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What African Americans should know about heart health

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and data shows that African Americans are at a higher risk for heart disease than members of other racial groups.

The main reason for this is hypertension, or high blood pressure. About two out of every five African American adults have high blood pressure, and fewer than half have it under control.

Other factors that increase your risk of heart disease are obesity and diabetes – two conditions that also have higher rates in the African American community.

Here are some lifestyle changes that can help reduce your risk factors for heart disease:

  • Eat a heart healthy diet low in salt and sugar.
  • Exercise regularly. You should get 20 to 30 minutes of exercise at least five times a week.
  • Don’t smoke, or if you do, quit – here’s how.
  • Know your numbers. Track your blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol and weight.
  • Know your family health history. If others in your family have had heart disease, you may be at a higher risk.

Work with your doctor to manage your numbers through lifestyle changes and, if needed, medication. If you have questions, talk to your nurses, doctors and pharmacists – they can all help you achieve your health goals.


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Try these simple tips to lower your diabetes risk for a healthier 2018

Resolving to live healthier in 2018? If you’re among the 84.1 million people in the U.S. at high risk for diabetes, resolving to lower that risk may be the best health move you could make.

Diabetes, which affects the way that our bodies process blood sugar, is a dangerous disease in itself, but it can also lead to other serious health issues – like heart disease, stroke and kidney failure. Type 2 diabetes develops most often in people over age 45, but more and more children and teens are affected by the disease.

While some risk factors for diabetes – like genetics or family history – can’t be changed, there is good news. Many cases of Type 2 diabetes, generally caused by being overweight or inactive, can be prevented through a few healthy changes.

Here are five tips that can reduce your diabetes risk and help you kick-start a healthy 2018:

  1. Exercise regularly. Aim for 30 minutes a day, five times a week. If that seems overwhelming, start slowly and build up to your goal.
  2. Eat a healthy diet. This should include fiber and whole grains – foods that will help you feel more full and maintain a healthy weight. Read more about how to eat here.
  3. Drink water, not soft drinks. The excess sugar found in soft drinks and other sugary drinks has been linked not only to diabetes, but also heart disease and obesity.
  4. If you smoke, try to quit. Smokers are much more likely than nonsmokers to develop diabetes. Get help quitting.
  5. Have regular health checkups. Warning signs for Type 2 diabetes can be hard to notice, so keep your appointments and talk to your doctor about maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

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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.


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Diagnosed with diabetes? Here’s what you need to know

Laura Hieronymus, DNP, MSEd, MLDE, BC-ADM, CDE, FAADE

By Laura Hieronymus, DNP, MSEd, RN, MLDE, BC-ADM, CDE, FAADE, associate director for education and quality services at the UK HealthCare Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center

When you have diabetes, you are certainly not alone. Diabetes is one of the most common chronic conditions affecting more than 30 million people in the U.S. About 5 percent of people with diabetes have Type 1. Type 2 diabetes is more common and occurs in approximately 95 percent of those with diabetes. If you are a woman with a history of gestational diabetes during pregnancy, your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes as you age is 40 to 60 percent and increases to 50 to 75 percent if you are obese.

Before developing Type 2 diabetes, many people experience pre-diabetes. This is when blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. Experts estimate that 84 million people age 18 or older have pre-diabetes.

Education is key for self-management 

Regardless of the type of diabetes you have, you will self-manage about 95 percent of your care. This means taking an active role in managing your care. Education and support from diabetes educators is essential to help you develop the skills and confidence to manage your diabetes. Not only should you be well-educated about your diabetes when you are diagnosed, but you should also be educated annually to help prevent complications specific to your treatment goals.

Diabetes self-management education and support can help you adapt when challenges to your usual level of activity, ability to function, health beliefs and/or well-being occur. Also, whenever factors such as other health issues, aging or pregnancy complicate self-management, additional diabetes education is usually necessary.

Do research to find services available for your diabetes self-management education. Check to see if the services are either accredited by the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) or recognized by the American Diabetes Association. If you have pre-diabetes, look for a diabetes prevention program (DPP) that has achieved Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognition.

Developing necessary life skills

Lifelong skills, as well as ongoing decision-making support, are necessary to self-manage diabetes. The AADE has developed seven key skills to focus on for optimal diabetes health. They are eating a healthy diet, being active, monitoring, taking medication, problem solving, reducing risks and healthy coping. The diabetes prevention program will help you develop necessary lifestyle skills to prevent or delay Type 2 diabetes.

In addition to your diabetes care team, you will ideally have diabetes support from family and friends. Lay health and community health workers who are not diabetes educators may also be instrumental in reinforcing elements of your diabetes treatment plan as well as offering emotional support. Your support system should also encourage follow-up on a routine basis with your diabetes care team and consultation with the team if you have questions or needs.

If you have diabetes – get a referral for diabetes self-management education. Likewise, if you have pre-diabetes, ask your healthcare provider for a referral to a certified diabetes prevention program. Take charge, be proactive and seek diabetes education-related services to optimize your health.

For more information about Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center education services, call 859-323-BBDC (2232), option 3.


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diabetes risk assessment

It only takes 60 seconds to assess your risk for diabetes

Diabetes affects nearly 600,000 Kentuckians  that’s one in every eight people living in the state. And many in Kentucky who have the disease don’t even know it.

Over time, diabetes damages nerves and blood vessels, which can lead to complications such as heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, blindness, nerve problems, gum infections and amputation. The good news is that recognizing possible diabetes symptoms early on can lead to successful diagnosis and treatment. Common early symptoms of diabetes include:

  • Excessive thirst and increased urination.
  • Weight loss and constant hunger.
  • Vision changes.
  • Fatigue.
  • Tingling hands and feet.
  • Red, swollen, tender gums.
  • Slow-healing sores or frequent infections.

Take the ADA’s Diabetes Risk Test to find out if you’re one of the nine in 10 Americans at risk for the disease. The test takes only 60 seconds to complete, and knowing your results is the first step toward a healthier lifestyle.


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UK researcher receives $3.1 million grant to fight health disparities in Appalachia

An initiative from the UK Colleges of Medicine and Public Health to educate people in Eastern Kentucky about cancer prevention has been awarded an additional $3.1 million grant to address the diabetes epidemic.

Since 2004, Nancy Schoenberg, the Marion Pearsall Professor of Behavioral Science at the UK College of Medicine, has been principal investigator of a series of projects in Eastern Kentucky collectively called “Faith Moves Mountains.” The project works to build community support for cervical cancer prevention and a wellness and cancer prevention program and to reduce Appalachian health disparities.

Earlier this fall, Schoenberg and her team of community and university researchers from the UK College of Medicine and the UK College of Public Health were awarded a new five-year, $3.1 million grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to continue the Faith Moves Mountains initiative and implement a project called “Clinic to Community Navigation to Improve Diabetes Outcomes” in Appalachian communities where diabetes is considered an epidemic.

Faith-based community partnerships

Like the previous projects, researchers aim to target specific health behaviors through faith-based interventions by building relationships with churches in Appalachian communities.

“We have worked over the years with about 60 or 70 churches, faith organizations in general, as well as senior centers, community centers, [and] other environments, to really promote the most scientifically rigorous projects,” Schoenberg said.

“All of my research really focuses on bringing in people from the communities melding their community knowledge and our team’s scientific knowledge to figure out the best interventions and programs to promote health and to decrease health disparities.”

For this project, Schoenberg will continue to draw on existing faith organizations and other partnerships. “We’ll reach out to new churches in new counties and new environments to promote the message of diabetes control,” she said.

Education and self-management

Appalachian Kentucky has rates of diabetes about 46 percent higher than the national average. Even more challenging is that about one-third of those who have diabetes are undiagnosed.

During the project, researchers intend to reduce adverse outcomes by educating people with Type 2 diabetes about self-management and training community-based facilitators to help coordinate healthcare services. To determine the most effective intervention components, researchers will assign participants to one of three groups: a diabetes self-management group, a patient navigation group, or a combined self-management and patient navigation group.

The self-management groups will meet in churches or other community-based venues. In addition, patient navigators will assist with educating and facilitating healthcare appointments at community-based health clinics and check-in with patients to make sure they attend medical appointments and receive adequate follow-up care.

“We want to draw on what we know works to help community members get the diabetes self-management that they need,” Schoenberg said. “Our hope is that at the end of the day, they’re able to take control of their health.”


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Barnstable Brown

UK celebrates new expansion of Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center

The UK Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center is celebrating a significant milestone in its 10-year history with a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new clinic expansion at UK HealthCare at Turfland and recognition of a recent top 50 ranking in U.S. News and World Report for patient care in endocrinology and diabetes.

Since its inception in 2008, the Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center has been a leader in diabetes prevention, education, research and comprehensive care. The new clinic space at UK HealthCare at Turfland will allow the center to care for even more patients and includes space for an education center.

The Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center was established by twins Patricia Barnstable Brown and Priscilla Barnstable along with their mother, Wilma. They pledged the initial funding to support the center in memory of Patricia Barnstable Brown’s husband, David, who passed away from complications of diabetes in 2003.

Proceeds from the family’s annual Derby Eve Gala, which attracts celebrities from across the world to the Barnstable Brown family home in Louisville, have benefited research and patient care at the diabetes center at UK. To date, more than $13 million has been donated.

“Thanks to the generosity and vision of the Barnstable Brown family, patients with diabetes in Kentucky are receiving the highest level of patient care and benefiting from innovative research that impacts treatment and understanding of the disease,” UK President Eli Capilouto said.

Treating diabetes in Kentucky

Currently, the center treats more than 7,500 adult patients and 2,500 pediatric patients each year in the management and treatment of diabetes and related diseases.

“The support from the Barnstable Brown Family has enabled us to recruit talented physicians, physician-scientists and specialized staff dedicated to the care of patients and their families,” said Dr. Mark F. Newman, UK executive vice president for health affairs. “Having a center where clinical care, research and education come together for the benefit of patients now and in the future is a tremendous asset and resource for everyone in Kentucky and beyond.”

Overall, it is estimated that more than 600,000 Kentuckians have diabetes and that as many as one in three adults in Kentucky may have pre-diabetes, either diagnosed or undiagnosed.

“As the burden of diabetes in Kentucky continues to grow, the UK Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center is pushing forward to improve diabetes prevention and quality of life and to increase better health outcomes,” said Dr. John Fowlkes, director of the center and a pediatric endocrinologist. “The newly expanded clinic marks a monumental step towards that goal.”

Comprehensive care in one location

The expansion will allow the center to care for more patients of all ages – from infants to seniors – with diabetes and related disorders at one consolidated location. The Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center at Turfland also will house on-site access to pharmacy and supplies, ophthalmology and optometry services, laboratory testing, ultrasound, and radiology.

Services offered include consultation with expert diabetes specialists; coordination of care for diabetes complications; screening and management; and comprehensive patient education plans.

Clinical resources include:

  • 11 physicians and four advanced practice providers at the adult clinic.
  • Five physicians, two advanced practice providers, a certified social worker and nursing resources at the pediatric clinic.
  • Six outpatient clinic-based diabetes educators.
  • Five outpatient diabetes educators.

Impacting lives across Kentucky

“This is a very emotional and heartfelt time for me to witness the recognition of the center as it continues to expand and flourish in helping patients throughout the Kentucky,” Patricia Barnstable Brown said. “The expansion of space and resources means the center can touch even more lives across the Commonwealth and beyond.”

Touching lives is at the heart of what the center is all about.

Lives impacted include those of the Middleton family of Lexington – James (JC) and Lisa, along with their children, Kara and Max. JC and both children have Type 1 diabetes and receive care and diabetes management at the Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center.

“Diabetes has touched our entire family,” said JC Middleton. “It’s a different challenge every day, but we are learning to live a full and healthy life with diabetes with the help of the Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center.”


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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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The 29th annual Barnstable Brown Kentucky Derby Eve Gala will take place Friday, May 5 in Louisville. It has raised over $13 million over the past decade.

Celebrity guests announced for this year’s Barnstable Brown Kentucky Derby Eve Gala

The 29th annual Barnstable Brown Kentucky Derby Eve Gala will take place Friday, May 5 in Louisville. The gala benefits the UK Barnstable Brown Kentucky Diabetes and Obesity Center.

Even if you aren’t able to attend the Barnstable Brown Derby Eve Gala, you can still support the groundbreaking diabetes research at the UK HealthCare Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center. Donations can be sent to: UK HealthCare Office of Philanthropy, Attn: Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center, PO Box 34184, Lexington, KY 40588.

The annual star-studded bash is held at the home of Patricia Barnstable-Brown, who co-hosts the event with her twin sister, Priscilla Barnstable. The event is internationally recognized as the “premier” Kentucky Derby gala and counted among the “Ten Best Parties in the World” by Condé Nast.

This year’s guests will include:

  • Tom Brady
  • Kid Rock
  • Tracy Morgan
  • Katie Couric
  • Larry David
  • Kacey Musgraves
  • Aaron Rodgers
  • Sammy Hagar
  • Richie Sambora
  • Harry Connick Jr.
  • Brian McKnight
  • Maren Morris (Grammy-winning country music artist)
  • Rob Gronkowski (New England Patriots)
  • Kix Brooks (Brooks & Dunn)
  • Justin Hartley (This is Us)
  • Boyz II Men
  • Rickie Fowler (PGA Tour golfer)
  • Brooks Koepka (PGA Tour golfer)
  • Justin Thomas (PGA Tour golfer)
  • Jimmy Walker (PGA Tour golfer)
  • Johnny Gill
  • Montgomery Gentry
  • Orianthi
  • Stephen Amell
  • Josh Henderson
  • Travis Tritt
  • Terri Clark
  • Cam (Grammy-nominated country music artist)
  • Clay Walker
  • Giada De Laurentiis
  • Chrishell Stause
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Rickey Medlocke
  • Jordan Smith (The Voice)
  • Taylor Dayne
  • Joey Fatone
  • Bode Miller
  • Mary Wilson
  • Randall Cobb (Green Bay Packers)
  • Jay Gruden (NFL head coach)
  • Wes Welker (former All-Pro NFL player)
  • Matt Cassel (Tennessee Titans)
  • Mike Vrabel (Houston Texans)
  • Larry Izzo (Houston Texans)
  • Rob O’Neill (Decorated U.S. Navy Seal)
  • Larry Birkhead
  • Justin Cornwell (Training Day)

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The American Diabetes Association of the Bluegrass is asking companies around Lexington to check their risk for Type 2 diabetes by participate in Alert Day.

It only takes 60 seconds to assess your risk for diabetes

Diabetes affects nearly 600,000 Kentuckians  that’s one in every eight people living in the state. And many in Kentucky who have the disease don’t even know it.

Over time, diabetes damages nerves and blood vessels, which can lead to complications such as heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, blindness, nerve problems, gum infections and amputation. The good news is that recognizing possible diabetes symptoms early on can lead to successful diagnosis and treatment. Common early symptoms of diabetes include:

  • Excessive thirst and increased urination.
  • Weight loss and constant hunger.
  • Vision changes.
  • Fatigue.
  • Tingling hands and feet.
  • Red, swollen, tender gums.
  • Slow-healing sores or frequent infections.

Alert Day

Today is the American Diabetes Association’s Alert Day and a great opportunity to assess your risk for diabetes. Take the ADA’s Diabetes Risk Test to find out if you’re one of the nine in 10 Americans at risk for the disease. The test takes only 60 seconds to complete, and knowing your results is the first step toward a healthier lifestyle.


Next steps: