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.


Next steps:

UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network

Markey extends cancer network to Somerset

Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital in Somerset has announced a new affiliation with the UK Markey Cancer Center, the state’s only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center.

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.

By becoming a Markey affiliate, Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital will now be able to offer its patients access to additional specialty and subspecialty physicians and care, including clinical trials and advanced technology, while allowing them to stay in South Central Kentucky for most treatments.

The 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.”

Established in 1976, Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital is a 295-bed acute care facility, providing healthcare services for an 11-county service area in South Central Kentucky. With more than 40 physician specialties and nearly 200 physicians on staff, Lake Cumberland offers the most comprehensive services in the region.

“As we work toward fulfilling our mission of ‘Making Communities Healthier,’ it is clear to me that the relationship between Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital and the Markey Cancer Center will go a long way in achieving that goal,” said Tim Bess, Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital chief executive officer. “Our community will benefit greatly from this relationship. We are honored to partner with the UK Markey Cancer Center.”

Markey 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, Markey is working toward the next tier of designation – an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. Currently, 47 of the 69 NCI-designated cancer centers in the country hold a comprehensive cancer center status. The Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network will play a significant role in bringing that next level of cancer funding to Kentucky.

“The burden of cancer in Kentucky is huge, and unfortunately we have some of the worst cancer rates in the country,” said Dr. Timothy Mullett, medical director of the UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network. “By collaborating with our affiliate hospitals across the state, we have the potential to make a serious impact on cancer care here in the Commonwealth.”

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


Next steps:

To increase the number of preventive colorectal screenings, the UK Markey Cancer Center will follow a National Cancer Institute (NCI) initiative.

Markey joins national colorectal cancer screening initiative

The UK Markey Cancer Center is joining a National Cancer Institute (NCI) initiative aimed at improving colorectal cancer screening rates among men and women aged 50 and older from racially, ethnically and geographically diverse communities.

The national Screen to Save (S2S) Colorectal Cancer Outreach and Screening Initiative is led by the NCI’s Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities.

Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men and women combined. Kentucky’s mortality rate is among the highest in the country, and more than 800 people in the state die from the disease each year.

Markey’s Mindy Rogers, a community health educator, will collaborate with state and regional organizations and community stakeholders throughout Appalachian Kentucky to conduct the initiative’s culturally tailored education and outreach.

“Colorectal cancer is a screenable cancer. The earlier we can find the disease, the better the chances of survival,” Rogers said. “The intent of this initiative is to provide additional community and regional resources to aid our efforts to improve cancer screening rates and save lives. The S2S effort complements many of our existing colorectal cancer outreach programs conducted by colleagues at Markey and its affiliates, the Kentucky Cancer Program and our local health departments.”

S2S stems from research recommendations from the Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel and will be supported by the Geographic Management of Cancer Health Disparities Program Region 1 North, led by Dr. Mark Dignan, the co-leader of Markey Cancer Prevention and Control.


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Empowering those in our community affected by Down syndrome

Written by Traci Brewer, executive director of the Down Syndrome Association of Central Kentucky (DSACK). UK HealthCare is proud to support DSACK and many other community organizations.

Today, March 21, is World Down Syndrome Day. Why? Because it’s 3/21, and people with Down syndrome have three copies of the 21st chromosome. That means they have 47 chromosomes instead of the typical 46, so we like to say they have a little something extra.

A lot has changed over the years for people with Down syndrome and for those who help care for them. As recently as the 1980s, individuals with Down syndrome had an average life expectancy of 25. Today, thanks to better medical treatments and screening, people with Down syndrome can live well into their 60s.

Education has also changed dramatically. As recently as the 1980s, families were told to institutionalize their loved ones with Down syndrome because they would never be able to read, write, talk, or contribute anything of value to their family or society. Today, right here in Kentucky, people with Down syndrome are attending college, working in meaningful jobs, driving, dating, volunteering in their communities and living productive, meaningful lives.

Organizations such as the Down Syndrome Association of Central Kentucky provide support for new families and empower self-advocates and their families by providing important information such as early math and literacy learning, financial planning, Individualized Education Plans consulting, career planning, and much more. One of our most exciting initiatives is We Work!, a multiphase program for students age 15 and older that teaches job skills, leadership skills, how to explore career opportunities and how to serve as peer mentors.

Recently someone said that DSACK has a great story to tell and many more chapters to be written. We still have more milestones to reach, more bridges to cross and many more chapters to write. You can learn more about us by visiting our website at www.dsack.org and by visiting our Facebook page, the Down Syndrome Association of Central Kentucky.


Next steps:

The Snow Baby Bunny Project collects items and monetary donations for NICU families in need. Items included diapers, toys, onesies and a reassuring note.

Helping NICU families have happy holidays

Two years ago, Sunny King began to volunteer at UK HealthCare as a “baby cuddler.” When volunteers were no longer able to enter the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) last year, King was determined to do something to support the patients and families during the holidays. Since it was the holiday season, she thought a gift basket could help them with their new bundles of joy. NICU managers shared with King the items patients and their families were in need of during their transition, and King got to work collecting.

From that discussion, the Snow Bunny Baby Project was born.

The Snow Baby Bunny Project

In 2015, King and a team of volunteers worked together to collect donated items and monetary donations. The baskets included diapers, toys, onesies and a note to reassure families they were supported, not only by UK HealthCare, but by their community as well. Last year the group was able to assemble and distribute baskets to all the families in UK HealthCare’s NICU. The goal for this year is to create 80 baskets – 70 for UK HealthCare and 10 for Saint Joseph East. King hopes that each year the project will be able to grow and eventually other regional hospitals can be included.

After baskets are assembled, they are given to families by NICU managers. According to King, this project was started as a way to “show love to moms” and as a “love-offering for families.” Having a sick child, especially a sick newborn, can be incredibly stressful, and the holiday season can often add to that stress. This gesture helps families have one less thing to worry about.

How you can help

Those interested in donating items can bring them to the hospital volunteer office in Pavilion A of Albert B. Chandler Hospital. Monetary contributions can be given and will be used to purchase items; a gift of $25 covers the cost of an entire basket and 100 percent of proceeds will go to purchasing items for baskets.

Items needed for baskets include:

  • Baby wash
  • Diapers, size two
  • Baby wipes (70-100 count)
  • Infant toys
  • Infant wash cloths
  • Onesies (size 6 to 9 months)

Monetary donations can be mailed to UK HealthCare Volunteer Services at 1000 S. Limestone, Lexington, KY 40536.

For further information on the project or to make a donation, Sunny King can be reached at sunnynicoleking@gmail.com.


Next steps:

For more than 30 years, employees at the University of Kentucky and UK HealthCare have worked to fulfill wishes during the holiday season. Each year, the Circle of Love program has expanded and reached more children in and around Fayette County.

Here’s your chance to make a child’s holiday wishes come true

For more than 30 years, employees at the University of Kentucky and UK HealthCare have worked to fulfill wishes during the holiday season. Each year, the Circle of Love program has expanded and reached more children in and around Fayette County.

More magical every year

Planning begins in July and a committee made up of UK employees works to ensure each year is more magical than the last. Shawna Baker, Barbara Bush and Betty Newsom are three of the members of the committee that ensure children across the Bluegrass will receive holiday gifts. With a combined 49 years of experience volunteering with this project, they have distributing wish lists, collecting presents, wrapping and transporting gifts down to a science.

Baker said this opportunity as a volunteer has helped her “get involved and get to learn about the surrounding community.” Each year, committee members are provided a county, and they are responsible for getting in touch with guidance counselors at the various schools and getting a list of names and wish lists from students.

Gifts from big to small

While some participants go big with their wish list, many students’ requests are simple. “Their wants are things so many people take for granted,” Newsom said. Wish lists often include winter coats, hats and gloves. Children participating in this program range from elementary students to high schoolers, but gift requests can include items for infants and toddlers, as some students use this opportunity to request gifts for younger family members.

Everyone is encouraged to get involved. With more than 800 children participating in this year’s event, there are plenty of chances for individuals and departments to adopt a child or children and do some shopping. Thanks to the committee members, volunteers and the generosity of the UK HealthCare community, these holiday wishes can be fulfilled.

How you can help

Students and staff will have the opportunity to select a wish list at several locations on the medical campus during the following days:

  • Wednesday, Nov. 16 to Friday, Nov. 18
  • Monday, Nov. 21 to Wednesday, Nov. 23
  • Monday, Nov. 28 to Friday, Dec. 2

At these locations:

  • Gift of Life Wall in UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital Pavillion A from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Third floor of the Kentucky Clinic from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Good Samaritan Hospital from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Wrapped gifts with wish list cards can be returned Monday, Dec. 5, or Tuesday, Dec. 6, at the following locations:

  • Chandler Hospital Pavillion A Atrium, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Good Samaritan Hospital Administration office, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

On Friday, Dec. 9, buses and vans will arrive in front of UK Chandler Hospital to be loaded with gifts.


Next steps:

  • UK HealthCare off-site and shift employees interested in picking up a wish list outside of the listed hours can email Volunteer Services Manager Katie Tibbitts at tibbitts@uky.edu.
  • Learn more about our programs for kids by visiting Kentucky Children’s Hospital.
Songs for Sound Hear the Music

Songs for Sound event benefits UK Cochlear Implant Program

For the third year, the UK Cochlear Implant Program and the Lexington Hearing and Speech Center are partnering with Songs for Sound, a program dedicated to improving the quality of life for those who have profound hearing loss.

Songs for Sound will host its Hear the Music event in Lexington, bringing some of country music’s most elite songwriters to share their music and the stories behind the lyrics. All proceeds benefit the UK Cochlear Implant Program and the Lexington Hearing and Speech Center. This year’s event will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 6 at the Manchester Music Hall.

Dr. Matthew Bush

Dr. Matthew Bush

“Songs for Sound Hear the Music event is such an important event for our patients, the University of Kentucky and our region” said Dr. Matthew Bush, a clinician and researcher at UK Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery and leader of the UK Cochlear Implant Program.

“It represents a collaborative effort among dedicated clinicians, amazing patients and the generous Songs for Sound team. Our cochlear implant program has grown progressively over the past 20 years and this event will enable us to expand our research and extent our reach to provide the absolute best hearing healthcare for patient throughout Kentucky and beyond. This will be a fantastic event that will highlight top country artists and patients who, in spite of their hearing loss, have regained the ability to hear the music.”

Songs for Sound was founded by Jamie and Kevin Vernon of Nashville, parents of Lexi, who at 1 1/2 years old, was diagnosed with profound hearing loss. The Vernons learned that Lexi was eligible for a cochlear implant  a small electronic device implanted just behind the ear  which brought sound into their daughter’s life and allowed her to blossom into an active, speaking and hearing child.

Songs for Sound travels across the country hosting Hear the Music events with the help of friends from Nashville’s music industry, in an effort to raise awareness of profound hearing loss. The organization provides free hearing screenings and access to needed resources, such as the resources found at UK, the primary cochlear implant center of Central and Eastern Kentucky since 1989.


Next steps:

  • Interested in attending this year’s Songs for Sound event? Sponsorship tickets for the event start at $30 per ticket or $50 for two. General admission tickets can be purchased for $10. To purchase tickets, visit Songs for Sound online or call 917-796-1636.
  • Learn more about cochlear implants, including who is a candidate for the device and how they’re different from hearing aids.
Health care for LGBTQ community

UK coalition aims to improve health care for LGBTQ community

Concerns about privacy, safety, stigmatization and quality of care often deter members of the LGBTQ community from accessing health care services and resources. Disengagement from the health care system has contributed to many health disparities affecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer population.

A new coalition at the University of Kentucky is working to increase LGBTQ health care engagement and provide safe clinical environments for LGBTQ individuals seeking treatment.

Transform Health is a health care home serving LGBTQ patients in the Lexington and UK community. The university-wide initiative comprises UK faculty members and health care providers, including doctors, nurses and counselors, as well community members.

The initiative aims to improve patient care, conduct evidence-based research, market and promote LGBTQ-specific health services, and educate health care providers about customizing care to the distinctive needs of these patients.

“Our objective is to promote health services centered on the unique needs of LGBTQ patients,” said Dr. Keisa Fallin-Bennett, a UK Family & Community Medicine physician and Transform Health task force member.

“Creating inclusive health care settings is not just about providing services. We are building a movement through patient care, provider training and research that aims to improve the climate of health care for LGBTQ individuals in the local community. We want patients to be able to identify a safe and welcoming space for care and be a resource for students and providers.”

Transform Health providers, who are located at multiple UK clinic locations, offer medical treatment and services for the specific medical and psychological needs of LGBTQ patients. These nurses, doctors, counselors, and educators foster inclusive environments while providing medical treatment and services such as preventive care, hormone therapy, counseling and tobacco cessation therapies.


Next steps:

  • Transform Health clinics are located at the UK Family & Community Medicine clinic at Turfland. Appointments are available this fall. To make an appointment or refer a patient, call 859-323-6371 and ask for a Transform Health Clinic appointment.
  • Students who use University Health Service and are seeking a specific hormone therapy through a Transform Health provider should ask for the specific need when making their appointment. To reach UHS, call 859-323-2778.
  • Learn more about Transform Health and the UK Office of LGBTQ Resources.

Educating Kentucky on cancer, one child at a time

Standing in front of a group of rowdy young children, Eastern Kentucky native Melissa Hounshell only has to do one thing to grab their attention – bring out Mr. Gross Mouth.

Melissa Hounshell

Melissa Hounshell

Aptly named, Mr. Gross Mouth is a prop set of teeth and gums beleaguered by various medical problems caused by smoking and/or poor hygiene – rotting teeth, tongue cancer, lesions and more. The kids excitedly voice their shock and disgust as Hounshell runs through all the bad habits that might lead to such a set of teeth in real life.

“Kids love how shockingly gross ‘he’ really is,” Hounshell said. “Especially the tongue. They love to pass around the tongue!”

As the UK Markey Cancer Center’s community outreach director, Hounshell spends her days traveling the state, partnering with businesses and programs in local communities to raise awareness and educate the public about cancer risk factors and screenings.

One of her latest endeavors is a youth outreach program called Get Fit, Be Smart, Don’t Start. Using eye-catching props like Mr. Gross Mouth, it’s geared toward educating young children and encouraging them to take an interest in their parents’ health in addition to their own.

In a region where many adults avoid cancer screenings out of fear of what they might find, Hounshell notes the importance of getting children involved.

“We feel like it’s really important to work with children in the state,” she said. “What we’re really trying to do is reach that younger population and change that mindset, to make them understand the importance and value of health and wellness throughout their lives, not just when they’re 40, 50, 60 years old.”

Kids from the Winchester YMCA examine several of the health-related props that Hounshell brings along to her visits.

Overall, the youth program emphasizes a healthy lifestyle encompassing a good diet, staying active, avoiding smoking and tobacco products, and even the dangers of distracted driving. But considering Kentucky’s No. 1 ranking in both cancer incidence and mortality in the country, the likelihood of these children having some connection to cancer in their family is high, and Hounshell hopes her message of prevention sinks in.

“I encourage kids many times to go and talk with their parents or grandparents about either stopping smoking or getting mammograms or colonoscopies, because so many times a child can ask someone to do something and they’ll do it,” Hounshell said. “Whereas if a physician says, ‘It’s time for your mammogram,’ the patient might ignore it. But if her granddaughter comes and says, ‘You know, you really need to have a mammogram,’ she may listen.”

A personal perspective

Hounshell’s passion for cancer education comes from a very personal place. An only child, she saw both parents suffer from cancer, with her father – a smoker – succumbing to lung cancer just 11 weeks after diagnosis. Her mother, a nonsmoker, later battled breast cancer, celebrating six years of survival this month.

“This is very personal to me, it’s not just a job,” Hounshell said. “That’s why I work at Markey. Because I understand – I truly understand – the value of a wonderful cancer center, but I also understand how harsh cancer can be.”

Markey’s outreach program as a whole has one overarching goal: to reduce cancer rates in the state. Though it will take more time and a lot of data to see the program’s overall success, Hounshell says every small positive anecdote that gets back to her keeps her driven: a middle-schooler who saw how much tar goes into the body from a half pack of cigarettes a day and vowed to ask her grandmother to quit; an older man who picked up a free Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) at a Markey screening event that led to the discovery and treatment of a pre-cancerous polyp; the countless young children who have pledged to ask their parents not to text and drive.

“It’s not necessarily about the big numbers, but a change in mentality,” Hounshell said. “It’s more about the long-term impact, maybe in 10 years we look back and can say, ‘These kids have helped change the way we think about cancer.'”

Check out our Q&A with Melissa about colon cancer screening.

Much of Hounshell’s travels have taken her to the eastern half of the state, where the cancer rates are particularly dire. However, with the UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network growing and expanding into Western Kentucky, she’s prepared to travel anywhere in Kentucky to improve cancer education and offer information on screenings to those who need it.

“I work with a lot of affiliate partners, but you don’t have to be an affiliate with our screening and outreach program,” she said. “I’ll partner with anybody as long as they’re passionate about getting Kentuckians screened for cancer.”


Next steps:

Team "Sun Shall Shine" is ready to "Survive the Night" to benefit cancer awareness.

UK HealthCare athletes ready to ‘Survive the Night’ to raise cancer awareness

In most work environments, teambuilding exercises usually don’t require actual physical activity. But for the UK HealthCare employees participating in this weekend’s second Survive the Night Triathlon, bonding will form over 140.7 miles of swimming, biking and running through the night into the early morning.

Developed by Markey Cancer Center radiation oncologist Dr. Jonathan Feddock, an avid triathlete, the event is a relay that allows up to 10 people to take on different sections of the race, playing to their personal strengths. Survive the Night is a part of a two-day bicycling event happening this weekend. All proceeds will benefit cancer research and programs at the UK Markey Cancer Center and the pediatric oncology clinic at Kentucky Children’s Hospital..

Team Running on Vapor, formed by nurse anesthetists and anesthesiologists who work in the brachytherapy suite with Feddock, is taking a second go-round in Survive the Night after competing last year. Team members Robbie Campbell and John Fletcher competed last year and say they’re looking forward to a repeat performance.

“We had a really good time last year,” Campbell said. “We developed a lot of camaraderie as a department.”

“We don’t really see each other until lunch or a break,” Fletcher added. “With this event, you got to see everyone in a completely different environment.”

Inspiration to others

Pharmacy resident Beth Cady, captain of Team Sun Shall Shine, heard about the event through the Bluegrass Cycling Club. As a former high school teacher and coach, and an athlete herself, Cady decided to gather a team of pharmacy specialists from the Markey Cancer Center, Transplant Center, and other parts of UK HealthCare to enter the competition this year. Cady says her team has two main objectives going into the race.

“Our goals are to complete something none of us have ever done, and also to just be an inspiration to others,” Cady said. “We’re just looking to have fun and spread a positive message.”

Team Sun Shall Shine’s inspiration comes from someone very close to the UK pharmacy community: Shane Winstead, who served as a pharmacy specialist for UK HealthCare for more than 20 years and continues to mentor young pharmacists at the university. Diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer in January 2015, Shane’s positivity in light of a dire situation has rallied everyone around her.

“Her personality, her positive attitude, and her zest for life have been very infectious,” Cady said. “She’s been a driving force in our department. We were looking for some way to honor her, but also to exemplify the life she’s been living for the past two years.”

Cady’s group also has a special secret weapon. To further energize their team, Shane’s daughter Madison — an elite swimmer who will enter UK as a freshman this fall — will swim a few laps at the beginning of the race. Due to her training for the Olympic trials, the swimming will be more symbolic than competitive, but it’s one more way the team is honoring Shane and showing their strength as not just co-workers, but as family — or “pharmily,” as they affectionately call themselves.

“So Madison’s going to swim a few laps followed by a few of us not-so-qualified swimmers,” Cady said. “But we’ve got some triathletes on our team. We’re not necessarily looking to win, but we feel like we’re gonna do a darn good job out there.”

Standing up for Markey patients

Beginning this Friday at 7:30 p.m., teams Running on Vapor and Sun Shall Shine will take to the pool on UK’s campus alongside 22 other teams to kick off the Survive the Night Triathlon.

While the teams trickle in to the finish line at Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday morning, the Lexington Cancer Foundation is also hosting its annual Roll for the Cure bike event at Commonwealth to raise awareness and funds for cancer care. Participants can choose the length of their ride: 95, 50, 35, or 10 miles through Kentucky horse farms, or a short Family Fun ride around the stadium. The longer rides will include rest stops at Buffalo Trace and Woodford Reserve.

Knowing that this event was created by a Markey doctor and directly benefits the patients at the cancer center is another reason Campbell felt compelled to compete again this year.

“It’s really motivating to see Dr. Feddock put himself out there for his patients,” Campbell said. “It feels like we’re all taking some ownership of the hospital.”

“I’m sure everyone knows at least someone in their life who has been affected by cancer,” Cady said. “So we wanted to raise awareness, potentially fundraise, and just do something good.”