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LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 30, 2014) – As part of a weeklong tour across the state, the Smoke-Free Kentucky Coalition will be making a stop at the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center today at 11 a.m. to promote better health for Kentuckians through smoke-free policies. The event at Markey is one of several stops across the state as it heads to western Kentucky for the annual Fancy Farm Picnic.
At each stop, the Smoke-Free Coalition is rallying supporters and reaching out to legislators, urging them to join 24 other states in passing a comprehensive, statewide smoke-free law that covers all indoor workplaces and public places, including bars and restaurants. The goal of the tour is to get all Kentuckians, around the state, active and engaged in supporting smoke-free policy as the campaign gears up for the 2015 legislative session.
Secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, almost 70 of which are known to cause cancer, and is proven to cause heart disease, lung cancer, respiratory illnesses and even premature death. In fact, studies indicate that secondhand smoke exposure causes about 1,000 deaths a year in Kentucky.
To find out more information about how smoke-free policies are good for health and businesses visit: www.smokefreekentucky.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 30, 2014) — The phrase "we caught it early" is possibly the best news a patient can hear in the midst of a cancer diagnosis. Combating cancer in its earliest stages, when the disease is localized to a certain part of the body, gives patients the best chances of survival.
Screenings for breast, skin, colon, prostate and other forms of cancer are touted for saving lives through early detection. Many health care providers recommend cancer screenings as a precautionary measure, especially for high-risk patients. But in the case of lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, the patient's decision to undergo a screening process is more complex.
According to University of Kentucky psychologist Dr. Jamie Studts, lung cancer screening is an algorithm, not an event. Patients aren't always aware of the physical and psychological consequences of the lung cancer screening process, which can lead to false positive results, invasive biopsy procedures, harmful radiation exposure and anxiety caused by an ongoing process.
Studts, a researcher in the UK Department of Behavioral Science and the Cancer Prevention and Control Program of the Markey Cancer Center, is working to develop an online tool that will help individuals at high risk for lung cancer navigate the lung cancer screening decision-making process. He said the decision to undergo lung cancer screening should be well-informed and aligned with the patient's personal values. Studts is collaborating with Dr. Margaret Byrne, a health economist and medical decision-making researcher at the University of Miami, on this project, which is funded by a grant awarded from the National Cancer Institute.
"Screening is for asymptomatic, healthy people to find out there's something wrong," Studts said. "You are committing to a series of events that will lead to either learning you don’t have cancer, or detecting and treating it."
A number of factors, including the Affordable Care Act's provision of accessibility to cancer screening services and results from a 2011 National Lung Screening Trial conducted by the National Cancer Institute, have reinvigorated the public's interest in lung cancer screening. The National Lung Screening Trial reported a 20 percent relative reduction in mortality for high-risk individuals who received a low-dose computed tomography (CT) scans. But the report also identified substantial risks and limitations to lung cancer screenings, which included overdiagnosis and relatively high false positive rates. The rate of false positive occurrence in the study of a high-risk population was 39 percent. With high rates of false positive scans and ongoing follow-up treatment, Studts said widespread lung cancer screening could be a costly burden for government-funded health care but could also prevent very expensive treatments for late stage lung cancer.
Studts and his fellow researchers have proposed a decision-making aid that is designed to accomplish three objectives: disperse knowledge, empower the patient and clarify individual's values. The aid will present accurate information about the screening process and calculate feedback that's tailored to the individual. The tool will also empower the individual to discuss the decision with their health care provider by providing a prompt list of potential questions. Finally, the values clarification component of the tool will explore the patient's personal preferences regarding the lung cancer screening process. For instance, if a patient is ultimately unwilling to undergo surgery for a lung biopsy, the tool can determine that they will likely experience minimal benefit from a screening.
"The goal is to help people interpret what they learn in the context of what’s important to them regarding their goals in health," Studts said. "They will learn about lung cancer screening options, benefits, harms and uncertainties associated with the modality.”
To develop the provider education program, Studts has collaborated with a team of University of Kentucky experts, including Dr. Eric Bendsadoun, a pulmonologist and director of the lung cancer screening program; Dr. Susanne Arnold, a medical oncologist who is part of the multidisciplinary lung cancer screening program; Dr. Michael Brooks, a cardiothoracic radiologist; Dr. Mark Dignan, a cancer prevention and control researcher; Dr. Eric Durbin, a cancer research informatics expert; and Dr. Brent Shelton, a cancer biostatistician.
The next step in their research will be conducting a clinical trial to test the decision-making aid among high-risk individuals, or high pack-year smokers, in Florida and Kentucky. Recently, Studts, along with Dr. Tim Mullet, a cardiothoracic surgeon at UK, received funding from the Kentucky Lung Cancer Research Program to develop an online continuing education program geared toward educating health care providers about lung cancer screening and how to discuss the lung cancer screening question with their patients. Eventually, he envisions dispersing a comprehensive educational toolkit on lung cancer screening to clinics and hospitals.
Studts said the current research suggests that lung cancer screening has minimal benefits for individuals younger than 55. Still, many Americans with a history of high pack-year smoking will face the decision of whether to be screened for cancer in their lifetime. Studts believes it will be helpful to implement an online tool that will help guide members of the high-risk population through a decision-making process.
"We’re interested in delivering high quality patient centered care – helping people be engaged in their health care choices and helping health care providers engage in these choices too."
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 29, 2014) — The UK Arts in HealthCare program commissions artists from as near as Kentucky and as far away as England for public exhibitions throughout the UK medical campus. But in the spring, the program called upon University of Kentucky employees to submit work to be considered for one of two employee gallery locations. The works selected for the two exhibits, titled The Healing Presence of Art, are now on display.
Thirty-three employee artists entered more than 80 pieces, including photography, pastels, acrylics and oil paintings, to be considered for the exhibits. In May, a jury of local professional artists evaluated the works based on composition, aesthetics, technique and originality. A collection of 33 selected pieces, which ranged from nature photography to paintings of pets, were also judged on whether they contributed to the healing presence in the hospital. The exhibits opened at the UK HealthCare Good Samaritan Hospital cafeteria and the Pavilion H lobby of the UK Chandler Hospital in June.
"So many artists out there are hidden among our fellow employees, and they have a high level of talent, especially in photography," Jason Akhtarekhavari, member of the Arts in HealthCare staff, said.
The two collections will be on display until next spring when Arts in HealthCare will hold another employee art competition. Afterward, the art will remain in possession of the UK Arts in HealthCare program and go on permanent display in various locations on the UK medical campus that are currently lacking the presence of art. All the works are accompanied by an informational caption sign that identifies the employee artist and where they work.
Congratulations to the following employee artists:
· Elemental - Pavilion H
· Illumination - Pavilion H
· Garden Visitor - Pavilion H
· Silken Embrace of Late Summer - Good Samaritan Hospital
· Third Life - Pavilion H
· Summer Lights - Good Samaritan Hospital
· Mushroom in Median - Good Samaritan Hospital
· To the Races
· Warm Fuzzy Kitten - Pavilion H
· Warm Fuzzy Puppy - Good Samaritan Hospital
M. Clare Sale
· Mail Call - Good Samaritan Hospital
· Tranquility - Pavilion H
Craig Van Horne
· Untitled - Pavilion H
· Untitled - Good Samaritan Hospital
· Strength Together - Pavilion H
· Singular Fortitude - Pavilion H
· At the Finish Line in Keeneland - Pavilion H
· Mother and Daughter - Pavilion H
· Treecicle - Good Samaritan Hospital
· Erma's Bouquet - Good Samaritan Hospital
· Malissa's Heart - Good Samaritan Hospital
· Flowers for Kate - Pavilion H
· Lenn Cove Viaduct - Good Samaritan Hospital
· Zen Tree at Wolf Rock - Good Samaritan Hospital
· Selfie at Glacier National Park - Pavilion H
· Flowers in Motion 3 - Pavilion H
· 215 North - Good Samaritan
· The Haunting - Good Samaritan Hospital
· Reflections - Pavilion H
· Acoustic Guitar - Pavilion H
· An Afternoon on Washington Street - Good Samaritan Hospital
· Awakening - Pavilion H
· Balance - Good Samaritan Hospital
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, (859) 323-2394; firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 28, 2014) – The Louisville Ironman – a triathlon consisting of a 2.4-mile swim in the Ohio River, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile run – is a competition that would test even the toughest of wills.
But for University of Kentucky radiation oncologist Dr. Jonathan Feddock, the competition is about more than achieving a personal goal – Feddock, an accomplished triathlete, is using his athletic talents to help provide better care for the cancer patients he treats. When he competes in the Aug. 24 Ironman, he'll be doing so to raise money to pay for renovations and updates to the brachytherapy program at the UK Markey Cancer Center.
Brachytherapy is a specific form of radiation treatment where radiation sources are placed inside or close to the area requiring treatment.
”The main benefit to using brachytherapy for the treatment of cancer is that this is the only method of radiation treatment where we can make radiation appear exactly where we want to," said Feddock. "If your goal is to treat a tumor with curative doses of radiation and not treat the normal parts of the body immediately next to it, then brachytherapy is the best option.”
The total estimated cost for the brachytherapy project is approximately $1.2 million dollars, and Feddock has a specific goal to reach – he is trying to raise $200,000, with the remaining $1 million to be matched through the University, independent philanthropists, and department funds. The proposed changes would consolidate all areas involving brachytherapy, including moving the implant procedure room and the radiation treatment room into a combined space, and upgrading the current brachytherapy equipment.
Brachytherapy treatment is commonly used to treat most gynecologic cancers, as well as malignancies of the breast, prostate, and skin. Under Feddock’s leadership, the radiation medicine department has developed a niche practice that uses brachytherapy for recurrent tumors in patients who have previously received radiation. As a result, UK sees patients from all over the country.
Unfortunately, Kentucky holds the distinction of having some of the highest cancer rates in the country – including being No. 8 in the U.S. for cervical cancer incidence. The availability of brachytherapy in the state is limited, and as a result, Markey provides brachytherapy services for essentially all patients coming from central, eastern and southern Kentucky.
Currently, Markey patients receive their brachytherapy implants in the Ben F. Roach Building, but have to be transported down a long hallway to the radiation treatment room in the UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital. Because the radiation therapy treatment and recovery rooms require a shielded vault, consolidation is not an easy process.
However, Feddock points out, the renovations will improve staff efficiency and the overall patient experience, in addition to allowing his team to see even more patients per day.
"Currently, the setup and logistics of brachytherapy treatment limit me to no more than two cases a day," Feddock said. "As our patient population grows, there's a real need to streamline the process so we can see more patients. I believe the proposed changes would allow me to treat three to four patients a day."
Feddock is determined to reach his goal, and he's even implemented a clever strategy to bring in donations. After speaking with members of the World Triathlon Corporation, he has been given special permission to begin the Ironman in Louisville this year in last place – and he's encouraging donors to "bet against him" by pledging a small amount for every single person he passes in the race. With close to 3,000 competitors ahead of him, that's a lot of potential donations.
The plan becomes more impressive when you look at his track record: in 2011, Feddock finished 30th in the Ironman; in 2013, he finished 17th.
”While I'm approaching some corporate sponsors and individual philanthropists about making larger donations, I think crowdfunding is the key here," Feddock said. "Every single dollar helps, and if a lot of different people contribute just a small amount, it will add up. By pledging even a small donation, you'll be making a huge impact on cancer care for women and men across Kentucky."
Dr. Marcus Randall, chair of the Department of Radiation Medicine, says his team fully supports Feddock's undertaking.
“Dr. Feddock’s commitment to his patients and to UK HealthCare is inspirational to us all," Randall said. "The department is strongly supporting Dr. Feddock, which shows that we truly have 'skin in the game' when it comes to giving our patients the best treatment possible.”
To support Feddock's mission and improve patient care at the UK Markey Cancer Center, visit his personal fundraising page, Ironcology.net for details on how to donate. All donations are processed through the Markey Cancer Foundation.
MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 28, 2014) – Tetsuhiro Yasuma, postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, has been selected to receive the 2014 Fight for Sight Postdoctoral Award from Fight for Sight, a non-profit organization that promotes eye research by providing pilot funding to promising new researchers.
Yasuma received training in biomedical research as an undergraduate student in Japan and general ophthalmology and surgery in graduate school. Yasuma joined the Ambati lab at UK in 2012. His research focuses on finding treatment for dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), the form of AMD that affects the majority of AMD patients and for which there are no current therapies.
"Recently, we discovered that one class of molecule called Alu RNA contributes to dry AMD and that blocking downstream signals of Alu RNA may be an effective treatment," Yasuma said. "Ideally, we would like to discover how to block upstream signaling of Alu RNA – to halt retinal degeneration at its early stages."
Media Contact: Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 24, 2014) – Eastern Kentucky faces some of the highest rates of cancer incidence and mortality in the nation, but two hospitals in the Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) system are stepping up the fight against cancer. Williamson ARH Hospital in South Williamson, Ky. and Harlan ARH Hospital have announced a new affiliation with the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center, the state's first and only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center.
"ARH is consistently working to build a new level of health care for the people we serve in eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia by providing our communities local access to some of the most advanced health care services," said ARH President and CEO Joe Grossman. "This affiliation with the UK Markey Cancer Center will further enhance the services provided in Williamson and Harlan and will help us ensure our residents receive only the best oncology care right here at home in conjunction with a team of nationally recognized medical professionals."
"We are so pleased to announce our affiliation with the Markey Cancer Center, and we believe this new relationship will allow us to provide better care for our patients," said Dr. Walid Baz, medical director of hematology and oncology services for Williamson ARH Hospital. "Most cancer patients require multimodal therapy including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and psychosocial therapy. Working together will enable the medical staff to leverage their collective experience, and that experience combined with Markey's specialized treatment, technology and clinical trial opportunities will help us take cancer care to the next level. This is great news for cancer patients and their families in our community."
The UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network was created to provide high-quality cancer care closer to home for patients across the region, and to minimize the effects of cancer through prevention and education programs, exceptional clinical care, and access to research.
The ARH hospital system is the largest provider of health care in southeastern Kentucky. By joining the UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network, Williamson ARH Hospital and Harlan ARH Hospital will be able to offer their patients access to additional specialty and subspecialty physicians and care, including clinical trials and advanced technology, while allowing them to stay in southeastern Kentucky for most treatments. The Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network supports UK HealthCare's overall mission of ensuring no Kentuckian will have to leave the state to get access to top-of-the-line health care.
"UK HealthCare doesn't just serve Lexington and Central Kentucky – our mission is to provide all Kentuckians with the best possible care right here in the state," said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK executive vice president for health affairs. "The Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network allows us to collaborate with community hospitals to provide top-notch cancer care much closer to home -- saving both travel expenses and time for the patients, in addition to keeping them close to their personal support system."
Markey is one of only 68 medical centers in the country to earn an NCI cancer center designation. Because of the designation, Markey patients have access to new drugs, treatment options and clinical trials offered only at NCI centers.
Moving forward, the Markey Cancer Center is working toward the next tier of designation – an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. Currently, 41 of the 68 NCI-designated cancer centers in the country hold a comprehensive cancer center status. The Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network will play a large role in bringing that next level of cancer funding to Kentucky. Maintaining and increasing focus on cancer prevention, care, and research in Appalachian Kentucky will remain a top priority for the cancer center.
"The burden of cancer in Kentucky is huge, particularly in Eastern Kentucky," said Dr. Mark Evers, director of the UK Markey Cancer Center. "That's why I am thrilled to have Williamson and Harlan join the Markey Affiliate Network. By working together, we have the potential to make a serious impact on cancer care in the part of the state that needs it the most."
The UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network began in 2006 and includes 11 hospitals across the state of Kentucky:
Evaluations are under way for four other hospitals, including two more outside the state of Kentucky, extending Markey's reach and establishing it as the destination cancer center for the region.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 23, 2014) — Good nutrition is critical during cancer treatment, but side effects of chemotherapy and radiation can often cause patients to lose their appetites at a time when they need sustenance the most.
As a registered dietitian at the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center, Rachel Miller does all she can to help patients get the nutrition and calories they need.
"A lot of patients have trouble with weight loss and decreased appetite while they're going through various treatments," Miller said. "One of the things that's hardest to do when you don't feel like eating is getting that nutrition you need."
Much of Miller's time at Markey involves one-on-one counseling. She sees patients throughout the process of their treatment, provides them with nutrition education, and in some cases, assists patients with setting up their tube feeding.
In addition to the individual consults, Miller also tries to provide a more tangible example of healthy eating during cancer treatment. On the fourth Wednesday of each month, she hosts a smoothie demonstration in the Whitney-Hendrickson Building. The demonstrations are open to everyone at Markey, including patients, families and medical providers.
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Smoothies are an ideal way to boost nutritional value in a small volume of food, Miller said. Adding in healthy fats (for example, coconut milk) serves to improve the taste of the drink as well as pack in much-needed extra calories.
"Sometimes it's difficult to eat a full meal," Miller said. "So trying to fortify what you're eating, although it's a small amount, is one of the things I think is helpful to teach patients to do at home."
During the monthly demonstration, Miller tries to incorporate a variety of foods into the smoothies, testing out different tastes and textures. A common side effect of chemotherapy is a change in taste — many patients report a "metallic" taste in the mouth — so using strong flavors can be helpful in making the meal more appealing. As she prepares the drink, Miller talks her audience through the process, explaining the health and taste benefits of each ingredient.
Though she has regular medical staff who attend, her audience is often filled with families and friends of patients who are waiting for their loved one to complete an appointment or treatment. In addition to giving them information that will help them provide for their loved ones at home, Miller hopes the demonstrations also add a little levity to their day.
"I think the demonstrations have been very helpful," Miller said. "People have a lot of questions. It's easier to see and watch someone else do it, and then be able to implement that in your own home. I think it's also convenient, because a lot of patients have long days here so it can be a fun little break while you're waiting."
Smoothie demonstrations are offered on the fourth Wednesday of every month at 1 p.m. in the Psych-Oncology Services office, third floor, Whitney-Hendrickson Building. Miller also periodically partners with local chefs to host food demonstrations for patients and families.
For more information on good nutrition during cancer treatment, visit Miller's blog: the Markey Menu.
The team's research, titled "Hippocampal Sclerosis of Aging (HS-A): Connecting Genomics and Other Risk Factor Data," compared 363 persons with autopsy-proven HS-A to a control group of 2,303 other individuals in an attempt to identify genetic predisposition to HS-A in what's called a genome-wide association study (GWAS).
GWA studies are a relatively new way to explore the linkage between any disease and the genetic factors that may contribute to them. Using the DNA of similar people with the target disease and without, millions of genetic variants are read and analyzed in an attempt to mark a region of the human genome that influences the risk of the target disease. In contrast to methods that specifically test one or a few genetic regions, the GWA studies investigate the entire genome.
Nelson and Fardo found that small changes in the ABCC9 gene — also known as Sulfonylurea Receptor 2 — strongly paralleled the incidence of HS-A. Further statistical analysis indicated a link between the use of sulfonylurea, a medication commonly used to treat diabetes, and an increased risk for HS-A.
"GWA studies require a lot of statistical firepower to tease out subtle relationships between gene mutations and disease, and Dave's expertise was essential to the project," Nelson said.
"While certainly there's a lot more work to be done to confirm the drug-disease interaction, this study nonetheless describes a novel dementia risk factor."
Hippocampal Sclerosis of Aging (HS-A) is a condition that affects up to 15 percent of individuals over age 85. Its symptoms are so similar to those of Alzheimer's disease that patients are often misdiagnosed with the latter. Currently, the only way to confirm a diagnosis of HS-A is by autopsy.
The Hirano Prize is a fitting acknowledgement of Sanders-Brown's research expertise in all areas of neurodegenerative disease, according to Dr. Linda Van Eldik, SBCoA director.
"When people think of Sanders-Brown, they think of Alzheimer's disease," Van Eldik said. "But we have people like Pete whose research is making a tangible impact on many other neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's, HS-A, stroke and other dementias. We're delighted that Pete and Dave have been recognized for what is some statistically powerful work."
The Hirano prize is named for famed neuropathologist Asao Hirano, who first described the tell-tale structures in nerve cells that indicate the presence of certain neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease.
Nelson wasn't the only one from UK participating at the meeting. Dr. Craig Horbinski delivered a talk and chaired a session on brain cancer and also gave input at the association's journal editorial board. Dr. Vanessa Smith, a pathology resident and future neuropathology fellow, gave a presentation about a patient at the University of Kentucky with a rare neurodegenerative disease.
"These teams and individuals exemplify the world-beating standard that can be achieved in our clinical and research endeavors at SBCoA," Dr. Nelson said.
The American Association of Neuropathologists (AANP) is a professional and educational organization representing more than 800 American neuropathologists. The AANP's purpose is to advance the science, teaching and training of the diseases of the nervous system and the practice of neuropathology.
The University of Kentucky’s Sanders-Brown Center on Aging was established in 1979 and is one of the original 10 National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded Alzheimer’s disease research centers. The SBCoA is internationally acclaimed for its progress in the fight against illnesses facing the aging population.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 21, 2014) — Two researchers from the University of Kentucky have demonstrated a connection between sensitivity to light or noise and increased emotional symptoms in teens who have suffered a concussion.
Lisa Koehl, a doctoral candidate in the University of Kentucky's Department of Psychology, and Dan Han, a University of Kentucky assistant professor of Neurology, presented their findings at the American Academy of Neurology's Sports Concussion Conference in Chicago earlier this month.
The study involved 37 athletes age 12 to 17 who had persisting symptoms for an average of 37 days following a concussion. Han and Koehl examined these teens for post-concussion changes in physical, emotional, and cognitive symptoms over time.
Koehl and Han determined that teens who are sensitive to light or noise after a concussion may also be more likely to have emotional symptoms, including irritability, aggression, anxiety, depression, apathy, frequent mood changes or excessive emotional reactions.
“While most people recover from a concussion within a week, a number of factors affect their recovery, and studies have shown that teenage athletes may take up to seven to 10 days longer to recover than older athletes,” Koehl said.
"Identifying factors that affect a teen's experience after concussion may help in planning for the appropriate treatment and in making decisions about when to return to play and what accommodations are needed at school.”
Of the 37 study participants, 22 teens demonstrated post-concussive emotional symptoms. Of those, 23 percent were sensitive to light while 14 percent were sensitive to noise. In comparison, of the 15 teens without emotional symptoms 13 percent were sensitive to light and no teens were sensitive to noise.
There were no differences between the two groups in factors such as what percentage experienced loss of consciousness, amnesia, nausea and/or headaches, indicating that the groups were likely comparable in the level of severity of concussion.
According to Han, having a family history of psychiatric problems did not make teens any more or less likely to have emotional symptoms after a concussion.
"Teens who had anxiety were 55 percent more likely to self-report attention difficulties than those without anxiety, while teens with irritability/aggression were 35 percent more likely to self-report problems with attention than teens without irritability," said Han. "While these findings are preliminary and require a larger sample size to predict outcomes with more confidence, we are intrigued by the potential these data offer in terms of providing teens with a better treatment plan based on their unique cognitive, physical and emotional response to concussion."
The American College of Sports Medicine Research Foundation supported the study.
MEDIA CONTACT: Laura Dawahare, 859-257-5307
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 18, 2014) — An array of motorized eye candy will be on display for automotive lifestyle enthusiasts this weekend during the 10th anniversary of the Keeneland Concours d'Elegance, an annual fundraiser for Kentucky Children's Hospital.
Located at Keeneland race course, the event will showcase about 130 immortalized vintage models, flashy foreign racers, rare collector's cars and other legendary motorized vehicles, including trucks, mini cars and motorcycles. In addition to the Concours d'Elegance competition on July 19, the four-day event schedule includes a bourbon tour, a hangar bash, a silent auction and a Tour d'Elegance across the Bluegrass.
On July 19, automobiles will be judged for historical accuracy, presentation and cleanliness during the Concours d'Elegance. To celebrate its 10th year running, this year the Concours will feature the Winners' Circle Reunion, a display of winning vehicles from the past 10 years. Iconic makes like Maserati, Duesenberg, Stutz, Maxwell, Pierce-Arrow, Porsche, Lincoln, and Ferrari will be on exhibit. At a special exhibit, visitors can meet with Margaret Dunning, whose 1930 Packard 740 was the first car to win 100 points in the Classic Car Club of America.
"We have an exquisite collection of automobiles that span from the earliest years of the motorcar to future classics," Connie Jones, co-chairman of the event, said. "And every aspect of this event raises funds to help the patients at Kentucky Children's Hospital. It's our mission — and our passion — to help improve health care for Kentucky's children."
Since its debut in 2004, the event has raised $625,000 for Kentucky Children's Hospital. Judging begins and doors open to the public at 9 a.m. July 19. Admission for adults at the gate is $20 and free for children ages 12 and younger. For more information about the event, visit www.keenelandconcours.com.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 23, 2014) — You’re waiting to pick up your prescription and you notice all those people back in the Pharmacy Department. Who are those people and what are their roles?
It's normal to be confused about who does what. A University of Kentucky study concluded that even knowledgeable observers had difficulty understanding the roles of each staffer in the pharmacy. Here's a guide to help you the next time you're having a prescription filled:
The Pharmacist-In-Charge (PIC) is a licensed pharmacist responsible for the operation of a pharmacy. The PIC assures the pharmacy is following all applicable state statutes and administrative regulations regarding the distribution of prescription drugs and medical devices.
The Pharmacist: some pharmacies have more than one pharmacist. Like the PIC, these are fully licensed individuals who have graduated from an accredited college of pharmacy, passed the licensure examination, and are meeting continuing education requirements mandated by the state of Kentucky. Only a pharmacist can dispense a prescription for controlled substances, such as painkillers.
The Pharmacist Intern: in areas of the country where there is a college of pharmacy, a patient may also encounter a Pharmacist Intern. This is a student enrolled at a college of pharmacy who is receiving supervised, on-the-job training in the various aspects of professional pharmacy practice.
In Kentucky the pharmacist intern must complete 1500 hours of experience. As part of their training, pharmacist interns are authorized to engage in professional and technical pharmacy activities, including preparing prescriptions for non-controlled substances.
A Certified Pharmacy Technician (C.Ph.T) assists in activities not requiring the professional judgment of a pharmacist. These activities are done under the general supervision of a licensed pharmacist, such as receiving a refill authorization from a prescriber. A non-certified pharmacy technician is limited to technical activities under the immediate supervision of a pharmacist.
A Pharmacy Clerk tends the counter and the business aspects of the transaction, such as ringing up the sale, completing the credit card transaction, etc.
All these individuals with their various roles contribute to the important goal of assuring that the appropriate medication reaches the patient in need.
Dr. Joseph L Fink is a Professor of Pharmacy Law and Policy at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy.
This column appeared in the Sunday, July 20th edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader.
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 16, 2014) — Like many big brothers, 6-year-old Ashaar Shaheen knows how to trigger a response from his younger brother Kheejee.
When Kheejee pouts or cries in frustration, Ashaar's words of reassurance calm him down. When Ashaar gives Kheejee pats on the head and kisses on the face, the 4-year-old's face breaks into a smile.
More than his brother's keeper, Ashaar is his brother's champion and partner in recovering from a severe brain injury. In April, when Kheejee took his first steps at Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital, Ashaar was holding his hand, urging him forward with encouragement. It was an emotional moment that Dr. Erika Erlandson and members of the Kheejee's rehabilitation team will never forget.
"We all had tears in our eyes and were in awe," Erlandson said. "There was excitement oozing out of the whole team."
Erlandson, assistant professor in the University of Kentucky Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, said in Kheejee's case, involving Ashaar was one factor that contributed to his quick and unexpected progress after suffering from an anoxic brain injury. After three months of inpatient treatment, Kheejee has exceeded the recovery expectations of Erlandson, who leads interdisciplinary rehabilitation team. She attributes the success of Kheejee's case to a devoted team and a deeply involved family.
"What's made this case so remarkable is that he broke all the rules," Erlandson said of Kheejee. "He didn't follow the natural progression of his diagnosis or what the medical literature suggested for recovery. He made a significant amount of progress in a short amount of time."
In January, Kheejee underwent a surgery to correct holes in his heart. A post-surgical complication stopped blood flow to his brain for several minutes, resulting in an anoxic brain injury. Kheejee came to Cardinal Hill for inpatient care unable to make purposeful movements, which included walking, talking, moving his head or following motion with his eyes.
"His recovery was very guarded when he first came in," Erlandson said. "Initially, I told his parents I thought a good goal for him would be to have some head control and for him to be able to track them around the room."
An interdisciplinary team worked with Kheejee for three hours daily for three months. Erlandson said because a child's brain is still in its developmental stages, its neuroplasticity allows it the chance to repair from injury. Kheejee engaged in exercises designed to stimulate both sides of his brain and help him control his movements. Ashaar, who was attending school during the daytime in the winter, attended therapy sessions in the evenings or on snow days. Their mother Atiya Shaheen said before Kheejee was interacting with most adults, he was responding to his brother.
"If he got a little bit agitated, my older son told him not to cry and to be brave - 'I am here for you,'" Atiya Shaheen said. "Even when he was not communicating with me, or not in a condition that he could understand me, he started with his brother. Being a mom, I am confident that my older son has really helped him."
At an early July check-up with Erlandson, Kheejee was laughing at his doctor's funny faces, calling for his mom, scanning the room with his eyes and kicking his feet out of his wheelchair footrests. He is now able to walk with the aid of a walker, hold up the trunk of his body, say single words and feed himself baby food. His mother said he expresses excitement when he smells her cooking food and cries "no" in opposition when it's bath time.
Erlandson, whose passion for rehabilitation medicine stems from having a family member with a disability, said Kheejee has given her hope for all her patients. She considers his case a powerful example of what can happen when a family believes in a child.
"This is a reminder that recovery is possible - and that his support system at home is very remarkable."
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams; email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 15, 2014) — A new study by University of Kentucky researchers shows how a genetic defect in a specific hormonal pathway may make people more susceptible to developing melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer.
Fair-skinned people who tend to burn (rather than tan) from sun exposure have a much higher risk for melanoma than darker-skinned people. On the surface, it appears that the amount of melanin, the natural substance in the skin that determines pigment and acts as the skin's "natural sunscreen," would be the only determinant of melanoma risk. However, the truth is more complicated.
Published in Molecular Cell, the study looked at the role of the melanocortin1 receptor (MC1R), the receptor on melanocytes in the skin that gets called into action following ultraviolet exposure to help the skin lay down more UV-blocking melanin to protect itself. Fair-skinned people are more likely to inherit a defect in this receptor, and as a result, cannot make enough melanin to fully protect themselves from UV damage.
Since UV from sunlight or tanning beds is a major cause of melanoma, inherited problems in the MC1R means that the skin lacks natural protection by melanin, which acts as a biologic sunblock. This leads to more UV light chronically getting through to the sensitive layers of the epidermis, where it can contribute to cancer.
However, the UK study showed that MC1R defects contribute to melanoma development in ways other than melanin production. Besides regulating the amount of melanin that gets made in the skin, MC1R also controls how well melanocytes can repair their DNA from UV damage. Having defects in MC1R signaling delays the body's ability to clear out existing DNA damage in the skin – leading to an increased potential for cancerous mutations.
“Knowing whether people have a specific genetic predisposition for melanoma could potentially save many lives”, says Dr. John D'Orazio, Associate Professor and the Drury Pediatric Research Endowed Chair at UK’s Markey Cancer Center. “If you happen to be born with a problem in this MC1R hormonal pathway, then you need to be extra careful with respect to UV safety.”
A good indication of a person’s MC1R status is what happens to the skin after sun exposure.
“If you tan well, then your MC1R probably works well,” D'Orazio said. “If you tend to burn, then you may have inherited a problem with your MC1R, and you probably should avoid purposeful UV exposure like tanning bed use or unprotected sun exposure."
D’Orazio and his research team found an important molecular link between MC1R signaling and DNA repair in their study. The team hopes to use this information to develop new melanoma-preventive treatments, like additives that can be included in sunblocks to ramp up the skin’s ability to deal with UV damage.
Melanoma incidence has increased steadily over the past few decades – in the 1930s, an estimated one in every 1,500 Americans developed the diseases. Today, the odds are about one in every 60. Having a problem with the MC1R pathway raises a person’s lifetime risk of melanoma about four-fold.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 15, 2014) — The University of Kentucky's Dr. Henry Vasconez has been elected the 2014-15 president of the Southeastern Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons.
Previously, Vasconez served as vice president for the society. At UK, he is the chief of the division of plastic surgery and is a professor of surgery and pediatrics in the UK College of Medicine. He also holds the William S. Farish Chair of Plastic Surgery.
Vasconez received his medical training at Central University Medical School in Quito, Ecuador. He completed a general surgery residency at the University of Illinois in Chicago and a plastic surgery residency at Emory University in Atlanta. He also completed a fellowship at the International Craniofacial Institute in Dallas. He is certified by the American Board of Surgery, the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
His main research interests include bone metabolism, bone substitutes and wound healing. He also specializes in craniofacial surgery, pediatric plastic surgery, breast reconstruction and aesthetic surgery.
The Southeastern Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons strives to maintain professional excellence, provide forums for the exchange of information among members, and promote and further medical and surgical training within their society and amongst other regional and national groups of plastic surgeons.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 14, 2014) — The Bright Focus Foundation has announced that three different researchers from the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging at the University of Kentucky have received Bright Focus grants for 2014.
Professor Steve Estus and associate professors Harry LeVine and Paul Murphy were each recognized for their work on Alzheimer's disease.
"Only 25 Bright Focus grants are awarded worldwide each year, so it's an achievement to get one. But three Bright Focus grants in a single year is truly exceptional," said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK HealthCare's executive vice president of health affairs. "These awards are an appropriate reflection of Sanders-Brown's international reputation for groundbreaking research into the causes and treatments for Alzheimer's and other cerebrovascular disease."
The Bright Focus programs are designed to provide initial funding for highly innovative experimental ideas. Most awardees use the grant funds to demonstrate key findings that lead to later interest and additional funding from industrial or governmental funding agencies. This year, Bright Focus awarded 25 grants worth a total of $8.7 million. The three grants awarded to the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging total $605,000.
Each of the three grants awarded to Sanders-Brown addresses a different aspect of Alzheimer's disease (AD) detection, prevention and treatment.
Building on previous research identifying hereditary differences in a gene known to be associated with a reduced risk of AD, Dr. Estus and his lab will try to demonstrate that this gene inhibits the production of cells beneficial to the prevention of AD. Ultimately, this work could lead to new treatments for the prevention of AD.
LeVine's lab will be looking into a molecule that helps in early detection of AD. By honing in on the specific neurons in the AD brain marked by this molecule, Dr. LeVine and his team hope to learn what makes humans uniquely susceptible to AD, with long term goals to improve animal models of AD and identify potential therapeutic strategies.
In 2012, Murphy worked with fellow Sanders-Brown researcher Dana Niedowicz to create a genetically engineered mouse with obesity, diabetes and AD-like symptoms to study why obese people seem to have a higher risk for AD or other dementias. This mouse with "mixed dementia" will be used to search for treatments among therapies that have already undergone clinical safety trials or are already being used to treat other conditions.
Dr. Guy Eakin, vice president of scientific affairs for the Bright Focus Foundation, notes that three Bright Focus awards for Sanders-Brown researchers isn't a complete surprise.
"Sanders-Brown has long been a well-recognized leader in Alzheimer’s disease research," Eakin said. "Their work is exceptionally compelling, and ranks amongst the most promising ideas currently being studied in the effort to understand and conquer Alzheimer’s disease."
Bright Focus Foundation is a nonprofit organization supporting research and providing public education to help eradicate brain and eye diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, macular degeneration, and glaucoma. Bright Focus awards are intended to advance early-stage, investigator-initiated research around the world by providing funding for unique research hypotheses with the potential to grow into future clinical realities. For more information on the Bright Focus Foundation and its 2014 grants, go to www.brightfocus.org/Grants2014
The University of Kentucky’s Sanders-Brown Center on Aging (SBCoA) was established in 1979 and is one of the original ten National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded Alzheimer’s disease Research Centers. SBCoA is internationally acclaimed for its progress in the fight against illnesses facing the aging population.
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