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LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 12, 2016) — Dr. Phillip K. Chang has been selected to assume the role of Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for the UK HealthCare enterprise as of March 1.
Chang has most recently served as medical director for perioperative services and associate CMO. As CMO he will participate in the implementation of strategic initiatives and overall operations management of the UK HealthCare enterprise and support clinical performance and resource management by facilitating improvement throughout the enterprise. Chang will be a principal advisor to Chief of Clinical Operations Officer Bo Cofield and an active partner with the Clinical Operations Team on matters pertaining to service, safety, quality, professionalism, clinical outcomes, patient experience, team member and faculty engagement and efficiency. He will serve on all medical staff committees and participate in decision-making on behalf of UK HealthCare administration. As CMO he will also promote and maintain effective relationships with chairs, center directors, the organized medical staff and others. Chang did his undergraduate work at The College of William and Mary in Virginia and then received his medical degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk. In 1999, he began a surgical internship here at UK, which led to a general surgery residency and a surgical fellowship, also at UK. Since 2005 he has been a member of our surgical faculty, rising to the rank of associate professor of surgery in the College of Medicine and the role of chief of the Section of Trauma and Critical Care. He is board certified in surgery as well as surgical critical care.
Media Contact: Kristi Lopez, firstname.lastname@example.org
Those nominated for the Sanders-Brown Centenarian Award must be age 100 or older within the 2016 calendar year and must live in Kentucky.
Centenarians will be recognized during the "I Know Expo" on Sunday, April 3. The expo is a free event attracting more than 1,000 people annually. Scores of experts who know about healthy aging and coping with disabilities will be on hand for one-on-one discussions and informative presentations on housing, health care and insurance, legal and financial planning, living well and staying active.
Centenarians will also be celebrated at the Sanders-Brown Annual Dinner on Thursday, April 7. The dinner will fund internationally recognized ongoing research at the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, where researchers are engaged in the battle against Alzheimer's disease and other age-related illnesses. Captain Jim Lovell, famous for his calm, careful command of Apollo 13 will be the keynote speaker.
For more information, contact the SBCoA Foundation at 859-323-5374. The deadline for nominations is March 9. Recipients will be notified by March 30.
Media Contact: Olivia McCoy, Olivia.McCoy1@uky.edu, (859) 257-1076
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 9, 2016) – Dr. Natasha Kyprianou, professor of Urology, Biochemistry, Pathology and Toxicology and Cancer Biology in the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, recently was invited by the director of the Institute of Biological Chemistry of Academia Sinica, Dr. Ching-Shih Chen, on an eight-day academic tour of Taiwan that provided unique opportunities to establish global collaborations in cancer research.
The James F. Hardymon Chair of Urologic Research at the Markey Cancer Center, Kyprianou was a distinguished scholar at Academia Sinica and nominated to become a member of the Academy in Taipei.
During her visit in December 2015, she gave presentations at prestigious national institutions and universities in Taiwan including: the National Health Research Institute (NHRI), Taipei Medical University and Kaohsiung Medical University (KMU), where she interacted with the senior leadership and other faculty. Kyprianou was also honored with the invitation to give the keynote address at the international conference on Frontiers in Cancer Research organized by KMU. Finally, she gave a lecture to the departments of Biochemistry and Urology at the National Cheng Kung University in the historic Tainan City. "I was honored and humbled by the recognition I received in Taiwan on a national level," Kyprianou said.
Kyprianou's trip was more than a lecture series on her work on prostate cancer, she also sat on the international advisory board for the NHRI, the international equivalent of the National Institutes of Health, led by NHRI President Kung, and was invited by KMU President Dr. Ching-Kuan Liu to become an adjunct chair professor in the College of Biomedical Sciences. Kyprianou discussed the significance of this appointment, her trip and its impact to UK and the Markey Cancer Center. She said she believes it will foster "creative research interactions between investigators and scholars among the leading academic institutions in Taiwan and UK and also nurture mentoring programs in cancer research between the two countries."
Media Contact: Olivia McCoy, 859-257-1076
Lexington, Ky. (Feb. 9, 2016) — University of Kentucky College of Nursing Dean Janie Heath joined nursing and public health professionals on Capitol Hill Feb. 4 to voice support for legislation protecting children from the dangers of e-cigarettes.
Heath advocated on National Cancer Prevention Day on behalf of the Less Cancer Foundation, a national organization with the mission of keeping prevention at the forefront of the “cancer conversation.” Heath, who also serves as the UK Warwick Professor of Nursing, argued e-cigarettes are marketed to youth through colorful, deceptive packaging and framed as fun product, with flavors including Dr. Pepper and Fruit Loops. Marketing tactics have contributed to a significant rise in youth using e-cigarettes in the past few years, she said.
Heath emphasized that the known dangers of e-cigarettes are not limited to nicotine exposure, but also include the inhalation of carcinogens such as formaldehyde and the adverse effects of nicotine-brain. She authored an opinion piece on the issue, which was published in the Huffington Post on Feb. 3.
In January, the U.S. Senate and Congress passed a safety-cap bill requiring child-resistant packaging for the liquids used in e-cigarettes. Heath said these products should be closely monitored to prevent a public health crisis, and more must be accomplished to protect youth from the possible health consequences of e-cigarettes.
“Without additional, commonsense measures going forward, we risk repeating the public health nightmare caused by cigarette smoking,” Heath said. “We must ensure that the progress represented by the safety-cap legislation is only a first — not the last — step we take together.”
To read the opinion piece, click here.
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 8, 2016) — Lexus of Lexington will raffle away a brand new Lexus ES 350 to support Kentucky Children’s Hospital (KCH) at 1 p.m. on Feb. 18 at the Lexus Store located at 1264 East New Circle Road. Tickets can still be purchased to enter the drawing.
Funds raised through raffle tickets will improve facilities for children receiving treatment at KCH. Lexus of Lexington has set a fundraising goal of $100,000 for the 2015-2016 raffle and supports Ocean Pod renovations at KCH.
“Giving back to the community has always been an important part of our business, and who better to support than KCH, the pediatric care center that takes care of Kentucky’s kids,” said Lexington businessman Rick Avare, co-owner of The Lexus Store of Lexington.
Raffle tickets are $100 each and can be purchased online at www.givetokch.org/lexus, in person by visiting the Lexus dealership on 1264 E. New Circle Road, or by contacting the KCH Development office at (859) 257-1179. There is no limit on the number of tickets purchased, and ticket holders do not have to be present to win.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 8, 2016) — The unspoken pact among Wildcat fans to always "Bleed Blue" was suspended last week in the Pavilion A atrium of UK Chandler Hospital long enough for supporters to "Go Red."
The American Heart Association's "Go Red for Women" day was Friday, Feb. 5 and dozens of supporters showed up dressed in red to promote awareness of women's heart health.
"Sadly, we are seeing more women with heart disease at a younger age," said Dr. Gretchen Wells, Gill Heart Institute's director of Women's Heart Health and the event's featured speaker. "It's critical we help women understand that heart disease affects them differently, that their heart attack symptoms can be different than men's, and that they shouldn't put off seeing a doctor if they have symptoms."
Wells explained that mortality rates for heart attack are actually higher in women than in men primarily because many women downplay their symptoms and/or don't recognize them as symptoms of heart attack until it's too late. She offered her own "Top 10" to encourage women to think about their heart health, including:
Know your symptoms. "Half of all women having a heart attack will experience chest pains, but the other half won't have that 'Hollywood Heart Attack,'" she said. Women are more likely to experience chest pressure, chest discomfort, back pain, jaw pain, or even tooth pain. Other symptoms include shortness of breath, cold sweats, nausea or lightheadedness. "Sadly, all of these symptoms mimic common illnesses like flu, and so women tend to dismiss them," Wells said.
Know your numbers. "Blood pressure, cholesterol, body weight and blood sugar are all factors that contribute to heart disease," said Wells. "It's critically important that you find out what your numbers are and take measures to correct anything that's out of line." Wells added an interesting note: while weight is important, waist size is perhaps a more relevant predictor of heart disease. "Women don't like to have their waists measured, but it is a really good way for us to predict heart disease."
Pay attention to lifestyle factors. Quitting smoking, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, get 150 minutes of exercise a week and find ways to reduce stress all can help reduce heart attack risk. "You don't necessarily have to join a gym or invest in a lot of expensive equipment to get heart-healthy," Wells explained. "Simply find ways to incorporate more energy into your day — park your car a little bit farther away in the lot, walk to lunch — even some household chores can burn a decent number of calories."
Call your mother. "This suggestion came from my mother," Wells explained with a smile. "Your family history can tell a lot about your risk for heart disease, and you should talk to your mother or other family member to learn whether heart disease runs in your family and, if so, which types."
The event ended with fruity treats, free chair massages and aromatherapy hand massages, and a group photo of participants dressed in red to honor the day.
"I didn't realize until today how women are different than men when it comes to heart disease," said Elizabeth Carman as she surveyed a table full of heart health information and giveaways. "I'm glad I came, and I will definitely be paying more attention to what I eat in the future to stay heart healthy."
Wells is already planning for Go Red 2017. She hopes UK HealthCare staff will contribute their heart-healthy recipes to a cookbook or even a bake-off to see who can make the tastiest healthy treats.
"Nothing would make me happier than to see our women commit to healthier living," Wells said. "We are role models for our spouses, our children, and our peers, and we must learn to put our health first for our own sake and as a model for those who love us, admire us, and/or work with us."
MEDIA CONTACT: Laura Dawahare, firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 5, 2015) — With her tiny body too vulnerable to withstand the world outside her mother’s womb, infant Emma Lewis continued to grow and develop inside an incubator during the first four days of her life.
But the life-preserving incubator at Kentucky Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) also separated Emma from her mother’s nurturing touch, which plays an important role in comforting and strengthening newborns. Those days were emotionally grueling for parents Katie and D.J. Lewis, who feared they were missing out on a critical time of bonding with their baby.
“I just always thought I’d have a picture-perfect delivery,” Katie Lewis said. “That I will get to hold her, and all the family will come and see her and hold her.”
Halfway through Katie’s pregnancy, a serious and rare complication expedited Emma’s delivery, making Katie’s vision of a perfect birth impossible. Obstetricians at St. Joseph East diagnosed Lewis with HELLP syndrome, a life-threatening variation of preeclampsia that causes a depletion of red blood cells and liver failure in the mother. As symptoms worsened, Katie’s brain swelled and liver started to fail. Because the only way to stop the progression of HELLP syndrome is through delivery, doctors sent Lewis to UK HealthCare where an obstetrics teams delivered baby Emma via emergency cesarean section at 26 weeks gestational age.
One-pound, 15-ounce Emma arrived on July 13, 2015, attached to intravenous lines, beeping monitors and a breathing ventilator to support her underdeveloped lungs. The neonatal care team watched Emma closely because of the risk of brain bleed, and monitored her red blood cell count and bacterial infections. While the team focused on giving Emma the best chance for survival and recovery, they did not neglect the essential function of maternal and paternal bonding during her stay in the NICU. Even in cases involving the earliest born and weakest babies, the NICU nursing staff attempts to accommodate maternal-paternal bonding with families through postponed Kangaroo Care.
In 2015, three Kentucky Children’s Hospital nurses, LaQuinta Bailey, Tara Hunt and Lisa McGee, received special training to facilitate Kangaroo Care for parents whose baby required treatment in the NICU. A standard method for initiating the maternal-infant bonding process of skin-to-skin contact, Kangaroo Care is typically conducted immediately after birth by placing the baby on the mother’s chest. Skin-to-skin contact soothes infants under stress, stimulates the nervous system, regulates an infant’s heart rate, and improves weight gain, among other benefits for mothers and babies. In the busy NICU environment, where intravenous lines, incubator isolation, heart monitors, and feeding tubes complicate the process, nurses must work within their environment and parameters to engage families in bonding practices.
Lisa McGee, a NICU clinical nurse specialist, said the additional expertise has prepared KCH nurses to help families navigate the challenges of implementing Kangaroo Care hours, days or even weeks after birth.
“There is a lot of science behind Kangaroo Care,” McGee said. “Actually, the biggest thing it does is to decrease stress in the baby, and it helps parasympathetic nervous system to come into play, so that the baby calms down.”
Katie Lewis recalls nurses in the operating room encouraging her to look at Emma immediately after the cesarean delivery. Because Emma required immediate placement in an incubator, the medical team couldn’t spare any time for maternal bonding. Instead, the nurses initiated paternal bonding with D.J. Lewis after birth by allowing the new dad to touch Emma as she was relocated to an incubator.
A day later, Katie recovered from surgery and reunited with Emma, who was still inside the incubator. After four days passed, the eager parents were able to hold Emma outside the incubator for the first time. During this interaction, nurses helped initiate skin-to-skin contact by setting Emma on the chests of her parents.
At first, the couple held Emma for increments of an hour and a half because getting the baby in and out of the incubator frequently was a risk. Emma relied on the warmth of her parents’ bodies to retain heat, calories and body temperature. As Emma gained strength, the nursing staff gradually introduced the parents to new bonding opportunities, such as giving Emma a bath, pushing her food through a feeding tube, giving her a bottle of Katie’s breast milk and reading her books.
Bonding was especially important for D.J. Lewis, a sergeant in the U.S. Army. At the time of Emma’s birth, Lewis was preparing for a yearlong deployment to Kuwait in September. He couldn’t wait for IV lines and monitors to disappear to begin the bonding process with their daughter.
“He loved it,” Katie Lewis said of D.J.’s role in paternal bonding. “He would just fall asleep with her and rub her head and read books.”
Katie Lewis said the NICU nurses encouraged and affirmed the parents in interacting with their fragile child. The nurses shifted equipment and rearranged areas in the NICU pods to accommodate peaceful Kangaroo Care time for the family, even in the middle of the night. As Emma’s chances of survival increased with each day, the nurses transitioned the responsibility of care to the parents. The parents learned the baby’s signals indicating breathing problems or a loss of body heat.
“None of them made me feel like I didn’t know what I was doing,” Katie Lewis said of the nursing staff. “They would help reposition us, they would move the incubator — to make us feel as at home as possible.”
By the time Emma was ready to leave the hospital in September, Katie Lewis felt terrified but also excited.
“When we got home, I sat on my couch and I held her and I cried because it’s such an exciting feeling,” Katie Lewis said. “To be able to reach that milestone and go home for good was a very exciting feeling.”
More NICU nurses will receive formal training to become certified Kangaroo Care Caregivers. McGee said low birth weight infants received Kangaroo Care in about 45 percent of cases, with efforts underway to increase the number of families benefiting from Kangaroo Care.
And paternal bonding was worth the extra effort for D.J. Lewis, who came home to visit his family in November. Emma had no trouble snuggling and sleeping on her dad’s chest after his time away.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 4, 2016) — Want a free chair massage? An aromatherapy hand massage? A chocolaty fruit treat? If you "Go Red" tomorrow, you can get all of this and more.
February is Heart Month and Feb. 5 is the American Heart Association's "Go Red Day" celebrating women's heart health. Beginning at 11 a.m. tomorrow in the atrium of Chandler Hospital's Pavilion A, the Gill Heart Institute will celebrate Go Red Day with heart-healthy tips, treats and prizes.
According to Dr. Gretchen Wells, director of the Women's Heart Health Program at the Gill Heart Institute, women's hearts are different from men's in certain ways, which can affect the way women develop heart disease and experience heart attack symptoms.
"People assume all heart attacks feel like a crushing in the chest, but often, and for women in particular, the symptoms of a heart attack can be quite different," Wells said. "Events like Go Red Day give us another opportunity to teach women what to look for and how to take the best care of your heart."
There will be free chair massages and aromatherapy hand massages beginning at 11 a.m. in the Pavilion A atrium of Chandler Hospital. At noon, Wells will offer tips for women's heart health. Afterward, there will be delicious treats, gifts and take-home information. Anyone wearing red is encouraged to participate in a group photo session at 12:30 p.m.
To be eligible for a prize, take a selfie wearing red and post it to the Gill Heart Association's Facebook page with the hashtag "#GillGoesRed." You can also visit http://twibbon.com/Support/gill-goes-red-2016-2 for instructions on how to customize your photo.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 3, 2016) — Parents and caregivers are urged to take a moment to pause and talk to children about the importance of good oral health and make sure good dental habits are being formed during National Children’s Oral Health Month.
“More people are beginning to understand that good dental health is linked to good overall health," said Dr. Enrique Bimstein, chief of the Division of Oral Health Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry. "But we still have work to do around helping people understand that good habits need to be formed early in life.”
Some people believe primary, or “baby” teeth are not very important. However, primary teeth have significant jobs to do, including helping children chew and speak and holding space for permanent teeth, he said.
"A healthy mouth helps keep a child healthy overall," Bimstein said. "Dental pain, from something like a toothache, can be very distracting in a classroom setting and may require children to miss school time in order to receive necessary treatment. If left untreated, problems can sometimes lead to more serious infections, placing a child at risk for larger health problems."
Bimstein provides a few oral health reminders:
· Brush two minutes, two times a day with fluoride toothpaste.
· Floss daily to help reach where brushing misses.
· Schedule a child’s first dental visit no later than age 1 year old, and schedule regular checkups following their first visit.
“With proper care, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits, children’s primary teeth can remain healthy and strong — helping to maintain their overall health,” said Bimstein.
To celebrate National Children’s Oral Health Month, UK Oral Health will be providing free children’s dental supplies, while supplies last, on Thursdays in February. More information is available at dentistry.uky.edu/pediatric.
Media Contact: Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 2, 2016) — It's National Heart Month — a good time to think more deeply about your health and how to make heart-healthy lifestyle choices.
“More people know about heart health now than they did 20 years ago," said Dr. Gretchen Wells, director of Women's Heart Health at the Gill Heart Institute. "But we still have a lot of work to do, especially with women, whose symptoms can be different than men's.”
Many believe that heart health involves strenuous tasks and countless hours at the gym. But just 30 minutes of exercise five out of seven days a week can reduce heart attack risk by up to 50 percent.
"You can kill two birds with one stone by doing a few simple tasks around the house," Wells said. "Even a little bit of physical activity can have a big benefit on your health. "
According to the Calorie Control Council, activities such as dusting or vacuuming can burn up to 216 calories in the comfort of your home.
Dr. Wells provides a few reminders to begin living heart-healthy:
· Be active for at least 30 minutes a day
· Choose foods that are low in sodium and saturated fat
· Take steps to quit smoking
· Know your numbers. If your blood glucose (sugar), cholesterol, blood pressure, and/or BMI are abnormal, get treatment.
Wells cautions that you should always check with your doctor before beginning an exercise routine. "They know your health status and can help you tailor a program that fits into your needs and your schedule -- both of which are important factors for success."
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 1, 2016) — Dementia is a "family disease." The patient, their loved ones and their caregivers are all affected.
Dementia refers to a decline of cognitive health that interferes with everyday life. Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most recognizable form of dementia, but many other conditions can also affect cognitive health. There is no cure for AD, and almost all patients with dementia will eventually require constant care from a caregiver or loved one. In 2015, there were 5.3 million Americans suffering from this devastating disease.
In the creation of art, multiple aspects of learning take place and multiple domains related to learning are engaged, including focus and concentration, problem-solving skills, tolerance to ambiguity, image and concept formation, imagination, and visual-spatial thinking, just to name a few. On top of that, feelings and emotional sensitivities are involved in producing a work of art, as well as important motor skills like hand-eye coordination.
Researchers at the University of Kentucky are looking further into the notion that visual arts can have a positive effect on patients with mild to moderate dementia. This study will also explore the potential effects on the patient's caregiver.
By having participants create art — such as drawing, sculpture, and/or paper mache, we hope to enhance problem solving skills, focus/concentration, and hand-eye coordination. We also hope to see an improvement in mood and in overall thinking, all of which contribute significantly to quality of life.
This study will be eight weeks long and will meet once a week at the School of Arts and Visual Studies. Each session will last about an hour and a half. Participation in the study, including all art materials, is free of charge. To be involved in this study the patient must live at home, have intact hearing/vision, and have mild to moderate dementia. The caregiver needs to have at least ten contact hours a week with the patient and be able to accompany and assist the patient during the study.
If you would like to know more about the study, contact Dr. Allan Richards, 859-361-1483 or Ann Christianson-Tietyen, 859-312-4553.
Ann Christianson-Tietyen is an Instructor of Art Education in the University of Kentucky School of Art and Visual Studies
This column appeared in the January 31, 2016 edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 29, 2016) — At noon on Friday, Feb. 5, UK's Gill Heart Institute will be "going red."
February is Heart Month and Feb. 5 is the American Heart Association's "Go Red Day" celebrating women's heart health. The women — and men — of the Gill Heart Institute use the day to educate women about the differences in women's vs. men's hearts, heart disease and heart attack symptoms.
According to Dr. Gretchen Wells, director of the Women's Heart Health Program at the Gill Heart Institute, women's hearts are different than men's in certain ways, which can affect the way women develop heart disease and experience heart attack symptoms.
"People assume all heart attacks feel like a crushing in the chest, but often, and for women in particular, the symptoms of a heart attack can be quite different," Wells said. "Events like 'Go Red Day' give us another opportunity to teach women what to look for and how to take the best care of your heart."
Wells also points out that there are biological, social and psychological factors that change the way women experience heart disease and act on its symptoms.
"Awareness is key to helping women understand what to look for and when to seek treatment," she said.
On 'Go Red Day' at noon, Wells will offer tips for women's heart health in the atrium of Pavilion A in UK Chandler Hospital. Afterward, there will be special treats, gifts and take-home information. Anyone wearing red is welcome to participate in a group photo session at 12:30 pm.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 28, 2016) – Today, 10 health care systems across the Commonwealth of Kentucky, collectively known as the Kentucky Health Collaborative, announced its primary objectives of raising the standards of care across the state, addressing the Commonwealth’s poor health statistics and reducing the cost of care through greater operational efficiencies.
The founding health systems’ chief executive officers or appointed executives are serving on a steering committee guiding the formation and development of the collaborative.
The initial health systems which have signed on as charter members of the collaborative are:
Appalachian Regional Healthcare (Lexington, KY)*
Baptist Health (Louisville, KY)
Ephraim McDowell Health (Danville, KY)
LifePoint Health (Brentwood, TN)
Norton Healthcare (Louisville, KY)
Owensboro Health (Owensboro, KY)
St. Claire Regional Medical Center (Morehead, KY)
St. Elizabeth Healthcare (Edgewood, KY)
The Medical Center (Bowling Green, KY)
UK HealthCare (Lexington, KY)
*Parentheses designate location of organization’s headquarters
Kentucky Health Collaborative is still in its early stages of development, and there are many details yet to be finalized, such as which issues and opportunities for improvement the group will tackle first. As the collaborative develops the systems and infrastructure needed to accomplish its goals, the opportunity to join will extend to a wider pool of potential members across the Commonwealth.
In addition, the collaborative’s steering committee has hired William “Bill” L. Shepley as the organization’s inaugural executive director. Shepley, who has more than 25 years of experience as a health care executive at organizations such as the Southern Atlantic Healthcare Alliance and the Coastal Carolinas Healthcare Alliance, has devoted his career to developing and managing multi-facility alliances and networks to guide organizations through changes in the health care delivery system.
“Being offered this opportunity to serve the Commonwealth of Kentucky was one of the proudest moments of my career,” said Shepley. “The Kentucky Health Collaborative has created a governance structure that supports the inclusion and participation of health care providers regardless of location within the Commonwealth, size or profit structure. The solutions we expect to develop through the collaborative have worked well for similar networks across the country, and I am honored to be a part of this important process.”
Media Contact: Kristi Lopez, firstname.lastname@example.org; 859-806-0445
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 27, 2016) – In response to low national vaccination rates for the human papillomavirus (HPV), the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center has joined 68 of the nation’s top cancer centers in issuing a statement urging for increased HPV vaccination for the prevention of cancer. The 100 percent consensus among the nation's 69 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer centers demonstrates that these institutions collectively recognize insufficient vaccination as a public health threat and call upon the nations’ physicians, parents and young adults to take advantage of this rare opportunity to prevent many types of cancer.
"Although we have made progress in the past several years, Kentucky continues to rank first in the nation for both cancer incidence and mortality," said Dr. Mark Evers, director of the UK Markey Cancer Center. "We are still in the top 10 nationally for cervical cancer deaths, and increasing the HPV vaccination rates will significantly lower this grim statistic."
National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer centers joined in this effort in the spirit of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union call for a national “moonshot” to cure cancer, a collaborative effort led by Vice President Joe Biden.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HPV infections are responsible for approximately 27,000 new cancer diagnoses each year in the U.S. Several vaccines are available that can prevent the majority of cervical, anal, oropharyngeal (middle throat) and other genital cancers. In Kentucky, particularly the Appalachian region of Kentucky, the rates for these cancers are higher than the national average.
Vaccination rates remain low across the U.S., with under 40 percent of girls and just over 21 percent of boys receiving the recommended three doses. In Kentucky, roughly 37 percent of girls and just over 13 percent of boys complete the vaccine schedule. Research shows there are a number of barriers to overcome to improve vaccination rates, including a lack of strong recommendations from physicians and parents not understanding that this vaccine protects against several types of cancer.
"It bears repeating that the HPV vaccine can prevent cancer and our low rates of adolescent vaccination in Kentucky can be improved with novel, coordinated community-clinical linkages," said Robin Vanderpool, co-lead on a recent NCI HPV vaccination supplement awarded to Markey and associate professor in the UK College of Public Health. "We have projects on-going throughout the state to improve healthcare provider education and awareness of the vaccine, including working with local pharmacies. Among other initiatives, we also have a comprehensive public awareness campaign spearheaded by the Kentucky Department for Public Health."
To discuss strategies for overcoming these barriers, experts from the NCI, CDC, American Cancer Society and more than half of the NCI-designated cancer centers met in a summit at MD Anderson Cancer Center last November. During this summit, cancer centers shared findings from 18 NCI-funded environmental scans, or detailed regional assessments, which sought to identify barriers to increasing immunization rates in pediatric settings across the country.
The published call to action was a major recommendation resulting from discussions at that summit, with the goal of sending a powerful message to parents, adolescents and health care providers about the importance of HPV vaccination for cancer prevention.
MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 28, 2016) — The University of Kentucky College of Dentistry is offering limited dental screenings for the reduced cost of $5 on select dates. Screenings include limited x-rays and a limited review for tooth decay. Participants can support UK dental students as they prepare for their licensing exam and get their oral health checked in the process.
No appointment is necessary. Screenings will be completed at the UK College of Dentistry (see directions and parking information) from 5:30-7 p.m. on the following dates:
· Thursday, Feb. 11
· Thursday, Feb. 25
· Thursday, March 10
· Thursday, March 24
· Thursday, April 7
In order to qualify for a $5 screening, participants must be:
· Age 14 or older;
· Available to attend the dental students’ licensing exam on either Friday, April 22 or Saturday, April 23, if selected as a dental patient. Dental services provided during the exam will be at no cost to patients.
Patients requiring care in excess of licensing exam requirements will be referred for a full dental screening and treatment. Please call (859) 323-6525 with any questions.
Media Contact: Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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