UK senior is all smiles thanks to collaborative care at UK Dentistry

Simple tasks like biting into a crisp apple or snacking on baby carrots might not be a privilege for most people. But for pre-dental student and UK senior Joy Andrade, complications resulting from reconstructive jaw surgery meant that every decision regarding eating had to be carefully planned and tightly restricted.

In 2013, the summer before her senior year of high school, Andrade underwent surgery to correct a series of skeletal malformations including an underbite, cross bite and open bite. The procedure was intended to be one of the final steps in years of orthodontic treatments, which had included three sets of braces, a palatal expander and multiple extractions. Instead, Andrade faced an entirely new set of obstacles as she was left with a great deal of bone loss and eventually lost six of her upper teeth.

These complications left the sociable student and high school soccer player homebound and feeling isolated for much of her senior year. For months, she visited specialist after specialist and was continuously told that her condition was an unfortunate rare and severe combination.

“At this point I had become cold to dentists,” Andrade explained. “I was really resentful. I was losing teeth; I was losing hair. In thousands of cases, why me?”

Finding the right help at UK

Finally, in late 2013, Andrade found the medical support she needed when she was referred to the UK Dentistry to meet oral surgeon Dr. Joseph Van Sickels. After evaluating Andrade’s case, Van Sickels enlisted the help of Dr. Rodrigo Fuentealba in prosthodontics.

“They’re a great team,” Andrade said. “They were professional and knowledgeable, but warm and comforting. The more you get to know them, the more you realize how great they are.”

Van Sickels and Fuentealba have taken extra care in Andrade’s treatment, working to rebuild a strong foundation of bone and gum tissue to support dental implants. She has undergone several additional surgeries, including a bone graft from her hip, to repair the damage from her initial operation. Throughout this time, she has received two different sets of dental flippers and wore temporary crowns for two years.

“Dr. Fuentealba is an artist. He constructed my teeth while I was sitting right there, while most dentists would have sent that work to a lab. I knew I was in good hands,” Andrade said.

Seeing practical results – and a career

Andrade has a lot more to smile about these days. This summer, she received permanent crowns, which have improved both her outlook and her functionality.

“I can eat corn, apples and other things I used to steer clear of,” she said. “Being able to eat a noodle all by myself – these little victories are when you realize the change.”

Andrade’s journey is far from over, as her condition will require monitoring and progress checks for decades. Looking back, however, Andrade says going through the experience with the help of UK Dentistry has changed her life for the better. Now in her senior year of college at UK, she is preparing to enter dental school upon graduation – hopefully at the UK College of Dentistry.

“It is a big, life-changing event, but it’s given me a different quality of life, and I see myself differently,” she said. “And to anyone going through something similar, it gets better. To have an awesome team that knows what they’re doing and treats you like family – it makes a difference. My life would not be what it is today without them.”

Next steps:

  • Learn more about UK Dentistry, which offers expert comprehensive dental treatment for the entire family, including general, orthodontic and oral surgery services.
  • Read how dental implants gave one UK Dentistry patient a new smile and new confidence.

New UK clinic provides specialized treatment for opioid abuse

Many people with opioid-use disorder (OUD) come in contact with the healthcare system for issues related to substance use. Often, people present to the emergency room with an opioid overdose or infections from drug injections. These infections can require lengthy hospitalization and surgical intervention.

When patients receive treatment for medical complications related to OUD and injection drug use, they may not receive treatment for the underlying substance-use disorder. By failing to address the underlying cause of the medical complications, patients remain vulnerable to reinfection, readmission or even death.

When the state began looking for ideas to address the opioid epidemic in Kentucky, three experts from UK – Drs. Sharon Walsh, Michelle Lofwall and Laura Fanucchi – submitted a plan to give patients at the hospital better access to treatment specifically for OUD.

Building a partnership to provide strong care

Through the new First Bridge Clinic, located at the UK Center on Drug and Alcohol Research, Walsh, Lofwall and Fanucchi are creating a new setting where patients can receive evidence-based care for OUD. Patients may receive FDA-approved medications for OUD, counseling services, and monitoring aimed to promote remission and recovery.

In partnership with the emergency departments at UK HealthCare and with financial support from the state through the CURES Act, Walsh, Lofwall and Fanucchi are creating a clinical setting where providers in the emergency department can refer patients to receive transitional care for OUD.

“We’re developing a new clinic, and it’s going to partner closely with the ED so when patients are referred they can receive care rapidly and within the same healthcare system with the aid of peer support,” Walsh said.

Collaborating for greater access across the Commonwealth

Additionally, Walsh, Lofwall and Fanucchi will share information with facilitators from the two other sites in the state also awarded funding to create similar clinics.

“The need for this clinic is clear,” Lofwall said. “If the underlying addiction isn’t treated, the person goes back to active addiction and is at very high risk for death and/or reinfection requiring another hospitalization with complicated medical and surgical treatments.”

In creating this new multidisciplinary service, the UK team is hoping to positively impact the opioid epidemic by expanding and improving access to recovery services for patients.

Next steps:

Making the Rounds with Dr. Andrew Kolodziej

The best part of this cardiologist’s job? Giving patients a second chance.

Making the RoundsFor our latest installment of Making the Rounds, we chatted with Dr. Andrew Kolodziej, a cardiologist at the UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute who specializes in advanced heart failure, heart transplant and pulmonary hypertension.

What kinds of conditions do you treat?

I usually see patients who have heart failure and who require additional medicines to keep them going. Oftentimes, patients are referred to me after their doctors have exhausted all their means of treatment.

I also see pulmonary hypertension patients – patients with elevated pressures in the vessels of the lungs. Blood vessels in your lungs have a separate physiology and respond to different stresses in their own way. And ultimately that condition can result in heart failure. Hence my interest in both conditions, because they often go hand-in-hand.

When did you decide to pursue a career in medicine?

This really goes back to my junior high school years. There was a dramatic moment in my life where I was hit by a car crossing the street. I ended up in the emergency room, and luckily, nothing major happened to me. But the paramedics that literally picked me up off the ground made an impact on my life going forward.

That experience really interested me in taking care of patients, specifically in emergency medicine and critical-care situations – really sick patients. I became an emergency medical technician and then graduated to a paramedic position, which was always a stepping stone to something more. Ultimately, that was medical school.

When I went to medical school, I went toward cardiology. Heart doctors always get asked why we picked cardiology specifically. It’s partly the heart being the core and the soul of any human being, as well as the fact that the patient population is generally really sick. That really interested me.

How would you describe your patient-care philosophy?

Being a patient myself sort of put things in perspective for me. Approaching patients, I see myself in their position. I see my family in their position. And ultimately, it goes for all of my colleagues in the cardiology department: We approach our patients as part of our family.

Our patient population is very sick, and they stay with us for a long time. Hopefully we get to do something for their heart, either with a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) – which is a device that replaces the function of a failing heart – or through heart transplant. Our patients stay with us for a long time, and I really get a chance to be a part of their family. I think that’s what makes me who I am.

What’s the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is to take somebody who is essentially dying and giving them a second chance at life. When a patient gets an LVAD or a transplant and they’re discharged home, and then they get to walk their daughter down the aisle – that’s what makes me move forward. It’s the best part of what I do.

How do you spend your time away from work?

I do a lot of endurance sports. I’m actually a triathlete. I haven’t done too many official events, but that is really my hobby.

Living in Lexington, if you get out running, and if you run for two or three hours, it’s just so beautiful out there. Same thing goes for bike riding. You can go up to Richmond and back and make that 60-mile ride. It’s so beautiful, and it passes by so quickly. I was on a ride once, and there were a couple of young horses that just started racing with us. It was great.

What’s your favorite food?

I’m vegan, so I’ll try anything that is vegan. You can explore lots of different foods, and it’s as healthy as it can get. And there’s so many vegan options now and so much interest in it that people will make vegan food that tastes like meat. It literally looks and tastes look “regular food.” But it’s so much healthier, so you don’t feel guilty.

Check out our video interview with Dr. Kolodziej, where he tells us more about what makes the care teams at UK HealthCare so special.

Next steps:

massage therapy at UK HealthCare

Treat or treatment? Massage therapy provides real health benefits

Marilyn Burke

Marilyn Burke

Written by Marilyn Burke, LMT, APP, CITI, a licensed massage therapist at UK HealthCare.

Our UK Integrative Medicine & Health program compliments traditional medicines and therapies to help treat the whole person, with an emphasis on healing and wellness.

One way we do that is through massage therapy, a practice that nurtures the mind-body connection and fosters a sense of peace, comfort and relaxation.

What is massage therapy?

Massage therapy involves structured touch, holding, pressure and manipulation of the soft tissues in the body to promote healing and a sense of well-being. There are different approaches to massage, all of which emphasize personalized, one-on-one care that can be tailored to the needs of the individual.

What are the benefits of massage therapy?

Studies have shown that massage therapy has a positive impact on the mind and body and can be beneficial in managing the side effects of many medical conditions.

In general, massage relieves muscle tension and stress, reduces anxiety and fluid retention, improves sleep, and restores hope. But exactly how massage affects the individual depends on the type of therapy administered. We offer several different types of massages here at UK HealthCare.

Types of massages we offer

Relaxation: A relaxation or Swedish massage helps reduce stress and soothe and calm the body. Treatment consists of flowing strokes, kneading and gentle manipulations of the muscles performed at a lighter pressure. Benefits include reduced inflammation, stress, soreness and blood pressure. Relaxation massage also enhances sleep, circulation and overall well-being.

Therapeutic: A therapeutic massage incorporates firm, focused movements to help address a specific problem, such as pain or tightness, by manipulating muscle tissue to promote structural changes within the body. Benefits may include improved range of motion, less pain and reduced swelling.

Oncology: Oncology massage therapy is designed for those undergoing cancer treatment or those who have had cancer treatment in the past. It helps relieve short- and long-term side effects of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. Our licensed therapists are specially trained in cancer massage and will adapt massage techniques to each patient’s unique health situation.

Prenatal: Prenatal massage can help manage the side effects of pregnancy, such as pain and discomfort in the back and shoulders, joint and muscle strain, fluid retention, and anxiety. Prenatal massage is suitable only for women in their second and third trimesters of pregnancy.

Reiki: Reiki provides a sense of calm and relaxation, reduces pain, and improves sleep. The practice involves a gentle placement of hands above the body, using life-force energy to facilitate the process of healing. Reiki can be added to any massage session.

Aromatherapy: Aromatherapy is the use of fragrance to improve physical or psychological well-being. Scents such as lavender, citrus, ginger and peppermint have been shown to relieve some of the side effects of illness, including nausea and pain. Aromatherapy can be added to any massage or Reiki session for an extra fee.

Massage therapy at UK HealthCare

Patients and their family members as well as UK HealthCare staff members can all take advantage of the massage services we provide. If you have any questions or concerns about physical limitations that may affect your ability to receive a massage, please talk to your physician and consult our massage therapy staff.

Prices for massages vary depending on the type of massage requested and the length of the session. We accept cash, check or credit card for payment. See the full price list here.

For more information about pricing and to schedule a massage, call 859-323-HEAL(4325). To speak to a practitioner about massage therapy, call 859-323-1797 or email me at

Next steps:

  • Looking for a great holiday gift for a patient or staff member at UK HealthCare? Call 859-323-4325 (HEAL) to purchase a massage therapy gift certificate.
  • Find out more about UK Integrative Medicine & Health, which focuses on the treating the whole patient using all appropriate therapies, healthcare expertise and disciplines to achieve optimal health and healing.

UK expert recommends medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction

Dr. Michael Kindred

By Dr. Michael Kindred, assistant professor in the UK College of Medicine.

Of the 20.5 million Americans 12 or older that had a substance-use disorder in 2015, two million had a substance-use disorder involving prescription pain relievers, and more than a half-million more had a substance-use disorder involving heroin, according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine. That’s more than 2.5 million Americans who are in need of assistance treating opioid-use disorder.

One evidence-based treatment option available is medication-assisted treatment (MAT). Like the word assisted in the name suggests, MAT is meant to be provided in conjunction with counseling and other services that aid patients in reducing some of the stressors that can lead to active addiction. Programs like PATHways in the UK College of Nursing are an example of that. In addition to MAT, the program offers counseling, peer support and other healthcare services.

The type of medication commonly used for opioid-use disorder is called buprenorphine. It is provided to patients at intervals that are determined by their doctor. The medication can be delivered as a film placed under the tongue or a pill, but research is being conducted to find alternative delivery routes such as implants or injections.

In order to provide MAT, there are several requirements a physician must meet; those requirements are set by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. First, the prescriber must be licensed under state law, they must register with the DEA, and they must complete training and/or certification. Providers must all be able to refer patients to counseling or other services. There are also restrictions on how many patients a doctor can treat using MAT; during the first year of securing the DEA waiver, providers can treat up to 30 patients, after the first year they can apply to treat up to 100 patients, and after the second year they can apply to treat up to 275 patients.

The opioid epidemic has impacted every corner of the United States, especially rural communities that have difficulty accessing medical care, but there are options available for helping those in active addiction enter recovery.

Next steps:

Markey 11th floor

Markey unveils new state-of-the-art cancer care floor in Pavilion A

The UK Markey Cancer Center on Friday unveiled its new inpatient floor on the 11th floor of the UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital Pavilion A. The state-of-the-art facility will allow the care teams at Markey to treat more patients with complex cancer diagnoses in an environment specifically designed for healing.

The new floor has a unit in each tower: Tower 100 houses the James and Gay Hardymon Patient Care Unit, a 31-bed unit for medical and surgical oncology patients. Tower 200 is home to the Darley Blood and Marrow Transplantation Unit, a 32-bed unit for bone marrow transplant and patients with blood cancers. Between the two units, eight total new cancer inpatient beds have been added.

“For more than 30 years, Markey has been providing exceptional cancer care to the citizens of Kentucky, and our patient volume has increased dramatically in the past several years,” said Markey Director Dr. Mark Evers. “This is the first time we’ve been able to expand clinical care into new space. We are thrilled to open up this state-of-the-art facility for our inpatients, which has been specifically designed to cater to the needs of our patients and staff alike.”

Don’t miss the video tour and photo gallery of the new floor at the end of this blog!

Comfortable and functional

The new rooms are substantially larger in size than those on the previous Markey inpatient floors: All patient rooms in Pavilion A are private and nearly 300 square feet in size. Large windows provide natural light and outdoor views, an important factor for patients who may require lengthy inpatient stays for complex cancers.

“Some of our patients may stay between 20 and 40 days as an inpatient,” said Dr. Gerhard Hildebrandt, division chief of hematology and blood and marrow transplant for Markey. “The new floor lets patients feel more at home. If you’re away from your family and you undergo such aggressive treatment, it’s important that you have an environment where you feel very comfortable.”

The new floor was designed with functionality in mind: Markey’s highly trained and experienced nursing staff gave input on the layout of the floor based on their personal experiences and feedback from their patients. Each patient room is equipped with a nurse work station right outside the door, minimizing time spent away from the patient’s bedside.

“Our nurses are with these patients 24 hours a day, so they truly are the backbone of inpatient care,” said Colleen Swartz, UK HealthCare’s chief nurse executive and chief administrative officer. “Their recommendations for the creation of this floor were invaluable and have allowed us make Markey’s already stellar quality of care even more patient- and family-centered.”

The floor is also set up to facilitate the multidisciplinary approach to care, with extra spaces allowing for specialists and team members from a wide variety of areas to meet and discuss each individual patient as a team.

“Our nursing staff – who are exceptional in understanding what these patients are facing – will work with numerous specialties to ensure multidisciplinary care,” said Dr. Lowell Anthony, division chief of medical oncology at Markey. “Bringing it together is what it’s really about. Good communication among all parties creates an environment where we can heal our patients more efficiently and get them home quickly.”

Floor features

Patients on the new floor will have access to both oncology rehabilitation and integrative medicine services, including pet therapy, art therapy, music therapy, narrative medicine and much more. Additionally, the two units have features unique to Pavilion A, catering to the specific needs of cancer patients who require an inpatient stay:

  • The family suite, a hotel-style room that is connected to a patient room, allowing loved ones to literally live right next door to the patient throughout their stay. This room can be booked for a nominal fee.
  • The Family Comfort Center, a living room-style space designed by Markey patients that provides an area for families to gather, talk and take a break from the clinical space.
  • The business center, a quiet space that houses four workstations and two private offices for patients or loved ones to keep up with work or other responsibilities during their stay.
  • Concierge kitchen, opening in spring 2018, featuring an on-call chef who will offer meals that are beneficial to oncology patients and allow them access to healthy snacks and smoothies throughout the day. Additionally, two family kitchens are available for patients and their family members to prepare their own meals.
  • Several lead-lined patient rooms allowing for certain radiation procedures to be safely performed without the need to transport the patient to another location.
  • Laundry facilities for patient and family use.

Since receiving a National Cancer Institute designation in 2013, Markey has grown tremendously with around 3,300 inpatient visits a year. Overall analytic cancer cases are up 34 percent in the past five years. And in just the past three years, bone marrow transplants have increased from 80-85 performed each year to more than 110 in the past year.

“Having an NCI-designated cancer center allows patients across the whole state to have access to the very best, and Markey is a destination for people who need complex care,” said Dr. Mark Newman, executive vice president for health affairs. “With the new Markey inpatient floor, we’re trying to create the kind of environment where people can come, receive treatment and heal. It’s an environment where both the family and the patient can feel very hopeful about the potential outcomes of their treatments.”

‘A higher level of care’

Although the physical space is brand new, the most critical component of cancer care remains the same: the faculty and staff.

Markey patient Sarah Lister was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in early 2016 and spent more than four months combined as an inpatient at Markey under the care of Hildebrandt, ultimately receiving a bone marrow transplant.

She notes that for incoming patients, the new floor provides a warm, welcoming environment full of light and artwork, complementing the already stellar medical care patients can expect to receive.

“The bricks and mortar are not the most essential thing,” Lister said. “Because the staff is key – it’s the people that are the healing, the medicine comes first. But when you’re bringing all those people into this beautiful new space, I think you’re aiming for a higher level of care. This space is honoring the good work that goes on here.”

Next steps

Pain from PAD? Exercise is best, says UK expert

If you have peripheral artery disease, or PAD, even a short walk can cause pain. This pain, called intermittent claudication, or IC, is caused when arteries in your legs become blocked with plaque. PAD is a serious disease, but the good news is that treatment is usually simple.

Exercise is generally the most effective treatment for PAD. Your doctor can recommend a program of Supervised Exercise Training, also known as cardiac rehabilitation.

What to expect from supervised exercise training:

  • A personalized exercise plan that works for you.
  • An assessment of your risk factors for heart and blood vessel disease.
  • Counseling and psychological/stress assessment.
  • Education and support to help you avoid tobacco and maintain a healthy weight and diet.
  • The opportunity to meet and share stories with other patients like you.

Benefits of supervised exercise training:

  • Reduce your risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
  • Control other heart disease symptoms like chest pain or shortness of breath.
  • Stop or reverse damage to blood vessels in your heart and legs.
  • Improve your stamina and strength so you can enjoy work, hobbies and exercise.
  • Improve your confidence and well-being.
  • Monitor and control your blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes.
  • Improve communication with your doctor and other healthcare providers about your progress.

Dr. Nathan Orr, a vascular surgeon at UK HealthCare, says that an exercise program not only helps patients walk longer distances, but can also help them avoid the need for complex surgery.

“A regular, directed exercise program will result in an improvement in your quality of life, an improvement in your overall health, and a lower risk of vascular disease progressing to limb loss,” Orr said.

Exercise training can work as well as medications and other more invasive treatments for PAD and IC, and it may be covered by your insurance. Contact UK Cardiac Rehabilitation at 859-323-5424 for more information.

Next steps:

Are you washing your hands correctly? You might be surprised.

This week is National Handwashing Week, which is the perfect reminder to wash your hands frequently during the busy holiday season. In fact, handwashing with soap can prevent one in three diarrhea-related sicknesses and one in five respiratory infections, including a cold or the flu.

If you have kids, it’s also a great time to go over proper handwashing technique. Studies have shown that many people don’t wash their hands correctly, or for long enough.

How to wash

  1. Wet your hands with warm or cold water and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands, including the backs, between your fingers and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands vigorously for at least 20 seconds. You can sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” or the “Happy Birthday” song twice to make sure that you or your children are washing for long enough.
  4. Rinse your hands well under running water.
  5. Dry your hands with a clean towel or air dryer.

When to wash

Washing your hands with soap and water at key times throughout the day is one of the most important things you can do to get rid of germs. Most of us know the basics of when to wash our hands, but there are some times when it’s is most important.

  • Before and after both preparing and eating food.
  • Before and after giving medical care of any kind.
  • After using the bathroom, changing diapers, or cleaning up after a child or pet who has used the bathroom.
  • After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • After touching garbage, or when your hands are visibly dirty.

Other tips

  • If you don’t have water or soap, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Make sure that it’s at least 60 percent alcohol, and only let children use it under adult supervision.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched areas at home, work or school.
  • If possible, use a paper towel to open doors, turn faucets or even touch elevator buttons.

Next steps:

Join us in the #SinkDiabetes challenge!

One in three Kentuckians is at risk of developing diabetes. We’re determined to change that, but we need your help. Join us in the  challenge! Here’s how to participate:

  • Watch the video below.
  • Record your own shot.
  • Share it with .
  • Tag three Kentuckians to spread it on.

For every shot posted, $10 will be directed to research to cure this disease at the UK HealthCare Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center.

*Up to $15,000 will be directed to research efforts.

Next steps:

Making the Rounds with Dr. Aaron Hesselson

Meet Dr. Aaron Hesselson: engineering healthier heartbeats

Making the RoundsWe caught up with Dr. Aaron Hesselson for our latest Making the Rounds interview. Dr. Hesselson started at UK HealthCare this fall, bringing with him nearly 30 years of experience in cardiac electrophysiology. He now serves as the director of electrophysiologic services at UK. 

What types of conditions do you treat?

Electrophysiology covers all of the electrical aspects of the heart. That means I treat patients with abnormal heart rhythms. These can vary from slow heart rhythms to very rapid heart rhythms. Treatments for these conditions can range from simple monitoring and reassurance to medication and sometimes surgical procedures that can help manage or cure a certain problem.

How did your career in medicine begin?

I left college as a biomedical engineer and I was very interested in maintaining my medical background for my first job. I came across a job listing in the local newspaper that asked for a biomedical engineer to do research at a hospital in Newark, N.J.

So, rather than just sending my resume in, I decided I would show up in person. I just said, “Hey, I just happened to be in the area and I’m interested in this.” I had an initial interview and then a few more interviews, and then I got the job.

What’s the best part about being a doctor?

As an engineer, the technical aspects of the job are very appealing. But more important is the gratification we get from taking care of our patients.

Very few doctors can say that they can cure a medical issue, but in some cases we are able to do that as cardiac electrophysiologists. And that, to me, is very big. To see the appreciation of the family, patient – that makes it all worth it.

Is there an experience that has shaped your patient-care philosophy?

Yes – being a heart patient myself. When I was in college, even before I had any inkling that I wanted to go into medicine, I ended up in an intensive care unit with a fractured sternum and a bruised heart.

My experience then as a patient very much influences how I approach my patients now. I approach it from the standpoint that I’m that patient lying in the bed. The patient doesn’t know what’s going on or know the technology. They don’t know the technical terms and they don’t know what that end point is: When is my time here in the hospital going to end?

I try to anticipate what they’re thinking lying in bed because I was there. Hopefully I can anticipate their needs and their questions and make them that much more comfortable and reassured so that they know, “OK, we’ve got a plan and I feel good about it.”

Watch our video interview with Dr. Hesselson, where he explains why patients should feel confident coming to him for their care.

Next steps:

  • The UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute is a leader in diagnosing and treating abnormal heart rhythms. Learn more about Gill’s Heart Rhythm Program.
  • A new study about heart stents is in the news. Two of our experts explain what the study means and what patients and their loved ones should know.