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LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 30, 2015) — The controversy surrounding mandated childhood vaccinations represents a tension between policies protecting populations from disease and those upholding the American liberties of families.
Currently, legislation in 48 states allows parents to file for an exemption from mandatory childhood vaccination requirements on the grounds of religion. But in December 2014, an outbreak of the measles, a disease once considered obsolete in the United States, raised widespread concern about the public health risks associated with exposing unvaccinated children to large populations.
On March 31, University of Kentucky experts representing public health, law, pediatrics and behavioral science will discuss the hot-button issue of childhood vaccinations. The panelist will comment on consequences of current policies in light of the recent measles outbreak originating in Disneyland and provide insight on the issue from their profession's perspective. Free and open to students, staff and faculty members across disciplines and colleges, the panel will take place at 12 p.m. in the UK Athletics Alumni Auditorium of the William T. Young Library on campus.
· Dr. L. Curtis Cary, pediatrician and professor in the UK College of Medicine with a teaching emphasis on vaccines and HIV medicine doctor at the Bluegrass Care Clinic.
· Nicole Huberfeld, JD, the H. Wendell Cherry Professor of Law at the UK College of Law and a bioethics associate at the UK College of Medicine.
· Dr. Kraig Humbaugh, senior deputy commissioner and director of the Division of Epidemiology and Health Planning at the Kentucky Department for Public Health.
· April Young, Ph.D, an assistant professor in the UK Department of Epidemiology in the College of Public Health.
After a moderated discussion, the floor will be open to questions from the audience. For more information, visit www.uky.edu/publichealth/.
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 30, 2015) -- Humans discovered the usefulness of lead centuries ago. Abundantly available, easily molded and extremely resistant to corrosion, lead was considered ideal for many uses, including insecticides, paint pigment, soldering for canned foods, and pipes for plumbing.
Scientists were aware that acute lead toxicity caused by high levels of lead absorption could cause significant health problems and even death, but it was not until the 1970s that it became clear that chronic exposure to low levels of lead could also have significant long term health effects, particularly cognitive and behavioral impairment. Children are particularly vulnerable because of their developing nervous systems.
Aggressive steps were taken to reduce the amount of lead in the environment. Lead based paint was banned in 1978, lead pipes for plumbing have been restricted since 1988, and lead based gasoline was phased out and ultimately banned in 1995. Water supplies are subject to strict regulation and lead levels are monitored closely in schools and daycares. Occupational exposure is also closely monitored. These measures have been highly successful: mean blood lead levels have decreased almost 80 percent from 1976 to 1991.
Today, other than occupational exposure, the most common sources of lead are found in the paint and pipes of old buildings, and in glazed pottery, some makeup, and folk medicine, especially from other countries.
It is recommended that children be screened for lead by age 2, particularly if they live in a building that was built before 1978. This way, intervention can be taken before long term problems occur. Ask your doctor to screen your child for lead exposure.
Watch out for lead in your home, particularly if your house is older. When old paint cracks and peels, it creates dangerous, almost invisible dust particles that you absorb just by breathing. Watch your children, especially babies (who like to put things in their mouths), who might try to eat paint chips. Home repairs like sanding or scraping paint can also create dangerous lead dust. You should not be in the house while someone is cleaning up after renovations, painting, or remodeling a room with lead paint.
Talk to your doctor about any medicines or vitamins you take. Some folk medicines and dietary supplements may have lead in them. Use caution when eating candies, spices, and other foods from foreign countries, especially if they appear to be noncommercial products.
Avoid using imported lead-glazed ceramic pottery produced in cottage industries, leaded crystal, and/or pewter or brass containers or utensils to cook, serve or store food. Do not use dishes that are chipped or cracked.
Overall, the rapid decrease of lead exposure in the environment in this country has been the remarkable result of a thorough public health campaign. Let’s continue to be diligent and ensure that everyone, especially children, is protected from the effects of lead toxicity.
Dr. Kimberly S. Jones is a neurologist at UK HealthCare’s Kentucky Neuroscience Institute
This column appeared in the March 29, 2015 edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader
FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 27, 2015) – First Lady Jane Beshear and Attorney General Jack Conway announced Thursday that heroin/opiate overdose reversal kits will be purchased and made available to people treated for overdoses at the University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital and the University of Kentucky’s Good Samaritan Hospital. The funding is provided through the Substance Abuse Treatment Advisory Committee (SATAC).
“This project will allow us to get this medicine into the hands and homes of the people who need it most – heroin users and their families,” Attorney General Conway said. “Heroin and opiate abuse is killing Kentuckians, and these kits will save lives and provide a second chance for people to seek treatment for their addictions. I appreciate the legislature doing the right thing and putting people over politics in the waning hours of the 2015 General Assembly to pass meaningful heroin legislation. The legislation includes all of the provisions that I outlined were important to law enforcement. It increases penalties for large-scale traffickers, expands treatment, provides for a Good Samaritan defense, and gets Naloxone kits into the hands of first responders and limits the civil liability of those responders. People who sell heroin should be in jail. People addicted to heroin should be in treatment. This legislation gives prosecutors, police and healthcare professionals the tools we need to help attack the resurgence of heroin.”
The hospitals in Kentucky with the highest rates of heroin overdose deaths are receiving funding for the kits. In 2013, UK HealthCare treated 223 people for heroin overdoses. Overdose patients will receive a kit free of charge when they leave the hospital, so they or a loved one can prevent another overdose event and possibly save a life. The project is expected to up and running by Spring 2015.
“Unfortunately, we see the tragic circumstances and consequences of heroin and opiate abuse on an almost daily basis in our emergency departments,” said Dr. Roger Humphries, chair of Emergency Medicine at UK HealthCare. “To give patients and family members the ability to rapidly administer a safe and potentially life-saving treatment will make a significant difference for some of our patients, and it will save lives.”
Gov. Steve Beshear created SATAC by executive order to oversee the KY Kids Recovery grant program and distribution of $32 million in settlement funds that Attorney General Conway secured from two pharmaceutical companies. The judge required the settlement funds be used to expand treatment in Kentucky. Attorney General Conway chairs the committee and First Lady Jane Beshear serves on the committee.
The committee is providing $105,000 to purchase approximately 2,000 Naloxone Rescue kits for the University of Louisville Hospital, the UK HealthCare hospitals in Lexington, and the St. Elizabeth Hospital system in Northern Kentucky. About 300 of those kits will be purchased for use at the University of Kentucky Medical Center. The kits will be provided free of charge to every treated and discharged overdose victim at the pilot project hospitals.
Naloxone, which is also known as Narcan, has no potential for abuse and immediately reverses the effects of a heroin overdose by physiologically blocking the effects of opiates. Right now, it is not covered by Medicaid or many private insurance companies, which means even if users receive a prescription they are unlikely to fill it because they cannot afford it. Naloxone is available in injectable or nasal mist forms. The nasal mist form must still be approved by the FDA. When approved, health experts believe most insurance companies and Medicaid will begin to cover the costs.
“Narcan kits are critical, lifesaving tools that can help put people on the road to recovery,” said Mrs. Beshear. “As Kentuckians expand access to mental health treatment, including addiction recovery, it’s more important than ever to have community access to tools like Narcan. Often, an overdose experience is what finally drives people suffering from addiction to seek help.”
In 2013, 230 Kentuckians died from heroin overdoses. Final numbers for heroin overdoses in 2014 are not yet available, but the Office of Drug Control Policy estimates heroin was involved in 30 percent of all drug overdose deaths.
History of SATAC
Gov. Steve Beshear created SATAC to administer $32 million in settlement funds that Attorney General Conway secured from two pharmaceutical companies.
The committee created KY Kids Recovery grants to help expand adolescent treatment in Kentucky. The 19 programs it is funding are located in every region of the state. The program encompass all aspects of evidence-based, substance abuse services for adolescents, including prevention, outpatient counseling, intensive outpatient and residential services.
For a complete list of the 19 grant recipients, visit KyKidsRecovery.ky.gov.
In addition to the $19 million in KY Kids Recovery grants, the settlement is providing $500,000 to complete construction of a Recovery Kentucky center in Carter County, $2.5 million for almost 900 scholarships to Recovery Kentucky centers, and $560,000 to create 14 drug-free homes for people completing and transitioning out of residential substance abuse treatment programs.
The following entities are also receiving funds from the settlement:
· $6 million to administer and upgrade KASPER, Kentucky’s electronic prescription drug monitoring program.
· $1 million to support substance abuse treatment for pregnant women by Chrysalis House in Lexington and Independence House in Corbin.
· $1.5 million to the University of Kentucky to develop best practices for adolescent substance abuse treatment providers.
· $1 million to develop a school-based substance abuse screening tool with the Kentucky Department of Education to intervene with at-risk children before they enter judicial or social services systems.
· $250,000 to create a database to evaluate outcomes of adolescent treatment.
For more information about Attorney General Conway’s efforts to fight substance abuse, visit www.ag.ky.gov/rxabuse.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 27, 2015) – Next week, KET will feature three University of Kentucky experts discussing cancer care in a set of programs that will accompany the three-part documentary series Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies by Ken Burns.
The series, which will air March 30, 31 and April 1 at 9 p.m., is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee.
On Sunday, March 29, at 1 p.m. on KET, UK Markey Cancer Center Director Dr. Mark Evers, will appear on One to One with Bill Goodman, discussing the latest news in cancer care and research, and Markey's goals to conquer cancer in the Commonwealth. Evers' interview will air again on Monday, March 30, 12:30 a.m. on KET and Tuesday, March 31, 7:30 p.m. on KET2.
On Wednesday, April 1 at 8 p.m., two UK experts will join KET Health Three60 host Renee Shaw for a live call-in program called "Answers for Cancer." Dr. Tim Mullett, a UK HealthCare lung cancer specialist who is himself a cancer survivor, and Dr. Fran Feltner, director of the UK Center for Excellence in Rural Health, will be on the panel to take questions from viewers about cancer screening, treatment and recovery resources in Kentucky.
Other panelists include Donald Miller, director of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville, and Patrick Williams, medical director at Norton Cancer Institute in Louisville.
Viewers can submit questions to the original program via Twitter at @HealthKET, by email at email@example.com, or by phone at 800-753-6237. A recording of the program will air on KETKY April 6 at 9 a.m., April 10 at 11 a.m., April 11 at 4 a.m. and April 13 at 2 a.m.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 26, 2015) – Dr. John H. Eichhorn, professor of Anesthesiology and Provost’s Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, authored a paper earlier in his career titled, "Standards for Patient Monitoring During Anesthesia at Harvard Medical School," which is named in the current issue of the prestigious journal, Anesthesia and Analgesia, as one of the top 20 most important articles in anesthesiology ever written.
The Anesthesia and Analgesia review of the most important articles cites papers dating back to 1846 when the use of ether was first demonstrated (No. 1 on the list). Eichhorn's report of the work of a committee he chaired starting in the mid 1980s at Harvard was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. It describes the development and implementation of practice standards and protocols that ultimately changed clinical behavior of an entire profession, and virtually eliminated intraoperative anesthesia catastrophes caused by human error.
The landmark paper was ranked No. 10 on the review list, and, as that article indicates, it was a real "game changer," the impact of which persists today around the world. As a result of career-long efforts to improve patient safety and quality of care in anesthesia, in 2011 Eichhorn received the John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award for Individual Achievement from the National Quality Forum (NQF) and the Joint Commission, the highest recognition there is in healthcare safety and quality.
“It was an exciting time back then,” said Eichhorn. “Some serious lapses in anesthesia care had led to severe patient injuries, and my group was directed to find a remedy. The solution required changing behaviors while also greatly improving on human senses in the OR by using what were then brand-new sensitive electronic technologies to monitor patients under anesthesia."
"It was the first example of creating published standards of practice specifically intended to change clinical behavior, Eichhorn added. "Fortunately, it worked, and since then to now, those practices are totally routine everywhere, every day. I speak also for my colleagues in stating we are very honored by this recognition.”
Media Contact: Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 25, 2015) — Neonatologists at Kentucky Children's Hospital (KCH) recently acquired an incubator compatible with magnetic resonance technology (MRI) to examine brain development and injuries in newborns.
The addition of the MR Diagnostics Incubator System nomag IC will allow KCH neonatologists to visualize the brain structures of high-risk infants born before 25 weeks of gestation, as well as infants who suffered from oxygen deprivation, also known as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, before delivery.
The state-of-the-art incubator will prevent the need for sedation in newborns, who are already susceptible to hypothermia and other complications that could exacerbate their conditions. As a benefit for the neonatal intensive care unit staff, the incubator, which custom fits into the MRI machine, will simplify the process of transporting an infant.
The UK Division of Neonatology specializes in caring for the smallest and most fragile newborn babies, some of them weighing less than 700 grams. UK has the only Level IV neonatal intensive care unit - the highest level for the most complex care - in the region and last year had nearly 900 patient admissions. The division offers a well-developed and comprehensive clinical care service and a rapidly growing research program.
While most premature infants will not need an MRI right away, Dr. Peter Giannone, chief of the Division of Neonatology and vice chair of Pediatric Research, said conducting MRIs on extremely premature babies prior to discharge is becoming a standard of practice in major medical centers specializing in care for these patients.
The incubator will also serve an important function enabling the collection of data for an ongoing study within the UK Department of Pediatrics, which is investigating the developmental implications of brain bleeds commonly diagnosed in premature babies.
"We will be able to put the baby in the incubator, connect specially designed monitoring equipment, and take the baby down to the MRI, with the anticipation of doing the MRI without sedation," Giannone said. "This will be a much safer way to do MRIs on our babies."
Giannone and John Bauer, Ph.D, a researcher in the Department of Pediatrics, are leading a randomized placebo-controlled trial looking at whether the delayed clamping of the umbilical cord at birth can improve blood flow to the brain and reduce the risk of brain lesions in the earliest premature babies. The research trial is supported by a $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 26, 2015) – The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center announced Wednesday that King's Daughters Medical Center in Ashland, 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, southern Ohio and West Virginia 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 King's Daughters Medical Center was invited to participate based on their previous experience in conducting oncology research. King's Daughters has participated in research with Markey for more than 25 years, enrolling more than 450 patients from nine surrounding counties in nearly 50 different cancer clinical studies in that time. Their active clinical research studies included those initiated at UK as well as national research studies sponsored by the National Cancer Institute in the National Clinical Trials Network. This long-standing oncology research portfolio will expand as a result of joining the Markey Research Network.
Dr. David Goebel, oncologist/hematologist at King's Daughters, said that this formal membership in the Markey Cancer Center Research Network would further King's Daughters' already strong relationship with the oncology researchers at UK.
"This research collaborative helps our patients with the best options to battle cancer," Goebel said. "The benefit of these studies not only can help the person with cancer, but also provide insight into treating others."
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 King's Daughters 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 King's Daughters 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 an NCI-designated cancer center not just serving all of Kentucky, but regions of Appalachia including West Virginia, 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 qualify work in clinical research and complying with federal regulations. Other medical centers are expected to join the Research Network in the coming months.
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 24, 2015) — Before fourth-year University of Kentucky medical students Kenisha Webb and Tom Muse opened acceptance letters to their medical residency programs, they calculated their odds of landing at the same location. Their letters could show any of 92 possible combinations of medical institutions between the two future doctors who started dating during medical school.
Sharing a podium and stage inside the Keene Barn at Keeneland on March 20, the couple declared they were both destined for Texas A&M University, where Webb, a native of Pikeville, will train to specialize in anesthesiology and Muse, who is from Lexington, will train for a career in general surgery.
"We just want to go somewhere that challenges us to excel," Muse said. "We want to be great physicians and take care of patients."
During the annual Match Day ceremony, graduating medical students in the Class of 2015 continued the tradition of opening their match letters in front of their classmates, families, instructors and mentors. More than 100 students in the class matched with residency programs across the country, at institutions including Yale University, University of California-San Francisco, Case Western Medical Center and the University of Kentucky. About a third of students will remain at the University of Kentucky for residency training. Twenty-two different specialties were represented by the outgoing students, and 38 percent will pursue residency training in primary care, which is defined as internal medicine, pediatrics, combined internal medicine and pediatrics, and family medicine.
For graduating medical students across the country, the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP) has standardized the residency selection process by establishing a uniform date of appointment to residency positions. The NRMP conducts its matches using a mathematical algorithm that pairs the rank ordered preferences of applicants and program directors to produce a “best fit” for filling available training positions.
Dr. Chipper Griffith, the senior associate dean for medical education in the College of Medicine who delivered the envelopes on Friday morning, considers the Match Day ceremony his second favorite day of the academic year. His favorite day is graduation in May, when the students officially receive the title of "doctor."
"What I really love about academic medicine is the rhythm of the school year," Griffith said. "I get to see these students in their first year go through their white coat ceremony, excited to become doctors, and then I get to see them a few years down the road when they are excited to go into their specialties, and it all culminates with Match Day."
LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 23, 2015) -- Dr. Mark V. Williams has been named chief transformation and learning officer (CTLO) for UK HealthCare as well as co-director of the newly created Office for Value and Innovation in Healthcare Delivery (OVIHD). He will co-direct OVIHD with Dr. Bernie Boulanger, chief medical officer, and foster innovative approaches to increasing the value of patient-centered care delivery.
By leveraging UK HealthCare’s growing information technology expertise and performance improvement efforts, Williams intends to collaborate with staff and leaders throughout UK HealthCare to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of care delivery through standardization across the health system. His office will also work to optimize care coordination, fostering a population health strategy to deliver the most effective patient-centered care in the most appropriate setting. “The Office for Value & Innovation in Healthcare Delivery represents a superb platform to transform and improve the quality of care for our patients and the citizens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” Williams said. “I eagerly look forward to collaborating with the wonderfully talented members of the UK HealthCare team. It’s a new era in health care, and we must rapidly change to provide a patient-centered approach that efficiently provides the highest value care in the optimal setting.” Working closely with co-director Boulanger, Williams will coordinate OVIHD efforts that use analytics to both evaluate implementation of evidence-based practices and foster applied health services research at UK HealthCare. The intent is to become a learning health system. “We are fortunate to have Dr. Mark Williams at UK HealthCare,” Boulanger said. “Mark brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that will help transform our care delivery system for the benefit of our patients. I look forward to working with him as we co-lead the new Office for Value and Innovation in Healthcare Delivery.” Williams is a nationally recognized leader in quality and patient safety with 25 years of experience leading clinical enterprises ranging from a medical emergency clinic with 65,000-visits-per-year to hospital medicine programs with 100-plus staff members. He has conducted seminal research in the fields of care transitions, hospital medicine, care delivery and health literacy. “As chief transformation & learning officer, Williams will play a key role in navigating our transformation into a value-driven and efficient provider of high-quality care,” said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK executive vice president for health affairs. “This position is key to our ability to continue to deliver the most effective patient-centered care we can offer.”
LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 24, 2015) – The International Federation of Medical Students Association will host a silent art auction Friday, March 27, in the atrium of the University of Kentucky's Biomedical Biological Science Research Building from noon to 5 p.m. Profits from the auction will support UK's Shoulder to Shoulder Clinic in Ecuador.
Shoulder to Shoulder is an organization created by UK to help serve underprivileged communities around the world. The university currently supports a year-round health clinic is Ecuador where locals can receive care free of cost. Funds raised through the auction will keep the clinic open to the public by providing a way for them to cover medical supplies, upkeep of the facility and other essential expenses.
The auction will feature original works of art, with many of the pieces donated by local Kentucky artists.
For more information on the auction, contact Shu Kwun Lui at email@example.com.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 24, 2015) – The Kentucky Regional Extension Center(REC) hosted its second Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Kick-Off Meeting on March 13 for a group of pioneer health care provider organizations in Kentucky.
Participants included UK HealthCare, Baptist Health Medical Group, Murray-Calloway County Physicians, Matthew 25 AIDS Clinic, Bluegrass Clinic, Bluegrass.org, Kentucky River Community Care, Harrison Memorial Hospital Physicians, and Dr. AC Wright.
The Kentucky REC will assist these practices in achieving recognition from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as a PCMH. Becoming a PCMH practice involves using an innovative improvement framework for healthcare organizations to enhance quality and value for patients. With its focus on quality improvement, care coordination, preventative services, and chronic disease management, the PCMH framework helps practices deliver better care, better outcomes and lower costs.
“We are delighted to offer support to practices as they prepare for the many changes ahead in healthcare,” said Dr. Carol Steltenkamp, Kentucky REC Director and UK HealthCare Chief Medical Information Officer. “We are excited to offer these services and to support innovative care models, such as PCMH, that are proven to help practices deliver coordinated, cost-effective care for their patients.”
Kentucky REC has helped health care providers across the state implement electronic health records and qualify for federal incentive funds. But, electronic health records are just a start for practices on the road to more patient-centered care. Now, the Kentucky REC is focused on helping practices prepare for the next wave of innovation by using technology together with changes in practice culture and workflow to radically improve patients’ experience of care and the effectiveness of the healthcare system overall.
Practices participate in group learning sessions for 18 months and work together with specially-trained REC staff to make changes that benefit patients. At the end of the 18 months, successful practices will apply for special recognition from NCQA.
Kentucky Regional Extension Center is a trusted advisor and strategic partner for health care providers in their efforts to improve care and patient outcomes, reduce healthcare costs and improve the overall health and well-being of the Commonwealth and beyond.
The Kentucky REC offers a comprehensive set of transformation services include: Meaningful Use Assistance, EHR Implementation & Optimization, HIPAA Privacy & Security Risk Analysis, Patient-Centered Medical Home Consulting, ICD-10 Training, and Quality Improvement Support.
For more information about the Kentucky REC, visit www.kentuckyrec.com. Follow @KentuckyREC on Twitter and connect on Facebook at www.facebook.com/EHRResource.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 23, 2015) — Kohl’s Department Stores recently donated $89,833 to Kentucky Children’s Hospital (KCH) to support the Kohl’s Read to Your Baby program, a hospital initiative encouraging parents read to their children during the earliest stages of life.
Dr. Donna Grigsby, chief of general pediatrics at KCH, has used these funds to raise public awareness by promoting the importance of reading to babies at events and making reading resources available to parents across the Commonwealth. The Kohl’s Read to Your Baby program offers free children's books during infant and toddler storytimes at dozens of libraries across Kentucky. In addition to preparing children for future success in school, reading to infants and toddlers on a daily basis helps calm them and foster healthy parent-child bonding.
"Studies have shown that reading aloud to your infant is the single most important factor in helping your child’s language development and love of reading," Grigsby said. "We are so grateful to Kohl’s for their support of our mission to encourage families and caregivers to read to their babies."
Kohl's commitment to KCH is made possible through the Kohl’s Cares cause merchandise program. Through this initiative, Kohl’s sells $5 books and plush toys, and 100 percent of net profits benefits children’s health and education programs nationwide, including hospital partnerships like this one. Kohl’s has raised more than $274 million through this merchandise program. Kohl’s has donated more than $1.2 million to KCH since 2000.
For more information about the benefits of reading to children and a list of baby-friendly books, visit readtoyourbabyky.com.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 24, 2015) -- Back and neck pain is a common problem that affects millions of Americans. In fact, roughly 80 percent of people suffer from this type of pain at some point in their lives.
One of the most common causes of back and neck problems is a disorder known as degenerative disc disease. Despite its name, this health problem is not actually a single disease, but a condition that develops as a consequence of aging.
As we grow older, the discs in the spine become weaker. You've probably heard that roughly 60 percent of the adult body is actually water -- your spinal discs may actually be up to 80 percent water when you're young! However, the discs dry out as we age, which means their ability to absorb shocks is diminished.
Additionally, everyday activities and physical activities such as sports may cause tears in the outer core of the discs. This is common and mostly unavoidable. Unlike other bodily tissues, the discs are unable to repair themselves due to poor blood supply.
All of these factors combine to cause degenerative disc disease, but everyone experiences this problem in a different way. Some people never show symptoms. However, for most people the symptoms start with a major injury followed by sudden pain, a minor injury followed by sudden pain, or pain that starts gradually and gets progressively worse.
Pain from degenerative disc disease is often more noticeable when you're seated, because the discs are bearing much more load than when you're standing. Additionally, pain may get worse with bending, lifting, or twisting. Some people find that walking, running, or even lying down alleviates pain.
Additionally, pain may not be just localized to the back or neck – it can also affect the lower back, buttocks, thighs, or even the arms and hands.
If a doctor suspects you have degenerative disc disease, he or she diagnoses you through a physical examination. This includes checking nerve endings, checking muscle strength, and checking for pain with your range of motion. A CT scan, MRI, or discogram might be used to better view damage to the disks.
Treatment can begin with self-care. This includes improving posture, resting, wearing a brace and performing exercises that strengthen the back. Your doctor may prescribe medications to reduce pain and swelling.
For most, these treatments help to reduce pain. However, surgery may be necessary for others, especially if degenerative disc bulges out and starts pinching on nerves or spinal cord, or causes instability in the spine.
Surgery is considered only when non-surgical options offer no improvement in symptoms and when reasonable correlation can be made between patient's symptoms and findings on diagnostic imaging.
Surgical options include discectomy and decompression of nerve roots, spinal fusion surgery or artificial disc replacement. Many of these can be performed with a minimally invasive approach, leading to faster recovery. Ask your doctor if you are a candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery.
Dr. Rasesh Desai is an orthopaedic surgeon at UK HealthCare.
This column appeared in the March 22, 2015 edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader
LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 19, 2015) - University of Kentucky College of Dentistry students Lauren Morris and Mike McQuinn are two of only 13 dental students in the nation to be awarded the 2015 American Dental Education Association (ADEA) Preventive Dentistry Scholarship. The award, presented annually, is given to support predoctoral dental students who have demonstrated academic excellence in preventive dentistry.
Morris, a fourth-year student, and McQuinn, a third-year student, will each receive $2,500 to be applied to their tuition and fees for predoctoral dental study.
“With only 13 of these scholarships being awarded, it is a real honor for two UKCD students to receive this honor,” said Sharon Turner, dean UK College of Dentistry.
Scholarship recipients were required to demonstrate a strong interest in preventive dentistry through their personal activities and achievements, possess a superior academic record and be nominated by their school’s dean.
“When I decided that my goal and passion in life was to become a dentist, I knew this career would provide me with the opportunity to make a positive impact on the oral health of my community and state. I'm hopeful that my research on post-operative care compliance of pediatric patients will lead to changes that will enable more children to obtain preventative dental care and education in the future,” said Morris. “I’m truly honored to receive this prestigious scholarship supporting dental students who have demonstrated academic achievements in preventive dentistry.”
"It is truly an honor to receive the Preventative Dentistry Scholarship from the American Dental Education Association. The fact that two students out of the thirteen selected nationally attend the University of Kentucky speaks to the fact that we, as students, are truly blessed to have an amazing group of faculty and staff providing us with the best education and mentorship available. The hard work and dedication that they invest in us will continue to open up opportunities for us to serve as the top scholars, clinicians and philanthropists in our field," McQuinn stated.
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 19, 2015) – Singing, laughing and smiling are not words that most people would associate with a cancer treatment, but for Lexington resident Bahar Aleem, it's a common experience.
Aleem was diagnosed with breast cancer after her doctor found a small cancerous lump in her breast during an annual mammogram. After having surgery to remove the tumor, she was required to come to the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center weekly for chemotherapy. That's when she discovered the healing power of music therapy.
Music therapy is a specific type of complementary therapy where a board-certified music therapist provides patient-preferred music before, during, or after treatments to help a patient relax and explore new ways of thinking about their experiences. Studies indicate that music therapy can help reduce patient anxiety, lower pain perception and even reduce the amount of sedative intake needed before a procedure.
Music therapy is always conducted with the purpose of achieving therapeutic outcomes. Because there's not one specific type of music that functions the same for everyone, music is chosen carefully in order to find songs that will have the best therapeutic effect for each individual patient and/or family.
UK HealthCare has offered music therapy in many inpatient areas of the hospital since 2010. Last year, Music Therapist Jennifer Peyton was hired to treat patients at Markey, and the cancer center is able to offer this service to both its inpatients and chemotherapy outpatients.
During cancer treatments, Peyton will visit a patient's room, armed with her guitar, shakers and other musical instruments. She sings and plays for the patients and encourages them to participate with her, hoping that the music will allow them to express their emotions in a new, comfortable way.
Peyton is quick to point out that the therapy aspect of what she does is the most important part.
"We use patient-preferred music to elicit change in spiritual, cognitive, physical, and emotional domains," said Peyton. "This is not entertainment. While it can be entertaining, music therapy is not entertainment. It's therapy that uses music as a vehicle to do it."
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Peyton sees Aleem regularly, and the song of choice for Aleem is "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."
"I think it takes you away from your current situation and just makes you feel normal for a little while," said Aleem. "You don't think about or worry about anything. It just takes you away and makes you feel happy."
After singing, Peyton asks Aleem a round of questions, including "What does this song do for you?" or "Where is 'over the rainbow' for you?" These are opportunities for Aleem to explore any emotions the song might have evoked.
"It's amazing how people can identify with lyrics of a song much more readily than they can express them themselves," said Peyton.
Once the music starts, Aleem's eyes light up and she begins to smile from ear to ear. Peyton plays her guitar and sings while Aleem happily sways back and forth, taps her feet, claps her hands and sings along. Even Aleem's husband joins in by playing small maracas. Because of music therapy, Aleem now looks forward to getting her treatments.
"Even though having someone sing and play to you isn't a typical event, it can help someone feel special and it normalizes things and make things not so scary and not so anxious and not so stressful," said Peyton.
Overall, Peyton says the response from patients receiving music therapy has been very positive. She looks forward to growing the program at Markey and serving even more patients from all across the state.
After experiencing its positive effects, Aleem hopes the program expands as well.
"It just kind of uplifts you and makes you feel better no matter how you feel," said Aleem. "So hopefully we will be seeing more of it."
For more information on the music therapy program at Markey Cancer Center, contact Jennifer Peyton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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