program in the country and taught in the program since it began in 2001. In addition, Lock is co-director of the UK College of Nursing Norton Healthcare Academic Partnership, which will prepare 150 advanced practice nurse with the DNP degrees. She is currently heading up the development of a UK College of Nursing Clinic, which will provide health care for residents in rural Kentucky.
The FAANPs program was established by the AANP in 2000. The ANNP is the largest professional membership organization for nurse practitioners of all specialties. It represents the interests of more than 205,000 NPs, including approximately 58,000 individual members and 200 organizations, providing a unified networking platform and advocating for their role as providers of high-quality, cost-effective, comprehensive, patient-centered and personalized health care.
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