LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 30, 2015) — Columbia Gas has patched the gas line rupture at the Woodland Glen V residence hall construction site and traffic and pedestrians are being allowed to enter the area now. Students and staff who had been evacuated from Woodland Glen I-III, Smith Hall and Ingels Hall are allowed to re-enter the buildings. Lexington Fire units have left the area. Columbia Gas will stay on the scene making permanent repairs to the line. The area is now open to motor and pedestrian traffic.
Around 200 students and residence hall staff members were evacuated as well as construction crews while Columbia Gas worked to stop the leak.
The gas line was ruptured during construction at the Woodland Glen V site a little before 8 a.m. today and the area was reopened around 9:30 a.m.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 30, 2015) — Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear issued a proclamation Monday, July 27, commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a landmark law protecting the individual liberties of those living with disabilities.
Joining Beshear at the Capitol, Sasha Rabchevsky, a University of Kentucky professor of physiology and member of the Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center (SCoBIRC), was recognized for his work advocating and implementing laws for disabled individuals living in Kentucky. Rabchevsky, who was paralyzed from the waist down after a motorcycle accident in 1985, was invited to represent the Kentucky Congress on Spinal Cord Injury (KCSCI) as vice president, along with quadriplegic president Jason Jones from the Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR). Together, they helped create the KCSCI four years ago. Along with other invitees in attendance, Rabchevsky was presented with a plaque inscribed with the official proclamation.
The KCSCI is a group of about 60 individuals with spinal cord injuries who are dedicated to educate and legislate change for the SCI community in Kentucky. The KCSCI has helped to advocate and implement 88 laws to help make positive changes for the disabled community in Kentucky. The KCSCI is the only existing congress dedicated to legislative advocacy for individuals with spinal cord injuries at the state level. The KCSCI was active in recently passing a law to raise the ticket for a handicap parking violation from $15 to $250.
“Our mission is to be a voice for people with spinal cord injuries,” Rabchevsky said. “The congress also allows people to have a networking channel, so if they have issues locally and nobody to contact, they can contact us and we can help them.”
Roughly 874,000 Kentuckians are living with some type of disability and are benefitting from equal access provided under the ADA. The Kentucky OVR, the Kentucky Office for the Blind, the State Independent Living Centers, the state Americans with Disabilities Office, the KCSCI, and other offices and groups joined the Governor in applauding the scope and importance of the ADA.
After graduating with a bachelor’s of science in biology from Hampden-Sydney College and working as a technician at the National Institutes of Health, Rabchevsky was accepted into the University of Florida Neuroscience graduate program in 1990. Since 1997, Rabchevsky has been investigating multiple therapeutic approaches to treat experimental spinal cord injury at the UK SCoBIRC.
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 30, 2015) — Kentucky Children’s Hospital is giving Lexington families another great reason to beat the heat with a chilly soft-serve treat on Thursday.
The 10th Annual Miracle Treat Day will raise funds to support Kentucky Children’s Hospital, a member of the Children’s Miracle Network. For today only, one dollar of every Blizzard sale at Dairy Queen (DQ) and DQ Grill and Chill locations across the country will be donated to a local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. Last year, DQ operators raised more than $5 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals on Miracle Treat Day.
Lexington DQ Grill and Chill locations include 2300 Palumbo Drive, 350 Virginia Ave., 464 New Circle Road and 3509 Lansdowne Drive. This year the Miracle Treat Day Blizzard treat of the Day is Oreo, the franchise’s most popular Blizzard treat.
Help spread awareness of Miracle Treat Day on Twitter by using the hashtag #MiracleTreatDay and tagging @DairyQueen. Blizzard fans are also encouraged to post about their Miracle Day treat at www.facebook.com/dairyqueen.
Since 1984 DQ and Children’s Miracle Network Hospital have partnered to provide life-saving treatments to children across the U.S. and Canada. More than $100 million has been raised through donations from DQ franchisees, fans and the corporate office. Funds raised by DQ stay local to fund critical treatments, health care services, pediatric medial equipment and charitable care.
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, email@example.com
Video by Jeff Franklin, UK Ag Communications
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 30, 2015) — More than 350 experts in community development converged on Lexington recently to discuss the roles of creativity and culture in the creation of strong communities. What better place for the international Community Development Society to experience examples of those very things than here in Kentucky, said University of Kentucky professor and chair of the host committee, Ron Hustedde.
Hustedde, from the Department of Community and Leadership Development in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, was excited to show off Lexington’s many achievements.
“This city is alive and vibrant with creativity in terms of community development, community change,” he said. “Arts are quite alive, and there are so many innovative things occurring here — issues around food, the lesbian/gay community, the East End developments that involve people. This is a good laboratory in a sense for people to learn—not that we’re doing things perfectly here, but people can come here and learn, and we in Kentucky can learn from them too.”
Lexington showed its best colors to the visitors who toured the city during mobile workshops on the first afternoon of the conference. The community development field is very broad, encompassing everything from health care, economic development, social justice, environmental issues, the arts, food and LGBTQ* issues. Participants could choose from seven workshops, each focused on a different aspect of development. Some learned about the development of bicycling trails in town, while others toured the many murals and public art in the downtown area. One group discussed lesbian and gay issues, while others toured the London Ferrell community garden; Food Chain, a nonprofit urban aquaponic farm; and ended the afternoon at Greenhouse17, a domestic abuse shelter that serves 17 Kentucky counties.
Samson Tarpeh, a UK community and leadership development graduate student from Liberia, said he was surprised to learn on his tour of Lexington’s East End that items were much more expensive in the stores in low income communities as compared to other areas of town.
“One of the presenters said they had a plan to renovate that area and rebuild it and bring in more businesses that would bring the prices down,” he said. “It was a great thing getting to evaluate a community, getting to know the people, getting to know some of the challenges they’re facing and some of the things that need to be done.”
Tarpeh plans to put his education to work back home in Liberia, a country he said has been ravaged by two decades of civil crisis.
“The country is currently recovering from the effects of the civil war and trying to rebuild education, trying to build infrastructure and trying to build so many things,” he said. “As a young fellow, I believe that getting the training in the field of international development, I will be prepared to go home and make a lot of changes there and help my nation in the rebuilding process.”
Tarpeh was not the only international participant in the conference. Participants came from as far away as Japan, Korea, South Africa, Australia and India, as well as Great Britain, continental Europe and Canada.
“Insights from someone in Australia or India can be quite relevant,” Hustedde said. “We can really learn from each other. I think especially those of us in the Western world can learn from those outside our continent. It’s a common language, common ground, common interest.”
In the 46 years the Community Development Society has been in existence, this is the first time its annual conference has been held in Kentucky.
“The society is made up of practitioners, academics and others who are concerned about building the capacity of communities of place, communities of interest, identifying their own problems, acting on their own dreams,” Hustedde said.
The host committee comprised 15 members from UK, North Limestone Community Development Corporation and Yates Elementary School. Conference sponsors included the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment and its Community Innovation Lab, Community Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky and the Center for Leadership Development, the UK Office of the Vice President for Research, Transylvania University, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Farm Foundation, Community Trust Bank, Good Foods Co-op, Minnesota Rural Partners Round-Up, Regional Rural Development Centers, the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at Western Illinois University and Community Development Council.
MEDIA CONTACT: Carol Lea Spence, 859-257-8324.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 30, 2015) — Dr. Enrique Bimstein, professor and University of Kentucky College of Dentistry Division Chief of Pediatric Dentistry, has been named as the first holder of the John Mink Endowed Chair in Pediatric Dentistry.
“The last four years at the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry have been a most enjoyable, exciting, and fruitful period of my academic career,” said Bimstein. “The John Mink Endowed Chair in Pediatric Dentistry will help facilitate my continuous quest for improvement, with my colleagues in the UKCD Division of Pediatric Dentistry, in the division’s pre- and postdoctoral programs, patient care and research efforts.”
Bimstein was recruited in 2011 from the University of Florida to serve in his current position at UK. Originally from Mexico, he attended dental school at the Escuela de Odontología de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, completed a fellowship in pediatric dentistry at the Hadassah Faculty of Dental Medicine-Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, Israel, and completed a fellowship in medical education at the University of Florida.
An accomplished and active clinician for more than 40 years, Bimstein treats children in both the ambulatory and operating room settings. He holds board certification in the United States as a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, as well as specialty status in Israel as a specialist in pediatric dentistry through the Israeli Health Ministry.
He has authored over 100 peer reviewed publications with articles focusing on basic science research, clinical science research, and teaching methodology research. Additionally Bimstein has a highly regarded textbook on periodontal and gingival health issues and diseases among children and adolescents, and has contributed invited chapters to other textbooks. His areas of research interest include periodontal health and disease in children, child development, oral characteristics of children with special needs and dental education.
“Dr. Bimstein has been a clinician, teacher, and researcher in the field of pediatric dentistry since completing his specialty training in 1971. His experience, accomplishments, and commitment to pediatric dentistry fully support the intent of the new endowed chair position,” said UKCD Dean Sharon Turner.
Dr. John Mink, a UKCD founding faculty member in the Division of Pediatric Dentistry, played an instrumental role in recruiting core faculty members for pediatric dentistry and in helping to establish UKCD’s mobile dental program.
“The hard work and legacy of Dr. John Mink provided the foundation of a division characterized by excellence in teaching, research, and patient care. I am honored to follow and emphasize his legacy,” said Bimstein.
Media Contact: Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 30, 2015) — The sixth annual University of Kentucky Outstanding Staff Awards (OSA) ceremony will be held in October at The Club at UK’s Spindletop Hall.
The Office of the President and the UK Staff Senate sponsor OSA to recognize the professional accomplishments of staff across the university and the work of their colleges and units. Individuals who have been designated as outstanding staff of the year in their respective areas will be honored by President Eli Capilouto, Staff Senate Chair Jann Burks and others.
Registration is now open, and award sponsors may use the following link to register: https://uky.az1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_eL5s5Rofd742Yuh.
Official invitations will be extended in the fall to honorees and other special guests. For questions regarding the OSA program, please contact Holly Jones Clark, chair, at email@example.com, 859-257-9242 or Misty Dotson, vice chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org, 859-218-2807. The registration deadline is Sept. 18.
MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Harder, 859-323-2396, email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 30, 2015) — Beginning Saturday, Aug. 1, approximately 25 employee (E) parking spaces on the east side of University Drive from Cooper Drive to Alumni Drive will be temporarily unavailable. This is to facilitate temporary construction staging related to the Commonwealth Stadium expansion and renovation project while the parking areas immediately surrounding the stadium are being resurfaced.
The spaces are expected to remain unavailable until approximately Sept. 5, as they will continue to be used for staging after the stadium paving is complete.
Employees with valid E permits may park in any parking lot designated as an E Lot. A map of these locations can be found here: www.uky.edu/pts/parking-info_parking-maps.
MEDIA CONTACT: Chrissie Tune, (859) 257-3512; firstname.lastname@example.org
Blair Hoover, (859) 257-6398; email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 28, 2015) — A gas leak between Woodland Glen I and V residence halls on the University of Kentucky campus around 7:45 p.m. Tuesday prompted the brief evacuation of 100-150 students from Woodland Glen I. UK Police, Lexington Division of Fire and Columbia Gas were on the scene all evening.
The low pressure gas line was accidentally severed during construction at the Woodland Glen site. Woodland Avenue was closed at Columvia and Hilltop was closed at University and Huguelet.
Students were allowed to re-enter the residence hall around 8:15 p.m. however the streets remained closed while Columbia gas worked to repair the line.
The work is expected to be complete by 11 p.m. and all streets will reopen at that time. Motorists are asked to avoid the area until the all clear is given.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 28, 2015) -- An anti-smoking campaign targeting members of the LGBT community and evaluated by University of Kentucky College of Nursing researcher Amanda Fallin was recently cited as a Huffington Post “LGBT Wellness Story of the Week.”
The Huffington Post Gay Voices article appearing July 18 mentions results of a study testing the impact of CRUSH, a social branding campaign designed to reduce smoking rates in LGBT adults. According to the data, members of the LGBT community are more likely to smoke than their heterosexual counterparts. CRUSH is a bar-based intervention using aspirational branding, social events and targeted media to reduce the rates of smoking in this highly susceptible population. The study, titled "Social Branding to Decrease Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Young Adult Smoking," was published in the August issue of Nicotine and Tobacco Research, the scholarly journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco.
More than 2,300 cross-sectional surveys measuring bar patrons' exposure to the CRUSH campaign were collected from Las Vegas bars and nightclubs two times and two years apart. More than half (53 percent) of respondents reported exposure to CRUSH, 60 percent said they “liked” the campaign and 86 percent understood the intent of the smoke-free campaign. Among participants who understood the purpose of the campaign, those with the highest level of exposure to the campaign correlated with a 37 to 48 percent decrease in odds for current smoking. The study also found a decrease in smoking rates between the first and second year of data collection.
Fallin serves as assistant research professor in the University of Kentucky College of Nursing. Her work focuses on tobacco control policy in disparate populations. She and research colleagues published the results of study in the August edition of Nicotine Tobacco Research.
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 29, 2015) — Recent heavy rains and flooding left behind a trail of damage and debris in many areas of the state. While community leaders may be ready to tackle the task of cleaning up and rebuilding, it is important to keep human and environmental health in mind before getting started.
“Kentuckians face a number of health and safety issues and compliance hazards when dealing with how to handle and properly dispose of storm debris,” said Amanda Gumbert, extension water quality liaison for the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “It may seem like a monumental task, but there are some guidelines to help.”
The Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection emphasizes those cleaning up should consider all demolition debris from homes or buildings as potentially asbestos contaminated material. Gumbert said that means the debris needs to stay in a wet condition from demolition to final disposal.
“You can take debris to a permitted construction or demolition landfill, or a contained landfill,” she said. “Don’t burn debris from homes or businesses, including plastics, structural materials, roofing, insulation, siding, appliances, carpet, furniture and other household items.”
Burning construction and demolition debris can release harmful compounds into the air that can threaten human health, especially in people with asthma or compromised immune systems.
When possible, recycling is the preferred disposal method for many kinds of debris, including appliances. All household garbage and residential waste must go to a contained landfill.
While burning vegetative and woody debris is permitted, local governments strongly encourage people to recycle these things by composting, shredding or chipping to reuse as mulch.
“If you are going to burn vegetative debris, you need to contact your local fire department first,” Gumbert said. “They should oversee the burning and ensure you have adequate fire breaks. You also have to remove all trash, tires, construction and demolition debris prior to burning.”
Removing stream obstructions like fallen trees or debris also requires special considerations. Landowners should use a one-step removal process to pull or lift out storm debris and place it outside the floodplain. Only operate heavy equipment from the stream bank to scoop or lift out material, and only perform work from outside of the flowing section of streams. It will be necessary to maintain vegetation growing along stream banks to reduce erosion.
MEDIA CONTACT: Aimee Nielson, 859-257-7707.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 30, 2015) — University of Kentucky alumna and former extension professor Martha Nall received prestigious recognition recently from the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS). The organization presented its Distinguished Service Award to Nall at a ceremony during the association's 106th Annual Conference and Expo in Jacksonville, Florida.
Nall, who is nationally certified in Family and Consumer Sciences (CFCS), began her service to AAFCS in 1969 while an undergraduate at UK. She served as vice president of the association's student section. Her service to the organization has continued in recruitment, leadership, development, and strategic planning. Most recently, Martha has served as a leader in planning and conducting the AAFCS National Leadership Academy to involve and integrate young professionals into association activities on the affiliate and national levels.
“I am truly honored and humbled by this recognition,” said Nall. “I have been fortunate to work with many outstanding leaders in the profession who guided, supported and inspired me throughout my career.”
Nall, who resides in Lexington, retired from UK in 2012 as professor in program and staff development, Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service. A graduate of the School of Human Environmental Sciences, part of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, she earned her degree in home economics vocational education.
Nall's 40-year career with the UK Cooperative Extension Service encompassed various roles in home economics/family and consumer sciences extension, extension program and staff development, and community and leadership development. She has been active with the college alumni association since 1976, and currently serves as vice president of the Ag & HES Alumni Association. Nall was inducted into the School of Human Environmental Sciences Hall of Fame in 2013.
MEDIA CONTACT: Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200; email@example.com.
Produced by the UK Human Development Institute
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 29, 2015) — Just in time for the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the University of Kentucky Human Development Institute (HDI) is debuting its new video, “Customized Employment in Kentucky,” which will premiere at Lexington’s celebration of the 25th anniversary of the ADA Thursday, July 30.
The seven-minute video profiles three employees with developmental disabilities who are working in their community, in jobs which are a good fit for them, and in which their contributions are valued by their employer. The common thread in these stories is that the jobs were “customized,” a process in which employer needs are matched with the talents, interests and contributions of individual job seekers.
The video will premiere in Lexington at the 25th anniversary celebration of the Americans with Disabilities Act, to be held Thursday, July 30 at LexArts, 161 North Mill Street. Doors open at 12:30 p.m., the program begins at 1 p.m., and the video will be shown at 3 p.m. The event is free and open to the public; however, the organizers ask that you RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 859-252-4931.
As part of the celebration, the Lexington Human Rights Commission will host a panel discussion celebrating 25 years of the ADA featuring Christina Espinosa, a project administrator at HDI. The panel discussion will begin at 1 p.m. at LexArts. Panelists will reflect on the good things that have happened in the last 25 years, on the challenges individuals with disabilities encounter today, and how we can overcome them.
Sara Tinker, employment specialist for Down Syndrome of Louisville’s Career Solutions, says, “I think the great thing about customized employment, if you’re really doing it in its truest form, and you’re looking at an employer’s unmet needs and what their interests are, and you’re look at an individual’s strengths and what they have to contribute, but then also paying attention to things like natural support, an employment specialist, all they really have to do, is act as a resource and then get out of the way.
“Employment First is a philosophy that employment be the first and preferred outcome for adults who receive services in the disabilities service system… it’s the idea that adults in our society go to work. That’s what you do after school,” said Katie Wolf Whaley, project director of the Kentucky Supported Employment Training Project at HDI.
For those who can’t make it to the premiere, the video can also be viewed above or on HDI’s YouTube channel: http://youtu.be/UIkaHkQKukQ.
MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Harder, 859-323-2396, email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 29, 2015) — The Community Leadership Institute of Kentucky (CLIK), which provides research and leadership training, funding, and technical support for community research projects, is accepting applications for its 2015 class. Applications materials are due Aug. 17 for approximately 10 available slots.
Now in its second year, CLIK aims to engage and empower leaders, organizations, and communities to reduce health disparities, leverage funding and better use data to improve services and programs. The intensive five-week program is designed for community leaders who play a key role in data-based decision making related to health and health care. Participants will be supported in developing and implementing a project with a “real world deliverable” that builds organizational and community capacity.
Training sessions led by UK faculty and staff and community partners will address evidence-based practices, how to assess community health, grant writing, budgeting, accessing and using public datasets and program evaluation. The sessions will be held at the UK Center of Excellence in Rural Health in Hazard, Ky., Tuesdays from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. from Oct. 13 to Nov. 10, 2015.
Each participant’s organization will also receive a $2,500 grant for their participation in this competitive program and completion of their proposed project. The participant’s organization must have 501c3 status or a designated lead fiscal agency (health agency or non-profit) to receive and manage the grant award.
Priority will be given to leaders from Appalachian Kentucky and to projects related to cancer prevention (e.g., nutrition, physical activity, smoking cessation), reducing obesity and sedentary lifestyle, prevention and management of chronic diseases (e.g., diabetes and cardiovascular disease), and prevention and treatment of substance abuse. CLIK is offered through a partnership of the UK Center for Excellence in Rural Health, the UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science Community Engagement Program, and the Kentucky Office of Rural Health.
2014 CLIK Class
The inaugural 2014 CLIK class included leaders from health services, education, and community organizations:
Sandy Bowling, LKLP (Leslie, Knott, Letcher, and Perry) Community Action Council
Project: Promoting Healthy Living by Increasing Physical Activity
"The whole program was beneficial—from being there with other people and talking through ideas, to interviewing techniques, research, and formulating my program. The networking was extremely beneficial and the teachers were so informative. There wasn't a portion of it that was not beneficial. And I came back excited, and I think that helped my staff get excited, and that helped get our clients excited. We're in the third quarter of our program and I've seen a big difference in physical activity among my clients."
Neva Francis, Kentucky One Health- St. Joseph Martin
Project: St. Joseph Martin/Floyd County Health Department Diabetes Partnership
“I am so glad I was accepted into the inaugural class of Community Leadership Institute of Kentucky; however, I hesitated to apply to CLIK for various reasons, such as programs often don’t live up to the hype. The CLIK program did live up to the hype and it was one of the most intense, fun-filled programs I have had the privilege of being a part of in my 37 years in health care. The sessions were packed with a wealth of usable information and the instructors had a passion for what they do and it came through in their presentations.
The funding received for participating in the CLIK program was also very beneficial for Saint Joseph Martin. It afforded us the opportunity to expand our collaborative effort with the Floyd County Health Department diabetes program by supplying all participants with test strips.
"I would encourage all leaders to participate in this outstanding program.”
Sandy Hogg, Kentucky Valley Education Cooperative
Project: Worksite Wellness Program Focused on Diabetes
"I personally benefited from participating in the CLIK program due to the leadership development that I received from the training. At Kentucky Valley Education Cooperative we do lots of research projects and I have been able to show other staff members how the process works. The staff have all become so excited about the health and wellness staff development that CLIK help us put together. The chatter around the office continues to be around the number of steps each one has taken that day. If I could encourage everyone to take this leadership training I would recommend it highly."
Stephen Richardson, Knott County Board of Education
Project: Improving Oral Health Among K-2 Students
"This was the most intense and useful leadership program I've been through. The more I learned, the more my project changed and evolved. I changed the way I thought about my project because I want them to brush their teeth today, but my real concern is what happens to them when they get out of high school -- so they can get a job and feed their families. You've got to take care of your body and your teeth. And this is formulating community partnerships so it's not standing alone. I'm really excited about seeing what comes out of it. The parents love it. "
Haley Siler, Barren River District Health Department
Project: Improving Nutrition for SNAP Recipients through Cooking Skills
"The experiences afforded me by the CLIK program helped me grow in my work as performance management coordinator for Barren River District Health Department, which covers eight counties and a primarily rural population. CLIK expanded on many areas of data management and evaluation that I had worked with and helped me better reframe my experiences and the new lessons in the context of rural community health. Working in a small cohort over several meetings also afforded the opportunity to see what lessons others learned to then apply for myself and when working with others in my community. Most importantly, the CLIK gave me the chance to work directly in my community, applying skills myself. My job experiences previously have often involved helping “behind the scenes” while others do the actual work in the community. Seeing the challenges and rewards of direct contact with my community has been my favorite part of the CLIK program."
Kelsey Tackett, Floyd County Schools
Project: Successful Women and Appalachian Girls (SWAG) Present: Take on the Greenhouse
"The girls really enjoyed the hard labor that they experienced in the greenhouse. There was a lot of talk about gender norms and how my SWAG girls really don't ever have the opportunity to be this hard working or hands on. For the most part the girls were very eager to progress in the greenhouse on a weekly basis. When the school year starts we will return to the greenhouse to continue to make it a manageable and usable space in addition to working on gaining more knowledge on how to improve our green thumbs! I do have to say that it did start conversations about health and the greenhouse space. Additionally, SWAG girls took small plants and tomatoes to work on nurturing at their homes during the summer. I'm excited to see what next steps we can take in order to improve our health, school and program!"
For questions regarding the program, contact Beth Bowling at firstname.lastname@example.org or 606-439-3557 ext. 83545.
Media Contact: Mallory Powell, email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 28, 2015) — The University of Kentucky has joined Commerce Lexington, as well as local businesses, public health agencies and officials, and organizations, in an effort to designate the City of Lexington as an official Safe Community through the National Safety Council’s Safe Communities America program.
City leaders, including University of Kentucky assistant vice president Anthany Beatty, announced the partnership July 27 after a Chamber of Commerce meeting attended by Deborah Hersman, president and chief executive officer of the National Safety Council and former chair of the National Transportation Safety Board. Hersman, who investigated the crash of Comair Flight 5191 in 2006, traveled to the Bluegrass Region to discuss the Safe Communities initiative with local leaders.
The Safe Communities America model is a proven approach to reducing preventable injuries and deaths by enhancing established safety programs and working across entities to make communities safer. In Kentucky, injuries including car accidents, suicide and drug overdose are the leading causes of death in people younger than 45. In Kentucky, Madison County, Murray State University and Western Kentucky University have already been designated Safe Communities. Lexington elected officials, public health professionals, educators and business leaders are working together to bring Lexington into the Kentucky Safe Communities network.
In 2013, the University of Kentucky bestowed Hersman with an honorary doctorate of humanities for her leadership, compassion and transportation safety recommendations in the aftermath of one of Kentucky’s worst disasters. The Kentucky Injury and Prevention Research Center, a branch of the UK College of Public Health, coordinated Hersman’s current visit to Lexington.
Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, the National Safety Council (NCS) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to save lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact – distracted driving, teen driving, workplace safety, prescription drug overdoses and Safe Communities.
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, firstname.lastname@example.org
FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 28, 2015) – Since Kentucky’s landmark prescription drug abuse legislation took effect in 2012, the Commonwealth has seen a significant decline in the number of prescriptions for the most commonly abused medications, doctor shopping has decreased by more than 50 percent, and more Kentuckians are seeking treatment for prescription medication addiction.
These findings, among others, are part of a yearlong study conducted by researchers at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy’s Institute for Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy and compiled in a report to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS).
Gov. Steve Beshear joined Attorney General Jack Conway, lawmakers and health industry officials today to announce the report.
The study specifically researched and analyzed the impact of state law known as House Bill 1, which was passed in a special session by the 2012 General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Beshear.
“House Bill 1 was a bipartisan effort designed to help us fight the epidemic of prescription drug abuse in Kentucky, and it’s doing exactly that,” said Gov. Beshear. “Since the law was enacted, not only have we seen a decline in doctor shopping and prescriptions for heavily abused medications, pill mills have closed and the provider community at large has become more educated and committed to using best practices for prescribing these commonly abused medications.”
Gov. Beshear said he and lawmakers are realistic and realize relapse is part of the disease of addiction, and “as a community, we must remain vigilant in our efforts to combat drug abuse to reduce its devastating toll on our families.”
House Bill 1 included multiple strategies to prevent the abuse and diversion of prescription drugs; expanded Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting (KASPER), Kentucky’s prescription monitoring system; and required that pain management facilities be owned by a licensed physician.
Specifically, the bill mandated that practitioners and pharmacists register with the KASPER system in an effort to reduce the number of patients receiving similar prescriptions from multiple doctors.
According to the study, since House Bill 1 was implemented:
· More individuals are seeking office-based addiction treatment.
· The number of patients “doctor shopping” declined by 52 percent.
· 24 non-physician-owned pain management facilities have ceased operation.
· The number of opioid prescriptions to doctor-shopping individuals dropped by 54 percent.
· 5 million KASPER reports were requested in 2014.
· Each weekday, providers request more than 20,000 KASPER reports.
· For the first time in six years, Kentucky overdose deaths declined in 2013.
“The results of this study are proof of what can happen when we put people above politics,” Attorney General Jack Conway said. “Gov. Beshear, Senate President Stivers, House Speaker Stumbo and I worked across party lines to craft and pass a piece of legislation that is saving lives in Kentucky. For the first time in recent memory, the numbers are moving in the right direction, and we’re a better state for taking this action that has become a national model.”
“House Bill 1 was an example of the legislative process creating an effective and practical solution to a real problem,” Senate President Robert Stivers, of Manchester, said. “But the war on drugs is ever-evolving. It is important that we as lawmakers act as quickly as we can to identify and prevent new drugs from spreading in our communities.”
“This report validates the efforts we have made to reverse an epidemic that is killing or crippling tens of thousands of our citizens and is hurting us all in ways large and small,” said House Speaker Greg Stumbo, who sponsored House Bill 1 in 2012. “As House Speaker, and during my time as Attorney General, I have re-dedicated myself to making sure the state does all it can to put the dealers and rogue doctors behind bars and to get addicts the treatment they need to escape their deadly cycle. Our work has been hailed as a national model, but as I have said many times, drug abuse is an ever-changing battlefield. We can never afford to let our guard down.”
House Bill 1 requires that when a complaint is received about inappropriate controlled substance prescribing, the Attorney General, Kentucky State Police, CHFS and the appropriate licensure board collaborate and share information for administrative and law enforcement purposes.
From House Bill 1’s passage in July 2012 to March 2015, the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure took 196 controlled substance prescribing disciplinary actions against 142 physicians, ranging from emergency orders of suspension or restriction, to license suspensions or surrenders and revocations. The Board also has the ability to restrict a physician’s ability to prescribe controlled substances through the use of an Agreed Order.
“The Board has remained diligent in carrying out the provisions of HB1 and has been pleased with the results of the legislation and the regulations that were implemented as a result,” said Mike Rodman, executive director of the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure. “Due to the legislation, physicians throughout Kentucky are utilizing the KASPER system appropriately to monitor their patients and make informed decisions on their prescribing practices. In addition, the education requirements mandated by HB1 have provided physicians with important educational opportunities to learn about pain management, addiction and the KASPER program.”
Gov. Beshear said that a recent report by the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy showing that Kentucky overdose deaths increased in 2014, after leveling off in 2013, indicates the persistent challenge of reining in substance use and abuse.
“One overdose death is one too many, and the information from this 2014 report is further proof of our ongoing challenges to help put those Kentuckians facing addiction back on their feet,” Gov. Beshear said. “But the provisions in House Bill 1 are working. We further enhanced Kentucky’s fight against this scourge in the 2015 legislative session with the passage of Senate Bill 192, our historic anti-heroin legislation.”
Gov. Beshear said all officials must continue to educate the public on the dangers of drug use and abuse, and continue to commit appropriate resources to the strategies the state has taken to reduce the devastating toll of addiction on families and communities.
The study’s executive summary and full report are available in the KASPER Studies and Surveys section of the KASPER public website: www.chfs.ky.gov/KASPER.
For more information about the Institute for Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy in the UK College of Pharmacy, visit http://pharmacy.mc.uky.edu/ipop/ .
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 29, 2015) — At the University of Kentucky and across Lexington, car-free transportation options have continued to grow in popularity due to increased accessibility and affordability. Today, UK President Eli Capilouto, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray and others celebrated the opening of a new shared use path at The Arboretum, State Botanical Garden of Kentucky, connecting bicyclists and pedestrians from south Lexington neighborhoods to campus and downtown.
Located on the western edge of The Arboretum Woods, the path links Shady Lane to University Court, providing a safe and efficient connection for dozens of commuters cycling and walking along this corridor daily.
“UK is undergoing a dramatic physical transformation, including the redevelopment and improvement of our parking and transportation infrastructure. We’re taking a holistic approach to provide a diverse range of safe options for our campus and surrounding community,” said President Capilouto. “The new shared-use path through The Arboretum connects us to surrounding neighborhoods and provides a safer, more convenient access point for bikers commuting to campus."
Until now, cyclists commuting along the Bellefonte bicycle route, the oldest bicycle facility in Lexington, faced limited and difficult options for traversing The Arboretum and Alumni Drive. The shared use path will allow those commuters to travel through The Arboretum Woods to campus and then downtown along an established network of dedicated bicycle facilities, with safe crossings of busy intersections and without having to negotiate the walking paths in The Arboretum.
“The new Arboretum path adds to our growing network of paths and trails for cycling and walking,” Mayor Gray said. “From the Legacy Trail to Town Branch Trail to Brighton Rail Trail and all points in between, Lexington is connecting the pieces to make it easier to bike or walk around town. The city is adding more bike lanes, colored lane markings and road signage to improve the safety of bicycling.”
To promote safety for all commuters along this corridor, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government (LFUCG), a founding partner of The Arboretum, instituted new way-finding and safety-related pavement markings and signage to guide cyclists between the Bellefonte route and the new shared use path, along with a new pedestrian crosswalk where the path intersects with Shady Lane.
An additional component of the project was an improvement to the connection from University Drive to Hiltonia via the Baptist Health campus. This part of the project creates better connectivity to the west and provides safer access for cyclists traveling between the Rosemont Garden and Southland Drive corridors and campus/downtown. Baptist Health was a key partner for this aspect of the project.
Both the Bellefonte route and shared use path are located in Lexington's 4th District, represented by Councilmember Susan Lamb.
“We are excited to have this new path, providing a safer route for bicyclists who travel to the University of Kentucky from and through the 4th District," Lamb said.
In 2011, the UK Bicycle Advisory Committee identified the Arboretum Woods connection as a priority project. The connection was also identified as a priority project on the LFUCG Greenways Master Plan, the Lexington Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan and the UK Campus Bicycle Plan.
"Through our Transportation Master Plan, we've really been focusing on finding alternative ways for people to reach campus," said Lance Broeking, director of UK Parking and Transportation Services (PTS). "And so this path is really just an extension of some of those efforts to create commuter paths for the community and the university community in order to find unique ways to get people out of single occupancy vehicles and still have access to campus."
Broeking says PTS has seen a "huge increase" in the number of bicyclists on campus over the last several years. In September 2008, PTS, with the help of the Sustainable Campus Internship Program, repeated a 1998 Cordon Count Bicycle Study of bicycle traffic and cyclist behavior on campus. The count and the resulting data assist PTS in making decisions about bicycle use on campus. Approximately 60 surveyors counted bikes at 14 checkpoints around major entrances to campus. The data showed that bicycle use on campus had grown 37 percent in the decade since the previous study. Once considered just a warm weather way of commuting, more and more individuals are now using bicycles as their primary source of transportation.
“A shared use path that traverses The Arboretum has been in discussion since at least 2001. With The Arboretum Advisory Board’s approval, in 2013, plans to develop a path through the woods commenced," said Molly Davis, director of The Arboretum. "One of the board’s concerns was that the path’s ultimate location should cause the least possible damage to the existing trees in this 16-acre remnant of Inner Bluegrass Upland Forest. While construction projects always have impacts to the existing environment, we hope that this project will improve the bicycle and pedestrian environment for UK and the wider community, and provide a needed connection from neighborhoods through UK’s campus and beyond, while causing the least damage to our treasured Arboretum.”
The design of the new facility carefully considered the ecological significance of the woodland remnant it crosses and was constructed to remove as little vegetation as possible and to protect the root systems of the trees adjacent to the path.
“From a sustainability perspective, this project was both complex and challenging,” said Shane Tedder, sustainability coordinator for the university. “We had to balance the benefits of potentially shifting more commuters out of cars with the impacts of building in the unique and sensitive ecological conditions of the Arboretum Woods and the concerns of neighboring residents. I am hopeful that the scales will tip in favor of the health, environmental and economic benefits that come from the path.”
Once commuters arrive on University Court, they can cross Alumni Drive onto University Drive's bicycle lane or shared sidewalk. From there they can access main campus or downtown Lexington through a number of bicycle lanes, shared use trails, sharrows (shared lane arrow) or shared sidewalks. Once the Alumni Drive realignment is complete, cyclists and pedestrians will also have access to campus and downtown from Tates Creek Road through a shared use path and bicycle lane, and from Nicholasville Road through a bicycle lane shared use path.
Commuters expect the path will offer convenience and save them time when traveling to and from campus and downtown. For Sue Troske, a research coordinator for the Institute for Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy in the UK College of Pharmacy, the path also offers comfort and safety.
"It feels a lot safer because there aren’t cars and there are no potholes," she said. "You don’t have to deal with traffic; you can kind of think, 'okay what am I going to do today?' You can kind of get set up for your day."
On her new route, Troske can even pick up her weekly share of organic vegetables from the UK Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project.
"It's right on my way home to pick up my CSA on Thursdays," she said. "So I pick up all my vegetables on my bike and then pedal home."
"This path kind of parallels Nicholasville Road but creates a warm and inviting opportunity that while it's primarily designated as a commuting path, it really is an enjoyable ride as well," Broeking said.
In addition to the Arboretum Woods Shared Use Path, the UK campus boasts 8 miles of bike lanes, 3.5 miles of sharrows and 3 miles of shared sidewalks. Once recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as a Bronze level Bicycle Friendly University, UK's status was upgraded to a Silver level Bicycle Friendly University this year.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 28, 2015) —Two University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences faculty members will receive the highest award given by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Robert C. Marshall, and Joseph C. Stemple, professors in the Division of Communication Sciences and Disorders, will be recognized with the Honors of the Association at the ASHA annual convention, which will be held in in November in Denver.
The Honors of the Association recognizes members for their distinguished contributions to the discipline of communication sciences and disorders and is the highest honor the association bestows. The Honors of the Association recognize individuals whose contributions have been of such excellence that they have enhanced or altered the course of the field of speech, language and hearing professions.
Marshall and Stemple are the first from Kentucky to receive the Honors of the Association.
“This award of national prominence demonstrates the excellence of our faculty,” said Scott M. Lephart, dean of the College of Health Sciences. “The fact that Drs. Marshall and Stemple are the first recipients from the Commonwealth further underscores the importance of the work we are doing at the College of Health Sciences. Our faculty is making a local, statewide, and national impact.”
“It’s a tremendous honor for Drs. Marshall and Stemple that exemplifies one of the highest levels of achievement in communication sciences and disorders,” said Anne Olson, division director Communication Sciences and Disorders. “Dr. Marshall’s career in aphasia and Dr. Stemple’s career in clinical voice disorders have been experienced through multiple lenses: clinical, academic, and research. Thus they understand the impact of speech and language disorders from both the human and scientific dimensions. As colleagues, we are proud of them, but more importantly we are thrilled for our graduate students in speech language pathology who have the opportunity to learn from true giants in their respective fields.”
Marshall’s selection was based on his years of sustained research, scholarship, teaching and service activities within the profession that spanned from the public schools, to the Veterans Administration and academia in Oregon, Rhode Island and Kentucky. He has held clinical and leadership positions in all employment settings and is widely regarded for his scholarly expertise in aphasia.
“Receiving the Honors of the American Speech-Language-Association is a high point of a very satisfying professional career. I am humbled by this award,” Marshall said. “I am grateful to my sponsor, Dr. Lee Ann Golper, my co-sponsors Drs. Kathryn Yorkston and Rosemary Lubinski, and the many professional colleagues who supported my nominations. I feel blessed to have been taught by those who overlooked my weaknesses and nurtured my strengths and inspired by my patients, students, professional colleagues, and employers. These forces, along with the support of my family every step of the way, have been the ‘wind beneath my sails.’ I feel very blessed to have had a job in which going to work every day was something to truly look forward to.”
Stemple’s selection was based on his unique ongoing research, scholarship, teaching and service activities within the profession, that include his development of centers of excellence for voice care, voice research and educational opportunities, his prolific publication record, including textbooks and scholarly manuscripts, as well as his international reputation as a dynamic presenter on issues related to the voice across the lifespan.
The UK College of Health Sciences offers undergraduate and graduate/professional programs in: Athletic Training, Clinical Leadership and Management, Clinical Nutrition (in collaboration with the College of Medicine), Communication Sciences and Disorders, Human Health Sciences, Medical Laboratory Science, Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant Studies, and Rehabilitation Sciences.
Media Contact: Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 28, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Human Development Institute recently released "Welcoming a Newborn with Down Syndrome: A New Parent’s Guide to the First Month” by Stephanie Hall Meredith and Nancy McCrea Iannone to offer support and accurate, reliable information to the new parents of a baby with Down syndrome.
The book, released July 28, covers topics like breastfeeding, adjusting to a diagnosis, preparing siblings, understanding medical issues, preparing for the future, and, most importantly, it shares diverse stories about the daily lives of families whose children have Down syndrome at different ages. The book also features beautiful images by noted photographers, Kelle Hampton, Matthew Day, and Conny Wenk.
“Welcoming a Newborn with Down Syndrome” is available for free digitally at http://downsyndromepregnancy.org/, a program hosted by the Human Development Institute, and printed copies are available for purchase from the publisher, Woodbine House.
This book is critical for new parents first learning about a diagnosis during a moment that can sometimes be overwhelming and vulnerable. Accurate and up-to-date information can be key in making sure children with Down syndrome get the support, medical care, and services they need right from the start to get the best outcomes for a lifetime. The book is based on “Diagnosis to Delivery: A Pregnant Mother’s Guide to Down Syndrome,” which has been distributed worldwide to nearly 15,000 families, medical providers, and Down syndrome organizations since 2010.
According to Kristy Anderson, mom of a newborn with Down syndrome, “This book is an invaluable resource for parents who are embarking on the journey of raising a child with Down syndrome. It was helpful for me to read a practical book that addressed the range of emotions, worries, and questions I had about my sweet baby. And, it’s written by experienced parents — the best experts of all!”
Sarah Cullen, family support director at the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress (MDSC) says, “’Welcoming a Newborn with Down Syndrome’ is an exceptional resource for families and will be included in every MDSC First Call welcome package! The pages are full of essential information, practical suggestions and key resources, woven together with compassion and support. This book will undoubtedly be the gold standard for families of newborns with Down syndrome.”
Campbell Brasington, genetic counselor at Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina, adds, “This new parent guide is an incredible resource for new parents that gently guides them through the first days and weeks after their new baby’s diagnosis … As a genetic counselor, it is important to me to have accurate, balanced, and up-to-date resources to give to new families that also show parents the amazing potential of this new life. This new handbook fits that bill and then some.”
Tax deductable contributions can help the Human Development Institute continue offering these important digital resources free. More information is available at http://downsyndromepregnancy.org/donate/.
MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Harder, 859-323-2396, firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 27, 2015) — To cheat or not to cheat? That is the question 14 University of Kentucky Department of Theatre and Dance students and faculty will try to answer as they take the stage next month at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe to present "The Dispute."
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world and takes place every August for three weeks in Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city. Every year thousands of performers take to hundreds of stages all over Edinburgh to present shows for every taste. From big names in the world of entertainment to unknown artists looking to build their careers, the festival caters to everyone and includes theatre, comedy, dance, physical theatre, circus, cabaret, children's shows, musicals, opera, music, spoken word, exhibitions and events.
"We're so excited to be a part of this. The festival is open to lots of different types of theatre from professional to amateur, drama to comedy, solo artists to large ensembles. This year we'll be getting our feet wet in hopes to come back again," said Kaitlyn Noble, who is both performing as part of the cast and serving as a marketing intern for the production.
UK Theatre has given an old story new life in its debut at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Their adaptation of Pierre de Marivaux’s "La Dispute" places the story on the wedding day of a runaway bride.
In this limited engagement performance, two scientists attempt to uncover the truth about fidelity — can a person truly be faithful in love? In this comical adventure, four children raised in total isolation are introduced to each other to prove that cheating is not a default human instinct. Told through the magic of a future technology, a worried bride and her wedding party watch the story unfold and learn what it really takes to love another person.
Bringing "The Dispute" to life is a cast and crew of UK 12 students under the guidance of UK Theatre Chair Nancy Jones, who is serving as director of the production, and Associate Professor Tony Hardin, who is serving as the production designer. The group held a week of long rehearsals in May to get the cast familiar with the piece. They now will have about two more weeks of rehearsals before heading to Edinburgh and then only one day in the space to run it before they open Aug. 11. The cast and crew of students featured in "The Dispute" include:
· theatre sophomore Nicolás Acosta, from Bogotá, Colombia;
· theatre and arts administration junior Jessica Agro, from Bowling Green, Kentucky;
· theatre senior Shalisha Brace, from Hazard, Kentucky;
· theatre sophomore Emily Cole, from Chicago, Illinois;
· theatre and arts administration senior Liz Ellis, from College Station, Texas;
· theatre senior Shermaine Johns-Dorsey, from Louisville, Kentucky;
· theatre senior Peter LaPrade, from Marietta, Georgia;
· theatre and elementary education junior Hannah Nall, from Louisville;
· theatre and integrated strategic communication senior Kaitlyn Noble, from Corbin, Kentucky;
· integrated strategic communication and English senior Kelsie Potter, from Worthington, Kentucky;
· theatre senior Daylin Tone, from Burbank, California; and
· theatre junior Madeline Williamson, from Coronado, California.
"The Dispute" will be staged four days, Aug. 11-14, at Greenside @ Royal Terrace, as part of the festival. After Edinburgh, UK Theatre hopes to tour the show in the U.S. To follow the cast and crew's Edinburgh experience, check out their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/thedispute and Twitter page at http://twitter.com/DisputeUKY.
Noble, who is excited for the experience to be part of a production on such a popular international stage, believes the trip is a great opportunity to build skills for her career. "It's a great resume builder for after college. It shows that we've had several opportunities in our training."
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe story dates back to 1947, when eight theatre groups turned up uninvited to perform at the (then newly formed) Edinburgh International Festival, an initiative created to celebrate and enrich European cultural life in the wake of the World War II. Not being part of the official program of the International Festival didn’t stop the performers – they just went ahead and staged their shows on the "fringe of the festival" anyway – coining the phrase and the festival's name Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Year after year, more and more performers followed the early troupes' example and in 1958 the Festival Fringe Society was created in response to the success of this growing trend. Almost 70 years later, the festival has grown tremendously. In 2014 there were 49,497 performances of 3,193 shows in 299 venues, making it the largest ever arts festival in the world.
The UK Department of Theatre at the College of Fine Arts has played an active role in the performance scene in Central Kentucky for more than 100 years. Students in the program get hands-on training and one-on-one mentorship from a renowned professional theatre faculty. The liberal arts focus of their bachelor's degree program is coupled with ongoing career counseling to ensure a successful transition from campus to professional life.
MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 27, 2015) — Who would think that an innocent looking tiny green flower would produce copious amounts of pollen, making us miserable with a stuffy, runny nose, itchy throat and eyes? This member of the daisy family is the culprit for hay fever, also known as ragweed allergies.
Ragweed season rears its ugly head in late summer through November with pollen counts at its highest levels in mid-September in most regions of the U.S. Some people with hay fever also develop asthma symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing, and trouble breathing.
People whose parents or siblings have allergies to plant pollen are more likely to develop ragweed allergies. Also, people who have allergies to dust, animals, grass or mold tend to develop allergies to pollens, and people who already have an allergy to one type of plant pollen tend to develop allergies to other pollens.
Seasonal allergies develop when the body's immune system in a genetically susceptible person becomes sensitized and makes allergic antibodies to something in the environment that causes no problem in most people.
Some things you can do to avoid or limit contact with ragweed pollen are:
· Wash your hands often
· Limit time outdoors when ragweed counts are high and avoid mid-day when counts peak
· Windows closed, air conditioning on
· Wear a dust mask if working outside
· Don't wear outdoor work clothes inside to avoid bringing pollen in the house
· Clean and replace HVAC filters often using HEPA filters which remove at least 99 percent of pollen and other particles
· Use a clothes dryer rather than outdoor clothes lines
Climate can affect the level of pollen particles, which in turn influences symptom severity. Kentucky has recently experienced an unusual amount of rainfall, and pollen counts can actually soar after rain. Ragweed pollen thrives during cool nights and warm days. Mold grows quickly in heat and high humidity.
There is little we can do about the weather, but preparing for ragweed season now might avoid misery later. Some allergy medicines should be taken one to two weeks before ragweed season begins. Ask your allergist which medicine(s) you should take, and begin your regimen now.
Your health care provider may also recommend allergy shots. The shots contain a tiny but increasing amount of the allergen you're sensitive to. Over time, your body becomes used to the allergen and no longer reacts to it. Alternatively, sublingual drops for ragweed are also available, although this treatment will only treat ragweed allergy.
Dr. Beth Miller is division chief of Allergy and Immunology at the University of Kentucky and director of UK Allergy, Asthma and Sinus Clinics.
This column appeared in the July 26, 2015 edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader