Missy Scanlon and her family pose for a photograph.

Neonatal ICU receives generous donation, new name

When the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) moves into its revitalized space at the Kentucky Children’s Hospital, it will have a new name to go with the upgraded space and services.

The gift of perserverance

The Betti Ruth Robinson Taylor NICU, set to open in the spring of 2018, honors the $2 million legacy gift from KCH Development Council chair Missy Scanlon. The gift was endowed in memory of Missy’s late mother, Betti Ruth Robinson Taylor, whose determination and perseverance over life’s obstacles mirrored the devotion of the NICU medical staff.

“They serve the families, whether it’s a good outcome or not a good outcome,” Missy said of the NICU staff. “They see the tiniest of babies with these situations and they don’t give up, and that’s how my mom was. She was a good soul, and she tried her best. Whatever you have to do, whatever you have to make happen, you have to keep going until you get it done.”

Missy’s generous gift will equip the NICU staff with the resources and increased capacity they need to care for families as the only Level IV NICU for Central and Eastern Kentucky.

Renovations for patients and workers alike

The expansion includes spacious patient rooms and areas for family consultation and privacy. Designed with a theme representing Kentucky native wildlife and landscapes, these rooms will offer more convenience for long-term patient families through features such as sleeper sofas, wardrobes and kitchen areas. A simulation room for training exercises and “huddle” rooms for staff mentoring and team building are among other advancements.

“KCH is near and dear to my heart; it’s my happy place,” Missy said. “There are so many things that are happening there, and there are so many things that need to happen there.”

Missy’s legacy gift will help make the children’s hospital a happier place for the children and families who depend on it. If you’re interested in donating to KCH, visit www.givetokch.org.

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Adolescent headaches

Preventing and treating headaches in adolescence

Cori Morgan, APRN

Cori Morgan, APRN

Written by Cori Morgan, APRN, nurse practitioner at UK Adolescent Medicine. This post is part of a series written by Dr. Hatim Omar and his team in Adolescent Medicine related to the unique health concerns faced by teens and young adults.

Although they can be concerning for both teens and parents, headaches during adolescence are a common part of growing up.

In fact, about 90 percent of adolescents experience a headache by the time they turn 18. Headaches may be sharp or dull; they may be associated with nausea or light sensitivity; and they may be located in the front, back or sides of the head.

Prevention and treatment

For teenagers and young adults, headaches have a wide array of triggers, many of which can be identified and corrected with simple lifestyle changes. Here are some tips to help you prevent headaches:

  • Drink at least eight glasses of water per day, more if you’re active.
  • Get a minimum of eight hours of sleep daily.
  • Exercise at least three days a week.
  • Limit screen time – including television, smartphone and computer – to two hours a day.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet that includes five to nine servings of fresh fruits and vegetables daily.
  • Limit junk food (fried and processed foods and sugary drinks) and don’t skip meals.
  • Limit the use of over-the-counter medications to two days per week and avoid aspirin.

If you do experience headaches, try these tips for treatment:

  • Identify factors that trigger headaches. Common triggers include bright lights, certain odors, smoke, oversleeping or lack of sleep, food, or temperature changes in the home or environment.
  • Keep a headache diary to help track the characteristics and patterns of your headaches. This can help you figure out what’s causing them.
  • If you are prescribed a medication, take it as directed.
  • Apply a cold compress to your head.
  • Sit in a cool, quiet and stress-free environment.

A sign of something more serious

Although most headaches are nothing to be worried about, some can be a sign of more serious health concerns. Talk to your parents about making a doctor’s appointment if you have:

  • Headaches that force you to miss school, cause a decline in academic performance or limit your participation in extracurricular activities.
  • Headaches that cause you to wake up from sleep or are more severe when you are lying down.
  • Headaches after a recent trauma or fall.
  • Neurological symptoms such as weakness, confusion or seizure activity that occur with headaches.
  • Persistent nausea and vomiting.
  • Sudden and severe onset of headaches.
  • Progressive headaches, or headaches that get worse over time.
  • Headaches that do not respond to treatment.
  • Headaches and a medical history that increases risk of severe health concerns, including sickle cell disease, immune deficiency, history of malignancy, bleeding disorders, cardiac disease or recent head trauma.

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Lung cancer in Kentucky

We’re fighting back against lung cancer in Kentucky

There’s a No. 1 ranking we’re not proud of in Kentucky: leading the nation in lung cancer incidence and mortality. November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and the perfect time to learn more about the disease and what UK HealthCare is doing to fight back.

At the UK Markey Cancer Center, we’re working hard to reduce the burden of lung cancer in Kentucky through screening and prevention, state-of-the-art treatment and research, and compassion for patients and their families.

Markey’s Multidisciplinary Lung Cancer Program  brings together a team of health care providers with expertise in all areas of lung cancer. We treat small cell lung cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, mesothelioma and other cancers of the chest and lungs.

Screening and diagnosis

Survival rates for lung cancer are much lower than other common types of cancer, with less than 18 percent of people with lung cancer surviving five years. That’s why it’s so important to catch the disease at its earliest. When we detect early-stage lung cancer, a patient’s chances of survival can be as high as 70 percent.

The UK Lung Cancer Screening Program is available for patients who might be at risk for lung cancer, including smokers and former smokers, and can help identify lung cancer early on, before symptoms are noticeable.

Treating lung cancer

When a patient is diagnosed with lung cancer, we act fast to find a course of treatment that’s best for that person. Each treatment plan is based on the individual’s unique needs and the specifics of their cancer.

Surgery, radiation and chemotherapy treatments at Markey are state-of-the-art and are supplemented by national research studies as well as treatments with promising new drugs.

To make an appointment at the Multidisciplinary Lung Cancer Program, call 859-257-4488 or use our secure online appointment form.

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