Following a positive birth experience with a certified nurse midwife (CNM), JoAnna Burris felt called to become one herself. Now, she works as a CNM at UK.

Positive birth experience inspires woman to become a UK midwife

Certified nurse midwife JoAnne Burris describes birth as a poetic paradox: an instance of power and vulnerability in a woman’s life. This important scale can tip in favor of vulnerability or empowerment, depending on the woman’s sense of control and support.

After the birth of her first child in 2005, Burris related giving birth to feelings of vulnerability, frustration and helplessness, which stemmed from a traumatic birth experience in which healthcare providers dominated the decision-making.

Determined to have a more positive birth experience, Burris sought care from a certified nurse midwife (CNM) when she became pregnant with her second baby in 2008. She partnered with Melissa Courtney, a certified nurse midwife who was in her first year of practice at Lexington Women’s Health. CNMs place emphasis on the individual needs, birth vision and preferences of the patient, designing a custom birth experience for each woman all while ensuring a safe passage for mother and baby. For her second birth, Burris decided to use hypnosis, a natural relaxation technique to help control labor pain, and Courtney embraced the practice as part of the delivery plan. Burris also brought concerns stemming from the trauma of the first delivery, and Courtney addressed each concern with respect and consideration.

“Each prenatal visit, I felt like I would come to Melissa with a new fear,” Burris said, recalling her first birth. “At each appointment, she didn’t dismiss my fears. She treated me as an intelligent woman with valid concerns.”

Also distinctive from the first birth experience, Courtney reinforced Burris’ confidence with encouragement and affirmation that she was capable of having a natural birth. Burris never questioned whether she was in control of her body, her medical care or the details of her birth experience. This patient-centered emphasis continued into the actual birth experience. Burris remained in control of every decision, such as her preference for her birthing position, and Courtney followed her lead.

“We try to listen and meet women where they are,” Courtney said. “We try to build their confidence in themselves so they realize they are very capable. It’s the strong belief that if a woman can have a positive experience in her birth, it then sets her up for her motherhood experience.”

Patient-centered care leads to empowerment

Burris said she went into labor confident in her ability to deliver her son in a manner consistent with her preferences and beliefs. With relief she gained through the Hypnobabies technique, she was able to truly enjoy her natural birth. After her son’s birth, she wrote a letter to Courtney expressing gratitude and insisting her support made a difference. She said Courtney reduced the feelings of vulnerability and tipped the scale in favor of empowerment, which led to the success of the delivery.

“During my birth, when I was ready to push, all I remember hearing from Melissa was reassurance,” Burris said.

Burris was forever changed by her birth experience with Courtney. With two drastically divergent birth experiences, she believed the patient-centered preparation, supportive care and freedom to choose her own path pointed her toward a positive, redeeming birth experience. She felt a spiritual calling to help other women experience pregnancy and birth as a natural – not scary or traumatic – life stage and realize their potential to remain in control of their health with the supportive partnership of a CNM.

“How many other people go home and night and say, ‘Today I empowered a woman in the most important moment in her life?’” Burris said. “That is what (Courtney) did for me. I want to give that gift to other women.”

A year after the birth of her son, Burris quit her nine-to-five job and started the process of becoming a CNM. She returned to college to complete her associate’s degree in nursing, then acquired the years of labor and delivery nursing experience required before attending midwifery school. Her midwifery training was done at Womankind Midwives, the practice Courtney established in 2011. Last fall, she was hired at the UK HealthCare Polk Dalton Clinic.

Provider and patient now practice together

Now, with a new partnership between UK HealthCare and Womankind Midwives, Courtney and Burris, formerly provider and patient, will partner together as colleagues empowering women throughout Central Kentucky. The UK Midwife Clinic will provide midwifery services through four full-time CNMs, including Courtney and Burris, and additional resources and expertise through access to the UK Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the only Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Courtney sees the collaboration as benefiting patients who want more options when considering a delivery experience. The merger also benefits both organizations, as CNMs will have the opportunity to teach holistic, natural birthing techniques to medical residents and increase the acceptance and integration of these techniques, and the large academic hospital expands its realm of women’s health services to include midwifery.

“I think it’s awesome that we get to work together now, being able to develop this program at UK with JoAnne is super exciting,” Courtney said. “We are not only impacting Lexington, but we will hopefully impact the residents that we will work with and take that experience to their future practices.”

Burris also looks forward to promoting positive health experiences for women beyond childbearing. The UK Midwife Clinic, located at 141 N. Eagle Creek Drive in Lexington, will provide a variety of services, such as general obstetrics and primary healthcare across the lifespan. Patients will deliver babies at the UK Birthing Center with the care of a midwife. From her personal experiences, Burris knows putting women at the center of their care and encouraging them to believe they are in control are crucial first steps for ensuring positive outcomes.

“This field focuses on empowering women through health education and promotion,” Burris said. “If we can provide a sense of control and empowerment while providing safe, high-quality care, it will affect their whole family. We are treating the whole woman so she can be a force for positive health change in her family.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Next steps:

  • UK Midwife Clinic provides patients with exceptional, compassionate care. Learn more.
  • The UK Polk-Dalton Clinic provides a wide range of primary medical care services, including obstetrics and gynecology. The clinic also features a certified nurse midwife.
Annette Osborne, a cancer patient with not much time to live, was referred to a Markey physician. His innovative treatment allowed Osborne to keep living.

After grim prognosis, Winchester woman finds answers at Markey

For Annette Osborne, a cancer patient from Winchester, the prognosis was not good. Her oncologist had given up. “Enjoy the time you have left with your family, there’s nothing more we can do,” he told her.

But Osborne wasn’t ready to die, at least not without a fight. She wasn’t ready to give up on being there for her husband and children or watching her grandchildren grow up.

Initially, Osborne had ignored the symptoms that turned out to be cancer. She’d been caring for her ailing father, so it was easy to overlook her own aches and pains.

When she noticed abnormal bleeding, she saw her gynecologist, who said it was likely nothing to be concerned about, that it was probably a small tear that would heal on its own. When that didn’t happen, she went back for more tests. That was when she learned she had vaginal cancer.

After her oncologist told her to prepare to die, Osborne pushed back, and the doctor offered one more sliver of hope.

Dr. Jonathan Feddock at the UK Markey Cancer Center was doing some innovative treatment. Osborne seized her chance, and in early 2016, she met with Feddock to see if he could help her.

An uncommon approach

Feddock, an assistant professor in the Department of Radiation Medicine, was the only physician in the area providing a brachytherapy treatment known as permanent interstitial implants. Brachytherapy, a type of internal radiation therapy, uses radiation to destroy cancer cells and shrink tumors. While brachytherapy is a common treatment option, the use of permanent seeds which, in Osborne’s case, were placed free-handed inside the vagina, were not.

According to Feddock, the general opinion among most oncologists is that once a patient develops a recurrence of their cancer and it is in a part of their body that has been radiated before, there is no curative treatment other than radical surgery. But access to an NCI-designated cancer center and physicians who conduct research on new treatment options is part of the reason Osborne is alive today.

And she is doing better than she could have ever imagined. She’s been able to watch one of her daughters become a mother and attend sleepovers with her granddaughter. “It’s the small things that I appreciate, like a beautiful spring day and the chance to enjoy the sun. This disease has taken so many people that I know; I take the chance to enjoy anything I can,” Osborne said.

Feddock has a positive outlook on her prognosis as well. “Our own results suggest that if there is no sign of cancer coming back after six months, then most women tend to do well,” he said. It’s been more than a year since Osborne’s treatment, Feddock continued, “so in her case, I am hopeful that this cancer is behind her.”

Looking toward the future

Osborne is excited for what the future could hold for her. A nurse by training, she’s interested in working with cancer patients when she returns to work. “I’ve been thinking about going back to the healthcare field; there may be more schooling in my future,” she said. Her experience as a patient who was told the end was near is something Osborne believes will make her a more empathetic healthcare provider.

Osborne has been back at the gym and preparing for her healthier life. She’s even excited to be training for her first 5K.

A referral to Dr. Feddock and an unwillingness to give up are what she credits for having the chance to enjoy the rest of her life, and that’s exactly what she plans to do.


Next steps:

  • Caring physicians, clinical trials and the power of advanced medicine all come together at the UK Markey Cancer Center to give patients the best treatment possible.
  • For many women, getting regular Pap smears could be the difference between catching cervical cancer early or discovering it late.
From soothing headaches to muscle aches, aspirin can be helpful for many. Now, a new study shows that regular aspiring use may reduce your risk for cancer.

Can regular aspirin use reduce your risk for cancer?

Written by Jill Kolesar, clinical pharmacologist and co-director of the UK Markey Cancer Center Molecular Tumor Board.

Jill Kolesar, PharmD, MS

Most of us have likely taken aspirin at some point in our lives for a common minor ailment like a headache, fever or muscle cramp. Research has also shown this drug to be an effective part of treatment for heart attacks and strokes.

But more recent research on aspirin suggests it may be beneficial in yet another way – by reducing the risk of developing and dying from several types of cancer, including colorectal, lung, breast and prostate cancers.

A new study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting analyzed aspirin use and cancer risk from more than 86,000 women over 32 years and nearly 44,000 men over 26 years. Ultimately, the study showed taking low dose (81 mg) aspirin for six or more years – from less than two tablets per week up to a tablet a day – was associated with a significant decrease in cancer risk, especially in colorectal cancers, where the reduction was 31 percent in women and 30 percent for men.

While this data is promising, we should keep in mind it is observational. That means this data does not prove aspirin reduces cancer risk, since it’s possible that people who took aspirin just had healthier habits overall.

But how does this simple, everyday medication work? It fights inflammation, the immune system’s response to disease or injury. Inflammation can destroy the “bad” bacteria or eliminate injured cells, and is usually temporary. Think about the redness and localized swelling that happens when we get a small cut or abrasion on our skin: that’s the result of the body responding to the threat of foreign bacteria and sending white blood cells to the injury to take care of the potential problem.

But when inflammation is chronic, lasting for months or even years due to injury or disease, it can become a perfect environment for many types of cancer cells to develop and thrive. By blocking the body’s ability to increase inflammation in the body, aspirin may help lower cancer risk or the spread of the disease.

Before you start taking aspirin, be aware that like any medication, using it comes with risks. The most common risks of regular aspirin use include an upset stomach, stomach ulcers and stomach bleeding. The risk for these side effects increases if you are older, drink alcohol regularly or take certain other medications.

In short, while regular aspirin use shows promise for reducing cancer risk, it may not be appropriate for everyone. If you’re concerned about your risk and wondering if you should try a regular aspirin regimen, speak with your doctor first. He or she can help you assess whether the benefits may outweigh the drawbacks in your case.


Next steps:

UK's collaborative nature has allowed the ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) program, which provides emergency support to patients, to thrive.

UK leads the way in life-saving ECMO transport

Technology plays an enormous role in advancing the quality and effectiveness of medical treatment. New technology tends to arrive first in larger, academic medical centers and subsequently spreads into the smaller city and community hospitals. As the technology continues its march to the far corners of the world, many academic hospitals consider it a moral responsibility to support the smaller hospitals, much like a big sister teaches her little sister how to ride a bike.

ECMO is a fitting example of this process. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) technology provides emergency mechanical support for desperately ill patients by mimicking the natural function of the heart and lungs. This allows the patient to rest and heal from a variety of severe cardiac and respiratory illnesses, such as flu, pneumonia, cardiomyopathy or heart attack. External pumps and oxygenators remove carbon dioxide from the blood, replace it with life-saving oxygen and then return it to the patient’s circulatory system. The patient’s heart continues to beat, but stress on the heart and lungs is diminished because the ECMO machine does much of the pumping. While ECMO doesn’t fix the underlying problem, it supports the patient hemodynamically until they can get treatment or heal on their own.

A patient on ECMO is supported around the clock by a large, highly coordinated team, including specialized nursing care, nurse practitioners, physicians and perfusionists, as well as respiratory, physical and occupational therapists. It’s an expensive process, and hospitals with smaller patient volumes often cannot support its cost.

As the technology has been adopted by more hospitals around Kentucky, they have turned to UK HealthCare for support. UK HealthCare has been using ECMO to treat its patients since 1993, and today it offers an innovative, coordinated program to assist surrounding hospitals.

Getting the program off the ground

In some cases, a hospital already has ECMO technology but doesn’t have the infrastructure to support patients long-term. In other cases, a patient needs ECMO, but the hospital doesn’t have the technology. In both cases, a place like UK is well-suited to assist.

Michael Sekela, MD, now surgical director of the UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute, first conceived the idea of ECMO transport in the early 1990s. But at that time, ECMO technology had not yet matured. “It took a long time to get the ECMO technology reliably to that level,” he said, “and it is best undertaken by a hospital with high treatment volumes and a relatively large catchment area.”

2016 data from Vizient (a think tank of hospitals around the country that embrace information sharing for performance improvement) ranks UK HealthCare No. 10 in adult ECMO patient volume, treating more patients than centers with loftier reputations, such as Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins.

As Sekela’s email inbox filled with requests for help, he recognized the need for a more formal model to support smaller hospitals and the patients they serve. “There is a large unserved need, as many institutions do not have the infrastructure in place to embrace this service,” he said. “We have the skills and the resources, and we already serve large swaths of regional and rural hospitals in and adjacent to Kentucky.”

But building such a program from the ground up would be no easy feat.

Positive reactions

For more than a year, a team at UK HealthCare worked on a blueprint for transferring ECMO patients safely to UK. The team included Sekela, Dr. Jay Zwischenberger (chairman of the Department of Surgery), Dr. Paul Tessmann, Dr. Anil Gopinath, Dr. Walt Lubbers and Patti Howard from Emergency Medicine, as well as EMS Manager Matt Ward, Mechanical Circulatory Support (MCS) Manager Julia Akhtarekhavari, MCS Coordinator Thomas Tribble and Chief Perfusionist Chuck McClendon. The plan had to support multiple scenarios (hospitals that offered ECMO but could not support a patient long-term, and hospitals that did not offer ECMO but had a patient who needed it). Any patient transport needed the space and equipment to accommodate a highly skilled team of EMTs, paramedics, critical care nurses trained in ECMO, and perfusionists. If the patient was at a hospital without an ECMO service, a surgeon was added to the transport to connect the patient to the ECMO equipment before they were transported to UK.

UK is the only center in Kentucky offering adult ECMO transport – in fact, you’d have to travel more than three hours in any direction – as far east as Charlottesville, as far north as Indianapolis, as far west as Nashville – to find another center with the same service.

Initial response to the fledgling program has been extremely positive. Wayne Lipson, MD, a cardiothoracic surgeon at Baptist Health in Madisonville, Ky., says the service helped save one of his desperately ill patients earlier this year. He describes the transfer process – from the phone call to patient transport – as seamless. “Mike [Sekela] showed up with his team at 2 a.m., less than five hours after we made the call,” he said. “Transporting a patient like this is a very difficult process, and it’s a testament to UK HealthCare that their system is so responsive.”

“Having this service available enables our team to treat more complex patients closer to home. We are armed with the knowledge that the UK HealthCare team will support us when we need it,” Lipson said

Sekela credits the team’s methodical approach to transport issues and meticulous planning and training for the service’s fantastic early success.

“This program exemplifies the collaborative culture at UK,” Sekela said. “Many months of planning and training with Emergency Medicine, Cardiovascular Surgery, Nursing and Perfusion were significant factors in the program’s success.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Next steps:

stroke

6 ways to prevent a stroke

When it comes to preventing a stroke, simple lifestyle changes can make all the difference.

Strokes occur when blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients to the brain burst or are blocked by a clot. When that happens, brain cells begin to die, affecting a person’s memory and ability to control muscles.

Stroke is the fifth-leading cause of death in the U.S. and in Kentucky, but there’s good news: Nearly 80 percent of all strokes are preventable.

In celebration of American Stroke Month, we’ve put together a list of things you can do to live a healthier lifestyle and better your chances of avoiding a stroke.

1. Get moving.

Regular physical activity will help lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, two of the biggest risk factors for stroke. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate activity five times a week. Something as simple as a brisk walk or bike ride with a friend will work wonders for your overall health.

2. Stop smoking.

Smokers are twice as likely to experience a stroke as nonsmokers. That’s because smoking thickens blood and increases the likelihood of clots. If you’re struggling to quit smoking, ask your doctor for help. And check out our blog with tips and resources that can help you or someone you know start on the path toward success.

3. Eat your vegetables.

And beans, whole grains and nuts, too – all of which are staples of a healthy diet. Improving your diet will help lower your cholesterol and blood pressure and help you maintain a healthy weight. Check out our guide for kick-starting a healthy diet.

4. Drink less.

Alcohol can increase blood pressure and the risk of stroke. Moderation is the key: For men, no more than two drinks a day, and for women, no more than one.

5. Learn about Afib.

Atrial fibrillation, also known as Afib, is a type of irregular heartbeat. If left untreated, Afib can cause blood clots in the heart that can move to the brain and cause a stroke. Talk to your doctor about Afib if you experience symptoms such as heart palpitations or shortness of breath. Learn more about the UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute’s Heart Rhythm Program and listen to a podcast with our Afib specialist, Dr. Ted Wright.

6. Understand the things you can’t control.

Although improving your diet, ramping up your activity and living a healthy lifestyle can all decrease your risk for stroke, there are some risk factors you cannot control. Things like age, gender and race all play a role in stroke risk, and even though you can’t change those factors, it’s important to understand if you’re more susceptible.

Click the icon below to see our Stroke Quick Facts inforgraphic.

Stroke quick facts infographic from UK HealthCare


Next steps:

  • At the UK Comprehensive Stroke Center, we offer treatment, prevention and rehabilitation services for stroke patients. Learn more about our program.
  • Dr. Gretchen Wells, director of UK’s Women’s Heart Health Program, writes about why knowing your family health history can help you understand your own risk of disease. Read her blog.

 

Dr. Michael Karpf, UK’s executive vice president for health affairs, was recently awarded the Kentucky Hospital Association's Distinguished Service Award.

Karpf receives Kentucky Hospital Association’s highest honor

Dr. Michael Karpf, UK’s executive vice president for health affairs, was given the Kentucky Hospital Association’s highest award last week in honor of his exceptional service to UK HealthCare, the community, the state and the association.

Karpf was given the KHA’s Distinguished Service Award on May 19 during the 88th Annual KHA Convention in Lexington. Since coming to UK in 2003, Karpf’s leadership has led to unprecedented growth and expansion for UK HealthCare. In the past 14 years, UK has invested close to $2 billion for faculty recruitment, program development, technology acquisition and facilities, while also fostering partnerships with leading regional health providers across the state to extend care to those who need it most.

UK HealthCare is a thriving super-regional referral center with aspirations to become a medical destination and one of the nation’s best healthcare providers, due in large measure to Karpf’s vision and leadership. Last fall, Karpf announced his decision to retire later in 2017. A national search for his successor is currently underway.

Karpf has served on the KHA Board of Trustees from 2010 until 2015, and he continues to support and serve KHA through the System Presidents’ Forum.

Recognition for UK HealthCare volunteer

UK’s Snow Bunny Baby Project was also honored by the KHA, earning the HANDS Award (Helping Accomplish Noteworthy Duties Successfully), which is given to outstanding volunteer and auxiliary programs in hospitals across the state.

The Snow Bunny Baby project, created in 2015 by dedicated UK volunteer Sunny King, provides holiday gift baskets to families of babies in the Kentucky Children’s Hospital neonatal intensive care unit.

Betty Rucker, chair of the KHA Committee on Volunteer Services, presents a 2017 HANDS Award to Sunny King (middle) and Katie Tibbitts of UK HealthCare.


Next steps:

UK is researching how a mobile application teaches patients diaphragmatic breathing, a technique which may alleviate muscle tension in victims of violence.

UK study looks to mobile app to help victims of abuse manage pain

Women who have suffered from sexual or physical abuse often have residual muscle tension and pain, a symptom of extended stress and activity within the body. Now, two UK researchers are studying how a smartphone app could help these women manage chronic pain.

Charles Carlson, the Robert H. and Anna B. Culton Endowed Professor in the UK Center for Research on Violence Against Women, says a significant portion of the clinic’s female patients have suffered from sexual or physical abuse at some point in their lives, which often results in tension throughout the body that can lead to pain.

Trauma often causes a prolonged state of increased sympathetic tone within the body,” Carlson said. “The chronic hypervigilance may be associated with scanning for danger around every corner. [This can lead] to a state of prolonged and unnecessary muscle tension and eventually, if unchecked, may contribute to muscle-based pain conditions such as myalgia. It is not surprising, therefore, that a significant number of our patients with chronic pain reported experience with physical or sexual abuse.”

Carlson, who is also a professor of psychology in the UK College of Arts and Sciences, and Matt Russell, a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology, want to help patients learn to calm their hypervigilance through strategies that can manage the excessive activation of muscle-based pain. Their previous research shows that patients with chronic pain can find relief through self-regulation strategies that include slow-paced, diaphragmatic breathing – a form of relaxation training.

App teaches self-guided breathing

With the help of a smartphone app that teaches users how to do diaphragmatic breathing, the researchers are currently conducting a clinical trial at the UK Orofacial Pain Clinic, working with patients experiencing myalgia and other chronic pain in the head and neck regions.

Diaphragmatic breathing is a practice most people can learn, so Carlson and Russell are exploring whether patients can help manage their pain by learning to breathe diaphragmatically without the use of a professional therapist. By providing patients with a mobile application that teaches the diaphragmatic breathing approach, the team hypothesizes patients will learn to self-regulate their body’s sympathetic tone to manage their pain.

“We designed the smartphone application to teach patients the basics of paced, diaphragmatic breathing with audio directions only,” Russell said. “Then, we use a visual aid to help pace their breathing, an important piece of strengthening the parasympathetic response.”

The current project will examine the effectiveness of the smartphone health intervention to improve treatment outcomes above standard dental care. The participants recruited through the Orofacial Pain Clinic will receive either standard dental care alone, or standard dental care plus the mobile application on their iPhone/iPad or a provided iPod Touch. Patients using the application will track their daily breathing practices and pain levels, while those receiving standard dental care alone will track only their pain levels. All participants will complete weekly assessments, and at each clinic follow-up visit, participants’ progress will be monitored by collecting measures of their current self-regulation skills.

While a quick iTunes search can result in hundreds of apps that promote breathing strategies to treat various ailments, Carlson emphasizes the importance of empirical evidence.

“To our knowledge, there are no published studies empirically validating that these applications can deliver on their promises,” he said. “As clinical scientists, we believe that before we tell our patients our application will help, we need evidence from a scientific study.”


Next steps:

UK scientist joins program that promotes diversity in research

Dr. Brittany Smalls, an assistant professor in the UK Center for Health Services Research, has been selected as a scholar in the 2017-18 Programs to Increase Diversity among Individuals Engaged in Health-Related Research Advanced Health Disparities Research Training program.

As a scholar for this program, Smalls will receive advanced training that facilitates successful team science and contributes to decreases in health disparities through research. This year-long mentoring experience will offer training that includes experiential skill development in grantsmanship, scientific writing strategies, epidemiological/bio-statistical methods and more.

The program was established to provide junior faculty from backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical research with opportunities to gain the knowledge and tools they need to carry out independent and meaningful research and advance their careers.

This initiative is sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. The institute provides global leadership for research, training and education programs to promote the prevention and treatment of heart, lung and blood diseases and enhance the health of all individuals so that they can live longer and more fulfilling lives.


Next steps:

New Lexington Shriners facility

New Shriners facility enhances patient care, strengthens collaboration with UK

On Sunday, patients, medical center staff and doctors, donors, and UK HealthCare leaders came together to dedicate the new Shriners Hospitals for Children Medical Center Lexington facility, which opened earlier this spring on the UK HealthCare campus.

While healthcare providers at Shriners Medical Center and Kentucky Children’s Hospital have collaborated for decades, the opening of the new facility will better accommodate follow-up appointments for patients seeing multiple doctors for complex medical conditions.

“Shriners Medical Center moving to the UK HealthCare campus allows for seamless care to occur across institutional boundaries,” said Dr. Ryan Muchow, a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon at Shriners and UK HealthCare. “The patients are benefited tremendously when two excellent institutions combine mission and service to advance the pediatric orthopaedic care.”

Continuity of care

When the new facility opened earlier this year, patients like Zayleigh Hancock were the first to benefit.

Zayleigh, a longtime patient at Shriners, was born with a complex medical condition called hemiplegia cerebral palsy (CP), a brain impairment that impacts a person’s ability to control movement and posture. Traveling to Lexington from her hometown of Morristown, Tenn., the 10-year-old has received ongoing treatment and numerous surgical interventions at both Shriners and KCH to improve her mobility and quality of life.

Earlier this year, Zayleigh’s head started slumping to the side, a symptom caused by overlapping bones in her neck. The condition required an inpatient surgical procedure at KCH and follow-up care and assessment at Shriners.

This close connection between KCH and Shriners, which is now connected by a pedestrian bridge to UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital and KCH, enabled seamless inpatient treatment and post-surgical care for Zayleigh. In addition, Zayleigh benefited from continuity of care, seeing familiar orthopaedic surgeons who have monitored her condition for years while also having access to advanced pediatric specialists at KCH.

A history of collaboration

Shriners has operated in Lexington since 1926. Transitioning from its former location on Richmond Road, Shriners now occupies 60,000 square feet of space on the bottom three floors of the new building on South Limestone. UK HealthCare leases the top two floors for ophthalmology services. The new Shriners includes a motion analysis center, 20 patient exam rooms, two surgical suites, a rehabilitation gymnasium, a prosthetics and orthotics department, therapy rooms, and interactive artwork. The energy-efficient building has geothermal heating and cooling, LED lighting and occupancy sensors, and automated equipment and controls.

UK HealthCare and Shriners have forged a longstanding collaborative relationship through years of service to Kentucky’s children. Pediatric specialists in the fields of orthopaedics, anesthesiology and rehabilitation serve on the medical staff of both organizations.

Mark D. Birdwhistell, vice president for administration and external affairs at UK HealthCare, called the new facility a win for UK, Shriners and the Lexington community.

“The building we are dedicating today will allow us to collaborate in a whole new way,” Birdwhistell said during the dedication, “bringing together Shriners Medical Center’s pediatric orthopaedic expertise and the Kentucky Children’s Hospital’s specialty and subspecialty care for children with complex conditions.”

Watch the video below to hear Dr. Henry Iwinksi, the chief of staff at Shriners and pediatric surgeon at UK HealthCare, discuss the longstanding relationship between Shriners and UK and what the new facility will mean for kids and families in the Commonwealth.


Next steps:

  • Learn more about the pediatric orthopaedic care provided by the experts at KCH and Shriners.
  • When your child is sick or hurt, you want the best care possible. That’s exactly what you get at Kentucky Children’s Hospital. Learn more about KCH.
Dr. Lattermann, director for Cartilage Repair and Restoration at UK HealthCare, spoke about what inspired his career in sports medicine.

Watch: 5 questions with sports surgeon Dr. Christian Lattermann

Each day brings something different for Dr. Christian Lattermann; that’s one of the things that keeps him passionate about his job.

As director of the Center for Cartilage Repair and Restoration at UK Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine, Lattermann treats patients, does community outreach, conducts research and mentors students.

Even though he’s a leader in the field, he says his patients teach him something new every day.

Watch this episode of “Five Questions” to learn how a semi-professional soccer career inspired Lattermann to become an orthopaedic surgeon and why he’s so excited about the sports medicine research happening here at UK.


Next steps:

  • Learn more about the UK Center for Cartilage Repair and Restoration, which offers operative and nonoperative treatments for a wide array of cartilage-related conditions.
  • After a torn meniscus and a failed surgery, marathon runner Lisa Hall was told she would need a knee replacement. Not willing to give up on her goals, Lisa turned to UK Sports Medicine and Dr. Lattermann for help. Read Lisa’s story.