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LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 19, 2014) – A new web-based program developed by University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center researchers will provide a simple, free way for healthcare providers to determine which brain tumor cases require testing for a genetic mutation.
Gliomas – a type of tumor that begins in the brain or spine – are the most common and deadly form of brain cancer in adults, making up about 80 percent of malignant brain cancer cases. In some of these cases, patients have a mutation in a specific gene, known as an IDH1 mutation – and patients who have this tend to survive years longer than those who do not carry the mutation.
The program, developed by UK researchers Li Chen, Eric Durbin, and Craig Horbinski, uses a statistical model to accurately predict the likelihood that a patient carries the IDH1 mutation and requires screening. Healthcare providers need only answer four questions in the application.
Gliomas are often tested for IDH1 mutation following surgery to remove the tumor, but undergoing this type of testing often requires stringent insurance pre-approvals due to rising healthcare costs, Horbinski says.
"Currently, there are no universally accepted guidelines for when gliomas should be tested for this mutation," Horbinski said. "Obtaining insurance pre-approval for additional molecular testing is becoming more commonplace, and this program will assist healthcare providers with an evidence-based rationale for when IDH1 screening is necessary."
Additionally, Horbinski notes that the program will help conserve research dollars by helping brain cancer researchers narrow down which specific older gliomas in tumor banks – previously removed in a time before IDH1 testing was routine – should be tested as data for research projects.
Horbinski's research on the program was published in the May issue of Neuro-Oncology. The work was funded through a grant from the National Cancer Institute, the Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Training Program in Translational Clinical Oncology, and the University of Kentucky College of Medicine Physician Scientist Program.
MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 18, 2014) -- Alpha Omega Alpha, the national medical honor society, has elected Dr. Charles “Chipper” H. Griffith III, senior associate dean for medical education at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, as a councilor director on the Society's board. Griffith's three-year term begins at the AOA board of directors meeting in Portland, Maine, on Oct. 3.
Alpha Omega Alpha is a professional medical organization that recognizes and advocates for excellence in scholarship and the highest ideals in the profession of medicine. Alpha Omega Alpha is to medicine what Phi Beta Kappa is to letters and the humanities and Sigma Xi is to science.
Griffith earned his medical degree at Vanderbilt University and completed his residencyin internal medicine/pediatrics at UK HealthCare. He also earned a Master of Science degree in Public Health from UK. Prior to his current role, Griffith has served as associate dean for student affairs at the UK College of Medicine. He is an educational scholar of national repute having published multiple articles and received numerous awards for his teaching including the AOA/AAMC Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award in 2004, the most highly regarded medical school teaching award in the country.
In 2006, the Clerkship Directors of Internal Medicine (CDIM), a national organization that promotes excellence in education of medical students in internal medicine, honored Griffith by renaming their educational research award "the Charles H. Griffith Educational Research Award." He also was profiled in “Leadership Careers in Medical Education,” the American College of Physician’s Teaching Medicine six-book series published in 2010.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 15, 2014) – A new law that went into effect in July allows nurse practitioners in Kentucky to have an expanded role in treating patients.
Nurse practitioners who meet certain requirements can now prescribe some medications without having a collaborative agreement with a physician, which previously was required. Supporters of the law say it will remove the barrier nurse practitioners face when they wanted to open their own practices. With their own practices, they can prescribe blood pressure and cholesterol medicines, antibiotics and some antidepressants, for example.
“Expanding the scope of practice for nurse practitioners in Kentucky is absolutely critical to close the gap in tremendous health care needs of Kentuckians," said Janie Heath, dean of the University of Kentucky College of Nursing. "For decades NPs have demonstrated their ability to increase access to care, increase quality of care and at the same time decrease costs. Having this level of regulatory authority speaks volumes about our legislators’ commitment to improve health and wellness in Kentucky.”
A state-commissioned study last year said Kentucky is approximately 4,000 physicians short in meeting the current demand for health care providers. With the passage of the federal Affordable Care Act, more than 420,000 Kentuckians have health insurance, many of whom have coverage for the first time in their lives.
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 15, 2014) — The hold of a seatbelt prevented 12-year-old Kaitlin Caldwell from being ejected from her seat when a jeep slammed into the side of her family's vehicle at 65 miles per hour.
But a tight squeeze from the life-saving restraint caused serious damage to her midsection. After being airlifted from a hospital in Somerset, Kaitlin arrived at Kentucky Children's Hospital on Jan. 2 suffering from a severed pancreas, transected bowel, a separated bile duct and a host of other abdominal injuries.
The UK HealthCare trauma team tasked with rerouting Kaitlin's abdominal organs conducted emergency surgery to control her injuries. After surgeons stopped some bleeding and repaired immediate injuries during the first surgery, they placed a temporary vacuum dressing over an open abdominal incision. Pediatric surgeon Dr. Sean Skinner, in collaboration with a team of specialists representing UK HealthCare divisions of transplant, oncology and vascular surgery, then mapped out a reconstructive procedure to essentially rework the organs that allow Kaitlin to digest food. On Jan. 3, the team conducted a second surgery to assess the full extent of the injuries and their surgical options.
The surgeons deliberated about the most technically efficient way to reroute her digestive tract. But they also discussed the long-term implications of the surgery for Kaitlin, now and in the future. They wanted to preserve her ability to eat different types of food, as well as reduce her risk for diabetes and other complications down the road.
"She was 12, and she had how many years to live with this?" Skinner said. "We wanted to give her the best results that were going to last the longest."
Skinner and transplant surgeon Dr. Erin Maynard performed a Whipple procedure, a reconstructive surgery most commonly performed on patients with pancreatic cancer and sometimes complications from pancreatitis. Skinner said the procedure is uncommon in a trauma setting, but even rarer in pediatric patients. According to his research, only a small fraction of a percent of all pediatric cases involving blunt trauma to the pancreas resulted in a Whipple procedure. A published article available to Skinner identified 18 cases of children receiving the surgery in the past 14 years. Skinner turned to a multidisciplinary team of UK HealthCare specialists, including Maynard, vascular surgeon Dr. Eric Endean, adult trauma surgeon Dr. Paul Kearney and oncology surgeon Dr. Patrick McGrath, to prepare for the procedure.
"This was a big team effort of everyone coming in to help this girl," Skinner said. "Having those specialists around me made it even better and safer for her."
Typically during a Whipple procedure, surgeons remove the portion of the pancreas where a tumor is present. In Kaitlin, the pancreas was already transected from the force of the seatbelt, so surgeons removed one portion of the pancreas. The pancreas serves an important role of producing chemicals that help break down sugars and carbohydrates before those foods travel to the small intestine, so even a small portion of the organ will help reduce the risk of diabetes. After removing portions of the stomach, the duodenum and the head of the pancreas, Skinner and his team attached the remaining portion of the pancreas to the small intestine. They also sewed the bile duct to the small intestine and brought a loop of the intestines up to be attached to the stomach.
In total, Kaitlin went through five abdominal surgeries before she was released from the hospital on Jan. 24. Skinner was encouraged that Kaitlin encountered few complications post-surgery. He advised her to minimize foods high in sugar, like her favorite soda Mountain Dew, to prevent dumping syndrome, a sickness caused by too much sugar dumping into the small intestine that affects gastric bypass and Whipple surgery patients. The long-legged middle schooler has adjusted to her new diet constraints, avoiding Taco Bell, a restaurant she once loved.
"She loves sweets, but now with the modifications, she knows her limits," Kathy Caldwell, Kaitlin's mom, said. "It amazes me, because she won't touch it."
With her turquoise braces and narrow framed glasses, pre-teen Kaitlin will get a fresh start at a new school in Middlesboro later this month. She is trying out for the the basketball team. A scar on her abdomen is the only visible sign of the accident. Kathy Caldwell hopes her daughter will remember the diligence and team work of the doctors who put her stomach back together when she looks at the scar.
"I laugh when people say she didn't get hurt real bad. I don't want her to be ashamed of that scar. That's your scar — a testament to what you've been through," Kathy Caldwell said.
Kathy Caldwell said she tells everyone she knows about the high level of care she received from Skinner and the multidisciplinary team. She feels grateful her family was sent to UK HealthCare after the accident.
"We knew the Lord would always put good people in our path for our good," she said. "They were just so good to us."
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Video by UK Research Media
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 15, 2014) — The University of Kentucky announced in July a $3.75 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for a community-based colorectal cancer prevention initiative designed to promote better screening for the disease in rural areas.
The funding will provide free FIT kits, new at-home colorectal cancer screening tools, to local health departments and support outreach through UK's Rural Cancer Prevention Center over the next five years.
A new video by UK Research Media features cancer survivors, community leaders and medical experts discussing the project.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 13, 2014) – Becker’s Hospital Review magazine has listed the University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital among the nation’s “100 Hospitals and Health Systems with Great Oncology Programs” in its recently released compilation of leading cancer care providers in the United States. The UK Markey Cancer Center, whose clinical programs are integrated with Chandler, received a National Cancer Institute cancer center designation in July 2013.
According to the health care industry trade publication, organizations included on the 2014 list are “leading the way in terms of quality of patient care, patient outcomes and research.” Becker’s noted Markey's recent NCI designation, its 29 percent patient growth over the past five years, and its status as a Blue Distinction Center for Complex and Rare Cancers for 10 cancer types.
The Becker's Hospital Review editorial team selected hospitals for inclusion based on rankings and awards they have received from a variety of reputable sources. The following awards were considered as part of the criteria for inclusion on the list: U.S. News & World Report cancer rankings, Truven Health Analytics, CareChex cancer care rankings, National Cancer Institute designations, the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer accreditations, American Nurses Credentialing Center designations, and awards and Blue Distinction Center recognition from the BlueCross BlueShield Association.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 11, 2014) — More patients are benefiting from the healing effect of creative art therapies as UK HealthCare expands the presence of art and music therapy at the Markey Cancer Center and Eastern State Hospital.
This summer, a music therapist and an art therapist joined the staff at UK HealthCare to serve patients at Eastern State Hospital and the Markey Cancer Center. The two full-time employees split their time leading group art or music therapy sessions for patients with mental illness at Eastern State Hospital and oncology patients at the Markey Cancer Center.
New music therapist Jennifer Peyton earned her master's degree in music therapy from Florida State University. In addition to owning a private practice and teaching music therapy at the University of Louisville, she has served as the medical music therapy coordinator and internship director at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center. Her clinical experience includes working in medical, hospice, rehabilitation and psychiatric settings. Fran Belvin received her master's degree in expressive art therapy from the University of Louisville in 1997. In addition to teaching art therapy at UK, Belvin has worked as an art therapist for Hospice of the Bluegrass and as a substance abuse treatment prevention coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Behavioral Health. Belvin has also worked as an art therapist in private practice.
"I am really excited that UK has decided to increase the expression of arts therapies in their clinical care," Belvin said.
Lori Gooding, director of music therapy at UK HealthCare, said the Markey Cancer Center supported the hiring of additional art therapists for sessions with oncology patients. The integration of art and music therapy as part of the clinical experience represents UK HealthCare's emphasis on caring for the "whole" patient through psychological, emotional and physical services. Gooding said creative arts therapies, which are proven to help patients address anxiety, depression, cognitive disability, chemotherapy and other health issues, add value to the patient's health care experience and increase quality of life.
"Integrative approaches to medical care that include complementary therapies are effective and do help meet the patient's needs," Gooding said. "It speaks to the idea that there is increased collaboration across the university. You see this between two areas that might not normally be working together."
In a recent survey from the UK Center for Advanced Surgery, more than 98 percent of patients said music therapy improved their perception of the health care experience at UK. The same survey showed that 97 percent of parents reported that their child benefited from music therapy. Music therapy is associated with patient satisfaction and reimbursement for medical services. Belvin said not all patients respond to the same types of intervention, but she has seen many patients benefit from art and music therapy.
"Just getting this practice to patients is my biggest goal," Belvin said. "Give people the opportunity to express themselves, and amazing things happen."
In addition, the UK Arts in HealthCare program recently installed the first art exhibit at Eastern State Hospital. The exhibit, which includes professional pieces, is located in the common area of the building.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 11, 2014) – With multiple concussions between the two of them, Dan Han and Lisa Koehl's latest research interest isn't surprising.
"I played competitive soccer through high school and continue to play recreationally," says Koehl, a doctoral candidate in the University of Kentucky's Department of Psychology, "so I have firsthand experience with the dynamics that come into play when a teen suffers a concussion."
As a former high school assistant principal in the Chicago public school system, Han was responsible for overseeing student-athletes' return to school after a concussion. Han left educational administration to pursue his doctorate in neuropsychology. Now director of the Multidisciplinary Concussion Program at UK HealthCare, Han has a reputation for top-notch clinical work and research on concussion.
"There aren't many places in Kentucky where you find a true multidisciplinary concussion program," Han says. "UK HealthCare's Multidisciplinary Concussion Program embraces an interdepartmental group effort -- from neurology, from neurosurgery, sports medicine, physical medicine and rehabilitation, from the trauma team -- we all work together to look at how brain injury affects the cognitive, physical and emotional state of our patients."
This group effort puts the athlete's safety first. For that reason, UK HealthCare's concussion program is the go-to for the athletics programs at Fayette County Public Schools, the University of Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky University, and Kentucky State University, who all rely on the UK Multidisciplinary Concussion Program's clinical expertise in sports concussion for state-of-the-art input to help make decisions affecting an athlete's return to play.
Add to Han's clinical skills a lifelong love of full contact martial arts (Han practices kickboxing and Brazilian jujitsu), and it's easy to see how Han and Koehl are well-suited to study the symptoms of sports concussions.
Drawing from a large UK database of patients with brain injury, Koehl and Han used a subset of 37 athletes aged 12 to 17 to explore post-concussion changes in physical, emotional, and cognitive symptoms over time.
According to Koehl, 22 of the 37 study participants demonstrated post-concussive emotional symptoms. Of those, 23 percent were sensitive to light while 14 percent were sensitive to noise. In comparison, of the 15 teens without emotional symptoms, 13 percent were sensitive to light and no teens were sensitive to noise.
There were no differences between the two groups in factors such as what percentage experienced loss of consciousness, amnesia, nausea and/or headaches, indicating that the groups were likely comparable in the level of severity of concussion.
"We discovered a bidirectional relationship between both emotional symptoms developing in conjunction with physical symptoms, and also emotional symptoms developing because of the physical symptoms," said Koehl.
In other words, said Koehl, "This research gives us a better understanding of the interaction between physical and emotional symptoms in concussion and will allow us to explore ways to help adolescents recover in a more timely fashion."
According to Han, teens in the study who reported anxiety were 55 percent more likely to experience attention difficulties than those without anxiety, while teens with irritability/aggression were 35 percent more likely to self-report problems with attention than teens without irritability.
"While these findings are preliminary and require a larger sample size to predict outcomes with more confidence, we are intrigued by the potential these data offer in terms of providing teens with a better treatment plan based on their unique cognitive, physical and emotional response to concussion," Han said.
"Identifying factors that affect a teen's experience after concussion may help in planning for the appropriate treatment and in making decisions about when to return to play and what accommodations are needed at school during recovery.”
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. 8, 2014) – A multicenter study including University of Kentucky researchers found that a new nerve repair technique yields better results and fewer side effects than other existing techniques.
Traumatic nerve injuries are common, and when nerves are severed, they do not heal on their own and must be repaired surgically. Injuries that are not clean-cut – such as saw injuries, farm equipment injuries, and gunshot wounds – may result in a gap in the nerve.
To fill these gaps, surgeons have traditionally used two methods: a nerve autograft (bridging the gap with a patient's own nerve taken from elsewhere in the body), which leads to a nerve deficit at the donor site; or nerve conduits (synthetic tubes), which can cause foreign body reactions or infections.
The prospective, randomized study, conducted by UK Medical Director of Hand Surgery Service Dr. Brian Rinker and others, compared the nerve conduit to a newer technique called a nerve allograft. The nerve allograft uses human nerves harvested from cadavers. The nerves are processed to remove all cellular material, preserving their architecture while preventing disease transmission or allergic reactions.
Participants with nerve injuries were randomized into either conduit or allograft repair groups. Following the surgeries, independent blind observers performed standardized assessments at set time points to determine the degree of sensory or motor recovery.
The results of the study suggested that nerve allografts had more consistent results and produced better outcomes than nerve conduits, while avoiding the donor site morbidity of a nerve autograft.
Rinker, a principal investigator of the study, describes it as a "game-changer."
"Nerve grafting has remained relatively unchanged for nearly 100 years, and both of the existing nerve repair options had serious drawbacks," Rinker said. "Our study showed that the new technique processed nerve allograft – provides a better, more predictable and safer nerve gap repair compared to the previous techniques."
Rinker also noted that work is underway to engineer nerve allografts with growth factors which would guide and promote nerve regeneration, theoretically leading to even faster recoveries and better results.
Other medical centers participating in the trial included the Indiana Hand to Shoulder Center in Indianapolis, Georgia Hand, Shoulder and Elbow in Atlanta, and the Curtis National Hand Center in Baltimore.
The study was funded by Axogen, Inc. Results were presented at the Annual Combined Meeting of the American Association for Hand Surgery, American Society of Reconstructive Microsurgery, and the American Society of the Peripheral Nerve. Rinker's paper was voted Outstanding Paper of the Joint Session.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 7, 2014) — A documentary about eight UK HealthCare organ donation recipients who expressed their transplant stories through artwork has received a regional Emmy award.
Filmmaker Thomas Southerland's "Body Maps: Transplantation Inside and Out" received an Ohio Valley Regional Emmy award in the category of best documentary on Aug. 2. Inspired by a body mapping workshop for eight UK HealthCare patients that took place in February 2013, the documentary was collaboration between the Lexington Public Library and Kentucky Organ Donation Affiliates. Earlier this summer, the film received a bronze Telly Award.
The documentary follows eight UK HealthCare organ donation recipients as they recount their transplant experiences through a body mapping exercise at the Tuska Center for Contemporary Art in the UK Fine Arts Building. Body mapping is an art therapy exercise in which participants communicate their stories through pictures, words and symbols on a life-size canvass of their bodies. Belgium artist Xavier Verhoest, who developed the body mapping workshop for people with HIV/AIDS in South Africa, led the four-day UK workshop.
The workshop was organized as a joint effort by UK Arts in HealthCare, UK College of Fine Arts, UK School of Art and Visual Studies, the Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates, the Ruth Hunt Wood Foundation and the Art2Be organization.
The body maps of all eight patients were displayed at an exhibit in the UK Chandler Hospital in February 2013. Southerland's film portrays their stories of grief, resilience and hope to show the healing power of art and underline the importance of organ donation.
"Working on Body Maps was a career highlight for me, largely due to the courageous and generous spirit of the eight organ recipients who bravely shared their stories," Southerland said.
To watch the documentary, check airing times on the channel 20 television schedule by clicking here. KET and its affiliated channels will air the documentary in late August. For a complete schedule, click here.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 4, 2014) – Prior to medical school, members of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine Class of 2018 were chemists, Americorp volunteers, engineers, waiters, musicians, class leaders and archeologists. But the moment they were coated at the Singletary Center of the Arts on Aug. 1, the 136 students were all dedicated to becoming doctors.
Members of a diverse and highly accomplished incoming class of medical students were presented with their white coat, a universal symbol of compassion and humanism in medicine, during the White Coat Ceremony. Dr. Frederick C. de Beer, dean and vice president for clinical academic affairs, delivered a keynote address about the current challenges in the medical profession. After being "coated" by a UK faculty member, the group recited the Pledge of Professionalism with Dr. Chipper Griffith, senior associate dean for medical education.
The incoming class represents 22 states and 15 countries, with 92 students hailing from Kentucky and 43 students holding degrees from the University of Kentucky. The students' cumulative GPA was 3.70 and most had received an undergraduate degree in biological sciences. Ten students in the class are participating in the Rural Physician Leadership Program. The students were selected from 2,347 applicants and more than 400 interviewees vying for seats in the Class of 2018.
The White Coat Ceremony is supported by the UK Medical Alumni Association.
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 4, 2014) — Seated behind curtains at a chemotherapy chair, Nellie Smith cross-stitches a pattern to pass the hours at the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center. She reads the numbers from a platelet count report as a nurse checks her blood pressure. Known as a "talker" by the clinic's staff, Smith chuckles as she admits to confusing the names of her dogs and her children.
Chemotherapy treatments have fought back Smith's peritoneal cancer for three years, but the 51-year-old thinks laughter is the better medicine. She prays that this session will be the one that takes her into remission.
"I told the doctor, I'm not a jug of milk," Smith said. "I don't expire and I don't have a shelf life."
Smith's cancer diagnosis was an added hardship for an Ashland, Kentucky, family already overburdened with health and financial troubles. Smith is the caretaker for her husband Patrick, who suffers from complications caused by diabetes. With fatigue from chemotherapy and aching legs, Smith has struggled for two years getting her husband in and out of their home.
After receiving a chemotherapy treatment this summer, clinical technician Kayla Conley at the UK Gynecological (GYN) Oncology Clinic handed Smith an envelope and told her about a woman named Cathy Coop. Coop, who passed away in January, was diagnosed with the same rare form of peritoneal ovarian cancer as Smith. When Smith opened the envelope on her way home, she found $1,000 inside.
"I was in shock for a little bit," Smith said of receiving the gift from the Cathy Wolterman Coop Patient and Family Support Fund.
Smith used the money to build a ramp for her house. She also bought groceries and replaced a section of her floors that were damaged by a water leak.
"It's taken a lot of the load off of us," Smith said of the gift. "It came right in time — it was a true blessing for us."
During her four-year battle with cancer, Cathy Wolterman Coop was concerned for other women in the GYN Oncology Clinic who didn't have financial security or insurance benefits during cancer treatment. The Cathy Wolterman Coop Patient and Family Support Fund helps patients pay for transportation, groceries, bills and other necessities while receiving treatment for ovarian cancer. Gifts are given at the discretion of staff members at the GYN Oncology Clinic in set amounts for a specific, expressed need.
Coop, an active baseball and Pep Club mom and former respiratory therapist at Cincinnati Children's Hospital who lived in Lexington, was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2010. Coop's family said she showed incredible determination during her fight with late-stage peritoneal cancer. As she was receiving chemotherapy treatments, Coop thought many of her fellow patients, who were financially stressed and traveling long distances for treatment, had it worse than she did. Her husband Brent Coop said his late wife, who grew up in a family full of medical professionals, was the first person on her feet to respond to the needs of others.
"Cathy was all about helping out other people," Brent Coop said. "She ran into some people at the hospital. She always thought that it was tougher on other people's families, and she could see it first-hand."
In December 2013, as Coop was nearing the end of her life, the family coordinated a memorial fund, which was presented as a surprise to Coop on her birthday. Coop's sister Karen Van Zile said Coop insisted that 100 percent of the funds go directly to cancer patients in the GYN Oncology Clinic. Funds were raised before and after Coop's death in lieu of flowers for the family. She passed away at the age of 54 in early January.
"She had a spirit — she was strong-willed with a generous heart," Van Zile said.
Ovarian cancer patient Delora Wolf drives 100 miles from her home in Girdler, Kentucky, for chemo treatments at UK. Initially diagnosed 13 years ago, Wolf said her relapse with cancer has impacted her family's financial situation. She recently drove to a chemotherapy appointment with wires poking through her tires because she couldn't afford to have them replaced. She received $300 from the Cathy Coop fund to purchase a set of tires that would allow her to safely drive to treatments.
"I just feel like God has a way of working things out for people," Wolf said. "And I feel like God sent a blessing to me from an angel, and that angel was Cathy."
Wolf also received a wig from the clinic that belonged to Coop. She was feeling uncomfortable wearing wigs until the clinic staff presented her with Coop's former wig. Even though she never knew Coop, Wolf senses a connection to her by wearing it.
"Now that I know she had it too, it makes it special," Wolf said. "It's kind of like a bond."
Brent Coop hopes the memorial fund will continue to grow and provide small gestures of kindness to more women at the clinic. He said his wife would be pleased and humbled to know how her fund is making a difference in the lives of patients.
"It's exactly what she would have wanted," Brent Coop said. "She is going to be around a long time. She was a person you always knew was in the room — she laughed a lot at other people's jokes; she was larger than life when she was around. Now that she's gone, it's pretty fitting that she's still around."
Contributions can be made to the Cathy Wolterman Coop Patient and Family Support Fund by mail to The Markey Cancer Center, 800 Rose Street, CC160, 40536-0093. Donations are also accepted online at markeycancerfoundation.org. Click on "donate now" and indicate the contribution is a gift to the Cathy Coop Fund in the comments section.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 30, 2014) – As part of a weeklong tour across the state, the Smoke-Free Kentucky Coalition will be making a stop at the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center today at 11 a.m. to promote better health for Kentuckians through smoke-free policies. The event at Markey is one of several stops across the state as it heads to western Kentucky for the annual Fancy Farm Picnic.
At each stop, the Smoke-Free Coalition is rallying supporters and reaching out to legislators, urging them to join 24 other states in passing a comprehensive, statewide smoke-free law that covers all indoor workplaces and public places, including bars and restaurants. The goal of the tour is to get all Kentuckians, around the state, active and engaged in supporting smoke-free policy as the campaign gears up for the 2015 legislative session.
Secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, almost 70 of which are known to cause cancer, and is proven to cause heart disease, lung cancer, respiratory illnesses and even premature death. In fact, studies indicate that secondhand smoke exposure causes about 1,000 deaths a year in Kentucky.
To find out more information about how smoke-free policies are good for health and businesses visit: www.smokefreekentucky.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 30, 2014) — The phrase "we caught it early" is possibly the best news a patient can hear in the midst of a cancer diagnosis. Combating cancer in its earliest stages, when the disease is localized to a certain part of the body, gives patients the best chances of survival.
Screenings for breast, skin, colon, prostate and other forms of cancer are touted for saving lives through early detection. Many health care providers recommend cancer screenings as a precautionary measure, especially for high-risk patients. But in the case of lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, the patient's decision to undergo a screening process is more complex.
According to University of Kentucky psychologist Dr. Jamie Studts, lung cancer screening is an algorithm, not an event. Patients aren't always aware of the physical and psychological consequences of the lung cancer screening process, which can lead to false positive results, invasive biopsy procedures, harmful radiation exposure and anxiety caused by an ongoing process.
Studts, a researcher in the UK Department of Behavioral Science and the Cancer Prevention and Control Program of the Markey Cancer Center, is working to develop an online tool that will help individuals at high risk for lung cancer navigate the lung cancer screening decision-making process. He said the decision to undergo lung cancer screening should be well-informed and aligned with the patient's personal values. Studts is collaborating with Dr. Margaret Byrne, a health economist and medical decision-making researcher at the University of Miami, on this project, which is funded by a grant awarded from the National Cancer Institute.
"Screening is for asymptomatic, healthy people to find out there's something wrong," Studts said. "You are committing to a series of events that will lead to either learning you don’t have cancer, or detecting and treating it."
A number of factors, including the Affordable Care Act's provision of accessibility to cancer screening services and results from a 2011 National Lung Screening Trial conducted by the National Cancer Institute, have reinvigorated the public's interest in lung cancer screening. The National Lung Screening Trial reported a 20 percent relative reduction in mortality for high-risk individuals who received a low-dose computed tomography (CT) scans. But the report also identified substantial risks and limitations to lung cancer screenings, which included overdiagnosis and relatively high false positive rates. The rate of false positive occurrence in the study of a high-risk population was 39 percent. With high rates of false positive scans and ongoing follow-up treatment, Studts said widespread lung cancer screening could be a costly burden for government-funded health care but could also prevent very expensive treatments for late stage lung cancer.
Studts and his fellow researchers have proposed a decision-making aid that is designed to accomplish three objectives: disperse knowledge, empower the patient and clarify individual's values. The aid will present accurate information about the screening process and calculate feedback that's tailored to the individual. The tool will also empower the individual to discuss the decision with their health care provider by providing a prompt list of potential questions. Finally, the values clarification component of the tool will explore the patient's personal preferences regarding the lung cancer screening process. For instance, if a patient is ultimately unwilling to undergo surgery for a lung biopsy, the tool can determine that they will likely experience minimal benefit from a screening.
"The goal is to help people interpret what they learn in the context of what’s important to them regarding their goals in health," Studts said. "They will learn about lung cancer screening options, benefits, harms and uncertainties associated with the modality.”
To develop the provider education program, Studts has collaborated with a team of University of Kentucky experts, including Dr. Eric Bendsadoun, a pulmonologist and director of the lung cancer screening program; Dr. Susanne Arnold, a medical oncologist who is part of the multidisciplinary lung cancer screening program; Dr. Michael Brooks, a cardiothoracic radiologist; Dr. Mark Dignan, a cancer prevention and control researcher; Dr. Eric Durbin, a cancer research informatics expert; and Dr. Brent Shelton, a cancer biostatistician.
The next step in their research will be conducting a clinical trial to test the decision-making aid among high-risk individuals, or high pack-year smokers, in Florida and Kentucky. Recently, Studts, along with Dr. Tim Mullet, a cardiothoracic surgeon at UK, received funding from the Kentucky Lung Cancer Research Program to develop an online continuing education program geared toward educating health care providers about lung cancer screening and how to discuss the lung cancer screening question with their patients. Eventually, he envisions dispersing a comprehensive educational toolkit on lung cancer screening to clinics and hospitals.
Studts said the current research suggests that lung cancer screening has minimal benefits for individuals younger than 55. Still, many Americans with a history of high pack-year smoking will face the decision of whether to be screened for cancer in their lifetime. Studts believes it will be helpful to implement an online tool that will help guide members of the high-risk population through a decision-making process.
"We’re interested in delivering high quality patient centered care – helping people be engaged in their health care choices and helping health care providers engage in these choices too."
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 29, 2014) — The UK Arts in HealthCare program commissions artists from as near as Kentucky and as far away as England for public exhibitions throughout the UK medical campus. But in the spring, the program called upon University of Kentucky employees to submit work to be considered for one of two employee gallery locations. The works selected for the two exhibits, titled The Healing Presence of Art, are now on display.
Thirty-three employee artists entered more than 80 pieces, including photography, pastels, acrylics and oil paintings, to be considered for the exhibits. In May, a jury of local professional artists evaluated the works based on composition, aesthetics, technique and originality. A collection of 33 selected pieces, which ranged from nature photography to paintings of pets, were also judged on whether they contributed to the healing presence in the hospital. The exhibits opened at the UK HealthCare Good Samaritan Hospital cafeteria and the Pavilion H lobby of the UK Chandler Hospital in June.
"So many artists out there are hidden among our fellow employees, and they have a high level of talent, especially in photography," Jason Akhtarekhavari, member of the Arts in HealthCare staff, said.
The two collections will be on display until next spring when Arts in HealthCare will hold another employee art competition. Afterward, the art will remain in possession of the UK Arts in HealthCare program and go on permanent display in various locations on the UK medical campus that are currently lacking the presence of art. All the works are accompanied by an informational caption sign that identifies the employee artist and where they work.
Congratulations to the following employee artists:
· Elemental - Pavilion H
· Illumination - Pavilion H
· Garden Visitor - Pavilion H
· Silken Embrace of Late Summer - Good Samaritan Hospital
· Third Life - Pavilion H
· Summer Lights - Good Samaritan Hospital
· Mushroom in Median - Good Samaritan Hospital
· To the Races
· Warm Fuzzy Kitten - Pavilion H
· Warm Fuzzy Puppy - Good Samaritan Hospital
M. Clare Sale
· Mail Call - Good Samaritan Hospital
· Tranquility - Pavilion H
Craig Van Horne
· Untitled - Pavilion H
· Untitled - Good Samaritan Hospital
· Strength Together - Pavilion H
· Singular Fortitude - Pavilion H
· At the Finish Line in Keeneland - Pavilion H
· Mother and Daughter - Pavilion H
· Treecicle - Good Samaritan Hospital
· Erma's Bouquet - Good Samaritan Hospital
· Malissa's Heart - Good Samaritan Hospital
· Flowers for Kate - Pavilion H
· Lenn Cove Viaduct - Good Samaritan Hospital
· Zen Tree at Wolf Rock - Good Samaritan Hospital
· Selfie at Glacier National Park - Pavilion H
· Flowers in Motion 3 - Pavilion H
· 215 North - Good Samaritan
· The Haunting - Good Samaritan Hospital
· Reflections - Pavilion H
· Acoustic Guitar - Pavilion H
· An Afternoon on Washington Street - Good Samaritan Hospital
· Awakening - Pavilion H
· Balance - Good Samaritan Hospital
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, (859) 323-2394; email@example.com
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