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As an integral part of UK HealthCare, Kentucky Children's Hospital consolidates our extensive array of comprehensive pediatric services
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At Kentucky Children's Hospital, it's the people that make our healing environment one-of-a-kind. Doctors, nurses and other health care professionals work as a team to treat and to heal this region's children. Since its inception, Kentucky Children's Hospital has greatly benefited from a community of generous donors. It's through their support that the children's hospital continues to grow and flourish.
But don't just take our word for it, experience it yourself by viewing the video below. And, thank you to our gracious donors for their unwavering support of Kentucky Children's Hospital.
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photos of new babies born at UK Chandler Hospital and leave messages for the family in the Web nursery.
A prenatal ultrasound revealed a bowel blockage, neonatal surgery was the answer.
Learn about the children like Jeffrey Clemons who found hope and help at Kentucky Children's Hospital.
Expert Dr. Jaime Pittenger, at Kentucky Children's Hospital, Talks About Child Abuse Prevention - 04/18/2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 17, 2015) — Bullying, peer pressure, substance abuse and suicide — these are all serious issues voiced by teens in the opening segment of a Kentucky Educational Television (KET) special report on teen health. Dr. Hatim Omar, chief of the University of Kentucky Division of Adolescent Medicine, is one expert featured in the program who is committed to helping teens overcome these issues as they progress toward adulthood.
KET Health's "What Does Every Teen Need?" explores the unique generational challenges confronting Kentucky's youth and offers insight into how parents can support teen health. During the documentary, Omar describes his comprehensive approach to teen health, which emphasizes prevention and the principles of Positive Youth Development. Omar claims three essential components are necessary to foster positive youth development: a caring adult, a safe place to connect with others and a meaningful activity.
The documentary also highlights partnerships forged by Omar between the UK Division of Adolescent Medicine and two rural Kentucky school systems. Through these partnerships, the UK Adolescent Medicine conducts health screenings to identify at-risk teens and provides in-school clinical hours at middle and high schools. The programs have helped improve accessibility to treatment for many teens in Harrison and Lincoln Counties.
"What Does Every Teen Need" was produced by Laura Krueger and premieres on Monday, April 20, at 9 p.m. on KET. To view a preview of the program, click here.
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 15, 2015) — Kentucky Children's Hospital pediatrician and child safety researcher Dr. Susan Pollack was recently honored as one of the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department’s 2015 Public Health Heroes. The award is given annually to individuals who have demonstrated their dedication to improving the health of Lexington residents.
Pollack has advocated for injury prevention and safety measures for children of all ages. Her areas of expertise include safe sleeping areas for infants, car seat safety, drowning and fire prevention, teen driving, and head protection for bicyclists, skateboarders and ATV riders.
She frequently assists with the Child Care Health Consultant Program, which promotes healthy child development in safe environments. Pollack is the coordinator of the Pediatric and Adolescent Injury Prevention Program at the Kentucky Injury and Prevention Research Center, and an assistant professor in the UK Department of Pediatrics and the UK Department of Preventive Medicine. She serves on the Child Fatality Review committee in Fayette County and on the state level through the Department for Public Health.
Pollack considers her advocacy of revisions to booster seat laws in Kentucky and work to improve child care programs among her most important contributions to child safety. She thanked the many collaborators in Fayette County and at the Kentucky Department for Public Health who joined her efforts to make environments safer for teens and children.
"It's an incredible honor," Pollack said of the award. "I'm really proud of how much working together has made things possible, even when resources were scarce. We couldn't have done it without each other."
Pollack was selected for the honor with Marian Guinn, the CEO of God's Pantry Food Bank. The two women were recognized during an April 13 meeting of the Lexington-Fayette County Board of Health.
Past winners of the award include the Rev. Willis Polk and baby Health Service (2014); Anita Courtney and Teens Against Tobacco Use (2013); Vickie Blevins and Jay McChord (2013); Jill Chenault-Wilson and Dr. Malkanthie McCormick (2011); Dr. Jay Perman (2010); the Lexington Lions Club (2009); Dr. David Stevens and the late Dr. Doane Fischer (2008); Dr. Ellen Hahn, Mary Alice Pratt and Therese Moseley (2007); Dr. Andrew Moore and Rosa Martin (2006); Jan Brucato and Dragana Zaimovic (2005); and Dr. John Michael Moore, Ellen Parks and Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government (2004).
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 9, 2015) — On a Sunday night in March, 16-year-old Jessie Sharp munched on an order of breadsticks delivered to his hospital room at the Kentucky Children's Hospital (KCH) pediatric intensive care unit. He asked to delay his bedtime to complete Spanish homework. At the same time, machines at the side of his bed facilitated the function of two vital organs.
Life in the PICU was a drastic change for the teen who was shoveling snow on his family's Cynthiana farm only days earlier. With a system of catheters running through his body, diverting the flow of blood to external machines doing the jobs of his lungs and kidneys, Jessie was at the very beginning of his road to recovery. But Jessie's capabilities through the course of critical care — working on homework, communicating with his family and even walking throughout the hospital — reflected some semblance of normal life.
"I’m thinking, this is unbelievable," Dr. Scottie Day, chief and medical director of the pediatric critical care unit at KCH, said. "We have a kid whose kidneys and lungs essentially don’t work, and he’s sitting here eating pizza and doing his Spanish homework."
To the KCH health care providers aware of Jessie's critical state, watching him stay active, alert and mobile, in spite of lung and kidney failure, was an incredible sight. His activity was only possible through an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or ECMO, machine and a multidisciplinary health care team with the expertise to integrate the machine into pediatric care. Getting a patient to ambulate, or walk, while connected to ECMO is a milestone only a few pediatric hospitals around the nation have accomplished.
After showing ongoing symptoms of a common stomach virus in late February, Jessie visited a local hospital where he underwent precautionary tests. His mom, Dianna Sharp, was waiting in line at the local pharmacy when she received an urgent call from Jessie's pediatrician. By the time Jessie was transported to KCH, his kidney and lungs were declining from the effects of a rare and undiagnosed autoimmune inflammatory disease. A pediatric critical care team led by Day and Aftab Chishti, a pediatric nephrologist at KCH, intervened quickly to support Jessie's failing organs.
Ultimately, the pediatric team determined Jessie's damaged kidneys and lungs were too weak to continue working on their own. Jessie was started on supportive treatment through dialysis for kidney failure, but a more pressing concern for the critical care team was managing the condition of Jessie's lungs. The state of his lungs continued to progressively deteriorate, and on March 1 Jessie was placed on a mechanical ventilator, but this intervention was not a long-term solution.
In the early morning of March 2, pediatric surgeon Dr. Sean Skinner led a surgical team in placing a large catheter in a neck vein to connect the ECMO machine to Jessie's body. A tracheostomy enabling Jessie to breathe was also placed in Jessie's neck to allow for easier mobilization. ECMO technology reroutes the flow of blood to the lungs to an external perfusion machine, which replicates the job of the lungs by oxygenating blood, removing carbon dioxide gas and replenishing oxygen to healthy blood cells. This process gave Jessie's lungs a needed break, improving the likelihood that the organs would recover from the damage of the disease and eventually function normally again.
"The thought behind using this modality is it gives time for the lungs to rest," Day said. "It’s like a big scratch — if you keep beating it, it continues to get bruised. But if you give it rest, it will get better."
Before pediatric hospitals had access to revolutionary ECMO technology, children whose lungs were as damaged as Jessie's were often sedated and placed on ventilators, which forcibly oxygenated the lungs and could cause further injury. If these children required support through ECMO, they would remain sedated and paralyzed to prevent problems with the circuit. With ambulatory ECMO, Jessie avoided complete sedation, and was able to eat and drink on his own, start physical therapy right away and stay caught up with school work, all while his lungs were completely out of commission. During several weeks of recovery at KCH, Jessie managed to stand and walk as far as 350 steps to the hospital Welcome Center while on the ECMO machine.
"Before ambulatory ECMO, these kids would be fully sedated in a coma," Day said. "Today, that’s not the way of thinking."
Day believes ECMO was a life-saving intervention in Jessie's case. A team of health care professionals representing more than 14 divisions at Kentucky Children's Hospital, including pediatric critical care, surgery, nephrology, nursing, physical therapy, perfusion, respiratory therapy, physical therapy, pulmonology, rheumatology, psychiatry, occupational therapy, speech therapy and child life, represented a true team approach to Jessie's care. UK HealthCare's transplant division and cardiothoracic surgery program were early adopters of ambulatory ECMO technology, using the machines to support patients waiting for organ transplants. The majority of hospitals conduct ambulatory ECMO as a bridging measure to organ transplantation.
"As a children's hospital within a larger health care system, we are able to utilize some of the same approaches in a child-friendly manner," Day said. "We are one of the few children's hospitals in the nation doing ambulatory ECMO."
Because of the complexities of caring for children on ECMO and the multiple professions involved in Jessie's treatment, morning rounds in Jessie's room lasted as long as 45 minutes. Krysta Clark, one of Jessie's primary nurses, said morning rounds were essential for ensuring every health care professional was in agreement of Jessie's goals and therapies for the day. Jessie and his family were also participants in the discussions centered on his care.
"Everyone was so respectful and collaborative," Clark said. "And I think it's what's got him to progress so quickly."
Jessie was taken off the ECMO machine on March 27 and in early April returned to his beloved farm, his dog, 50 head of cattle and the tractor. Jessie will receive long-term treatment and regular dialysis at KCH, but starting physical therapy while an inpatient, with the help of ECMO, shortened Jessie's time in the PICU and sped up his overall recovery. Dianna Sharp was grateful the pediatric team utilized ECMO — seeing her son walk around the hospital was a welcome reassurance during a stressful and uncertain time.
"That was very hopeful, and it made me feel good that they were working with him," Dianna Sharp said of watching Jessie walk while on the ECMO machine. "I love the doctors and the nurses here — you couldn’t ask for better people."
Video courtesy of UK HealthCare Marketing.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 6, 2015) — Nearly a third of all children nationwide and in Kentucky aren't up-to-date with the vaccination schedule recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), but not because their parents are refusing vaccines. Evidence suggests parents tend to forget appointments when children are scheduled to receive immunizations.
A group of pediatricians at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine are helping parents remember vaccination appointments through a new text message alert system. Parents of babies born at the Kentucky Children's Hospital (KCH) Birthing Center are presented with the option to receive a sequence of text message reminders the week before their child's vaccination appointments.
Dr. Akshay Sharma, Dr. Anil George and Dr. Kimberly Northrip are testing the impact of the text message alert system and its ability to prevent missed appointments for publicly and privately insured patients. The ongoing project, which was awarded a grant from the Community Access to Child Health fund of the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2014, was launched last August.
"The most common reason (for missed appointments) is parents don't have information or forget when their children’s vaccinations are due," said Sharma, principle investigator of the research and a pediatric resident at KCH.
Sharma stressed that timing is crucial for the efficacy of childhood vaccinations. Children receive vaccinations and booster shots at their two-month, four-month, six-month, one-year, 15-month and 18-month appointments. These vaccinations protect against infectious diseases including polio, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, pneumonia, hepatitis B, hepatitis A, measles, mumps and rubella. The CDC-recommended vaccination schedule is designed to immunize the child at a point in their life when they are most vulnerable to contracting or spreading these diseases.
An outbreak of the measles linked to an amusement park in California that started in December 2014 has spread to about 150 children in seven states, calling attention to the public health consequences of children with incomplete vaccinations. In Kentucky, an estimated 70 percent of children complete the recommended vaccination schedule by 35 months of age, which should ideally be completed by 18 months of age. George said parents attempt to update their child's medical records in preparation for preschool or kindergarten, as late as 5 or 6 years of age, only to learn their child has aged-out of certain vaccines.
"Like we are seeing with the measles outbreak, it's not that all the children were unimmunized, it's that they were not completely immunized," George said. "Getting vaccines for school entry is okay, but it doesn't help the community at large because there are still vulnerable children in the community."
In the United States, 90 percent of people carry a cellphone, and text messages are typically accessed faster than voice messages. The text message alert system adopted at Kentucky Children's Hospital was designed by the same software developers that created a successful nationwide vaccination reminder system for the Indian Academy of Pediatrics a few years ago. The system reminders are individualized, providing an alert for each KCH child in the family.
Sharma said previous research suggests publicly insured patients are less likely to complete the recommended vaccination schedules. With the text alert system in place, preliminary results of the study show publicly insured patients are more likely to adhere to the immunization schedule when they opt to receive text message reminders.
"In this study, we found that while the immunization rates improved for all children when their parents received the reminders, the immunization rates for the publicly insured patients increased to the same levels as their privately insured counterparts," said Northrip, who is mentoring the residents.
The researchers are working to collect data from 1,000 patients, with 500 children already registered for the study. Half of the study's subjects will receive the alert system and half will not receive the alerts. The group recently presented some preliminary results at the Southern Regional Meetings in New Orleans and intend to publish their findings in a national medical journal on completion of the study. After the initial testing phase, the text message alerts will be available to any parent in Kentucky or the rest of the country.
To register for the text message alert system, visit www.vaccinereminder.org.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 25, 2015) — Neonatologists at Kentucky Children's Hospital (KCH) recently acquired an incubator compatible with magnetic resonance technology (MRI) to examine brain development and injuries in newborns.
The addition of the MR Diagnostics Incubator System nomag IC will allow KCH neonatologists to visualize the brain structures of high-risk infants born before 25 weeks of gestation, as well as infants who suffered from oxygen deprivation, also known as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, before delivery.
The state-of-the-art incubator will prevent the need for sedation in newborns, who are already susceptible to hypothermia and other complications that could exacerbate their conditions. As a benefit for the neonatal intensive care unit staff, the incubator, which custom fits into the MRI machine, will simplify the process of transporting an infant.
The UK Division of Neonatology specializes in caring for the smallest and most fragile newborn babies, some of them weighing less than 700 grams. UK has the only Level IV neonatal intensive care unit - the highest level for the most complex care - in the region and last year had nearly 900 patient admissions. The division offers a well-developed and comprehensive clinical care service and a rapidly growing research program.
While most premature infants will not need an MRI right away, Dr. Peter Giannone, chief of the Division of Neonatology and vice chair of Pediatric Research, said conducting MRIs on extremely premature babies prior to discharge is becoming a standard of practice in major medical centers specializing in care for these patients.
The incubator will also serve an important function enabling the collection of data for an ongoing study within the UK Department of Pediatrics, which is investigating the developmental implications of brain bleeds commonly diagnosed in premature babies.
"We will be able to put the baby in the incubator, connect specially designed monitoring equipment, and take the baby down to the MRI, with the anticipation of doing the MRI without sedation," Giannone said. "This will be a much safer way to do MRIs on our babies."
Giannone and John Bauer, Ph.D, a researcher in the Department of Pediatrics, are leading a randomized placebo-controlled trial looking at whether the delayed clamping of the umbilical cord at birth can improve blood flow to the brain and reduce the risk of brain lesions in the earliest premature babies. The research trial is supported by a $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 23, 2015) — Kohl’s Department Stores recently donated $89,833 to Kentucky Children’s Hospital (KCH) to support the Kohl’s Read to Your Baby program, a hospital initiative encouraging parents read to their children during the earliest stages of life.
Dr. Donna Grigsby, chief of general pediatrics at KCH, has used these funds to raise public awareness by promoting the importance of reading to babies at events and making reading resources available to parents across the Commonwealth. The Kohl’s Read to Your Baby program offers free children's books during infant and toddler storytimes at dozens of libraries across Kentucky. In addition to preparing children for future success in school, reading to infants and toddlers on a daily basis helps calm them and foster healthy parent-child bonding.
"Studies have shown that reading aloud to your infant is the single most important factor in helping your child’s language development and love of reading," Grigsby said. "We are so grateful to Kohl’s for their support of our mission to encourage families and caregivers to read to their babies."
Kohl's commitment to KCH is made possible through the Kohl’s Cares cause merchandise program. Through this initiative, Kohl’s sells $5 books and plush toys, and 100 percent of net profits benefits children’s health and education programs nationwide, including hospital partnerships like this one. Kohl’s has raised more than $274 million through this merchandise program. Kohl’s has donated more than $1.2 million to KCH since 2000.
For more information about the benefits of reading to children and a list of baby-friendly books, visit readtoyourbabyky.com.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 16, 2015) -- The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees on Monday approved a plan for the next phase of the UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital's Pavilion A that includes completion of another 64-bed patient floor and more operating rooms.
Upon completion of this phase, six of the eight clinical floors will be occupied and the tower will be 81 percent complete.
The plan for this phase calls for $75 million to be financed with agency funds to fit-out the 11th floor of the Pavilion A patient care facility. Additionally, radiology services will be relocated and expanded in Pavilion A, the hospital's blood bank will relocate, and six more operating rooms will be fit-out including an additional hybrid OR. In 2012, UK HealthCare opened one of the country's largest hybrid operating rooms and eight state-of-the-art operating rooms in Pavilion A.
Additionally, the Board approved for construction to begin as part of a plan to renovate and upgrade UK Good Samaritan's Emergency Department (ED). Approximately 12,090 square feet of the ED will be renovated in phases during the next two to three years. Improvements include space dedicated to patient care such as private patient rooms, expanded service capabilities and improved staff support space. The project also will expand the patient and family waiting area by approximately 1,250 square feet.
Since opening the first two patient care floors in Pavilion A in May 2011, UK HealthCare has experienced an increase in volume of patients that has placed substantial capacity constraints on hospital system operations, requiring the fit-out of Pavilion A to ensure availability of adequate facilities for patient care.
"Our rapid growth -- going from 25th to 75th percentile among academic medical centers -- has led to us playing 'catch up' for the past decade to meet current patient demands for our services that include care for the most critically ill patients who need complex and advanced subspecialty care," said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK executive vice president for health affairs. "UK HealthCare is the only provider in the Commonwealth, and in this region, for some of these very high-level services and our ability to care for these patients is very important for the people we serve and their families."
The eighth floor of Pavilion A -- a state-of-the-art 64 bed cardiovascular patient unit -- opened in December 2014 and construction to fit-out the ninth and 10th floors of the patient care facility is underway. In addition to those two patient floors, the Board in June 2014 also approved replacement of the hospital kitchen and cafeteria, relocation of the Magnetic Resonance Imaging to Pavilion A and relocation of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
Media Contact: Kristi Lopez, email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 11, 2015) – Providing exceptional care to patients and families is one of the things the nurses at UK HealthCare do best. To ensure the tradition of excellence, UK HealthCare will hold a nurse recruitment open house for experienced nurses, advanced practice nurses, and recent and upcoming nursing graduates.
Respiratory Therapy and Rehab Services will also be on hand to recruit interested respiratory therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapist assistant and occupational therapist assistant candidates. The open house will take place from 5 - 9 p.m. March 12 at UK Chandler Hospital on the ground floor of Pavilion A.
Attendees will have the opportunity to meet with patient care managers and service directors, physicians and staff nurses at UK HealthCare, including UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital, Kentucky Children's Hospital, UK Good Samaritan Hospital, Eastern State Hospital and UK affiliates from Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center. Nurse Recruiters will be available to answer questions about employment opportunities.
"UK HealthCare is excited to host this upcoming event as we showcase all the great opportunities that await the ideal candidate; along with displaying on-going excellence in evidence-based practice by nurses throughout the enterprise," said Shayne Stratton, UK HealthCare manager, nurse recruitment. "Nurses at UK HealthCare continue to provide excellence ‘to every patient, every time’."
Refreshments will be provided as well as tours of UK's patient care facility and a key opportunity to hear from UK HealthCare Chief Nurse Executive Colleen Swartz. Parking will be available in the hospital parking garage located at 110 Transcript Ave. Parking tickets will be validated at registration.
To RSVP for nursing, visit ukhealtlhcare.uky.edu/nursingjobs or for more information, go to ukhealthcare.uky.edu/nursing.
To RSVP for RT and Rehab, visit http://ukhealthcare-therapists.eventbrite.com/
Media Contact: Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 19, 2015) — UK HealthCare has received approval from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services Division of Certificate of Need to add 120 patient beds. The application for the Certificate of Need to increase the number of licensed beds was filed in October 2014 and notice of approval has been received.
"This approval allows us to move forward in our strategic plan and further our mission to take care of patients throughout the Commonwealth who need our advanced subspecialty care and destination services," said Dr. Michael Karpf, University of Kentucky vice president for health affairs.
UK HealthCare’s previous licensing was for 825 beds but after experiencing consistently greater than 80 percent occupancy of its patient beds — the industry standard for efficiency — it was determined that a total bed capacity of approximately 945 beds will be required to meet future needs at UK Chandler Hospital, Kentucky Children’s Hospital and UK Good Samaritan Hospital.
"About 10 years ago, we committed to develop UK HealthCare into a research intensive, referral academic medical center to ensure all Kentuckians — no matter how complex their medical problem — could be taken care of in Kentucky and not required to leave the state for advanced subspecialty medical care," said Karpf. "This strategy, while crucial to our goal of taking care of patients in the Commonwealth, has resulted in substantial growth beyond our initial aggressive projections."
This unanticipated growth in patient volume has led UK HealthCare to change plans throughout the past decade to meet increasing demand. Although the initial proposal in 2005 was for the Pavilion A patient care facility to be constructed as a replacement facility, continued and accelerated demand has led for the need to fit-out Pavilion A as well as keep patient care areas in the original UK Chandler Hospital (Pavilion H) open and operational for the foreseeable future.
In addition to adding 120 beds, also approved was a plan to convert four acute care beds to Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) beds. Overall, Kentucky Children’s Hospital’s NICU will increase from 66 to 70 beds with a breakdown of 20 Level IV beds (for the most advanced newborn care); 38 Level III beds (for severely ill newborn care); and 12 Level II beds (for intermediate newborn care).
Currently, Pavilion A is nearly two-thirds completed. It has opened in phases beginning in July 2010 with the Emergency Department that includes both a pediatric and adult Level-1 trauma center. In addition, 192 patient rooms are completed and open including a state-of-the-art 64 bed cardiovascular patient unit which opened in December 2014. Pavilion A also currently contains an observation unit, nine operating rooms including a state-of-the-art Hybrid Operating Room, 43 pre-op and post anesthesia care beds; surgery waiting area and a retail pharmacy, among other features and areas.
Construction has begun on the next two patient floors (ninth and 10th floors) with a total addition of 128 beds. Also currently under construction, or approved for construction, is replacement of the hospital kitchen and cafeteria, relocation of the Magnetic Resonance Imaging to Pavilion A, relocation of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and a new entryway and family support space for Kentucky Children’s Hospital. Since 2006, UK has invested more than $763 million in modern, state-of-the-art patient care facilities.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 27, 2015) — A mother's embrace couldn't settle a fidgety Snayder Menendez Quinones for more than a few seconds in the Pavilion A lobby of the UK Chandler Hospital. But Maria Quinones was relieved to see her 3-year-old son return to his playful self after recovering from surgery at Kentucky Children's Hospital.
The timid and afraid boy who arrived at UK HealthCare on Sept. 23, 2014, was now gleeful and talkative. The sausage-like lesion on his lip was gone, replaced by a scar in the corner of his mouth. His mother was no longer afraid of his toddler tumbles, which could have resulted in major bleeding before the tumor was removed.
"I worry less about him getting hurt playing with other kids," she said. "He is starting school, and I was afraid he would get bullied."
In a tribal village bordering the Amazon jungle, Snayder was born with a small vascular tumor inside his mouth. As Snayder continued to grow and develop in his first year of life, the lesion also grew substantially in size. Eventually the lesion encompassed most of the inside of his cheek, the floor of his tongue and, most noticeably, a large portion of his lower lip. In addition to interfering with speech development and eating, the lesion weighed down Snayder's lower lip and caused frequent bleeding from the mouth. Because of the abnormality, he was ostracized in his community.
Snayder's family sought out help from local doctors, but none were willing to remove the lesion because of the high risk of complications, such as bleeding and scarring. According to UK HealthCare plastic surgeon Dr. Henry Vasconez, total removal of the lesion would have resulted in the loss of three-quarters of the child's face. His condition was more complex, requiring surgical intervention as well as steroids to stunt the growth of the lesion.
"The child was born with this at birth, but it was small," Vasconez said. "As is common with these type of congenital abnormalities, it continued to grow, and it would only get bigger until it became very large."
Dr. Thomas Young, a UK professor and director of the UK Shoulder to Shoulder Global program, met Snayder and his mother while serving in the program's year-round health clinic in Santa Domingo. He brought photos of Snayder's lesion to Vasconez, the William S. Farish Endowed Chair of Plastic Surgery at UK HealthCare, who is also a native of Ambato, Ecuador.
As a first step, Vasconez contacted a colleague in Quito, Ecuador, to inquire about the possibility of treating the lesion in Snayder's home country. After some deliberation about the complexities involved with Snayder's condition, Vasconez's colleague opted not to perform the necessary surgery. Vasconez and Young presented the case to officials at UK HealthCare and rallied support for Snayder and his mother to travel to Kentucky for treatment.
When Snayder came to UK HealthCare last September, Vasconez first examined the mass to determine the most effective course of action that would not further damage the child's appearance. He operated on the mass to remove the most abnormal parts. Through the surgery, he was able to remove 50 percent of the lesion and inject a sclerosing agent to stop growth in a remaining 25 percent. A few days after the surgery, Snayder was saying words, eating properly and showing good control of his mouth.
"It's quite satisfying to be able to help someone who would not otherwise receive care," Vasconez said. "This 3-year-old would be pretty much an outcast otherwise."
Vasconez received his medical degree in Ecuador but completed a residency and specialty training in pediatric surgery in the United States. He has worked at UK HealthCare for more than 27 years. In addition to helping with special cases identified through the Shoulder to Shoulder clinic, Vasconez has conducted outreach through his own charitable mission in Ecuador for more than 20 years. Every year, he organizes a group of 80 to 90 medical volunteers to conduct clinics and perform surgery in impoverished areas of the country.
While Vasconez said Ecuador is a beautiful country with many natural resources, it is also a very typical Third World country in need of support. Half of the population fall into a low income category and have little access to health care.
"Like this child, if they can't get something done in their community or village, they usually can't get anything done," Vasconez said. "If it was life-threatening or disfiguring, they would just have to live with it.
"This was a way for me to get back to that country and try to give back," he said.
Vasconez returns to Ecuador for a medical mission in February. Those interested in knowing more about the connections between Kentucky and Ecuador can learn more through the Kentucky Partners of the Americas at http://kentuckyecuadorpartners.org/.
The UK Shoulder to Shoulder program would like to thank American Airlines, Healing the Children and UK HealthCare for supporting this child.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 23, 2014) — Children treated in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) at Kentucky Children's Hospital are bombarded with scary sights, sounds and feelings.
"We use lots of scary things, and they go through scary procedures," Emily Turner, a nurse in the PICU, said. "Usually they are very sick while they are here."
But the welcoming grins of cartoon characters, a pleasant barnyard scene and sparkling princess carriages are happy and comforting images for children in the busy, intense PICU environment. Paintings of friendly childhood characters, figures and scenes adorn windows to seven patient rooms in the PICU. The colorful paintings provided by a group of UK art education students brighten the atmosphere for children and families going through a difficult time, as well as the nursing staff that cares for patients in critical situations.
"We just want it to be kid-friendly, appropriate, and to make them feel a little more joyous," Turner said.
The UK Art Education Student Chapter (AESC), a student organization that prepares its members for careers in art education, volunteered their time and artistic talents to paint child-friendly scenes and characters on the glass windows. The UK chapter is led by faculty adviser Beth Mosher Ettensohn. Turner, a member of the Culture Council at Kentucky Children's Hospital, and fellow nurses in the PICU took personal time to paint the windows last year. After convening with the Culture Council this summer, Turner reached out to students in the School of Art and Visual Studies requesting help with painting the PICU windows. The students started painting the windows in November and will continue to maintain the paintings throughout 2015.
Contributing art to the PICU was especially meaningful to Ettensohn, whose son fought and survived a rare form of cancer in 1998. Ettensohn recalls long stays in intensive care units, both at Kentucky Children's Hospital and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Ettensohn valued the support and encouragement of the KCH nursing staff who worked with her son.
"You could tell they were working as a team and every person cared about who they were treating," Ettensohn said of the nurses. "They would take that extra step to help families manage the insanity that comes with caregiving a critically ill child."
As the family member of a patient, the art professor appreciated seeing vitality and variety in hospital décor. She believes a positive visual environment is essential to everyone's health.
“What we see has a profound effect on what we do, how we feel, and who we are. An engaging visual environment is essential to our health,” Ettensohn said.
Ashley Worley, the vice president of the AESC, has noticed family members of patients looking over her shoulder as she paints. She said painting one scene on a window could take as long as two or three hours. Engaging future art educators in community service is part of the AESC's mission. Worley, who plans to become an art teacher, feels gratified sharing her artwork with families and medical workers in a challenging and sometimes dreary environment.
"The children are really sick, so even if one painting can make a child smile, then that makes a difference," Worley said.
The AESC is an official UK student organization sponsored by the UK School of Art and Visual Studies. Members are undergraduate and graduate art education students. Find out more at http://ukaesc.weebly.com/
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 22, 2014) – UK HealthCare has temporarily amended its inpatient hospital visitation policy to be proactive in helping protect the health and well-being of patients and health care workers during this flu season. Visitation restrictions are in effect as of 7 a.m. Monday, Dec. 22.
The measures include:
o No visitors under the age of 12
o No visitors with any symptoms of flu-like illness
o Only two visitors will be permitted in a patient’s room at one time
o Visitors may be issued masks or other protective clothing for use when visiting
o Additional restrictions may be in place in special care units such as women's and children’s units, critical care and oncology units.
o Compassionate visitation exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis.
"Due to an increasing number of flu cases in Kentucky, UK HealthCare will be instituting these procedures designed to help protect patients, visitors and staff from exposure to the flu and are in effect at all UK HealthCare inpatient units including University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital, Kentucky Children's Hospital, UK Good Samaritan Hospital and Eastern State Hospital," said Kim Blanton, enterprise director for infection prevention and control at UK HealthCare.
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the flu was widespread in 29 of the 54 states and territories that it tracks -- including Kentucky. This time last year, it was widespread in only four.
It is still recommended everyone six months of age and older who hasn't received a flu shot yet, receive one, Blanton said. "A flu vaccine is still the first and best way to prevent influenza," she said.
Flu symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Flu antiviral drugs are available and work best for treatment when they are started within two days of getting sick. However, starting them later can still be helpful, especially if the sick person has a high risk health condition or is very sick from the flu.
MEDIA CONTACT: Kristi Lopez, 859-806-0445 or email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 4, 2014) — More than a decade ago, Ruth Berry and Gail Carpenter retired from longtime careers practicing and teaching nursing to college students. But even in retirement, the two friends and former colleagues are drawn back to the health care setting where they continue to serve patients in meaningful ways.
Wearing the volunteer uniform of pale blue button-down shirts and navy blue slacks, the retirees sort through piles of mail, organize a cart full of cookies and help families navigate the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital. During the Thursday morning shift they share at the UK HealthCare Volunteer Office, they deliver mail, bouquets of balloons and flower arrangements to patients throughout the hospital.
Often during deliveries, they will offer to open and read mail to incapacitated patients. As former nurses, they are well-versed on bedside manner and sensitive to the health care circumstances affecting each patient. Although their role today is on the periphery of medical care, they know a few moments to sit and listen could make a difference in the patient's life.
"Going into a room in pediatrics where a child is alone, and opening up the mail for them and spending a few moments with them — those are precious moments just to be able to talk to them," Berry said. "They might not have family member there all day."
When asked why they volunteer, Carpenter and Berry say their roles keep them connected to the health care profession, but they also enjoy the camaraderie of the volunteer office. Both women retired from faculty positions in the UK College of Nursing and at Lexington Community College (now known as Bluegrass Community and Technical College) and are now members of the hospital's auxiliary board of directors. Berry and Carpenter first became acquainted as colleagues from their involvement in the university community and professional organizations. Carpenter, who retired in 1997, helped recruit Berry to the volunteer office after she retired in 2000.
Carpenter's interest in a profession in nursing started in high school when she learned of a friend's sister who was completing a nursing program in New York City. She was attracted to a profession caring for people and was fascinated by the science of nursing. She accepted a position teaching fundamental courses and pediatric nursing at Lexington Community College in 1976 and eventually become coordinator of LCC's nursing program, retiring in 1997.
Berry, whose mother was a neonatal nurse who emigrated from Germany, read the popular Sue Barton series of youth novels when she was young, which sparked her interest in a nursing career. At the age of 14, she started working as a nurse's aide in a local hospital. While she originally intended to study chemistry in college, she chose to study nursing at the collegiate level. She joined the faculty of the UK College of Nursing in the Department of Public Health Nursing in 1965, and after a period of time away from the profession, returned to the department in 1986. During her time at UK, she established a health clinic for the homeless and a parish nursing program, retiring from her role in 2000.
"I always liked helping and being with folks," Berry said.
When she first started volunteering, Carpenter was assigned to assist with a health clinic run by Berry, who was still working as a faculty member. Berry was thrilled to have Carpenter, a former nurse, as a volunteer in her clinic. Carpenter also volunteered as a patient liaison in the surgery department for several years before she changed roles to delivering mail and flowers. After her retirement, Berry decided to join Carpenter as a UK HealthCare volunteer on Thursdays. She also works in the auxiliary gift shop, which is primarily staffed by volunteers, on Mondays.
In addition to serving together at on a weekly basis, the women fill their schedules with volunteer roles for the Lexington Public Library, God's Pantry and the Department of Veteran's Affairs hospital. They are members of the same theater club, which meets several times a year. Outside of the volunteer office, Berry said Carpenter is a reliable friend. Carpenter has helped Berry through periods of hospitalization, picking her up for appointments at 5 a.m.
"(Volunteering) is more enjoyable when I know we can be there together and we can catch up at some of our other events," Berry said of Carpenter. "If we have concern about something, we can share it with each other."
As volunteers, Berry and Carpenter have heard many stories and met many interesting people of all ages. They have developed a sense of community and purpose within the hospital through their involvement. They are always encouraging others to become new volunteers at UK HealthCare as help is constantly needed for patients and visitors.
"We get to see how the medical center really works," Carpenter said of volunteers. "We have a way of helping people navigate them through this physical maze at the medical center — it's enjoyable to do."
To learn more about volunteering, visit http://ukhealthcare.uky.edu/volunteer.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 3, 2014) — The UK HealthCare Birthing Center at Kentucky Children's Hospital recently scored among the nation's top birthing facilities for implementing best practices related to breastfeeding and infant nutrition.
In results from a Centers for Disease Control survey, the UK HealthCare Birthing Center ranked in the 83rd percentile nationally and in the 97th percentile in the state. The Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC) is a national survey of maternity care practices and policies conducted every two years. The survey obtains information about birthing center services and practices, including breastfeeding assistance, infant nutrition, skin-to-skin bonding, postpartum care, patient discharge procedures and more. UK HealthCare was among the 82 percent of 2,666 birthing facilities surveyed nationally that responded to the self-reported survey in 2013, with results recently released in 2014.
In 2007, the year the mPINC survey was introduced, UK HealthCare's Birthing Center scored in the 13th percentile nationally. The department raised its score to rank in the 45th percentile in 2011.
Gwen Moreland, interim assistant chief nurse executive at Kentucky Children's Hospital, attributed the department's improvement to a team of doctors and nurses committed to evidence-based practices in maternal care services. The Birthing Center has adopted practices and procedures scientifically proven to be beneficial for mother and baby.
Nurses and doctors facilitate skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth, transfer mother and baby as a couplet to the mother and baby unit, limit the amount of time a baby is away from his or her mother, and provided lactation specialists to help mother and baby adjust to breastfeeding. In addition, leaders within the department have introduced annual training sessions on up-to-date maternal care policies and procedures for nurses and doctors.
"I think it really validates the hard work and dedication of the nursing and physician staff," Moreland said of the CDC ranking. "We are more focused on quality outcomes and evidence-based care."
UK HealthCare is currently making strides toward a Baby-Friendly accreditation from the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). American hospitals can achieve this accreditation by offering an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother/baby bonding.
While working toward this goal, the birthing department was one of 92 birthing centers in the nation, and the only in Kentucky, to receive the Best Fed Beginnings Grant from the National Institute for Children's Health Quality in 2012. UK HealthCare follows the 10 Steps to Successful Breast Feeding outlined by the Baby-Friendly Initiative and provides patients with breastfeeding support at its Mommy and Me Clinic.
Kentucky Children's Hospital | Driving Directions »UK Albert B. Chandler HospitalPavilion H, Fourth Floor800 Rose St.Lexington KY 40536Phone: 859-323-5000
Kentucky Clinic | Driving Directions »Second Floor740 S. LimestoneLexington KY 40536Phone: 859-323-5625
Twilight Clinic (after-hours clinic) | Driving Directions »Kentucky ClinicSecond Floor, Wing D740 S. LimestoneLexington KY 40536-0284Phone: 859-257-6730Hours: Mon - Fri, 5:00-9:00 p.m., weekends and holidays, noon-5 p.m.
UK Pediatrics @ MaxwellUK Good Samaritan Hospital Professional Arts Center | Driving Directions »135 E. Maxwell St., Suite 200 Lexington KY 40508