Join the conversation, follow our blogs and get up-to-the-minute news and health information from UK HealthCare.
A Passion for Cleft Care »
Community Matters »
Markey Menu »
Saddle Up Safely »
UK HealthCare Delivers »
UK HealthCare patients have great stories to tell.
See more patient stories »
What would improve our website?
Join us on social media for health tips and news, as well as the latest on UK HealthCare events. You can also help us give the very best care by sharing your feedback.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 20, 2015) -- A ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday marked the official opening of UK HealthCare at Turfland, a new outpatient center on Harrodsburg Road in Lexington on the site of the former Turfland Mall.
UK HealthCare has leased and renovated the former Dillard's location for consolidation and relocation of some of its primary care and specialty outpatient clinics and will be the anchor tenant for the first floor of the building utilizing approximately 85,000 square feet.
"On behalf of our physicians, staff and health care providers, I welcome you to this remarkable facility that provides a convenient and very accessible location for several of our patient care services," said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK vice president for health affairs. "The renovation and relocation to this site has been a unique opportunity for UK HealthCare and for the community and I believe it has been a win-win for both of us."
UK HealthCare at Turfland includes:
· UK Family & Community Medicine -- which has consolidated services previously located at the Kentucky Clinic on the UK campus and at Kentucky Clinic South, located on Harrodsburg Road.
· UK Sports Medicine and UK Sports Rehabilitation, both previously located at Perimeter Drive.
· UK Occupational Medicine & Environmental Health and UK Travel Medicine, both formerly at Kentucky Clinic South
· Radiology and Laboratory Services, a pharmacy, and an eye care clinic
Later this year, the UK College of Dentistry will relocate its General Dentistry Practice at Kentucky Clinic South, as well as Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Orthodontics - currently located on campus, to UK HealthCare at Turfland.
“Health care is one of the largest sectors of our local economy and one of the fastest growing, thanks in large part to UK’s leadership in the field at the local, state and national levels,” Mayor Jim Gray said. “In addition to good jobs, UK provides the highest quality patient care services for Kentuckians right here in Central Kentucky. Today's ribbon cutting and the opening of this beautiful facility brings convenient health care services for Lexington citizens, while bringing new life to this former site of Turfland Mall.”
As of Monday afternoon, all of the clinics except for Dentistry were seeing patients at the new location. Patients seeing physicians and health care professionals who have relocated have received information about the transition during the past few weeks regarding upcoming appointments.
"For the more than 150 UK HealthCare employees who will be serving more than 30,000 patients at UK HealthCare at Turfland, we are excited to continue to meet the needs of our patients in this spacious, functional and convenient location," said Dr. Marcus Randall, chief of Ambulatory Services at UK HealthCare and professor and chair of the Department of Radiation Medicine at UK.
Media Contact: Kristi Lopez, 859-806-0445
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 20, 2015) - UK HealthCare's Cosmetic Surgery Associates will be holding an open house 4-8 p.m. this Tuesday, April 21 at the Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Office Building, Suite 303.
Visitors will have the opportunity to learn more about what the UK HealthCare plastic surgery team can offer. The team will perform on-site demonstrations with open discussions on the latest cosmetic surgical procedures, including treatment for wrinkles and anti-aging.
Other bonuses include:
· Opportunity to purchase ZO Skincare Kits with a promotional offering (free gift with a minimum $200 purchase) while supplies last
· Complimentary Skin Scope Assessment with Skinceuticals
· On-site vendors for Botox, Dysport, and Fillers providing questions and answers
· Special pricing opportunities for one night only
· Door prizes and more
Light appetizers will be provided. For more information or to RSVP, call UK Cosmetic Surgery Associates at (859) 257-7171.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 17, 2015) — Bullying, peer pressure, substance abuse and suicide — these are all serious issues voiced by teens in the opening segment of a Kentucky Educational Television (KET) special report on teen health. Dr. Hatim Omar, chief of the University of Kentucky Division of Adolescent Medicine, is one expert featured in the program who is committed to helping teens overcome these issues as they progress toward adulthood.
KET Health's "What Does Every Teen Need?" explores the unique generational challenges confronting Kentucky's youth and offers insight into how parents can support teen health. During the documentary, Omar describes his comprehensive approach to teen health, which emphasizes prevention and the principles of Positive Youth Development. Omar claims three essential components are necessary to foster positive youth development: a caring adult, a safe place to connect with others and a meaningful activity.
The documentary also highlights partnerships forged by Omar between the UK Division of Adolescent Medicine and two rural Kentucky school systems. Through these partnerships, the UK Adolescent Medicine conducts health screenings to identify at-risk teens and provides in-school clinical hours at middle and high schools. The programs have helped improve accessibility to treatment for many teens in Harrison and Lincoln Counties.
"What Does Every Teen Need" was produced by Laura Krueger and premieres on Monday, April 20, at 9 p.m. on KET. To view a preview of the program, click here.
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 16, 2015) – The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center announced today that St. Claire Regional Medical Center in Morehead, Ky., has joined the Markey Cancer Center Research Network, a newly launched initiative conducting high priority cancer research through a network of collaborative centers with expertise in the delivery of cancer care and conduct of research studies.
Thousands of patients across eastern Kentucky will have close-to-home access to innovative clinical research studies in the treatment and epidemiology of cancer as well as research studies in the prevention and early detection of cancer.
The team at St. Claire Regional Medical Center was invited to participate based on their previous experience in conducting oncology research. St. Claire has participated in research with Markey for more than 10 years, enrolling more than 120 patients from seven surrounding counties in nearly 20 different cancer clinical studies in that time. St. Claire’s clinical research studies included those initiated at UK in priority areas of lung cancer screening and early detection, smoking cessation, treatment therapies for lung cancer, and environmental risk factors for lung cancer.
St. Claire’s long-standing oncology research portfolio will expand as a result of joining the Markey Research Network. Clinical research studies currently open at St. Claire include a study to identify the best approaches to help cancer patients quit smoking which will help to improve their response to cancer treatments, with studies coming soon in lung cancer screening and survivorship.
“St. Claire continually works to provide an advanced level of healthcare to the 160,000 plus people in our service area,” said Mark J. Neff, president/CEO of St. Claire Regional Medical Center. The unfortunate truth is that Eastern Kentucky faces some of the highest rates of cancer incidence and mortality in the nation which is why St. Claire is so excited to join the Markey Cancer Center Research Network in the battle to reduce cancer deaths in our region by offering close-to-home access to some of the most advanced clinical cancer trial treatments available.”
Clinical research studies are key to developing new methods to prevent, detect and treat cancer, and most treatments used today are the results of previous clinical studies. These may include studies in which patients who need cancer treatment receive their therapy under the observation of specially trained cancer doctors and staff. Patients who volunteer for cancer treatment studies will either receive standard therapy or a new treatment that represents the researchers’ best new ideas for how to improve cancer care.
The portfolio of available clinical research studies for each Markey Research Network member will be targeted, focusing both on the areas with the highest burden of disease, and the types of cancers that most affect these overburdened regions. Appalachia has some of the highest rates of cancer incidence and mortality in the country, especially for lung, colorectal, and cervical cancers.
As a member of the Markey Research Network, the physicians at St. Claire Regional Medical Center will offer the opportunity to consider participation in clinical research studies to their patients, with the patients remaining under their direct care and closer to home during their treatment.
"Being able to offer not only our own trials on site, but also major NCI trials, is a huge benefit to the members of our Research Network," said Dr. Mark Evers, director of the UK Markey Cancer Center. "The patients who chose to enroll in one of these trials at St. Claire should be assured that they are receiving the latest, best treatment options for their disease, with the added benefit of staying much closer to their own support system at home."
By disseminating Markey's clinical research studies across the region, the collaborative Research Network will offer better, more progressive treatment options to patients without the burden of traveling away from home and their physicians.
"Clinical research is the best way to advance cancer treatment protocols and move forward with the most effective new therapies," said Dr. Tim Mullett, medical director of the Markey Cancer Center Research Network. "As the only NCI-designated cancer center serving the Appalachian region of Kentucky, we have an obligation to address the most devastating cancers in this area by continually improving cancer prevention, detection, and treatments. The Markey Research Network will play a vital role in improving the grim cancer mortality rates in our region."
To be invited into the Markey Cancer Center Research Network, medical centers must demonstrate a capacity to deliver the highest caliber of clinical expertise and demonstrate quality work in clinical research and complying with federal regulations. Other medical centers are expected to join the Research Network in the coming months.
MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 15, 2015) — Kentucky Children's Hospital pediatrician and child safety researcher Dr. Susan Pollack was recently honored as one of the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department’s 2015 Public Health Heroes. The award is given annually to individuals who have demonstrated their dedication to improving the health of Lexington residents.
Pollack has advocated for injury prevention and safety measures for children of all ages. Her areas of expertise include safe sleeping areas for infants, car seat safety, drowning and fire prevention, teen driving, and head protection for bicyclists, skateboarders and ATV riders.
She frequently assists with the Child Care Health Consultant Program, which promotes healthy child development in safe environments. Pollack is the coordinator of the Pediatric and Adolescent Injury Prevention Program at the Kentucky Injury and Prevention Research Center, and an assistant professor in the UK Department of Pediatrics and the UK Department of Preventive Medicine. She serves on the Child Fatality Review committee in Fayette County and on the state level through the Department for Public Health.
Pollack considers her advocacy of revisions to booster seat laws in Kentucky and work to improve child care programs among her most important contributions to child safety. She thanked the many collaborators in Fayette County and at the Kentucky Department for Public Health who joined her efforts to make environments safer for teens and children.
"It's an incredible honor," Pollack said of the award. "I'm really proud of how much working together has made things possible, even when resources were scarce. We couldn't have done it without each other."
Pollack was selected for the honor with Marian Guinn, the CEO of God's Pantry Food Bank. The two women were recognized during an April 13 meeting of the Lexington-Fayette County Board of Health.
Past winners of the award include the Rev. Willis Polk and baby Health Service (2014); Anita Courtney and Teens Against Tobacco Use (2013); Vickie Blevins and Jay McChord (2013); Jill Chenault-Wilson and Dr. Malkanthie McCormick (2011); Dr. Jay Perman (2010); the Lexington Lions Club (2009); Dr. David Stevens and the late Dr. Doane Fischer (2008); Dr. Ellen Hahn, Mary Alice Pratt and Therese Moseley (2007); Dr. Andrew Moore and Rosa Martin (2006); Jan Brucato and Dragana Zaimovic (2005); and Dr. John Michael Moore, Ellen Parks and Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government (2004).
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 15, 2015) -- In the summer before her high school senior year, Joy Andrade underwent reconstructive jaw surgery to correct a skeletal malformation. The surgery was supposed to be one of the final steps in years of orthodontic treatments, which had included three sets of braces, starting in the fifth grade, and the removal of several permanent teeth to allow for more space in Joy’s mouth.
The results of her initial surgery changed Joy’s life forever. At a time when her biggest concerns might have revolved around making an A on a math test, winning the next soccer or basketball game, or picking the perfect prom dress, instead, due to surgery complications, Joy was faced with feelings of isolation and being homebound for much of her last year of high school.
“No one thinks about it when they bite into an apple or crunch on an almond, but you better believe that I have to,” said Andrade, who is now a University of Kentucky freshman. “I haven’t bitten into an apple in more than two years…picking up an apple and eating it as a simple on-the-go snack is a thing of the past.”
“I wondered how I could enjoy my senior year without my six upper teeth. I couldn’t talk. I was swollen, and everything became difficult. I thought after a couple months of recovery I would be better, but somehow my surgery kept affecting me,” said Andrade. “I couldn’t do normal teenager things. You don’t realize how important your teeth are until you don’t have them. I mean being a high school girl was hard enough and to add doctor appointments, surgeries, and the fear of wondering if they could fix my mouth, it was stressful.”
Her teachers, friends, and family rallied behind her to offer support and help her through this difficult time. After visiting with several additional doctors, Andrade found the medical support she needed when referred to the UK College of Dentistry to meet Drs. Joseph Van Sickels, in Oral Surgery, and Rodrigo Fuentealba, in Prosthodontics.
“I had already become resentful toward dental and medical practices. Up until that point, it seemed like both had failed me. Everything that could go wrong did,” Andrade said. “From the beginning, Dr. Van Sickels and Dr. Fuentealba were different compared to the countless doctors I had come in contact with in the past.”
Since beginning treatment with Van Sickels and Fuentealba in August 2013, Joy has undergone several additional surgeries, including a bone graft from her hip, to repair damage from the complications resulting from her initial surgery. In addition to losing six upper front teeth, Joy also experienced bone loss in her upper jaw which had to be built up again before dental implants could be finalized. Although the doctors’ work is ongoing, Joy has been able to benefit from milestones throughout the process.
“I remember the feeling of when Dr. Fuentealba gave me my flipper (fake teeth) to put in for the first time,” recalls Andrade. “Both my mom and I cried, because I was just so filled with relief, and at that moment, I thought wow maybe everything will be ok.”
“UK’s Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Division generally performs 80 to 100 successful procedures each year to address skeletal malformations similar to the one Joy needed to have treated,” said Van Sickels. “Normal eating and speaking are an important part of everyday life. Working in partnership with other UK Oral Health divisions, such as Dr. Fuentealba in Prosthodontics, we’re able to help people with a wide range of functional issues.”
Van Sickels and Fuentealba have taken extra care in Joy’s treatment due both to the location of her problem and her young age. Wanting to provide Joy the opportunity to share her big smile confidently with others again, and have their work last a lifetime; the team has paid close attention to rebuilding a strong foundation of bone and gum tissue to support Joy’s dental implants.
Because of her positive experience with UK Oral Health, Andrade is now majoring in biology at UK. A member of UK’s STEMcats, a living learning program intended for first-year students who have applied for a STEM major, she hopes to also join the pre-dental society and MEDLIFE, a nonprofit organization offering medicine, education, and community development, next year to help prepare her to study at UK’s College of Dentistry.
“I had already been accepted by and decided to go to another college. It wasn’t until I met Dr. Van Sickels and Dr. Fuentealba that I really saw what UK is about. Most people don’t get to see all the little things that truly make UK special. UK is a family. It’s my family,” said Andrade.
“I hope to be an orthodontist, but honestly if I get the chance to do anything in dentistry, I will be grateful. I want to help people just as my doctors helped me.”
Media Contact: Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 14, 2015) -- We've long known that a pregnant mother's alcohol and tobacco use can harm a developing fetus, but we're now learning much more about how a baby's first nine months before birth can affect its health into adulthood.
The environment of the womb, which is determined by a mother's health, lifestyle and surroundings, can alter the development of a fetus with permanent and lifelong implications. This concept of "fetal programming" explains some of the developmental origins of health and disease, including a child's increased risk for obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease as an adult.
In addition to alcohol and tobacco cessation and eating a well-balanced diet high in fruits, vegetables and healthy sources of proteins, proper weight gain and exercise and good mental health during pregnancy are especially important for a baby's lifelong health. Pregnancy is a critical window, and even if you've never exercised, watched your weight, or actively tended to your mental health in the past, investing in yourself for the nine months of pregnancy could have implications for the next 100 years of your child's life.
Weight gain: Gaining too much or too little weight during pregnancy can negatively impact your child's future health and growth, affecting metabolism, energy, appetite control, and possibly increasing their risk for obesity.
How much weight you should gain during your pregnancy depends on your weight prior to pregnancy. A woman of normal weight should gain about 20-25 lbs.; overweight women should gain 15-20. For obese women, harm has not been shown if they don't gain any weight. Consult your doctor to determine what's right for you.
Exercise: For appropriate weight gain during pregnancy, exercise is fundamentally important. Exercise also provides numerous benefits to the pregnant mom, and there is early evidence that maternal exercise may improve long-term health outcomes in the next generation.
Moderate exercise for at least 30 minutes most days of the week is recommended for the majority of pregnant women without complications. Consider gardening, swimming and walking or other fun activities that will keep you off the couch. Strenuous exercise should be done in consultation with your physician.
Stress and anxiety: Research suggests that maternal stress--whether from normal life events, financial concerns, poverty, or abuse--is associated with pre-term birth and can affect the development of a baby's brain and immune system. Talk about your concerns and feelings with people you trust, do things that help you relax, and rely on your support network. If you think you might be experiencing depression, talk with your health care provider right away.
For more information on healthy pregnancy, visit http://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/preconceptioncare/conditioninfo/Pages/healthy-pregnancy.aspx.
Kevin J. Pearson, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences, and Dr. John M. O'Brien, is an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology and director of the maternal fetal medicine and fellowship program at the University of Kentucky. Together, they study the effects of maternal health, especially exercise and diet, on fetal and childhood outcomes.
This column appeared in the April 12, 2015 edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 13, 2015) -- Sugar tastes good and for a little while, it may make us feel better until the crash comes and we are left feeling tired and lifeless. It is estimated that Americans consume 130 pounds of sugar per person a year, which is about a third of a pound of sugar a day.
We consume it in all the obvious places like candy, cookies, pastries and ice cream but sugar, made of glucose and fructose, can sneak into our diets under the guise of foods we may not suspect, like crackers, processed foods, peanut butter, yogurt, sauces and bread, many of which use high fructose corn syrup, a man-made sweetener equally as toxic as sugar.
Recent medical research concludes consumption of added sugar in our diet has plunged America into a public health crisis. Sugar can be directly linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. Children are becoming obese and diabetic and at an earlier age, and sugar along with high fructose corn syrup, more than any other substances are to blame.
Table sugar is composed of glucose and fructose. Glucose it is quickly absorbed from the walls of your small intestine, triggering your pancreas to secrete insulin, a hormone that delivers glucose from your blood stream to your cells to be used as energy or stored as glycogen or fat. Consistently high sugar loads can lead to insulin resistance leaving high blood glucose in circulation. The high glucose will attach to red blood cells, which is used to determine if you are diabetic or prediabetic
Fructose is also absorbed through your small intestine into the bloodstream, which delivers fructose straight to your liver. Unlike glucose the metabolism of fructose is not as well regulated and the liver is easily overwhelmed and over time, excess fructose can prompt globules of fat to grow throughout the liver, the precursor to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. It spurs the production of triglycerides, a type of fat that can migrate from the liver to the arteries, raising your risk for heart attack or stroke. Glucose and fructose can overwhelm your pancreas which can result in total-body inflammation that, in turn, puts you at even higher risk for obesity and diabetes.
While the facts are sobering, the good news is that the majority of these illnesses are preventable.
The first step is to become more mindful before we reach for the next soda, cookie or piece of cake. Paying attention to the sugar content on nutrition labels and making healthy choices for both adults and children are the first steps to better health.
Some common foods to avoid that have a high sugar content are: Regular sodas - 136 added sugar calories/12 fl oz; Juice cocktails such as Capri-Sun, Tropicana Orange Ade – 85 added sugar calories/8 fl oz; 100 percent Natural Wholegrain Cereal with raisins, lowfat – 81 added sugar calories/cup; Honey Mustard Salad Dressing – 25 added sugar calories/tablespoon, Heart Healthy 100 percent Whole Wheat Bread – 12 calories added sugar calories/slice; High Protein Bars – 34 calories added sugar/bar; Milk Chocolate Bars – 74 calories added sugar/bar; Yogurt, fruit and nuts, low fat – 89 calories added sugar /6 oz; and Ice cream, fat free, and chocolate – 83 calories added sugar/medium scoop.
Geza Bruckner is professor of Clinical Nutrition at the UK College of Health Sciences and the Graduate Center for Nutritional Sciences
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April, 10, 2015) -- Peter Nelson, the R.C.Durr Endowed Professor in Alzheimer's disease, sits in his office and explains how the efforts of the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging Foundation allowed him and his colleagues to identify and name a new age-related disease called PART.
"To make an Alzheimer's diagnosis you need to see two things together in a patient’s brain: amyloid plaques and structures called neurofibrillary tangles composed of a protein called tau, but autopsy studies on patients with dementia have demonstrated that some have tangles but no plaques," said Nelson who has both a medical degree and Ph.D.
"NIH (National Institutes of Health) funding is more competitive than ever, and it can be difficult to find funding for ideas like this one where the impact of the study is more opaque to the average citizen," Nelson said. "Funding from the SBCoA Foundation is, if you will, the glue that brings the center together and provided us the opportunity to define and develop criteria for PART, which is the first step towards treatment, prevention, and/or cure."
The UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging has been conducting research on Alzheimer’s disease (AD), stroke and other aging-related concerns for more than 30 years. Through a gift from the Eleanor and John Y. Brown Jr. Foundation and a matching grant from the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging opened in 1979 and is one of 10 original National Institutes of Health-funded Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers.
Today, the center is an internationally prestigious research institution, ranked No. 1 in the world in recruiting AD clinical trial participants and top tier on multiple other benchmarks in AD research, conducting cutting edge clinical studies that test new therapeutic approaches, producing influential data that explores the mechanisms of aging-related diseases, and identifying new opportunities to slow the progress of disease or prevent it altogether. Collectively, this research represents approximately $7 million in grant funding annually.
But as grant funding for research has become less and less available, Nelson's work and that of others at SBCoA has become more reliant on the efforts of the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging Foundation (COAF).
“The foundation board is focused on helping grow awareness and support of the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging and their mission," said Bennett Prichard, COAF board member.
To that end, each year COAF hosts a dinner featuring a guest speaker who is either an example of successful aging or who has a personal connection to Alzheimer’s and age-related diseases. Previous guest speakers have included such well-known figures as Captain Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger, Barbara Bush, Colin Powell, John Glenn, Bob Dole, Willard Scott, Lauren Bacall, Andy Rooney, Hugh Downs, Newt Gingrich, Ed McMahon, Dr. Pearse Lyons and James W. Host. This year, on Thursday, April 23, the Foundation will feature University of Kentucky women's basketball coach Matthew Mitchell.
Coach, athlete and inspirational speaker, Coach Mitchell watched as his mentor, friend and legendary University of Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summit was diagnosed with early onset dementia at the age of 59. To honor her, the Mitchell Family Foundation joined the fight against Alzheimer’s by donating $50,000 to Alzheimer charities in the last two years alone. This passion to make a difference is apparent in all areas of Coach Mitchell’s life.
“We are thrilled to have Coach Mitchell join us on this special night," says Prichard, who is also the dinner committee chair. "He and his wife have been so generous with their time and resources to help with this fight, which is emotionally and financially devastating for both patients and their families. Year after year, the dinner has proven to be a wonderful tool to help us achieve these goals, and it's an honor that the coach is willing to help us with that effort as our special guest and keynote speaker.”
The dinner begins at 6:30 pm with a cocktail reception in the Bluegrass Ballroom of the Lexington Center. Individual tickets to the dinner are $175 or $200 at the door, with proceeds benefiting SBCoA. Corporate and individual table sponsorships are available starting at $1,500. For more information or to purchase tickets, go to: http://www.uky.edu/coa, or contact the SBCoA Foundation at (859) 323-5374 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 9, 2015) - UK HealthCare's Kentucky Neuroscience Institute (KNI) has received the "Get With The Guidelines -"Stroke Gold-Plus Quality Achievement Award" by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for maintaining nationally recognized standards for the treatment of stroke patients.
KNI also received the association’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite for meeting stroke quality measures that reduce the time between hospital arrival and treatment with the clot-buster tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke. Over twelve months, at least 75 percent of the hospital’s ischemic stroke patients have received tPA within 60 minutes of arriving at the hospital (known as door-to-needle time). Stroke patients who receive tPA within three hours of the onset of symptoms may recover more quickly and are less likely to suffer severe disability.
This year marks the fifth year that KNI has received Gold Plus designation. KNI has been named to the Target: Stroke Honor Roll the past two years and meets the criteria for the 'elite' level that was introduced this year.
Kentucky patients aren't the only ones benefiting from this achievement.
"By participating in the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke program, we are able to share our expertise with other member hospitals around the country, including access to the most up-to-date research, clinical tools and resources, and patient education resources," said Dr. Jessica Lee, director of UK HealthCare's Comprehensive Stroke Program.
"What this means for Kentuckians is that the best possible stroke care is available right here in Lexington."
According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the number five cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. In Kentucky, cardiovascular disease (which includes stroke) is the leading cause of death. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 9, 2015) - After a long night and not enough sleep, many people reach for their first cup of coffee as quickly as they reach for the snooze button. Not long after the first one is down, another is poured.
Love for coffee can be traced back as far as Kaldi the goat herder, who lived in Ethiopia in 800 A.D. According to legend, Kaldi noticed that his goats would become playful after eating the berries of a certain plant. Out of curiosity, he brought the plant to the abbot of the local monastery, who made it into a drink and suddenly was able to stay awake during evening prayers.
Coffee, without a doubt, has secured itself in the hearts of many. But is your heart loving it back?
Dr. Thomas Whayne Jr., a cardiologist at the University of Kentucky Gill Heart Institute, is passionate about both heart health and coffee. He set out to understand whether coffee was beneficial or harmful for his patients.
"I became interested in coffee's history and cardiovascular effects and several years ago wrote a brief review in Spanish in the Revista Costarricense de Cardiología," said Whayne. "A year or so ago, I decided to write a much more extensive and up-to-date review in English and after submitting it, the editor invited me to expand the article even more and submit to Current Vascular Pharmacology, which specializes in more extensive reviews."
Whayne discovered that moderate consumers -- those who drink 3 to 5 cups a day -- are not harming their cardiovascular health. Drinking coffee does not increase risk of coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, hypertension or sudden cardiac arrest. Moderate coffee drinkers might also see benefits such as decreased onset of type 2 diabetes and decreased risk of stroke.
“The bottom line,” Whayne said, “is that, for the patient who loves coffee in moderation, there should be no restriction to moderate intake even in the severe heart-failure patient, and patients should be encouraged to continue enjoying their coffee."
Coffee drinkers can be assured that even if they are at high cardiovascular risk, they can continue to enjoy their cup of joe. However, it should be limited if a person experiences bothersome cardiovascular effects, such as arrhythmias, as a result of drinking it or if they have a specific high-risk genetic abnormality.
But don't rush to the local coffee shop yet. While there is some sort of connection between coffee and reduced health risks, there isn't evidence to suggest that coffee alone decreases the risks, so adding coffee to your diet doesn't necessarily bestow any health benefits.
"Cardiologists should not recommend drinking coffee," said Whayne. "However, they can reassure patients that there may be some benefit and, at worst, very little cardiovascular risk.”
People will receive the most benefit when they forgo cream and sugar. Whayne’s research also identified differences in benefit between filtered and non-filtered coffees (such as boiled, French press, and espresso). Filtration appears to offer some additional cardiovascular benefit by removing a possible factor in coffee that can cause a minimal increase in cholesterol.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 7, 2015) — By now, most Americans are aware of the dangers associated with driving while using a cell phone. But injury prevention experts at the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center (KIPRC) based at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health, in partnership with the National Safety Council (NSC), are calling attention to a few surprising facts about distracted driving to encourage safe practices at the wheel.
Cell phone distractions lead to fatalities in Kentucky. According to the Kentucky State Police, in 2013 there were 955 collisions on Kentucky roads in which cell phone use was listed as a contributing factor. Six of these 955 collisions involved a fatality. These numbers represent only the cases where the officer had clear evidence of cell phone involvement.
Hands-free devices are unsafe too. The NSC reports an estimated one in four crashes involve cell phone distraction, hand-held and hands-free. Unlike talking and chewing gum, driving and talking on a cell phone are both thinking tasks, and the brain must focus first on one task, then the other. While it appears that a person is doing both tasks at once, the reality is that attention is shifting back and forth, and it only takes a brief shift to cause a roadway disaster.
While driving, talking to someone on a cell phone is different than talking to a passenger in the car. Another adult in the car, or "backseat driver," is more likely to also be watching the road and will help alert drivers to road conditions or oncoming traffic problems. Driving while talking on a cell phone, on the other hand, places the driver, and others, at unnecessary risk.
Text messaging by voice dictation is a considerable hazard for drivers. New studies show that using voice to text is actually more distracting than typing a text by hand.
Car crashes are the number one cause of workplace deaths. Companies have paid millions for cell-phone related crashes. When surveying companies of all sizes who issued total bans on cell phone use, the NSC discovered only 1 percent of employers saw a productivity decrease.
“We urge Kentuckians to learn as much as possible and to teach others about distracted driving with cell phones," Terry Bunn, Ph.D, director of KIPRC, said. "As part of the National Safety Council's Distracted Driving Awareness Month throughout April, we are providing free learning materials, video links and explanations to educate drivers on this important issue.”
To access a fact sheet about distracted driving from KIPRC, click here. Make an informed decision to keep the roadways safe by driving cell free, and take the pledge to do so at https://www.nsc.org/forms/distracteddriving_pledge.aspx .
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 6, 2015) — Nearly a third of all children nationwide and in Kentucky aren't up-to-date with the vaccination schedule recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), but not because their parents are refusing vaccines. Evidence suggests parents tend to forget appointments when children are scheduled to receive immunizations.
A group of pediatricians at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine are helping parents remember vaccination appointments through a new text message alert system. Parents of babies born at the Kentucky Children's Hospital (KCH) Birthing Center are presented with the option to receive a sequence of text message reminders the week before their child's vaccination appointments.
Dr. Akshay Sharma, Dr. Anil George and Dr. Kimberly Northrip are testing the impact of the text message alert system and its ability to prevent missed appointments for publicly and privately insured patients. The ongoing project, which was awarded a grant from the Community Access to Child Health fund of the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2014, was launched last August.
"The most common reason (for missed appointments) is parents don't have information or forget when their children’s vaccinations are due," said Sharma, principle investigator of the research and a pediatric resident at KCH.
Sharma stressed that timing is crucial for the efficacy of childhood vaccinations. Children receive vaccinations and booster shots at their two-month, four-month, six-month, one-year, 15-month and 18-month appointments. These vaccinations protect against infectious diseases including polio, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, pneumonia, hepatitis B, hepatitis A, measles, mumps and rubella. The CDC-recommended vaccination schedule is designed to immunize the child at a point in their life when they are most vulnerable to contracting or spreading these diseases.
An outbreak of the measles linked to an amusement park in California that started in December 2014 has spread to about 150 children in seven states, calling attention to the public health consequences of children with incomplete vaccinations. In Kentucky, an estimated 70 percent of children complete the recommended vaccination schedule by 35 months of age, which should ideally be completed by 18 months of age. George said parents attempt to update their child's medical records in preparation for preschool or kindergarten, as late as 5 or 6 years of age, only to learn their child has aged-out of certain vaccines.
"Like we are seeing with the measles outbreak, it's not that all the children were unimmunized, it's that they were not completely immunized," George said. "Getting vaccines for school entry is okay, but it doesn't help the community at large because there are still vulnerable children in the community."
In the United States, 90 percent of people carry a cellphone, and text messages are typically accessed faster than voice messages. The text message alert system adopted at Kentucky Children's Hospital was designed by the same software developers that created a successful nationwide vaccination reminder system for the Indian Academy of Pediatrics a few years ago. The system reminders are individualized, providing an alert for each KCH child in the family.
Sharma said previous research suggests publicly insured patients are less likely to complete the recommended vaccination schedules. With the text alert system in place, preliminary results of the study show publicly insured patients are more likely to adhere to the immunization schedule when they opt to receive text message reminders.
"In this study, we found that while the immunization rates improved for all children when their parents received the reminders, the immunization rates for the publicly insured patients increased to the same levels as their privately insured counterparts," said Northrip, who is mentoring the residents.
The researchers are working to collect data from 1,000 patients, with 500 children already registered for the study. Half of the study's subjects will receive the alert system and half will not receive the alerts. The group recently presented some preliminary results at the Southern Regional Meetings in New Orleans and intend to publish their findings in a national medical journal on completion of the study. After the initial testing phase, the text message alerts will be available to any parent in Kentucky or the rest of the country.
To register for the text message alert system, visit www.vaccinereminder.org.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 3, 2015) – Scott Logdon of Salvisa, Ky., seldom needed to visit the doctor. But in September 2012, a troublesome sore throat prompted him to make a rare visit to his primary care physician. Expecting a diagnosis of strep, he got some far worse news.
"I just thought it was strep throat," Logdon said. "It turned out to be leukemia."
Logdon was immediately referred to the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center, where he was officially diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a type of cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow.
Because this type of cancer can worsen quickly, treatment began right away. Logdon underwent a rigorous round of chemotherapy at Markey, getting his infusion nonstop 24 hours a day for seven straight days.
The chemo put him into temporary remission. But further testing suggested that Logdon's cancer was likely to return at some point. While taking the “wait and see” approach was an option, it was risky.
“Statistically speaking, in high-risk patients like Scott, the cancer is probably going to come back,” said Dr. Greg Monohan, the Markey hematologist/oncologist who treated Logdon. “And if you wait and see if the cancer returns, the chemo may not take as well the second time around.”
Monohan’s team began discussing the option of a bone marrow transplant, a procedure that replaces damaged bone marrow with healthy bone marrow stem cells. Markey performs more than 80 bone marrow transplants each year.
Logdon agreed to try the transplant in October 2012, and the search for a viable donor began. The likelihood of transplant success is highly dependent on how closely the donor’s stem cells matches the recipient’s, and usually the best donors are siblings.
However, Logdon's brother and sister were tested, and neither were a match. His medical team then contacted the National Marrow Donor Program where he could potentially be matched with an anonymous donor from one of the international bone marrow registries.
In the meantime, Logdon underwent several rounds of ‘maintenance’ chemotherapy, aimed at keeping the cancer at bay until a match was found. Every 30 days, he endured five straight days of treatment, followed by a 10-day inpatient stay at Markey where he was monitored closely by Monohan’s team. Waiting took its toll on Logdon and his family, but an unexpected phone call of encouragement from UK Men's Basketball Coach John Calipari brightened the UK fan's spirits.
"Scott has had some dark days," said Angela Logdon, Scott's wife. "But he really appreciated Coach Cal taking the time to do that."
In January 2013, Logdon and his family got the call they’d been waiting for. An ideal donor had been found: a 20-year-old male who matched 10 out of the 10 major categories of proteins that determine the likelihood of the immune system accepting the transplantation.
While walking toward the campus library one afternoon three years ago, University of Wisconsin freshman Christopher Wirz passed by tables for a national bone marrow registry donor drive. Wirz’s cousin was one of the UW students working the drive, and when he stopped to chat, she convinced him to register.
“I signed up on a whim,” Wirz said. “I just happened to be walking that way that day.”
Wirz was told that his chances of actually getting matched were slim – only about one in 100,000. But in just over a year, Wirz got the call to be a potential donor twice – the first time, he wasn’t a close enough match. But the second time, he was a perfect candidate. He agreed to do the procedure.
Wirz was flown to Washington D.C. on two separate occasions, once for major testing and evaluation, and once for the stem cell harvesting. Prior to extraction of his cells, he received a series of injections to help his stem cells move from the bone marrow to the blood. He was tested again before the extraction began to ensure his blood counts were optimal.
“You’re kind of rooting for it, even though you don’t know the person,” Wirz said. “I was really cheering for good numbers.”
His stem cells were collected using a process called leukapheresis, which is similar to giving plasma. Wirz was hooked up to an IV for several hours to extract the stem cells from his blood, filling a large IV bag with the life-saving fluid, while another IV returned the blood to his body. After his donation was complete, Wirz felt a little tired, but spent the rest of his day touring DC before heading home. He thought about where that little piece of him could be going.
“I was wondering, ‘What happens to it now?’” Wirz said. “Where is it being delivered?”
Logdon received his bone marrow transplant on Jan. 31, 2013, following one last round of chemo. After nearly four weeks in the hospital, he was allowed to go home, though he continued to have weekly checkups for many months. Logdon's strength gradually returned, and he was able to return to his job at the Woodford County Detention Center, initially working part-time, in October.
“It took about a year to feel ‘normal’ again,” Logdon said.
Unrelated hematopoietic cell donations are anonymous – and any contact between the donor/recipient remains anonymous during the first year. After that mark, direct contact is allowed if both parties consent to release their personal information. Wirz received a handful of letters thanking him for his donation – from Scott, Angela, and their four children, including one carefully scrawled by their eight-year-old son.
Curious about the family, Wirz found them on Facebook, where Angela and Scott had documented every step of his illness.
“I saw his entire journey, from diagnosis and after,” Wirz said. “He was going through this life-threatening disease, but stayed so positive throughout it.”
That included some big moments: statuses about their joy at finding a match, and the happy outcome of the procedure, where Logdon was deemed cancer-free.
“I thought, ‘That’s me!’” Wirz said. “He has a part of me growing in him, and that’s what’s helping him.”
The two communicated via Facebook for several weeks, but their first phone call came early in April 2014 -- just a few days, in fact, after the University of Kentucky Men’s Basketball Team knocked off the University of Wisconsin in the semifinal game of the NCAA tournament.
Logdon, who describes his whole family as “die-hard UK fans,” couldn’t resist making a joke to the young Wisconsin student.
“I told him, ‘You know, I knew I felt kind of bad about beating Wisconsin in the tournament,’” Scott said. “’I guess it’s because I’ve got a little Badger blood in me now!’”
Later that summer, the Logdons invited Wirz and his family to come to Kentucky for the opportunity to celebrate and thank them in person. The first meeting between donor and recipient was emotionally overwhelming.
"There were a lot of tears," Logdon said. "I didn't want to let go of him when I hugged him."
Wirz, his sister, and his mother stayed for three days, touring the area and meeting dozens of thankful friends and family. One of the tour stops included Rupp Arena, where they convinced Wirz to try an Ale8 -- and, Logdon jokes, to show off UK's basketball tradition.
"We took him to Rupp Arena to show him where championships happen," Logdon said with a laugh.
Wirz, who described the whole experience as "amazing," said seeing how beloved Logdon was in his community made the whole experience finally seem real.
"Getting to see his community, and seeing how everything would be different without him," Wirz said. "That was really overwhelming."
"He's a very giving guy," Logdon said. "You don't see many 20-year-olds like him."
Wirz, now a senior and a triple-major at UW, said he wouldn't hesitate to help out another anonymous patient in need again.
"I would do it again in a heartbeat," Wirz said.
Signing up to become a donor in the marrow registry is easy – participants only need to fill out about five minutes of paperwork and complete a set of cheek swabs.
On Monday, April 13, the UK College of Pharmacy is hosting a Be the Match registry drive at the UK Markey Cancer Center. The drive will be set up at the Combs Research Building atrium at Markey from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. that day. If you can't make it to a local drive but would like to join the registry from home, visit Be the Match for more information.
MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, 606-782-7735, email@example.com or Kristi Lopez, 859-323-6363 or firstname.lastname@example.org
1000 S. Limestone
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY 40536
800-333-8874 (toll free)
connected with UK HealthCare. Become a fan of our Facebook and follow us on
Twitter and Youtube to stay up-to-date on community events, programs,
treatments, research, new physicians and more.
© University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, USA | An Equal Opportunity University