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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.
The Safe Kids Car Seat Inspection Station at Imani Family Life Center will be held on the last Thursday of each month from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
By appointment only. Call to reserve your spot at 859-323-1153.
The Safe Kids Car Seat Inspection Station at Immanuel Baptist Church will be held on the second Wednesday of each month at 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 5, 2015) — With her tiny body too vulnerable to withstand the world outside her mother’s womb, infant Emma Lewis continued to grow and develop inside an incubator during the first four days of her life.
But the life-preserving incubator at Kentucky Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) also separated Emma from her mother’s nurturing touch, which plays an important role in comforting and strengthening newborns. Those days were emotionally grueling for parents Katie and D.J. Lewis, who feared they were missing out on a critical time of bonding with their baby.
“I just always thought I’d have a picture-perfect delivery,” Katie Lewis said. “That I will get to hold her, and all the family will come and see her and hold her.”
Halfway through Katie’s pregnancy, a serious and rare complication expedited Emma’s delivery, making Katie’s vision of a perfect birth impossible. Obstetricians at St. Joseph East diagnosed Lewis with HELLP syndrome, a life-threatening variation of preeclampsia that causes a depletion of red blood cells and liver failure in the mother. As symptoms worsened, Katie’s brain swelled and liver started to fail. Because the only way to stop the progression of HELLP syndrome is through delivery, doctors sent Lewis to UK HealthCare where an obstetrics teams delivered baby Emma via emergency cesarean section at 26 weeks gestational age.
One-pound, 15-ounce Emma arrived on July 13, 2015, attached to intravenous lines, beeping monitors and a breathing ventilator to support her underdeveloped lungs. The neonatal care team watched Emma closely because of the risk of brain bleed, and monitored her red blood cell count and bacterial infections. While the team focused on giving Emma the best chance for survival and recovery, they did not neglect the essential function of maternal and paternal bonding during her stay in the NICU. Even in cases involving the earliest born and weakest babies, the NICU nursing staff attempts to accommodate maternal-paternal bonding with families through postponed Kangaroo Care.
In 2015, three Kentucky Children’s Hospital nurses, LaQuinta Bailey, Tara Hunt and Lisa McGee, received special training to facilitate Kangaroo Care for parents whose baby required treatment in the NICU. A standard method for initiating the maternal-infant bonding process of skin-to-skin contact, Kangaroo Care is typically conducted immediately after birth by placing the baby on the mother’s chest. Skin-to-skin contact soothes infants under stress, stimulates the nervous system, regulates an infant’s heart rate, and improves weight gain, among other benefits for mothers and babies. In the busy NICU environment, where intravenous lines, incubator isolation, heart monitors, and feeding tubes complicate the process, nurses must work within their environment and parameters to engage families in bonding practices.
Lisa McGee, a NICU clinical nurse specialist, said the additional expertise has prepared KCH nurses to help families navigate the challenges of implementing Kangaroo Care hours, days or even weeks after birth.
“There is a lot of science behind Kangaroo Care,” McGee said. “Actually, the biggest thing it does is to decrease stress in the baby, and it helps parasympathetic nervous system to come into play, so that the baby calms down.”
Katie Lewis recalls nurses in the operating room encouraging her to look at Emma immediately after the cesarean delivery. Because Emma required immediate placement in an incubator, the medical team couldn’t spare any time for maternal bonding. Instead, the nurses initiated paternal bonding with D.J. Lewis after birth by allowing the new dad to touch Emma as she was relocated to an incubator.
A day later, Katie recovered from surgery and reunited with Emma, who was still inside the incubator. After four days passed, the eager parents were able to hold Emma outside the incubator for the first time. During this interaction, nurses helped initiate skin-to-skin contact by setting Emma on the chests of her parents.
At first, the couple held Emma for increments of an hour and a half because getting the baby in and out of the incubator frequently was a risk. Emma relied on the warmth of her parents’ bodies to retain heat, calories and body temperature. As Emma gained strength, the nursing staff gradually introduced the parents to new bonding opportunities, such as giving Emma a bath, pushing her food through a feeding tube, giving her a bottle of Katie’s breast milk and reading her books.
Bonding was especially important for D.J. Lewis, a sergeant in the U.S. Army. At the time of Emma’s birth, Lewis was preparing for a yearlong deployment to Kuwait in September. He couldn’t wait for IV lines and monitors to disappear to begin the bonding process with their daughter.
“He loved it,” Katie Lewis said of D.J.’s role in paternal bonding. “He would just fall asleep with her and rub her head and read books.”
Katie Lewis said the NICU nurses encouraged and affirmed the parents in interacting with their fragile child. The nurses shifted equipment and rearranged areas in the NICU pods to accommodate peaceful Kangaroo Care time for the family, even in the middle of the night. As Emma’s chances of survival increased with each day, the nurses transitioned the responsibility of care to the parents. The parents learned the baby’s signals indicating breathing problems or a loss of body heat.
“None of them made me feel like I didn’t know what I was doing,” Katie Lewis said of the nursing staff. “They would help reposition us, they would move the incubator — to make us feel as at home as possible.”
By the time Emma was ready to leave the hospital in September, Katie Lewis felt terrified but also excited.
“When we got home, I sat on my couch and I held her and I cried because it’s such an exciting feeling,” Katie Lewis said. “To be able to reach that milestone and go home for good was a very exciting feeling.”
More NICU nurses will receive formal training to become certified Kangaroo Care Caregivers. McGee said low birth weight infants received Kangaroo Care in about 45 percent of cases, with efforts underway to increase the number of families benefiting from Kangaroo Care.
And paternal bonding was worth the extra effort for D.J. Lewis, who came home to visit his family in November. Emma had no trouble snuggling and sleeping on her dad’s chest after his time away.
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 20, 2016) — UK HealthCare and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center have finalized an agreement to partner for pediatric heart care and other services. A Letter of Intent (LOI) for a partnership was announced between the two health care systems last September.
The collaboration combines the strengths of the region's leading provider of advanced subspecialty care in UK HealthCare with one of the country's leaders in children's health care, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, and will enable more Kentucky children to receive care closer to home.
The initial focus of the partnership will be pediatric heart care services with the goal of delivering outstanding surgical and clinical care, education and research in pediatric cardiology. In addition, the master services agreement will provide the option of extending the partnership beyond these services in the future.
As part of the agreement, a heart surgeon will be jointly recruited and have a primary appointment at Cincinnati Children's in a 'one program, two sites' model; the surgeon will be based in Lexington and perform services at Kentucky Children’s Hospital.
"By partnering with Cincinnati Children's we will be teaming-up with one of the top children's hospitals in the country and a Top 10 pediatric heart care program," said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK executive vice president for health affairs. "Our goal is to keep patient care close to home when clinically appropriate with patients traveling to Cincinnati for the most complex surgical procedures but eventually having some surgical procedures, as well as post-surgical care and pediatric cardiology subspecialty care, available in Lexington."
The first surgical procedure at UK will likely be targeted for late 2016 or early 2017. UK HealthCare will also work toward having cardiac subspecialists performing diagnostics and therapeutic interventions at Kentucky Children's Hospital with the support of Cincinnati Children’s subspecialists when necessary.
Training, support, infrastructure development and reactivation of on-site surgery at Kentucky Children's Hospital will be done in a manner to ensure sustained outstanding outcomes as measured by national registries and reporting mechanisms. This includes developing and implementing shared and common clinical standards for environment, design, equipment and operations. Additionally, training will be provided by Cincinnati Children's initially and on an ongoing basis for Kentucky Children's Hospital personnel.
“We are excited about the opportunity to work with UK HealthCare to serve pediatric cardiac patients and their families in the Commonwealth,” said Dr. Andrew Redington, executive co-director of the Heart Institute and chief of the Division of Pediatric Cardiology at Cincinnati Children’s.
Currently the majority of Kentucky Children's Hospital pediatric CT surgery patient families who need clinical referrals for care already are choosing Cincinnati Children’s. However, this new 'one program, two sites' model will provide an even more seamless process for these patients and families as well as the new patients and families needing these services each year throughout the Commonwealth.
UK HealthCare voluntarily suspended Kentucky Children's pediatric cardiothoracic (CT) program in October 2012 and a task force charged with providing recommendations regarding the future of the program was established and convened in 2013. Initial joint negotiations with Cincinnati Children's began in early 2015 and led to the LOI being signed in September.
"We said we would only re-open the program when we were ready to provide the best care for our patients and their families and we are confident that this collaborative arrangement meets that mark with the highest quality surgical and clinical care, education and research in pediatric cardiovascular services for patients of Kentucky and their families," Karpf said.
Video on benefits of partnership with Cincinnati Children's: https://youtu.be/-FTdnEt_-8M
UKPR CONTACT: Kristi Lopez, firstname.lastname@example.org, 859-323-6363 or 859-806-0445
CINCINNATI CHILDREN'S CONTACT: Jim Feuer, email@example.com, 513-636-4656
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 23, 2015) — Surrounded by an army of “elves” wearing red hairbows and headbands with pointy ears, Owen Sayers waited backstage for his microphone check during a dress rehearsal for the holiday performance of “Elf Jr.”
The freckled 11-year-old prepared to play the role of Michael, a young boy who befriends Buddy the Elf, in the musical adaptation of the popular Christmas movie, “Elf.” Wearing a green sweater and navy blue pea coat as his costume, Owen warmed up his soprano voice for a full run of the show in the Lucille Little Theatre of Saints Peter and Paul School on Dec. 17. The Academy for Creative Excellence, a preparatory performing arts program offered by UK Opera Theatre, produced the musical, which starred up-and-coming vocal performers the weekend of Dec. 19-21.
All cast members, even the swarms of elves, were acquainted with Owen, a vocal major at the School of Creative and Performing Arts (SCAPA) who freely gives out hugs. But not everyone knew about Owen’s traumatic brain injury earlier in the year. When asked about his accident, Owen parted his red hair on the side to show the proof: a pink scar from the incision. He related his injury to the story of Humpty Dumpty.
“Because he was fragile,” Owen said, comparing himself to the character that cracked his head in the nursery rhyme. “Because really, everybody’s head is fragile.”
While riding his bicycle on the first warm day in May, Owen hit a curb and flew headfirst over the handlebars and into a tree. Tim Sayers, Owen’s father, found his son at the crash site dazed and worried about his glasses. A former football player, Sayers suspected a concussion and took Owen to the emergency department of St. Joseph East as a precaution. A CT scan revealed Owen was suffering from more than a concussion — he was diagnosed with an epidural hematoma, or serious brain bleed. While in the emergency department, Owen became drowsy and his vital signs started to drop. Doctors knew every second counted and Owen’s life was in danger. The medical staff expedited Owen to Kentucky Children’s Hospital, the only Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center in Eastern and Central Kentucky, where a team of surgeons, doctors and nurses waited at the doors to rush him into emergency surgery.
KCH surgeons brought Owen into a recovery room around 1 a.m. While the surgery was successful, the medical team told Tim and Becky Sayers only time could tell whether Owen suffered any loss of cognitive function from the injury. It was impossible to know the full extent of the trauma until Owen regained consciousness.
“We embraced — we were really scared,” Becky Sayers said. “We said, ‘Whatever we find in there, we have to be strong,’ and we went back to recovery.”
The couple stayed awake all night waiting for Owen to regain consciousness. Around 3 a.m., Owen reached for something then drifted back to sleep. At 5 a.m., the Sayers turned on the hospital room television to the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse show. As the characters danced on the screen, the Sayers looked up to see Owen, who was still supported by a breathing tube, shaking his “jazz” hands to the rhythm of the song.
“Tim and I looked at each other and said, ‘Are you dancing?’” Becky Sayers said. “And he nodded his head. We knew that he understood he was dancing to the TV, and we just cried.”
Owen, who at the time of the accident was cast as Flounder in an upcoming production of “The Little Mermaid,” regained his voice at a whisper after the breathing tube was removed the next day. A few weeks after he was released from the hospital, he auditioned for a role in “Into the Woods,” and two months later he played the lead role of Simba in “The Lion King Jr.” Aside from the embarrassment of a shaved head and a few headaches in the weeks after surgery, Owen was able to return to the stage untarnished by the incident.
Unintentional injuries are the most common cause of death and disability in children and adolescents. Dr. Scottie Day, chief of the pediatric critical care at KCH, said Owen’s remarkable recovery is attributed in part to collaborative efforts of his entire medical team, from the emergency department to the PICU.
“We do not consider it a job, but a privilege as a team, to take care of patients like Owen and their families,” Day said. “We want each and every family to know that they are part of our story as well. “
After he hit his head on the tree, Owen wondered whether he’d be able to sing and dance again. He was relieved to be back to normal soon after he got home from the hospital. He said he doesn’t really ride bikes anymore, but sometimes rides a scooter with his helmet. Becky Sayers said Owen’s resilience helped him bounce back after the injury.
“I feel really lucky,” Owen said. “I got back up again. I didn’t give up.”
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, firstname.lastname@example.org; Whitney Hale, email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 17, 2015) – UK HealthCare has been recognized as a 2014 Top Performer on Key Quality Measures in seven categories by The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health care organizations in the United States.
UK HealthCare — which includes the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital, UK Good Samaritan Hospital and Kentucky Children's Hospital — was recognized as part of The Joint Commission’s 2015 annual report “America’s Hospitals: Improving Quality and Safety,” for attaining and sustaining excellence in accountability measure performance for:
UK HealthCare is one of only 1,043 hospitals out of more than 3,300 eligible hospitals in the United States to achieve the 2014 Top Performer distinction.
The Top Performer program recognizes hospitals for improving performance on evidence-based interventions that increase the chances of healthy outcomes for patients with certain conditions. The performance measures included in the recognition program including heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care, children’s asthma, inpatient psychiatric services, stroke, venous thromboembolism, perinatal care, immunization, tobacco treatment and substance use.
To be a 2014 Top Performer, hospitals had to meet three performance criteria based on 2014 accountability measure data, including:
“Delivering the right treatment in the right way at the right time is a cornerstone of high-quality health care. I commend the efforts of UK HealthCare for their excellent performance on the use of evidence-based interventions,” said Dr. Mark R. Chassin, president and CEO, The Joint Commission.
“Quality and safety is vital to our success at UK HealthCare in providing the best care for patients across the Commonwealth and beyond," said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK executive vice president for health affairs. "This recognition is an acknowledgement of the commitment and dedication of our staff working hard day in and day out."
For more information about the Top Performer program, visit www.jointcommission.org/accreditation/top_performers.aspx.
MEDIA CONTACT: Kristi Lopez, (859) 323-6363, firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 13, 2015) -- Last year at UK HealthCare, about 140 families experienced the loss of an infant from stillbirth, miscarriage or neonatal death. To honor and acknowledge the lives of the infants and the loss experienced by their families, UK's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and Labor and Delivery unit hold an annual event to remember these loved ones.
UK HealthCare's annual Walk to Remember is held the first Sunday in October each year at The Arboretum at UK and is an event that has been occurring now for more than 20 years.
"This service provides a way for families to honor and remember their child that they have lost," said Michelle Steele, chair of the NICU/Labor and Delivery Bereavement Committee. "We walk to previously planted trees that were planted in honor and memory of the babies that had died during previous years. At the end of the walk, our grieving families help plant a new tree for that year in memory of their loved one."
In addition, families can write a message to their baby and plant it with the tree that includes an inscription and bronze plaque provided by UK HealthCare administration that reads, "In memory of your baby's life, gone but still cherished. Your baby will always be remembered."
For UK HealthCare Palliative Care and Oncology Chaplain Diana Hultgren the Arboretum at UK is a very symbolic setting for the event. "It not only provides a beautiful, family-friendly setting, but a living framework for reflecting on and experiencing the cycles of life," She said. "In many cultures, trees are symbols of life and renewal, the span of generations and hope for the future and by blessing and dedicating these trees, we share in one another’s sadness and joy, knowing we are not alone and do not remember alone."
Families take pictures by the trees year after year, and it is amazing to watch the trees grow, Hultgren added. "Through these gestures and rituals of healing, we strengthen the bonds between us, draw our UK community closer together and let our love and remembrance take form in new ways to bless family and stranger alike."
Steele, a NICU nurse who has been a member of the committee for 16 years, said the event is a time of healing not only for the families but also the nursing staff. "We feel that it’s a way to give back to the families and help provide closure," she said. "We want them to know that we share in their loss by providing a service where they can remember and honor their beloved child."
Sandy Mojesky, divisional charge nurse in Labor and Delivery, is also a longtime committee member and says providing a memorial and remembrance for these babies and their families has been her calling since she first became a labor and delivery nurse 27 years ago.
"The ceremony means so much to the families and I find especially it is important for the families who have experienced a miscarriage or early loss because it gives them an opportunity to memorialize their baby that they may not otherwise have had."
For more information about the event, contact Shannon Haynes at
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 10, 2015) — On Dec. 10, a lucky ticket holder will walk away with a new 2016 Lexus ES 350 because they chose to support Kentucky Children’s Hospital (KCH) through the third annual Lexus for the Little Ones raffle.
Every raffle ticket sold through Lexus of Lexington will improve facilities for children receiving treatment at KCH. Lexus of Lexington has set a fundraising goal of $100,000 for the 2015 raffle. Lexus of Lexington sponsors the Ocean Pod, a section of aquatic-themed patient rooms at KCH.
“Giving back to the community has always been an important part of our business, and who better to support than KCH, the pediatric care center that takes care of Kentucky’s kids,” Lexington businessman Rick Avare, co-owner of Lexus of Lexington, said.
Raffle tickets are $100 each and can be purchased online at www.givetokch.org/lexus, in person by visiting the Lexus dealership on 1264 E. New Circle Road, or by contacting the KCH Development office at (859) 257-1179. There is no limit on the number of tickets purchased, and ticket holders do not have to be present to win. A maximum of 1,000 tickets will be sold. The drawing will be held at 1 p.m. in Pavilion A of the UK Chandler Hospital on Dec. 10.
“Lexus of Lexington’s annual raffle has allowed us to create a more vibrant and kid-friendly care environment at KCH,” Dr. Carmel Wallace, chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Kentucky Children’s Hospital, said. “The improvements in our facilities made possible by their fundraising contributions have benefited everyone at the hospital, from our patients and families to our providers.”
The KCH Development office welcomes groups or individuals who would like to sell raffle tickets to family, friends and colleagues. If your group is interested, please contact Chloe Hurley at (859) 859-257-1121 or email@example.com.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 5, 2015) — The reasons why a teen might consider, attempt or commit suicide are complex. But according to Dr. Hatim Omar, University of Kentucky professor and chair of the Division of Adolescent Medicine, reducing youth suicide begins with a simple act — caring for teens.
“It’s not rocket science to help kids,” Omar said. “It’s just getting people to understand the message.”
Omar believes getting to the bottom of the problem of youth suicide requires dialogue among parents, ministers, school staff, health care providers, and counselors — but most importantly, teens themselves. For this reason, he helped to establish the Stop Youth Suicide Conference, which celebrates 15 years preventing and educating communities about youth suicide in Kentucky this week.
The Stop Youth Suicide (SYS) Conference on Nov. 5-6 will engage teens, parents, counselors, health professionals, and University of Kentucky employees in conversations about suicide risks and prevention. World-renowned teen health experts will discuss achievements of SYS through the past 15 years, risky behaviors, self-image, mental health, LGBT suicide risks, sexually transmitted infections, substance abuse, anxiety disorders and more during the full-day conference at the Doubletree Hilton and Suites in Lexington. In addition, teens will participate in an evening of socializing with Miss Kentucky 2013 Jenna Day during the Teen Event on Thursday, Nov. 5.
Since coming to UK in 1998, Omar has focused on enhancing teen wellness and preventing suicide through his efforts with the Stop Youth Suicide Campaign, a community-based youth suicide prevention program. In addition, Omar provides comprehensive teen health services through the Adolescent Health Clinic at the Kentucky Children’s Hospital and school-based outreach clinics in Lincoln and Harrison counties. He has advocated legislation to improve teen health and make resources available to families and youth with disabilities.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, physical health peaks during the adolescent years, but this age group is susceptible to mental health problems and suicide. Suicide is now the second-leading cause of death for teens and young adults across the nation and in Kentucky.
Since the UK Division of Adolescent Medicine, led by Omar, introduced the Stop Youth Suicide Campaign in 2000, suicide attempts in Kentucky’s youth have dropped in areas where school-based access to teen health services is available.
Omar’s recently published book, “Youth Suicide Prevention: Everybody’s Business,” chronicles the experiences and successes of the Stop Youth Suicide Campaign. The book describes a holistic approach to youth suicide from several perspectives, as well as strategies for reducing suicide that have worked in Kentucky.
Teens can attend the conference free of charge. For more information about the conference, visit www.stopyouthsuicide.com.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 4, 2015) — Presley Collins spent the first 12 hours of her life like most newborns — swaddled in blankets and fawned over by family members in a hospital room.
On the outside, Presley appeared healthy and normal. But on the inside, Presley’s small intestines, the portion of the gastrointestinal system responsible for absorbing nutrition, were cut off from blood flow and oxygen. Only a couple inches of viable tissue remained in the small intestines of the 2-day-old baby.
After Presley was born in August 2014, a pediatrician at Baptist Health in Richmond suspected a serious problem with her gastrointestinal tract. She was sent to the neonatal intensive care unit at Kentucky Children’s Hospital where pediatric surgeon Dr. Sean Skinner received the family’s permission to perform emergency surgery to diagnose the condition. The operation revealed tissue death in most of Presley’s small intestines, with only 1-centimeter sections at opposite ends of the intestinal tract viable.
Skinner diagnosed Presley with ischemic bowel, a condition in which diminished blood flow prevents oxygen from getting to the cells in the digestive system. During development in the womb, a blockage in the vessels prevented blood flow to the intestines, and the damage to the baby’s vital organ was irreversible.
“We got a call from (Dr. Skinner) pretty much saying we needed to get to UK as soon as we could because chances were slim our daughter would live,” Derrick Collins, Presley’s dad, said. “He explained what he found and told us she had a 10 percent chance of living.”
Presley would likely need a bowel transplant, but even as a full-term newborn, she was too small and vulnerable for the procedure. Skinner obtained second opinions from colleagues at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, who confirmed his conclusion that Presley was not yet a candidate for bowel transplant. He held a teleconference with the family, the KCH medical team and specialists at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. The medical teams offered two possible courses of action for Presley: take her off her breathing ventilator and go home or put her through an additional surgery to remove the dead bowel and begin the long and risky wait for a transplant.
Neither action seemed desirable for the parents. The parents didn’t want the memory of their daughter dying at home. And removing the dead bowel was a temporary intervention to protect Presley from infection while awaiting a transplant. To receive the transplant, she needed to survive without small intestine until she gained 20 pounds and turned 1-year old.
NICU nurse Mary Smith, who was Presley’s primary nurse, gained the family’s trust and empathized with their struggle. While caring for Presley, she talked to the parents about their options. Even after receiving consultation from the pediatric palliative care team, Jessie Roney, Presley’s mom, believed her daughter was going to survive. During casual conversation in their NICU room, Collins and Raney asked Smith what she would do in their position.
“I had this gut feeling, and as a nurse you always follow your gut,” Smith said. “I just wondered if it would be different if Dr. Skinner went back in? I couldn’t live with myself wondering, ‘What if?’”
Smith’s advice encouraged the parents to allow Skinner to perform the second procedure and remove the dead bowel in preparation for transplant. The next day, Skinner took Presley into a second surgery to remove the dead bowel. When he opened Presley’s abdomen, he found only two-thirds of the original portion of dead bowel measured during the first procedure. He couldn’t explain why, but Presley’s body rejuvenated a portion of the intestines enough, Skinner determined, to salvage the entire organ.
“That was letting the body sort out what it could,” Skinner said. “Kids’ bodies are more resilient that adults.”
Skinner extracted 75 centimeters of dead bowel and left 50 centimeters of viable bowel. After two hours of surgery, Skinner reported the news of a medical “miracle” to the family.
“I fell down and started crying like a baby,” Collins said of hearing the outcome of the surgery. “But her mom didn’t even budge — she knew the whole time her baby was going to be fine.”
The surgery signified a turnaround in Presley’s treatment. Skinner’s ability to keep several centimeters of Presley’s bowel negated a transplant, and subsequent procedures performed by Skinner enabled the baby to eventually go home with a feeding tube. Presley transitioned from breast feeding to formula within a year of her treatment at KCH, and now eats regular food. Collins said he wouldn’t have trusted anyone but Skinner to work on his daughter.
“Even though he gave us all the bad news, there was just this trust there that I felt like she was in good hands every time she went into surgery with him,” Collins said of Skinner.
The family also praised Smith for the support she provided during an uncertain time. They felt Smith was the best person to parse down complex and overwhelming medical information when they were facing decisions concerning their daughter’s fate. Smith became an advocate for their daughter’s care.
“We owe everything to Mary and the support that she gave us,” Collins said. “She treated us like we’d known each other our whole lives.”
Smith has heard of dramatic recoveries and unexplained phenomena in the NICU, but Presley was the first miracle baby under her care. She won’t ever forget the resilience of Presley, who is now a toddler and recently visited Mary in the NICU.
“She is why I love my job,” Smith said. “I’ve never felt this way about a patient — I’ve never seen a miracle like this.”
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 21, 2015) – The University of Kentucky Gill Heart Institute and UK Transplant Center are hosting the Kentucky Advances in Heart Failure 2015 conference on Saturday, Oct. 24 in Pavilion A of the Albert B. Chandler Hospital.
The conference will feature talks from Dr. Rita Jermyn, medical director of Heart Failure at North Shore University in New York; Dr. Maya Guglin, medical director of the UK Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) Program; Dr. Navin Rajagopalan, medical director of the UK Cardiac Transplant Program; and other UK faculty.
Designed for cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, primary care and family care physicians, physician assistants, registered nurses and nurse practitioners, as well as students, residents, fellows and other providers interested in learning more about advanced heart failure and its treatments, the Advances in Heart Failure conference will look at various developments in medical treatment of both acute and chronic heart failure patients.
The conference will begin at 8:15 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m., followed by a tour of the cardiovascular floor.
Day-of registration will open at 7:30 a.m. on Oct. 24. You can register online at visit http://www.cecentral.com/live/10732. The cost of the conference is $30 for physicians, nurses and other healthcare providers. There is no charge for University of Kentucky faculty, residents and medical students, Gill Heart Affiliates, and UK HealthCare Organ Failure and Transplant Affiliates.
MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, 859-323-2399 or firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 20, 2015) — The rosy flush of Ethan Abel’s cheeks comforted school nurse Cassandra Artrip as she watched the 10-year-old doze with a plush dog in his arms.
“He’s pink and breathing on his own, and I am tickled to see he’s doing so well,” Artrip said during her visit to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Kentucky Children’s Hospital on Oct. 9.
Only a few days earlier, Artrip found Ethan unconscious and with a blue tone to his skin before she started administering CPR and rescue breathing on the playground of Robinson Elementary School. Her entire body was still sore from pushing chest compressions as she worked to save Ethan’s life.
Speaking to Ethan’s mother Marla Miller at KCH the first time since the day of the emergency, Artrip said she pleaded with Ethan to stay strong as she replenished his lungs with oxygen during a rescue period that seemed like “an eternity.” When the emergency responders arrived at the remote rural school, Artrip was given affirmation that Ethan’s heart was still beating. Moments later, she delivered the news to Miller in the school’s parking lot, where the worried mother collapsed in a wave of panic.
Now, as a hospital heart monitor attached to Ethan beeped in a rhythmic pattern, Artrip could release a sigh — and a few tears — of relief.
“The truth is no matter how much fight he had in him, if you weren’t there, he wouldn’t be here right now,” Miller said. “You are my angel.”
Around 2 p.m. on Oct. 6, as students at Robinson Elementary were lining up from recess, a classmate spotted Ethan lying on the playground struggling to breathe. A teacher reached Ethan in time to hear him mention a feeling of “being hit in his chest” before he passed out.
As soon as the front office received an emergency call from the playground, Artrip bolted down the school’s main hall. After reading Ethan’s faint pulse, she utilized the school’s automated external defibrillator (AED) to shock his heart back into a regular pattern — a decision emergency responders and cardiologists at Kentucky Children’s Hospital credit with saving his life. With the help of another volunteer nurse who was visiting the school that day, Artrip continued chest compressions and rescue breathing until emergency responders arrived at the country school in Perry County.
“The whole time I am thinking, ‘Please, God, don’t take him. He’s just kid — he has his whole life ahead of him,’” Artrip said.
The moment Ethan’s heart beat out of sequence on the playground marked the first time his chronic heart condition disrupted his life since birth. As a newborn, Ethan was treated at the Kentucky Children’s Hospital neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for an infection in his heart. Although Ethan recovered from the infection as baby, pediatricians were concerned with the long-term risks associated with a scar left from the infection. The abnormal tissue put Ethan at heightened risk of arrhythmia, an irregular heartbeat, which could one day result in a cardiac event.
Kentucky Children’s Hospital cardiologists Dr. Louis Bezold and Dr. Mark Vranicar, who travels to the KCH clinic in Hazard, followed Ethan’s case as he continued to grow older. Vranicar prescribed medications to help control the condition, and until the incident on the playground, Ethan lived a normal life.
According to Vranicar, a number of factors and influences might have triggered the ventricular arrhythmia in Ethan’s already vulnerable heart. Vranicar said the principal and school nurse’s assertiveness in retrieving the AED saved Ethan’s life, but also averted long-term damage to the lungs and brain.
“I believe it was life-saving in Ethan’s case,” Vranicar said of the AED. “And there may be other children that develop arrhythmias that could be saved by AEDs too.”
Estill Neace has served as the principal of Robinson Elementary School for four years and as a school administrator in Perry County for more than 20 years, and in that time he’s never had to access a school’s AED. Neace, who knows all 300 children at his school by name, followed the ambulance to Appalachian Regional HealthCare where the Pediatric Transport Team transported Ethan to Kentucky Children’s Hospital. In addition to the principal, Ethan’s homeroom teacher, physical education teacher and school nurse Artrip were aware of Ethan’s heart condition prior to the emergency. When Neace learned Ethan was the child down on the playground, he knew there was a chance they were going to need the AED.
“It doesn’t matter how small a school you are or how large, if there is one child that for whatever reason has his heart stop beating, (the AED) is the difference in that child having a chance to live,” Neace said. “You have to have it.”
Through Kentucky Children’s Hospital’s developing pediatric heart program with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Ethan underwent surgery Oct. 13 to receive an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). If his heart goes out of rhythm, the device will automatically administer a shock to bring the rhythm back to normal. Vranicar said the device serves as a reliable preventive measure to ensure Ethan’s safety no matter where he’s located in the event of cardiac distress.
“Obviously, we don’t want it to happen again, but despite what we do, there is still a chance,” Vranicar said. “We are treating him to prevent another episode. The goal is to get him back to where he was before and let him run and play and lead as normal a life as he can.”
Miller feels some comfort knowing the ICD will administer an automatic shock if Ethan is struck with another cardiac event. But she was most touched by the dedication to keeping her child alive demonstrated by the Robinson Elementary School staff.
“If he was home, he would have been dead because (we don’t have) an AED,” Miller said. “I can say I am not scared to send him back to school because I know they’ll do everything possible and more for my son.”
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 20, 2015) – Time for Three, a string trio known for defying tradition and reinventing classical music in the contemporary world, will perform four pop-up concerts at UK HealthCare locations and in the Lexington community this week.
Known for their virtuosity and showmanship, Time for Three takes an innovative approach to classical composition by incorporating a variety of musical styles, including country western, Bluegrass and jazz, in their high-energy performances. Violinist Zach DePue, violinist Nick Kendall and double-bassist Ranaan Meyer share a passion for improvisation, composition and arrangement, which are prime elements of their musical ensemble. The classically trained musicians blend Bach with the Beatles, specializing in original mash-ups with hits from artists including Katy Perry, Kanye West and more.
The group went viral on YouTube and debuted as a top-10 album on Billboard’s Classical Crossover chart. In addition to appearances on the BBC and ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, the group has performed with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and at Carnegie Hall. Individual soloists have performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra and completed prestigious residences at the Kennedy Center.
Pop-up concerts will be held:
· October 21 at Noon, UK Chandler Hospital Pavilion A Atrium
· Oct. 21 at 2:30 p.m., Eastern State Hospital
· October 22 at 10 a.m., Discovery Education Concert at Keeneland and Keeneland National Anthem
· Oct. 22 at 7 p.m., Ethereal Brewery
The pop-up concerts build momentum to the group’s Oct. 23 performance and presentation at the Singletary Center for the Arts as part of the UK HealthCare Saykaly Garbulinska Performer in Residence Series. The UK Arts in HealthCare program in partnership with the Lexington Philharmonic and the UK School of Music will present Time for Three Music Entrepreneurship Assembly at 1 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.
The UK School of Music at UK College of Fine Arts has garnered national reputation for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition and music theory.
The UK Arts in HealthCare program's mission is to harness the healing power of art to create a comfortable environment focused on the spiritual and emotional well-being of patients, visitors and employees.
The mission of the Lexington Philharmonic is to foster excellence and innovation in the performance and presentation of great music; to enrich the lives of our diverse citizenry; to educate current and future audience and to bring distinction to our community through the orchestra’s presence and standing.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 7, 2015) – UK HealthCare has more than 125 physicians practicing medicine with UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital, Kentucky Children's Hospital, UK Good Samaritan Hospital and Shriner's Hospitals for Children who appear on the Best Doctors in America list for 2015-16 – more than any other hospital in Kentucky. Only 5 percent of doctors in America earn this 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 polling of more than 40,000 physicians in the United States. Doctors in more than 40 specialties and 400 subspecialties of medicine appear on this year’s List.
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.
2015-16 Best Doctor's List:
Sadiq Ahmed Nephrology
Kenneth B. Ain Endocrinology and Metabolism
Michael I. Anstead Pediatric Specialist
Rony K. Aouad Otolaryngology
Susanne M. Arnold Medical Oncology and Hematology
Henrietta Salvilla Bada Pediatric Specialist
Hubert O. Ballard Pediatric Specialist
Robert J. Baumann Child Neurologist
Louis Bezold Pediatric Specialist
Peter James Blackburn Ophthalmology
Christopher A. Boarman Pediatrics
David C. Booth Cardiovascular Disease
Edwin A. Bowe Anesthesiology
Robert A. Broughton Pediatric Specialist
Raeford E. Brown, Jr. Pediatric Specialist
Scottie B. Day Pediatric Specialist
Christopher P. DeSimone Obstetrics and Gynecology
Philip A. DeSimone Medical Oncology and Hematology
David J. DiSantis Radiology
John Draus Pediatric Specialist
John H. Eichhorn Anesthesiology
Eric D. Endean Vascular Surgery
Deborah R. Erickson Urology
B. Mark Evers Surgery
John L. Fowlkes Pediatric Specialist
Peter J. Giannone, Jr. Pediatric Specialist
Jacqueline S. Gibson Internal Medicine
Larry B. Goldstein Neurology
Donna G. Grigsby Pediatrics
John C. Gurley Cardiovascular Disease
Wendy Fetterman Hansen Obstetrics and Gynecology
Andrew Hoellein Internal Medicine
Robert Hosey Family Medicine
Joseph A. Iocono Pediatric Specialist
Mary Lloyd Ireland Orthopaedic Surgery
Henry Iwinski Pediatric Specialist
Gregory A. Jicha Neurology
Darren Lee Johnson Orthopaedic Surgery
Raleigh O. Jones Otolaryngology
Jamshed F. Kanga Pediatric Specialist
Dennis Karounos Endocrinology and Metabolism
Edward J. Kasarskis Neurology
Douglas G. Katz Ophthalmology
Philip A. Kern Endocrinology and Metabolism
Stefan G. Kiessling Pediatric Specialist
Mahesh R. Kudrimoti Radiation Oncology
Cheri D. Landers Pediatric Specialist
Philip B. Latham Pediatrics
Steve W. Leung Cardiovascular Disease
Robert W. Lightfoot, Jr. Rheumatology
Richard Lock Anesthesiology
Grace F. Maguire Pediatrics
Scott D. Mair Orthopaedic Surgery
Hartmut H. Malluche Nephrology
Jeremiah T. Martin Thoracic Surgery
Erich C. Maul Pediatrics
Hanna W. Mawad Nephrology
Ronald Charles McGarry Radiation Oncology
Patrick C. McGrath Surgical Oncology
Adrian W. Messerli Cardiovascular Disease
Todd Milbrandt Pediatric Specialist
David J. Minion Vascular Surgery
Amr El-Husseini Mohamed Nephrology
David J. Moliterno Cardiovascular Disease
Alba E. Morales Pediatric Specialist
Peter E. Morris Critical Care Medicine
Timothy W. Mullett Thoracic Surgery
Kevin R. Nelson Neurology
Nicholas J. Nickl III Gastroenterology
M. Elizabeth Oates Radiology
John M. O'Brien, Jr. Obstetrics and Gynecology
Hatim A. Omar Pediatric Specialist
Amit Patel Plastic Surgery
Kevin A. Pearce Geriatric Medicine
P. Andrew Pearson Ophthalmology
Luther C. Pettigrew, Jr. Neurology
Barbara A. Phillips Sleep Medicine
Thomas Pittman Pediatric Specialist
Andrew R. Pulito* Pediatric Specialist
Marcus E. Randall Radiation Oncology
Annette Rebel Critical Care Medicine
Hassan K. Reda Thoracic Surgery
Aru Reddy Pediatric Specialist
L. Raymond Reynolds Endocrinology and Metabolism
Julie Ribes Pathology
Scott A. Riley Hand Surgery
John J. Rinehart* Medical Oncology and Hematology
Kimberly Ringley Pediatrics
William C. Robertson, Jr. Child Neurologist
David W. Rudy Clinical Pharmacology, Internal Medicine
Sarah S. Rugg Cardiovascular Disease
Sibu P. Saha Thoracic Surgery
Sheila P. Sanders Ophthalmology
B. Peter Sawaya Nephrology
Douglas J. Schneider Pediatric Specialist
Jeffrey Bryan Selby Orthopaedic Surgery
Lori Shook Pediatric Specialist
Michael Sekela Thoracic Surgery
John Slevin Neurology
David A. Sloan Surgical Oncology
Charles D. Smith, Jr. Neurology
Mikel D. Smith Cardiovascular Disease
Susan Smyth Cardiovascular Disease
Vincent L. Sorrell Cardiovascular Disease
William Henry St. Clair Radiation Oncology
Carol Steltenkamp Pediatrics
Julia C. Stevens Pediatric Specialist
Stephen Strup Urology
Lisa R. Tannock Endocrinology and Metabolism
Vishwas R. Talwalkar Pediatric Specialist
Alice C. Thornton Infectious Disease
Kathryn M. Thrailkill Pediatric Specialist
Phillip A. Tibbs Neurological Surgery
Dale E. Toney Internal Medicine
Fred Rand Ueland Obstetrics and Gynecology
Joseph Valentino Otolaryngology
Craig Van Horne Neurological Surgery
Woodford S. Van Meter Ophthalmology
John R. van Nagell Obstetrics and Gynecology
Henry C. Vasconez Pediatric Specialist, Plastic Surgery
Lars M. Wagner Pediatric Specialist
Carmel Wallace Pediatrics
Gretchen Lois Wells Cardiovascular Disease
Thomas French Whayne, Jr. Cardiovascular Disease
Michael L. Wittkamp Pediatric Specialist
Thomas L. Young Pediatrics
Khaled M. Ziada Cardiovascular Disease
Joseph B. Zwischenberger Critical Care Medicine, Thoracic Surgery
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 4, 2015) — UK HealthCare and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to move toward a significant partnership to provide pediatric heart care services in the region.
The partnership combines the strengths of the region's leading provider of advanced subspecialty care in UK HealthCare with one of the country's undisputed leaders in children's health care, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. The collaboration will enable more Kentucky children to receive care closer to home.
"In partnering with Cincinnati Children's we will be teaming-up with one of the top three children's hospitals in the country and a Top 10 pediatric heart care program," said Dr. Bernard Boulanger, UK HealthCare chief medical officer, who led a review of UK's program and has helped lead discussions with Cincinnati Children's.
Under the terms of the proposal, a heart surgeon will be jointly recruited and have a primary appointment at Cincinnati Children's in a "two sites, one program" model; the surgeon will be based in Lexington and perform services at Kentucky Children’s Hospital.
In addition, a director of the pediatric heart program will be recruited immediately to oversee the program and drive its development.
The program director position also will be based in Lexington and serve as program liaison for both sites. The director will be employed by UK HealthCare, report to UK HealthCare's chief medical officer and will also have reporting responsibilities to Cincinnati Children’s Heart Institute leadership team.
“We are excited about the opportunity to work with UK HealthCare to serve pediatric cardiac patients and their families in the Commonwealth,” Dr. Andrew Redington, executive co-director of the Heart Institute and chief of the Division of Pediatric Cardiology at Cincinnati Children’s, said. “Our collaboration will be a comprehensive, multidisciplinary, team-based approached focused on quality and safety in cardiac care.”
Initial joint negotiations began earlier this year and led to the LOI being signed. Details of the program are to be finalized during the next few months. Once the program is operational, a clinical team of physicians from both hospitals may direct regional patients needing care to Kentucky Children's Hospital or Cincinnati Children's according to the complexity of their case. Initially, more complex cases will be sent to Cincinnati Children's. Over time as the Lexington site program matures, more complex cases may be performed at UK.
Although details are still being worked out, the first surgical procedure at UK would be targeted for late 2016 or early 2017. UK HealthCare will also work toward having cardiac subspecialists performing diagnostics and therapeutic interventions at Kentucky Children's Hospital with the support of Cincinnati Children’s subspecialists when necessary.
"Overall, it is the aim to keep patient care local and close to home, when clinically appropriate. This will include post-surgical care and pediatric cardiology subspecialty care that will be available in Lexington even for patients who travel to Cincinnati for complex surgical procedures," said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK executive vice president for health affairs.
Training, support, infrastructure development and reactivation of on-site surgery at Kentucky Children's Hospital will be done in a manner to ensure sustained outstanding outcomes as measured by national registries and reporting mechanisms, he said.
This includes developing and implementing shared and common clinical standards for environment, design, equipment, operations, staffing and personnel. Additionally, training will be provided at Cincinnati Children's initially and on an ongoing basis for Kentucky Children's Hospital personnel.
UK HealthCare's pediatric cardiothoracic surgical program was temporarily suspended after questions were raised internally about how best to improve the program.
"When we voluntarily suspended Kentucky Children's pediatric cardiothoracic (CT) program in October 2012, we said we would only re-open the program when we were ready to provide the best care for our patients and their families. We are confident that this collaborative arrangement meets that mark with the highest quality surgical and clinical care, education and research in pediatric cardiovascular services for patients of Kentucky and their families," Karpf said.
A task force was formed in 2013 and charged with providing recommendations regarding the future of the Kentucky Children's Hospital Pediatric Heart Program including program scope, resource planning, strategy for launch and a post-launch monitoring and oversight plan.
At the time of the release of the task force's findings in October 2013, Boulanger said the commitment was to re-open the program as soon as possible, but only after the resources and process improvements are in place to ensure the delivery of high quality, safe and compassionate cardiac care for the children of Kentucky and beyond.
"There is also a firm commitment to transparency and as we iron out the details and development of this program, we are committed to fully reporting our data and measures that detail our performance for everyone to see," he said.
The plan is to establish a transparent data-driven quality and safety program with outcomes reported jointly to the Society for Thoracic Surgeons (STS) as well as other regional and national programs that monitor surgical and clinical outcomes.
"Already, the majority of Kentucky Children's Hospital pediatric CT surgery patient families who need clinical referrals for care are choosing Cincinnati Children’s," Boulanger said. "This new two site, one program model will provide an even more seamless process for these patients and families as well as the new patients and families needing these services each year throughout the Commonwealth."
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 19, 2015) – For women younger than 40, cervical cancer is among the leading causes of cancer-related death. With modern vaccines to protect against the underlying cause, human papilloma virus (HPV), cervical cancer is also one of the most preventable types of cancers.
As a society, we have the opportunity to wipe out or significantly reduce a disease by vaccinating the population. Still, many American health care providers and families aren’t getting their children and teens vaccinated, and our youth are suffering the consequences.
Cervical cancer, as well as cancers of the throat, penis, rectum, vulva and mouth, can develop from changes in cells caused by HPV. Since the FDA approved the first versions of the HPV vaccine in 2006, nearly 7 billion doses have been administered worldwide. HPV continues to spread because of a national resistance to accepting the vaccine as part of standard preventive care.
Because of social stigmas surrounding HPV vaccinations, only around 30 percent of men and women under the age of 25 have been vaccinated in both Kentucky and nationwide. Only 27 percent of women between the ages 13 to 17 have received the recommended dosages of the HPV vaccine. Many health care providers and parents view these vaccinations as elective or irrelevant unless a youth is sexually active. In reality, HPV can be transmitted a number of ways, including from a mother to a child during delivery. Statistics show most people will contract one form of the virus at some point in their lives.
Until 2014, the two vaccination options were Gardasil 4 and Cervarix, both of which protect against HPV strains 16 and 18 or the strains responsible for 70 percent of cervical cancers and Gardasil 4 also protects against 90 percent of genital warts (Strains 6 & 11). Last year, Gardasil 9 entered the market targeting strains 16 and 18, as well as five additional strains, covering HPV types responsible for almost 90 percent of cervical cancers. The vaccine also protects against HPV strains 6 and 11, which cause genital warts.
Parents and adolescent providers must seize the opportunity to vaccinate their youth before infection occurs. Countries that provided massive free vaccination such as Australia have experienced a 70 percent drop in cervical cancer rates, as well as other cancers associated with HPV.
Next time you visit your pediatrician or adolescent health provider, insist on including an HPV vaccine in your child’s preventive health care plan. Both boys and girls should be vaccinated. The vaccine is safe and effective, and prevents 70 to 90 percent of the disease. As a parent, doing everything in your capacity to protect your child from harm means making the decision to get the HPV vaccine — the only certain way to prevent these forms of cancer.
Dr. Omar is the chief of the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Kentucky Children's Hospital.
This column appeared in the Aug. 16 edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader
Media Contact: Elizabeth Troutman Adams at firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 14, 2015) – Governor Steve Beshear held a ceremonial signing of Senate Bill 82 on Thursday at the University of Kentucky.
The measure aims to increase research dollars designated for the study and treatment of pediatric cancer by creating a “check-the-box” option for an individual’s tax refund to be diverted to a newly created Pediatric Cancer Research Trust Fund.
The legislation was sponsored by Sen. Max Wise, of Campbellsville, whose young son is a pediatric cancer survivor. Senate Bill 82 became law June 24.
“Every child deserves to live a healthy, active life, but many children in this state - and all across the country - are battling cancer,” said Gov. Beshear. “In fact, cancer is the second leading cause of death in children. This law will help us raise more funding for research for pediatric cancer in the hope that one day we can celebrate finding a cure.”
The Pediatric Cancer Research Trust Fund will be administered by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. A board will be established to provide additional oversight and guidance.
“As the first pediatric cancer bill to be signed into law in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, this bill is dedicated to the families who have been affected or are dealing with pediatric cancer,” said Sen. Wise. “SB82 is a testament to our republican & democrat legislators working together to do what is right for Kentucky families.”
From 2008-2012, Kentucky had approximately 200 cases each year of cancer among children up to the age of 19, according to the National Cancer Institute. The American Cancer Society, meanwhile, reports that about 10,380 children in the United States under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer in 2015.
“This legislation will fuel innovative pediatric cancer research being done here at the University of Kentucky and will directly benefit some of the sickest children in the Commonwealth,” said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK Executive Vice President for Health Affairs. “Thanks to this bill, now all Kentuckians will have the opportunity to advance pediatric cancer research.”
The bill also allows individuals to designate a portion of their tax refund to a new trust fund to support rape crisis centers throughout Kentucky.
“I was proud to include this provision in the law, because these centers play such a critical role in giving rape victims the care and support they need,” said Rep. Chris Harris, of Forest Hills. “This additional revenue will provide better financial stability and enable the centers to do even more to help.”
Gov. Beshear encouraged Kentuckians to look for the check-off option when filing their taxes next year so they can donate a portion or all of their refund to the Pediatric Cancer Trust Fund, or the Rape Crisis Center Trust Fund.
“I hope all Kentuckians will take advantage of these new check-off options and join us in the fight to end childhood cancer and support for victims of assault,” said Gov. Beshear.
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