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Economic Outlook Conference Topic of WUKY's 'UK Perspectives'

Thu, 01/28/2016 - 19:10

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 1, 2016) — WUKY's "UK Perspectives" focuses on the people and programs of the University of Kentucky and is hosted by WUKY General Manager Tom Godell. WUKY News Director Alan Lytle sat in for Godell last Friday and talked to Chris Bollinger, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research in UK's Gatton College of Business and Economics. Bollinger provided a preview of the upcoming UK Economic Outlook Conference.

To listen to the Jan. 29 podcast interview from which "UK Perspectives" is produced, visit http://wuky.org/post/uk-perspectives-previewing-cbers-annual-economic-outlook-conference.

"UK Perspectives" airs at 8:45 a.m. and 5:45 p.m. each Friday on WUKY 91.3, UK's NPR station.

Community Transition Program Supports Stroke Survivors in Eastern Kentucky

Thu, 01/28/2016 - 17:51

Lexington, Ky. (Jan. 29, 2016) – Life after a stroke can be a big adjustment for both a patient and their family. Speech, walking, coordination — tasks once simple, nearly automatic— become difficult or impossible after a stroke. Meanwhile, health care after a stroke can get complicated, especially if someone also has conditions like diabetes or heart disease. In a rural setting, the distance from doctors and resources exacerbates these challenges.

“Stroke is a hard, hard thing to deal with,” said Lloyd Cornett, a stroke survivor from Slemp, Ky.  A retired coal miner and a week shy of his 61st birthday, he spent 36 years — more than half his life — working underground.

After his stroke, he couldn’t speak and the right side of his body was numb. But the hardest thing after his stroke was people saying he would have another one within a year, and it would be worse than the first.

“They were telling me things I just didn’t need to hear,” he said. “They had me downhearted so bad it was just unreal. And then Keisha came into the picture, and I found out there was just no proof to what people were telling me.”

Keisha Hudson is the patient navigator for the Community Transition Program, which provides education, resources and care coordination for individuals who are moving between care facilities and their homes in Perry and surrounding counties. As of July 2015, the program is jointly funded by the University of Kentucky Center for Excellence in Rural Health (where Hudson also serves as a research assistant) and Appalachian Regional Healthcare, a not-for-profit health system serving residents across Eastern Kentucky and Southern West Virginia. 

Through Hudson, Cornett learned that a second stroke was far from inevitable.  She also helped him obtain and understand his medications, learn to monitor his health, and connect with a monthly support group for stroke survivors. The group provides a supportive community and hosts speakers to address common comorbidities for stroke survivors (and often their caregivers), such as diabetes and blood pressure management.

“If I didn’t have this program, with all the talk that I’ve heard and the things that I’ve experienced, I’d say most likely I’d be kicking up daisies by now. I couldn’t have survived without them,” Cornett said. “Keisha and the doctor come and see me, and they’re just number one in my opinion, and they always will be. They sit you down and they’ll talk to you, tell you every little thing to look for, what to do, and how to do it. I’m a diabetic, and they have people come to the stroke meetings to talk about that, or blood pressure or health things we need to know. I just can’t say enough about how good they are.”

If Hudson did save Cornett’s life, it wouldn’t be the first time she’d prevented a death in the course of her work as the patient navigator. On one of her routine visits to check on a stroke survivor, she arrived to find the patient in a diabetic coma. With another patient, Hudson caught an infected surgical site that needed immediate attention. While on the phone with yet another patient, Hudson recognized heavy breathing and directed the patient to seek medical care immediately. The patient was hospitalized with dangerous levels of fluid on her lungs. While none of the patients in the transition program have been readmitted to the hospital for stroke complications, Hudson’s attentive care has led to life-saving interventions related to patients’ other health issues.

“A lot of people who have had a stroke get home and they feel like they’re lost. They don’t know what to do, they don’t know who to contact for questions, they don’t get all the education they need about stroke and comorbidities. They get lost in the system, and therefore some of them end up back in the hospital. Our goal is to keep them out,” she said.

According to Patrick Kitzman, director of the Community Transition Program and associate professor of physical therapy at UK, such close-call stories of stroke survivors show that the need for coordinated care is especially acute in Kentucky. In 2014, the state ranked 47th in the country for incidence of stroke; in the eastern Appalachian region, stroke is especially prevalent. Concordantly, some of the highest rates of stroke risk factors, such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and heart disease, are also found in the region. Kitzman explains that many stroke survivors in the area have some of the highest levels of both health care needs and financial burden, and need dedicated support to navigate the health care system.

“The more that we do this program, the more I’m so absolutely convinced that the only way we can have proper support for people whose conditions are so complex is to have programs like this,” Kitzman said. “They have the fewest resources available to them, and they’re the furthest away from specialized care and from what they need. Many of them don’t know what resources exist. They need someone to walk them through this change in their life. And you absolutely need someone from their community who knows where all the little pockets of support exist.”

The Community Transition Program began in 2014 as pilot study, in collaboration with Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) and funded by the UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science, which aims to address health disparities in central Appalachia. The pilot program demonstrated that quality of life and health outcomes for stroke survivors improved with the support of a patient navigator.

Primary needs among stroke survivors included assistance communicating with health care providers, insurance support, follow-up education, and connecting with community resources.  As of July 2015, the program is now sustainably funded by both the UK Center for Excellence in Rural Health (CERH) and ARH, which are located beside one another in Hazard, Ky. Patient navigation services are not currently covered by health insurers as reimbursable service, so the program requires dedicated funding.

Fran Feltner, director of the CERH, sees Hudson’s role as the patient navigator as key to ensuring the best outcomes for stroke survivors.

“The patient navigator is the connector, the link, the person standing with the clients at the center of their care,” Feltner said.  “She makes sure that all aspects of care are met. From the community to the hospital and back to the community, her clients have education and are provided the services needed to support health and social outcomes that ultimately improve their care and satisfaction of the healthcare system."

The program has served 23 individuals since July 2015, with Hudson providing more than 200 follow-up interactions. None of the stroke survivors who participated in the program were readmitted to the hospital. While Kitzman and Hudson are still finalizing the most recent data, he says that their readmission rates are well below comparison groups.

Violet Sylvia, system director for rehabilitation at ARH, where many stroke survivors receive care and rehabilitation, sees that the collaboration between her organization and UK as reflection of their mutual commitment to sustainable efforts for improved health in the region.

“We all learn from each other. It’s really a true collaboration, where we all feel like we have equal trust, equal partnership, and we’re all committed to ensuring that we’re giving back to the community in a meaningful way. Not just coming in, collecting data and leaving, but really following through in a meaningful way,” she said.

Sylvia said that one lesson from the pilot program was the importance of connecting patients to the program while they’re still in the hospital, in order to establish a trusting relationship and reduce gaps in care. Hudson, as the patient navigator, therefore receives a daily list of patients with stroke or neurological diagnoses so that she can introduce herself and offer the program before patients and their families leave the hospital. She then follows the patients through their hospital stay and rehab, and participates in patients’ discharge planning. By the time she’s visiting patients in their homes, everyone knows one another. She checks on each patient weekly for the first month that they’re home, then transitions to biweekly or monthly checks as patients become more stable. Even though the program is designed to provide a year of support, she says she's been working with some patients for longer than that. 

"I’m not goin to say 'OK, your time is up,'" said Hudson. "A few people we’ve followed for more than year because they still need things, and I’m not going discharge them from the program just because it's been 12 months."

She intentionally holds the monthly stroke support group in the hospital so patients and their families can come down from their hospital rooms to get involved in the program before they’re even sent home.

Shannon Polly, a stroke survivor and participant in the Community Transition Program, says that just talking about your experiences after a stroke can be helpful. Trouble with speaking or other tasks can make you feel frustrated or depressed after a stroke, she said, but sharing with others is a way to learn coping strategies and keeps things in perspective.

“It just helps to talk to other people and see what they’re going through too. Sometimes they can give you little pointers on what you can do with your daily routine to kind of help yourself,” she said.

Hudson, who was born and raised in Eastern Kentucky, admits to feeling protective of the people she works with in the Community Transition Program.

“I consider them ‘my’ people,” she said. “And I feel very good about the people we can help and what all we can do for them – the education and resources we can provide to make their quality of life better in their communities.”

Kitzman hopes that in the future they can expand the program to other diagnoses and other geographic areas.

“Our work so far show us a couple of things,” he said. “It’s showing that our population is very involved and requires a lot of help. Standard of care is that you send them home and one week later you check on them, and then that’s it. But we’re showing that you need to be much more hands on. A lot of data now show that these folks require support for an extended period of time, and our data is bearing that out at as well. But we also had people who didn’t meet our program requirements because of their diagnosis or geographic area, which shows that that we need more people down here to help.  When you’re traveling in the region, you can have an hour driving time within one county, so there’s a need for more navigators. We’re providing a significant number of services for our individuals, and it looks like we’re keeping them out of the hospital.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Mallory Powell, mallory.powell@uky.edu

Honors Group Named Finalist in Knight Cities Challenge

Thu, 01/28/2016 - 17:22

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 29, 2016) — A group of University of Kentucky Honors students has been selected as a finalist for the second year in a row in the Knight Cities Challenge. Funded by the Knight Foundation, the challenge is a national call for new ideas to make 26 communities around the country more vibrant places to live and work.  

Clay Thornton, an economics and political science sophomore from Lexington, submitted the proposal on behalf of his UK Honors class, "Citizen Kentucky," taught by Associate Professor Buck Ryan. They are now one of 158 finalists out of more than 4,500 submissions from many public and government organizations, design experts, urban planning organizations, and individuals.

The students' proposal is "Fancy Lex," which would give Lexington residents an opportunity to meet local leaders while enjoying the city's finest food, music and local goods. While inspired by the annual Fancy Farm picnic in Graves County, Kentucky, Thornton says "Fancy Lex" would be much different.

“Fancy Farm is characterized by one-line zingers and tired partisan rhetoric that, ultimately, does not provide solutions," he said. "'Fancy Lex' is a new, innovative idea of engaging all people, whether already engaged in politics or not. It is not about elections. It is not about money. It is not about power and position. It is not about Democrats or Republicans. Fancy Lex is about our people. It is about the citizens of this unparalleled city. It is about our future. 'Fancy Lex' is for Lexington.”

Thornton says "Fancy Lex" would have a world's fair format, featuring 12 pavilions for each the city's 12 districts. 

“These pavilions will feature the best restaurants, shopping, and art offerings from each district," he said. "Most importantly, each city council member will be at the pavilions to meet with constituents.  It is designed to provide all citizens — rich and poor, young and old, well connected or marginally connected, educated and uneducated — an opportunity and voice in the political process, while celebrating all that Lexington has to offer.”

“Fancy Lex” was a finalist in last year’s Knight Cities Challenge as well. Thornton was the only student able to return from last year's team. His new teammates include Emilia Bustle, Molly Thompson, Blaire Johnson, and Torie Osborne.

Winners of the Knight Cities Challenge, who will receive a share of $5 million, will be announced this spring.

To learn more about “Fancy Lex,” visit Facebook.com/FancyLex or follow @fancy_lex on Twitter.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. 

The Honors Program is part of the Academy of Undergraduate Excellence within the Division of Undergraduate Education at UK.

Gill Goes Red: Heart-Healthy Tips, Treats and Prizes on Feb. 5

Thu, 01/28/2016 - 16:44

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 29, 2016) — At noon on Friday, Feb. 5, UK's Gill Heart Institute will be "going red."

February is Heart Month and Feb. 5 is the American Heart Association's "Go Red Day" celebrating women's heart health. The women  and men  of the Gill Heart Institute use the day to educate women about the differences in women's vs. men's hearts, heart disease and heart attack symptoms.

According to Dr. Gretchen Wells, director of the Women's Heart Health Program at the Gill Heart Institute, women's hearts are different than men's in certain ways, which can affect the way women develop heart disease and experience heart attack symptoms.

"People assume all heart attacks feel like a crushing in the chest, but often, and for women in particular, the symptoms of a heart attack can be quite different," Wells said.  "Events like 'Go Red Day' give us another opportunity to teach women what to look for and how to take the best care of your heart."

Wells also points out that there are biological, social and psychological factors that change the way women experience heart disease and act on its symptoms.  

"Awareness is key to helping women understand what to look for and when to seek treatment," she said.

On 'Go Red Day' at noon, Wells will offer tips for women's heart health in the atrium of Pavilion A in UK Chandler Hospital. Afterward, there will be special treats, gifts and take-home information. Anyone wearing red is welcome to participate in a group photo session at 12:30 pm.

To be eligible for a prize, take a selfie wearing red and post it to the Gill Heart Association's Facebook page with the hashtag "#GillGoesRed."  You can also visit http://twibbon.com/Support/gill-goes-red-2016-2 for instructions on how to customize your photo.

Former Hilliard Lyons CEO Stuckert to Speak at Gatton Feb. 5

Thu, 01/28/2016 - 16:35

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 29, 2016) — One of the University of Kentucky's distinguished graduates will address students, faculty and staff at the Gatton College of Business and Economics Friday morning, Feb. 5.

James W. Stuckert, retired chairman and CEO of Hilliard Lyons, will speak at 10 a.m. in Woodward Hall (Room 307) in the new Gatton College building. Stuckert's appearance is presented by the Economics Society at UK.

Stuckert, a native of Louisville, is a member of both UK's Hall of Distinguished Alumni and the Gatton College Alumni Hall of Fame. The university's James W. Stuckert Career Center is named in his honor.

A 1960 mechanical engineering graduate of UK's College of Engineering, Stuckert earned his MBA from the Gatton College in 1961. He began a long and successful career in the securities field when he joined W.L. Lyons and Company in 1962, and became a partner of the then merged J.J.B. Hilliard, W.L. Lyons and Company in 1968. In 1995, Stuckert was named chairman and chief executive officer of Hilliard Lyons, Inc. He retired from that office in 2004, returning to his financial consulting position, where he continues today.

He previously served as a member of the UK Board of Trustees and chaired the board's Finance Committee.

"The opportunity for our students and faculty to hear from Jim Stuckert is terrific," said David W. Blackwell, dean of the Gatton College. "The excellence he has demonstrated in his career, in his service to the community, and in his passionate volunteer work and financial support of the Gatton College and the entire university is remarkable."

Stuckert is expected to talk about his career and then take questions from the audience. Admission is free. Coffee and pastries will be provided.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200; Ann Mary Quarandillo, 859-257-0750.

A Day in the Life of a UK Student: Jan. 29 and 31, 1912

Thu, 01/28/2016 - 13:48

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 29, 2016) — In celebration of the University of Kentucky sesquicentennial in 2015, UK Special Collections Research Center began releasing the diary entries of former student Virginia Clay McClure in fall of 2014. The diary chronicles the day-to-day activities of McClure's junior and senior years at the State University of Kentucky (now UK) from 1910-1912. McClure's 160th and 161st diary entries from Jan. 29 and 31, 1912, recalls saying goodbye to Miss Crane, who had been visiting with the campus YWCA organization, and an eventful evening of chaperoning 26 girls to a touring production of "The Real Thing" starring Henrietta Crosman.

Jan. 29th. Get up at an early hour and wake Miss Crane. She leaves for the North and I wish her a pleasant and enjoyable journey.

Inserted next to her Jan. 31, 1912, diary entry, McClure includes a newspaper clipping from the play, "The Real Thing" by Catherine Chisholm Cushing.

Jan. 31st. An experience of a lifetime, when I chaperone twenty-six girls, and we haven't seats for seven. We finally all get in though, and the play is so good we're fully repaid for our trials. I've learned two things about chaperoning theater parties.

More on Virginia Clay McClure

Virginia Clay McClure, a native of Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, graduated in 1912 with an AB degree and received her master’s degree in 1928 from UK. After receiving her AB, she taught for a year at Middlesboro, Kentucky, another year at Paducah, Kentucky, and seven years in Cynthiana, Kentucky. After this, she returned to Lexington, where she taught for nine and a half years in the Fayette County schools. At this point, she took two and a half years off of work to complete her doctorate.

The first woman to receive a Ph.D. from UK, McClure said that her department chairman did not “want a woman to get a doctor’s degree.” In spite of those words, McClure received her doctoral degree in American history in 1934.

Her dissertation was “The Settlement of the Kentucky Appalachian Region,” about which “nothing had been done before.” McClure did significant original research for the dissertation and made several trips to Eastern Kentucky with Katherine Pettit, who had taught in settlement schools, including Pine Mountain School, which she helped to establish. 

McClure planned to teach at the college level but after finishing her dissertation in the midst of the depression, colleges were laying off faculty rather than hiring them. She then joined the Fayette County School system, then Lexington City Schools, and taught United States history and government at Henry Clay High School from 1934-1959. A position that she found quite rewarding.

The UK alumna and educator was very active in the community. McClure was a member of Central Christian Church and Kappa Delta Pi Honorary, Kentucky and National Retired Teachers associations, Salvation Army Auxiliary, Cardinal Hill Hospital Auxiliary and numerous historical societies. She was also a charter member of the Lexington Rose Society, twice serving as president, and was a member of the American Rose Society.

McClure passed away in 1980 at 91 years of age.

The Virginia Clay McClure papers are housed at the Special Collections Research Center and include a diary/scrapbook, a photograph album and other assorted photographs related to McClure's time as an undergraduate at State University, Lexington, Kentucky from 1910-1912. The scrapbook includes clippings, small artifacts, programs and invitations, but the bulk of the material is McClure's many personal writings. The photograph album and loose photographs also document this time period and include photographs of her UK classmates (many of whom are identified and also mentioned in her scrapbook); class trips and events (such as Arbor Day); and women playing basketball among other casual snapshots.

This story on UK's history is presented by UK Special Collections Research Center. UK Special Collections is home to UK Libraries' collection of rare books, Kentuckiana, the Archives, the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, the King Library Press, the Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center, the Bert T. Combs Appalachian collection and the digital library, ExploreUK. The mission of the center is to locate and preserve materials documenting the social, cultural, economic and political history of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Diary transcriptions completed by senior Taylor Adams, Special Collections Learning Lab intern and history major from Ashland, Kentucky.

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

UK Dining Introduces Taking Your Health to Heart Program

Thu, 01/28/2016 - 13:14

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 29, 2016) — February is American Heart Month. University of Kentucky Dining is proud to introduce the Taking Your Health to Heart program.

The on-campus program reminds customers to choose menu selections in UK Dining residential dining halls that have the ‘Eat Well’ leaf sign. Eat Well selections are lower in calories, fat and sodium, and contain at least one full serving of nutritionally dense whole food such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and lean protein.

Also, beginning Feb. 1, the Fresh Food Company will have daily ‘Better4U’ specials during lunch and dinner Monday through Friday.

“Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure is responsible for one out of every three deaths," said Lauren McKnight-Ford, UK Dining registered dietitian nutritionist. "Maintaining a nutrient-dense diet is one of the most important habits for heart health. Our commitment is to enable and encourage the campus community to make healthy choices.”  

The Taking your Health to Heart program is one component of the Healthy for Life 20 by 20 initiative that Aramark joined forces with the American Heart Association in August 2015 to improve diet and health of millions. To inspire customers to live a healthier life, consumers are encouraged to visit the American Heart Association’s website and take the My Life Check, Life’s Simple 7 quiz.

To take My Life Check, Life’s Simple 7 quiz and to get an easy, free, and confidential heart health score, visit www.heart.org/mylifecheck.

MEDIA CONTACT: Blair Hoover, 859-257-6398; blair.hoover@uky.edu

UK Alumnae, UPK Authors Inducted Into Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame

Thu, 01/28/2016 - 12:27

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 29, 2016) — Last night, five writers were honored at the fourth annual induction of the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame held at the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning in downtown Lexington. Created in 2013, the hall recognizes Kentucky writers whose work reflects the character and culture of the Commonwealth and educates Kentuckians about the state’s rich literary heritage. All of this year's class of inductees have had work published by University Press of Kentucky (UPK) and two are celebrated alumnae of the University of Kentucky.

Hear College of Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame member Bobbie Ann Mason talk about UK and being a writer. Video by UK College of Arts and Sciences. 

Alumna, UPK author and former UK writer-in-residence Bobbie Ann Mason became the second living author to be inducted into the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame. She has been described as a "pioneer in short-story writing" by Hall of Fame founder and Carnegie Center Executive Director Neil Chethik. "Bobbie Ann has been one of Kentucky’s premier writers for more than 40 years," Chethik said. "We are thrilled to be honoring her." Mason first gained attention with "Shiloh and Other Stories," a collection of short stories that won the Ernest Hemingway Award for Fiction. She has since published over a dozen works including "In Country," "Feather Crowns" and "The Girl in the Blue Beret."

Jean Ritchie performs "Shady Grove" on Pete Seeger's "Rainbow Quest."

Kentucky singer, songwriter, dulcimer player and UK alumna Jean Ritchie (1922–2015) was known as "The Mother of Folk" for her role in the folk revival of the mid-20th century. She recorded more than 30 albums and wrote seven books, including "Singing Family of the Cumberlands," which recounts stories from her childhood, and two collections of songs: "Folk Songs of the Southern Appalachians as Sung by Jean Ritchie" and "Jean Ritchie’s Swapping Songbook."

Other writers honored included James Lane Allen, Harlan Hubbard and Alice Hegan Rice. James Lane Allen (1849–1925) was a prominent Lexington novelist who wrote more than 20 books. Best known for "The Kentucky Cardinal" and "The Choir Invisible," his work is also found in two publications from UPK, "The Kentucky Anthology," edited by Wade Hall, and "Bluegrass Cavalcade," edited by Thomas D. Clark.

Harlan Hubbard (1900–1988) was an artist and author who advocated and lived a life of simplicity and self-sufficiency, and was a major influence on the modern agrarian movement, as well as writers like Wendell Berry. UPK has published several of Hubbard’s books, including "Shantyboat: A River Way of Life,"   "Shantyboat Journal,"   "Payne Hollow Journal" and "Shantyboat on the Bayous." In addition, UPK has published "The Woodcuts of Harlan Hubbard," and a biography written by 2015 inductee Wendell Berry on the writer, "Harlan Hubbard: Life and Work."

Beloved children’s author Alice Hegan Rice (1870–1942) wrote over two dozen books. Her bestseller, "Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch," chronicles a family struggling against all odds in the run down Cabbage Patch neighborhood of Louisville. It was adapted into a movie four times, and was also turned into a play in 1903.

The latest issue of Kentucky Monthly, featuring profiles of all of the inductees, was released in time for the induction and was available to attendees. In addition, the ceremony was recorded by both WUKY and KET for later broadcast.

UPK is the scholarly publisher for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, representing a consortium that now includes all of the state universities, five private colleges and two historical societies. The editorial program of the press focuses on the humanities and the social sciences. Offices for the administrative, editorial, production and marketing departments of the press are found at UK, which provides financial support toward the operating expenses of the publishing operation.

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

Ten Kentucky Health Care Systems Form Statewide Health Care Collaborative

Thu, 01/28/2016 - 12:01

LEXINGTON, Ky.  (Jan. 28, 2016) – Today, 10 health care systems across the Commonwealth of Kentucky, collectively known as the Kentucky Health Collaborative, announced its primary objectives of raising the standards of care across the state, addressing the Commonwealth’s poor health statistics and reducing the cost of care through greater operational efficiencies.

The founding health systems’ chief executive officers or appointed executives are serving on a steering committee guiding the formation and development of the collaborative.

The initial health systems which have signed on as charter members of the collaborative are:

Appalachian Regional Healthcare (Lexington, KY)*

Baptist Health (Louisville, KY)

Ephraim McDowell Health (Danville, KY)

LifePoint Health (Brentwood, TN)

Norton Healthcare (Louisville, KY)

Owensboro Health (Owensboro, KY)

St. Claire Regional Medical Center (Morehead, KY)

St. Elizabeth Healthcare (Edgewood, KY)

The Medical Center (Bowling Green, KY)

UK HealthCare (Lexington, KY)

*Parentheses designate location of organization’s headquarters

Kentucky Health Collaborative is still in its early stages of development, and there are many details yet to be finalized, such as which issues and opportunities for improvement the group will tackle first.  As the collaborative develops the systems and infrastructure needed to accomplish its goals, the opportunity to join will extend to a wider pool of potential members across the Commonwealth.

In addition, the collaborative’s steering committee has hired William “Bill” L. Shepley as the organization’s inaugural executive director.  Shepley, who has more than 25 years of experience as a health care executive at organizations such as the Southern Atlantic Healthcare Alliance and the Coastal Carolinas Healthcare Alliance, has devoted his career to developing and managing multi-facility alliances and networks to guide organizations through changes in the health care delivery system. 

“Being offered this opportunity to serve the Commonwealth of Kentucky was one of the proudest moments of my career,” said Shepley.  “The Kentucky Health Collaborative has created a governance structure that supports the inclusion and participation of health care providers regardless of location within the Commonwealth, size or profit structure.  The solutions we expect to develop through the collaborative have worked well for similar networks across the country, and I am honored to be a part of this important process.”

Media Contact: Kristi Lopez, kristi.lopez@uky.edu; 859-806-0445

Final Call to Join the DanceBlue Family: Fundraising Deadline

Thu, 01/28/2016 - 10:31

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 29, 2016)  We are less than a month away from the 2016 DanceBlue Dance Marathon!

As January ends, DanceBlue plans to kick February off with its annual Blitz Week event, which runs from Feb. 1-5, and features fun activities and interaction with the committee through tabling and social media.  Most importantly, it’s students' final chance to fundraise individually or for a team to dance during the marathon.

Feb. 2 is the final day for online donations and Feb. 5 at 4 p.m. is the overall fundraising deadline. If students need extra incentive to fundraise, there is no better time than now to think FTK.

FTK means For The Kids, and these three words embody the feelings and emotions surrounding DanceBlue. The joy witnessed on a child’s face during the marathon is the same joy DanceBluers experience every day from the patients the organization supports at the DanceBlue Kentucky Children’s Hospital Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic: the kids. By being for them, DanceBlue aims to celebrate them.

During Blitz Week, students get a chance to be a part of this celebration. So, this is what DanceBlue has planned:

Monday, Feb. 1 – Just five days until the fundraising deadline! Come check out the FTK photo booth at White Hall and help spread the word on social media while learning more about DanceBlue.

Tuesday, Feb. 2 – The online fundraising deadline is today! Come by the table at White Hall to thank the donors in a special way! Also, today is the Euclid Papa John's All Day Fundraiser. Order anything to benefit DanceBlue 2016.

Wednesday, Feb. 3 – Come check out Elena's Lemonade Stand at White Hall and maybe catch a picture with Scratch, Kentucky Children Hospital’s mascot! 

Thursday, Feb. 4 — Come together FOR THE KIDS - 24 hours until the fundraising deadline!

Friday, Feb. 5 – DanceBlue 2016 Fundraising Deadline! Turn in money at the Ticket Office in Bowmen’s Den by 4 p.m. Come ask any questions at White Hall and celebrate! It is almost time for DanceBlue 2016!

By living FTK, DanceBlue also ensures donations are put to good use. Now in its 11th year, DanceBlue has raised more than $8.2 million for pediatric cancer research and child life efforts. Every cent of that has gone toward funding distributed through the Golden Matrix Fund. Some of these funded projects include a child life specialist, social workers, encouragement and education programs, and renovating the DanceBlue Kentucky Children’s Hospital Hematology/Oncology Clinic, to name a few.

DanceBlue is one of the purest examples of a community on the University of Kentucky campus. From supporting the families in the clinic to dancing, sweating and laughing together during the marathon, the bonds the organization creates are unbreakable. In order to be part of this, though, student have to fundraise. During Blitz Week, students have the chance to celebrate the process of becoming a part of DanceBlue.

The 2016 DanceBlue Dance Marathon takes place from 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, through 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28, at Memorial Coliseum on UK's campus.

DanceBlue is the University of Kentucky's 24-hour no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon that benefits the Golden Matrix Fund and the DanceBlue Kentucky Children’s Hospital Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic. For more information about DanceBlue, registration information or to support its efforts, please visit danceblue.org. Connect with DanceBlue on Facebook at facebook.com/danceblue and on Twitter at twitter.com/UKDanceBlue.

DanceBlue is a program housed in the UK Center for Community Outreach. The CCO seeks to serve, connect and unite the University of Kentucky with the surrounding community in collaborative efforts to promote life-long community service.

MEDIA CONTACT: Katy Bennett or Rebecca Stratton, katy.bennett@uky.edu or rebecca.stratton@uky.edu, 859-257-1909/859-323-2395 

UK Places 81 on SEC Academic Honor Roll

Wed, 01/27/2016 - 17:22

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 28, 2016) — Student-athletes from all of Kentucky's fall sports teams combined to earn a total of 81 spots on the Southeastern Conference Fall Academic Honor Roll, Commissioner Greg Sankey announced on Wednesday.

A total of 1,002 student-athletes were named to the 2015 Fall SEC Academic Honor Roll.

Any student-athlete who participates in a Southeastern Conference championship sport or a student-athlete who participates in a sport listed on his/her institution’s NCAA Sports Sponsorship Form is eligible for nomination to the Academic Honor Roll. The following criteria will be followed: (1) A student-athlete must have a grade point average of 3.00 or above for either the preceding academic year (two semesters or three quarters) or have a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or above at the nominating institution. (2) If a student-athlete attends summer school, his/her grade point average during the summer academic term must be included in the calculation used to determine eligibility for the Academic Honor Roll. (3) Student-athletes eligible for the Honor Roll include those receiving an athletics scholarship, recipients of an athletics award (i.e., letter winner), and non-scholarship student-athletes who have been on a varsity team for two seasons. (4) Prior to being nominated, a student-athlete must have successfully completed 24 semester or 36 quarter hours of non-remedial academic credit toward a baccalaureate degree at the nominating institution. (5) The student-athlete must have been a member of a varsity team for the sport’s entire NCAA Championship segment.

Kentucky Representatives:

Kentucky                                  Sport                         Major                          

Zack Beavin                              M Cross Country          Mechanical Engineering

James Brown                             M Cross Country          Agricultural Biotechnology

Ian Jones                                  M Cross Country          Exercise Science

Tim Layten                               M Cross Country          Journalism

Ryan Polman                             M Cross Country          Biology

Luke Sharkey                            M Cross Country          Undergraduate Studies

Sean Willard                             M Cross Country          Accounting                  

Aundrea Busse                          W Cross Country          Human Nutrition/Dietetics

Cassidy Hale                             W Cross Country          Exercise Science

Amy Hansen                             W Cross Country          Animal Sciences

Katherine Kunc                          W Cross Country          Economics

Caroline McCaslin                       W Cross Country          Biology

Michelle McKinney                     W Cross Country          Human Nutrition

Whitney O’Bryan                       W Cross Country          Biology

Jill Weston                                W Cross Country          Accounting/Equine Science and Management/Economics

Logan Blue                                Football                     Finance/Economics

David Bouvier                            Football                     Business Management

Miles Butler                              Football                     Economics

Will Tom Collins                         Football                     Elementary Education/Social Studies Education

C.J. Conrad                               Football                     Undergraduate Studies

Tanner Fink                              Football                     Political Science

Landon Foster                           Football                     Finance/Marketing

Greg Hart                                 Football                     Integrated Strategic Communication

Nick Haynes                              Football                     Economics/Business Management

Joey Herrick                              Football                     Communication

Jacob Hyde                               Football                     Social Work/Sociology

Jojo Kemp                                 Football                     Community and Leadership Development

Ryan Kendall                             Football                     Business Management

Jarrett LaRubbio                         Football                     Undergraduate Studies

Austin MacGinnis                       Football                     Finance/Business Management/Marketing

Kelly Mason                              Football                     Accounting

Zach Myers                              Football                     Communication

Kendall Randolph                       Football                     Communication

Max Strong                               Football                     Business Management/Finance

Jordan Swindle                          Football                     Exercise Science

Fred Tiller                                 Football                     Community and Leadership Development

Ryan Timmons                          Football                     Community and Leadership Development

Jon Toth                                   Football                     Mechanical Engineering/Spanish

Patrick Towles                           Football                     Business Management/Political Science

Charles Walker                          Football                     Finance/Marketing

Zach West                                Football                     Sociology

Hampus Agerstrom                    M Soccer                    Economics

Kevin Barajas                            M Soccer                    Finance

Nicholas Bigilin                           M Soccer                    Political Science

Alex Bumpus                             M Soccer                    Finance

Ryan Creel                                M Soccer                    Communication

Stuart Ford                               M Soccer                    Community and Leadership Development

Kaelon Fox                                M Soccer                    Business Management

Noah Hutchins                           M Soccer                    Business Management

Callum Irving                             M Soccer                    History

Braeden Luna                            M Soccer                    Business Management

Sam Miller                                M Soccer                    Human Nutrition

Charlie Reymann                        M Soccer                    Finance

Paul Sime                                 M Soccer                    Political Science

Stefan Stojkovic                         M Soccer                    Psychology

Kristoffer Tollefsen                     M Soccer                    Business Management

Jordan Wilson                            M Soccer                    Finance

Taylor Braun                             W Soccer                    Biosystems Engineering

Alex Carter                                W Soccer                    Human Nutrition

Laura Connor                             W Soccer                    Exercise Science

Jackie Dallaire                            W Soccer                    Social Work

Michaela Dooley                        W Soccer                    International Studies/Political Science

Danielle Fitzgerald                      W Soccer                    Exercise Science

Allie Gorgol                               W Soccer                    Exercise Science

Katelyn Jensen                          W Soccer                    Undergraduate Studies

Olivia Jester                              W Soccer                    Communication

Cara Ledman                             W Soccer                    Secondary Education (English Education)

Kaitlin Miller                              W Soccer                    Exercise Science

Kelly Novak                              W Soccer                    Exercise Science

Kayla Price                                W Soccer                    Biology

Courtney Raetzman                    W Soccer                    Communication

Cailey Warfel                            W Soccer                    Communication

Morgan Bergren                        Volleyball                   Kinesiology and Health Promotion (Teacher Certification)

Kaz Brown                                Volleyball                   Communication

Olivia Dailey                             Volleyball                   Integrated Strategic Communication

Ashley Dusek                            Volleyball                   Integrated Strategic Communication

Emily Franklin                           Volleyball                   Kinesiology and Health Promotion (Teacher Certification)

Harper Hempel                          Volleyball                   Marketing

Darian Mack                             Volleyball                   Information Communication Technology

Sara Schwarzwalder                   Volleyball                   Elementary Education

Anni Thomasson                        Volleyball                   Kinesiology and Health Promotion (Teacher Certification)

For the latest on the Kentucky athletics, follow @UKathletics on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, as well as on the web at UKathletics.com

MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Shoals ( cmsh223@uky.edu, 513-312-2489).

Update to the Construction Impact of the New Research Building

Wed, 01/27/2016 - 16:21

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 28, 2016) — Construction is slated to begin soon on the University of Kentucky’s new research facility, immediately to the west of the Biomedical Biological Sciences Research Building (BBSRB) along Virginia Avenue. This $265 million research facility is dedicated to addressing Kentucky challenges, particularly health disparities in areas such as cancer, diabetes, heart diseases, drug abuse and other health conditions, as well as fostering multidisciplinary research across numerous fields working in close proximity and collaboratively to solve complex problems. 

In November 2015, Parking and Transportation Services (PTS) shared an overview of the construction and its impact on campus parking. PTS continues to work closely with Capital Projects Management Division to minimize the impact of this project on the campus community.  As the start of construction nears, this update provides more detailed information as to what the campus community can expect.

Construction of this facility will impact parking starting at the close of business on Friday, Feb. 13, 2016, and will result in shifting reserved (E+) parking west toward Press Avenue into the remaining Press Avenue North surface parking lot, relocating disabled accessible parking into several newly designated accessible parking areas, and ultimately displacing approximately 200 employee (E) parking spaces. Sufficient capacity exists in a variety of campus parking areas to accommodate those impacted employees, as outlined below.

While construction is not scheduled to impact parking until mid-February, employees are encouraged to familiarize themselves with alternative parking and multimodal options prior to the construction impact to find one that best meets their needs.

Employee (E) Parking Alternatives:  With the transition of the surface parking between Press Avenue and BBSRB from Employee (E) to E+ Reserved parking, employee parking demand will likely shift to the Press Avenue Garage (PS #6), which will ultimately result in the garage reaching capacity earlier in the morning. To aid with the anticipated increase in demand at the Press Avenue Garage, PTS will be installing a digital space counter sign at the garage’s entrance in early February; this sign will allow drivers to avoid searching for space in the garage if the structure has already reached capacity.

Other options for employees who currently park in the Press Avenue area include:

Approaching campus from the south: Employees with valid E permits are authorized to park in any campus employee (E) parking areas, which include the Commonwealth Stadium parking lots. Employees who commute to campus from the south may find the following suggested parking alternatives to be just as fast and convenient as their current parking accommodations.

  • The Orange Lot at Commonwealth Stadium, located at the corner of University and Alumni Drives. The Orange Lot is served by the Purple (UK HealthCare) Route, which provides frequent access to the Health Sciences Research Building (HSRB) and the new Hospital (Pavilion A) with interior building connectivity to the Kentucky Clinic, College of Pharmacy, and BBSRB.
  • The Blue and Red Lots at Commonwealth Stadium, located across University Drive from the Orange Lot and along the south side of Commonwealth Stadium. The Blue and Red Lots are served by the campus Blue and White bus routes which provide convenient access to and from the Kentucky Clinic and College of Pharmacy bus stops.

Approaching campus from the north: Employees with valid E permits are authorized to park in any campus employee (E) parking areas. Employees who commute to campus from the north may find the following suggested parking alternatives to be just as fast and convenient as their current parking accommodations.

  • The Scott Street Lot, located off Scott Street, behind the Lexington Fire Department Station #6.
  • The Taylor/Dickey Lot, located off Scott Street behind Taylor Education and Dickey Hall.
  • The Reynolds Lot, located off Scott Street, adjacent to Reynolds Warehouse #1.
  • The South Limestone Garage (PS #5), located on South Limestone next to Kennedy’s Wildcat Den, with access on both South Upper and South Limestone Streets.

These areas are a modest 6-10 minute walk from the Virginia Avenue corridor as well as a short ride using the campus Blue and White bus routes from the Taylor/Dickey bus stop.

Virginia Avenue Disabled Accessible Parking Alternatives:  In anticipation of this construction, PTS transitioned the Huguelet Drive Reserved Lot to disabled accessible parking in August 2015, resulting in a net increase in disabled accessible parking in the area. In the coming week, PTS will add additional disabled parking in the Leader Avenue Lot, adjacent to the College of Medicine Building. Finally, the Press Avenue Garage (PS #6) also has a number of underutilized disabled accessible parking spaces with convenient shuttle access to the Kentucky Clinic via the Pink Route.

BBSRB E+ Reserved Parking Accommodations:  Employees with BBSRB E+ permits will shift slightly to the west into what remains of the adjacent Press Avenue North Lot, which will change from an employee (E) lot to E+ designation. At that time, all remaining surface UK-controlled parking between Press Avenue and BBSRB will be reserved for E+ permit holders.

Long-Term Solutions:  The university has been working hard over the past several months with Sasaki and Associates to develop a comprehensive Transportation Master Plan (TMP) focused on enhancing mobility to, from and around campus; the TMP provides a framework, which will guide campus mobility into the future. The final recommendations from Sasaki call for investments in enhancing alternative commuting options while also adding additional parking resources. After adding nearly 1,000 new spaces in time for the 2015-2016 school year and implementing the BluPass program, under which UK students and employees ride all Lextran routes free of charge, PTS is currently developing plans that could add several hundred new spaces to the campus for the start of next academic year. Moreover, the university continues to explore alternatives that could allow further expansion of parking, in addition to options to ensure that campus remains accessible to all members of the campus community.

A map of the specific parking areas and bus stops outlined here may be found below. Additionally, a campus parking map can be found at www.uky.edu/pts/parking-info_parking-maps

MEDIA CONTACT: Blair Hoover, (859) 257-6398; blair.hoover@uky.edu

Top Potential Students Will 'see blue.' During Merit Weekends

Wed, 01/27/2016 - 15:34

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan 28, 2016)  Top students from across the Commonwealth and the region will make their way to Lexington for the University of Kentucky's Merit weekends March 4-5, March 11-12 and March 18-19.

These two-day events, hosted by the University Registrar and the Office of Undergraduate Admission, allow top potential students early registration for classes and one last look at campus before they make their final decision about where to attend college.  

"Merit Weekend is always an exciting time when we can congratulate students on their academic success and showcase everything that UK has to offer these exceptional students," said Stephen Barnett, senior associate director of admissions and senior associate registrar.

Merit Weekends are available by invitation to admitted students who have excelled academically in high school.

"From academic to extracurricular, we are able to demonstrate how UK stands out as an excellent choice for top student scholars," said Don Witt, associate provost for enrollment management. "The success of Merit Weekend is the result of collaborations from across the campus. It’s exciting to see the enthusiasm of students admitted for fall 2016 and to be a part of their academic journey.”

Students not only meet with individual advisors to register for Fall 2016 classes, but they have the opportunity to talk to current students about what it's like to be a Wildcat.  Current Wildcats will offer special insider information to prospective students through a peer and more personal level.

These special weekends are not entirely about academics though. Students who attend a Merit Weekend gain a wide perspective of the opportunities and involvements that await them at UK through a variety of information sessions.  UK provides countless opportunities to become involved on campus, offering a diverse array of more than 550 student organizations.

Students who have not registered for Merit Weekend can do so through the myUK system by going to newstudent.uky.edu and using the UK student ID number and temporary pass code provided in their admission letter. 

For more information about Merit Weekends, send an email or call 859-257-3256 to speak with an advising representative.

Students can learn more about what it's like to be a Wildcat at the University of Kentucky by visiting http://www.youtube.com/user/UKseeblue or by clicking the YouTube playlist below.

MEDIA CONTACT: Katy Bennett or Rebecca Stratton, katy.bennett@uky.edu or rebecca.stratton@uky.edu, (859) 257-1909/(859) 323-2395 

LeaderShape® Catalyst is coming to UK for the second year in a row!

Wed, 01/27/2016 - 15:29

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 28, 2016)  LeaderShape®, a nationally recognized leadership development program that believes in the power of students to make a difference in their campuses and in their communities, will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20, at the Hillary J. Boone Center on the University of Kentucky campus.

LeaderShape® Catalyst is a one-day program designed for any student interested in starting something extraordinary. Participating in Catalyst is a first step in the life-long process of learning, exploration, and action.

The Leadership Exchange in the Office of Student Involvement is looking for students who are interested in participating in this opportunity to change the UK campus and community. This programs is free for students and participants will also receive a free t-shirt.

Any graduate or undergraduate student who wants to make a difference and is open to the exploration of authenticity, connection and commitment while increasing their capacity to lead is urged to apply. Good academic, conduct and financial standing are also a requirement to attend LeaderShape® Catalyst.

How to Apply:

·      Click here: https://orgsync.com/69920/forms/128869

·      Login to OrgSync using your LinkBlue ID & password

·      Complete your application online.  You can save your application and return to it later, but all applications are due on Friday, Feb. 5 by 11:59 pm.

·      Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee and all applicants will be notified by Friday, February 12th.

This is a fantastic program and an exciting opportunity that will inspire students on many levels.  For questions, please do not hesitate to contact Leslie Pedigo at lesliepedigo@uky.edu.

MEDIA CONTACT: Katy Bennett or Rebecca Stratton, katy.bennett@uky.edu or rebecca.stratton@uky.edu, (859) 257-1909/(859) 323-2395 

Ambati Laboratory Discovers New Antibody Function

Wed, 01/27/2016 - 14:07

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 28, 2016) – The laboratory of Dr. Jayakrishna Ambati of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and an international team of researchers from Italy, United Kingdom, Japan, France, The Netherlands, Australia, Sweden and Czech Republic, detail the discovery of a previously unrecognized function for antibodies in two articles this week in the inaugural issue of Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy, a journal of the Nature Publishing Group.

The immune system produces antibodies to recognize and bind to specific features found on pathogens such as bacteria and viruses. This results in destruction of the pathogen by white blood cells that recognize the antibody. Antibodies are generally thought to only protect the body from infectious disease.

However, the international consortium led by Ambati found that the most abundant class of antibodies, known as IgG1s, also generically block blood vessel growth, an unexpected finding with far-reaching implications. Therapeutic human antibodies, most of which are IgG1s and account for more $75 billion in annual sales worldwide, are commonly used to treat various diseases such as arthritis, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease, leukemia and asthma.

Ambati’s laboratory found that FDA-approved and widely used monoclonal antibodies such as Humira, Campath, Lemtrada, Arzerra, Xolair, Synagis, Actemra, and Avastin could inhibit blood vessel growth independent of their intended targets. Moreover, the researchers also showed that intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), a low-cost mixture of human antibodies used to treat many autoimmune diseases, also blocked blood vessel growth.

These two groundbreaking studies used not only preclinical models of macular degeneration, peripheral arterial disease, colon cancer, but also verified the clinical relevance of their findings by examining biopsied tissue from organ transplant patients before and after IVIg therapy.

“Given the widespread use of monoclonal antibodies for many diseases, both in the eye and beyond, these findings have broad clinical implications,” said Ambati, the Dr. E. Vernon & Eloise C. Smith Endowed Chair in Macular Degeneration.

Ambati hopes these findings mean patients may one day have a cheaper alternative to current high-priced antibody therapeutics. In addition, these studies suggest the need for caution in prescribing IVIG or monoclonal antibodies for patients with preexisting blood vessel disease.

This work was supported in part by various grants from the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health and does not necessarily reflect the views of that institution.

Media Contact: Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or ann.blackford@uky.edu 

Crowdfunding Studies Instrumental in Securing Five-year USDA Grant

Wed, 01/27/2016 - 12:44

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 28, 2016) — The first research crowdfunding project launched at the University of Kentucky helped secure an approximate $2.1 million, five-year, multiple species grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In January 2014, Martin Nielsen, an equine parasitologist, veterinarian and assistant professor at the UK Gluck Equine Research Center, launched the crowdfunding project, “Let the germs get the worms: Testing a novel probiotic compound for treatment of equine parasites.” The project generated more than $12,000. Crowdfunding is a relatively new term that describes reaching out to the general public to meet a fundraising goal. Success in attaining the goal often depends on many individuals making smaller donations through a website.

As the name of the crowdfunding campaign implies, Nielsen’s research project focused on developing a novel bacterial agent for parasite control. Parasite populations are becoming widely resistant to commercially available dewormers, and there is a critical need for new and alternative treatments. The money raised in the campaign allowed Nielsen and his collaborators to conduct a number of laboratory tests with the bacterial products and equine strongyle parasites; results were very promising. The data was included in the proposal for the USDA grant and helped make an appealing case for an expanded research project.

“This shows exactly how crowdfunding can play a significant role in getting research funding. In addition to the publicity generated during the active campaign, crowdfunding provided a stepping stone for getting a larger grant,” Nielsen said. “With the limited amount of grants available for equine research, we need to be more entrepreneurial in our fundraising efforts. Crowdfunding represents one such strategy.”

David Horohov, chair of the Department of Veterinary Science, director of the Gluck Equine Research Center and Jes E. and Clementine M. Schlaikjer Endowed Chair, commended Nielsen for his initiative and efforts.

“It is gratifying to see how the novel initiative by one of our younger faculty members to use crowdfunding as a means of generating preliminary data has resulted in a significant award from the USDA for his research program. Dr. Nielsen should be credited not only for this accomplishment, but for the initiative and entrepreneurship he showed in procuring these funds,” Horohov said.

Raffi Aroian, professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, is the principal investigator of the USDA grant. Nielsen, along with researchers from Virginia Tech University and USDA, Beltsville, are co-principal investigators. The aim of the research project is to develop and evaluate a new bacterial agent for parasite control of farm animals (sheep/goats, horses, cattle and pigs) as well as humans. Nielsen’s laboratory will evaluate this treatment modality in the horse, while other collaborators will evaluate it for the other animals.

Intestinal parasites cause significant loss of health, productivity, reproduction, life and profits associated with large farm animals. In addition, more than 1.5 billion people are infected by parasites. Consequences in children include malnutrition, stunted growth, lower cognitive skills and immune defects; impact on adults can include poor pregnancy outcomes, lethargy and lower productivity.

The mission of the Gluck Center, a UK Ag Equine program in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, is scientific discovery, education and dissemination of knowledge for the benefit of the health and well-being of horses. The Gluck Center faculty conducts equine research in seven targeted areas: genetics and genomics, infectious diseases, immunology, musculoskeletal science, parasitology, pharmacology/toxicology and reproductive health.

For more information on the Gluck Center, visit http://www.ca.uky.edu/gluck.

# # #

MEDIA CONTACT: Jenny Evans, 859-218-1089.

A Day in the Life of a UK Student: Jan. 28, 1912

Wed, 01/27/2016 - 12:36

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 28, 2016) — In celebration of the University of Kentucky sesquicentennial in 2015, UK Special Collections Research Center began releasing the diary entries of former student Virginia Clay McClure in fall of 2014. The diary chronicles the day-to-day activities of McClure's junior and senior years at the State University of Kentucky (now UK) from 1910-1912. McClure's 159th diary entry from Jan. 28, 1912, recalls Miss Crane's schedule and plans to speak with the visitor later that evening. 

Mon. 28th. Meet Miss Crane at 2nd hr. She sees Cabinet in the afternoon, and addresses the Y.W.C.A. in the evening. "House-meeting" afterward, when I gradually progress toward the door. Talk to Miss Crane afterward.

More on Virginia Clay McClure

Virginia Clay McClure, a native of Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, graduated in 1912 with an AB degree and received her master’s degree in 1928 from UK. After receiving her AB, she taught for a year at Middlesboro, Kentucky, another year at Paducah, Kentucky, and seven years in Cynthiana, Kentucky. After this, she returned to Lexington, where she taught for nine and a half years in the Fayette County schools. At this point, she took two and a half years off of work to complete her doctorate.

The first woman to receive a Ph.D. from UK, McClure said that her department chairman did not “want a woman to get a doctor’s degree.” In spite of those words, McClure received her doctoral degree in American history in 1934.

Her dissertation was “The Settlement of the Kentucky Appalachian Region,” about which “nothing had been done before.” McClure did significant original research for the dissertation and made several trips to Eastern Kentucky with Katherine Pettit, who had taught in settlement schools, including Pine Mountain School, which she helped to establish. 

McClure planned to teach at the college level but after finishing her dissertation in the midst of the depression, colleges were laying off faculty rather than hiring them. She then joined the Fayette County School system, then Lexington City Schools, and taught United States history and government at Henry Clay High School from 1934-1959. A position that she found quite rewarding.

The UK alumna and educator was very active in the community. McClure was a member of Central Christian Church and Kappa Delta Pi Honorary, Kentucky and National Retired Teachers associations, Salvation Army Auxiliary, Cardinal Hill Hospital Auxiliary and numerous historical societies. She was also a charter member of the Lexington Rose Society, twice serving as president, and was a member of the American Rose Society.

McClure passed away in 1980 at 91 years of age.

The Virginia Clay McClure papers are housed at the Special Collections Research Center and include a diary/scrapbook, a photograph album and other assorted photographs related to McClure's time as an undergraduate at State University, Lexington, Kentucky from 1910-1912. The scrapbook includes clippings, small artifacts, programs and invitations, but the bulk of the material is McClure's many personal writings. The photograph album and loose photographs also document this time period and include photographs of her UK classmates (many of whom are identified and also mentioned in her scrapbook); class trips and events (such as Arbor Day); and women playing basketball among other casual snapshots.

This story on UK's history is presented by UK Special Collections Research Center. UK Special Collections is home to UK Libraries' collection of rare books, Kentuckiana, the Archives, the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, the King Library Press, the Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center, the Bert T. Combs Appalachian collection and the digital library, ExploreUK. The mission of the center is to locate and preserve materials documenting the social, cultural, economic and political history of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Diary transcriptions completed by senior Taylor Adams, Special Collections Learning Lab intern and history major from Ashland, Kentucky.

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

UK Markey Cancer Center Joins Nation’s Top Cancer Centers in Endorsement of HPV Vaccination for Cancer Prevention

Wed, 01/27/2016 - 11:41

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 27, 2016) – In response to low national vaccination rates for the human papillomavirus (HPV), the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center has joined 68 of the nation’s top cancer centers in issuing a statement urging for increased HPV vaccination for the prevention of cancer. The 100 percent consensus among the nation's 69 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer centers demonstrates that these institutions collectively recognize insufficient vaccination as a public health threat and call upon the nations’ physicians, parents and young adults to take advantage of this rare opportunity to prevent many types of cancer.

"Although we have made progress in the past several years, Kentucky continues to rank first in the nation for both cancer incidence and mortality," said Dr. Mark Evers, director of the UK Markey Cancer Center. "We are still in the top 10 nationally for cervical cancer deaths, and increasing the HPV vaccination rates will significantly lower this grim statistic."

National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer centers joined in this effort in the spirit of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union call for a national “moonshot” to cure cancer, a collaborative effort led by Vice President Joe Biden.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HPV infections are responsible for approximately 27,000 new cancer diagnoses each year in the U.S. Several vaccines are available that can prevent the majority of cervical, anal, oropharyngeal (middle throat) and other genital cancers. In Kentucky, particularly the Appalachian region of Kentucky, the rates for these cancers are higher than the national average.

Vaccination rates remain low across the U.S., with under 40 percent of girls and just over 21 percent of boys receiving the recommended three doses. In Kentucky, roughly 37 percent of girls and just over 13 percent of boys complete the vaccine schedule. Research shows there are a number of barriers to overcome to improve vaccination rates, including a lack of strong recommendations from physicians and parents not understanding that this vaccine protects against several types of cancer.

"It bears repeating that the HPV vaccine can prevent cancer and our low rates of adolescent vaccination in Kentucky can be improved with novel, coordinated community-clinical linkages," said Robin Vanderpool, co-lead on a recent NCI HPV vaccination supplement awarded to Markey and associate professor in the UK College of Public Health. "We have projects on-going throughout the state to improve healthcare provider education and awareness of the vaccine, including working with local pharmacies. Among other initiatives, we also have a comprehensive public awareness campaign spearheaded by the Kentucky Department for Public Health."

To discuss strategies for overcoming these barriers, experts from the NCI, CDC, American Cancer Society and more than half of the NCI-designated cancer centers met in a summit at MD Anderson Cancer Center last November. During this summit, cancer centers shared findings from 18 NCI-funded environmental scans, or detailed regional assessments, which sought to identify barriers to increasing immunization rates in pediatric settings across the country. 

The published call to action was a major recommendation resulting from discussions at that summit, with the goal of sending a powerful message to parents, adolescents and health care providers about the importance of HPV vaccination for cancer prevention.

MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or allison.perry@uky.edu 

UK College of Dentistry Offering Reduced Cost Dental Screenings

Wed, 01/27/2016 - 11:16

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 28, 2016) — The University of Kentucky College of Dentistry is offering limited dental screenings for the reduced cost of $5 on select dates. Screenings include limited x-rays and a limited review for tooth decay. Participants can support UK dental students as they prepare for their licensing exam and get their oral health checked in the process. 

No appointment is necessary. Screenings will be completed at the UK College of Dentistry ( see directions and parking information) from 5:30-7 p.m. on the following dates:

·         Thursday, Feb. 11

·         Thursday, Feb. 25

·         Thursday, March 10

·         Thursday, March 24

·         Thursday, April 7

In order to qualify for a $5 screening, participants must be:

·         Age 14 or older;

·         Available to attend the dental students’ licensing exam on either Friday, April 22 or Saturday, April 23, if selected as a dental patient. Dental services provided during the exam will be at no cost to patients. 

Patients requiring care in excess of licensing exam requirements will be referred for a full dental screening and treatment. Please call (859) 323-6525 with any questions.

Media Contact: Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or ann.blackford@uky.edu

Ag Biotech Student is First in Collaborative Master of Medical Sciences Program

Tue, 01/26/2016 - 17:03

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 27, 2016) — As a third-grader, Ellis Shelley was not a typical child. A self-described science nerd, he often would rush home from school and into the barn to check on chick eggs in the incubator. The Albany, Kentucky, native could explain exactly what was happening in each phase of the 21-day incubation cycle.

“When I took reproductive physiology during my undergraduate studies, I recalled that experience and realized science was always where I was destined to be,” he said.

After finishing up his bachelor’s degree in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment in agricultural biotechnology, Shelley will begin his master’s degree in medical sciences. He is the first UKAg student in the program, a collaboration between CAFE and the UK College of Medicine.

“This newly formed University Scholars program combines the strengths of the undergraduate agriculture biotechnology program in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment with the master’s of medical sciences program in the College of Medicine,” said Joe Springer, director of the program and professor in the UK College of Medicine. “This partnership across our two colleges is a unique approach that will greatly enhance the placement of our students in professional schools, graduate degree awarding programs and industry.”

“This is the first partnership between the two colleges and that’s a big deal,” said Bob Houtz, chair of the UK Department of Horticulture who also serves on the coordinating committee for the agricultural biotechnology program. “All our agricultural biotech students already do research; we’re trying to make the transition seamless, so that many of them can continue the same research in their master’s of medical sciences studies.”

Shelley’s undergraduate research has focused on helping a local truffle farmer use biotechnology to take a lot of guesswork out of his production practices. His mentor is UK horticulture professor Seth DeBolt.

“Ellis is an extremely strong student; he’s very bright,” DeBolt said. “We’ve been able to work with a local entrepreneur and apply biotechnology that could help him with his truffle orchard. This is a very expensive business and usually unpredictable.”

He and Shelley came up with a way to potentially detect the presence of truffles underneath the soil, lessening the entrepreneur’s risk.

“By developing this biotechnology, we hope to give Kentucky farmers a tool to make the truffle become a major cash crop for the state,” Shelley said.

“Learning advanced problem-solving like this is going to be an advantage for Ellis as he goes into his master’s program,” Debolt added.

Shelley said he eventually wants to pursue a medical career, and he and DeBolt will decide soon what research project they’ll pursue for Shelley’s master’s program.

MEDIA CONTACT: Aimee Nielson, 859-257-7707.

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