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November 13, 2014
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October 13, 2014
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December 16, 2014
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November 10, 2014
UKudos to the Chandler Emergency Department Staff
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December 19, 2014
Timeline plan for clinic moves to Turfland under way
October 2, 2014
UK HealthCare pediatric team brings Guatemalan child closer to a normal life
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 22, 2014) – UK HealthCare has temporarily amended its inpatient hospital visitation policy to be proactive in helping protect the health and well-being of patients and health care workers during this flu season. Visitation restrictions are in effect as of 7 a.m. Monday, Dec. 22.
The measures include:
o No visitors under the age of 12
o No visitors with any symptoms of flu-like illness
o Only two visitors will be permitted in a patient’s room at one time
o Visitors may be issued masks or other protective clothing for use when visiting
o Additional restrictions may be in place in special care units such as women's and children’s units, critical care and oncology units.
o Compassionate visitation exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis.
"Due to an increasing number of flu cases in Kentucky, UK HealthCare will be instituting these procedures designed to help protect patients, visitors and staff from exposure to the flu and are in effect at all UK HealthCare inpatient units including University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital, Kentucky Children's Hospital, UK Good Samaritan Hospital and Eastern State Hospital," said Kim Blanton, enterprise director for infection prevention and control at UK HealthCare.
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the flu was widespread in 29 of the 54 states and territories that it tracks -- including Kentucky. This time last year, it was widespread in only four.
It is still recommended everyone six months of age and older who hasn't received a flu shot yet, receive one, Blanton said. "A flu vaccine is still the first and best way to prevent influenza," she said.
Flu symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Flu antiviral drugs are available and work best for treatment when they are started within two days of getting sick. However, starting them later can still be helpful, especially if the sick person has a high risk health condition or is very sick from the flu.
MEDIA CONTACT: Kristi Lopez, 859-806-0445 or firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 22, 2014) — The U.S. Department of Defense identifies mild traumatic brain injury, or mTBI, as one of the signature injuries impacting veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Often associated with the blast of an improvised explosive device (IED) in the field, an mTBI is commonly diagnosed in concurrence with posttraumatic stress disorder, a separate condition triggered by the traumatic event. A recent study suggests that 12 to 16 percent of all veterans involved in the Iraqi conflict have a history of mTBI and an estimated 13 to 17 percent of veterans return with a diagnosis of PTSD resulting from an injury. One-third of all veterans with a TBI also suffer from PTSD.
Since the time both conflicts began, medical researchers have studied the short- and long-term psychological and neuropsychological effects of PTSD and mild TBI as independent conditions. Recently, researchers at the University of Kentucky published findings from a collaborative, multi-site study considering the collective, as well as individual, effects of mTBI and PTSD on psychological and cognitive functioning.
The results, which are scheduled to appear in The Journal of Neurotrauma, suggest veterans suffering from both conditions have poorer cognitive and psychological outcomes than veterans diagnosed with only one of the conditions. The research also raises the possibility that mTBI results in persistent but mild cognitive challenges for some veterans.
Dr. Walter High, an adjunct associate professor in the UK Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Neurosurgery and Psychology, and researchers at the University of Kentucky Department of Psychology, worked with veterans at the Lexington Veterans Affairs Hospital on the UK campus to conduct a series of neuropsychological tasks measuring their cognitive function. Participating veterans were classified as mTBi only, PTSD only, or both mTBI and PTSD. The tests evaluated cognitive processing speed, IQ, verbal memory, psychological distress and more. Participants were also grouped according to their similarities in IQ, age and other characteristics.
“Most previous studies have not adequately separated out the cognitive effects due to mTBI from the cognitive effects due to PTSD,” High said. Our study is relatively unique because it includes a comparison group of veterans with PTSD only. This is extremely important because the effects of mTBI and PTSD can be very similar. The inclusion of a group of veterans with both mTBI and PTSD also allowed us to look at the interactive effects of these conditions."
While research has suggested that infrequent isolated concussions (mTBI) have minimal long-term effects, PTSD has been linked to long-term impairment of psychological functioning and memory loss. The set of data was distinctive from other research trials on long-term effects of mTBI in that the researchers were able to rule out confounding variables influencing cognitive processing. Through an analysis of the data, High and UK doctoral student Hannah Combs, who published the paper as her master's degree thesis, found small decrements in information processing efficiency, attention and memory that could be attributed to the mTBI. David Berry, Ph.D, professor in the Department of Psychology, was a key collaborator in the study helping to characterize the validity of veteran performances and chairing Combs' master’s committee.
"We feel we know this phenomenon, but this shows there is more to it than we originally expected," Combs said of the effects of mTBI. "If a veteran is complaining about these issues, there's a good chance they are true."
High said the decrements attributable to mTBI are small and not disabling. Veterans can overcome the mild cognitive impairment caused by mTBI with proper education about mTBI and therapies. The study will help guide psychologists implement proper cognitive therapies for injured veterans suffering from these mild effects.
“The take-home message is that we need to validate to the veteran that the problems they are experiencing are real, but to reassure them that their cognitive abilities are within normal limits and they can still be successful,” High said. “There are strategies to rehabilitate and exercise their memory.”
Researchers at UK, the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and Southern Arizona Department of Veteran Affairs collaborated on the study. One-third of the study’s participants represented patients at the Lexington Veterans Affairs Hospital. The study was supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 18, 2014) — On the morning of Dec. 16, Dr. Shannon Voogt warmed up her classically trained opera voice before coming to work at UK HealthCare.
At 11 a.m., she applied resin to the bow of her violin in the Pavilion A lobby of the UK Chandler Hospital. Moments later, an audience of patients, employees and hospital visitors circled around the atrium lobby as Voogt, a soprano, showed off her vocal range performing "O Holy Night."
A family physician in the University of Kentucky College of Medicine's Department of Family and Community Medicine, Voogt has dedicated more time in her busy schedule to pursuing — and sharing — her love of music. She started playing the violin at age 3 and taking voice lessons at age 13.
While earning her medical degree from Michigan State University, she studied opera with an instructor, singing every day and eventually recording a CD. While starting her own family and finishing her residency at UK, she struggled to find time to seriously pursue music. In the past year, and with opportunities to volunteer with the UK Arts in HealthCare program, Voogt has returned to opera and musical performance.
"Over the past year, I have started practicing again, and it's been so rewarding," Voogt said. "No matter how stressed out I am, singing opera completely focuses me — I have to think about the notes, my breath support, relaxing my body, the line, the words, the translation. It's very meditative."
As a volunteer with the UK Arts in HealthCare program, Voogt integrates her musical gifts with her profession. During two holiday performances on Dec. 11 and Dec. 16, Voogt performed several traditional Christmas songs with accompaniment from volunteer pianist Daniel Porter. Their selection of music included "The First Noel," "O Holy Night" and "O Little Town of Bethlehem."
"I started singing at UK because I thought it would be a nice way to give back — to give passers-by something nice to listen to and also sneak in some practice for my voice on busy days at work."
Voogt will perform a free holiday opera concert at First Alliance Church at 2201 Old Higbee Mill Road at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 20.
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 16, 2014) -- University of Kentucky graduate Mosoka Fallah is among the Ebola fighters in West Africa that has been named Time Magazine's Person of the Year.
A native of Liberia, Fallah received his bachelor's degree in his home country and a master's degree from Kent State University in the United States. He studied at the University of Kentucky from 2005 to 2011, obtaining his doctorate in microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics in 2011. He subsequently received a master's in public health from Harvard University.
"For tireless acts of courage and mercy, for buying the world time to boost its defenses, for risking, for persisting, for sacrificing and saving, the Ebola fighters are Time's 2014 Person of the Year," the magazine said in a statement.
Members of the UK College of Medicine's Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics recall Fallah's enthusiasm for learning. Department Chair Beth Garvy, who served on Fallah's doctoral committee, said at the end of every year, Fallah asked members of the department for old textbooks to send home to Liberia.
Fallah, despite the known risk of exposure to the virus, is following a trail of Ebola, instructing neighborhood leaders to report cases of sick victims of the disease and urging cooperation with government officials. After receiving his education in the United States, Fallah returned to his home country to set up a health clinic for women and children. He has also worked on community-based initiatives to stop the spread of Ebola for the United Nations Development Program.
To see the Time article, go to http://time.com/time-person-of-the-year-ebola-doctors/.
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 16, 2014) -- Patient portals are health care-related online applications that allow patients to interact and communicate with their health care providers. Much like electronic health records, they are taking medicine into the next era of patient-provider communication.
Portals allow patients to access their medical information, see results of medical tests, and ask for a renewal of a prescription. Some portals also offer features as the ability to request, cancel or reschedule appointments.
For patients, having an email address is usually the only requirement for accessing a portal and typically, since they are internet-based, patients can access information 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Some portal applications are integrated into the existing website of a health care provider while others are modules added onto an existing electronic medical record (EMR) system. Either way, the goal is for patients to interact with their medical information and health care providers via the Internet in a secure fashion.
Patient portals benefit both patients and health care providers by increasing efficiency and productivity.
Although patient portals may vary some among health care providers, features currently available from most medical provider's portal -- or likely available in the future -- include:
Other features may include:
Patient portals can help you be more actively involved in your own health care. Additionally, if you are a parent or caregiver for another family member, you may be able to access your family members’ health information helping you take care of them more easily.
To get access to a Patient Portal and to find out what options are available for you, ask your health care providers if they offer a patient portal. They can then provide you with instructions for setting it up.
Generally, there are only a few steps involved in setting up your account such as creating a secure password. This is to make sure only you have access to your health information.
Always remember that your health information is private, secure and protected and that all patient portals have privacy and security safeguards in place to protect your health information.
To make sure that your private health information is safe from unauthorized access, patient portals are hosted on a secure connection and accessed via an encrypted, password-protected logon. However, always remember to protect your username and password from others and make sure to only log on to the patient portal from a personal or secure computer.
Overall, the patient portal is a convenient and secure health-management tool you can use anywhere you have access to the Internet that benefits patients by supporting care between visits, and, most importantly, improving patient outcomes.
This column originally appeared in the Sunday, Dec. 14 edition of The Herald-Leader.
Dr. Carol Steltenkamp is UK HealthCare's Chief Medical Information Officer and executive director of the Kentucky Regional Extension Center.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 15, 2014) – Two University of Kentucky researchers have been awarded $1.62 million in grants through special interest projects from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The grants fund projects that focus on methods for improving the dire cancer statistics in Appalachian Kentucky, which has some of the highest rates of cancer incidence and mortality in the country.
Robin Vanderpool, an assistant professor in the Department of Health Behavior in the UK College of Public Health, was awarded a 5-year, $1.37 million grant to fund the Appalachian Center for Cancer Education, Screening, and Support (ACCESS), a collaboration between the University of Kentucky's Rural Cancer Prevention Center (RCPC) and the national Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network (CPCRN).
CPCRN is supported by both CDC and the National Cancer Institute (NCI). ACCESS will work to accelerate the adoption of evidence-based cancer prevention and control programs in Appalachian Kentucky communities and reduce the cancer burden in these underserved populations. The goal of the project is to use existing primary care resources in efficient and effective ways to promote guideline-recommended cancer screenings and improve overall health in the region.
Specifically, ACCESS will conduct a regional research project with White House Clinics, a federally qualified health center that serves a medically underserved and high-poverty region in Appalachian Kentucky. The project will design, implement, and evaluate a proactive officer encounter (POE) intervention effort in eight community health centers, which will provide a systematic approach to offering breast, cervical, colorectal and lung cancer screening services at every office encounter for eligible patients.
Bin Huang, an assistant professor in the Division of Cancer Biostatistics in the Department of Biostatistics, UK College of Public Health, was awarded a 2-year, $250,000 grant to improve Kentucky Cancer Registry (KCR) data through ancillary data linkage. The main goal of Huang's project is to establish groundwork and examine the feasibility for the development of a sustainable Kentucky Cancer Quality and Outcome Research Data System, with the goal of improving the quality of care for Kentuckians with cancer.
The project seeks to generate enhanced KCR data, specifically in Appalachian Kentucky, by linking with external sources such as Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurers; populating treatment summaries for breast and colorectal cancers; and conducting patterns of care research in cancer survival disparities for these types of cancers in Appalachian and non-Appalachian populations.
“These projects are a great example of the interdisciplinary work of investigators in the College of Public Health and Markey Cancer Center that spans the cancer prevention and control continuum, from screening interventions to surveillance, to remedy the cancer disparities faced by residents of Appalachian Kentucky,” said Margaret McGladrey, assistant dean for research in the UK College of Public Health.
Federal funds from the CDC and NCI financed 100 percent of the costs for these special interest projects; no non-governmental sources contributed to the funding.
MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Video by UK Public Relations.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 10, 2014) – With a table stacked full of pre-cut foam patterns, markers, stamps, and various creative accoutrements, University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center Art Therapist Fran Belvin is determined to bring a little holiday cheer to the patients and visitors coming through Markey's outpatient clinics.
As patients and visitors walk past her table, many stop to check it out, hesitant. Belvin and her student assistant, Kalin Wilson, welcome them with broad smiles and a simple question: "Would you like to decorate an ornament today?"
Those that say yes sit down and begin to work. Once their creative project is under way, many of the participants begin to tell Belvin about themselves: the treatment they or their loved ones are going through, their struggles, their backstories.
As Belvin notes, there's something about sitting down to work on a creative project that helps people open up and share their feelings. She sees similar reactions from the chemotherapy patients she works with on a daily basis.
"Art therapy is a way for patients to express themselves… a way to explore fears, hopes, and talk about their cancer journey," Belvin said. "Making art and talking about it feels a little less formal, less threatening than if a counselor were to sit down and say, 'Tell me how you're feeling today.'"
Belvin, who began working for Markey as an art therapist in June, spends most of her time visiting patients one-on-on in the chemotherapy suite – or "curtain-to-curtain," as she describes it.
"In addition to helping patients process the emotional effects of their illness, it's also a way to relax and reduce stress," Belvin said. "Chemotherapy can be uncomfortable, it can be boring, and it can be frightening – especially at first. Getting engaged in a creative activity is not only a fun distraction, it puts people in touch with their strengths and increases their positive feelings. In fact, research has shown that art making significantly reduces the stress hormones in the brain and elevates mood."
The ornament table is the second "art event" she's held at the cancer center. Earlier this year, she hosted a "Healing Symbol" table, where she invited participants to create their own personal symbol that represented healing.
Because art therapy is a new addition to the UK Markey Cancer Center's complementary therapy services, Belvin hopes her art events will help spread the word about the services she offers, not just to patients and visitors, but also to healthcare providers who may like to refer their patients to her. Research shows that "creative arts" therapies – including music, art, dance, drama, and writing – significantly reduces anxiety, depression, and pain and improved the quality of life in cancer patients.
Ultimately, Belvin's current ornament table is meant to bring a little levity and stress relief to those passing through the Markey Cancer Center's doors.
"I hope to offer a little bit of brightness while you're going to the doctor's office, where you're not expecting to have a fun, relaxing thing to do," Belvin said. "So I'm hoping this provides a way for people to kind of relax and have a little fun in the middle of their day."
Belvin is hosting two more art therapy ornament-making tables at Markey, both in the first floor lobby of the Whitney-Hendrickson Building. The table will be up again 1-2:30 p.m. today and next Wednesday, Dec. 17, 1-2:30 p.m. Patients, visitors and staff are all welcome to attend and participate.
MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry (859) 323-2399 or email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec 11, 2014) -- Although there are a lot of things to enjoy about the holiday season -- spending time with friends and family, favorite foods and drinks, giving and receiving gifts -- it can also be a very stressful time of year. Additionally, the cold, dreary winter weather can contribute to feelings of stress or depression (known as seasonal affective disorder).
There are a few common ways to help combat these negative feelings. Eating well, exercising, and seeking medical attention if necessary are all ways you can maintain some calm during the hectic holiday season. But there's also another popular activity that may provide more benefits than you ever knew -- volunteering.
There are plenty of organizations that need extra hands this time of year, and devoting some of your time to help out can make a big difference in your own health. Volunteering not only makes other people feel good, but it is also good for you!
Recent studies have shown that there are numerous health benefits that are linked to the act of volunteering. For example:
· Volunteering has been shown to moderate the loss of a sense of purpose among older adults who have undergone a major role change in life, like retiring from work or watching their children grow up and "leave the nest."
· Volunteering has been shown to lead to lower rates of depression for people 65 and older.
· Studies show that those who volunteer at an earlier age are less likely to suffer from ill heath later on in life.
· In terms of seasonal affective disorder, fighting that depression can be aided by encouraging activity and socialization, and volunteering is a perfect way to incorporate both.
The benefits for your mental health can also been translated to your physical health -- in other words, having a healthy mind can lead to a healthy body. Volunteering has been proven to reduce stress, which is a common cause of chest pain, trouble sleeping and elevated blood pressure.
The positive health effects of volunteering seem to be more pronounced in individuals 65 and older than compared to younger generations, most likely due to the fact that younger individuals don't have as much spare time to go out and volunteer outside of working full-time and/ or taking care of children.
To really reap the benefits of volunteering, make sure you choose an organization that provides services you truly believe in and can support. You are much better off genuinely volunteering to help others out, rather than just seeking to make yourself feel better.
Additionally, know your limits. There is such a thing as too much volunteering. If you are giving too much of your time to others, the work can become more stressful than rewarding, which leads right back to health problems.
Dr. Teresa Gevedon is a psychiatrist at UK HealthCare.
This appeared in the Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014, edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 9, 2014) – UK HealthCare will open its first Observation Unit this week at University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital. Across the nation, observation units are increasingly being utilized to provide high quality, safe and efficient care to patients who come to the emergency department and are too sick to be discharged home and need additional evaluation.
In the 24-bed unit located adjacent to UK Chandler's emergency department, patients with symptoms such as chest pain, abdominal pain, dehydration or syncope (fainting or passing out) will be managed and cared for up to 24 hours until either discharged or admitted as an in-patient for more intensive care. The patient will remain as an outpatient while in the unit.
Studies show benefits of patients cared for in observation units include better clinical outcomes, greater patient satisfaction, less diagnostic uncertainty, and improvements in the use of hospital resources and staff.
"There are times when a patient doesn't meet criteria set by Medicaid or Medicare to be admitted to the hospital but as a physician you just don't feel that they are well enough to be sent home," said Dr. Romil Chadha, medical director of the Chandler Observation Unit. "This unit allows us to monitor them for an extended amount of time and ensure they get the care they need."
The new unit which will open with 12 beds will eventually expand to 24 beds and provide patient care with close collaboration among Hospital Medicine, Emergency Medicine and Cardiology to provide prompt, high quality and efficient observation care.
Along with providing care for patients, observation units can take stress off of the emergency department, generate inpatient hospital capacity, and reduce unnecessary admissions and readmissions, said Dr. Mark V. Williams, director of UK's Center for Health Services Research (CHSR).
“UK HealthCare has built a superb space for an Observation Unit and is using a state-of-the-art continuous process improvement approach developed by Toyota," Williams said. "With help from the True Lean Systems Program at UK’s College of Engineering, the team of care providers — nurses, physicians, pharmacists and others — will be continuously improving how the unit functions. I expect this will become a national showcase of how patient-centered observation care should be delivered.”
Media Contact: Kristi Lopez, firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 8, 2014) – University of Kentucky College of Medicine faculty member in behavioral science and Director of the Kentucky LEADS Collaborative Dr. Jamie Studts was featured during the "UK at the Half" that aired during the UK vs. Providence College basketball game, broadcast on the radio Nov. 30.
The Kentucky LEADS Collaborative received a three-year, $7 million grant from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation's Bridging Cancer Care Initiative. Kentucky has more cases of lung cancer than any other state and its lung cancer mortality rate is 50 percent higher than the national average. The collaborative includes the UK Markey Cancer Center, The University of Louisville's James Graham Brown Cancer Center and the Lung Cancer Alliance. The grant funds a three-phase project supporting an increase in primary care provider information, a lung cancer survivorship care initiative and new opportunities in lung cancer screening.
"UK at the Half" airs during the halftime of each UK football and basketball game broadcast and is hosted by Carl Nathe of UK Public Relations and Marketing.
To hear the "UK at the Half" interview click on the play button below. To view a transcript for the Nov. 30 "UK at the Half" interview, click here.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 5, 2014) — The University of Kentucky's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) Chorus will present its annual holiday concert on Saturday, Dec. 6. The concert begins at 3 p.m. at Tates Creek Christian Church and is a free public event.
The 100-member chorus directed by John Stegner comprises lifelong learners ages 50 and older. This year marks the 35th anniversary of the holiday concert. The event will feature holiday composition, including "O Holy Night" and "White Christmas," as well as special ensemble performances. Tates Creek Christian Church is located at 3150 Tates Creek Road in Lexington. A reception will be held after the concert.
Throughout 2014, the University of Kentucky has celebrated 50 years of lifelong learning. OLLI offers educational and enrichment courses, programs and events for dynamic lifelong learners aged 50 and older and who are continually exploring new learning opportunities.
For more information about the concert, contact the OLLI Office at (859) 257-2656 or visit www.uky.edu/OLLI
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 4, 2014) — More than a decade ago, Ruth Berry and Gail Carpenter retired from longtime careers practicing and teaching nursing to college students. But even in retirement, the two friends and former colleagues are drawn back to the health care setting where they continue to serve patients in meaningful ways.
Wearing the volunteer uniform of pale blue button-down shirts and navy blue slacks, the retirees sort through piles of mail, organize a cart full of cookies and help families navigate the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital. During the Thursday morning shift they share at the UK HealthCare Volunteer Office, they deliver mail, bouquets of balloons and flower arrangements to patients throughout the hospital.
Often during deliveries, they will offer to open and read mail to incapacitated patients. As former nurses, they are well-versed on bedside manner and sensitive to the health care circumstances affecting each patient. Although their role today is on the periphery of medical care, they know a few moments to sit and listen could make a difference in the patient's life.
"Going into a room in pediatrics where a child is alone, and opening up the mail for them and spending a few moments with them — those are precious moments just to be able to talk to them," Berry said. "They might not have family member there all day."
When asked why they volunteer, Carpenter and Berry say their roles keep them connected to the health care profession, but they also enjoy the camaraderie of the volunteer office. Both women retired from faculty positions in the UK College of Nursing and at Lexington Community College (now known as Bluegrass Community and Technical College) and are now members of the hospital's auxiliary board of directors. Berry and Carpenter first became acquainted as colleagues from their involvement in the university community and professional organizations. Carpenter, who retired in 1997, helped recruit Berry to the volunteer office after she retired in 2000.
Carpenter's interest in a profession in nursing started in high school when she learned of a friend's sister who was completing a nursing program in New York City. She was attracted to a profession caring for people and was fascinated by the science of nursing. She accepted a position teaching fundamental courses and pediatric nursing at Lexington Community College in 1976 and eventually become coordinator of LCC's nursing program, retiring in 1997.
Berry, whose mother was a neonatal nurse who emigrated from Germany, read the popular Sue Barton series of youth novels when she was young, which sparked her interest in a nursing career. At the age of 14, she started working as a nurse's aide in a local hospital. While she originally intended to study chemistry in college, she chose to study nursing at the collegiate level. She joined the faculty of the UK College of Nursing in the Department of Public Health Nursing in 1965, and after a period of time away from the profession, returned to the department in 1986. During her time at UK, she established a health clinic for the homeless and a parish nursing program, retiring from her role in 2000.
"I always liked helping and being with folks," Berry said.
When she first started volunteering, Carpenter was assigned to assist with a health clinic run by Berry, who was still working as a faculty member. Berry was thrilled to have Carpenter, a former nurse, as a volunteer in her clinic. Carpenter also volunteered as a patient liaison in the surgery department for several years before she changed roles to delivering mail and flowers. After her retirement, Berry decided to join Carpenter as a UK HealthCare volunteer on Thursdays. She also works in the auxiliary gift shop, which is primarily staffed by volunteers, on Mondays.
In addition to serving together at on a weekly basis, the women fill their schedules with volunteer roles for the Lexington Public Library, God's Pantry and the Department of Veteran's Affairs hospital. They are members of the same theater club, which meets several times a year. Outside of the volunteer office, Berry said Carpenter is a reliable friend. Carpenter has helped Berry through periods of hospitalization, picking her up for appointments at 5 a.m.
"(Volunteering) is more enjoyable when I know we can be there together and we can catch up at some of our other events," Berry said of Carpenter. "If we have concern about something, we can share it with each other."
As volunteers, Berry and Carpenter have heard many stories and met many interesting people of all ages. They have developed a sense of community and purpose within the hospital through their involvement. They are always encouraging others to become new volunteers at UK HealthCare as help is constantly needed for patients and visitors.
"We get to see how the medical center really works," Carpenter said of volunteers. "We have a way of helping people navigate them through this physical maze at the medical center — it's enjoyable to do."
To learn more about volunteering, visit http://ukhealthcare.uky.edu/volunteer.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 4, 2014) -- Winter is on its way, and along with colder temperatures come holiday celebrations and precious time with family. It’s the season to feel good about ourselves and cherish what we have. It is also time to value the most important things in life, including our family, our accomplishments, and our health.
Health is not necessarily about visiting the doctor. Rather, it is about being proactive to prevent illness whenever possible. Before the new year arrives, think about how healthy you want to be in the coming year. Here are some tips for making your health a priority this holiday season:
· Take advantage of community resources: Your county health department is a good place to start. Talk to them about vaccinations, special precautions that will help you stay healthy in winter, and how to prepare for emergency situations like snowstorms, floods and tornadoes. Call your primary care provider or pharmacy and get an updated list of your prescribed medications. Talk to them about ways to get your medications in case of inclement weather or other emergency situations. Keep your list of medications handy (including any vitamins, supplements, and over the counter medications) and share it with emergency management if required.
· Find ways to be physically active this winter: You are more likely to stick with it if you find an activity you enjoy. Anything and everything that keeps your circulation flowing counts, including dance, yoga, squeezing stress reliever balls, simply lifting your arms and legs up and down, or cleaning your house.
· Celebrate safely: Holiday partying doesn't have to be no-holds-barred. Enjoy special meals in moderation to avoid holiday weight gain. If you consume alcohol, do so in moderation. If you are going to be consuming alcohol at a celebration, arrange for safe, dependable transportation beforehand. Never drive under the influence of alcohol or accept a ride with a driver who is intoxicated. Always wear your seatbelt. Practice safe sex by using barrier contraceptives (like condoms) to avoid sexually transmitted infections.
· Get outdoors, weather permitting: Many companies offer activities and clubs for their employees, and this paper publishes a weekly calendar of events. To find out about parks and recreation opportunities in Lexington, visit the website. For more information on recreation parks statewide, visit the Kentucky State Parks website.
Don't wait until Jan. 1 to make your resolutions.
Dr. Somu Chatterjee is an assistant professor at the University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences in the Physician Assistant Studies Program.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 2, 2014) — Bright decorations, family gatherings and busy shopping malls are all familiar sights during the holidays. But it's the sounds of the season that stir holiday sentiment at any time or place.
Throughout this holiday season, employees, patients and hospital visitors at UK HealthCare are invited to enjoy several live musical performances at various UK HealthCare locations. Daily musical performances will be held at one or more of UK HealthCare facilities through Dec. 23. Performances will be held in the Pavilion A lobby of the UK Chandler Hospital, in the Pavilion H lobby of the UK Chandler Hospital, in the Pavilion A Auditorium of the UK Chandler Hospital, at the Good Samaritan Hospital in the cafeteria and at the Kentucky Clinic ground floor lobby.
Performances will represent a variety of musical arrangements, including a steel band, a string trio and a company of carolers from UK Opera Theatre, as well as diverse musical styles, from contemporary music to traditional holiday carols. The current full schedule of events follows (schedule subject to change).
All musical performances are free and open to the public. Performances are scheduled by the UK Arts in HealthCare program.
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 1, 2014) — Dec. 1 is World AIDS Day, an observance of the continued effort to address HIV/AIDS and a commemoration of those who have died. The 2014 theme for World AIDS Day is “Focus, Partner, Achieve: An AIDS-free Generation." HIV/AIDS currently affects approximately 35 million people worldwide, including more than 1.2 million Americans living with HIV. According to the World AIDS Campaign, between 1981 and 2007 more than 25 million have died from the virus, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.
In the United States, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) created historic opportunities for improved health care for people living with HIV (PLWH). For individuals with the disease, comprehensive health care is critical because of the complexity of the chronic illness. For communities, improving and maintaining the health of PWLH is important because it reduces the chance of spread of the disease.
The ACA increased health care access for many people living with HIV through private market reforms, an expansion of Medicaid eligibility, and the establishment of health insurance marketplaces. Several key reforms of the ACA also benefit PLWH, including a prohibition of pre-existing condition exclusions and discriminatory rates, prohibitions against imposing annual dollar limits on essential health benefits, dependent coverage extension to age 26, and coverage of specified preventive health services without cost-sharing.
This video from the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program highlights a Kentucky story about how the ACA has helped PLWH, including the role of the University of Kentucky Bluegrass Care Clinic.
The White House will hold a World AIDS Day event Monday, Dec. 1, available via webcast from noon- 2 p.m. (EST) at www.whitehouse.gov/live.
To find free, fast, and confidential HIV testing site near you, visit https://gettested.cdc.gov/.
MEDIA CONTACT: Mallory Powell, firstname.lastname@example.org
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