Staying up-to-date with current events is hard to do as a parent. Your time is valuable and you have so many other responsibilities that require your full attention and effort.
We are here to make it easier for you.
Provided below is a mix of national health and safety news, local safety events and milestones and product recalls. Use us as your resource to stay educated on what is happening nationally and in your local community.
The Safe Kids Car Seat Inspection Station at Imani Family Life Center will be held on the last Thursday of each month from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
By appointment only. Call to reserve your spot at 859-323-1153.
The Safe Kids Car Seat Inspection Station at Immanuel Baptist Church will be held on the second Wednesday of each month at 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 19, 2016) — With their legs folded in the yoga stance called Lotus pose, sisters Anayia and Armani Happy sat knee-to-knee on Anayia’s hospital bed, tapping the silver cylinders on sets of Indonesian xylophones.
After a few initial strikes of their mallets, the Happy sisters were entranced with the mellow sound produced by a gentle tap on these foreign instruments. With no prior training or practice with the xylophones, the two girls played their instruments to create an extemporaneous musical arrangement. As soon as the budding percussionists established a consistent and confident rhythm, musician Gregory Acker joined the ensemble with a flute solo — kicking up the energy in the Kentucky Children’s Hospital (KCH) room.
Acker then reached into a trunk full of abstract instruments and swapped out the sisters’ xylophones for a set of shakers and a West African hand drum. He then invited the sisters to use their instruments to perform and sing a familiar childhood song — the Alphabet Song —but with a West African twist. When the girls came to the letter ‘P’ in the song’s sequence of letters, they paused to shout a West African saying that translated to “let’s dance.”
Acker is a musical artist supported by a grant from the VSA Kentucky Arts in HealthCare program, which distributes funding for health care facilities to coordinate visits from creative and artistic professionals. These artists offer visual art, instrumental music, clowning, drama and other activities to assist with the healing process, interrupt the monotony of hospital care and empower patients to express themselves. In the past 15 years, KCH has received more than $25,000 from VSA award funding to bring artful healing to patients.
“It’s one of the nicest things I do in my artistic life,” Acker said of his visits to KCH. “You meet people in a really challenging place in their lives. Finding the beauty in life is super important at that point.”
Acker, a teaching artist who is part of the Sound Community in Louisville, Kentucky, enlivens patient rooms at Kentucky Children’s Hospital once a month by providing patients and families with the novel experience of playing musical instruments indigenous to West Africa and Indonesia. Pulling a trunk filled with cymbals, drums, shakers, xylophones and other musical instruments behind him, Acker stops in each pod of the hospital to invite children, families and sometimes hospital staff to try their hand at a few of his musical instruments. Acker, a former PeaceCorp volunteer who was based in two African countries and Indonesia, specializes in world music with study experience in India and Indonesia. With permission from the patients, he records a CD, which the families can take home to remember a positive moment during their hospital stay.
In addition to Acker, KCH’s VSA grant supports visits from visual artist and muralist Christine Kuhn and Cambo the Clown, who entertains children and families with a combination of music, humor, and juggling and magic tricks.
“While our health care providers and Child Life team make every attempt to serve the needs and maintain the comfort of our patients and families, we realize that the hospitalization experience carries a tremendous burden, especially for a child who’d rather be playing,” Erin McAnallen, the VSA child life coordinator at KCH, said. “Getting artists here to engage with the children truly makes a difference. These artists turn a time in life that could be a lasting negative memory into something positive and enduring for the family.”
VSA Kentucky is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing inclusive arts and education programs for children, youth and adults with disabilities, in addition to professional development for artist and teachers in schools and communities statewide. For more information, click here.
UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, visit uky.edu/uk4ky. #uky4ky #seeblue
LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 26, 2016) — Epidemiologists examine public health problems through a wide-scope lens to determine the impact of disease and health disparities at the population-level. Medical practitioners, on the other hand, are attuned to the health problems of the individual.
During the spring 2016 semester, students in Dr. Henrietta Bada’s maternal and child health course discovered both perspectives are helpful — and necessary — for solving the health problems impacting children and mothers in Kentucky.
The students poured over statistical data showing a strong correlation between low birth weight babies and long-term health consequences, such higher risks of experiencing diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity. But statistics alone couldn’t impart to students, who are taking the class to accrue credits toward the certificate in maternal and child health, the fragility of a newborn experiencing low birth weight. To understand the phenomenon of pre-term birth from a medical practitioner’s viewpoint, Bada took the students on a tour of the Kentucky Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) where the statistics of low birth weight were transformed into real-life stories of families enduring the health problem.
“If you are not receiving enough nutrition, and your organs are small, your organ system is used to conserving energy,” Bada said, explaining the underlying reason for the relationship between low birth weight and long-term health problems, referred to as the “thrifty” phenotype. “The pancreas does not know how to take care of the increase in glucose that it experiences in a normal diet after birth.”
Bada, a neonatologist at KCH who also holds a master’s degree in public health, draws from her experiences in both health disciplines to teach the core course requirement for the maternal and child health certificate in the UK College of Public Health. Regarded as a national expert on neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), Bada has served as a medical practitioner, researcher, and legislative advocate of child and maternal health issues in Kentucky. She believes future public health leaders should learn to think about pediatric and maternal health issues from multiple angles, incorporating the mindset of both an epidemiologist and a medical practitioner.
In addition to her role as a UK College of Public Health instructor, Bada, who is originally from the Philippines, maintains clinical hours in the NICU and mentors fellows in the College of Medicine on research projects. She has served as a principal investigator on several studies examining the long-term outcomes of NAS and pre-term birth and spoke on NAS at national medical conferences.
Students enrolled in Bada’s CPH 740 addressed a broad spectrum of maternal and child health topics, including maternal and fetal nutrition, pre-term birth, congenital conditions, autism, pediatric neurology, child abuse, neonatal abstinence syndrome, teen health and more. The curriculum is formulated to reflect the specific health needs and problems confronting Kentucky families.
“She explains the science behind what we know from statistics,” Katie Long, a student in the 2016 spring semester course, said. “When you understand why it’s important to wait until 39 weeks (to give birth), it adds a different layer of understanding to the problem.”
Bada said doctors practicing bedside medicine and public health professionals tasked with implementing broad-scale interventions benefit and learn from each other’s perspectives. During the course, Bada invited medical professionals from a variety of fields, such as adolescent health and infant nutrition, as guest speakers on child and maternal health issues.
“If you see a patient and determine what’s wrong with the patient, you treat that patient based on your experiences,” Bada said. “Public health will inform medicine because what you are dealing with is finding out how one disease you are treating can effect an entire population. In public health, you can deal with the same problem, but you look at it at the population level. ”
Bada’s spring semester course consisted of students in the master’s in public health (MPH) program, as well as students from the College of Nursing and College of Pharmacy. Some of the students enrolled in this course hope to eventually practice child and maternal medicine, whereas others are interested in developing prevention and intervention programs to solve systemic problems. The certificate in maternal and child health was designed to provide students with concentrated knowledge in the area of child and maternal health, with an emphasis on public health problems affecting the population of Kentucky. The certificate was introduced six years ago in collaboration with Kentucky Department for Public Health.
Students who have completed the certificate have advanced to careers in Kentucky state government and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Lorie Chesnut, director of the certificate program and a professor in the College of Public Health, said the diversity of topics and perspectives prepare students to work in communities and become accustomed to collaboration with other health care professions.
“It gives them a much more well rounded view of public health practice,” Chesnut said. “That’s the framework — stepping back and looking at a higher level. Someone who looks from both of those points of view are much more in-tuned with the problem.”
Bada thinks multiple professions must work together to solve the health disparities impacting Kentucky. She jokes that it’s the job of public health workers to put doctors out of business — but until then, she’ll continue to hold both roles in health care.
The maternal and child health certificate is open to students across all colleges at the university, as well as health professionals outside the university interested in gaining enhanced expertise in this field. For more information, click here.
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 18, 2016) — The Maserati Mingle, a free preview of classic cars marking the lead up to the Keeneland Concours d'Elegance, will take place at Lexington's Court House Square on Friday, May 20.
Sponsored by Maserati of Cincinnati, the Maserati Mingle will feature a variety of exotic automobiles, including vintage models from Maserati, Ferrari, Porsche and local classic cars. Food and beverages will be available for purchase on site. The exhibition opens at 5:30 p.m. and closes at 9 p.m.
This year patrons are invited to attend an after-party at the 21c Museum Hotel at 167 West Main St. from 8 p.m. Tickets are $75 per person and must be purchased in advance.
“This will be a fun, memorable event with a number of local classic cars on display at downtown Lexington’s Court House Square,” Connie Jones, Concours co-chair, said. “It serves as a warm-up for the upcoming Keeneland Concours d’Elegance weekend on July 14-17, and all proceeds will benefit Kentucky Children’s Hospital."
Tickets and information for the Keeneland Concours will be available at the Maserati Mingle.
Chrysler is the feature marque of the 2016 Keeneland Concours d'Elegance on Saturday, July 16. UK Federal Credit Union and WEKU are supporting sponsors of the event.
Since the first event in 2004, the Keeneland Concours d’Elegance has showcased the finest in automobiles and the attractions of central Kentucky on the grounds of the Keeneland Race Course. Activities include a Bourbon Tour, Hangar Bash and the Tour d’Elegance of scenic Kentucky backroads. Proceeds benefit Kentucky Children’s Hospital to help bring better health care to the children of Kentucky.
For more information, click here.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 12, 2016) — The adage, “build it, and they will come,” didn’t apply when former pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) nurse Kristyn Mickley and the Reach Haiti medical mission broke ground on a health clinic in the secluded mountains of Haiti.
An estimated 40,000 patients living in a medically underserved region of the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere were already in dire need of basic medical care. Before the clinic opened its doors on March 5, as many as 20 villagers flocked to Mickley’s doorstep in the early morning seeking medicine for their ailments.
“Once people realized we were there, they just started showing up on my front porch,” Mickley said.
Mickley, who started visiting Haiti on short-term mission trips in 2013, resigned from her nursing position at Kentucky Children’s Hospital in 2015 to embark upon an adventure and fulfill a personal calling to serve the health care needs of children and families in Haiti. She joined the cause of Reach Haiti, a faith-based medical mission that built and operates a small community health clinic in the geographically isolated mountaintop village of Foret De Pins, Haiti. The Reach Haiti medical team consists of Mickley and pharmacist Daniel Abercrombie with support from Abercrombie's wife, a nurse. Most of their patients come from farms or small villages interspersed throughout the region.
Mickley sold all her belongings and boarded a one-way flight to Haiti last August, settling into a house across the street from the clinic and acclimating to the Haitian lifestyle. She and her fellow medical missionaries waited for months while the clinic was under construction. She soon learned that many necessities taken for granted in the United States require extra effort to acquire in rural Haiti.
“You focus on the medications you have to hand out, or the sick patients coming your way,” Mickley said. “When you live here full time, you have all that, plus just everyday life. If you want drinking water, you have to arrange that.”
Before moving to Haiti, Mickley, who graduated from the UK College of Nursing, started her career as a PICU nurse at Kentucky Children’s Hospital (KCH) in 2012. She worked in the unit with Dr. Scottie Day, chief of pediatric critical care for KCH and now associate chief medical officer for UK HealthCare, who shared her passion for serving the medical needs of underprivileged people and populations around the world.
While Mickley was an invaluable asset to the pediatric critical care team, Day and the entire PICU staff rallied to support Mickley when they heard her plans to move to Haiti. In the weeks leading up to her move, the PICU staff hosted a fundraising event for Reach Haiti’s first endeavor.
“In a way, she was a loss to KCH but she was a gain to children elsewhere,” Day said of Mickley. “I’m also so proud of what she’s done — she’s made a huge difference in a short period of time and laid a foundation for more to come.”
Day and other UK HealthCare faculty members didn’t lose interest in the mission when Mickley left for Haiti. Day committed to helping the Reach Haiti mission by traveling to volunteer his medical expertise and forming an ongoing partnership between the ministry and multidisciplinary medical teams at UK HealthCare. He led a team of UK faculty members, including KCH pediatrician Dr. Robert Dillard, to Haiti for the clinic’s official opening in early March. The team was joined by Day’s 10-year-old son Dalton, who learned the importance of helping others while accompanying his dad on the trip and created a video of memorable moments and people. The medical members of the team provided additional support to respond to an overwhelming influx of patients throughout the opening week, as well as deliver specialized care for complex and emergency cases presenting at the clinic.
More than 300 patients were treated in the first four days of service. One patient presented to the clinic with an infected tonsillar abscess that had degraded to sepsis, and the team coordinated resuscitation and then stabilized the patient with fluids and oxygen before transporting her to the distant hospital. Mickley called the case a “flash back” to her days in the PICU.
“Having Dr. Day and other UK faculty here in Haiti serving at the facility brought such joy — they jumped in and quickly became part of the team,” Mickley said.
Video produced by Dalton Day.
After operating for a few weeks, the clinic now functions much like a doctor’s office, providing examinations and treatment for common conditions such as respiratory illness, hypertension and pregnancy. With the nearest hospital a four-hour drive on rough terrain away, Haitian villagers also come to the clinic to triage injuries or illness that requires more advanced care. The building includes three examination rooms, a mini-triage area, a pharmacy and a reception room.
“It’s just become this safehouse — it’s something the community wanted,” Day said.
The patient load has reduced to about 20 to 25 patients per day, but Mickley said the mission plans to hire more medical staff. Sometimes scheduled patients must wait to be seen because of unexpected emergencies. As the only full-time staff members, Mickley and Ambercrombie begin every day in the clinic with a prayer for their patients, and then they bring in patients waiting outside the building in groups of three at a time. Challenges range from getting patients to return to the clinic for follow up care to having enough medical supplies to treat every symptom or condition.
“Our patients are sick, but tough,” Mickley said. “Most of them have never seen a doctor before, or if they have, it’s been very limited care.”
Day is interested in sending more UK volunteer groups to the clinic to help manage patient loads and supply additional medical support. He plans to organize groups of students and faculty members representing various disciplines across six health college at UK to learn how to practice medicine in environments with a lack of resources, as well as gain the impressionable and humbling life experience of serving in underprivileged areas of the world.
“It will be a continual investment, it’s not just involving the children’s hospital and people from this university,” Day said. “It’s a way for UK HealthCare to partner with community members who are already invested. That’s what is really nice about this program — it’s UK HealthCare and KCH working with other community leaders and other nationalities.”
Mickley is excited about the prospect of hosting UK groups, including some of her friends and former colleagues in the PICU, for medical mission work in Haiti. Now that she’s confronted with the unmet health needs of sick and suffering patients everyday, she welcomes more helping hands in the clinic.
“Watching two nations come together to bring health care to such a devastated area brings me so much joy and hope,” Mickley said. “When I first started here, I thought I would see a lot of just colds or cuts. But the level of illness is so beyond that. I am reminded daily that this clinic is not just a want, but a need for these people.”
To make a financial contribution to the Reach Haiti ministry and get updates on the clinic’s progress, click here.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 2, 2016) – The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society hosted their fifth annual "Meet the Researchers Day" last week. 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 Bluegrass Baptist School (BBS) in Lexington, Ky., and Kenneth King Middle School (KKMS) in Harrodsburg, Ky., 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 UK researchers Tianyan Gao and Craig Vander Kooi, the students received a tour of cancer research lab space in the BBRSB and learned how to use some basic lab equipment from Gao, Garretson Epperly, and Jianhang Jia. The event also featured short talks by Henry Clay student and cancer survivor Rod Jackson, the LLS Honored Hero, and UK pediatric hematologist/oncologist Dr. John D'Orazio.
Pennies for Patients is the annual fundraiser for the Student Series 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, 445 schools across the region participated. 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. BBS and KKMS were chosen in a random drawing, raising a combined $3,617.64 for LLS.
To learn more about the Pennies for Patients program, visit http://www.studentseries.org/.
MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 26, 2016) – This June, taking your bike for a ride could help save lives.
UK HealthCare and the Lexington Cancer Foundation are teaming up to present the Survive the Night Triathlon and the Roll for the Cure on June 17-18. All proceeds from these events will benefit the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center, providing funding for patient care, research and more.
Survive the Night is a unique overnight triathlon relay created by Markey radiation oncologist Dr. Jonathan Feddock, who is also an avid triathlete himself. Participants will swim, bike and run for a combined 140.7 miles. Participants can choose to compete solo or put together a team of up to 10 people to complete the relay.
Roll for the Cure is the Lexington Cancer Foundation's annual bike event to raise awareness and funds for cancer care. Participants can choose the length of their ride: 95, 50, 35, or 10 miles through Kentucky Horse Farms, or a short Family Fun ride around Commonwealth Stadium. The longer rides will include rest stops at Buffalo Trace and Woodford Reserve.
Survive the Night begins Friday, June 17 at 7:30 p.m. beginning at Commonwealth Stadium on the UK campus. Registration is $450 per team through April 30 and $500 per team thereafter until May 30.
Roll for the Cure will also begin at Commonwealth Stadium, starting on Saturday, June 18 with the 95- and 50-mile rides at 8 a.m. The 30- and 10-mile rides will begin at 10 a.m. and the Family Fun ride begins at 11 a.m. Registration for the longer rides is $75 and the Family Fun ride is $10.
For more information or to register for Survive the Night or Roll for the Cure, visit lexingtoncancerfoundation.org.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 25, 2016) — Spring is here which means children will begin playing outside more often. With the change in the weather, it also means time to add another chore to the list: mowing the lawn.
Depending on where you live, you may mow your lawn 30 times or more this year. However, every time you start your mower, you are dealing with a dangerous, potentially deadly piece of equipment.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) statistics, 800 children are run over by riding mowers or small tractors each year and more than 600 of those incidents result in amputation. In addition, 75 people are killed and 20,000 injured by mowers with one in five deaths involving a child. For children under age 10, major limb loss is most commonly caused by lawn mowers.
Injuries are caused most often when children run behind a mower; slip under the mower while riding as a passenger; collide with mower blades when machines were steered in reverse; or are struck by a mower that rolled over due to an uneven and/or wet surface. In many cases, adults did not realize children were near the mower when injuries occurred.
This spring, the Amputee Coalition and Limbs Matter, a group of parents who have children who have undergone amputations due to lawn mower accidents, began a campaign to raise awareness of limb loss prevention. The group urges parents to keep children indoors when mowing the lawn and to practice safety measures when operating lawn mowers.
One split second can change a child and family’s life forever, making it important to practice safety measures when mowing the lawn. Children should not ride as passengers on a lawn mower and to provide the safest conditions, should not even be outside while mowing is being done.
Besides children, adults and teenagers who mow, should also take safety precautions to prevent injuries.
Injury prevention tips include:
Remember to use your lawnmower safely and keep children indoors while mowing. To watch the PSA produced by the Amputee Coalition and Limbs Matter, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1xdp6hMubY.
Dr. Lesley Wong is an associate professor in the Division of Plastic Surgery in the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and a plastic surgeon at UK HealthCare.
Media Contact: Kristi Lopez, email@example.com
UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 7, 2016) — University of Kentucky and UK HealthCare employees seldom need convincing to wear blue in support of UK athletic teams.
But on Friday, April 8, wearing blue signifies support for a greater cause — the safety and welfare of children across the Commonwealth — as UK HealthCare and Kentucky Children’s Hospital observe Commit to Prevent Wear Blue Day, which brings attention to child abuse awareness.
UK HealthCare and Kentucky Children’s Hospital employees can wear blue and join the official photo for UK Wear Blue for Child Abuse Awareness photo at 1 p.m. on April 8. The photo will take place in the Pavilion A Auditorium main lobby. Participants can use the hashtag #committoprevent in social media posts or make a pledge to safeguard children in their community by clicking here.
According to Ginny Sprang, executive director of the UK Center on Trauma and Children, studies show adverse childhood experiences predict a host of short- and long-term health and behavioral consequences, including violence, smoking, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, risky sexual behaviors and more. In 2012, more than 15,000 children in Kentucky were victims of abuse and neglect.
Commit to Prevent Kentucky recommends several actions to help prevent child abuse in Kentucky:
If you suspect a child is a victim of maltreatment or abuse, call 1-800-CHILDREN. If you fear a child is in imminent danger, call 911.
For more information on preventing child abuse, click here.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 21, 2016) — In the Kentucky Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), a shared sense of loyalty to patients unites neonatologists, nurses, surgeons and support staff in their work.
NICU caregivers exert every effort to achieve the best possible outcome for patients and their families — through whatever means, and to whatever end.
The NICU staff’s unflinching commitment to caring for families reminds KCH Development Council Chair Missy Scanlon of someone who instilled in her the importance of pushing forward until the job was done — her mother.
“They serve the families, whether it’s a good outcome or not a good outcome” Scanlon said of the NICU staff. “They see the tiniest of babies with these situations and they don’t give up, and that’s how my mom was.”
Scanlon, the chair of the Kentucky Children’s Hospital (KCH) Council, said her mother Betti Ruth Robinson Taylor wouldn’t quit working until she finished the task at hand. While Taylor confronted a number of setbacks in her life, she faced conflict head-on and fought her battles with grace and dignity. Scanlon used the metaphor of a duck on water to describe her mother’s handling of tough situations — gliding across the surface but paddling with urgency underneath.
“She was a good soul, and she tried her best,” Scanlon said of Taylor. “You keep going until it’s done and you just don’t stop — whatever you have to do, whatever you have to make happen, you have to keep going until you get it done.”
Nearing the end of her second and final term as KCH Council chair, Scanlon has mirrored her mother’s determination through years of leadership, volunteerism and fundraising on behalf of KCH. Sealing the completion of a renovation and relocation of the NICU, Scanlon has donated a $2 million legacy gift to name the new facility after her mother. The March 20 gift announcement occurred on the would-be 90th birthday of Taylor, who passed away in 2002. The Betti Ruth Robinson Taylor NICU, set to open in the spring of 2018, will equip the NICU staff with more resources and greater capacity to care for Kentucky families.
The new Betti Ruth Robinson Taylor NICU will feature spacious patient rooms and areas for family consultation and privacy. The 47,000-square foot facility will accommodate the rising number of patients and families receiving care at the region’s only Level 4 Pediatric Trauma Center. Patient rooms, themed after Kentucky native wildlife and landscape, will include conveniences for the long-term stay of patients, including sleeper sofas, wardrobes and kitchen spaces.
The new location on the first floor of the UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital will improve the flow of patient care with direct access to the Pediatric Emergency Department. The facility also provides new spaces for procedures and training, including a new procedure room, a simulation room for training exercises, and “huddle” rooms for staff mentoring and team building.
The KCH NICU serves as a regional hub for advanced neonatal care, with pediatric transport services from 22 hospitals across Eastern and Central Kentucky. In 2015, the KCH NICU admitted 913 babies and the NICU Graduate Clinic scheduled more than 1,500 appointments.
UK Executive Vice President of Health Affairs Dr. Michael Karpf recruited Scanlon to serve on the KCH Council more than a decade ago. Scanlon brought to the Council experience increasing awareness and fundraising for causes in the Lexington community. Scanlon’s civic life has centered on efforts to improve the health and welfare of children.
Scanlon steps down as KCH council chair in June but plans to continue advocating and organizing on behalf of KCH. The KCH Development Council consists of volunteer community leaders who provide organizational support and advisory council to strengthen KCH and elevate the awareness of KCH in the community. Scanlon credited the cohesiveness of a hardworking KCH Council and an exemplary KCH staff for gaining ground to transform KCH facilities. Channeling the wisdom of her mother, Scanlon emphasized that the job isn’t finished for the KCH Council.
“KCH is near and dear to my heart — it’s my happy place,” Scanlon said. “There are so many things that are happening there, and there are so many things that need to happen there.”
To learn more about KCH, click here. For more information about giving to KCH, click here.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 14, 2016) – The Transplant Games of America's National Flag Tour will stop at UK HealthCare this Thursday, March 17, to celebrate organ donors and recipients on its way to the 2016 Games in Cleveland this June.
The Transplant Games of America (TGA) is an Olympics-style sport festival held every two years to show how transplants can transform lives. To compete, participants must be either transplant recipients, living donors, or a member of a donor family.
Prior to the TGA, the official flags of the event travel across the country to help raise awareness of organ donation and of the event itself. The flags are also signed by the members of each state's TGA team. Members of Team Kentucky will be present to sign the flag this Thursday.
Karen Michul, a UK HealthCare employee and living kidney donor, will be participating in the Games for the second time this year, competing in several bowling events.
"Seeing the comraderie of the donor families and recipients at the Games is amazing," Michul said. "And some of these people are meeting for the first time! It's an emotional ride."
The flag will be on display and available for Team Kentucky to sign this Thursday at 10 a.m. inside the atrium of University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital Pavilion A. Attendees are encouraged to wear blue and green, the colors of the Donate Life organization. Following the flag-signing and a few short remarks, attendees are encouraged to stay for a short photo session to celebrate the gift of life.
Registering to become a donor is the most effective way to ensure you can save lives through donation and serves as a sign of hope to those who continue to wait. Everyone can register as a donor today at www.donatelifeky.org or by saying “YES” when you renew your driver’s license.
UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue
This article first appeared as the Lexington Herald-Leader Your Health column on Feb. 21.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 22, 2016) — Humans have consumed gluten, the protein found in wheat, barley and rye, for at least ten thousand years. Only in the past decade has celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity captured the public’s attention with the rise of the gluten-free diet.
Celiac disease is a serious autoimmune disorder that requires a clinical diagnosis. A disease often misdiagnosed and incorrectly self-diagnosed, celiac entails an immune response to gluten, which results in the deterioration of the gastrointestinal (GI) lining and prevents proper absorption of vital nutrients. Celiac disease can be difficult to diagnose because it affects people in different ways.
A few children have no symptoms whatsoever, but most have one or more of the several hundred known symptoms and long-term complications that can occur in the digestive system or other parts of the body. These include abdominal pain, diarrhea, malnutrition, growth failure, development of other autoimmune disorders like Type I diabetes and multiple sclerosis (MS), anemia, osteoporosis, infertility and miscarriage, neurological conditions like epilepsy and migraines, and intestinal cancers.
At Kentucky Children’s Hospital, the pediatric gastroenterology team provides the required individualized care that is crucial for children and their families diagnosed with celiac disease. Although some children with celiac disease are symptom-free, all children with celiac disease are still at risk for long-term complications, whether they display any symptoms or not. At this time, lifelong adherence to a strict gluten-free diet is the only effective therapy to minimize symptoms and prevent complications of celiac disease. While gluten is not an inherently dangerous food property, even a small amount will disrupt the GI tract of people with celiac disease.
For parents who suspect their child is reacting to foods containing gluten, a simple blood test screening can suggest the presence of celiac disease with good accuracy. If a child tests positive, then a diagnosis will be made through an endoscopic biopsy, a procedure that allows physicians to see inside the GI tract. Myriad inflammatory bowel disorders, not just celiac disease or gluten intolerance, must be ruled out through a diagnostic process.
As with any disease that requires a dietary exclusion, parents must also ensure children with celiac disease on a gluten-free diet receive a balanced diet. Parents and caregivers should collaborate with their pediatrician and nutritionist to optimize nutritional choices for children diagnosed with celiac disease. Like most inflammatory bowel diseases, the variant nature of celiac disease requires individualized and continuous pediatric care.
Dr. George Fuchs is a pediatric gastroenterologist at Kentucky Children’s Hospital.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 17, 2016) – UK HealthCare has achieved Magnet Status – the highest institutional honor awarded for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center's (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program. Out of nearly 6,000 health care organizations in the United States, less than 7 percent have achieved Magnet designation.
"Magnet recognition is a mindset and an approach in patient-centered care,” said UK HealthCare Chief Nursing Executive Colleen Swartz. “Our team has been extremely dedicated, focused and committed in achieving this goal and it shows in every interaction we have with patients and their families.”
UK HealthCare has 4,473 nursing services employees including 2,006 full-time registered nurses.
Achieving Magnet Status is a process that culminates in a rigorous review to demonstrate the hospital's commitment to sustaining nursing excellence and improving professional practice. The status represents a solid commitment to continuing education and nursing specialty certification, a cultural transformation of the work environment involving a shared governance model and laser focus on patient safety.
“Our nursing staff have worked very hard to achieve this important distinction and have been committed to this goal and truly deserve this Magnet recognition,” said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK executive vice president for health affairs.
In 2001, UK HealthCare became just the 38th Magnet-recognized organization. The hospital maintained its designation until it was up for renewal in 2009, when the ANCC restructured the Magnet Recognition Program criteria. The fundamental shift from a process-structured infrastructure to an outcomes-based infrastructure led to UK HealthCare needing to make changes to regain its status.
“From a nursing practice perspective, we used the loss of Magnet as a call to action for us to really focus on quality outcomes, patient experience and staff experience,” Swartz said. “The end goal for us was superb clinical care; Magnet status is a byproduct of that goal and we should embrace it as such.”
From 2010 to 2013, UKHC began an improvement process that signified a cultural change toward patient- and family-centered care. That process included evaluating the nursing strategic plan, identifying areas in need of quality improvement, and developing strategies for improvement, measurement and accountability.
“While Magnet recognition is awarded by a nursing organization, it is truly an honor resulting from the leadership of our nurses to demonstrate that it is all of our caregivers who focus on meeting the needs of our patients, their families, and one another each and every day in our hospitals and clinics,” said Bo Cofield, UK HealthCare vice president and chief clinical operations officer. “Everyone at UK HealthCare is proud to be one of less than ten hospitals in Kentucky and one of less than 500 in the nation to have earned this distinction.”
To achieve Magnet recognition, organizations must pass a rigorous and lengthy process that demands widespread participation from leadership and staff. The process begins with the submission of an electronic application, followed by written documentation demonstrating qualitative and quantitative evidence regarding patient care and outcomes. If scores from the written documentation fall within a range of excellence, an on-site visit will occur to thoroughly assess the applicant. After this rigorous on-site review process, the Commission on Magnet will review the completed appraisal report and vote to determine whether Magnet recognition will be granted.
Magnet recognition, which hospitals must reapply for every four years, has become the gold standard for nursing excellence. The recognition is based on adherence to Magnet concepts and demonstrated improvement in patient care and quality. U.S. News & World Report’s annual showcase of “America’s Best Hospitals” includes Magnet recognition in its ranking criteria for quality of inpatient care.
Media Contact: Kristi Lopez, firstname.lastname@example.org or 859-323-6363
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 12, 2016) — With his mom dragging an IV pole in the wake of his excitement, 8-year-old Isaiah Thompson paraded down the hallway of Kentucky Children’s Hospital (KCH) flaunting his detective skills to the nursing staff.
“I found the hotel,” Isaiah said, turning to a group behind the nurse’s desk. “They said the hotel was the hardest to find, and I found it. It was hiding under a flower.”
Isaiah found the elusive hotel — a red Monopoly game piece about the size of a thumbnail —in the dense brush of paper flowers on the Valentine’s Day mural hanging in the KCH lobby. The hotel piece was one of more than 20 hidden items in the heart-shaped mural composed of frilly red and white construction paper flowers, gems, bows and ribbons. More than just a piece of Valentine’s-inspired artwork, the mural served as a life-size “eye spy” game to occupy the minds of families and children receiving care at the hospital. Directions taped to the wall beside the mural instructed patients, siblings, visitors and family members to find figures camouflaged into the heart’s design, including a wrench, a cow, a butterfly and a tiny chair.
Since mural appeared in the lobby window at the end of January, nurses, doctors, Child Life workers and families checked off every item on the list of hidden items — except for the mysterious hotel piece. Isaiah and 12-year-old patient Anna Shelton were the first to spot the hotel, thanks in part to a tip they received from the mural’s creator, Debbie Van Leeuwen.
Van Leeuwen, a Lexington artist and volunteer for KCH who designs murals for children receiving treatment, watched from the edge of the lobby as Isaiah and Anna explored the Valentine’s mural on Feb. 9. An uncover artist for KCH since early 2015, Van Leeuwen assumes a background volunteer role as the silent source of artwork for children and families at KCH.
With the help of the Child Life team at KCH, Van Leeuwen paints individualized murals for children staying in the hospital for extended periods of time. The Child Life team at KCH recognizes when a patient or sibling of a patient needs extra encouragement or a positive distraction from their treatment. The Child Life team gathers four to six facts about the child’s interests, such as his or her favorite cartoon characters, toys and sports teams, and reports the information to Van Leeuwen, who then begins designing and painting a mural based on those details. The murals are 3-feet by 3-feet and attach and detach from walls without causing damage to the room. Van Leeuwen has created 34 vibrant murals depicting images such as Spider Man and G.I. Joe, as well as the Frozen princesses and Dalmatians.
While she only receives a child’s first name, age and a list of their favorite things, Van Leeuwen feels like she bonds with the young patients through her creative process. The artist doesn’t know why the recipients of her artwork are in the hospital, and she never meets them in person. When she first volunteered to create murals for children, she struggled with a lack of closure, wondering whether her artwork provided a glimmer of hope or moment of joy for children in the midst of a negative circumstance. She wondered if she got the child’s personal preferences right and if her compassion was translated through art.
The Child Life team provided Van Leeuwen with some resolution when they started writing down word-for-word the comments of children and family members upon receiving their special mural. After they deliver the artwork to the child’s hospital room at an appropriate time, they type all the comments from the child and family members in an email. Van Leeuwen said one of the emails reported that a young girl wanted to hug her Mini Mouse mural.
“Honestly, it is that email that I wait for, and it charges me for the next painting,” Van Leeuwen said. “It is one of the most precious things in my life.”
Last summer when Van Leeuwen was dropping off paintings at KCH, Judi Martin, the Child Life coordinator, showed her a window in the lobby overlooking a brick wall. Martin asked Van Leeuwen to help obstruct the view with a piece of artwork. Van Leeuwen created a Christmas mural to hang in the window during the holidays, and replaced the Christmas mural with the Valentine’s Day mural in January.
Van Leeuwen, an empty nester who created murals for her three children while they were growing up, has also supplied murals for major milestones in the lives of KCH patients, including individualized murals for high school graduation ceremonies of cancer patients and a memory tree mural for a KCH remembrance service. She relies on her Child Life team informants to ensure her work for individual patients accomplishes its purpose. She said the support provided by the Child Life team allows her share art and bring joy to patients without having a physical presence in their lives.
“My thing is painting and their thing is the relationship with the child,” Van Leeuwen said. “And they know when it’s the right time and they know who needs it and who could use it.”
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 8, 2016) — Lexus of Lexington will raffle away a brand new Lexus ES 350 to support Kentucky Children’s Hospital (KCH) at 1 p.m. on Feb. 18 at the Lexus Store located at 1264 East New Circle Road. Tickets can still be purchased to enter the drawing.
Funds raised through raffle tickets will improve facilities for children receiving treatment at KCH. Lexus of Lexington has set a fundraising goal of $100,000 for the 2015-2016 raffle and supports Ocean Pod renovations at KCH.
“Giving back to the community has always been an important part of our business, and who better to support than KCH, the pediatric care center that takes care of Kentucky’s kids,” said Lexington businessman Rick Avare, co-owner of The Lexus Store of Lexington.
Raffle tickets are $100 each and can be purchased online at www.givetokch.org/lexus, in person by visiting the Lexus dealership on 1264 E. New Circle Road, or by contacting the KCH Development office at (859) 257-1179. There is no limit on the number of tickets purchased, and ticket holders do not have to be present to win.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 5, 2015) — With her tiny body too vulnerable to withstand the world outside her mother’s womb, infant Emma Lewis continued to grow and develop inside an incubator during the first four days of her life.
But the life-preserving incubator at Kentucky Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) also separated Emma from her mother’s nurturing touch, which plays an important role in comforting and strengthening newborns. Those days were emotionally grueling for parents Katie and D.J. Lewis, who feared they were missing out on a critical time of bonding with their baby.
“I just always thought I’d have a picture-perfect delivery,” Katie Lewis said. “That I will get to hold her, and all the family will come and see her and hold her.”
Halfway through Katie’s pregnancy, a serious and rare complication expedited Emma’s delivery, making Katie’s vision of a perfect birth impossible. Obstetricians at St. Joseph East diagnosed Lewis with HELLP syndrome, a life-threatening variation of preeclampsia that causes a depletion of red blood cells and liver failure in the mother. As symptoms worsened, Katie’s brain swelled and liver started to fail. Because the only way to stop the progression of HELLP syndrome is through delivery, doctors sent Lewis to UK HealthCare where an obstetrics teams delivered baby Emma via emergency cesarean section at 26 weeks gestational age.
One-pound, 15-ounce Emma arrived on July 13, 2015, attached to intravenous lines, beeping monitors and a breathing ventilator to support her underdeveloped lungs. The neonatal care team watched Emma closely because of the risk of brain bleed, and monitored her red blood cell count and bacterial infections. While the team focused on giving Emma the best chance for survival and recovery, they did not neglect the essential function of maternal and paternal bonding during her stay in the NICU. Even in cases involving the earliest born and weakest babies, the NICU nursing staff attempts to accommodate maternal-paternal bonding with families through postponed Kangaroo Care.
In 2015, three Kentucky Children’s Hospital nurses, LaQuinta Bailey, Tara Hunt and Lisa McGee, received special training to facilitate Kangaroo Care for parents whose baby required treatment in the NICU. A standard method for initiating the maternal-infant bonding process of skin-to-skin contact, Kangaroo Care is typically conducted immediately after birth by placing the baby on the mother’s chest. Skin-to-skin contact soothes infants under stress, stimulates the nervous system, regulates an infant’s heart rate, and improves weight gain, among other benefits for mothers and babies. In the busy NICU environment, where intravenous lines, incubator isolation, heart monitors, and feeding tubes complicate the process, nurses must work within their environment and parameters to engage families in bonding practices.
Lisa McGee, a NICU clinical nurse specialist, said the additional expertise has prepared KCH nurses to help families navigate the challenges of implementing Kangaroo Care hours, days or even weeks after birth.
“There is a lot of science behind Kangaroo Care,” McGee said. “Actually, the biggest thing it does is to decrease stress in the baby, and it helps parasympathetic nervous system to come into play, so that the baby calms down.”
Katie Lewis recalls nurses in the operating room encouraging her to look at Emma immediately after the cesarean delivery. Because Emma required immediate placement in an incubator, the medical team couldn’t spare any time for maternal bonding. Instead, the nurses initiated paternal bonding with D.J. Lewis after birth by allowing the new dad to touch Emma as she was relocated to an incubator.
A day later, Katie recovered from surgery and reunited with Emma, who was still inside the incubator. After four days passed, the eager parents were able to hold Emma outside the incubator for the first time. During this interaction, nurses helped initiate skin-to-skin contact by setting Emma on the chests of her parents.
At first, the couple held Emma for increments of an hour and a half because getting the baby in and out of the incubator frequently was a risk. Emma relied on the warmth of her parents’ bodies to retain heat, calories and body temperature. As Emma gained strength, the nursing staff gradually introduced the parents to new bonding opportunities, such as giving Emma a bath, pushing her food through a feeding tube, giving her a bottle of Katie’s breast milk and reading her books.
Bonding was especially important for D.J. Lewis, a sergeant in the U.S. Army. At the time of Emma’s birth, Lewis was preparing for a yearlong deployment to Kuwait in September. He couldn’t wait for IV lines and monitors to disappear to begin the bonding process with their daughter.
“He loved it,” Katie Lewis said of D.J.’s role in paternal bonding. “He would just fall asleep with her and rub her head and read books.”
Katie Lewis said the NICU nurses encouraged and affirmed the parents in interacting with their fragile child. The nurses shifted equipment and rearranged areas in the NICU pods to accommodate peaceful Kangaroo Care time for the family, even in the middle of the night. As Emma’s chances of survival increased with each day, the nurses transitioned the responsibility of care to the parents. The parents learned the baby’s signals indicating breathing problems or a loss of body heat.
“None of them made me feel like I didn’t know what I was doing,” Katie Lewis said of the nursing staff. “They would help reposition us, they would move the incubator — to make us feel as at home as possible.”
By the time Emma was ready to leave the hospital in September, Katie Lewis felt terrified but also excited.
“When we got home, I sat on my couch and I held her and I cried because it’s such an exciting feeling,” Katie Lewis said. “To be able to reach that milestone and go home for good was a very exciting feeling.”
More NICU nurses will receive formal training to become certified Kangaroo Care Caregivers. McGee said low birth weight infants received Kangaroo Care in about 45 percent of cases, with efforts underway to increase the number of families benefiting from Kangaroo Care.
And paternal bonding was worth the extra effort for D.J. Lewis, who came home to visit his family in November. Emma had no trouble snuggling and sleeping on her dad’s chest after his time away.
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