LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 2, 2015) — An umbrella term for impaired lung function, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) describes a number of diseases such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis and some types of asthma. More than 12 million Americans were diagnosed with COPD in 2011, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate twice that number suffer from undiagnosed cases.
Patients with COPD experience reductions in lung function, which interfere with their ability to perform routine activities. Modern medical therapies and disease management practices for COPD can delay lung impairment and improve the patient’s quality of life. According to Dr. David Mannino, at least a third of Americans living with COPD discover their diagnosis after experiencing late-stage disease exacerbations. At this point, lung deterioration eliminates the possibility of intervention.
“Undiagnosed and untreated COPD can lead to detriments in quality of life, and basically people start doing less because they have difficulty breathing,” Mannino, a professor in the UK College of Public Health, said. “Many people attribute this difficulty of breathing to just getting older when, in fact, they may have a disease that is potentially treatable. With the appropriate therapy and interventions, our patients can live near to normal lives and do many of the things that they would like to do.”
Mannino collaborated with a national team of public health experts to develop a novel tool intended to hasten the process of detecting and diagnosing cases of COPD in moderate to severely impaired patients. Maninno, professor and chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health in the UK College of Public Health, led a team of researchers charged by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Heart, Lung and Blood Institute with designing a direct and timely process for identifying cases of COPD in the primary care setting. As the presenting author on the project and principal investigator on the grant awarded by the NIH, Maninno reported on the findings from a study examining the effectiveness a five-step diagnostic tool during a meeting of the European Respiratory Society in Amsterdam on Sept. 29.
The three-year trial tested the diagnostic effectiveness of a simple patient questionnaire, as well as two common methods for diagnosing COPD: a peak flow examination and spirometry. A peak flow procedure measures the amount of air pushed from the patient’s lungs and a spirometer calculates the air capacity of the lungs. The experimental design tested all three methods, with an additional condition of peak flow used in conjunction with the questionnaire, in patients with clinically-significant COPD and patients with mild or no COPD. Study results supported the five-series questionnaire paired with the peak flow condition as the most effective of the three diagnostic approaches.
The tool poses five simple “yes or no” questions related to the patient’s lifestyle. Questions ask about pollutant exposure in workplace environments, frequency of respiratory infections, energy levels, and occurrences of pneumonia. The tool did not ask about smoking history. Once tested in more populations, Mannino believes this tool can enable health providers to diagnose COPD in a matter of seconds, but will also help proactive patients find out whether they are suffering from COPD symptoms before a doctor’s visit.
“What we would like to see is that this tool be used certainly in primary care practices,” Mannino said. “There is the potential that this is something that could be used by individuals to screen themselves and sort of give them something to talk about with their physician.”
While smoking is a significant predictor of COPD, it is not the sole cause of the disease.
Previous screening methods to diagnose COPD relied on the smoking history of patients, as well as patient cough and sputum, as the primary determinants of a diagnosis. According to Mannino, COPD is caused by a number of factors, including surrounding environments and occupational hazards. Mannino said high rates of smoking parallel with high rates of COPD in Kentucky, but a number of other factors, such as coal mining, environmental dust and poverty, put Kentuckians at a high risk of COPD.
A 2011 survey reported 9.8 percent of Kentuckians have received a diagnosis of COPD from their doctor. Oxygen therapies and medications can help alleviate symptoms of COPD at an early stage.
In the next stage of the project, Mannino and colleagues will test the effectiveness of the five-question tool in different populations.
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, firstname.lastname@example.org
The American Society of Virology, comprised of over 3,000 members from around the globe, was founded in 1981 to provide a forum for discussion and collaboration for investigators of human, animal, insect, plant, fungal and bacterial viruses. ASV sponsors a large annual meeting, promotes communication about virology research to the broader community, and represents virologists on national and international scientific councils. Dutch will serve as the ASV president-elect for 2015-2016 and ASV president from 2016-2017.
Dutch is a professor of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry and associate dean of Biomedical Education in the UK College of Medicine. She was named a UK University Research Professor for 2015-2016.
MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 29, 2015) — Register now for the inaugural International Society of Neurogastronomy symposium, which will be held at the University of Kentucky on Nov. 7, 2015. Featuring speakers like "Mind of a Chef" host and restauranteur Ed Lee and the father of neurogastronomy, Dr. Gordon Shepherd, the symposium will explore the concept of brain and behavior in the context of food.
The term, "neurogastonomy, was coined by Dr. Gordon Shepherd, professor of neurobiology at Yale University — first in 2006 in an article in Nature and six years later in an eponymous book. While Shepherd has been interested in the concept from a research perspective, UK neuropsychologist Dan Han and a group of neuroscientists, chefs and food scientists are enthusiastic about making it a clinical translational science, with applications in cancer, stroke and brain injury, (which can destroy the sense of taste) and disease like diabetes and heart disease.
The day's format differs from the typical symposium, featuring brief presentations modeled after the popular TED talks and punctuated with breaks for tastings and a contest where food from regional and national chefs will be judged by patients with taste impairments.
For more information about the symposium and how to register, click here.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 28, 2015) – Scott. M. Lephart, Ph.D., dean of the University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences, and colleagues have received a $4,188,000 grant from the Department of Defense to support research on injury prevention and performance optimization in U.S. Special Forces. The award, the largest ever received by the College of Health Sciences, coincides with the establishment of the new UK Sports Science Research Institute (SSRI).
The award allows Lephart to continue providing leadership of one of the six U.S. Special Forces research projects he launched during his 27-year tenure at the University of Pittsburgh.
“The award permits our crucial work with Special Forces to continue and aligns with the long-term aims of the project under the newly established SSRI,” said Lephart, who also serves as Endowed Chair of Orthopaedic Research at UK. “This is the beginning of a reinvigorated research enterprise at the UK College of Health Sciences, as well as the addition of a vital asset to the research efforts of UK HealthCare and the University.”
The planned 6,000-square-foot SSRI will be a multidisciplinary scientific center focused on contemporary approaches to prevention and treatment of sports injuries and concussions, performance optimization, musculoskeletal health and rehabilitation, metabolism, and neuro-cognition. Scheduled for completion in summer 2016, the SSRI will be located on the UK campus.
“This grant brings a unique opportunity to the University and to the Commonwealth,” said UK President Dr. Eli Capilouto. "SSRI's purpose meshes well with the university's commitment, as a land-grant institution, to the Commonwealth and its people.”
Eight new faculty members will join UK to work with the SSRI. Two of the faculty members are based in Lexington: John Abt, Ph.D., director of the SSRI; and Nicholas Heebner, M.S., A.T.C., SSRI laboratory manager. Other faculty members, including Josh Winters, Ph.D., and Scott Royer, M.S., who will operate the U.S. Marine Corps Special Operation Command (MARSOC) lab at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
MARSOC is the Marine Corps’ arm of the U.S. Special Forces. Through concentrated and specialized training and education, MARSOC develops and maintains agile combat athletes, organized in small, adaptable teams of Marine Raiders.
MARSOC Marines must complete a two-phase assessment and selection process, starting with a 21-day course that begins and ends with an intense physical evaluation. Those who move forward from phase one proceed to a nine-month course meant to transform a Marine into a Critical Skills Operator (CSO) or Special Operations Officer. Approximately 100 Marines are selected as CSOs each year.
Musculoskeletal injuries are common during the demanding training, as well as during combat. The short-term and long-term effects of such injuries include loss of active duty time, financial impacts and the adverse effects on the overall health of military personnel. The aim of the research is to develop strategies for injury prevention and performance optimization, similar to those used with athletes, but adapted to the specialized needs of military personnel.
“These Marines are training to become small teams of elite warriors expected to be at peak performance in extremely dangerous and unpredictable situations,” Lephart said. “There is absolutely no room for sustaining a preventable injury. That’s why our work is so mission-critical for the Special Forces.”
The SSRI staff will conduct a variety of field studies focused on the physical demands on MARSOC Marines during the nine-month course. For example, SSRI researchers will identify common injury patterns among MARSOC Marines and develop clinical trials with their human performance personnel to test training programs targeted at injury prevention.
“The SSRI’s work with MARSOC has the potential to inform and improve their resiliency, and ultimately improve their mission outcomes,” Lephart said.
The SSRI’s reach will extend beyond military personnel. The SSRI will provide outreach
opportunities incorporating applicable strategies on injury prevention, human performance, sports nutrition and overall wellness to recreational and competitive youth, high school, collegiate, professional, and senior athletes, coaches, parents and other health care providers.
Dr. Michael Karpf, UK executive vice president for health affairs, predicts that SSRI's impact will extend far beyond the realms of tactical warriors and professional athletes. “The bottom line – the SSRI is a powerful merger of research, outreach and collaboration, enhancing UK HealthCare's efforts to address chronic disease and poor health in Kentucky,” Karpf said. “The SSRI is dedicated to research excellence, community outreach, and collaboration – all directed toward one outcome: optimal health through healthier lifestyles.”
Media contact: Laura Dawahare, Laura.Dawahare@uky.edu, (859) 257-5307
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 24, 2015) - UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging (SBCoA) is hosting its fifth annual Markesbery Symposium on Aging and Dementia on Nov. 20-21. This two day program will offer sessions for both scientific and community audiences. Clinicians and researchers from the University of Kentucky and other institutions will come together to share current findings, trends and the latest updates on dementia and aging disorders, particularly as related to Alzheimer’s disease.
The Markesbery Symposium is in honor of the late Dr. William R. Markesbery, the founder and long-time director of the UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging and an internationally renowned expert on aging and dementia.
On Friday, Nov. 20, the scientific session will be held in the UK Chandler Hospital Pavilion A auditorium. Scientists and physicians will discuss their latest research findings through lectures and poster sessions. Featured speakers include Dr. Sam Gandy of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and Dr. Ronald C. Petersen of Mayo Medical College - Mayo Clinic. SBCoA faculty Steve Estus, Liz Head, Dick Kryscio and Mark Lovell will present updates on their research studies.
On Saturday, Nov. 21, the community session will be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon in the Bluegrass Ballroom at the Lexington Convention Center. A continental breakfast will be provided. Dr. Peterson, who treated former President Ronald Reagan and singer/songwriter Glenn Campbell, will be the keynote speaker. SBCoA faculty Erin Abner, Donna Wilcock, Greg Jicha, Steve Scheff also will present their study findings and answer questions from the audience. SBCoA director Linda Van Eldik will offer closing remarks.
The symposium is free and open to all, but registration is required. For more information or to register for the symposium please visit: http://medicine.mc.uky.edu/conference/; phone 859-323-6040; or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 24, 2015) – Six of the eight patients who recently took part in UK HealthCare's first kidney donor chain learned who their respective recipients or donors were for the first time yesterday. The kidney donor chain was the first of its kind performed at UK HealthCare and the longest donor chain to date in Kentucky.
"UK HealthCare has been performing kidney transplants since 1964, but this is really a milestone for us and for the Commonwealth," said Dr. Roberto Gedaly, chief of Abdominal Transplant Surgery at UK HealthCare. "We're thrilled to come together today to celebrate our first successful kidney donor chain with donors, recipients, and many of the staff who made this complicated series of procedures possible."
Kidney donor chains, also called kidney paired exchanges, occur when a living kidney donor is incompatible with their intended recipient. The donor may agree to donate their kidney to a different patient, provided that their loved one receives a kidney from someone else. When multiple pairs are involved, this causes a domino effect, with each recipient receiving a matched kidney from a stranger.
While patients will be placed on the transplant list to receive a donor kidney, it may take weeks, months, or even years for an appropriately matched kidney to be found. While waiting for a match, patients may undergo dialysis multiple times a week, but their health usually continues to decline, leading to renal failure and eventually to death.
By participating in the donor chain, patients are likely to receive a kidney much sooner than if they had waited for one to become available via the transplant list. They also have the benefit of receiving a kidney from a live donor.
"Research shows that patients who are able to receive a kidney from a live donor have much better outcomes than those who receive a kidney from a deceased donor," said Dr. Stephen Strup, chief of the UK Division of Urological Surgery. "That's not always a possibility for many patients, and even if they have a willing donor, they're not always a good match. But with kidney donor chains gaining in popularity, it opens up a lot of doors for these patients."
Finding the appropriate patients for the donor chain was made possible with assistance from Nephrology Associates of Kentuckiana and the UK Transplant and Specialty Clinic at Norton Audubon Hospital in Louisville, Ky., who both refer patients for transplant and provide pre- and post-op care to patients in the region.
UK HealthCare performed the 8-person chain in-house over the course of two days, backed by a team of surgeons, nephrologists, nurses, pathologists, lab technicians, and many other staff from the UK Transplant Center and the UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital.
Four donors and four recipients participated, hailing from central and eastern Kentucky, Louisville, and southern Indiana. The chain was initiated by one altruistic donor who was willing to give her kidney to anyone who needed it: Nicki Coulter, a former nurse from Bloomfield, Ky.
"I used to be a nurse, and I just felt like this was something I needed to do," Coulter said. "I was blessed with good health and a good support system in my family. So I decided to do it!"
Altruistic donors are rare, though they have become more frequent in recent years. As kidney donor chains gain popularity in the U.S., these donors now have the potential to save multiple lives through the donation of a single kidney.
"With a kidney chain, the altruistic donor then benefits not just one person, but a whole group of people," Strup said. "Having that one person step up and offer to donate a kidney anonymously to anyone who needs it allows us to start matching incompatible pairs through the chain."
UK HealthCare performed 90 kidney transplants last year, with 26 of those coming from living donors. Though most people are born with two kidneys, many people can live a normal, healthy life with one kidney. When donors give away their second kidney, the remaining kidney can increase in size and become more efficient to return the donor to normal renal function.
To perform the kidney donor chain procedures, the UK Transplant Center joined the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) Kidney paired donation program and created new policies at UK HealthCare that were modeled after UNOS guidelines. With one successful kidney donor chain under their belt, the UK Transplant Center staff is already working on connecting the next chain.
"The gathering of these patients, donors and their families demonstrates the true depth and breadth of advanced subspecialty services at UK HealthCare," said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK executive vice president for health affairs. "Caring for highly complex patients who come to UK from across the Commonwealth and beyond to provide the most advanced treatment and procedures by our specialized, expert team of health care providers is not only our mission, but our promise and commitment to the region we serve."
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 23, 2015) — Today, UK HealthCare will announce its first "kidney donor chain" and patients in the chain will learn who their respective donors/recipients were for the first time.
Kidney donor chains, also called kidney paired exchanges, occur when a living kidney donor is incompatible with their intended recipient. The donor may agree to donate their kidney to a different patient, provided that their loved one receives a kidney from someone else. When multiple pairs are involved, this causes a domino effect, with each recipient receiving a matched kidney from a stranger.
The recent kidney donor chain was the first of its kind performed at UK HealthCare and the longest donor chain to date in Kentucky.
Click below to watch today’s announcement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mx8nxTK2Qu8
MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, 859-323-2399, email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 23, 2015) — The University of Kentucky College of Nursing opened its first faculty-run community health center to bill for patient services in historic downtown Wilmore, Kentucky, on Sept. 14.
Located beside the Sims Pharmacy on East Main St., the Phyllis D. Corbitt Community Health Center provides health care services for common illnesses such as respiratory infections, allergy symptoms, sore throats and skin infections. Other services such as school, sports and pre-employment physicals, immunizations and health education and counseling are also provided. The clinic, operated by nurse practitioners in the UK College of Nursing, is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and accepts walk-ins as well as appointments.
In addition to fulfilling a need for accessible basic health services in Jessamine County, the clinic provides a space where students from the UK College of Nursing can train under faculty in a clinical setting. In a recent report titled, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health,” the Institute of Medicine challenged the next generation of nurses to practice to the full extent of their knowledge and training. The new clinic accomplishes this objective by allowing students to see the range of health services a nurse practitioner is able to deliver in a small community.
“It’s nice for us to be able to demonstrate to our students how you practice to the extent of your license,” said Sharon Lock, professor, director of faculty practice and coordinator of the primary care doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program at the UK College of Nursing. “Some faculty members can practice here, and we can place our students here so they can see how a nurse practitioner-run clinic works.”
Family physician Dr. Phyllis Corbitt served the Wilmore community for more than 40 years. When Corbitt retired, the clinic building owner Hugh Sims, a graduate of UK, notified faculty members in the UK College of Nursing of the vacancy. The College of Nursing named their new clinic after Corbitt to honor her long-time service to the community and relational approach to health care.
Practitioners at the Phyllis D. Corbitt Community Health Center collaborate with Dr. Sam Matheny in the UK Department of Family and Community Medicine on cases requiring more complex care. The clinic will operate under a limited services licensure and accepts most insurance providers.
“The clinic is not only an opportunity for community engagement, but it signifies our commitment for advancing integrative and collaborative UK HealthCare learning and working environments,” Janie Heath, dean of the College of Nursing and Warwick Professor of Nursing, said.
To make an appointment at the clinic, call 859-858-0339. The clinic is located at 317 East Main St.
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, firstname.lastname@example.org
This article first appeared in the Sept. 20 edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 21, 2015) — In the 1970s U.S. Congress banned tobacco ads to protect our impressionable youth from perceiving smoking as socially desirable.
Now, for the first time in decades, advertisements portraying the recreational use of tobacco products are reappearing in popular media. Advertisements present e-cigarettes and vaporizers as safer alternatives to conventional cigarettes. Tobacco control advocates fear this type of exposure will unravel decades of progress in America by renormalizing smoking.
Researchers know little about the long-term effects of e-cigarettes. We do know nicotine, a highly addictive substance, has harmful effects on the adolescent brain. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report more young people are trying e-cigarettes, and those who try e-cigarettes are twice as likely to express intent to smoke conventional cigarettes. About three out of four teen smokers will continue to smoke into adulthood.
It’s imperative that parents, mentors, teachers and youth are not misled about dangers of e-cigarettes through advertising.
No Regulatory Standards
The e-cigarette is classified in the U.S. as a tobacco product, not a tobacco cessation therapy. These devices came on the market in 2007 without any FDA testing and escaped many of the safety controls that protect consumers from potential harm.
FDA investigations are finding inconsistences with the chemical and nicotine content reported on the product’s label and what is actually in the e-juice. Both devices and e-juice can be customized. Currently, no government standards exist for the production process or ingredients used in e-cigarettes or e-juice.
Exposure to Highly Addictive Nicotine
Tobacco control advocates are especially concerned about the consequences of exposing teens to any amount of nicotine, which is highly addictive. Most people start using tobacco products before age 18. The younger a person is exposed to nicotine, the harder it is to quit later in life. Nicotine exposure can cause lasting harm to the brain and promote sustained use.
In addition to nicotine, e-cigarette users are exposed to 40 to 60 other chemicals found in e-juice. To date, no scientific evidence can fully explain the effects of those chemicals on the body when they are heated and inhaled.
Use for Illegal Substances
Youth are able to modify e-cigarettes for the consumption of illegal drugs. The devices can mask an illegal substance and facilitate smoking at school.
E-cigarettes are not innocuous devices. The unanswered questions regarding the safety of these devices and the detriments of exposing youth to nicotine aren’t worth the risk of trying them.
Audrey Darville is a tobacco treatment specialist at the University of Kentucky and an assistant professor in the UK College of Nursing.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 17, 2015) — As the University of Kentucky’s celebration of its 150th anniversary winds down, the UK College of Health Sciences is ramping up for its 50th anniversary in 2016. With new leadership in place and strategic partnerships solidifying, the College of Health Sciences is poised to make the next 50 years even more impactful for the Commonwealth.
The UK College of Health Sciences, originally called the College of Allied Health Professions, was one of the first 13 colleges formed following the passage of The Allied Health Professions Personnel Training Act of 1966, with Joseph Hamburg serving as dean. The original schools, including those at The Ohio State University, the University of Florida and the University of Pennsylvania, paved the way for allied health professions in the U.S.
The legislation was passed in response to growing demand for high quality health care and brought recognition to the wide array of health care professions beyond medicine, dentistry and nursing.
The act reads in part: “There has been increasing awareness of the necessity to develop linkages among academic, training, and service institutions and the various related professional groups so that dynamic educational programs can be offered that will attract able students and prepare them for satisfying careers.”
That statement still rings true for the UK College of Health Sciences, as it continues to innovate in the key areas of education, research and service. The college was one of the first at UK to offer a complete distance learning degree program. It began educating physical therapy students at the Center of Excellence in Rural Health in Hazard in 1992 and physician assistant students in Morehead in 1996. More recently, the Medical Laboratory Science Program was re-established to educate students at the Center of Excellence in Rural Health in Hazard.
The college prides itself on offering students a robust educational experience, which includes interprofessional, innovative learning opportunities, as well as the chance to go beyond the classroom with hands-on patient care, research, service and study-abroad opportunities.
The College of Health Sciences offers innovative programs, such as Human Health Sciences, which serve as the gateway to the health sciences professions, including medicine and dentistry. Its aim is to prepare career-ready professionals to enter health care fields that are in high demand.
Today, the college has more than 1,000 students enrolled in its undergraduate and graduate programs in Athletic Training, Clinical Leadership and Management, Clinical Nutrition (in collaboration with the College of Medicine), Communication Sciences and Disorders, Human Health Sciences, Medical Laboratory Science, Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant Studies and the Rehabilitation Sciences Doctoral Program.
Researchers at the College of Health Sciences share a common vision – a dynamic, sustainable research enterprise that reaches into the community, improving the lives of Kentuckians and extending beyond its borders. Helping individuals attain the highest level of health possible is at the core of the college’s research. Areas of focus include the prevention of injury and disability due to exercise/sport participation, aging, chronic disease, or other adverse factors; rehabilitation after injury or illness; innovations in the treatment of voice, swallowing, and language disorders; and exercise; nutrition in the context of optimal health and performance enhancement; and military injury prevention and performance optimization.
Research is also a fundamental part of the educational experience at the college, as students have the opportunity to be involved in our ongoing research projects. The college also maintains a thriving undergraduate research program, which fosters the curiosity of undergraduate students by offering opportunities across a variety of topics for mentored, self-directed work. Additionally, the college is the first on campus to offer an undergraduate certificate in research, which is open to all majors.
The college has more than 7,500 alumni serving health care needs across the Commonwealth and beyond. In addition to the care its alumni provide, the College of Health Sciences provides expert clinical care in physical therapy and communication disorders.
The Division of Physical Therapy offers a clinic for runners and a student-managed physical therapy clinic. The Runners Clinic offers injury evaluation and treatment, as well as 3-D gait analysis to help prevent injury. Samaritan's Touch is managed by physical therapy students and faculty and provides services for uninsured or under-insured adults. The college also offers clinical speech-language pathology services through its Communication Disorders Academic Clinic, and the UK HealthCare Voice and Swallow Clinic and Speech-Language Pathology Clinic.
Moving forward, the college is working to develop a sustainable research enterprise, invest in strategic collaborations and support meaningful growth in its academic programs. The college is aligning its work with the trajectory of health care toward an emphasis on wellness and prevention.
“The common thread among our programs and our people is our mission,” Scott M. Lephart, dean of the College of Health Sciences, said. “We are driven by the desire to help people attain the highest level of health possible. Our work in education, research and service can be boiled down to one outcome: optimal health. The key is to help unlock the potential for optimal health in each individual we affect, indirectly or directly, through providing patient care, educating future health sciences professionals, and engaging in research aimed at the prevention of injury and disability.”
MEDIA CONTACT: Kathy Johnson, 859-257-3155 or email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 14, 2015) — A University of Kentucky study shows that withaferin A, a component of Withania somnifera (winter cherry) plant extract, may hold promise as a new treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Winter cherry extract was used in traditional Ayurvedic Indian medicine for thousands of years before it caught the interest of Subbarao Bondada, a University of Kentucky College of Medicine professor and researcher for the UK Markey Cancer Center. Because withaferin A shows promise in treating other cancers without the side effects associated with current treatments, Bondada’s laboratory tested it against lymphoma. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is one of the most common cancers in the U.S. and is known for being particularly aggressive.
Unlike other studies using withaferin A to treat cancer, Bondada’s study, published in the journal Cancer Biology and Therapy, is the first to test the chemical against a blood cancer. Previous studies using withaferin A focused on cancers producing tumors that grow as a mass in tissue, more commonly known as solid tumors.
Katie McKenna, a graduate student in Bondada’s laboratory, found that withaferin A prevented the lymphoma cells from dividing and ultimately killed them. Specifically, they found withaferin A directly targeted a signaling pathway in the cancer it needs to survive.
“It may be possible to develop orally administered versions of withaferin A that could be used in lymphoma patients with fewer side effects than current chemotherapy regimens,” Bondada said.
Because withaferin A shows promise in treating non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Bondada’s team is now testing the chemical on chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells.
Bondada's group collaborated with University of Louisville Professor Ramesh Gupta, who aided in the isolation of withaferin A. This work was funded by the National Cancer Institute to the UK Markey Cancer Center, the National Institutes of Health, Office of Vice President for Research for Core Research facilities and the Sabinsa Corporation and does not necessarily represent the views of these institutions.
MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, 859-323-2399 or firstname.lastname@example.org
HAZARD, Ky. (Sept. 10, 2015) ̶ University of Kentucky, UK HealthCare and the UK North Fork Valley Community Health Center celebrated the 10th anniversary and the success story of the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile in Eastern Kentucky at a special ceremony on Sept. 9. UK President Dr. Eli Capilouto, Dr. Nikki Stone, director of the Eastern Kentucky Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, John Sampson, UK HealthCare associate ambulatory director for clinical operations, Fran Feltner, director of the UK Center of Excellence in Rural Health, Dr. Joe Kingery, CEO/medical director of the UK North Fork Valley Clinic, Dr. Stephanos Kyrkanides, dean of the UK College of Dentistry, and Dr. Raynor Mullins, professor emeritus and retired chief of the Division of Dental Public Health at the UK College of Dentistry, gave remarks at the event held at the UK Center of Excellence in Rural Health in Hazard. As part of the day’s events, was the recognition of the accomplishments achieved in the first 10 years of the program, including a decrease in tooth decay rates of nearly 20 percent, cutting in half the urgent dental needs of children and improving treatment completion rates through local partnerships. When the program began, children in Eastern Kentucky had the worst oral health in the state and the second highest tooth decay rates in the nation. In 2005, UK’s North Fork Valley Community Health Center received the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, a dental office on wheels – one of only 40 in the world. A year later, the clinic applied for distinction as a Federally-Qualified Health Center (FQHC), and was awarded their first HRSA (Health Resources and Services Administration) grant in 2006, funding that would be used to offer a sliding fee scale to uninsured and underinsured residents of Perry and surrounding counties. Mobile dental services soon began in Letcher, Knott, Leslie and Perry counties, serving elementary school and Head Start children. Nearly 5,000 children were seen that first school year. “The baseline data was disturbing, especially when compared to national data and the HealthyPeople 2010 goals. A staggering 6 out of every 10 Head Start children and 7 out of every 10 of elementary school children had untreated tooth decay, and nearly 20 percent had urgent dental needs,” said Stone. “At nearly every Head Start center visited over the four-county area, at least one child in each center had all 20 baby teeth grossly decayed with multiple abscessed teeth. Compared to national data, the children in this service turned out to have the second highest untreated tooth decay rates in the nation, second only to the isolated Alaskan Native/Native American populations.” Slowly but surely, each school year, the tooth decay rates kept decreasing a few percentage points at a time, with an overall drop of nearly 20 percentage points to date, and the urgent dental needs have been cut in half, Stone said. “We have noticed this new generation is growing up with little to no dental anxiety,” Stone said. “They enjoy their dental visits on the mobile at their schools, and often ask if they can have another turn.” Through one-on-one as well as classroom-based oral health education, young patients better understand the importance of their baby teeth and they are teaching their own families about the importance of dental care. Additionally, school officials have seen that the children are able to concentrate and learn better in school and miss less school for dental visits and dental pain. Finally, children with healthy smiles are showing more self-confidence and self-esteem, which might possibly be the biggest obstacle children in poverty struggle to overcome. “As president of UK, but also as a dentist with a public health background, I am especially happy to know we are reaching out to children in the schools and daycares and providing them the preventive dental care they need to get a good head start on life,” said Capilouto. “Prevention is always the key to improving both oral and general health for all Kentuckians and to the many people here who have been instrumental in this program, I offer my appreciation and admiration for the great work that has been achieved. “The University is pleased to be part of this dental outreach program that offers children an opportunity for improved health, improved learning, ad improved lives as future citizens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.”
HAZARD, Ky. (Sept. 10, 2015) ̶ University of Kentucky, UK HealthCare and the UK North Fork Valley Community Health Center celebrated the 10th anniversary and the success story of the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile in Eastern Kentucky at a special ceremony on Sept. 9.
UK President Dr. Eli Capilouto, Dr. Nikki Stone, director of the Eastern Kentucky Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, John Sampson, UK HealthCare associate ambulatory director for clinical operations, Fran Feltner, director of the UK Center of Excellence in Rural Health, Dr. Joe Kingery, CEO/medical director of the UK North Fork Valley Clinic, Dr. Stephanos Kyrkanides, dean of the UK College of Dentistry, and Dr. Raynor Mullins, professor emeritus and retired chief of the Division of Dental Public Health at the UK College of Dentistry, gave remarks at the event held at the UK Center of Excellence in Rural Health in Hazard.
As part of the day’s events, was the recognition of the accomplishments achieved in the first 10 years of the program, including a decrease in tooth decay rates of nearly 20 percent, cutting in half the urgent dental needs of children and improving treatment completion rates through local partnerships. When the program began, children in Eastern Kentucky had the worst oral health in the state and the second highest tooth decay rates in the nation.
In 2005, UK’s North Fork Valley Community Health Center received the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, a dental office on wheels – one of only 40 in the world. A year later, the clinic applied for distinction as a Federally-Qualified Health Center (FQHC), and was awarded their first HRSA (Health Resources and Services Administration) grant in 2006, funding that would be used to offer a sliding fee scale to uninsured and underinsured residents of Perry and surrounding counties.
Mobile dental services soon began in Letcher, Knott, Leslie and Perry counties, serving elementary school and Head Start children. Nearly 5,000 children were seen that first school year.
“The baseline data was disturbing, especially when compared to national data and the HealthyPeople 2010 goals. A staggering 6 out of every 10 Head Start children and 7 out of every 10 of elementary school children had untreated tooth decay, and nearly 20 percent had urgent dental needs,” said Stone. “At nearly every Head Start center visited over the four-county area, at least one child in each center had all 20 baby teeth grossly decayed with multiple abscessed teeth. Compared to national data, the children in this service turned out to have the second highest untreated tooth decay rates in the nation, second only to the isolated Alaskan Native/Native American populations.”
Slowly but surely, each school year, the tooth decay rates kept decreasing a few percentage points at a time, with an overall drop of nearly 20 percentage points to date, and the urgent dental needs have been cut in half, Stone said.
“We have noticed this new generation is growing up with little to no dental anxiety,” Stone said. “They enjoy their dental visits on the mobile at their schools, and often ask if they can have another turn.”
Through one-on-one as well as classroom-based oral health education, young patients better understand the importance of their baby teeth and they are teaching their own families about the importance of dental care. Additionally, school officials have seen that the children are able to concentrate and learn better in school and miss less school for dental visits and dental pain. Finally, children with healthy smiles are showing more self-confidence and self-esteem, which might possibly be the biggest obstacle children in poverty struggle to overcome.
“As president of UK, but also as a dentist with a public health background, I am especially happy to know we are reaching out to children in the schools and daycares and providing them the preventive dental care they need to get a good head start on life,” said Capilouto. “Prevention is always the key to improving both oral and general health for all Kentuckians and to the many people here who have been instrumental in this program, I offer my appreciation and admiration for the great work that has been achieved.
“The University is pleased to be part of this dental outreach program that offers children an opportunity for improved health, improved learning, ad improved lives as future citizens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.”
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 10, 2015) – UK HealthCare's Ashley Ackerman is one of eight finalists for the Certified Pharmacy Technician of the Year award from the Pharmacy Technicians Certification Board (PTCB).
The award focuses on individual work towards innovation and safety in patient care and providing an excellent level of service for patients. Finalists were chosen from peer nominations followed by a detailed rating process. Ackerman was chosen for the top eight out of 585 total nominations for 2015.
At UK HealthCare, Ackerman serves as a senior specialty pharmacy technician for Specialty Pharmacy Services, focusing on patients' access to care and quality management for the group. She recently developed and implemented patient care services for the newly created Specialty Pharmacy areas of rheumatology and multiple sclerosis.
The winner will be chosen by popular vote and will receive a $1,000 honorarium along with travel and accommodations to attend a special evening event on Oct. 27 in Washington D.C. to recognize the CPhT of the Year for leadership, innovation, and excellence in patient safety.
Voting is open to the public and ends on Friday, Sept. 18. To vote for Ackerman, visit the PTCB voting page.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 8, 2015) – The Kentucky Regional Extension Center (REC), based at the University of Kentucky, received the A.O. Sullivan Award for Excellence in Education during the ninth annual MediStar Awards.
The center was among the health care leaders honored Sept. 1 at the Hyatt Regency Louisville. The MediStar Awards are the region’s premier venue for recognizing excellence in the business of health care. More than 250 attendees congratulated the honorees and celebrated their accomplishments in advancing health care in Kentucky and southern Indiana.
The A.O. Sullivan Award for Excellence in Education is presented to an organization that takes creative approaches to developing and implementing programs, which enhance the level of knowledge, education and career opportunity in health care. The Kentucky Regional Extension Center (KY-REC) serves 96 counties in Kentucky and assists physicians, other medical professionals and hospitals with electronic health record adoption, Kentucky Health Information Exchange participation, and achievement of meaningful use. The goal of this new initiative is to help more than 1,000 primary care providers in Kentucky with the switch to electronic health records. The goal of the program nationally is to help 100,000 physicians.
Other winners were:
More information about the event and honorees, as well as photos of the event can be found at www.MediStarAwards.com.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 8, 2015) -- Inflammation is on the research community's "Most Wanted" list as the possible culprit in many diseases, including cancer, heart disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Scientists researching the causes for Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other age-related dementias are equally curious about the role inflammation might play in disease onset, particularly since inflammation appears to play a role in accumulation of beta amyloid in the brain. Beta amyloid plaques in the brain are one of the hallmarks of AD, and presumably cause the damage that leads to memory loss and other deficits associated with AD.
A therapy called mE8c, currently in clinical trials, attaches to amyloid plaques and appears to help clear them from the brain, hypothetically an effective treatment for AD. But Donna Wilcock at the UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging shares the prevailing view in the science community that successful treatment for AD will most likely require a combination of drugs, each targeted at a specific part of the disease process.
She points to a second compound in clinical trials as a possible candidate for combination therapy. Called a BACE inhibitor, this compound blocks the production of new amyloid. Together, the two compounds might be more effective at slowing down or reversing AD than each one alone.
Eli Lilly and Company has awarded Wilcock a two-year, $198,000 grant to test her theory.
Wilcock pointed to this grant as an example of the importance of academic-industry collaborations. The compounds Wilcock will be testing are in the development pipeline and therefore difficult to obtain. Alternately, it can be difficult for companies — even larger ones like Lilly — to develop and maintain a broad range of testing capabilities.
"Our lab has expertise in studying the inflammatory response of the brain, something Lilly is particularly interested in exploring further," Wilcock said. "We have the experience and expertise necessary to implement a large scale study that will help them see whether a combination therapy approach modulates inflammation in a different way than either of the two drugs do on their own."
The potential impact of the work by Wilcock and her colleagues at Sanders-Brown is substantial, as there are currently more than five million Americans currently living with AD, and AD is the only disease among the top 10 causes of death in America that cannot be prevented, cured, or slowed.
"The financial costs of caring for Alzheimer’s patients are estimated to be $180 billion per year in the United States alone, to say nothing of the emotional toll on patients and their families," said Wilcock. "Any strides we can make -- even if only to delay disease onset by five years — will have considerable impact."
Facts about the Ebola Virus: October 2, 2014. The current outbreak of Ebola in West Africa has involved the countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria. This has become the largest outbreak of Ebola to date. At the end of September, the first case of Ebola was diagnosed in the United States in a person who had traveled to Texas from West Africa. Although an outbreak in the United States is unlikely, it is important to know the facts.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 4, 2015) — UK HealthCare and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to move toward a significant partnership to provide pediatric heart care services in the region.
The partnership combines the strengths of the region's leading provider of advanced subspecialty care in UK HealthCare with one of the country's undisputed leaders in children's health care, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. The collaboration will enable more Kentucky children to receive care closer to home.
"In partnering with Cincinnati Children's we will be teaming-up with one of the top three children's hospitals in the country and a Top 10 pediatric heart care program," said Dr. Bernard Boulanger, UK HealthCare chief medical officer, who led a review of UK's program and has helped lead discussions with Cincinnati Children's.
Under the terms of the proposal, a heart surgeon will be jointly recruited and have a primary appointment at Cincinnati Children's in a "two sites, one program" model; the surgeon will be based in Lexington and perform services at Kentucky Children’s Hospital.
In addition, a director of the pediatric heart program will be recruited immediately to oversee the program and drive its development.
The program director position also will be based in Lexington and serve as program liaison for both sites. The director will be employed by UK HealthCare, report to UK HealthCare's chief medical officer and will also have reporting responsibilities to Cincinnati Children’s Heart Institute leadership team.
“We are excited about the opportunity to work with UK HealthCare to serve pediatric cardiac patients and their families in the Commonwealth,” Dr. Andrew Redington, executive co-director of the Heart Institute and chief of the Division of Pediatric Cardiology at Cincinnati Children’s, said. “Our collaboration will be a comprehensive, multidisciplinary, team-based approached focused on quality and safety in cardiac care.”
Initial joint negotiations began earlier this year and led to the LOI being signed. Details of the program are to be finalized during the next few months. Once the program is operational, a clinical team of physicians from both hospitals may direct regional patients needing care to Kentucky Children's Hospital or Cincinnati Children's according to the complexity of their case. Initially, more complex cases will be sent to Cincinnati Children's. Over time as the Lexington site program matures, more complex cases may be performed at UK.
Although details are still being worked out, the first surgical procedure at UK would be targeted for late 2016 or early 2017. UK HealthCare will also work toward having cardiac subspecialists performing diagnostics and therapeutic interventions at Kentucky Children's Hospital with the support of Cincinnati Children’s subspecialists when necessary.
"Overall, it is the aim to keep patient care local and close to home, when clinically appropriate. This will include post-surgical care and pediatric cardiology subspecialty care that will be available in Lexington even for patients who travel to Cincinnati for complex surgical procedures," said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK executive vice president for health affairs.
Training, support, infrastructure development and reactivation of on-site surgery at Kentucky Children's Hospital will be done in a manner to ensure sustained outstanding outcomes as measured by national registries and reporting mechanisms, he said.
This includes developing and implementing shared and common clinical standards for environment, design, equipment, operations, staffing and personnel. Additionally, training will be provided at Cincinnati Children's initially and on an ongoing basis for Kentucky Children's Hospital personnel.
UK HealthCare's pediatric cardiothoracic surgical program was temporarily suspended after questions were raised internally about how best to improve the program.
"When we voluntarily suspended Kentucky Children's pediatric cardiothoracic (CT) program in October 2012, we said we would only re-open the program when we were ready to provide the best care for our patients and their families. We are confident that this collaborative arrangement meets that mark with the highest quality surgical and clinical care, education and research in pediatric cardiovascular services for patients of Kentucky and their families," Karpf said.
A task force was formed in 2013 and charged with providing recommendations regarding the future of the Kentucky Children's Hospital Pediatric Heart Program including program scope, resource planning, strategy for launch and a post-launch monitoring and oversight plan.
At the time of the release of the task force's findings in October 2013, Boulanger said the commitment was to re-open the program as soon as possible, but only after the resources and process improvements are in place to ensure the delivery of high quality, safe and compassionate cardiac care for the children of Kentucky and beyond.
"There is also a firm commitment to transparency and as we iron out the details and development of this program, we are committed to fully reporting our data and measures that detail our performance for everyone to see," he said.
The plan is to establish a transparent data-driven quality and safety program with outcomes reported jointly to the Society for Thoracic Surgeons (STS) as well as other regional and national programs that monitor surgical and clinical outcomes.
"Already, the majority of Kentucky Children's Hospital pediatric CT surgery patient families who need clinical referrals for care are choosing Cincinnati Children’s," Boulanger said. "This new two site, one program model will provide an even more seamless process for these patients and families as well as the new patients and families needing these services each year throughout the Commonwealth."
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 19, 2015) – For women younger than 40, cervical cancer is among the leading causes of cancer-related death. With modern vaccines to protect against the underlying cause, human papilloma virus (HPV), cervical cancer is also one of the most preventable types of cancers.
As a society, we have the opportunity to wipe out or significantly reduce a disease by vaccinating the population. Still, many American health care providers and families aren’t getting their children and teens vaccinated, and our youth are suffering the consequences.
Cervical cancer, as well as cancers of the throat, penis, rectum, vulva and mouth, can develop from changes in cells caused by HPV. Since the FDA approved the first versions of the HPV vaccine in 2006, nearly 7 billion doses have been administered worldwide. HPV continues to spread because of a national resistance to accepting the vaccine as part of standard preventive care.
Because of social stigmas surrounding HPV vaccinations, only around 30 percent of men and women under the age of 25 have been vaccinated in both Kentucky and nationwide. Only 27 percent of women between the ages 13 to 17 have received the recommended dosages of the HPV vaccine. Many health care providers and parents view these vaccinations as elective or irrelevant unless a youth is sexually active. In reality, HPV can be transmitted a number of ways, including from a mother to a child during delivery. Statistics show most people will contract one form of the virus at some point in their lives.
Until 2014, the two vaccination options were Gardasil 4 and Cervarix, both of which protect against HPV strains 16 and 18 or the strains responsible for 70 percent of cervical cancers and Gardasil 4 also protects against 90 percent of genital warts (Strains 6 & 11). Last year, Gardasil 9 entered the market targeting strains 16 and 18, as well as five additional strains, covering HPV types responsible for almost 90 percent of cervical cancers. The vaccine also protects against HPV strains 6 and 11, which cause genital warts.
Parents and adolescent providers must seize the opportunity to vaccinate their youth before infection occurs. Countries that provided massive free vaccination such as Australia have experienced a 70 percent drop in cervical cancer rates, as well as other cancers associated with HPV.
Next time you visit your pediatrician or adolescent health provider, insist on including an HPV vaccine in your child’s preventive health care plan. Both boys and girls should be vaccinated. The vaccine is safe and effective, and prevents 70 to 90 percent of the disease. As a parent, doing everything in your capacity to protect your child from harm means making the decision to get the HPV vaccine — the only certain way to prevent these forms of cancer.
Dr. Omar is the chief of the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Kentucky Children's Hospital.
This column appeared in the Aug. 16 edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader
Media Contact: Elizabeth Troutman Adams at email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 14, 2015) – Governor Steve Beshear held a ceremonial signing of Senate Bill 82 on Thursday at the University of Kentucky.
The measure aims to increase research dollars designated for the study and treatment of pediatric cancer by creating a “check-the-box” option for an individual’s tax refund to be diverted to a newly created Pediatric Cancer Research Trust Fund.
The legislation was sponsored by Sen. Max Wise, of Campbellsville, whose young son is a pediatric cancer survivor. Senate Bill 82 became law June 24.
“Every child deserves to live a healthy, active life, but many children in this state - and all across the country - are battling cancer,” said Gov. Beshear. “In fact, cancer is the second leading cause of death in children. This law will help us raise more funding for research for pediatric cancer in the hope that one day we can celebrate finding a cure.”
The Pediatric Cancer Research Trust Fund will be administered by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. A board will be established to provide additional oversight and guidance.
“As the first pediatric cancer bill to be signed into law in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, this bill is dedicated to the families who have been affected or are dealing with pediatric cancer,” said Sen. Wise. “SB82 is a testament to our republican & democrat legislators working together to do what is right for Kentucky families.”
From 2008-2012, Kentucky had approximately 200 cases each year of cancer among children up to the age of 19, according to the National Cancer Institute. The American Cancer Society, meanwhile, reports that about 10,380 children in the United States under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer in 2015.
“This legislation will fuel innovative pediatric cancer research being done here at the University of Kentucky and will directly benefit some of the sickest children in the Commonwealth,” said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK Executive Vice President for Health Affairs. “Thanks to this bill, now all Kentuckians will have the opportunity to advance pediatric cancer research.”
The bill also allows individuals to designate a portion of their tax refund to a new trust fund to support rape crisis centers throughout Kentucky.
“I was proud to include this provision in the law, because these centers play such a critical role in giving rape victims the care and support they need,” said Rep. Chris Harris, of Forest Hills. “This additional revenue will provide better financial stability and enable the centers to do even more to help.”
Gov. Beshear encouraged Kentuckians to look for the check-off option when filing their taxes next year so they can donate a portion or all of their refund to the Pediatric Cancer Trust Fund, or the Rape Crisis Center Trust Fund.
“I hope all Kentuckians will take advantage of these new check-off options and join us in the fight to end childhood cancer and support for victims of assault,” said Gov. Beshear.
Video Produced by UK Public Relations & Marketing. To view captions for this video, push play and click on the CC icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen. If using a mobile device, click on the "thought bubble" in the same area.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 10, 2015) – The University of Kentucky's Dr. John D'Orazio recently received grant funding totalling $375,000 over three years to further his research on melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
Three organizations provided an equal share of the funding: the Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA), the largest private funder of melanoma research; the Markey Cancer Foundation; and DanceBlue, the University of Kentucky's student-run fundraiser for pediatric cancer. Additionally, much of the preliminary data used in the MRA grant application was facilitated by pilot funding from the University of Kentucky’s Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences.
D'Orazio's research focuses on the hormonal pathways that protect the skin from sun damage and how efficiently the skin's DNA may be able to repair itself. In a previous study, D'Orazio's team discovered a genetic defect in the melanocortin1 receptor (MC1R) leads to a reduced ability to repair DNA, making people more susceptible to developing melanoma.
The new project will focus on the specific hormones that appear to "turn off" MC1R signaling, also leading to an increased likelihood of developing the cancer.
Melanoma of the skin is one of the most common cancers in the United States and among the top 10 causes of new cancer cases. In the United States each year, more than 76,000 Americans are diagnosed with melanoma, and it is one of the most common cancers for young women. While the overall five-year survival rate for people diagnosed with melanoma is high at 92 percent, the survival rate decreases dramatically once melanoma spreads to other parts of the body.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 30, 2015) — Kentucky Children’s Hospital is giving Lexington families another great reason to beat the heat with a chilly soft-serve treat on Thursday.
The 10th Annual Miracle Treat Day will raise funds to support Kentucky Children’s Hospital, a member of the Children’s Miracle Network. For today only, one dollar of every Blizzard sale at Dairy Queen (DQ) and DQ Grill and Chill locations across the country will be donated to a local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. Last year, DQ operators raised more than $5 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals on Miracle Treat Day.
Lexington DQ Grill and Chill locations include 2300 Palumbo Drive, 350 Virginia Ave., 464 New Circle Road and 3509 Lansdowne Drive. This year the Miracle Treat Day Blizzard treat of the Day is Oreo, the franchise’s most popular Blizzard treat.
Help spread awareness of Miracle Treat Day on Twitter by using the hashtag #MiracleTreatDay and tagging @DairyQueen. Blizzard fans are also encouraged to post about their Miracle Day treat at www.facebook.com/dairyqueen.
Since 1984 DQ and Children’s Miracle Network Hospital have partnered to provide life-saving treatments to children across the U.S. and Canada. More than $100 million has been raised through donations from DQ franchisees, fans and the corporate office. Funds raised by DQ stay local to fund critical treatments, health care services, pediatric medial equipment and charitable care.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 28, 2015) — Carrying a baby with a fatal heart condition, Morgan Drury was presented with a devastating picture of how her pregnancy might end. As soon as her fragile daughter received the gift of life, it would almost certainly be stripped away.
When Drury was nine weeks pregnant, a genetic test detected an abnormal chromosome in her baby Alex’s genetic makeup. Additional tests conducted at 12 weeks confirmed the genetic disorder caused a heart defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome. In nine out of 10 cases, the condition is fatal.
After first coming to Kentucky Children’s Hospital, the Drury family sought out second opinions from pediatric heart specialists around the region. All returned with the same grim outlook: no medical intervention could save Alex’s life. Because of complications with her lungs, Alex wasn’t a surgical candidate. She wouldn’t survive the stress of traveling through the birth canal, so a cesarean section was the only option for keeping Alex alive during delivery. Doctors also questioned whether the pregnancy would remain viable until the time of delivery — most babies with Alex’s condition don’t survive the first trimester.
“We were told she would eventually stop growing, and more than likely she would be stillborn,” Drury said.
Soon, the Drury family became accustomed to getting “no” as an answer from health care workers. But in the midst of a dire prognosis, Drury couldn’t deny the image of Alex’s heartbeat flickering on an ultrasound monitor. A little heart doctors deemed unfixable continued to beat, and the baby continued to grow.
Drury decided to carry out the pregnancy until 36 weeks — giving her daughter a chance at life, even if that life was momentary. With mixed emotions and instances of self-doubt, Drury prepared for a cesarean section schedule for Dec. 31, 2014. The plan was to celebrate the birth of Alex, and then grieve her passing, before the close of the year.
During conversations with the Pediatric Advanced Care Team (PACT) at Kentucky Children’s Hospital, Drury learned not every question regarding Alex’s fate warranted a negative response. Dr. Lindsay Ragsdale, a KCH pediatrician and director of the PACT, met with Drury throughout her pregnancy to develop a birth plan specific to the needs and wishes of the family. PACT, which consists of Dr. Ragsdale, a pediatric intensive care unit doctor, a nurse practitioner, a social worker and a chaplain, is devoted to guiding families through the process of treating a seriously ill child and, in some cases, the bereavement process. PACT members empower families facing an inevitable loss by giving them options, affirming their medical decisions, and providing ongoing emotional support during the many stages bereavement.
“It seemed like everybody was telling her, ‘No, we can’t do anything,’” Ragsdale said. “I told her, ‘Sure, we can take pictures. We can make this a memory for your family that’s not all about saying no,’ and that was a turning point for her.”
Ragsdale, who completed a fellowship in pediatric palliative care at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, walks through the birth and dying process with patients whose babies and children suffer from a terminal illness or condition. Ragsdale said often families confronting the loss of a newborn baby aren’t fully aware of the opportunities to bond with their child, even if death is imminent. PACT professionals coordinate special services, such as newborn photography through Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, and facilitate opportunities for families to create lifelong memories with their children.
“In my mind, there are always things we can do to make a situation that’s not optimal better for the family,” Ragsdale said.
Early in her medical training, Ragsdale remembers feeling helpless when a grieving mother asked her why her newborn baby was dying. While Ragsdale doesn’t always have answers to her patients’ toughest questions, she’s now more prepared to assist patients in a state of grief. Ragsdale believes patients shouldn’t have to bear the weight of making life and death decisions for their babies alone. PACT members share the decision-making process, so parents are reassured their children are receiving the most compassionate care from a medical professional’s perspective.
In Drury’s case, the PACT plan was designed to keep Alex safe, warm and comfortable until her passing. Drury expressed a desire to hold Alex as soon as possible, so the team arranged for maternal-fetal bonding immediately after the surgery. Ragsdale and Drury discussed the family’s wishes regarding the use of medication if the baby was experiencing discomfort after birth. The baby wouldn’t be bombarded with standard procedures or painful pricks. They discussed whether Alex would receive ointment and what clothes she would wear on the day of her birth. The team also addressed different scenarios and what to expect if each scenario should arise on delivery day. PACT informed Drury’s obstetrics team of the plan, so no question about Alex’s care was left unanswered on delivery day.
“It was a way she could control an out of control situation,” Ragsdale said of the PACT plan. “Parents want to help their kids, and making these plans is a way to put them in control.”
Drury’s only additional wish was to receive some sign of proof the baby was alive. A cry or a heartbeat — something only Alex could give.
On delivery day, Drury, overwhelmed with emotion, hesitated to check into the hospital. Ragsdale, who communicated with the family in the waiting room and was at Drury’s side during delivery, eased her patient’s stress by recounting the plan and describing the goals Drury originally set for Alex’s life. Drury believes having a PACT plan in place helped to create realistic expectations, keep Alex’s care fluid and prevent any surprises, which could have provoked more grief on an already emotional day.
“We were glad she was there because we had built that trust and a relationship,” Drury said of Ragsdale and the PACT. “They are not just there because that’s their job; you can tell that's what they want to be doing.”
The moment Alex was delivered, a sense of relief fell over Drury as she listened to her newborn baby cry. Ragsdale reported Alex’s arrival to family and friends waiting in the lobby, who received the news with joy and relief, but sorrow too. Immediately after surgery, Drury, her 2-year-old daughter Isabella and her husband Russ were able to hold, touch and bond with Alex. Nurses swaddled Alex in a blanket and put a cap on her head.
“That’s the part I love to see,” Ragsdale said. “They are beautiful parents and they cried over her and loved over her and really enjoyed looking at her face, and her ears, and her nose — and just seeing how cute she was.”
With no lingering questions about care or decisions to make in the moment, Drury was able to focus all her attention on the baby. Alex’s heart beat for three hours before Dr. Ragsdale officially called her passing. During this critical time, Drury was granted much-needed closure, which could only come from intimate time with her daughter.
“I just want proof of life — to know that she did live. I wanted her to tell us, ‘I'm okay,’” Drury said. “And she did just that. Then she went on peacefully.”
While Drury recovered from surgery, a pair of butterfly wings was hung on her hospital door to symbolize the passing of a child. Later, Drury got a tattoo of purple butterfly wings and Alex’s footprints as an enduring reminder of the daughter she lost.
“I still dream about her and look at her pictures — she is still my daughter,” Drury said. “But I have that sense of relief that I did what I had to do to keep her alive.”
Now 15 weeks into her third pregnancy, Drury, a nurse in the UK Department of Pediatrics, looks forward to welcoming another child, whose heart is developing healthy and strong.
This article first appeared in the Lexington Herald-Leader July 12 edition.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 13, 2015) – As we enter the dog days of summer, when the heat and humidity seems unbearable at times, it’s important to remember steps to protect our children against heatstroke.
Heatstroke, also known as hyperthermia, is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths for children younger than 14. In 2014, 32 children died from heatstroke, and heatstroke deaths have been reported in all 50 states, 11 months out of the year. Since 1998, more than 636 children across the U.S. have died from heatstroke when unattended in a vehicle.
Tragically, most child deaths caused by heatstroke are preventable. More than half of all heatstroke deaths occurred when a busy or distracted caregiver forgot a child was riding in the backseat of a vehicle. One-third of heatstroke deaths resulted from a child becoming trapped inside a vehicle after climbing in on their own.
Heatstroke dangers are entirely avoidable when caregivers take time to observe safety protocols. Remember to ACT against heatstroke through these safety tips recommended by Safe Kids Worldwide:
· A: Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving your child unattended in a vehicle. A young child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult’s body, and the internal temperature of a car can increase 20 degree in just 10 minutes. Cracking windows won’t make the car environment any safer.
· C: Create reminders for those chaotic days. Hang a note on your rearview mirror or make a habit of placing your purse or briefcase beside a car seat. Create an alarm or alert on your Smartphone. Be accountable to someone else for dropping a child off at a daycare.
· T: Take action. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911.
On July 31, National Heatstroke Awareness Day, Safe Kids Fayette County will host an event at Buy Buy Baby in Hamburg to spread awareness of the Never Leave Your Child Alone in a car campaign. The event will take place from 3 to 6 p.m., with car seat checks until 5:30 p.m. In addition to car seat checks, Safe Kids representatives will provide information and tips for preventing heatstroke deaths. For more information about heatstroke prevention, visit kidsandcars.org.
Sherri Hannan is a registered nurse and director of Safe Kids Fayette County based at Kentucky Children’s Hospital.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 10, 2015) — In the Melton household, the reality of fighting cancer was never an excuse to stay home from school.
So, like most second-graders in Science Hill, Kentucky, Kelly Melton started public school in the fall of 2014. Unlike his classmates, Kelly, a patient at the DanceBlue Kentucky Children's Hospital Hematology/Oncology Clinic, went to school with a compromised immune system. A month and a half later, he ended up back in the hospital because of complications with his disease.
Ever since Kelly was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2012, the Melton family's primary focus has been getting Kelly well again. But despite the frequent late-night trips to the UK Emergency Department and routine inpatient chemotherapy treatments at Kentucky Children's Hospital, Kelly's mom Lisa refused to watch Kelly slip behind in his education. When he was well enough to go, Lisa Melton sent her son to school.
"In our home we think education is one of our top priorities," Lisa Melton said. "We couldn't allow him to not take his education seriously."
For nearly two years of Kelly's treatment, Lisa Melton was responsible for communicating with the school system about Kelly's missed days and coordinating at-home learning opportunities. In addition to taking care of a young child and managing doctor's appointments, Melton was tasked with meeting with school administrators and filing paperwork for special learning accommodations for her son. Now, a new program at the DanceBlue Clinic, which is funded in part by the DanceBlue Marathon and the nonprofit Cowboy Up for a Cure, provides a school intervention specialist to serve as a liaison between educators and the medical teams and families of children who must miss school to fight cancer.
With many families needing assistance with education during a child's cancer treatment, the DanceBlue Clinic introduced the Providing Assistance With School (PAWS) program in August 2014. Courtney White, a certified K-12 teacher who has taught general education as well as special education, was the first interventionist hired with PAWS.
White performs multiple roles, including individualizing academic programs for children unable to attend traditional school hours, communicating with doctors about the learning capabilities of each child, teaching educators in the school system about how cancer treatment interferes with a child's daily life, and working with families to ensure a child remains engaged in learning activities at the home, hospital or school. White accommodates children who are physically unable to attend school on a regular basis by arranging for Homebound, a state-funded program permitting students to progress academically at home with two visits per week from a certified teacher.
"With Courtney helping us, he could have Homebound on a more consistent basis," Lisa Melton said. "As a parent, you don't always know these things. You are so wrapped up in getting your child well that some things fall behind."
Before accepting the job with PAWS, White served as a volunteer for the Kentucky Children's Hospital pediatric oncology survivors' picnic and attended a couple DanceBlue marathons. She remembers crying through her first DanceBlue Marathon.
"I was just in awe over the commitment of the students and their willingness to make a difference," White said of her first DanceBlue experience. "The support of DanceBlue makes me want to be in this position — I know I am not alone in this job."
As part of her position, White advocates at the state legislative level for laws accommodating at-home education for pediatric oncology patients. White is pushing to reform laws to increase the number of Homebound instructional hours to five per week for children who are receiving education at home due to illness. She would like to see laws allowing children who miss school for serious illness to have the opportunity to make up more lost hours through Homebound sessions. Currently, in all Kentucky jurisdictions, missed days at school cannot be made up through Homebound, even when a child misses school as a result of the cancer treatment process.
White also assists children with re-integrating back into the school system once their treatment period has come to an end. Chemotherapy and other medications during cancer treatment can stall a child's cognitive development long-term. White can help recommend special education for children encountering learning disabilities.
Dr. Lars Wagner, the chief of pediatric oncology and hematology at Kentucky Children's Hospital, said White's position and the PAWS program was only possible through fundraising efforts of students and the local community. The PAWS program widens the scope of services provided to families at the DanceBlue Clinic. Wagner said offering this kind of specialized service to patients puts the DanceBlue Clinic on par with some of the top pediatric oncology centers in the country.
"Many parents don’t understand what could be accomplished in the school system or how to educate their child fully," Wagner said. "The PAWS program adds a more comprehensive dimension to the care we give kids."
According to Wagner, 80 percent of pediatric cancer patients will survive and grow up to become adults. He believes cancer treatment shouldn't cause major setbacks for people at such a young age. With the PAWS program, Wagner hopes his patients will seamlessly transition back into academic environments and leave the cancer journey behind them.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 19, 2015) — The University of Kentucky's Health Care Committee of the UK Board of Trustees were presented a strategic plan that will guide UK HealthCare through 2020. The committee met Thursday during their annual retreat.
Building upon the success of the past 10 years, the plan continues to emphasize caring for the most complex, critically ill patients in Kentucky and beyond.
Some of the statistics and figures presented that reflect UK HealthCare's growth include:
In approving the new strategic plan, UK HealthCare officials asked for a commitment from its leaders, stakeholders and partners to move forward and achieve its vision by giving latitude for collaborative models, committing to clinical excellence and providing an outstanding patient experience as well as service line integration. From its statewide partners, it was asked for participation in a statewide collaborative that fosters success against the challenges of the future.
"The 2020 Strategy is built on a foundation of patient-centered care and a patient-centered culture that includes growth in complex care as well as ambulatory care; strengthening partnership networks to reduce costs, and increase efficiency; and value-based care and payments which improve predictability of outcomes and cost while adopting evidence-based leading practices," said UK Vice President for Health Affairs Dr. Michael Karpf.
The plan includes developing a cultural change program in order to support the 2020 strategic vision. The program will identify key cultural strengths and opportunities. The goal will be to design a patient-centric experience that positions UK HealthCare to be Kentucky's destination provider for complex care and it will enable staff and leadership to be ambassadors of the patient-centered culture and UK HealthCare brand.
Also detailed in the Strategic Plan is growth in complex care and in ambulatory (outpatient care). As part of this goal, substantial service line growth is needed in the next five years. Additionally, ambulatory specialty care will also need to grow by improving access to UK HealthCare specialists and developing a patient-centered care model as well as partnering with community physicians.
As part of the service line growth, the focus will continue to be on treating the most complex patients and partnering with community providers to keep lower acuity patients in their home community.
Service line areas of primary focus for growth will be the Gill Heart Institute, Kentucky Children's Hospital, Markey Cancer Center, Kentucky Neuroscience Institute, High-Risk Obstetrics and Neonatal Intensive Care, Solid Organ Transplantation, Digestive Health, Musculoskeletal, and Trauma and Acute Care Surgery.
Clinical and support services that UK HealthCare will invest in to enable growth in these service lines includes excellence in quality and operational efficiency; redesigning the transfer management processes in order to create capacity and treat patients in the appropriate care setting and return them to our community partners; and develop a service line operating model to support and coordinate comprehensive, multidisciplinary care across the continuum and community.
These same strategies will be used to expand ambulatory specialty care.
To achieve this plan, a new service line operating model will be implemented to enable and enhance the organization's strategic initiatives. This new model will incorporate the transition from department and specialty driven care to multidisciplinary, multi-specialty care; episodic and high-acuity focused care to disease and cross continuum focused care; from provider centric to patient centric; from individual physician or specialty care to team care delivery involving multiple specialties; and UK HealthCare management of high-acuity care to collaboration with external partners to optimize site and level of care.
Integrated technology that standardizes data across the organization and enables population health management will be utilized.
Another overarching premise of the 2020 Strategic plan is the strengthening of partnership networks including acute care partnerships, post-acute care partnerships, primary care and community care. As part of future planning, UK will develop a primary care network to ensure a seamless experience across the care continuum and position the organization for value-based care and population health.
The third selected strategy in the plan is value-based care. In order to provide enhanced value for patients, UK HealthCare will develop a "best in class" quality management program.
This strategy includes improving the predictability of outcomes, cost of care, and adoption of evidence-based practices throughout the enterprise across all settings of care.
"To be successful, patient care in the future must be affordable, accessible, coordinated, efficient and high quality with a shift to improving health outcomes and rationalizing but not rationing care," said Karpf.
He added that although a significant amount of time and effort has been invested in developing this strategic plan, UK HealthCare’s strategic journey does not end here.
"We will continue with work in the weeks and months to come to set priorities, develop timelines, and track progress and results."
Media Contact: Kristi Lopez, 859-323-6363, Kristi.firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 16, 2015) — Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear joined child safety advocates at Kentucky Children's Hospital on June 15 to sign a bill aimed at improving safety for child passengers in motor vehicles.
House Bill 315 brings Kentucky’s current booster seat law in line with 31 other states, including all seven neighboring states. The previous law required children younger than 7 years old who are between 40 and 50 inches in height to ride in booster seats before graduating to adult seat belts. The enhanced bill increases the height requirement to 57 inches and the age requirement to 8 years old, the size and age at which children begin to fit properly in adult seat belts.
“Passage of this bill provides greater safety and protection to our most precious asset – our children. I commend the Kentucky Senate and House for their effort on enhancing our existing booster seat law,” Gov. Beshear said.
House Bill 315, which passed with a vote in March, was championed by child safety experts in the Kentucky Injury and Prevention Research Center (KIPRC), the Kentucky State Safe Kids led by KIPRC and the Kentucky Department for Public Health, and the Fayette County Safe Kids Coalition led by Kentucky Children's Hospital. The bill also received support from the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety, safety advocates from Kosair Children’s Hospital, and Safe Kids coalitions, law enforcement officials, emergency responders, pediatricians and booster seat advocates from around the state.
“Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children above the age of 1 in Kentucky," Dr. Susan Pollack, a Kentucky Children's Hospital pediatrician, Safe Kids Kentucky coordinator and director of the Pediatric and Adolescent Injury Program at KIPRC, said. "We know many Kentucky children are saved every year, even in serious crashes, by being properly restrained and protected in a booster seat. The revised law gives parents better guidance for safely transporting their children.”
A properly installed, belt-positioning booster seat lowers the risk of injury to children by nearly 60 percent, compared with seat belts alone, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“The reason is simple: Motor vehicle seat belts were designed for adults, not children. The added height of the booster seat enables the child to fit into a seat belt properly,” Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock said.
Effective on June 24, the bill requires law enforcement officers to issue citations with a $30 fine with no court costs. In addition, violators will have the option to purchase a booster seat instead of paying the fine.
Click here for a link to House Bill 315.
For more information about the bill:
Kentucky Office of Highway Safety
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Kentucky Children's Hospital
Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center
Safe Kids Kentucky
Safe Kids Fayette County
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 8, 2015) — On Sunday, June 7, 8-year-old Cassie Rickerson boarded a Delta Air Lines flight to Atlanta, Georgia, to kick off the first leg of her Champions Ambassador Tour for Children's Miracle Network hospitals.
Cassie, a Kentucky Children’s Hospital (KCH) patient, will join 52 other “champion” children who have personally benefited from donations to the charity and exemplify how vital community support is for local children’s hospitals.
Cassie was selected to represent the state of Kentucky for bravely facing her unique medical challenges and will serve to illustrate the impact of local donations to KCH. When Cassie was 2, she had unexplained leg pain, nosebleeds, bruising and recurring fevers. Her mother brought her to KCH, where Cassie was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). After an aggressive round of chemotherapy and radiation treatments, Cassie is now in remission, and is happy and healthy. She is very devoted to her cheer team and loves her pets, reading and the 80s.
The 2015-2016 Champions program is presented by Delta Air Lines, Marriott International and Chico’s FAS, Inc. The tour includes a gathering in Atlanta, Delta’s headquarters and largest hub. The champions will then be transported to the nation’s capital where they meet with local representatives on Capitol Hill, participate in a satellite media tour and continue to raise awareness for the charitable needs of children’s hospitals.
The 2015-16 Champions will reunite in February 2016 for the final leg of their Ambassador Tour in Orlando, Florida. To learn more about the champions, and for a short video of last year’s Ambassador Tour, visit CMNHospitals.org/Champions.
Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals raise funds and awareness for 170 member hospitals that provide 32 million treatments each year to kids across the United States and Canada. Donations stay local to fund critical treatments and health care services, pediatric medical equipment and charitable care.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 5, 2015) — A resolve to breastfeed her child resulted in many tearful nights for first-time mom Jenny Tzeng. Feeling desperate and alone, she struggled for months to establish a breastfeeding routine with son Jacob.
"It was the biggest stressor from my first pregnancy," Tzeng said. "I cried a lot."
When her second child Jackson was delivered by caesarian section at UK HealthCare Birthing Center last March, the baby was immediately placed on Tzeng's chest to initiate skin-to-skin contact, a technique known as "Kangaroo Care." Tzeng was overjoyed when son Jackson began suckling on his own in the recovery room. Once discharged from the hosptial, Tzeng and baby Jackson received ongoing breastfeeding support through the Kentucky Children's Hospital (KCH) Mommy and Me Clinic.
Tzeng is one of many moms who have succeeded with breastfeeding through resources and instruction provided by the UK HealthCare Birthing Center. By fostering a birthing environment that encourages optimal infant nutrition and mother-baby bonding, the center recently obtained accreditation from Baby-Friendly USA. Baby-Friendly USA is a global initiative sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The initiative encourages hospitals to provide breastfeeding mothers with information, confidence, support, and skills necessary to initiate and continue breastfeeding. The UK Birthing Center is the first academic medical center in Kentucky and the second hospital in the state to gain the Baby-Friendly USA accreditation.
Baby-Friendly USA facilities have achieved a gold standard of care in maternity care practices and education. The criteria for this accreditation is based on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, which were developed by a global team of health care professionals representing the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Nurses, the American College of Nurse-Midwives, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and more. To achieve the accreditation, facilities must demonstrate adherence to the 10 steps, which include routine communication about a breastfeeding policy, informing mothers about the benefits of breastfeeding, helping mothers initiate breastfeeding and in-room practice, keeping mothers in-room with their baby 24 hours a day, eliminating the use of artificial nipples or pacifiers for breastfeeding infants, and providing follow-up support after mother and baby are discharged from the hospital.
During her first pregnancy in Houston, Texas, Tzeng read books about breastfeeding and discussed what to expect with her obstetrician. But her decision to breastfeed baby Jacob was complicated by several unforeseen circumstances during and after his birth. Jacob was delivered by emergency caesarian section, which can sometimes interfere with an important period of maternal-infant bonding known as the "golden hour." In addition, the hospital staff prematurely exposed Jacob to bottles and pacifiers, which hindered his motivation to latch to his mother's breast. Once Tzeng brought Jacob home, her breastfeeding challenges continued to persist. Tzeng was producing a small amount of breast milk and had to pump breast milk for six months.
Tzeng could tell the difference in maternal care when she delivered her second child at a facility that upheld Baby-Friendly USA standards. She said every nurse, doctor and lactation specialist at the UK HealthCare Birthing Center encouraged and supported her efforts to breastfeed her second baby. She felt empowered to achieve what she believed was the best decision for her baby and herself.
"This time around it was such a better experience," Tzeng said. "I think a little encouragement goes a long way."
Many evidence-based studies have shown breastfeeding promotes the long-term health of mothers and babies. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children who are breastfed have a reduced risk of acute diseases, including otitis media and gastroenteritis, and a reduced severity of infections and long-term diseases such as diabetes and certain types of cancer. Breastfeeding babies are also at a lower risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). They are also less likely to suffer from obesity as adults. Moms who breastfeed reduce their risk of ovarian cancer, anemia and osteoporosis. The decision to breastfeed is also economical for every household. All of these benefits are dose related, so the longer a couplet breastfeeds, the higher their protection.
KCH pediatrician Dr. Rebecca Collins emphasizes the numerous benefits of breastfeeding to her patients, colleagues and pediatric residents. Beyond nutritional and health benefits for both members of the couplet, Collins said breastfeeding strengthens an emotional bond between mother and child that will last a lifetime.
"We're teaching moms to act as a couplet with their baby from the very beginning," Collins said. "It's not just about nutrition, it's about bonding."
Extending information and resources about breastfeeding to parents is especially important in Kentucky. Kentucky trails national averages in breastfeeding initiation and duration rates. A 2011 state report cited Kentucky as 48th in the nation in breastfeeding rates, with a 59 percent initiation rate. The national average of breastfeeding initiation is 75 percent.
Gwen Moreland, the assistant chief nursing executive for Kentucky Children's Hospital, led the interdisciplinary effort to transition UK Birthing Center to a Baby-Friendly USA facility. The accreditation, which took two years and several on-site evaluations to obtain, required the entire staff to adopt a new mindset in how to approach maternal bonding and feeding. Even the way the nurses handle and administer formula are strictly regulated to promote a "baby friendly" environment. Moreland applauds collaborative effort of the departmental team in implementing the highest standards of maternal care and infant nutrition.
”Our staff is consistently focused on how to support new mothers and babies," Moreland said. "The goal is to help mothers be successful in providing the best start for their babies.”
For more information about breastfeeding and Baby-Friendly USA, click here.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 3, 2015) — This Friday, June 5, hundreds of patients, friends and family of patients, and University of Kentucky faculty and staff will gather in the UK Markey Cancer Center courtyard to participate in "Expressions of Courage," a creative exhibit celebrating the work of those who have been affected by cancer.
This year's event will feature the creative work of more than 50 participants.
Exhibits include visual art, poetry readings, dance exhibitions, and vocal and instrumental performances by patients, survivors, and friends and family. Light refreshments will be served.
Art displays of survivor contributions will go on display today in the Combs Atrium Building of the UK Markey Cancer Center. On Friday afternoon, Dr. Edward Pavlik will officially welcome attendees at 1 p.m., followed by a few remarks from Markey Director Dr. Mark Evers and Markey oncologist Dr. Edward Romond.
The full schedule of events include:
· 1:45 p.m. - Literary readings
· 2:15 p.m. - Dance exhibitions
· 3 p.m. - Literary readings
· 3:45 p.m. - Vocal and instrumental performances
· 4:30 p.m. - Closing remarks by cancer survivor Darwin Holloway
Markey is currently running two fundraisers that directly support this event. The "Tastes of Courage" cookbook contains more than 500 recipes contributed by Markey patients and staff. The cookbooks are $20 each or two for $30.
Additionally, Expressions of Courage t-shirts are available for sale. The purple short-sleeved shirts are $10 each; the white long-sleeved shirts are $15.
To purchase a cookbook or a t-shirt, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your request.
Video by UK Public Relations & Marketing. To view captions for this video, push play and click on the CC icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen. If using a mobile device, click on the "thought bubble" in the same area.
MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399; email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 1, 2015) -- Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death among people ages 1-44 years. As with most U.S. hospitals, the University of Kentucky experiences the highest number of trauma related hospital visits between April and September.
Traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries are devastating and the effects can be irreversible. Your brain is the “boss of your body" because our brain "tells" our body to do virtually everything. Unfortunately, once the brain is damaged, there is not much a physician can do to reverse it. The good news is that most injuries are easily preventable. This is why we need to use our brain to protect our body and to think before we act.
As the school year ends and summer activities pick up, here are some helpful tips on how you and your family can stay safe during "trauma season."
Always wear a helmet and wear it properly. Whether it’s a casual family bike ride or cruising the back trails on an ATV, you should always wear a helmet. According to the ThinkFirst Foundation, helmets are up to 87 percent effective in reducing the risk for a brain injury. If it has wheels but no roof, you need to wear a helmet.
Feet first! First time! Most diving accidents occur in lakes, rivers or other natural bodies of water. If you are unsure of how deep the water is, enter the water feet first the first time to prevent potentially life-threatening brain or spinal cord injuries.
According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2012 a pedestrian was killed every 2 hours and injured every 7 minutes due to traffic accidents in the U.S. alone. Be a smart and predictable pedestrian. Walk only on sidewalks or paths. If there is no sidewalk, walk as far away from traffic as possible on the left side of the road. Stay alert and don’t be distracted by electronic devices; make eye contact with drivers and be predictable by following the rules of the road.
More than 200,000 children visit emergency rooms each year due to playground injuries, and 79 percent of those injuries are due to falls from playground equipment.
Never leave your child unsupervised on a playground. Make sure the equipment is sized properly for your child: equipment 4 feet tall or lower is appropriate for children up to age 5; equipment up to 8 feet tall is sized for children ages 5-12. Make sure there are guardrails on all elevated platforms and remove your child's drawstring hoodie or jacket before they play to prevent strangulation injuries.
The University of Kentucky Trauma Program and the National Injury Prevention Foundation offer education programs free of charge. If you would like more information or would like to schedule a program, visit us at: http://www.mc.uky.edu/traumaservices/ or The National Think First Foundation at: http://www.thinkfirst.org/
Have a safe and fun summer!
Amanda M. Rist, RN BSN, is Injury Prevention and Outreach Coordinator for the University of Kentucky Trauma Program
This column ran in the May 31, 2015 edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 1, 2015) -- Two-week old Bransen Roberts sleeps peacefully despite the bustle of the Pediatric Clinic at UK Healthcare. When his mother Becky Triplett removes him from his car seat to be weighed and measured, he grimaces slightly and stuffs his fist into his mouth, annoyed at the interruption, but otherwise submits quietly to the gentle poking and prodding.
Bransen appears the picture of health, with 10 perfect fingers and toes that his parents, like so many parents before, counted when he was born. But he's here today to be examined by Dr. Ali Ziada, a pediatric urologist, who will evaluate Bransen's condition and map out a treatment strategy.
Before Bransen was born, he was diagnosed with hydronephrosis, a rare condition where urine backs up in the kidney as a result of an obstruction in the ureter or backward flow of urine from the bladder. The condition is potentially dangerous and can result in the loss of one or both kidneys without proper intervention.
"They way they described it to me was it was like a kink in a garden hose," Becky said.
Early diagnosis and intervention in most instances is key to assuring the best possible health outcome, and hydronephrosis is no different. In Bransen's case, a new UK HealthCare program called The Blue Angels made this early intervention possible.
Becky and Bransen's father Jason are from Manchester, Kentucky. Kentucky is well known for its poor marks on health measures like obesity, diabetes, smoking and heart disease, and Clay County is among the worst of its 120 counties. The situation is further exacerbated by the lack of specialty health care nearby.
UK HealthCare saw an opportunity to fulfill its institutional mission to keep patients as close to home for their treatment as possible and worked with Manchester Memorial Hospital (MMH) to forge a partnership providing high-level specialty care to MMH patients in several areas, including cardiology, optometry, and obstetrics. In the latter case, UK HealthCare set up a twice-a-month clinic where highly trained obstetricians use special equipment to review fetal ultrasounds remotely, in real time, and talk with the patient simultaneously.
Dr. John O'Brien, director of Maternal Fetal Medicine at UK HealthCare, says the program fills a need in a meaningful, expedient and personal way.
"Before Blue Angels, patients had two choices: they had to travel to Lexington for their high-risk consult, or a technician did the ultrasound in their hometown and it was shipped up to Lexington for us to assess," he said.
According to Dr. O'Brien, neither option was ideal, since it meant that either the patient wasn't with him while her ultrasound was evaluated, or she would have to travel -- sometimes a far distance -- for her ultrasound. Furthermore, explains O'Brien, if the patient's ultrasound didn’t answer all of his questions, it had to be repeated.
"It was a burden for the mother to travel, or it was expensive, or both," he said. "And the time spent traveling or waiting and wondering was stressful for the mother."
Now ultrasound techs travel to locations throughout Kentucky with a portable videoconference device, seeing patients whose hometown obstetricians have identified as high-risk based on their own ultrasound technology.
The briefcase-size video system, which includes a camera and microphone, connects to the ultrasound equipment in each location and allows O’Brien to see the ultrasound as it is being performed, guide the technician through difficult studies and communicate with the patient just as if they were in the same room.
"I can talk directly with the patient to explain right away what I see and what the next steps should be," O'Brien said. "It provides a measure of comfort to the mother when we can tell her immediately what’s going on and if necessary we can intervene more quickly, which is always the best option for both mother and baby."
In Becky's case, the ultrasound scheduled as a routine part of her checkups with her obstetrician in Manchester revealed some troubling abnormalities in one of Bransen's kidneys. She was immediately scheduled for a follow-up ultrasound with Dr. O'Brien via the Blue Angels.
“Based on my review of the ultrasound, I was concerned that Bransen's condition was worsening," he said. "I felt it was imperative that we preserve Bransen's kidney function and the best way to do that would be follow up with a pediatric urologist. So I reviewed the information with Bransen's parents and referred them to Dr. Ziada."
"I really appreciated how much time they spent with us explaining the situation, the next steps, and the possible outcomes," Bransen's father Jason said.
Bransen will continue to be followed by Dr. Ziada, who will schedule periodic tests to ensure that Bransen's condition isn't worsening. Ultimately, should the "kink in the garden hose" not resolve on its own, Dr. Ziada might recommend surgery to correct it.
"No matter what," Dr. Ziada said, "Bransen is likely to come out of this a healthy boy."
Dr. O'Brien firmly believes that Blue Angels and programs like it increase access to the highest level of health care for the poor and the rural, both of which are numerous in this state, and therefore promote more equity in the health care system. In particular, by improving access for high-risk pregnant women, the program helps build faith in the healthcare system and reinforce the connection between mothers and their physicians -- both of which serve to maintain good health long term.
"Obstetrics is the most cost-efficient way to invest healthcare dollars, since it helps prevent mortality and improves healthcare outcomes for decades," said Dr. O'Brien. "And Blue Angels is a cost efficient way to bring the highest level of obstetric care to the patient, wherever she may live."
Media Contact: Laura Dawahare, firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 2, 2015) – This Saturday, the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center is hosting its second annual "Tealgate" event before the UK vs. University of Louisiana at Lafayette football game.
The event was created to raise ovarian cancer awareness. UK offers an UK Ovarian Cancer Screening Program, a free program that offers ultrasound screenings to Kentucky women over the age of 50 and women over the age of 25 who have had a family history of ovarian cancer.
Tealgate is free and open to the public. Participants are encouraged to wear teal, the color that represents ovarian cancer. Parking is free beginning at 5 p.m., but participants must request a parking pass in advance by contacting email@example.com.
MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, firstname.lastname@example.org or (859) 323-2399
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 8, 2015) -- An investigational medical device for the treatment of late stage lung cancer, pioneered by researchers at University of Kentucky, has been approved for clinical trials by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). UK is the only site in the country approved to test this new treatment on advanced lung cancer patients.
The Exatherm Total Body Hyperthermia System (Exatherm-TBH) was developed at UK in a public-private partnership with Exatherm Inc. The project is supported by grant funding from the National Institutes of Health.
The research team includes Dr. Jeremiah Martin, surgical director of the UK Markey Cancer Center’s Multidisciplinary Lung Cancer Clinic; and Dr. Kevin Hatton, chief of anesthesiology critical care at UK.
“Cancer cells are more susceptible to damage from heat than normal tissue, so the development of a safe method to deliver heat throughout the body may be a key step forward for advanced lung cancer patients,” said Martin.
Whereas most thermal treatments are specific to the area of the body where a tumor is located, UK researchers are examining total body hyperthermia, a treatment utilizing a perfusion circuit that circulates the blood through the patient’s vascular system at a target temperature.
“Patients with advanced lung cancer, who have completed standard therapy and for whom there are no additional conventional options, are invited to learn more about this trial,” Martin said. “This initial safety trial will lay important groundwork for patients with other tumor types in the future.”
The goal in any cancer treatment is to attack the diseased cells and leave the healthy cells alone. Healthy cells have a signaling mechanism that protects them from increases in body temperature. This mechanism is defective in cancer cells, which the potential new treatment aims to exploit.
The treatment, which lasts approximately four hours under a general anesthetic, uses the Exatherm-TBH System to heat and circulate the blood throughout the body. The device heats the patient’s blood to a temperature of 42 degrees Celsius, or about 107 degrees Fahrenheit.
Because systemic hyperthermia attacks cancer cells throughout the body all at once, the research team hopes the project will lead to a new and safe method for treating patients whose cancer has metastasized through the body.
"If results meet our expectations, the approach would present an advantage over other methods of thermal treatment, particularly in later stages of the disease," said Martin.
Patients who want to find out if they are eligible to participate in this study may visit UKClinicalResearch.com or call the division of UK Cardiothoracic Surgery at 859-323-6494.
Physicians: to refer a patient, contact Dr. Jeremiah Martin through the UK physician referral service toll free at 800-888-5533 or 859-231-9922.
To learn more about participating in research, including current opportunities at UK and across the country, visit http://www.ccts.uky.edu/ccts/participate-research.
MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, email@example.com; or Mallory Powell, firstname.lastname@example.org
GLASGOW, Ky. (Aug. 27, 2015) – T.J. Samson Community Hospital in Glasgow, Ky., announced that it has entered into a formal collaboration with the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center to further develop its oncology service line.
“At T.J. Samson we have wonderful medical professionals that are excellent at providing individualized treatment options. By collaborating with the Markey Cancer Center, we have just provided them a whole new world of resources to offer their patients locally,” Bud Wethington, CEO/President of T.J. Regional Health.
Kentucky faces some of the highest rates of cancer incidence and mortality in the nation. By working with Markey, T.J. Samson is committed to providing top-notch care for its cancer patients. The hospital is considered a candidate member of the UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network (MCCAN) and is making steps toward becoming a full affiliate member.
As part of the formal collaboration, the UK Markey Cancer Center will assist T.J. Samson in preparing for their American College of Surgeons' Commission on Cancer accreditation, which is the quality standard for all MCCAN sites.
"We are excited to work with T.J. Samson in building a strong oncology program," said Dr. Timothy Mullett, medical director of the MCCAN. "Our state unfortunately ranks at the top in terms of cancer incidence and mortality, but by working together with hospitals across the state, we have the potential to make a serious impact on cancer prevention and care."
T.J. Samson currently provides oncology services at the T.J. Health Pavilion under the direction of Dr. Donald Goodin. Goodin is board-certified in hematology/oncology and works closely with Dr. William Tyree at the Barren River Regional Cancer Center, a joint venture between T.J. Samson Community Hospital and The Medical Center of Bowling Green. Tyree is board-certified in radiation oncology and has been practicing in southcentral Kentucky since 2013.
These physicians, along with their highly trained staff, provide complex oncology services including diagnostic imaging, surgery, radiation, palliative care and chemotherapy close to home. The new relationship with Markey will strengthen patient navigation, psychosocial support, survivorship and rehabilitation services.
“I look forward to being able to expand the scope of services at T.J. Samson Community Hospital,” Goodin said. “Our specialized physicians desire to provide opportunities for their patients to participate in clinical trials through a collaborative affiliation with a nationally recognized program such as the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center.”
The Markey Cancer Center was founded in 1983 and is a dedicated matrix cancer center established as an integral part of the University of Kentucky and the UK HealthCare enterprise. Markey functions as a multi-faceted, multidisciplinary complex whose mission is to reduce cancer morbidity and mortality through a comprehensive program of cancer education, research, treatment and community engagement.
In July 2013, Markey was designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to receive research funding and many other opportunities available only to the nation’s best cancer centers. Markey is the only NCI-designated center in Kentucky and one of only 69 in the country.
The clinical programs and services of the Markey Cancer Center are integrated with the UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital. Markey's cancer specialty teams work together with UK Chandler Hospital departments and divisions to provide primary patient care and support services as well as advanced specialty care with applicable clinical research studies. All diagnostic services, clinical and pathology laboratories, operating rooms, emergent and intensive care, and radiation therapy services are also provided to cancer patients through UK Chandler Hospital. Attending Physicians affiliated with the Center are board certified in their respective oncologic specialties, and its research scientists are generously funded by nationally prominent funding agencies, including the National Cancer Institute.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 13, 2015) – The National Cancer Institute (NCI) recently awarded a $750,000 grant to University of Kentucky researcher Fredrick Onono to study the potential link between obesity and breast cancer.
Obese women are four times more likely to develop treatment-resistant breast cancer, but the exact mechanism for this observation is still largely a mystery. The link between high-fat diets and cancer development provides a clue that fats themselves may somehow be responsible for causing cells to malfunction.
Onono, who recently became an assistant professor at the University of Kentucky, will work with fellow UK researchers Andrew Morris, Ashwini Anand Professor of Cardiology; Dr. Susan Smyth, Jeff Gill Professor of Cardiology; Kathleen O’Connor, professor of molecular and cellular biochemistry; and Andrew Lane, professor of toxicology and cancer biology.
This research is made possible by an award from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health under award number 1K01CA197073-01 and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 6, 2015) – Jennifer Bradley, the Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner at the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center, has been nominated for a Buffalo Trace Distillery Eagle Rare Life Honor for her hard work and devotion to Markey's Jin Shin Jyutsu program.
Buffalo Trace Distillery recognizes and honors those who share a passion for excellence with their Rare Life Award. The nominee in each of five categories who receives the most public votes will win $5,000 for the charity of their choice and the top overall winner receives $50,000.
Bradley became interested in Jin Shin Jyutsy after seeing how the practice helped two of her own family members who had been diagnosed with cancer. Jin Shin Jyutsu is an ancient form of touch therapy similar to acupuncture in philosophy. Studies have shown that it can help to reduce the physical and emotional effects of cancer diagnosis and treatment. Jin Shin Jyutsu has been offered at the Markey Cancer Center since 2009.
Voting for the award is open through December and you may vote up to once each day.
MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 7, 2015) – A new study led by University of Kentucky researchers suggests a new approach to develop highly-potent drugs which could overcome current shortcomings of low drug efficacy and multi-drug resistance in the treatment of cancer as well as viral and bacterial infections.
Published in Nanomedicine, the study identified a new mechanism of targeting multi-subunit complexes that are critical to the function of viruses, bacteria or cancer, thus reducing or possibly even eliminating their resistance to targeted drugs.
The study was led by Peixuan Guo, director of UK's Nanobiotechnology Center and one of the top nanobiotechnology experts in the world. Guo holds a joint appointment at the UK Markey Cancer Center and in the UK College of Pharmacy.
"Efficacy is the key in drug development,” Guo said. "Inhibiting multisubunit targets works similar to the series-circuit Christmas decorating light chains; one broken bulb turns off the entire lighting system."
By targeting RNA or protein subunits that have multiple sites for inactivation, but that are inextricably linked, this method allows for killing or disabling the RNA or protein without requiring the inhibition of multiple pathways that might be used by the organism to remain active and viable (and thus, multiple drugs are not needed, as well). Using this method, a single subunit targeting to the target RNA or protein subunits that is unique and assenting for the organism, the organism will be disabled or die and thus, no longer able to cause disease.
“One of the vexing problems in the development of drugs is drug resistance,” said Tim Tracy, former Dean of the UK College of Pharmacy and current UK provost. “Dr. Guo's study has identified a new mechanism of efficiently inhibiting biological processes that are critical to the function of the disease-causing organism, such that resistance is minimized or eliminated.”
Guo focuses much of his work on the use of ribonucleic acid (RNA) nanoparticles and a viral nano-motor to fight cancer, viral infections and genetic diseases. He is well-known for his pioneering work of constructing RNA nanoparticles as drug carriers. Guo's research team also includes Dan Shu, Farzin Haque, Mario Vieweger, Fengmei Pi, Hui Zhang, Yi Shu, Chi Wang, Peng Zhang, Ashwani Sharma, Taek Lee and more than 10 graduate students.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 7, 2015) — Ephraim McDowell Health last week announced that Ephraim McDowell Commonwealth Cancer Center (EMCCC) in Danville has joined the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network. Kentucky faces some of the highest rates of cancer incidence and mortality in the nation, but EMCCC sees this relationship as stepping up the fight against cancer. The UK Markey Cancer Center is the state's first and only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center.
Ephraim McDowell Health’s President and CEO Vicki Darnell said the announcement meant great things for their patients.
“The Ephraim McDowell Commonwealth Cancer Center affiliation with the UK Markey Cancer Center will allow us to provide new treatment options for our patients that are only available to National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers," Darnell said. "We believe this is a big step in the continuing battle against cancer.”
"We are extremely excited and proud that our cancer treatment program is of the caliber that Markey Cancer Center would want to partner with us," said Dr. Tom Baeker, medical director of EMCCC Cancer Program. "This alliance means great things for our patients. It will enable us to offer access to the latest practices in diagnosis and treatment of cancers and blood disorders, including clinical trials – which means providing a higher level of cancer care."
The UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network was created to provide high-quality cancer care closer to home for patients across the region, and to minimize the effects of cancer through prevention and education programs, exceptional clinical care, and access to research.
By becoming a UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate, EMCCC is keeping with the organization’s mission to provide safe, compassionate, high quality, and cost-effective services to the communities served. The Ephraim McDowell Health system will now be able to offer their patients access to additional specialty and subspecialty physicians and care, including clinical trials and advanced technology, while allowing them to stay in Danville for most treatments.
The UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network supports UK HealthCare's overall mission of ensuring no Kentuckian will have to leave the state to get access to top-of-the-line health care.
"Unfortunately, Kentucky is home to some of the worst rates of cancer in the country," said Dr. Tim Mullett, medical director of the UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network. "By collaborating with our affiliate hospitals across the state, we have the potential to make a serious impact on cancer care here in the Commonwealth."
"UK HealthCare doesn't just serve Lexington and central Kentucky – our mission is to provide all Kentuckians with the best possible care right here in the state," said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK executive vice president for health affairs. "The Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network allows us to collaborate with community hospitals to provide top-notch cancer care much closer to home — saving both travel expenses and time for the patients, in addition to keeping them close to their personal support system."
Markey is one of only 68 medical centers in the country to earn an NCI cancer center designation. Because of the designation, Markey patients have access to new drugs, treatment options and clinical trials offered only at NCI centers.
Video Produced by UK Public Relations & Marketing. To view captions for this video, push play and click on the CC icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen. If using a mobile device, click on the "thought bubble" in the same area.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 25, 2015) — At one time, the plastic mesh head and neck mask Richard Powers wore during 33 rounds of radiation therapy was bound for the bottom of a lake. When asked what he’d do with the mask after six weeks of treatment, the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center patient told nurses he planned to hurl the mask into the water on a fishing trip.
But once he completed his treatment, Powers changed his mind about the fate of his mask. For the 75-year-old who’s battled three different types of cancer in his lifetime, an art therapy workshop at the UK Markey Cancer Center allowed him to reimagine the mask as a symbol of victory over his disease. Powers, a descendant of the Cherokee Nation, decided to transform the mask into a sculpture of a decorated Native American chief.
“I have Cherokee blood in me from my grandmother – they’re very strong people,” Powers said. “So I’m making him up as a warrior.”
During an art therapy workshop hosted at the UK Markey Cancer Center on May 29, Powers smeared handprints of bright red “war” paint across the cheeks of his Cherokee warrior. With help from his stepson Eddie Roberts, he assembled a headdress of feathers on the top of the chief head and attached a sheet of leather cut from an old purse across as a chest piece. A former member of the military, Powers hung an anchor symbolizing his service on one ear and a tiny fleur de lis, a token from a memorable trip, on the other ear.
“I’m going to take it home and put it in my living room somewhere hopefully or my hall entry way, and it will be a reminder and a conversation piece,” Powers said. “People will come in and say, ‘What is that?’ And I’ll be able to tell them that’s the mask I wore to cure my throat cancer.”
Throughout the summer, Fran Belvin, an art therapist with the UK Markey Cancer Center and UK Arts in HealthCare program, is hosting a series of mask-making workshops for head and neck cancer patients. The workshops include both a therapeutic and expressive component.
Belvin starts the day by leading the participants in a discussion of their experiences with radiation treatment, providing patients with the opportunity to share both positive and negative emotions tied to the treatment process and their mask. Then, the patients transition to an art studio setting where they use a varied array of art materials provided by Belvin, as well as personal items, to paint and embellish their masks.
Radiation treatment to the head and neck requires patients to wear a stiff plastic mesh mask to secure their positioning. Patients feel supressed and confined during the treatment process. Radiation for throat and head cancer causes patients to feel weak and tired, and can have long-term side-effects such as a hoarse voice and difficulty swallowing. Patients commonly fantasize about elaborate ways to rid themselves of the masks after treatment.
But given the opportunity to repurpose the mask, patients finished with radiation treatment are eager to let loose their imaginations and creativity. As a medium for art, Belvin said the large masks tend to inspire dramatic themes and extravagant interpretations of the self. The themes displayed through the masks range from humorous and gaudy to powerful and spiritual.
“It’s a way for the patient to transform the experience of having cancer and having radiation – which can be an uncomfortable and confining feeling – into something really positive and beautiful – or dramatic and exciting,” Belvin said.
Belvin is offering the workshops to any head or neck cancer patient from the Markey Cancer Center who has completed radiation treatment. If a patient did not keep their mask, one is provided. The workshops are scheduled one Friday per month throughout the summer. Participants may come just for the morning or the afternoon, or may stay all day. Patients also may come more than once to complete their sculptures and may bring a friend or family member to help them. Future workshops are scheduled to take place on June 26, July 24 and Aug. 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. To register or for more information, call Christina Jewell at (859) 323-4895.
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, firstname.lastname@example.org; Allison Perry, email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 25, 2015) – Could a fatalistic attitude toward cervical cancer serve as a barrier to prevention of the disease? A recent study conducted by University of Kentucky researchers in the Rural Cancer Prevention Center suggests a link between fatalistic beliefs and completion of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine series among a sample of young Appalachian Kentucky women.
The HPV vaccination series consists of three shots and helps prevent HPV infection and cervical cancer. Previous studies have shown that cost, lack of transportation, cultural views, and lack of knowledge about cervical cancer prevention as well as limited support from health care providers has prevented Appalachian women from getting or completing HPV vaccination in the past.
The concept of fatalism as it relates to health asserts that individuals perceive themselves to have limited control over what happens to their health and that health outcomes may be determined by fate. Previous research has found that some Appalachian women have reported fatalistic beliefs regarding their health, including the perception that being diagnosed with or preventing cancer is out of their control.
Published in The Journal of Rural Health, the study involved research nurses administering the first dose of the HPV vaccine series free of charge to Appalachian Kentucky women aged 18-26. The young women were then surveyed about their beliefs regarding cancer and followed for nine months after receiving the first dose to determine vaccination series completion; nearly 350 women participated in the study.
The study found that women who held fatalistic beliefs about their perceived lack of control over their health and cervical cancer had a significantly lower likelihood of completing the HPV vaccination series.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States, affecting more than 79 million people. Nationally, Kentucky has some of the highest rates of HPV-related cancers; according to the Kentucky Cancer Registry, these elevated cancer rates are primarily attributable to cancer disparities observed in the 54-county Appalachian region of the state.
Almost all cervical cancers are caused by HPV, and several other cancers are linked to the virus as well, including head and neck, anal, penile, vulvar, and vaginal malignancies. Completing the vaccination series is the best way for young women (and men) to protect themselves against HPV infection and HPV-related cancers.
Personal beliefs like fatalism can serve as barrier to preventive health care measures such as HPV vaccination. Findings from the study indicate that fatalistic beliefs should be addressed in a culturally sensitive manner through education and tailored communication messaging. Such efforts may help increase HPV vaccination rates and decrease cervical cancer rates in Appalachian Kentucky.
"Results from this study may encourage health care providers to proactively assess and address young women’s personal health beliefs and develop a strategy for helping them complete the HPV vaccination series," Robin Vanderpool, associate professor in UK's Department of Health Behavior and deputy director of the Rural Cancer Prevention Center, said.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 10, 2015) – Erica Radhakrishnan has always been an athlete. The 41-year-old Lexington resident has been active all her life, playing sports as a teenager before moving on to train for more challenging endeavors, including half-marathons and Olympic-distance triathlons.
When she was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 34, Radhakrishnan's training was put on hold, though she says remaining active was extremely important to her overall well-being.
"Throughout the entire experience, I did try to stay physically active and physically fit," Radhakrishnan said. "Even though you feel like you can't do it, remarkably, it makes your body feel better... and exercise is a good way to purge the mind of negative thoughts and feelings. So I did try, even though some days it was physically challenging just to walk to the front door."
After a round of surgery and chemotherapy, Radhakrishnan was in the clear, but temporarily – less than three years later, she was diagnosed with a local recurrence of breast cancer. Local recurrence, or the return of a cancer to its original location, is a relatively uncommon circumstance. But most of the time, a local recurrence will happen within the first five years following diagnosis.
Luckily, the second cancer was detected early. At the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center, Radhakrishnan underwent more surgery and chemotherapy. She also received radiation, where she was treated by Markey radiation oncologist – and accomplished triathlete – Dr. Jonathan Feddock.
"When I initially met him, I pegged him for a triathlete as soon as he walked in," Radhakrishnan said.
The two bonded over their mutual interest in competing, and Radhakrishnan names Feddock as a driving force in helping her get back to fighting form. Just one year after finishing her last radiation treatment, she completed her first post-treatment half-marathon.
"The next time I saw him, he said, 'I'm so proud of you,'" Radhakrishnan said. "It was such a motivator for me, to realize that what I was doing was pretty amazing... to have that support has spurred in me the desire to continue to be fit and to share that information with others patients out there."
One way Radhakrishnan is helping to share that message is by competing in this weekend's Survive the Night Team Triathlon. The triathlon is the main event of the Healthiest Weekend in Lexington, a fundraiser developed by Feddock himself. Participants will swim, bike and run for a combined 140.7 miles — nearly the same distance as Feddock's Ironman race last summer, where he fundraised and brought in more than $150,000 for the Markey Cancer Foundation.
This weekend, 22 teams and one solo participant will compete in Survive the Night, beginning their long journey at 7 p.m. Friday night and finishing up sometime Saturday morning at The Club at Spindletop Hall. Radhakrishnan's team is composed of mothers and their children — including three of her own daughters.
"Each person on my team has been affected by a cancer diagnosis, whether it be a parent, grandparent, cousin, aunt or uncle," she said. "Each child has had to live through what it's like to have a cancer diagnosis. I'm very proud of the fact that they feel this desire to do something more — they can't work in a lab right now, but they can run, they can swim, and they can bike. And they're willing to do that in the hopes of raising money and awareness for Ironcology and for Markey."
Video by UK Public Relations & Marketing. To view captions for this video, push play and click on the CC icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen. If using a mobile device, click on the "thought bubble" in the same area.
The triathletes competing this weekend aren't the only ones helping raise money to support cancer research and patient care. On Saturday morning, the Healthiest Weekend event will host a Something for Every Body Exercise Event and Expo, also at Spindletop Hall next to the finish line.
Numerous local fitness centers have volunteered their time and expertise to create a choose-your-own-exercise format, where attendees can participate in a variety of small group fitness classes throughout the morning including yoga, TRX, Silver Sneakers, water aerobics, boxing, barre, body rolling and more.
Each fitness class will be available for a $5 donation, with proceeds going to the Markey Cancer Foundation.
"I had the idea to create an event where anyone could participate and feel like they were able to contribute something to improve cancer care, while also promoting a healthy lifestyle," Feddock said. "Not everyone can, or wants to, compete in a long triathlon – but maybe you'd be willing to try out a class you've never done before and donate to a great cause at the same time."
For more information on the Healthiest Weekend in Lexington event including a schedule of classes, visit healthylex.com. If you are unable to attend the event but would like to make a donation toward improving cancer research and care at Markey, visit ukmarkey.org.
ABOUT MARKEY CANCER FOUNDATION
The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Foundation’s mission is to reduce cancer mortality in Kentucky and beyond by supporting innovative cancer research and treatments, education and community engagement, state-of-the-art facilities, and compassionate patient care at the UK Markey Cancer Center.
Ironcology is an exercise-based fundraising effort started by UK Markey Cancer Center radiation oncologist Dr. Jonathan Feddock in 2014. Feddock, a long-distance triathlete, originally set out to raise $200,000 through crowdfunding pledges for his efforts in the 2014 Ironman Louisville to put a downpayment on a new, state-of-the-art radiation implant suite at the Markey Cancer Center. With that goal now attained, Feddock is expanding Ironcology to the masses to engage others to participate in pledge-based competition and events to raise money on behalf of the UK Markey Cancer Foundation.
MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 29, 2015) – The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center held its sixth annual Markey Cancer Center Research Day, highlighting the work of UK students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty from the past year.
Research Day provides an opportunity for investigators to showcase their work and also view the work of their colleagues across the campus. Markey researchers are housed all across the University, spanning seven colleges and 26 departments.
“We’ve investigators interested in cancer research from all across the campus coming together to talk about their latest findings and sharing those findings,” said Dr. Mark Evers, director of the UK Markey Cancer Center. “We’re seeing new collaborations being formed through this day, and overall it’s just a wonderful event that brings researchers together.”
UK College of Pharmacy graduate student Sherif El-Refai, who presented a poster for the first time at Research Day this year, echoed Evers’ sentiment.
“This is the best way to get a feel for the research being done all across campus, and to find collaborators interested in the same subjects that you are,” El-Refai said, noting that he’d already met several professors and statisticians to collaborate with in the future.
This year’s event featured 122 posters; oral presentations from a current medical student, two graduate students, and one postdoctoral fellow; and faculty oral presentations from Ellen Hahn, the Marcia A. Dake Endowed Professor in the UK College of Nursing, and Dr. John D’Orazio, Drury Pediatric Research Endowed Chair in the UK Department of Pediatrics.
Dr. Edward Romond, breast oncologist at Markey, was honored for his years of breakthrough research and stellar patient care with a lifetime achievement award from the Markey Cancer Foundation.
Additionally, Evers presented his annual State of the Cancer Center Address, highlighting major accomplishments from Markey over the past year. Evers’ annual address is a highlight for many attendees.
“I really appreciate the opportunity to hear Dr. Evers talk about the Cancer Center – especially everything we’ve done well over the past year, and also what we need to do in the future,” said Jamie Studts, associate professor of behavioral science at the University of Kentucky and director of the Kentucky LEADS Collaborative.
To finish the afternoon’s presentations, Kentucky native Phil Sharp, Nobel Laureate and Institute Professor for the Koch Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, gave the Susan B. Lester Memorial Lecture.
The event concluded with an award ceremony. Awards were presented in two different categories - basic science and clinical/translational science - for both graduate and postdoctoral fellows. An Overall Winner was honored, as well as a Researcher's Choice Award, based on a popular vote by people who attended Research Day.
The winners are:
Basic Sciences - Graduate
FIRST: Lin Ao
SECOND: Payton Stevens
Basic Sciences - Postdoc
FIRST: Yekaterina Zaytseva
SECOND: Jie Chan
Clinical and Translational Sciences - Graduate
FIRST: Meghana Kudrimoti
SECOND: Kristine Song
Clinical and Translational Sciences - Postdoc
FIRST: Rachel Stewart
SECOND: Swati Yalamanchi
Researcher's Choice Award