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LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 24, 2015) — Low back pain affects 67 to 84 percent of people residing in industrialized nations, including the United States, and is responsible for more lost workdays than any other health condition.
While a number of over-the-counter and prescription medications target the condition, non-medicinal therapies, including cognitive therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy, are also effective treatments for relieving low back pain. Cognitive therapy is a type of treatment that focuses on the relationship between thoughts, feelings and behaviors. During treatment, a therapist teaches patients about these relationships and how thought processes can be changed to improve health outcomes.
Many research studies describe the effectiveness of cognitive therapy to improve aspects of health such as pain, anxiety, depression and physical functioning in patients suffering from low back pain. A recent clinical trial found that over the course of a year cognitive therapy administered early to high-risk low back pain patients reduced pain and disability, and increased return-to-work rates.
Despite the known benefits of this therapy, researchers at the University of Kentucky’s College of Nursing conducted a study reporting that only 6 percent of low back pain patients in Kentucky and 8 percent of low back pain patients in the United States received cognitive therapy. Accessing cognitive therapy in Kentucky is difficult because there are few therapists available to administer the treatment. Cognitive therapy has been administered to some patients using technology such as a computer.
Researchers at the University of Kentucky are currently conducting a study that will examine the effects of a cognitive treatment in patients with low back pain. The study will administer cognitive therapy using mobile health technology, such as FaceTime and iPads. Researchers hope to learn more about the factors that impact the effectiveness of cognitive therapy and the effect of this therapy during specific time periods.
Individuals ages 18 years or older who are being treated for low back pain that was diagnosed by a health care provider and have experienced low back pain for less than three months are invited to participate in this research study. For more information about the study, please contact Elizabeth Salt at (859) 433-5393 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elizabeth Salt is an associate professor with the University of Kentucky’s College of Nursing.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 24, 2015) – The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Foundation is pleased to announce the hiring of Michael Delzotti, CFRE, CSPG, as new president and chief executive officer. Delzotti will begin his new role in early December.
The UK Markey Cancer Foundation serves as the fundraising arm for the UK Markey Cancer Center, the only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center serving Kentucky and the surrounding Appalachian area. The Foundation underwent a nationwide search for their new president and chief executive officer this past summer.
Delzotti comes to Markey from the world-renowned and number one-ranked University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, where he served as senior director of philanthropic resources. There his role focused on two successive $1.25 billion campaigns. He also directed a $60 million campaign focused on discovering novel drug therapies for Alzheimer’s disease.
Prior to Delzotti’s tenure with MD Anderson Cancer Center, he held major leadership positions with Rice University, UCLA and the Special Olympics of Southern California.
“I am honored to have been chosen by the UK Markey Cancer Foundation Board to join them in their effots,” said Delzotti. “This Center has such a distinguished history of providing world-class care for the citizens of Kentucky and producing cutting-edge research for the entire field of cancer care.
“Our number one goal will be to build the relationships necessary to support Dr. (Mark) Evers’s vision of elevating Markey to NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center status. This designation is so important because it means additional advanced research and comprehensive care for our patients and their families. The Center and the Foundation have one focus – to care for the patient and cure this disease.”
In his new role with the UK Markey Cancer Foundation, Delzotti will also serve as the Foundation’s chief development officer, focusing on major gift development and corporate and foundation grants, as well as overseeing capital campaign initiatives and all other aspects of the Foundation.
"With government funding for cancer research waning, philanthropy is critical to the continued success of NCI-designated cancer centers," said Dr. Mark Evers, director of the UK Markey Cancer Center. "I look forward to working with Mike to help support and grow so many of the outstanding clinical and research programs we have here at Markey."
With Kentucky’s status as the nation’s leader for overall cancer incidence and mortality, the UK Markey Cancer Center plays an important role in supporting patients around the Commonwealth. Since achieving NCI-designated status in 2013, the Markey Cancer Center has undertaken several new initiatives in the areas of research, treatment and prevention.
“From the moment the search committee sat down with Mike for the first time, we knew he had so much to offer, said UK Markey Cancer Foundation Board Chair Sally Humphrey. “Mike’s experience at MD Anderson, one of the world’s most respected cancer centers, and his thorough knowledge of healthcare fundraising will allow him to best equip the Foundation to secure financial support for groundbreaking research and ultimately help Dr. Evers and his team to achieve NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center status.”
Media Contact: Kristi Lopez, email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 24, 2015) — Darrell Raikes waved sleepily to his wife as they wheeled him down to the operating room for a routine knee replacement last May.
He woke up in the Critical Care Unit four weeks later.
Darrel had an adverse reaction to his anesthesia and began bleeding into his lungs post-operatively. Dr. Ashley Montgomery, Darrell's critical care physician, had to navigate tricky territory: the drugs that are standard care to prevent blood clots post-knee replacement would also contribute to Darrell's bleeding.
"We like to think that medicine is an exact science, but there often isn't a 'yes or no' answer to a patient's medical problems, particularly in an ICU situation where multiple organ systems are involved and the treatment for one problem is contraindicated for the patient's other problems," Montgomery said. "We talk to the patient, use the best data available and make an informed decision about how to best care for them."
Montgomery and her team in the UK HealthCare Intensive Care Unit were able to stabilize Darrell without compromising his knee replacement by inserting an inferior vena cava filter (IVC filter). This umbrella-like device catches circulating clots and prevents them from travelling to the lung. Darrell was discharged from the ICU on June 29 and felt well enough to run (although Darrell admits it was more of a walk) his first 5K in his hometown of Lebanon, Kentucky, this past September.
Darrell's journey — or "scenic tour," as he says jokingly — didn't end with his hospital discharge. Darrell now attends Dr. Montgomery's Critical Care Survivors Clinic (CCSC) at UK. One of only a handful in the country, the CCSC's purpose is to help patients navigate the complicated and often confusing decision matrix that follows a high-maintenance hospital stay.
Solving one problem often uncovers a new problem, and critical care is no exception. As advances in medicine have reduced mortality rates, critically ill patients fortunate enough to recover and be discharged are suffering cognitive impairment, depression, and/or ongoing physical disabilities, Montgomery said. These conditions, particularly when in concert with complex post-discharge care, often lead to hospital readmission. Patients with comorbidities — or more than one chronic or complex condition — and those from rural areas are even more vulnerable when their hometown primary care specialist is overwhelmed by their patient's challenging care requirements.
"Most doctors are trained to handle one organ system at a time, whereas in ICU we handle multiple organ systems simultaneously which complicates things even further," said Montgomery. "Their post-discharge care can be so complicated and disjointed that these patients often end up back in the hospital."
This, in turn, runs afoul of one of the major tenets of the Affordable Care Act, where hospitals are penalized for patient readmissions within a certain timeframe.
The first CCSC was established in Indiana in 2011 with the goal to improve long-term outcomes, decrease hospital readmission rates and improve quality of life for critical care survivors. Montgomery, who was then in her fellowship here at UK, immediately recognized the value of a similar program in Lexington.
"The population we serve is strongly rural and has a high rate of comorbidities," Montgomery said. "These people struggle to balance their follow-up care, because they typically have a lot of it to keep track of and a long way to travel to get it."
Furthermore, Montgomery explains, rural physicians and other providers who care for these patients back home often are uncomfortable making decisions on how to move forward with aftercare. In addition to seeing the patients face to face, Montgomery frequently also talks with a patient's community providers, advising them and facilitating services that keep the patient as close to home as possible.
"It doesn't hurt that the CCSC is a fiscally sound proposition, but in the end for me it's about providing quality of life for these people," Montgomery said.
Originally, the clinic met once a month but is now several times a week. Montgomery typically sees patients for one to six months post-discharge, but some are followed longer term if necessary.
Being able to see these patients in a non-crisis situation often provides opportunity to ask important quality of life questions.
"Remember," Montgomery says, "that these people were recently very sick, and for many of them chronic illness is a fact of life. To be able to sit down with them when they aren't in a hospital bed opens up all sorts of opportunities to ask important quality of life questions, which then inform our care plan."
Examples include life goals such as "do you want to be able to drive again or work again" as well as "end-of-life goals and how can we make you comfortable?"
While a career path is rarely a straight line, Montgomery's earlier training clearly influences her work today. Before medical school, she had her own business coordinating services for families with autistic children. "It's perhaps overly simplistic, and really obvious, but I learned then that if you support people, they do better," said Montgomery.
It's especially true in health care, she continues. Even with a medical degree, Montgomery felt lost as she helped a family member navigate her care when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Darrell Raikes has been back to the CCSC twice so that Montgomery could chat with him face to face about his progress with physical therapy and assess whether the time was right to remove the IVC filter. At his second follow-up there was a snafu with his CAT scan scheduling and Dr. Montgomery's staff helped resolve the issue.
Eventually, Darrell will be discharged from the CCSC, but he and his wife Sarah will still keep Dr. Montgomery and her staff in their hearts.
"We come to Lexington often and every time we come we visit the ICU and Dr. Montgomery," said Darrell. "What these people did — not just the big things, but all the little things that kept our spirits up during a horrible time — is a blessing to us, and we will be telling them 'thank you' forever."
Media Contact: Laura Dawahare, firstname.lastname@example.org
HAZARD, Ky. (Nov. 20, 2015) – The Kentucky Office of Rural Health (KORH) and the University of Kentucky Center of Excellence in Rural Health (UK CERH) joined the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) and other state/national rural stakeholders to celebrate National Rural Health Day.
NOSORH created National Rural Health Day as a way to showcase rural America; increase awareness of rural health-related issues; and promote the efforts of NOSORH, State Offices of Rural Health and others in addressing those issues. Plans call for National Rural Health Day to become an annual celebration on the third Thursday of each November.
Events recognizing National Rural Health Day and “Celebrating the Power of Rural” occurred today across Kentucky.
In Hazard, UK CERH Director Fran Feltner displayed a proclamation from Governor Steve Beshear during a reception honoring the many providers, nurses, educators and employees who work to assure healthcare is available in rural communities.
“We are honored that Gov. Beshear has chosen to proclaim a special rural health day just for Kentucky that aligns with this important national initiative. This is an opportunity for us to recognize and appreciate those who demonstrate their passion for helping neighbors, friends and fellow community members by providing essential healthcare services to our small towns and rural counties,” said Feltner.
In Bowling Green, the KORH hosted The Rural Collaborative: Kentucky’s First Rural Health Network Showcase, Funding Workshop, and Idea Exchange. The one-day event highlighted the work that has been accomplished across the Commonwealth as it relates to the HRSA Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) Community Based Division grants. Attendees also received assistance in preparing to submit competitive applications for upcoming opportunities.
“It is encouraging to witness the impact these investments have made across our rural communities”, said Ernie Scott, KORH Director.
Approximately 62 million people – nearly one in five Americans – live in rural and frontier communities throughout the United States. In Kentucky, that percentage is even greater, with just over 40 percent of residents living in rural communities. Healthcare for these communities comes in many forms. Kentucky has 68 rural hospitals located throughout the state, including 28 Critical Access Hospitals. There are also 187 Rural Health Clinics and 15 rural Community Health Center grantees with multiple locations throughout the state.
“These small towns, farming communities and frontier areas are wonderful places to live and work; they are places where neighbors know each other and work together,” notes NOSORH Director Teryl Eisinger. “The hospitals and providers serving these rural communities not only provide quality patient care, but they also help keep good jobs in rural America.”
These communities also face unique healthcare needs. “Today more than ever, rural communities must tackle accessibility issues, a lack of healthcare providers, the needs of an aging population suffering from a greater number of chronic conditions, and larger percentages of uninsured and underinsured citizens,” Eisinger says. “Meanwhile, rural hospitals are threatened with declining reimbursement rates and disproportionate funding levels that makes it challenging to serve their residents.”
State Offices of Rural Health play a key role in addressing those needs. All 50 states maintain a State Office of Rural Health, each of which shares a similar mission: to foster relationships, disseminate information and provide technical assistance that improves access to, and the quality of, health care for its rural citizens. In the past year alone, State Offices of Rural Health collectively provided technical assistance to more than 28,000 rural communities.
In Kentucky for example, the KORH supports rural citizens through a number of programs such as the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program, Rural Hospital Flexibility Program, and the State Loan Repayment Program.
The UK CERH serves as the federally designated KORH. The mission of the UK CERH is to improve the health of rural Kentuckians. The UK CERH accomplishes this through education, research, service, and community engagement. The KORH mission is to support the health and well-being of Kentuckians by promoting access to rural health services.
For more information on KORH and UK CERH services and resources, please visit www.kyruralhealth.org. Additional information about National Rural Health Day can be found on the Web at www.celebratepowerofrural.org.
MEDIA CONTACT: Beth Bowling, email@example.com, 606-439-3557, ext. 83545
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 20, 2015) — An ensemble of youth from the Chinese Music, Dance and Arts Program (CMDAP) of Lexington will perform traditional Chinese music and dance at the Pavilion A atrium of the UK Chandler Hospital at noon, Sunday, Nov. 22.
Presented by the UK Arts in HealthCare program, students of the CMDAP will play the pear-shaped pipa, a traditional Chinese stringed instrument, and perform cultural dances, including the popular Taiji Chinese fan dance, which incorporates martial arts movement. They will model traditional Chinese attire and customs. Students from Garth Elementary School will join the students in singing traditional American holiday carols to conclude the performance. The 45-minute show is free and open to the public.
The Chinese Music, Dance, and Arts Program (CMDAP) encourages students to get to know Chinese cultures and develop their interests through learning Chinese music concepts, dances, percussion instruments and visual arts. Eligible students are ages 4 and older and may come from any cultural heritage or background. For more information, visit www.lexcmdap.com.
The UK Arts in HealthCare program strives to create a healing environment for patients and visitors through multiple forms of art distributed throughout the facilities. The program features exhibits from local, international and national artists, as well as a schedule of live musical performances and volunteer opportunities. For more information, click here.
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 18, 2015) — UK HealthCare faculty and staff members will brighten the holidays for children across Central Kentucky by shopping for gifts to go under the Christmas tree this season.
The 2015 Circle of Love gift drive, coordinated by the UK HealthCare Volunteer Services Office, kicks off today with volunteers handing out wish lists for 800 Kentucky children whose families need help during the holiday season. Individual UK HealthCare employees and their families or departments can sponsor a child’s wish list, or multiple wish lists. Wish lists can be picked up at the following locations and times from Nov. 18 to 20, Nov. 23 to 24 and Nov. 30 to Dec. 4:
· Pavilion H near the gift shop: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
· Kentucky Clinic near the Wildcat café (third floor): 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
· Good Samaritan Hospital cafeteria: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Gifts must be wrapped and returned with wish list cards on Dec. 7 or Dec. 8. If your wish list was picked-up at the UK Chandler Hospital or Kentucky Clinic, please drop off at the Chandler Hospital North Lobby from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. If your wish list was picked-up at Good Samaritan, please drop-off at the Good Samaritan Administrations Office from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Donors should not include personal notes, photos or any identification with their gifts. Those employees who work off-site or work evening shifts can request a wish list by contacting Volunteer Services at (859) 323-6023.
“Through the generosity and kindness of our employees, we’re able to make the holidays a bit merrier for families who would otherwise be struggling to put gifts under the tree,” Katie Tibbitts, manager of UK HealthCare Volunteer Services said. “We encourage everyone to get into the spirit of giving to make the drive a success again this year.”
On Dec. 11, Santa will help UK HealthCare volunteers load gifts into yellow school buses and vans bound for households needing help in nine Kentucky counties.
Individual gift donations are also accepted. For more information, contact email@example.com.
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 17, 2015) – UK HealthCare has been recognized as a 2014 Top Performer on Key Quality Measures in seven categories by The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health care organizations in the United States.
UK HealthCare — which includes the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital, UK Good Samaritan Hospital and Kentucky Children's Hospital — was recognized as part of The Joint Commission’s 2015 annual report “America’s Hospitals: Improving Quality and Safety,” for attaining and sustaining excellence in accountability measure performance for:
UK HealthCare is one of only 1,043 hospitals out of more than 3,300 eligible hospitals in the United States to achieve the 2014 Top Performer distinction.
The Top Performer program recognizes hospitals for improving performance on evidence-based interventions that increase the chances of healthy outcomes for patients with certain conditions. The performance measures included in the recognition program including heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care, children’s asthma, inpatient psychiatric services, stroke, venous thromboembolism, perinatal care, immunization, tobacco treatment and substance use.
To be a 2014 Top Performer, hospitals had to meet three performance criteria based on 2014 accountability measure data, including:
“Delivering the right treatment in the right way at the right time is a cornerstone of high-quality health care. I commend the efforts of UK HealthCare for their excellent performance on the use of evidence-based interventions,” said Dr. Mark R. Chassin, president and CEO, The Joint Commission.
“Quality and safety is vital to our success at UK HealthCare in providing the best care for patients across the Commonwealth and beyond," said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK executive vice president for health affairs. "This recognition is an acknowledgement of the commitment and dedication of our staff working hard day in and day out."
For more information about the Top Performer program, visit www.jointcommission.org/accreditation/top_performers.aspx.
MEDIA CONTACT: Kristi Lopez, (859) 323-6363, email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 17, 2015) – At age 16, Greenville, Ky. native Emily Austin Rhoads went to get her driver's license, just like any other teenager. When asked about signing up for the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry, she agreed to join without a second thought.
"At the DMV, they asked if she wanted to become an organ donor, and she said, 'Why wouldn't we do that?'" her mother, Martha, recalls. It was typical of Emily's selfless nature.
"She was beautiful inside and out," Martha said.
Last year, a car accident tragically cut short Emily's life at age 27. Honoring her wishes, Emily's heart, liver, and kidney were donated to patients in need of a transplant.
Meanwhile, Tennessee native Becky Hayes suffered from an inherited liver cancer, causing her to spend 15-20 hours a day in bed. She worried she wouldn't live long enough to spend time with her youngest grandchildren.
On Aug. 18, 2014, Becky got word that a matching liver was on its way. After a successful surgery at the University of Kentucky Transplant Center, she recovered well and says her health has dramatically improved.
"It's made my entire life better," Becky said. "I feel like the most blessed woman in the world."
This past Saturday, Nov. 14, Becky got the opportunity to thank her donor family in person. She and Martha – along with several of their family members – attended the fourth annual Gift of Life Celebration together. Hosted by UK HealthCare and Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA), the event celebrates organ donors with a special ceremony and the unveiling of their names on the Gift of Life Memorial Wall, located prominently inside UK Chandler Hospital's Pavilion A.
Every year, the wall is updated to honor both new donors and those who have donated in years past. This year, 41 names were added to the wall. To date, more than 360 donors have been honored on the memorial wall.
“Creating a lasting tribute to those who have given hope and new life through donation has been a dream of UK and KODA for many years,” said Donna Slone, client services coordinator for UK HealthCare and KODA. “There have been nearly 1,000 donors at UK since transplantation began here in 1964. Some have chosen to remain anonymous, but we hope other families of UK donors that we have not reached will see the Gift of Life wall and allow us to add those names in the future.”
In addition to the official recognition of donors, the ceremony also featured a vocal performance by KODA Client Services Coordinator Diana Thacker as well as remarks from liver recipient Amelia Brown Wilson, UK HealthCare's Chief Administrative Officer Ann Smith, and Dr. Andrew Bernard, UK's director of trauma and acute care surgery. Bernard, also the chair of the Donation and Transplantation Action Council, emphasized the importance of organ donation in Kentucky and beyond.
“UK HealthCare is both a major trauma center and a transplant center, so we see each day how donation and transplantation touch the lives of fellow Kentuckians in very remarkable ways,” Bernard said. “Each donor family’s generosity and their loved one’s gifts are represented in the more than 28,000 lives saved each year in the United States through transplantation.”
Every year, an estimated 6,000 people die while waiting for an organ transplant. More than 122,000 Americans are currently waiting for donated organs, including more than 1,000 people in Kentucky. Their names are on the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) waiting list. The level of necessity, blood type, and size are among several criteria that determine who can receive a donated organ. One individual donor can provide organs and tissue for nearly 50 people in need.
Though honoring Emily's legacy is emotionally tough, Martha says that looking for the good that has come from Emily's donations helps the family heal.
"We prefer to remember Emily's life, not her death," she said. "You look for the positive things that you can find. We're happy that other people have been able to benefit from this."
Becky says that the gift she received has given her a second chance at life – she and her husband had planned to go to Paris for an anniversary trip that was cancelled when she became ill. Next year, they have plans to finally take that trip, an opportunity that seemed unthinkable five years ago. Attending the ceremony with Martha gave her a chance to show her profound thanks.
"She saved my life, and I'm so beholden to [Emily and the Rhoads family]," Becky said. "I wanted to honor her – she gave me the gift of life, and how can you thank anyone for that?"
Although hospitals are obligated by law to identify potential donors and allow the organ donor procurement program to inform families of their right to donate, anyone can sign up to become an organ donor by joining the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry. The registry is a safe and secure electronic database where a person’s wishes regarding donation will be carried out as requested.
To join the registry, visit www.donatelifeky.org or sign up when you renew your driver’s license. The donor registry enables family members to know that you chose to save and enhance lives through donation. Kentucky’s “First Person Consent” laws mean that the wishes of an individual on the registry will be carried out as requested.
If your loved one was an organ donor at UK Chandler Hospital and you would like to have him or her honored on the Gift of Life wall in the future, contact the KODA office at UK HealthCare at (859) 323-7343.
MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 17, 2015) — Many people think there's never been a darker time for Alzheimer's disease (AD).
There's no cure, they point out. The field is littered with treatment failures; the last time the FDA approved a drug to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease was 2003.
Dr. Ronald Petersen is adamant that this is wrong-headed thinking. "We learn even in failure," he said, "and we know more than ever before about how and when the AD disease process begins."
Petersen is the director of the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer's Disease Center and the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging, a population-based study of aging with a cohort of more than 2,800 men and women. The study generates a massive amount of data that might help tease out the causes, markers and subtle signs of AD.
Petersen is coming to UK as the keynote speaker for the community session of the fifth annual Sanders-Brown Center on Aging's Markesbery Symposium on Nov. 21 to reinforce the idea that there is hope.
He will bring with him a clip from the documentary "Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me." Petersen has helped care for the country music star since he was diagnosed with AD in 2011.
"Glen Campbell's situation is a terrific example of both how frustrating and confusing AD can be, but also how the support of family and others can make the best of a bad situation," said Petersen, who is professor of Neurology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
The title of Petersen's presentation for the Markesbery Symposium's community session is "How early can we diagnose Alzheimer's disease?" In addition to the Glen Campbell clip, he'll share the story of a 53-year old woman recently diagnosed with AD.
"We've made great strides in the last decade or so, and are now able to detect the disease earlier than we formerly could," said Petersen. "While we currently have very little in the form of drug therapies to treat AD once it's diagnosed, we still encourage an early diagnosis to allow for lifestyle modifications and planning for the future."
The research community is focused on biomarkers as a means to that end. Biomarkers are biological hallmarks of disease: the urine contains hints that a patient has diabetes, for example, or the blood can tell someone whether they perhaps have prostate cancer.
(Sanders-Brown researchers have also been looking into biomarkers for AD. For the story click here)
Identifying AD's current biomarkers — amyloid and tau — require advanced imaging techniques or lumbar punctures for an accurate diagnosis. The hope, says Petersen, is that a simpler test — blood or urine, perhaps — will be developed to reveal changes in the brain before irreversible cognitive decline has begun.
Also on Saturday, a research highlights session with moderator Fred Schmitt and researchers from Sanders-Brown: Erin Abner, Steve Scheff, Donna Wilcock, and Greg Jicha — will present the latest findings on research into age-related dementias and answer questions from the audience.
On Friday, Nov. 20 is the Markesbery Symposium's scientific session, with a poster presentation and a keynote address by Dr. Sam Gandy, Ph.D., of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, who will discuss new concepts in the development of therapeutics for AD. Sanders-Brown researchers Steve Estus, Elizabeth Head, Mark Lovell, and Dick Kryscio will also discuss their research at the session. Petersen will be presenting as well.
"We are fortunate to have accomplished scientists like Drs. Petersen and Gandy here to complement the work of our own researchers for this very important weekend," said Linda Van Eldik, Ph.D., director of the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging. "The Markesbery Symposium has traditionally been a time when researchers convene to share their ideas about the diagnosis and treatment of age-related dementias like Alzheimer's disease, and from those conversations often come new collaborations and meaningful progress."
Both sessions are free and open to the public, however, registration is required. For more information on registration call (859) 323-6040, email Paula.Thomason@uky.edu, or go to http://www.centeronaging.uky.edu
Scientific session: Nov. 20, 2015
11 a.m.- 4 p.m.
University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital Pavilion A auditorium
Community session: Nov. 21, 2015
8:30 a.m. - noon
Lexington Convention Center Bluegrass Ballroom
(Free breakfast provided)
The symposium is named in honor and memory of the late Dr. William R. Markesbery, founding director of the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease Center at UK. Dr. Markesbery’s legacy of groundbreaking research at the Center on Aging has formed the bedrock for the quest to understand and treat Alzheimer’s disease and to improve the quality of life of the elderly.
The Sanders‐Brown Center on Aging (SBCoA) was established in 1979, and received funding as one of the original ten National Institutes of Health Alzheimer’s Disease Centers in 1985. Internationally acclaimed, the SBCoA is recognized for its contributions to the fight against brain diseases associated with aging.
Media Contact: Laura Dawahare, Laura.Dawahare@uky.edu, (859) 257-5307
LEXINGTON, Ky (Nov. 16, 2015) – Analia Loria, assistant professor of pharmacology and nutritional sciences at the University of Kentucky, will be a featured presenter at the First Physiology and Gender Conference organized by the American Physiological Society this week.
At the conference, Loria will be discussing her research on the susceptibility of rodents to develop cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome in adulthood after being exposed to high-stress situations early in life. Loria utilizes animal models to study the effects in the cardiovascular system to mimic children that have been exposed to psychosocial stresses such as abuse, neglect, parental loss and other traumas. The stress, in addition to challenging the animals with a high-fat diet, leads to the manifestation of obesity, diabetes and other components of metabolic syndrome.
Loria has found that as a result of the combination of emotional stress and unhealthy diet, female rodents show worse outcomes than male rodents.
This is important since studies in humans have shown that female subjects have a poorer response to stresses than male subjects, making them more susceptible to these health issues.
Loria’s research is funded through the National Institutes of Health. The American Physiological Society Symposia will meet Nov. 18-20 in Annapolis, Maryland.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 14, 2015) —The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) has named Dr. Jonathan H. Smith of the University of Kentucky a recipient of its Faculty Innovation in Education award to support the development of innovative education projects that provide effective residency and fellowship training, as well as lifelong learning for practicing psychiatrists and neurologists.
Every year up to two neurologists are selected for this prestigious award. The two-year award provides a maximum of $100,000. Smith's project will explore the use of unannounced simulated patients to evaluate neurology residents' communication and interpersonal skills.
Dr. Larry Goldstein, chair of the UK Department of Neurology, said Smith's work reflects the department’s long-term emphasis in providing the best possible experience for trainees. “Jonathan is an excellent teacher with a creative approach to neurology resident education, and this award is a well-deserved acknowledgment of that," said Goldstein.
Smith is currently an assistant professor in Neurology and the program director of adult neurology residency at UK. He is a graduate of the University of Rochester with a B.S. in biochemistry and a minor in clinical psychology. He received his M.D. from the Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. He completed his neurology residency and headache fellowship at the Mayo Clinic, where he also served as chief resident.
Some of Smith's previous awards include the American Academy of Neurology’s (AAN) Annual Meeting Resident Scholarship Award in 2011 and the Chief Resident Award at the Mayo Clinic Department of Neurology in June 2012, and the Excellence in Teaching in the Department of Neurology award at UK in June 2015.
The ABPN’s main mission is to develop and provide valid and reliable procedures for certification and maintenance of certification in psychiatry and neurology. They have been a non-profit since 1934 and are one of 24 boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS).
Media contact: Laura Dawahare, Laura.Dawahare@uky.edu, (859) 257-5307
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 13, 2015) -- Last year at UK HealthCare, about 140 families experienced the loss of an infant from stillbirth, miscarriage or neonatal death. To honor and acknowledge the lives of the infants and the loss experienced by their families, UK's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and Labor and Delivery unit hold an annual event to remember these loved ones.
UK HealthCare's annual Walk to Remember is held the first Sunday in October each year at The Arboretum at UK and is an event that has been occurring now for more than 20 years.
"This service provides a way for families to honor and remember their child that they have lost," said Michelle Steele, chair of the NICU/Labor and Delivery Bereavement Committee. "We walk to previously planted trees that were planted in honor and memory of the babies that had died during previous years. At the end of the walk, our grieving families help plant a new tree for that year in memory of their loved one."
In addition, families can write a message to their baby and plant it with the tree that includes an inscription and bronze plaque provided by UK HealthCare administration that reads, "In memory of your baby's life, gone but still cherished. Your baby will always be remembered."
For UK HealthCare Palliative Care and Oncology Chaplain Diana Hultgren the Arboretum at UK is a very symbolic setting for the event. "It not only provides a beautiful, family-friendly setting, but a living framework for reflecting on and experiencing the cycles of life," She said. "In many cultures, trees are symbols of life and renewal, the span of generations and hope for the future and by blessing and dedicating these trees, we share in one another’s sadness and joy, knowing we are not alone and do not remember alone."
Families take pictures by the trees year after year, and it is amazing to watch the trees grow, Hultgren added. "Through these gestures and rituals of healing, we strengthen the bonds between us, draw our UK community closer together and let our love and remembrance take form in new ways to bless family and stranger alike."
Steele, a NICU nurse who has been a member of the committee for 16 years, said the event is a time of healing not only for the families but also the nursing staff. "We feel that it’s a way to give back to the families and help provide closure," she said. "We want them to know that we share in their loss by providing a service where they can remember and honor their beloved child."
Sandy Mojesky, divisional charge nurse in Labor and Delivery, is also a longtime committee member and says providing a memorial and remembrance for these babies and their families has been her calling since she first became a labor and delivery nurse 27 years ago.
"The ceremony means so much to the families and I find especially it is important for the families who have experienced a miscarriage or early loss because it gives them an opportunity to memorialize their baby that they may not otherwise have had."
For more information about the event, contact Shannon Haynes at
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 13, 2015) — Dr. Barbara Phillips, professor of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Kentucky, was elected the 78th president of The American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) effective Nov. 1, 2015.
Phillips previously served as president-elect in 2014. In 1982, she became an active member of CHEST, and in 1983 advanced to Fellow. She served as editor of CHEST SEEK Sleep Medicine, working on the second, third and fourth editions. Phillips also served as Regent-at-Large for the American College of Chest Physicians for eight years.
Phillips is also involved with numerous other outside organizations. She has been chair of the National Sleep Foundation and has also served on several boards including the American Lung Association, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the American Board of Sleep Medicine. She was awarded with the Sleep Academic Award from the National Institutes of Health. In 2013, she was presented with the College Medalist Award at CHEST.
"The American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) has been an important part of my life for most of my professional career." Phillips said."As incoming president of CHEST, I am excited about this opportunity to work with the next generation of clinician educations and leaders."
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 11, 2015) — Two women, seated at a table, told their stories in quiet tones. A group of chefs, some standing, others seated, leaned forward eagerly, clearly interested in what these two women had to say. They peppered the women with questions: did food taste better cold or hot? Was texture an issue? Did a glass of wine before dinner help or hurt the flavor experience?
The women have both taken chemotherapy for their cancer. One of them — Gina Mullin — will be taking chemotherapy every three weeks for the rest of her life. Both she and patient Jen Cooper tell heartbreaking stories about a side effect of chemotherapy that gets swept under the rug: food tastes terrible.
"Can you imagine how much quality of life you lose when you can't enjoy your food?" asked Cooper.
Chemotherapy, by design, kills all fast-growing cells in the body. As cancer cells die, so do all the healthy fast-growing cells, including the cells responsible for hair growth and taste buds. So your hair falls out and everything tastes metallic.
"Here they are, critically ill, needing good nutrition more than ever and they can't enjoy food? It's beyond unfair," said Dan Han, a neuropsychologist at the University of Kentucky.
Han has become an ardent advocate for the concept that quality of life issues — specifically, the enjoyment of food — should be measured as a clinical outcome for patients. A chance meeting in 2012 with internationally acclaimed chef Fred Morin brought the issue to his attention.
"Like most clinicians, when patients brought up the issue of reduced or distorted flavor perception (if they brought it up at all), I was sympathetic but not motivated, because there's not much we can do to help," said Han.
But Morin, chef and owner of the legendary restaurant Joe Beef, is a bioengineer by training and hugely interested in the concept of neurogastronomy, which merges the science and culinary worlds by studying the human brain and the behavior that influences how we experience food. Morin encouraged Han to read a book by Yale neuroscientist Gordon Shepherd, who coined the term in 2006.
"I was hooked," said Han. "I knew that if we could bring together chefs, neuroscientists and food scientists to explore ways to help these patients enjoy a meal, break bread with family and friends and enjoy that process again, it would be a significant contribution to science and to life."
That chance meeting was the spark for the founding of the International Society of Neurogastronomy (ISN), and last week more than 200 scientists, patients, chefs, foodies and others gathered at UK for the inaugural ISN Symposium, sharing their knowledge and exploring opportunities to improve quality of life for people who have lost their perception of taste or smell due to cancer, brain injury, stroke, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, or other neurological disorders.
During breaks, participants were encouraged to visit eight tasting stations, where experiments demonstrated how the perception of flavor is shaped by more than just the tongue. Attendees wore blindfolds, sniffed scent jars, held their noses, and more while they sampled. At one station, tasters eating a pink cookie while listening to gentle music were astonished to learn that it was equally as sweet as the black cookie paired with harsh music.
The most emotional part of the day looped back to the conversation between the chefs and the cancer patients. Chefs were paired with neuroscientists and physicians to create two teams, which then competed in the "Applied Neurogastronomy Challenge "— a friendly competition to make food that appealed to Mullin and Cooper.
"Team Morin" prepared a chunky potato soup with a range of toppings to customize the flavor experience: diced potato and bacon, pulled chicken and ginger, garlic broccoli, and fried chicken skin with paprika. "Team Mehta" also took a mix and match approach, offering peppered scallops, grilled chicken and mustard lime halibut to be paired with chili jam, apple goji reduction, lemon marinated apples, carrot yogurt salsa, or a chocolate chili mole.
"I tried every dish, and it was really fun," said Mullin, who said the only time she cried during her diagnosis and treatment was the day she ordered two of her favorite restaurant dishes only to throw them away after one bite because they tasted so bad.
"Potato soup wins!" shouted Jen Cooper to widespread applause. In truth, replied Leah Sarris, program director for the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine at Tulane University and a member of Team Morin, everyone won.
"I learned so much from you, Jen and Gina, and it will inform the way I cook and teach others to cook," she said. "We read in books about how chemo affects taste, but your stories made it real."
While neurogastronomy, as a science, is still in its infancy, the symposium has opened the door to the flow of information and ideas among neuroscientists, culinary professionals, food scientists and agriculture scientists. Participants were enthusiastic about the day's successes and the prospect for continued conversations that advance the science in the context of neurologically-related taste impairments, sustainability, disease prevention, and more.
"This really organically grew into something amazing, because people from such randomly different disciplines came together," said Han. "The commonality that united us was to achieve better food, better flavor, better health, and better quality of life."
To view the symposium presentations, go to https://vimeo.com/album/3650327
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 10, 2015) — On Dec. 10, a lucky ticket holder will walk away with a new 2016 Lexus ES 350 because they chose to support Kentucky Children’s Hospital (KCH) through the third annual Lexus for the Little Ones raffle.
Every raffle ticket sold through Lexus of Lexington will improve facilities for children receiving treatment at KCH. Lexus of Lexington has set a fundraising goal of $100,000 for the 2015 raffle. Lexus of Lexington sponsors the Ocean Pod, a section of aquatic-themed patient rooms at KCH.
“Giving back to the community has always been an important part of our business, and who better to support than KCH, the pediatric care center that takes care of Kentucky’s kids,” Lexington businessman Rick Avare, co-owner of Lexus of Lexington, said.
Raffle tickets are $100 each and can be purchased online at www.givetokch.org/lexus, in person by visiting the Lexus dealership on 1264 E. New Circle Road, or by contacting the KCH Development office at (859) 257-1179. There is no limit on the number of tickets purchased, and ticket holders do not have to be present to win. A maximum of 1,000 tickets will be sold. The drawing will be held at 1 p.m. in Pavilion A of the UK Chandler Hospital on Dec. 10.
“Lexus of Lexington’s annual raffle has allowed us to create a more vibrant and kid-friendly care environment at KCH,” Dr. Carmel Wallace, chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Kentucky Children’s Hospital, said. “The improvements in our facilities made possible by their fundraising contributions have benefited everyone at the hospital, from our patients and families to our providers.”
The KCH Development office welcomes groups or individuals who would like to sell raffle tickets to family, friends and colleagues. If your group is interested, please contact Chloe Hurley at (859) 859-257-1121 or email@example.com.
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