Join the conversation, follow our blogs and get up-to-the-minute news and health information from UK HealthCare.
Your destination for the latest news from UK HealthCare’s community engagement program.
October 23, 2014
One day, three causes
Read the blog »
Your student health clinic
Ebola: To Panic, Or Not To Panic
Hosted by Fernanda Camargo, DMV, PhD, UK Equine Extension Professor
October 13, 2014
Hauling: am I ready?
Nutrition for you
October 16, 2014
Learn to make Italian bread!
Leading the way for every patient, every time
September 10, 2014
UKudos to the Good Samaritan Second Floor OR Staff
A blog about the new facility, UK HealthCare at Turfland
October 20, 2014
Rainy weather for UK HealthCare at Turfland, but progress continues
October 2, 2014
UK HealthCare pediatric team brings Guatemalan child closer to a normal life
UK HealthCare patients have great stories to tell.
See more patient stories »
Call 859-257-1000 or 800-333-8874 for general info and appointments. Hours »
Call 859-323-5000 for patient information and hospital admin, 24/7.
What would improve our website?
Join us on social media for health tips and news, as well as the latest on UK HealthCare events. You can also help us give the very best care by sharing your feedback.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 23, 2014) – The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center's Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner Jennifer Bradley will be the featured guest on SiriusXM Family Talk Channel 131's "Aches and Gains" with Dr. Paul Christo the next two Saturdays.
Originally scheduled for just one show, Bradley's interview was expanded to two. The first airs Saturday, Oct. 25 at 5 p.m., with the second installment airing Saturday, Nov. 1 at 5 p.m. Podcasts are accessible after the show at www.paulchristo.com.
Jin Shin Jyutsu (JSJ) is an ancient form of touch therapy similar to acupuncture in philosophy. Bradley, a licensed practitioner, originally began offering free JSJ sessions to patients as a Markey volunteer in 2009. In 2010, she received a $49,000 initial grant from the Lexington Cancer Foundation to provide the touch therapy to cancer patients full-time. Since then, Bradley has offered up to five free sessions to Markey patients at no charge.
JSJ is considered part of an integrative treatment plan at the UK Markey Cancer Center. Patients may self-refer, though many patients currently seen are referred by their physician or Markey staff.
During a session, patients receive light touches on 52 specific energetic points called Safety Energy Locks as well as fingers, toes, and midpoints on the upper arm, upper calf and lower leg in predetermined orders known as "flows." Patients remained clothed except for shoes and all hand placements are done over clothing.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 22, 2014) – In 1994, University of Kentucky alumna Cathy Bell was diagnosed with breast cancer – for the first time.
Because she had a family history of the disease (her grandmother fought breast cancer), she began having mammograms at an earlier age than most. And during her baseline mammogram at age 39, her doctors discovered an unusual pattern of calcifications, and ultimately, a malignancy.
Treatment quickly followed – a lumpectomy (a breast-conserving surgery) and radiation. Bell, then a busy elementary school principal, says she was mainly concerned about getting back to work.
"I had a school to run and needed to get past that 'bump in the road' and return to my duties," she said.
Ultimately, Bell only missed four days of school. She headed back to work as soon as she could, fitting in an hour of daily radiation into her schedule. When her treatment was completed, she thought she was done.
"I thought I had moved past it," she said.
Local recurrence, or the return of a cancer to its original location, is a relatively uncommon circumstance. Most of the time, a local recurrence will happen within the first five years following diagnosis.
However, in a few instances, a local recurrence can happen many years down the road. In Bell's case, she was nearly two decades cancer-free before receiving that sobering diagnosis for a second time.
In 2013, she noticed an unusual pain under her arm. Though she'd had a regular mammogram only six months earlier, she went back to her doctor for another. The results showed a similar pattern of unusual calcifications in the same breast – her cancer had returned.
Now retired, Bell says she spent a great deal of time researching treatment for breast cancer, and her investigations led her to University of Markey Cancer Center breast surgical oncologist Dr. Patrick McGrath. Because she'd undergone radiation therapy previously, Bell could not use that treatment again, which is commonly paired with a lumpectomy.
Instead, she opted for a bilateral mastectomy with delayed reconstructive surgery. Additionally, she underwent genetic counseling at Markey to determine if she carried the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation – a test she did on behalf her sisters, who are now considered "high risk" due to having two close family members with breast cancer. Luckily, Bell's results were negative.
Bell, an avid writer, says she turned to poetry to help work through her emotions after her second diagnosis. Shortly before her surgery, she composed a piece titled "This One is About Me." The poem, written in a catchy cadence with humor sprinkled throughout, served another purpose – to give her friends and family information on her health straight from the source and help them understand what she was going through.
"I turned to creativity to deal with my issues," she said. "That's how I dealt with all that information."
Shortly after she wrote her poem, Bell received a letter from the UK Markey Cancer Center inviting her to participate in the center's inaugural "Expressions of Courage" event, a creative exhibit showcasing original artistic expressions created by cancer patients, friends and family. Bell immediately knew she wanted to participate.
"I thought, wow, I already have this done!" she said.
Contributing to Expressions of Courage was just one way Bell has given back. She notes that she "loves UK" and supports the Markey Cancer Foundation and other cancer research organizations when she can. And having gone through the difficulties of dealing with breast cancer not once, but twice, she says her role now is to help others deal with their own diagnoses and to help in any way she can, noting that sometimes that just means lending an ear. She is frequently called up by friends or family members affected by breast cancer, who are seeking help and understanding for themselves or on behalf of a loved one.
"This is just the way it's supposed to be," Bell said. "I feel like I'm here to help other people… Famous people may write a book or talk publicly, but that's not my style. I'm a good listener when I need to be."
Earlier this year, Bell was dealt another small setback when she was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in her lip. After undergoing Mohs surgery, the former UK cheerleader was back to living her life yet again, staying busy in retirement – and remaining eternally optimistic.
"It's just what I've been dealt," she says. "I love life and I want to keep living it!"
MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 22, 2014) — When a patient experiences an unanticipated outcome or an employee is stuck with a needle, UK HealthCare leaders need employees to wave a red flag by reporting the incident.
In 2013, ambulatory clinics accounted for 4 percent of total incident reports at UK HealthCare. According to leaders within the department, the low percentage didn't signify a lack of patient safety incidents— it revealed that employees weren't reporting incidents through the system.
"We knew they were happening, but we needed people to report them," Jenny Dusso, director of ambulatory clinical operations at UK HealthCare, said of safety incidents. "It's so important that our patients and employees are safe, but in order to do that we have to hear from those on the front line."
Dusso and Morgan Dezarn, systems and procedures analyst for ambulatory services, were tasked with heading the Ambulatory Patient Safety Team, a group of officials dedicated to patient safety and quality. Since the team was established, incident reports from ambulatory clinics have risen by 40 percent. The reports have prompted systemic process changes, including designated phone numbers for clinic staff to report a patient emergency as well as a process that ensures patients in the ambulatory clinics can access transportation to and from their appointments.
During National HealthCare Quality Week, Oct. 19-25, UK HealthCare departments and specialty areas will showcase their efforts to improve the quality, safety and accessibility to health care services for all patients. Representatives from ambulatory, women's health, radiology, pediatrics, ophthalmology and other areas across the UK HealthCare enterprise will display posters that showcase patient safety and quality initiatives. The interactive poster session will be held in Pavilion A of the UK Chandler Hospital from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 22.
UK HealthCare joins the National Association of Healthcare Quality in observation of National HealthCare Quality Week. The National Association of Healthcare Quality (NAHQ) is a professional organization that shares knowledge and represents healthcare quality in all settings and specialty areas.
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 21, 2014) -- Dr. Ruhel Boparai, resident in the University of Kentucky's Department of Psychiatry, is a contributing author on one of the chapters in "Treatment of Neurodevelopmental Disorders: Targeting Neurobiological Mechanisms."
The book brings advances in genetics, neurobiology, and psychopharmacology to the clinic to enhance treatment for neurodevelopmental disorders.
Boparai assisted in the writing of fourth chapter, entitled "Neurodevelopmental and Neurobiological Aspects of Major Depression: From theory to therapy."
"Significant progress has been made in identifying the neurobiological mechanisms of several disorders," Boparai said. "However, the ability to utilize this knowledge has not been summarized in one place for the practicing clinician. This book will fill that gap by providing the theoretical underpinnings and the latest advances in targeted treatments."
Several neurodevelopmental disorders are reviewed in detail including clinical features and behavioral phenotypes, standard treatments and new targeted treatments based on the latest advances in neurobiology and the animal model studies that have lead to new treatments.
The disorders covered include psychiatric disorders: schizophrenia, depression, autism and ADHD; single gene disorders including Tuberous Sclerosis, Fragile X Syndrome and fragile X- associated disorders, Angelman Syndrome, PKU, and Muscular Dystrophies; and complex genetic disorders such as Down syndrome. This book also highlights the commonalities across disorders and new genetic and molecular concepts.
More information can be found at http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199937806.do
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 22, 2014) -- The University of Kentucky's Sanders-Brown Center on Aging will hold a National Commemorative Candle Lighting service at 4 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 9.
The service will be held in the Fellowship Hall at Pilgrim Baptist Church, 541 Jefferson Street in Lexington. It is free and open to the public.
The National Commemorative Candle Lighting is an annual event sponsored by the Alzheimer's Foundation of America to remember and honor people who have been or will be affected by Alzheimer's disease or related illnesses. It is held each November in recognition of National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month.
"The ceremony is designed to bring together individuals from different backgrounds as we stand united lighting ‘candles of care’," said Sarah Smith, a research assistant at Sanders-Brown. "Our hope is that by uniting as one we will be able to show all of those affected by this devastating disease that they are not in this fight alone."
If you have someone you would like to honor during the recital of names in memory and recognition, please call Sarah Smith at 859-323-6316 or give the written name to a Sanders-Brown staff member at the beginning of the ceremony.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 22, 2014) -- Most people visit their health care provider when they have signs or symptoms that signal there is something abnormal. However, staying healthy also means preventing or reducing the risk of developing illnesses or disease.
Health maintenance or preventive care involves the combination of education, communication, and counseling to maximize early detection of diseases or prevent them altogether. During routine preventive care visits you can expect to receive a physical exam and possibly blood work or diagnostic tests. Your healthcare provider will discuss your overall health and identify potential risk factors. Remember, the goal of preventive care is to prevent or reduce the risk of developing chronic illness and diseases so that you can stay healthier and live longer.
The frequency and timing of health screenings are dependent on your age, gender, and health status, personal medical and family history, and other considerations. Your and your healthcare provider should work together to develop a plan for preventive health screenings.
There are several steps that a person can take to remain healthy and become their own healthcare advocate.
Regular visits with a healthcare provider help you stay up to date on necessary health screenings and immunizations. Visits should not occur only when you feel sick.
Know Your Body
Being aware of changes that occur in the body can be the first sign that something is wrong. Start making healthy decisions, such as eating a healthy diet, getting adequate sleep and exercise, limiting alcohol intake, quitting smoking, and/or maintaining safe sex practices. These are risk factors for several chronic illnesses. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of depression and increasing your awareness of risk factors for exposure to violence or physical injury will help you develop and maintain positive mental health and developing a more positive outlook on life.
Know your History
Knowing your personal health history is important for everyone. Create a list of current and past medical histories for you and your immediate family. They should include: illnesses that you had as a child or an adult, immunization history, any surgeries or procedures (with reasons and dates if possible), pregnancy, tobacco and alcohol use. Your history should also include current and past medications you took for any chronic illness or disease. Don’t forget to include any known allergies or reactions to medications. Additionally, your family history can be an important indicator for potential risk of developing illnesses or diseases.
The U.S. Preventative Task Force provides personalized individual health recommendations based on your age and gender. You can also send cards to encourage others to stay up to date on health screenings. The tools can be downloaded to any electronic device (http://epss.ahrq.gov/PDA/index.jsp) or used directly on the website, http://www.healthfinder.gov/myhealthfinder/ .
For more information go to www.healthfinder.gov
American Academy of Family Physicians also offers a Health Maintenance Guidelines Summary Table at
You are perhaps the most important part of the team responsible for your good health. Making prevention and a healthy lifestyle a priority can greatly increase your vitality and longevity.
DeShana Collett is an assistant professor in the College of Heath Sciences at the University of Kentucky.
This column appeared in the October 19, 2014 edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 20, 2014) — A group of University of Kentucky medical students called the "Sonokittens" have distinguished themselves as the world's savviest student sonographers with a win at the first-ever World Cup of Ultrasound Competition.
The UK College of Medicine students who share a special interest in bedside ultrasound competed in the ultimate skills test at the World Congress of Ultrasound in Medical Education, Oct. 10-12 in Portland, Oregon. The team of Jenn Cotton, Carolyn Martinez and Brett Dickens won first place, beating teams from some universities that offer four-year integrated ultrasound curriculums.
During the four-hour contest, teams of three students are paired with a leading ultrasound expert and then tested on their ability to diagnose different sections of the body using ultrasound technology. The test involves unexpected twists, including blindfolds and simulations that require students to think on their feet and show a mastery of human pathology.
In addition to entering teams to compete in the skills contest, several students from the University of Kentucky presented scientific posters during the meeting. The third annual World Congress included sessions and workshops on the latest developments in ultrasound technique and teaching from international educators and experts in the specialty. The competition was held at Oregon Health and Science University, with 11 teams representing the University of California-Irvine, the University of South Carolina, The Ohio State University, the University of Utah and more.
Dr. Matt Dawson, director of point of care ultrasound at the University of Kentucky, said colleagues attending the meeting admired the skill level demonstrated by the UK teams. Deans, provosts and practitioners from across the world were in attendance to see the skills of the Sonokittens in action.
"During the competition, they showed a remarkable ability, both when it came to their knowledge and diagnostic abilities when recognizing pathology and also their hands on abilities," Dr. Dawson said of the Sonokittens. "They were poised, confident and brilliant. They made me super proud to be part of the University of Kentucky."
The Sonokittens credit Dawson's elective class and online ultrasound podcast as the starting point of their interest in the specialty. The ultrasound interest group at UK College of Medicine has risen to nearly 100 members and hosts video tutorials on its website. Many upper-level students take time to teach acquired ultrasound skills to the more junior medical students through educational workshops.
Jenn Cotton, president of the Ultrasound Interest Group, said UK's peer-to-peer model of teaching ultrasound skills to students has caught on at other medical schools, and she is instructing those groups on how to set up similar programs. She has also received invitations to international conferences to speak to the success of the grassroots educational movement within the College of Medicine.
Ultrasound is listed by Stanford University as one of the most valuable skills for medical students entering the field.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 15, 2014) – UK HealthCare will host a special symposium to mark a major anniversary: 50 years of transplantation on Friday, Oct. 24,
The UK Transplant Center is celebrating its five decades of transplant innovation, expertise and patient-centered compassionate care at UK with presentations by some of the top transplant specialist in the country.
The following featured speakers will give presentations:
Presenters will be joined by speakers from the UK medical staff including Dr. Roberto Gedaly, chief of abdominal transplant surgery; Dr. Charles Hoopes, director of the Transplant Center; and Dr. Jay Zwischenberger, chair of the Department of Surgery.
The symposium begins at 7:30 a.m. with a continental breakfast and concludes at noon. All remarks will be held in the Pavilion A auditorium of UK Chandler Hospital.
This event is free, but registration is required. To register, please contact Debbie Cruse at email@example.com or call (859) 218-4021 for more information.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 13, 2014) − Smiling is one of life's simplest pleasures and has been scientifically linked with many health benefits, such as, lower blood pressure, a boost in the immune system, and an increase in happiness and self-confidence. However, victims of abuse are often robbed of this powerful human gesture which can potentially negatively impact every area of their lives.
Members of the American Association of Women Dentists at the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry are preparing to host their largest fundraiser of the year which will fund their commitment of restoring lost smiles to victims of domestic violence.
'Strut Your Smile' will be held from 10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 18 at the UK Student Center Ballroom. The master of ceremonies will be Miss Kentucky Ramsey Carpenter, who will also be performing at the event. The fun begins with a brunch followed by a fashion show and silent auction.
The fundraiser was founded eight years ago by Dr. Erin Langfels to raise funds for victims of domestic violence so that they would be able to receive dental care for no cost to them at the UK College of Dentistry.
“I am extremely proud of our students for not only raising a significant amount of money to help victims of domestic violence, but also for helping to shine a bright light on a very ugly problem," said Dr. Sharon Turner, dean of the College of Dentistry. "The more awareness we can raise about domestic violence, the more impact we can have in helping its victims and preventing countless unnecessary injuries and deaths.”
Whitney Deitz, president of the AAWD said that treating a patient from Greenhouse 17, a local domestic violence shelter, is one of the best experiences of her dental school career.
"It is an amazing privilege to be part of an organization of women helping women and an even more personally rewarding privilege to be the student dentist who gets to give a fellow woman back her smile after years in a domestic abuse situation," Deitz said. "It's moments like this and opportunities like these that remind me why I have chosen dentistry."
"I think we all want to make a difference in our corner of the world," Deitz said. "Every woman deserves a smile that inspires self-confidence; we want to help give that to other women."
All proceeds from the event go directly to Greenhouse 17, formerly named the Bluegrass Domestic Violence Center, where the money is earmarked for individuals and families entering the center to be able to receive much needed dental care due to oral trauma and neglect. Since its inception eight years ago, the event has raised over $80,000 which has gone to pay for much needed extractions, tooth replacement and even cancer treatment for some victims.
"The fundraiser is a fun way to bring the community together and raise awareness and money to help make a difference in people's lives," said Darlene Thomas, executive director of Greenhouse 17. "Over the years, this program has helped many, many survivors by bringing back smiles and providing the confidence to explore new opportunities in their lives."
The full brunch buffet will be served by UK Catering Service during the silent auction. Auction items include autographed photography from the Bengals, sporting event tickets, customized jewelry, and over 100 gift baskets.
Eleven local stores will participate in the fashion show which include the latest looks from Bella Rose, The Loft, Ruby Ribbon, lululemon, White House Black Market, Lexington Angler, Lily Pulitzer, Gap, Francesca's Collections, Calypso, and Alumni Hall. All the models in the fashion show will be styled by Cha Cha's. Additionally, there are many door prizes available, and each guest will receive a bag full of coupons and samples at the fashion show portion of the event.
A domestic abuse survivor who received dental care made possible through funds raised by past events will speak. The guest speaker has lobbied on the state and national level for legislation supporting lives harmed by domestic violence.
"Strut Your Smile provides a unique opportunity to help women in the Lexington community," said Brooke Faulkner, president-elect of the AAWD for 2015-2016. "It brings a sense of joy seeing the impact this charity has on the lives of these amazing women and how in many cases it helps them begin a new chapter in their lives."
Tickets for the event are $20 in advance and may be purchased at the Medical Center Library during the lunch hour Monday - Friday. Tickets are $25 at the door the day of the event. Student tickets are $10 for all students who present a current UK Wildcat ID Card or any other current student ID at the door. T-shirts are available for $12.
Parking is available in the E lot directly across the street next to Memorial Coliseum. The Parking Structure on Limestone beside Kennedy Book Store will be reserved for this event from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at no cost. Take the elevator to the third level and the ped-way across to the Student Center. Please remove all vehicles before 3:30 p.m., as the gates will lock at this time.
Media Contact: Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 10, 2014) — Anyone familiar with Appalachian culture should recognize the dulcimer, a stringed instrument used to play mountain folk music.
Every year, the Kentucky Rural Health Association (KRHA) presents this symbol of rural Kentucky heritage to the recipient of the Dan Martin Award for Lifelong Contributions to Rural Health. The annual KRHA award honors a health care professional who has shown a long-standing commitment to solving health challenges in rural areas across the state. This year's recipient, James Norton of the University of Kentucky, has pledged to go a step further and learn how to play his handmade and locally crafted gift.
Norton, associate dean for educational engagement at UK College of Medicine, was surprised with a dulcimer and plaque in September before leaving for a trip abroad. Recipients of the annual award are usually honored during the KRHA annual conference, which was held Sept. 17-19 in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Norton, who has in the past served on the committee that chooses recipients, said his fellow recipients demonstrate a pattern of service in many rural areas over a long period.
"It's really gratifying," Norton said of receiving the award. "You do this for a long time, and it's nice to have your peers convey to you that they think what you've done has value in the long pull."
Norton works closely with regional physicians to place medical students participating in the Western Kentucky Initiative (WKI) at clinical sites in Murray/Paducah, Bowling Green and Owensboro. He has led the WKI since its initiation several years ago. The program places third-year medical students in rural communities for five clinical rotations during the third year and promotes electives as these sites during the fourth.
In addition to overseeing educational activities for the College of Medicine in rural parts of the state, Norton is the director of CE Central, the administrative office responsible for managing continuing education for doctors and pharmacists. Dr. Norton has served on state and national boards that include National Rural Health Association and on groups that are part of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). He is a past president of the KRHA.
"For over 30 years, Dr. Norton has been a major contributor and leader in developing programs directed to developing future health care providers for rural and underserved communities," Linda Asher, chair of the KRHA selection committee, said.
Started in 2003, the award is named after its inaugural honoree Dan Martin of the Trover Foundation in Madisonville, Kentucky. Nominations for the award accepted from across the state.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 10, 2014) — Songs for Sound, a Nashville based nonprofit organization that promotes cochlear implant awareness, will present 'hEAR the Music' at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, at the University of Kentucky Singletary Center for the Arts. Songs for Sound presents programs featuring country music artists such as Jay Clementi and Danielle Peck. Proceeds from the event will benefit the University of Kentucky Pediatric Cochlear Implant Program, which is run jointly by the UK Department of Otolaryngology and the Lexington Hearing and Speech Center.
Songs for Sound was founded by Kevin and Jamie Vernon whose daughter Alexis is a cochlear implant recipient. Their core mission is to improve the quality of life for profoundly deaf children worldwide by providing resources to give them the chance at a mainstream life. Songs for Sound informs the hearing-impaired community and provides resources for cochlear implants and rehabilitation, including speech/audiology services, to children and adults in need.
“‘Hear the Music’ is such an important event for our patients, the University of Kentucky, and our region" said Dr. Matt Bush, assistant professor in UK's Department of Otolaryngology. "It represents a collaborative effort among dedicated clinicians, amazing patients, and the generous Songs for Sound team. Our cochlear implant program has grown progressively over the past 20 years, and this event will enable us to expand our research and extend our reach to provide the absolute best hearing health care for patients throughout Kentucky and beyond. This will be a fantastic event that will highlight top country artists and patients who, in spite of their hearing loss, have regained the ability to ‘hEAR the music.’”
VIP level tickets for 'Hear the Music' can be purchased from the Songs for Sound website (www.songsforsound.com) and general admission tickets ($35 or $20) can be purchased directly from the Singletary Center for the Arts website at
(http://www.etix.com/ticket/online/performanceSearch.jsp?performance_id=1847400) or at the Ticket office located at 405 Rose St. in Lexington. Doors will open to the Singletary Center President’s Room at 5:45 p.m. the day of the event for the VIP ticket holders and the concert will begin at 7 p.m. in the Singletary Center Recital Hall for the general admission ticket holders. For more information, email email@example.com in the UK otolaryngology department or call the Singletary Center at 859-257-4929.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 9, 2014) − The University of Kentucky College of Dentistry recently welcomed 67 new students into the dental profession with the presentation of the traditional doctors white coat at a ceremony held on Friday, Sept. 19, in Memorial Hall on UK's campus.
The College of Dentistry Alumni Association and the American College of Dentistry helped to sponsor the event, making it possible for each member of the class to receive a personalized monogrammed white coat.
Keynote speaker Dr. Sharon Turner, dean of the College of Dentistry, charged the class of 2018 to reflect on this rite of passage and to "accept both the rights and the responsibilities that come with the role of a dental professional."
“We will help guide your steps for the next four years,” Turner said. “…you will be well prepared to walk the professional path on your own thereafter when you constantly reflect on both the rights and the responsibilities of caring for the oral and thus the overall health of your patients.”
The College of Dentistry's class of 2018 is comprised of 30 males and 37 females, 40 of whom are from Kentucky.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 9, 2014) – Skeletons? Check. Body parts including hearts, lungs, brains and more? Check. A large truck to haul this unusual cargo? Check.
It's not the premise to the latest Hollywood horror movie -- for Dr. Don Frazier, director of the Outreach Center for Science and Health Career Opportunities, this unusual set-up was part of his mission to educate young Kentucky students about what he calls "an extraordinary machine" -- the human body.
In 1995, Frazier serendipitously purchased a large truck using grant money from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The opportunity arose because of a delay in the national budget that year – he received his award notice four months after the expected start date.
"Basically, although the first year’s budget was approved, we had to spend the total amount in eight months," Frazier said.
Because of this delay, he had to present a new year one budget to the NIH. On an outside chance, he renewed his request, originally denied, for TV cameras and a truck to use as a "mobile classroom," taking specimens and equipment out on the road. They once again declined his request for the TV cameras, but gave him the greenlight on the truck, and a unique roadshow was born.
The truck allowed the Outreach Center Team to travel across the entire state of Kentucky. Frazier, who grew up in Floyd County, originally focused on schools in Eastern Kentucky due to his connection and knowledge of the area.
His first trip was to a small elementary school in Mount Sterling, Ky.222 On his way to the school, he got a little surprise when some construction road crew members stopped him, intrigued by the medical nature of the truck, and asked what was inside. With no hesitation, Frazier opened up the back to showcase the displays inside, always ready and eager to teach others about science and medicine.
"They stopped me to ask me what I did," Frazier said. "So I said, “let me show you!”
Initial outreach trips went well, and soon the buzz about the truck spread, leading the team to travel all across the state.
"When you go out to a school, the word gets out," said Frazier.
For students, the truck represented more than just an opportunity to get out of school for a few hours – it became a fun and interesting way to learn about a complicated topic. Frazier's truck allowed students to actually see and feel what they were learning about, using resources that many teachers out in the state simply didn't have.
One major benefit of these outreach trips is that it provided the Outreach Center team a better perspective on how to interact with students with more knowledge of their environment and curriculum.
"We try to instill confidence that they have the ability to think their way through problems given some facts," Frazier said. "Learning is more fun when they feel engaged."
Frazier estimates that the Outreach Center has entertained, on the average, at least 4,000 students each year, and over its 20-year lifespan, reached more than 100,000 young minds. The visits personally touched many students, and the effect was seen through the thousands of letters he has received from students over the years.
"I keep all of them," Frazier said. “It certainly helps to keeps us going!”
Earlier this year, the truck was officially "retired" due to budget cuts and the cost of maintaining the decades-old vehicle. Now, Frazier and other volunteers use their own cars to make trips out to schools, loading up their own vehicles with as many displays as they can manage.
However, the loss of the Outreach Center truck and its funding has limited the number of students the Center is able to reach – unfortunately, many schools don't have the budget to pay for a bus to bring young students onto UK's campus for health and science demonstrations.
“As a consequence, most of our on-site visits are high school/tech classes with a modest number of middle schools still able to make the trip," Frazier said. "Our interactions with elementary schools are almost exclusively off-site.”
Even with the setbacks, the Outreach Center team is able to see the positives with their mission. They love the opportunity to work with kids.
“Thanks to a dedicated staff and wonderful UK volunteers, I am certain that the Center has made and will continue to make a substantial difference in these young students' lives," Frazier said. “I know it has mine!”
Teachers from across the state can request a visit to the Outreach Center – or a visit from Frazier's team – by contacting tour coordinator Lisa Stevens at (859) 257-6440 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following is a blog by Janie Heath, Warwick Professor and dean of the University of Kentucky College of Nursing.
Oct. 8, 2014
When a brother or sister is hurting, the whole family feels it and worries about it. That is what happens in nursing as well. As the largest health care profession, there are approximately 3 million registered nurses in the United States who I consider part of an extended family.
Do I worry about the stress and fatigue many nurses are experiencing as patient needs grow and the number of caregivers equipped to care for them diminishes? I do — but I worry just as much about how that story is told and its impact on perceptions of this critically important profession.
Sanjay Gupta M.D. recently made clear in his article “Why America’s Nurses Are Burning Out” (posted Sept. 19 2014; www.everydayhealth.com ), that the nation’s nursing shortage is real and the number of patients is growing. Add to that a community of health care professionals nearing retirement — the average age of today’s registered nurse is 47 — and you can see where this is heading. Dr. Gupta reports the story of a 48-year-old woman who decided to become a nurse because she wanted to make a difference. After just three years in practice, she not only quit her job but gave up nursing altogether. The emotional and physical toll was just too great.
That nurse’s story bothers me on a number of levels. No nurse, especially a new one, should have to navigate the beginning of a challenging career without mentors and champions for guidance and support. Nursing requires courage and tenacity. It’s a world where sadness meets joy and inspiration meets frustration. I can’t imagine navigating it alone, especially as a new nurse.
Like so many other nurses, I am grateful for the numerous mentors who encouraged me, inspired me and helped shape me into the nurse I always wanted to be — exactly the kind they were: passionate, dedicated and completely focused on the health and well-being of the people they served.
Research clearly demonstrates the positive impact of quality nursing care on patient health outcomes. However, the health of our profession is at risk with the national problem of nursing burnout. It’s also a very costly one, both for hospitals and for patients.
The challenge is real. But as problematic is sensationalizing the problem, rather than discussing it in an objective, evidence-based way. In fact, we marginalize nursing when media outlets sensationalize the symptoms of nurse turnover and ignore the root causes. Some of them are beyond our control — patients who are sicker and a medical environment that’s more complex, just to name two. Others, however, are not.
In nurse satisfaction surveys we hear directly from the source as to what would keep nurses engaged and inspired, despite the long hours and daily challenges. Nurses want a stronger voice and the authority to use it. They want learning opportunities and tools that will help them grow as professionals, whether they’re looking to move up or content to stay where they are. They want support that allows them to practice at the full scope of their education and license as well as equal recognition of the contributions they make in care delivery models. Systems that value nurses are systems that bring value to patients and their families and are recognized as authentic healthy working environments.
Today in Kentucky, and at leading academic medical centers and nursing programs across the country, you’ll find nurses leading change at the bedside through innovative education, cutting edge research, and boardroom leadership. These are the stories we need to be telling to attract the next generation of nurse leaders. In so many respects, there’s never been a better time to choose nursing. Women and men can make a measurable difference in people’s lives, and the career opportunities and avenues to do so are wide open. It’s an honorable profession and a remarkable family — one I’m very proud to call my own.
The challenges, indeed, are real. But, so too, are the opportunities and the compelling examples of how nursing is having a positive impact on both people and a health care system being asked to do more today than at anytime in our history.
That's a story worth telling.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 8, 2014) -- Each year during the white coat ceremony, which marks the transition from the classroom to clinical studies, future physician assistants recite a professional oath that includes the line: I will hold as my primary responsibility the health, safety, welfare and dignity of all human beings.
Stefanie Brock, a 2012 physician assistant studies graduate, is committed to fulfilling that promise not only on a local level, but on a global level as well. Her education and experiences while at the University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences Physician Assistant Studies program prepared her well for both her profession and for service-oriented activities.
Brock works as a physician assistant (PA) in small, rural emergency departments in Kentucky, and spends time each year devoted to medical missions in Haiti, where she assists a Haitian physician at a clinic.
“As a medical provider, I believe service is a responsibility we carry throughout the rest of our lives,” Brock said. “Education is the primary form of service we are dedicated to. It is through education that patients are informed, medical management is encouraged, and self-accountability can exist among our patients.”
Brock’s desire to provide service to underserved populations has its roots in her post-undergraduate experiences. After graduating from Transylvania University with bachelor’s degrees in biology and Spanish, Brock planned to earn a Ph.D. in Spanish language and literature and go into teaching. However, her experiences as a medical interpreter and clinical assistant working with underserved Hispanic populations in Lexington changed the course of her career and established her lifelong commitment to service.
Brock decided to pursue a career in health care and enrolled in the UK Physician Assistant Studies program. Her outreach experience expanded exponentially during her time at UK with service as an interpreter for the physical therapy team working with Shoulder to Shoulder Global in Ecuador, as well as acting as an interpreter during the Hispanic Health Fair. In addition, Brock spent a month teaching public health and English literacy at an orphanage in the Dominican Republic. She also shadowed a medical caravan in Morelia, Mexico, while on spring break.
The second year of a PA’s education consists of rigorous clinical rotation across different specialties, such as pediatrics, surgery, and women’s health. Brock is quick to say that this year was the toughest.
“It’s difficult to prepare anyone for a professional career without them diving right in,” Brock said. “The hardest year of PA school was my third year when I was working (on clinical rotations). However, I had an excellent support network at UK. The faculty did a good job of being real and saying ‘This is what to expect. We’re not going to sugarcoat it. It’s going to be difficult.’… And that prepared me for a real work environment.”
Brock completed the majority of her clinical rotations in rural and underserved communities in the Commonwealth. Additionally, she completed three months of clinical rotations in Africa and Peru. To further augment her international experiences, she earned the Global Public Health graduate certificate.
The UK College of Health Sciences is recognizing Brock’s service with a commendation during National PA Week, Oct. 6-12. PA Week, hosted by the American Academy of Physician Assistants, is a celebration of the more than 100,000 clinically practicing PAs in the U.S., who are striving to meet patients’ needs in a changing health care system. PAs play a vital role in providing access to quality health care by examining, diagnosing and treating patients under the supervision of physicians. The profession is projected to experience
incredible growth over the next several years. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of physician assistants is projected to increase 38 percent from 2012 to 2022. Its growth far outpaces the projected 10.8 percent employment increase across all occupations for the same period.
Brock’s dedication to service and outreach is a testament to the values and ideals of the PA profession. However, she believes the call to serve extends beyond health care providers.
“Frankly, I believe that service is a lifelong goal and responsibility for humans,” Brock said. “We are not created to exist in isolation or in silos. We are created to live in community. We live in a world that is getting more difficult with each day. But we can find so much hope in the support, assistance and love we can provide to each other in seemingly endless ways.”
1000 S. Limestone
800-333-8874 (toll free)
connected with UK HealthCare. Become a fan of our Facebook and follow us on
Twitter and Youtube to stay up-to-date on community events, programs,
treatments, research, new physicians and more.
© University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, USA | An Equal Opportunity University