UK partners with faith organization to address memory loss in African-American communities

Phyllis Wilson knows all too well the devastating impact Alzheimer’s disease can have on an individual and the family.

Growing up, Wilson watched Alzheimer’s disease take her mother’s life. Her painful memories of watching her suffer from the symptoms of the disease remain with her to this day. When she first started noticing signs of the disease in herself, she enrolled in a clinical trial at the UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, not just for herself, but for her children and grandchildren.

“I worry about what that did to my family. It’s hard to watch; I can’t describe it. I know I don’t want to be in that predicament,” Wilson said. “I read about a clinical trial at the Sanders-Brown Center at UK and I wanted to get involved. It won’t help me, but it might help my kids and grandkids.”

Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and eventually the ability to carry out simple tasks. More than 5 million people in the U.S. are currently living with the disease, and that number could rise as high as 16 million by 2050.

African-Americans like Wilson are two times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than Caucasians and are less likely to have an early diagnosis of their condition, which means less time for treatment and planning.

In an effort to the limit the toll Alzheimer’s takes in the African-American community, Sanders-Brown recently teamed up with The Balm in Gilead to raise awareness about memory-related disorders. The Balm in Gilead is a faith-based organization that addresses prevalent public health issues among African-Americans.

As an aspect of the partnership, Sanders-Brown developed educational materials to be distributed in churches and other faith-based organizations during The Balm in Gilead’s Memory Weekend event. Memory Weekend launched in Lexington on June 11 and was celebrated in 25 churches across Kentucky.

Awareness can lead to early diagnosis

There are no known genetic factors to explain why African-Americans are at an increased risk for Alzheimer’s. However, the known risk factors for the disease, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, are more common in African-Americans.

The Alzheimer’s Association reports that African-Americans are less likely than Caucasians to have a formal diagnosis of their condition because they are less likely to report symptoms of memory loss to their doctors. That’s why spreading awareness about Alzheimer’s disease among African-Americans in non-medical settings is crucial to early diagnosis.

Markeda Yarbrough, a clinical research assistant at Sanders-Brown, says the church is the single most important influence in bringing the African-American community together.

“It’s about building trust in a community where there is a great deal of mistrust of the medical community,” Yarbrough said. “Church members will often go to other church members with health concerns. It’s a place where members can go to other members who are knowledgeable and caring.”

Yarbrough said that African-American women tend to be screened for Alzheimer’s four to five times more than African-American men, who are more reluctant. If not diagnosed in the early stages, the disease may progress so far that treatments aren’t as effective.

Wilson says although she’s not comfortable approaching people to initiate a conversation about Alzheimer’s disease, she has no problem talking about it if someone were to ask her.

“I don’t want other people to have to deal with this disease,” she said. “When I think about what it did to my family, it kills my soul.”


Next steps:

UK Sports Medicine Research Institute

New UK Sports Medicine Research Institute focuses on injury prevention, athlete performance

UK celebrated on Tuesday the opening of the new UK Sports Medicine Research Institute (SMRI), spearheaded by the UK College of Health Sciences and supported in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of Defense.

The 10,000-square-foot facility, part of the UK Nutter Training Facility on campus, will conduct research into injury prevention and performance optimization for professional and collegiate athletes, the tactical athletes of the U.S. military, and physically active people of all ages in Kentucky and beyond.

“Our research and scholarly endeavors offer the brightest hope for transformation and change for our Commonwealth and the broader world we serve,” UK President Dr. Eli Capilouto said. “This sentiment fuels the work of this university, and it fuels the work of the Sports Medicine Research Institute.”

Capilouto held the institute up as an example of the university’s efforts to collaborate across disciplines in addressing the challenges and disparities that face the Commonwealth, noting that seven UK colleges are involved in the work of the SMRI, in addition to personnel from UK HealthCare.

There is no similar facility within 400 miles of Lexington.

State-of-the-art technology

The SMRI is outfitted with sophisticated equipment to assess biomechanical, physiological, musculoskeletal and neurocognitive health. It’s supported by a team of eight core faculty, staff, and research assistants and 40 affiliate faculty. In addition to its Lexington location, SMRI operates a facility in Camp Lejeune, N.C., where its team works directly with MARSOC – the Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command.

A biomechanics laboratory conducts motion analysis studies using 14 cameras and a dual-force plate system in the floor, similar to the technology used to make video games and animated movies. Equipment shaped like a horse simulates realistic movement for jockeys and other equestrians.

There is also a neurocognitive lab that uses virtual reality to assess visual acuity, reaction times and balance, which are critical measurements for concussion recovery.

Other equipment is designed to measure oxygen consumption, workload and metabolic costs, physiological stress, and the influence of sleep deprivation/fatigue, all of which are important contributors to musculoskeletal strength, endurance, operational performance and injury risk.

Dr. Scott Lephart, dean of the UK College of Health Sciences and founder of the SMRI, leads the $4.2 million Department of Defense grant that helped launch the institute. He said that the military can adapt from lessons learned in athletics and vice-versa.

“The elite warriors of the U.S. military are expected to be at peak performance in extremely dangerous and unpredictable situations, and there’s no room – either financially or personally – for them to sustain a preventable injury,” said Lephart, who is also UK Endowed Chair of Orthopaedic Research. “Our research with athletes both military and civilian is mutually beneficial, and it will result in strategies for injury prevention and performance for every walk of life.”

Impacts in education, health

University of Kentucky Provost Tim Tracy emphasized that the SMRI serves an educational need, in addition to its missions in research and clinical care, noting that the program provides educational experiences for both undergraduate and graduate students across the university.

“With this emphasis on collaboration, the different branches of UK’s mission – education, research, service and care – converge in the work of the SMRI,” he said.

Dr. Michael Karpf, UK executive vice president for health affairs, predicts that SMRI’s impact will extend far beyond the realms of tactical warriors and professional athletes.

“SMRI is a powerful merger of research, outreach and collaboration, enhancing UK HealthCare’s efforts to address chronic disease and poor health in Kentucky,” Karpf said.

UK Director of Athletics Mitch Barnhart noted that the SMRI was not just a valuable resource for UK athletes, but for professional and youth athletes across Kentucky and nationally.

“This is yet another example of the power of partnership on our campus,” Barnhart said. “By working together, we are creating cutting-edge resources for athletes both here at UK and beyond. The efforts of the SMRI will help minimize injury and maximize athletic performance in sports ranging from football to NASCAR and from basketball to horse racing.”

UK Sports Medicine Research Institute

Leaders from UK, UK HealthCare and UK Athletics came together to celebrate the opening of the SMRI.


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Markey extends cancer network to Prestonsburg

Highlands Regional Medical Center in Prestonsburg, Ky., has announced a new affiliation with the UK Markey Cancer Center, the state’s only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center.

By becoming a UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network member, Highlands Regional Medical Center will now be able to offer more patients in Eastern Kentucky access to additional specialty and subspecialty care, including clinical trials and advanced technology, while allowing them to stay in their region for most treatments.

The UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network supports UK HealthCare’s overall mission of ensuring no Kentuckian will have to leave the state to get access to top-of-the-line healthcare.

“UK HealthCare doesn’t just serve Lexington and Central Kentucky – our mission is to provide all Kentuckians with the best possible care right here in the state,” said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK executive vice president for health affairs. “The Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network allows us to collaborate with community hospitals to provide top-notch cancer care much closer to home – saving both travel expenses and time for the patients, in addition to keeping them close to their personal support system.”

Highlands Regional Medical Center is a not-for-profit, community-owned and operated hospital established to serve Floyd, Johnson, Martin and Magoffin counties by providing high-quality health services and other community resources that will develop a healthier community.

“Affiliating with the UK Markey Cancer Center opens the door to numerous resources for our hospital and community,” said Harold C. Warman Jr., president and chief executive officer at Highlands Regional Medical Center. “Our staff will benefit from continued education opportunities, our community will benefit from health promotion and access to the most recent community-based cancer care, and our doctors will have access to the latest in cancer care professional education. Markey is a national leader in cancer research and care, and we are grateful for our association.”

The UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network was created to provide high-quality cancer care closer to home for patients across the region, and to minimize the effects of cancer through prevention and education programs, exceptional clinical care and access to research.

“Navigating cancer treatment can be challenging for patients and their families,” said Dr. Swaty Arora, medical oncologist/hematologist at Highlands Regional Medical Center. “At Highlands, our goal is to provide standard-of-care treatment in a timely and cost-effective manner. This affiliation validates our intention to provide quality care and affords access to resources to optimize patient care.”

The UK Markey Cancer Center is one of only 69 medical centers in the country to earn an NCI cancer center designation. Because of the designation, Markey patients have access to new drugs, treatment options and clinical trials offered only at NCI centers.

Moving forward, the UK Markey Cancer Center is working toward the next tier of designation – an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. Currently, 45 of the 69 NCI-designated cancer centers in the country hold a comprehensive cancer center status. The UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network will play a large role in bringing that next level of cancer funding to Kentucky.

“Kentucky is home to some of the worst cancer rates in the country,” said Dr. Timothy Mullett, medical director of the UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network. “Collaborating with our affiliate hospitals across the state will enable us to make a positive impact on the dire cancer rates here in the Commonwealth.”

The UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network began in 2006 and comprises 17 hospitals across the state of Kentucky. Learn more.

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Next steps:

  • Learn more about the UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network, which gives people across Kentucky access to high-quality cancer services and programs through collaboration with community hospitals.
  • Markey is Kentucky’s only NCI-designated cancer center, providing world-class cancer care right here in the Commonwealth. Learn more about why patients choose Markey for their cancer treatment.

Barnstable Brown proud to sponsor UK Opera Theatre’s ‘It’s a Grand Night for Singing’

The UK HealthCare Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center is proud to sponsor the 25th anniversary of the UK Opera Theatre’s It’s a Grand Night for Singing, running now through June 19.

This is the first year of sponsorship between the Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center and the UK Opera Theatre.

“We look forward to a long and wonderful relationship with the talented physicians and researchers working to find solutions to one of our nation’s most pressing health issues,” said Everett McCorvey, DMA, producer and executive director of the UK Opera Theatre.

About Barnstable Brown

Established in 2008, the Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center is a multidisciplinary center designed to conduct research, provide medical management in every area of diabetes and deliver educational support to assist patients and families in implementing lifestyle changes.

Patricia Barnstable-Brown and her twin sister, Priscilla Barnstable, host the annual Barnstable Brown Kentucky Derby Eve Gala. The celebrity-packed gala’s financial impact to the diabetes center at UK has been about $13 million over the past 10 years.


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Kentucky Neuroscience Institute recognized for high-quality stroke patient care

The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association recently honored UK HealthCare’s Kentucky Neuroscience Institute (KNI) with the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award and the Target Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus Award.

These achievements recognize UK HealthCare’s commitment and success in adhering to the most current, evidence-based stroke treatment guidelines for stroke patient care and outcomes.

To receive the Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award, hospitals must achieve 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month periods. They must also achieve 75 percent or higher compliance with five of eight Get With The Guidelines-Stroke quality measures.

The Target Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus recognition is given to hospitals that treat more than 75 percent of appropriate patients with clot-busting drugs within 60 minutes of arrival and more than 50 percent within 45 minutes.

The quality measures are designed to help hospital teams provide the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. They focus on appropriate use of guideline-based care for stroke patients, including aggressive use of medications such as clot-busting and anticlotting drugs, blood thinners and cholesterol-reducing drugs, preventive action for deep vein thrombosis, and smoking-cessation counseling.

Larry Goldstein, MD

Larry Goldstein, MD

“Comprehensive Stroke Center status reflects our capability to provide the most advanced care for patients with stroke,” said KNI Co-Director Dr. Larry Goldstein. “These awards further underscore the hard work of our multidisciplinary team of neurologists, neurosurgeons, emergency physicians, nurses, therapists and others to optimize care delivery for stroke patients right here in Lexington.”

2017 marks the seventh year that KNI has received Gold Plus designation. It is the only hospital in Lexington to have both the Get With The Guidelines Stroke Gold Plus and Target Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus designations.

The KNI Stroke Center is also certified as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by The Joint Commission – its highest honor.


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UK HealthCare, The Medical Center and WKU are opening a medical campus in Bowling Green, Ky., to increase access to healthcare for generations to come.

UK celebrates groundbreaking of new College of Medicine-Bowling Green campus

Healthcare leaders from UK, The Medical Center at Bowling Green and Western Kentucky University celebrated on Tuesday the groundbreaking of the new UK College of Medicine-Bowling Green campus.

The four-year, regional campus medical school is the first of its kind in Kentucky and is a partnership between The Medical Center, UK and WKU.

The UK College of Medicine-Bowling Green Campus will be a fully functioning campus, using the same curriculum and assessments as UK’s campus in Lexington. On-site faculty will have UK College of Medicine appointments and teach in small groups and provide simulation/standardized patient experiences with lectures delivered on-site from Lexington using educational technology. Additionally, clinical experiences will occur at The Medical Center at Bowling Green and surrounding community practices.

“At the University of Kentucky, we know that working together – across disciplines and across the Commonwealth – is the best way to ensure real, positive change for those we serve,” UK President Eli Capilouto said. “This collaboration will allow us to effectively and efficiently utilize existing resources throughout the state to meet this important need for more physicians and greater access to healthcare.”

“Through this investment in education, we are continuing to increase access to quality healthcare – and ensuring that we have the physicians available to take care of generations to come,” said Connie Smith, president and chief executive officer of Med Center Health. “We have always had a commitment to bringing the best in healthcare to our communities. This medical school is going to raise the bar even higher as we increase opportunities for research and technology and adhere to the latest in evidence-based practice.”

Basic science and early didactic training will be taught in conjunction with faculty at WKU through both on-site classes and distance education methods in accordance with UK College of Medicine curricular protocols.

“This partnership helps ensure our state will remain competitive as the landscape of healthcare changes,” said Dr. Robert DiPaola, dean of the UK College of Medicine. “It also signals a new beginning in the efforts to train more physicians in Kentucky, for Kentucky, and especially a new beginning for our future students as they embark on this journey and career in medicine. It is an honor to celebrate this milestone with our partners in developing the UK College of Medicine-Bowling Green campus.”

Longtime UK faculty member and administrator Dr. Todd Cheever will serve as the first associate dean for the Bowling Green campus. Dr. Don Brown, a vascular surgeon and Bowling Green physician, who also serves as director of medical education at The Medical Center, has been named assistant dean.

The UK College of Medicine-Bowling Green Campus will host 30 students per year. The facility will be part of a multipurpose building attached to a five-story parking garage constructed on the campus of The Medical Center. Construction is scheduled for completion by the summer of 2018.


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cancer survivor

Markey clinic promotes quality of life for cancer survivors

This Sunday is National Cancer Survivors Day, an annual event that encourages those who have survived  cancer to celebrate milestones and supports patients and families currently going through treatment.

At the UK Markey Cancer Center, we have a specialized program just for cancer survivors that offers support and resources to help navigate the complicated and often-overwhelming aspects of life after treatment.

Cancer Survivorship Clinic

Even after treatment is complete, cancer can impact a patient’s physical, emotional, social and financial well-being. Our Cancer Survivorship Clinic is designed to help patients overcome those challenges by connecting their medical history with their future quality of life as a cancer survivor.

When a patient is referred to the Survivorship Clinic, they meet with a provider who specializes in survivorship care. That provider then works with the patient to customize a personalized plan that coordinates ongoing medical care and promotes the patient’s health and wellness moving forward.

Individual care plans address important aspects of patients’ continued care including long-term effects of treatment, diet and nutrition, emotional and psychological support, and social and financial concerns.

The Cancer Survivorship Clinics are located in the Whitney-Hendrickson Building and the Ben Roach Building at the UK Markey Cancer Center. If you have questions about our clinic or would like to make an appointment, please call us at 800-333-8874.

Expressions of Courage

Later this month, Markey and the Survivorship Clinic will host the annual Expressions of Courage event, a cancer survivor celebration timed to coincide with other nationwide celebrations in June for Cancer Survivorship Month.

Expressions of Courage honors the experiences of those who have battled cancer by displaying their art and creative expressions, many of which can be linked to their cancer experiences. This year’s event is scheduled from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on June 9 and will feature visual, literary, and musical performances from Markey cancer survivors as well as a free lunch and access to support services.

Learn more about Expressions of Courage and register for the event today.


Next steps:

  • Markey is Kentucky’s only NCI-designated cancer center, providing world-class cancer care right here in the Commonwealth. Learn more about why patients choose Markey for their cancer treatment.
  • When her previous oncologist told Annette Osborne there was no hope, she came to Markey and found another chance at life. Read Annette’s story.
During the third annual Appalachian Research Day, UK researchers revealed the insights of their studies aimed at addressing health problems of rural Ky.

Appalachian Research Day addresses rural health issues

Inviting researchers to “come sit on the porch” and share their findings with community members, the UK Center for Excellence in Rural Health (CERH) hosted its third annual Appalachian Research Day in Hazard, Ky., on May 24.

Rural Appalachian communities experience some of the most severe health disparities in the nation, and community-based research is an effective method to identify problems and develop collaborative, effective solutions.

This type of engaged research begins at the local level, built on the foundation of relationships with individuals, neighborhoods and groups who have common questions and concerns. And for many researchers at UK and partner institutions, the CERH is an indispensable resource for conducting community-based research. It provides local connections, infrastructure, dedicated research personnel and a team of community health workers, called Kentucky Homeplace, who engage participants and gather data.

“Appalachian Research Day is an important and exciting day for us each year at the UK Center of Excellence in Rural Health. It is an opportunity for us to provide research updates to our community about relevant issues that affect all of us,” said Fran Feltner, director of the CERH. “Appalachian Research Day is also an opportunity for dialogue with community members to discuss what we can come up with together to better our lives in Appalachia.”

This year’s event, which was held at Hazard Community and Technical College to accommodate the growing number of participants, included Hazard Mayor Jimmy Lindon and Perry County Judge-Executive Scott Alexander, who both made remarks during lunch. Also present were Andrea Begley, field office representative for U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers, and Jenna Meyer of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who is on special assignment in Eastern Kentucky for the Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) initiative.

Research insights in cancer, addiction, nutrition

Featured presentations reported findings from five health research studies conducted with Appalachian communities:

  • Dr. Susanne Arnold, associate director of clinical translation at the UK Markey Cancer Center, presented her research examining the interrelated causes of lung cancer and how to combat them. She reported that lung cancer risk has environmental, physical and molecular causes, some of which can be prevented.
  • Nancy Schoenberg, PhD, associate dean for research of the UK College of Public Health and Marion Pearsall Professor of Behavioral Science in the UK College of Medicine, studies the health of grandfamilies in Appalachia. Her recent study with rural adults over age 65 found that half of them struggled to make ends meet and experienced many physical health problems.
  • Dr. Judith Feinberg, professor in the Department of Behavioral Medicine & Psychiatry at West Virginia University School of Medicine, studies behavioral medicine and psychiatry. She presented her research on addiction as a chronic, relapsing brain disease, reporting that syringe services programs (SSPs) operate under the principles of harm reduction and have been shown to offer significant protection for people injecting drugs, including lower risk of HIV infection.
  • Jarod T. Giger, PhD, of the UK colleges of social work, medicine and public health, studies child well-being in Eastern Kentucky. In a recent study, he found that children in three Eastern Kentucky counties reported relatively high amounts of electronic health literacy but low amounts of overall life satisfaction and affective and psychological well-being.
  • Omopé Carter Daboiku is an Appalachian foodways scholar who leads workshops that operate on an emotional level to help participants understand that adapting family recipes to healthier versions doesn’t disrespect one’s ancestors. Her work incorporates nostalgic attachment to food memories, with the understanding that the relationships these memories invoke can make it difficult to prepare healthier food.

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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.”

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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.
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.


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