The Safe Kids Car Seat Inspection Station will be held on the second Wednesday of each month from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at CarMax Lexington, located at 105 Sand Lake Drive. Call to make an appointment at 859-323-1153. Click here to view the flyer.
Staying up-to-date with current events is hard to do as a parent. Your time is valuable and you have so many other responsibilities that require your full attention and effort.
We are here to make it easier for you.
Provided below is a mix of national health and safety news, local safety events and milestones and product recalls. Use us as your resource to stay educated on what is happening nationally and in your local community.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 4, 2014) - A day as a fighter pilot, a swim with dolphins and a trip to the Big Apple are only a few of the wishes Rachel O'Farrell has helped the Make-A-Wish Foundation grant for children battling cancer.
O’Farrell received a special moment of her own Feb. 27 when the Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky & Indiana staff surprised her with the chapter’s 2013 Medical Professional of the Year honor. The UK HealthCare social worker is a referral source for Make-A-Wish, an organization that grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.
Make-A-Wish arranged a surprise reception to present the award to O'Farrell at the Kentucky Clinic. She was congratulated by her co-workers in the DanceBlue Kentucky Children's Hospital Hematology/Oncology Clinic and Make-A-Wish chapter staff. Special guests Brendan, O'Farrell's husband, and their 8-month-old son Finn also attended the party.
O'Farrell has gone over-and-above to help create magical experiences for as many as 30 young cancer patients at UK pediatric hematology/oncology clinic. Make-A-Wish staff members were especially impressed with O'Farrell's recent efforts to help one ailing patient and her family. The patient couldn't decide on a wish and the family didn't own cellphones, so communication was an additional challenge for Make-A-Wish coordinators. O'Farrell served as the point of contact for the family and helped the teen communicate her wish - a family trip to the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla.
"Rachel fully embodied our mission with this wish by approaching every situation with the frame of mind of, 'how can we make this happen for the child?'" Kim Pettingell, senior medical outreach manager for the local Make-A-Wish chapter said. "We were able to make this wish come true because of Rachel's assistance and sincere dedication to seeing her patient experience the power of a wish.”
Typically, Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky & Indiana honors its Medical Professional of the Year during its annual BIG Wish Gala held in August. O'Farrell was unable to attend last year's gala because she was on maternity leave. She is the first medical professional in Kentucky to receive the honor from Make-A-Wish.
As part of the award, O'Farrell received a photo album containing pictures of the many children she has referred to Make-A-Wish. A social worker at UK for nearly four years, O'Farrell said many children and families "latch on" to the Make-A-Wish experience. She presents the opportunity to all of the patient cases she manages and takes time to listen to each family's unique story.
"I was just doing what anyone in my position would do," O'Farrell said. "I take a lot of meaning from the work I do. I am constantly inspired by the resilience of these families and these kids. The way they make meaning out of their experience is rejuvenating."
For more information about referring a child to Make-A-Wish, contact Kim Pettingell at 877-206-9474 or visit www.md.wish.org.
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 3, 2014) — UK Women's Health Obstetrics & Gynecology has added an oncofertility specialist to its team. Dr. Leslie A. Appiah joins UK HealthCare as a board-certified gynecologist with expertise in oncofertility and fellowship training in pediatric and adolescent gynecology. Dr. Appiah brings five years of experience from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, where she served as director of oncofertility and fellowship director of pediatric and adolescent gynecology.
Appiah will serve as director of oncofertility at UK. She will work closely with subspecialists in reproductive endocrinology and infertility, the Markey Cancer Center and Kentucky Children’s Hospital. Appiah and her team will collaborate to preserve the fertility and reproductive health of pediatric, adolescent and adult cancer and blood disorder patients of all genders.
Dr. Appiah attended medical school at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. She completed her residency in OB-GYN at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore and a clinical fellowship in pediatric and adolescent gynecology at Texas Children’s Hospital. She has received several teaching awards including the Johns Hopkins Excellence in Teaching Award.
Dr. Appiah’s interests include fertility preservation, minimally invasive surgery, congenital anomalies of the reproductive tract, hormone replacement therapy and endometriosis.
MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 20, 2014) -- More than 100 UK HealthCare physicians affiliated with University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital, Kentucky Children's Hospital and UK HealthCare Good Samaritan Hospital appear on the Best Doctors in America® List for 2014 -- more than any other hospital in Kentucky. Only five percent of doctors in America earn this prestigious honor, decided by impartial peer review.
The Best Doctors in America® List, assembled by Best Doctors, Inc. and audited and certified by Gallup®, results from exhaustive polling of over 45,000 physicians in the United States. Doctors in over 40 specialties and 400 subspecialties of medicine appear on this year’s List.
In a confidential review, current physician listees answer the question, “If you or a loved one needed a doctor in your specialty, to whom would you refer?” Best Doctors, Inc. evaluates the review results, and verifies all additional information to meet detailed inclusion criteria.
In bringing together the best medical minds in the world, Best Doctors works with expert physicians from its Best Doctors in America® List to help its 30 million members worldwide get the right diagnosis and right treatment.
The experts who are part of the Best Doctors in America® database provide the most advanced medical expertise and knowledge to patients with serious conditions – often saving lives in the process by finding the right diagnosis and right treatment.
The 2014 Best Doctors in America® from UK HealthCare and their specialty are:
About Best Doctors, Inc.:
Best Doctors works with the best five percent of doctors, ranked by impartial peer review, to help people get the right diagnosis and right treatment. The company’s innovative, peer-to-peer consultation service offers a convenient new way for physicians to collaborate with other physicians to ensure patients receive the best care. The global health solutions company, which has grown to over 30 million members worldwide, uses state-of-the-art technology capabilities to deliver improved health outcomes while reducing costs. Gallup® has audited and certified Best Doctors’ database of physicians, and its companion Best Doctors in America® List, as using the highest industry standards survey methodology and processes. Founded in 1989 by Harvard Medical School physicians, Best Doctors seamlessly integrates its trusted health services with Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 employers, insurers and other groups in every major region of the world. The company also designs and implements international insurance programs that help people be sure they get the right health solutions.
For further information, visit Best Doctors at http://www.bestdoctors.com, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or call (800) 223-5003.
Media Contact: Kristi Lopez, email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 21, 2014) — For most of us, vacation days are used for relaxing, traveling, sight-seeing, or even just doing nothing.
For some University of Kentucky employees, however, those vacation days are put to use serving those who are less fortunate and in need of good medical care.
Recently, pediatric critical care physician Dr. Scottie Day led one such effort to help bring basic medical care to children in Haiti. Day, along with UK nurse practitioner Vicki Stringfellow, PICU nurses Johnna Forman and Kristyn Mickley, and Chief Compliance Officer Brett Short, joined a network of Lexington health care providers and community members to help open the first true children's medical center in Northern Haiti. The new medical center under a medical advisory board from Southland Christian Church is funded through Danita's Children, an organization that provides spiritual, physical, and emotional care and education for orphaned children in Haiti.
Pediatric medical care is severely lacking in Haiti. The country holds the distinction of having the highest infant mortality rate in the Western Hemisphere, and 74 percent of births occur outside a hospital setting with little to no medical support. Malnutrition is a huge problem, with 10 percent of children considered "acutely" malnourished and 20 percent of children considered underweight.
During the mission, the Lexington group split into teams of three to provide care for the incoming children, working 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or later each day. All children who came in received a basic physical, a dental exam, an eye exam, and spiritual counseling.
"It went really well," Day said. "The beauty of it was how we were able to encompass all aspects of care. You saw such an integration of specialties under one roof so that these kids got the care they needed."
Just a few weeks prior to Day's trip, another group of medical providers went to Haiti to assist in the opening of the medical center. Over the course of these two trips, Day estimates that the groups saw 400-500 young patients, many of whom had never had a physical or simple medical evaluation. Many of the health problems they encountered were fixed with what most Americans would consider very simple, obvious solutions, such as nourishment or antibiotics.
"Some of these kids had never even been plotted on a growth chart," Day said. "And a lot of what we provided was just very simple nutritional care — the kind of thing we take for granted here."
Though the care for the Haitian children remained fairly basic this time around, Day says that the organization has plans to expand and specialize. They are in the process of forming pediatric specialty teams — orthopaedics, cardiology, neurology, and physical and occupational therapy — who will travel to Haiti to provide services for those who need it. And down the road, the organization looks to open a full-scale children's hospital with a surgical center, inpatient care, and more.
But as any missionaries will say, it's not just the children of Haiti — and beyond — who benefit from their work. Those who attend these trips say they've been profoundly changed by the experience.
"I think everyone comes back different," said Day, who has now been to Haiti on multiple missions.
Nurse practitioner Vicki Stringfellow is also no stranger to mission trips. Prior to the Haiti excursion, she had participated in a mission to Honduras. She says that the trips help refuel her passion for caring for others.
"It broadens your perspective compared to what you see here," Stringfellow said. "Your entire focus is just the pure care you're providing. You come back home with new energy."
Day agrees. "It rejuvenates you and reminds you why you went into this profession. You come back with this positive spirit — it changes you."
Though the Lexington team was in the country for only a few days, Day notes that over the course of the two weeks they were there, the mission teams helped train and left a local team in place to continue to provide health care for the Haitian children. Ultimately, these mission trips will help build up Haiti's pediatric medical programs so that they are better able to provide necessary care for their own.
In a global economy, that sort of regular engagement benefits us all, says Day. He notes that as the world and its economies become increasingly globalized, it becomes more necessary to think about health in that context.
"The health and well-being of other countries provides stability for the U.S.," Day said. "Haiti is our next-door neighbor and it's important to engage with them."
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 9, 2013) – Join two UK HealthCare experts for a free lecture and information session on hip preservation techniques on Saturday, Jan. 25.
UK orthopaedic surgeons Dr. Stephen Duncan and Dr. Ryan Muchow will discuss new hip preservation treatment options. These techniques may be used to treat many conditions including femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), hip labral tears, hip dysplasia, perthes, SCFE and hip arthritis. Patients of all ages can benefit from these treatments.
The lecture will be held in the UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital Pavilion A auditorium on Jan. 25 at 9:30 a.m. Registration begins at 9 a.m. Parking is available at the UK Chandler Hospital parking garage, 110 Transcript Avenue, directly across South Limestone from the hospital.
This event is free and open to the public. To reserve your spot, call 800-333-8874.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 17, 2013) – Though she acknowledges that “ambitious” is a valid descriptor, UK HealthCare Chief Administrative Officer Ann Smith says there’s a different term she’d use to describe how she’s developed her career path.
“I call myself ‘chronically curious,’” Smith said. “The word ‘ambitious’ sometimes carries a negative connotation – so I prefer ‘curious.’”
It’s her innate curiosity – and a willingness to try just about anything new – that took Smith from working as a hematology lab tech to one of the top administrative positions for UK HealthCare.
Originally from Tennessee, Smith’s family moved to Winchester when she was a teenager, and upon graduating from George Rogers Clark High School, she came to UK and majored in medical technology.
Technically, Smith says she began her UK career 40 years ago, when she served as a babysitter for a UK personnel director. From there, she started a more official form of temporary employment, working in the hospital’s human resources department during the summer of her junior year of college.
After earning her bachelor’s degree, Smith said she had worked out a plan: work in a lab at UK for three years to garner experience, then move back to her hometown of Chattanooga, Tenn.
“And then,” she says with a laugh, “I would slowly but surely move closer to the beach!”
However, she found herself staying in Lexington and taking on new challenges in the lab – even after being told by a supervisor that there would be no higher career path for her at UK. Whenever a new opportunity arose, Smith said she was always willing to jump in, whether it was trying a task she’d never done before, or simply offering a suggestion.
“I was always right there, ready to go,” she said. “I was always willing to give things a shot.”
She moved up from a lab tech to the medical plaza’s lab supervisor, then on to lab administrative manager. Meanwhile, as UK’s medical center grew, new positions popped up. After then-CEO Joe Claypool created service line areas for the medical center, Smith took on the role of Director of Diagnostic Services, which involved overseeing the lab, radiology and special diagnostics areas and technology – just before the Y2K scare of 2000.
When her boss retired in 2001, he suggested that she should apply for his job. Smith was put off by the academic requirements of the position, which would require her to go back to school to earn a graduate degree. But she was prodded into action by one simple statement.
“He said, ‘Ann, not everyone chooses to limit themselves,” she said. “And so I started back to school a month later.”
Over the next five years – and two babies – Smith earned a masters degree in public administration with a concentration of classes in health care management. She moved up on the ladder again, accepting the role of Associate Hospital Director.
Then, as the plans for Pavilion A began in earnest, Smith says she was called into the office of Dr. Richard Lofgren, who was chief clinical officer at the time. With so much administrative focus on Pavilion A, another new position had been created, one with a senior-level focus on the day to day operations of the existing UK Chandler Hospital and Kentucky Children’s Hospital.
Smith accepted the job, becoming the interim Chief Administrative Officer in 2008 and formalizing the position in early 2009. Since then, her concentration has been on ways to keep the daily hospital operations running efficiently while still maintaining a personal touch in regards to patient care. In 2012, UK Good Samaritan Hospital was added to her responsibilities.
Fostering an environment that builds camaraderie between staff and respect and humanity between the patients and caregivers is very high on her list of priorities. She embraces change, especially any changes that may have a positive effect on patient care.
“The challenge is to not get stuck thinking, ‘It’s always been this way,’” she says, noting that she and her staff talk with colleagues at other major medical centers all across the country to share ideas.
Much has changed around campus in Smith’s time at UK – when she began her career, the UK medical center landscape looked very different. The UK Markey Cancer Center didn’t yet exist, nor did the Kentucky Clinic. There was no critical care tower at Chandler, and the VA hospital was only a few years old.
Looking forward, Smith said she’s eager to open up new floors of Pavilion A for patient care. As for what’s next in her own career path, Smith said she always keeps her mind open.
“Whenever I’ve been ready for an opportunity, UK has always provided one,’” she said. “That said, there are opportunities everywhere. One just needs a bit of curiosity!”
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 30, 2013) — UK HealthCare and the Safe Kids Fayette County Coalition want to pass along some important safety tips to keep in mind as children and parents are participating in Halloween fun.
On a night when many children spend hours in close proximity to cars as they navigate through neighborhoods gathering candy, pedestrian safety should be a top priority for both drivers and parents. On average, twice as many kids are killed while walking on Halloween compared to other days of the year.
"Halloween is a fun and exciting night for kids but it is also one of the most dangerous," said Sherri Hannan, Safe Kids Fayette County coordinator.
"Make sure that your evening of tricks and treats is a safe one. Be seen to be safe and take extra care when crossing streets. Slow down in neighborhoods if you are driving from location to location, and stay in areas that are well-lit and familiar," said Hannan.
Tips to keep in mind:
For more tips on how to help kids become safer pedestrians on Halloween, as well as throughout the year, visit www.usa.safekids.org/wtw/halloween2009.html.
Media Contact: Kristi Lopez, firstname.lastname@example.org or 859-323-6363
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 29, 2013) -- It is one of the most devastating events that can happen to a family and in Kentucky it happens at a rate nearly double the rest of the U.S. Suffocation is the leading injury-related cause of death in infants in Kentucky but it can be prevented by utilizing safe sleeping practices.
At the Kentucky Children's Hospital, a new initiative is teaching and demonstrating risk-reduction strategies for Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) to parents of infants one year and younger before their discharge from the hospital.
Although Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is an unexplained death of an infant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends a broader category referred to as Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) which includes infant deaths that after investigation are determined to be suffocation or causes from an unsafe sleeping environment.
"Too many infants are dying from an unsafe sleep environment making Safe Sleeping a prevention priority in Kentucky," said Amy Brassfield, pediatric clinical nurse specialist at Kentucky Children's Hospital. "Even though about half of infant deaths in the SUID category are attributed to classic SIDS -- meaning the sudden death cannot be explained -- the focus for Kentucky Children's Hospital is to teach and model a safe sleeping environment and reduce the number of infant deaths where suffocation is preventable."
In a study by the Kentucky Maternal and Child Health team, nearly 88 percent of infant deaths due to SIDS, accidental suffocations or where the cause could not be determined, there was documentation of sleep-related risk factors. "This means that in Kentucky, at least 8 out of 10 of these infant deaths might have been prevented if the infant was in a safe sleep environment -- meaning sleeping alone, on their back, in a crib, without soft pillows, blankets or toys, and on a firm mattress," according to the report.
Characteristics of a sleep environment that can attribute to infant deaths include soft pillows, mattresses or mattress coverings in the crib, bed sharing or co-sleeping, use of an adult bed and couch sleeping.
To further modeling of safe sleeping, the use of HALO® Sleep Sack Swaddles -- a wearable blanket that replaces the use of loose blankets in the crib that can cover your baby's face and interfere with breathing -- are being used in the neonatal intensive care unit, the newborn nursery and throughout Kentucky Children's Hospital for all infants under one year of age.
In addition, signage about safe sleep practices has been placed on every crib and bassinette throughout the hospital reinforcing the teaching of parents and caregivers by the nursing staff.
"It is important for us as health care providers to do what we can do to help prevent infant suffocation deaths in Kentucky," added Lisa McGee, clinical nurse specialist at the Kentucky Children's Hospital neonatal intensive care unit. "By teaching and demonstrating these measures that provide a safe sleeping environment we hope to bring more awareness to this issue and reduce the number of preventable deaths."
Safe Sleeping Tips
Media Contact: Kristi Lopez, 859-806-0445, email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 20, 2013) — Kentucky Children’s Hospital has announced that Harry Hilton, a four-year-old from Lexington, has been named this year's Children's Miracle Network Hospitals® Kentucky Champion.
On Saturday, Sept. 21, Harry’s family, friends and his former doctors and nurses will celebrate Harry’s selection as ambassador for the state of Kentucky with a "Send-Off Party" as he prepares for his upcoming trip where he will meet with Champions selected from each state. The Champions will gather during the annual official ambassador trip to Washington, D.C., and Orlando. The party will be held at 3 p.m. at Legacy All Sports, a Children's Miracle Network Hospitals® Corporate Partner, 261 Ruccio Way #105 in Lexington.
In addition to Harry’s Send-Off Party, Legacy All Sports will host a day-long fundraising event on Sept. 21 as part of National Gymnastics Day with proceeds benefiting Kentucky Children’s Hospital.
The son of Mike and Erin Hilton, Harry was chosen for facing his unique medical challenge with courage and will serve to illustrate the impact of Kentucky Children’s Hospital and why donated funds are needed for treatment, recovery and charitable care.
At 9 weeks old, he was diagnosed with Kawasaki disease — an autoimmune disease in which the arteries widen. Harry received an accurate diagnosis and treatment at Kentucky Children’s Hospital. His specific disease was especially high-risk, resulting in two more hospital stays before he received a clean bill of health. Today he is curious and compassionate, with a love of superheroes and music.
“We are delighted to introduce Harry Hilton and his family to the community, and to have them represent Kentucky Children’s Hospital,” said Chloe Hurley, program director for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at Kentucky Children’s Hospital. “The Champions program helps underscore the important charitable needs of children’s hospital, and Harry’s story is inspiring. It illustrates the important role that Kentucky Children’s Hospital played in his life and in the lives of thousands of children across the Commonwealth.”
Media Contact: Kristi Lopez, 859-323-6363, 859-806-0445 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
LOUISVILLE, KY. / LEXINGTON, KY -- (Aug. 22, 2013): Kentucky’s two children’s hospitals -- Norton Healthcare’s Kosair Children’s Hospital and UK HealthCare’s Kentucky Children’s Hospital – have signed an agreement to join forces to better meet the healthcare needs and interests of Kentucky’s children and their families.
In the Letter of Intent recently signed by the leadership of both organizations, the new partnership will maximize the hospitals’ combined resources to improve care and enhance access to quality services for kids throughout the state and ultimately improve the health of children throughout the Commonwealth. The two hospitals will remain independent organizations jointly operated through the collaboration.
“This partnership represents a powerful and innovative union that will allow both hospitals to leverage each other’s considerable strengths to do the most good for the children of Kentucky,” said Dr. Michael Karpf, executive vice president for Health Affairs at the University of Kentucky.
The partnership brings together Norton Healthcare’s Kosair Children’s Hospital and UK HealthCare’s Kentucky Children’s Hospital in Lexington to serve the state’s 1.1 million children.
“Our goal is to develop a more comprehensive statewide children’s hospital network to make sure every Kentucky family has access to top quality care for their children,” said Stephen A. Williams, CEO of Norton Healthcare, which owns and operates the Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville. “Our combined leadership teams will craft a plan that advances health care, builds upon our legacy of service, and most importantly, honors our mission of providing the best possible care to the children of Kentucky. It is clear to both of our leadership teams that we must act now to make sure our children have access to the highest quality care – in Kentucky – for years to come.”
Over the next three to four months, leadership teams from both hospitals, including clinical leaders and others will work with an independent consultant to develop the partnership plan and identify immediate opportunities and priorities. The health systems will also engage clinical leaders and physicians from both hospitals to shape the final plan. Importantly, both organizations will continue to fulfill the obligations and opportunities of their respective children’s hospital relative to the important teaching, research and clinical services needs of the medical schools at the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville. The planning team will review additional opportunities to expand services where possible.
“This partnership builds upon a history of collaboration between our two healthcare systems – including our cancer programs, transplant program, stroke network, obstetrics and pharmacy education – to improve care throughout Kentucky,” said Karpf.
Examples of potential initiatives to be developed by the children’s hospitals working together include:
The Challenges Today
Health care is rapidly changing and hospitals across the country are facing greater challenges than ever before. As hospitals are preparing to meet the changes required by the Affordable Care Act, regional competition in pediatric care has been mounding. Kentucky’s children’s hospitals must also become more competitive to attract a broader base of patients.
The need for close collaboration among hospitals, physicians and other health care providers has become critical and a “best practice” among innovative programs across the country and we need to be doing the same here in Kentucky.
In a state where approximately 25 percent of the 4.4 million residents are children, leaders from both organizations believe that by joining forces the two hospitals can leverage their individual strengths and improve the health care available to children throughout Kentucky.
Improvement in child health is exactly what Kentucky needs. The Commonwealth has one of the highest rates of pediatric obesity in the nation as well as one of the highest percentages of children who smoke. Diabetes and asthma are also among the chronic pediatric diseases affecting Kentucky children at abnormally high rates, issues the collaboration between the state’s two children’s hospitals will address. Because Kentucky ranks among the worst in the country in terms of childhood poverty, Kentucky’s children may not be getting access to the health care they need.
“We are confident that both of our children’s hospitals will benefit from this partnership. But, more importantly, we know that Kentucky’s children will benefit under a more coordinated system of care.” said Dr. Steve Hester, chief medical officer, Norton Healthcare. “One of the many exciting elements of our partnership will be our ability to coordinate resources for the recruitment, retention and placement of top-notch pediatric specialists in order to improve and expand the availability of specialty services offered to kids in Kentucky.”
Key hospital leaders, physicians and others representing the two children’s hospitals will work together to develop specific plans for the coordination and integration of clinical services and operations. Examples include:
The hospitals will continue to have separate medical staffs, medical staff bylaws and rules and regulations.
Evolution of Collaboration
Norton Healthcare and UK Healthcare first announced plans to expand previous collaborations on statewide health care initiatives in 2010. Existing collaborative programs at that time included a transplant program that directed Louisville adult transplant candidates to UK HealthCare for surgery yet provided follow up care at Norton Audubon Hospital in Louisville. There were also existing programs to address the shortage of obstetricians and pharmacists in the state. More recent collaborations have focused on heart disease and development of a stroke network and cancer.
Last month, Norton Cancer Institute and UK’s Markey Cancer Center revealed plans for working together to bring more advanced treatment options and opportunities for clinical trials to Kentucky patients as a result of UK’s designation as a National Cancer Institute (NCI). This partnership has opened the door to more expanded cancer research programs in Kentucky, while stimulating more robust teaching programs for future physicians and caregivers.
The partnership announcement expands on this – as well as our other collaboration models – to benefit health care for children.
About Kosair Children's Hospital
Operating 271 beds and recognized as one of the top children’s hospitals in America, Kosair Children’s Hospital is located in the downtown Louisville Medical Center. It is the region’s only full-service, free-standing pediatric hospital, and the only hospital in Kentucky offering a pediatric trauma center. Kosair Children’s Hospital provides a complete range of services for children, including pediatric intensive care and one of the nation’s largest intensive care nurseries for newborns.
Kosair Children’s Hospital serves as the pediatric teaching facility for the University of Louisville School of Medicine. As part of this partnership with the University of Louisville and its commitment to teaching and research, the hospital offers special programs for cancer; heart, lung, kidney and infectious diseases; respiratory ailments; neurology and neurosurgery; general pediatric surgery; orthopaedics; diabetes; psychiatry; plastic surgery; and infant/pediatric heart, kidney and bone marrow transplants. Because of the hospital’s special mission, all care is provided by professionals specially skilled in the care of children.
Kosair Children’s Hospital received the prestigious Magnet designation for excellence in nursing care from the American Nurses Credentialing Center in 2007. Kosair Children’s Hospital is one of the top children’s hospitals in the United States as ranked in U.S. News Media Group’s editions of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals since 2009. More information is available at KosairChildrensHospital.com.
About UK HealthCare
Established in 1957, the medical center at UK is one of the nation's finest academic medical centers and includes the University's clinical enterprise, UK HealthCare. The 569-bed UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital and Kentucky Children's Hospital, along with 256 beds at UK Good Samaritan Hospital, are supported by a growing faculty and staff providing the most advanced subspecialty care for the most critically injured and ill patients throughout the Commonwealth and beyond. UK Chandler Hospital includes the only Level 1 Trauma Center for both adult and pediatric patients in Central and Eastern Kentucky. In addition, UK HealthCare recently opened one of the country's largest hybrid operating rooms and the first of its kind in the region. While our new patient care pavilion is the leading health care facility for advanced medical procedures in the region, our talented physicians consult with and travel to our network of affiliate hospitals so Kentucky citizens can receive the best health care available close to their home and never need to leave the Bluegrass for even some of the most complex subspecialty care.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 3, 2013) - Americans will celebrate our nation's independence by gathering with friends and family for food, fun and fireworks.
Each year, an estimated 7,000 people are treated in emergency departments across the United States for fireworks-related injuries. In 2010, 3,400 children under the age of 15 were injured by fireworks. Of these, more than 70 percent occurred in the weeks surrounding July 4th.
Safe Kids Fayette County, led by Kentucky Children's Hospital, offers these tips to help stay out of the emergency department during the upcoming holiday:
By Dr. Hatim Omar and Dr. Stephanie Stockburger
Do you stay up late into the night using the Internet? Are you grumpy or anxious when you cannot log on? Do you feel the need to use the Internet more and more to feel satisfied? Do you stay online longer than you intended? Is your Internet use interfering with your social life, work, or academic performance? Do you continue to use the Internet despite family conflict about your use? Have you lied in order to conceal your involvement with the Internet?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be suffering from Internet addiction.
Internet addiction is characterized by excessive use or many hours spent in non-work technology-related computer, Internet, or video game use.
According to an article titled, “Internet Addiction: A Brief Summary of Research and Practice” recently published in Current Psychiatry Reviews, symptoms of Internet addiction include
Internet addiction can be difficult to diagnose. The committee in charge of creating the newest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM 5) considered including Internet addiction as a diagnosis but decided instead to characterize it as an area requiring further research. Because Internet addiction does not have standard diagnostic criteria, it is difficult to know how prevalent Internet addiction is.
The reported prevalence rate of Internet addiction varies from 0.3 percent to 38 percent of the population. Internet addiction is much more widely diagnosed in Europe and Asia, which are also more advanced than the United States in the treatment of Internet addiction. The goal of treatment is to learn to use the Internet in moderation as opposed to abstaining completely.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has published guidelines regarding media in children and teens on their website at AAP.org called “Media and Children.”
According to the AAP, excessive media use can lead to attention problems, school difficulties, sleep and eating disorders, and obesity.
Parents and guardians can help their children learn to use the Internet wisely by having rules about use. Those rules include:
Dr. Hatim A. Omar is a professor of pediatrics and chief of the UK HealthCare. Division of Adolescent Medicine. Dr. Stephanie Stockburger is an assistant professor of pediatrics at UK.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 30, 2013) — As she grows older, young cancer survivor Ava May might not remember all the obstacles she overcame in the first few years of her life, but through a special project developed by her mother, Allison, she'll one day be able to understand how far she's come.
In 2011, then three-year-old Ava was diagnosed with a rare form of kidney cancer called a Wilms' tumor. Only about 500 children each year are diagnosed with the disease, and most are very young, like Ava.
After conferring with doctors at Kentucky Children's Hospital and a Wilms' tumor specialist from Washington, D.C., Ava underwent surgery to remove the tumor -- weighing in at five pounds -- and completed 21 weeks of outpatient chemotherapy.
During this time, Allison — a professional photographer here in Lexington — came up with an idea to document their experiences: a photo archive of Ava's journey through treatment. Allison enlisted the help of fellow photographer and friend Cara Dee Cecil and their work began.
"I thought it would be a good way to step back from things," Allison said. "And create an archive of what happened for Ava to see when she's older."
The journey lasted longer than the Mays expected. After completing her outpatient chemotherapy, Ava experienced an immediate metastatic relapse, meaning the cancer had spread to her lungs. More surgery followed — a wedge resection on both lungs — followed by seven months of inpatient chemotherapy and radiation.
Allison and Cara's photo archive spans more than two years of Ava's progress, from the lows — Ava losing her hair and enduring chemotherapy in her hospital bed — to the highs — Ava taking her 'victory lap' around the floor of Kentucky Children's Hospital after she was declared cancer-free in May 2012.
To celebrate her one-year anniversary of beating cancer, Allison and Cara put together a special art exhibition featuring Ava's journey. "Ava Lucille: The Archive" will be unveiled from 7 to 10 p.m., Friday, May 31, at Bellini's Ballroom on 115 West Main St. The event will also feature live music and a silent auction. A suggested $10 donation will be accepted at the door, with proceeds benefiting Kentucky families affected by pediatric cancer.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 7, 2013) - The following column appeared in the Lexington Herald-Leader on Sunday, May 5.
By Dr. Patrick O'Donnell
There are two types of bone cancers. Primary bone cancers (sarcomas) are the rarest type of human cancer and probably affect fewer than 100 Kentuckians per year. Metastatic cancer which spreads to the bone is much more common, and often originates in the prostate, breast, thyroid, kidney or lung.
Bones have a complex network of cellular types, so primary bone cancer can develop in cells designed to make bone itself (osteosarcoma), cartilage (chondrosarcoma), fibrous tissue (spindle cell sarcoma of bone), or the marrow elements (multiple myeloma). There are also other types of tumors which occur in bone which we haven’t fully characterized, such as Ewing’s sarcoma of bone.
How does bone cancer develop?
Any bone in the body can develop a cancer, but bones that grow the fastest (like the knee and the shoulder) have a higher risk for cancer. Additionally, specific types of bone cancer are common in certain areas. For example, Ewing’s sarcoma of bone tends to occur in the flat bones of the pelvis, shoulder girdle, and spine, while osteosarcoma and chondrosarcoma typically occur in the limbs.
There are some genetic syndromes that predispose patients to develop certain types of bone cancer, but most cases are sporadic. There is no association between bone cancer and lifestyle or environmental factors. Most cases of bone cancer are just genetic bad luck.
How is bone cancer treated?
The two types of bone cancer are treated differently. For primary bone cancers that haven’t metastasized, we have an opportunity to cure the patient with appropriate care.
Treatment for primary bone cancers typically involve a combination of chemotherapy and surgery. These are the rarest and most aggressive types of human cancer, and surgery to remove them is carefully planned.
Think of the cancer like the fruit of an orange — these cancers are so aggressive, they have to be removed with a “rind” of normal tissue completely surrounding the tumor so that the cancer doesn’t see the light of day during surgical excision.
These surgeries are difficult due to the complex anatomy of the skeletal system — the location of the cancer can mean that you are only millimeters away from major blood vessels or nerves that serve other areas of the body.
Twenty years ago, bone cancer was treated with amputation more than 90 percent of the time.
Today, with advanced surgical techniques, limb-salvage surgery is the treatment of choice. After removing a section of bone from the body, we have developed internal prosthetic devices which can restore function for children, young adults and adults who have been afflicted with bone cancer. These truly “robotic” internal prostheses can restore leg length, gait, and can even grow with a growing child.
When a cancer spreads to the bone from another organ, however, the ability to “cure” that cancer decreases drastically. As such, treatment of metastatic cancer to bone typically involves improving the quality of life by decreasing pain and improving patient function.
Dr. Patrick O’Donnell is an orthopaedic oncologist for UK HealthCare.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 23, 2013) - The following column appeared in the Lexington Herald-Leader on Sunday, April 21.
By Dr. Jamie Pittenger
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and unfortunately, Kentucky is one of the worst states for child abuse and child deaths due to non-accidental trauma.
Each year in Kentucky, there are more than 14,000 substantiated reports of abuse and neglect. The result is that Kentucky averages 30 to 40 child deaths each year involving abuse and neglect, with another 30 to 60 near fatalities annually. Child abuse does not discriminate based on race, religion, or socioeconomic status.
The aftermath of physical abuse usually requires ongoing treatment and therapy, and often results in irreversible brain damage and limits on cognitive development, causing lifelong learning and socialization challenges.
The financial resources to treat the physical and psychological needs of victims of child abuse are often derived from state-funded programs generated and maintained from taxpayers’ dollars; not to mention the staggering monetary drain it takes to prosecute, incarcerate, and rehabilitate perpetrators of child abuse.
Child abuse hurts everyone. So, how can parents, teachers, relatives, friends and other caregivers help to prevent child abuse?
The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline, staffed with professional counselors, is available 24/7 at 1-800-422-4453 or Childhelp.org.
Dr. Jaime Pittenger is an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Kentucky and a physician at Kentucky Children’s Hospital.
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