UK Physician Assistant Program and Norton Healthcare Announce Preceptor Partnership

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 16:32

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 23, 2014) - The University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences Physician Assistant Studies program and Norton Healthcare are launching a preceptor partnership program. 


The first cohort of physician assistant (PA) students will begin their clinical clerkship rotations with preceptors in the Norton Healthcare system in Louisville this June.  


Norton Healthcare has pledged nearly $715,000 over three years through its James R. Petersdorf Fund to support the preceptor program, which will develop a robust network of qualified PA preceptors within the Norton Healthcare system. The preceptors will teach, supervise and evaluate PA students during their clinical clerkship rotations with the aim of offering full-time employment with Norton Healthcare to 50 percent of the students upon completion of their clerkships.


“The College of Health Sciences is proud to continue the tradition of partnerships between Norton Healthcare and UK,” said Sharon R. Stewart, Ed.D., professor and interim dean, UK College of Health Sciences. “Our college is by definition interprofessional and collaborative, and the network of Norton Healthcare preceptors will only enhance the clinical training our PA students receive.”


UK HealthCare and Norton Healthcare have a history of collaboration, including alliances in clinical programs, workforce, education and research. The organizations believe that there is power in partnership, and the ultimate goal is to improve health care for all Kentuckians.


“The preceptor partnership is an absolute win-win,” said Dr. James M. Frazier, Norton Healthcare vice president for medical affairs. “University of Kentucky students receive training from our skilled preceptors and in return we ensure that some of the best and the brightest will have the opportunity to join Norton Healthcare post-graduation.”


Physician assistants play a vital role in providing access to quality health care. PAs examine, diagnose and treat patients under the supervision of physicians. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of physician assistants is projected to increase 38 percent from 2012 to 2022. Its growth far outpaces the projected 10.8 percent employment increase across all occupations for the same period.


“We are seeing a significant shift in health care. The demand for a qualified team of heath care professionals is greater than ever,” said Bradford Schwarz, director of UK’s Division of Physician Assistant Studies (PAS). “Physician assistants are an integral part of that team. It is exciting to see that Norton Healthcare is on the leading edge in regard to the role physician assistants will play in the future of health care, not only through hiring PAs but through educating PAs as well.”


The UK PAS program was established in 1973 and is offered on UK’s primary campus in Lexington and on the rural campus of Morehead State University. The PAS program currently enrolls 171 full-time students and consists of a 93-hour program, which includes 13 months of intensive clinical clerkship rotations. Students must successfully complete 10 distinct clinical clerkships during their clinical year. The PAS program currently has more than 700 affiliation agreements in place with community-based preceptors and clinical education agreements with health care facilities.


“This is an innovative approach to training UK physician assistant students, which allows the majority , if not all, of their clinical rotations to be conducted within the Norton Healthcare system,” said David A. Fahringer, associate professor and director of clinical education for the UK PAS program, who will implement the preceptor partnership with Norton Healthcare, alongside Schwarz. “This will enable the students to be more involved in direct patient care, such as using the EPIC electronic charting system, and acquiring a better understanding on how the Norton Healthcare system operates.”


The initial group of nine students who will begin their clerkships in June are being referred to as the “Norton Nine.”  One of those students is Eric Heely, a 2001 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point who served in the South Zabul Province in Afghanistan. Heely said his desire to become a PA began when he was deployed in Afghanistan in 2008.


“In the Army, PAs hold a very direct role in soldier health care,” Heely said. “At my Fort Polk group, we had a Battalion-level PA, and he was the most respected officer in the unit. Having that primary care role of working with patients directly is what really appeals to me about being a PA.”


Heely, who is originally from Clovis, California lives in Louisville with his wife and daughter. He said he and his family have had positive experiences as patients in the Norton Healthcare system, and he is looking forward to beginning his clinical clerkship rotations close to home. 


“The fact that Norton Healthcare is seeking out PA students and hiring more PAs to deal with the national health care issues, which are currently causing so many difficulties, shows a great devotion to providing better access to care for more people,” said Heely, who is who is now in the Army Reserve. “While I have my current clinical interests in emergency medicine and surgery, I truly look forward to all of my rotations through Norton Healthcare, as I learn about different fields through clerkships.”


Media Contacts:  Ann Blackford, UK Public Relations,, 859-323-6442

Thomas Johnson, Norton Healthcare,, 502-629-8092 


Fight Continues Against Emerald Ash Borer

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 14:13

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 23, 2014) — The fight continues, but the invader has the upper hand. Kentucky’s ash trees, important as timber producers and landscape trees, have faced the onslaught of the emerald ash borer, an invasive insect pest from Asia, since 2009.


Since then, a county-level quarantine has been in effect to slow the borer’s spread through human activity. The original quarantine included 20 counties, all within the Lexington-Louisville-Cincinnati triangle. Based on new detections of the insects on survey traps, at least one new county was added to the quarantine each year, including some in Eastern Kentucky. The quarantine issued by the Kentucky Office of the State Entomologist in conjunction with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and the University of Kentucky Department of Entomology forbad the transportation of all hardwood species of firewood, ash trees, lumber, nursery stock or other material from the quarantined counties without a certificate or limited permit.


Unfortunately, the emerald ash borer spreads naturally by flying. Despite local quarantines, expansion of its range continues. In response, the entire state was placed under quarantine in April. The decision is designed to regulate the interstate movement of ash nursery stock, green lumber, waste, compost, chips and firewood and effectively lifts the county quarantines.


“While it is quite likely that the insect is present outside the original quarantined counties, our entire state is not infested at this time. At this point, emerald ash borer activity is still very localized in some areas,” said Lee Townsend, extension entomology professor in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.


At present 21 states and two Canadian provinces — Quebec and Ontario — have known emerald ash borer infestations. 


The quarantine of the entire state means that ash materials may move from Kentucky to surrounding states that are also wholly quarantined for the emerald ash borer, including Missouri, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia. Special permits are required to move articles into Illinois and Indiana, however.


Though the movement is no longer forbidden within Kentucky’s borders, the state entomologist’s office and the Kentucky Division of Forestry strongly urge Kentuckians not to transport firewood outside of the local area. Transporting firewood has been proven to spread invasive insects.


“With the new emerald ash borer quarantine rules, firewood can be moved from one place to another within Kentucky,” said Larry Lowe of the Kentucky Division of Forestry. “However, it is important to realize that there are other pests that can also be moved in firewood, and the use of local firewood can help reduce risk of infestation of insects other than the emerald ash borer.”


Ash trees, with their light but exceptionally strong wood, are an important component of Kentucky’s forest industries. Ash occurs throughout the state, representing approximately 7 percent of the total timber volume. However, certain regions of the state, such as Northern Kentucky and south central Kentucky, have significant amounts of ash.


“The loss of the trees is affecting Kentucky’s woodlands, our forest industry and homeowners and cities that have widely planted ash,” said Jeff Stringer, UK extension professor of silviculture.


Until this year, the Kentucky Office of the State Entomologist hung purple traps to monitor the spread of the small, dark-green metallic beetle that feeds on all ash tree species. Though the traps have been one of the best tools for monitoring the spread of the insect, they have only been marginally effective, said Joe Collins, UK senior nursery inspector.


“We will continue to partner with the USDA to release biological control wasps in Kentucky,” Collins said.


To date, three species of stingless wasps have been released at 12 sites in the state. Extremely small, the wasps are not capable of stinging humans, but are very good at tracking down emerald ash borer larvae under tree bark. Homing in on the vibrations the larvae make when chewing, the wasps can insert their stingers through the bark and, depending on the wasp species, lay an egg either on or inside the larvae. When the eggs hatch, the wasp larvae consume the ash borer larvae.


Homeowners and woodland owners living in or within 15 miles of the 31 formerly quarantined counties who wish to protect their ash trees should start or continue to apply protective treatments.


“At this point, it is not clear how long landscape ash trees must be protected as the wave of EAB infestation passes through, but seven to 10 years is a reasonable estimate,” Townsend said.


He does advise homeowners, however, to save their money and not begin preventive treatments until an active infestation is found nearby. The state urges anyone who suspects an infestation — the EAB leaves D-shaped exit holes in the bark — to contact the Office of the State Entomologist, 859-257-5838, or their local Cooperative Extension office for confirmation.


More information about the emerald ash borer in Kentucky and a list of affected counties, are available at


Visit the USDA hungry pests website, to find out more about invasive pests.



MEDIA CONTACT:  Carol Lea Spence, 859-257-8324,




UK Alum Dan Wu to Compete on 'MasterChef'

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 14:10



"First Look" video of Fox's TV show "MasterChef." Video courtesy of Fox. 


LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 23, 2014) — University of Kentucky art studio alumnus and amateur chef Dan Wu will be cooking up a storm on TV screens across America as he competes on the fifth season of the reality show competition "MasterChef." The new season of the cooking show searching for America's best home cook will premiere at 8 p.m. Monday, May 26, on Fox. Wu is one of two cooks from Kentucky competing on the show.


Wu, a native of Wuxi, China, moved to Lexington as a child when his father took a job at UK. Upon completion of his bachelor's degree in art studio at UK in 1997, he moved to San Francisco and later Brooklyn, before returning to the Bluegrass. Wu first considered showing off his cooking chops competitively last year as part of the Crave Home Chef Competition, presented in conjunction with the inaugural Crave Lexington Food and Music Festival. Wu took second place in this first outing.


For "MasterChef," Wu traveled to Columbus, Ohio, last October to compete against more than 200 amateur chefs. The cook was selected based on a 5-spice duck confit bao dish, featuring a homemade steamed bun with shredded slow-cooked duck leg, pickled red onions, cucumbers, scallions and hoisin Sriracha mayonnaise, served with Sriracha-pickled peaches.


Among the other 29 contestants joining Wu on "MasterChef" is a fellow Kentuckian, Corey Charles, of Pikeville.


"MasterChef" is hosted by award-winning chef Gordon Ramsay and judged by Ramsay, restaurateur Joe Bastianich and acclaimed chef Graham Elliot. On the TV show, the three celebrated food experts will put the group of 30 contestants through a series of challenges designed to test their palates, food knowledge, passion and culinary skills. The cooks will compete for the title of MasterChef, a cookbook deal and a $250,000 cash prize. 



MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716;

WUKY's Phoenix Fridays Bring Live Concerts to Downtown Lexington This Summer

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 18:51

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 22, 2014) ― A new summertime concert series ― WUKY's Phoenix Fridays ― is coming to downtown Lexington. Presented by  WUKY 91.3 FM at 5 p.m. every fourth Friday of June, July, August and September in Phoenix Park, the free outdoor concerts will offer live music from the best local acts and exciting up-and-coming nationally touring bands.


"We are really excited to offer WUKY's Phoenix Fridays to Central Kentucky residents and visitors this summer," said Mike Graves, music director at WUKY.  "The line-up of musicians is fantastic, and local food trucks will be onsite with great food and beverages. Enjoying live music and good food under the stars in Phoenix Park ― we hope to see you there!"


Produced by The Downtown Lexington Corporation, WUKY's Phoenix Fridays will feature local bands as the opening act, followed by nationally touring bands.


The schedule is:


Friday, June 27 at 5-9:30  p.m.

Opening act – Dawn Landes

Headliner – Simone Felice


Friday, July 25 at 5-9:30 p.m.

Opening act – Warren Byrom & Small Batch

Headliner – Saintseneca


Friday, August 22 at 5-9:30 p.m.

Opening act – Coralee and the Townies

Headliner – Ben Sollee


Friday, Sept. 26 at 5-9:30 p.m.

Opening act – The Northside Sheiks

Headliner - TBA


Band details, interviews and videos can be accessed at


Phoenix Park is located at the corner of Main Street and South Limestone in downtown Lexington.


For more information contact WUKY’s Mike Graves at, 859-396-4137.



MEDIA CONTACT:  Kathy Johnson, 859-257-3155, 

No UK Bus Service Memorial Day

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 18:30

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 23, 2014) — University of Kentucky Parking and Transportation Services will not offer bus service Monday, May 26, in observance of the Memorial Day holiday. This includes the CATS Summer/Break Route, the Medical Center Route and the Kentucky Clinic Route. All bus service will return to normal operations Tuesday, May 27.



All CATS buses are on Cat Tracker, a real-time GPS-based bus locating system. Cat Tracker can be accessed at, via the free TransLoc Android, BlackBerry and iPhone apps and through QR and SMS codes located on each bus stop sign.

Fifteen UK Students Win NSF Research Awards

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 18:20

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 23, 2013) — The University of Kentucky Office of External Scholarships has announced 15 of the university's undergraduate and graduate students will be able to pursue research in their fields of study with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF).


Three UK students have been selected to receive government-funded NSF Graduate Research Fellowships. The fellowships will present the students with more than $100,000 to use toward research-based master's or doctoral degrees.


In addition, undergraduate research opportunities will be funded for 12 UK undergraduates through NSF-Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU).

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program helps ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the U.S. and reinforces its diversity. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based graduate degrees in the U.S. and abroad. 


NSF fellows receive a three-year annual stipend of $32,000 along with a $12,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees. They also are given opportunities for international research and professional development as well as the freedom to conduct their own research at any accredited U.S. institution of graduate education they choose.

UK’s newest NSF fellows are:

· Benjamin Currens, a graduate student studying Earth and environmental sciences;

· Josiah Hanna, a 2014 computer science and mathematics graduate; and

· Jacob Welch, a 2013 anthropology graduate.


Benjamin Currens, the son of James Currens, of Versailles, Ky., and Debra Rogers, of Harrodsburg, Ky., is a 2012 graduate of Cornell University. His NSF Graduate Research Fellowship will fund research on water quality and water scarcity issues.


"As global climate change continues I believe water issues will be exacerbated and likely emerge as an early problem," Currens said.


After completing his master's degree, Currens plans to pursue a Ph.D. and research in the Central Atlas Mountains in Morocco.


The son of David and Sarah Hanna, Josiah Hanna received bachelor's degrees in computer science and mathematics from UK May 10. A 2013 Astronaut Scholar and 2013 Goldwater Scholar, Hanna will use the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship to fund artificial intelligence research in graduate school.


"The NSF Fellowship will completely fund my graduate school work for three years and also includes other opportunities such as internships and research abroad experiences," said Hanna, a Chellgren Fellow and UK Honors Program member.


Hanna plans to eventually pursue a doctoral degree in computer science with a focus on artificial intelligence.


A native of Richmond, Ky., Jacob Welch is the son of Jeff and Marcia Welch, of Knoxville, Tenn. A Chellgren Fellow and former member of the UK Honors Program, Welch earned his bachelor's degree from UK in December 2013. He will use his NSF Graduate Research Fellowship as part of his graduate studies at Yale Univesity where his research will focus on commoner social universe.


"I assert that through studies of multi-household social units in Mesoamerican society and the interactions of commoners at various scales, archaeology will produce a more representative image of the Mesoamerican past," said Welch, who is hoping to advance his previous research findings on settlement patterns of the ancient Maya site Chunchucmil.


Four other UK students received honorable mention recognition from the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program. They are: Mirza Agha, a graduate student in forestry, from Kirkland, Wash.; Robert DeJaco, a 2014 chemical engineering graduate from Dublin, Ohio; Tyler Flynn, a 2014 mechanical engineering and physics graduate and Chellgren Fellow from Lexington; and Tyler Huber, a pharmacy student from Orlando, Fla.


The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program is the country’s oldest graduate fellowship program directly supporting graduate students in social science and various STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields. Since 1952, NSF has funded 48,500 Graduate Research Fellowships. More than 30 fellowship recipients have become Nobel laureates. In addition, the Graduate Research Fellowship Program has a high rate of doctoral degree completion, with more than 70 percent of students completing doctorates within 11 years.


NSF also funds a large number of research opportunities for undergraduate students through its REU Sites program. An REU Site consists of a group of approximately 10 undergraduates who work in the research programs of the host institution. Each student is associated with a specific research project, where he/she works closely with the faculty and other researchers. Throughout the NSF-REU program, students are granted stipends and, in many cases, assistance with housing and travel.


UK's recipients of the NSF-REU are:

· Robert Cass, a mathematics senior;

· Evan Castle, an electrical engineering and mathematics senior;

· Steven Chapman, a chemistry junior;

· Paige Clark, a chemical engineering junior;

· Jonathan Coburn, a chemical engineering junior;

· Andrea Eastes, an agricultural biotechnology and chemistry senior;

· Jonathan Elliott, an economics and mathematics senior;

· Matthew Fahrbach, a computer science and mathematics junior;

· Jordan Jorgensen, a computer science and mathematics senior;

· Sarah Patterson, a chemical engineering junior;

· Kimberly Stevens, a chemistry student in UK and Bluegrass Community and Technical College's BCTCblue+ program, who plans to eventually transfer to UK; and

· Emily VanMeter, a political science and French senior.


Chellgren Fellow and Honors Program member Robert Cass is the son of Valerie and Wayne Cass, of Lexington. He will participate in the NSF-REU on number theory at Texas A&M University. Previously, Cass took part in the 2013 NSF-REU on computational algebraic geometry, combinatorics and number theory at Clemson University.


Evan Castle is the son of Ruth and Scott Castle, of Lexington. He will participate in an NSF-REU on complex analysis at Central Michigan University.


Chellgren Fellow and Honors Program member Steven Chapman is the son of Donna and Jeff Chapman, of Hopkinsville, Ky. He will participate in an NSF-REU on chemistry at Penn State University.


Paige Clark is the daughter of Joe and Karen Clark, of Bardstown, Ky. She will remain close to home participating in the NSF-REU on engineered bioactive interfaces and devices at UK led by Kim Anderson, the Gill Eminent Professor of Chemical Engineering at UK College of Engineering.


Honors Program member Jonathan Coburn is the son of Cathy and Thomas Coburn, of Nicholasville, Ky. He will also participate in the NSF-REU on engineered bioactive interfaces and devices at UK.


Chellgren Fellow Andrea Eastes is the daughter of Chrissy and Jeff Eastes, of Mayfield, Ky. She will participate in an NSF-REU on molecular biosciences at University of California, San Francisco.


Chellgren Fellow and Honors Program member Jonathan Elliott is the son of Michael and Yvonne Elliott, of Grand Rapids, Mich. He will participate in an NSF-REU studying the economic impact of climate change in the Great Basin/Sierra Nevada region of the U.S. at the University of Nevada, Reno and the Great Basin Institute.


Chellgren Fellow Matthew Fahrbach is the son of Diane and Michael Fahrbach, of Louisville, Ky. Fahrbach will participate for the second year in an NSF-REU on mathematics at University of Washington.


Chellgren Fellow Jordan Jorgensen is the son of Angela and Joseph Jorgensen of Louisville. He will participate in an NSF-REU on parallel computer programming at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Sarah Patterson is the daughter of Beth and Charles Patterson, of Springfield, Ohio. She will participate in UK's NSF-REU on engineered bioactive interfaces and devices.


Kimberly Stevens is the daughter of Danny and Susan Stevens, of Frankfort, Ky. Stevens will also participate in the NSF-REU on engineered bioactive interfaces and devices at UK.


Chellgren Fellow Emily VanMeter is the daughter of Darrell and Valerie VanMeter, of Benton, Ky. She will participate in an NSF-REU on civil conflict management and peace science at University of North Texas.


Students interested in applying for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship or the NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates should contact Pat Whitlow, director of the UK Office of External Scholarships (OES). Part of the Academy of Undergraduate Excellence within the Division of Undergraduate Education, OES assists current UK undergraduate and graduate students and recent alumni in applying for external scholarships and fellowships funded by sources (such as a nongovernment foundation or government agency) outside the university. These major awards honor exceptional students across the nation. Students who are interested in these opportunities are encouraged to begin work with OES well in advance of the scholarship deadline.




MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716;

UK Delegation to Visit Shanghai University to Teach and Collaborate

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 18:02

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 27, 2014) — Fifteen UK faculty will teach students at Shanghai University (SHU) in China for a week this summer through the UK Confucius Institute’s (UKCI) “UK Faculty China Short-Term Teaching Program,” during the week of June 16-20.


The program fosters global literacy throughout UK’s multiple disciplines by embedding UK faculty members in SHU’s departments where they teach students for one week, meet professional colleagues, identify shared research interests and gain key insights into China that they can then share with their students in Kentucky.


"Students need to know how knowledge is created, disseminated and used in a commercial and global environment of commerce," said Susan Carvalho, associate provost for internationalization. "By sending UK faculty from a broad range of disciplines to teach at Shanghai University – some of whom have never been to China – they will return with global experiences and perspectives that will be infused across campus.”


Following the teaching week, UK Provost Christine Riordan, College of Arts & Sciences Dean Mark Kornbluh, College of Fine Arts Dean Michael Tick, Carvalho, and UKCI Director Huajing Maske will join the visiting UK faculty to celebrate “UK Week at SHU,” from June 23-27.


During “UK Week at SHU” members of the UK delegation will give lectures providing Shanghai University faculty the opportunity to connect with UK’s disciplinary and academic expertise.


The UK Confucius Institute held a similar “UK Week” at Jilin University in Spring 2012. Seven UK deans led by Interim Provost Tim Tracy spent five days at Jilin University giving academic talks, and meeting with their counterparts to discuss collaborative opportunities.


The UK-JLU Collaborative Framework was established as a result of “UK Week” at Jilin University, which includes a 2+2 agreement and faculty exchange agreement with the Gatton College of Business and Economics; and a 4+2 agreement with the College of Public Health. Partnerships with UK’s Computer Science Department, College of Communication and Information and College of Arts & Sciences are still be negotiated.


“Based on our great success at Jilin, the UK faculty who are teaching at SHU this summer and our strategic partnership with SHU, we decided to hold another “UK Week” at SHU,” said Maske, “This week-long event will deepen our ties with SHU and provide a base for future research collaborations.” 


Ernest Yanarella, chair of the Department of Political Science, taught a course as part of the “UK Faculty China Short-Term Teaching Program” in 2012. The title of his course was, "Bridging Modernity, Globalization, and Sustainable Development in China and the West."


"I must say that teaching in China to young Chinese college students was one of the most meaningful educational experiences I have had as a scholar and university professor," Yanarella said. "It proved to be a splendid opportunity for an American scholar and teacher to engage in a real dialogue with future leaders of the Republic of China."


Yanarella said that such partnerships are a win-win situation for Chinese universities and UK. 


"The opportunity for UK faculty to teach at Chinese universities opens up possibilities of promoting greater cultural understanding across political and other divides and generating collaborative teaching and research projects with Chinese scholars," he said.


Maske is hoping “UK Week at SHU” will help UK faculty find opportunities to access research dollars that are available in China through collaborative research. “There are considerable resources that UK faculty can access in China that will help them fund their research, access data and increase opportunities to publish.”


The opening ceremony and reception for “UK Week at SHU” will also be an opportunity to celebrate and connect with UK’s alumni in China.


“We are very excited about inviting all of our alumni in China to the opening ceremony and reception,” said Maske. “The number of alumni in China is rapidly growing every year, this is such a great way to create community and opportunity for everyone involved.”


The event will be hosted by UKCI, the Office of China Initiatives and Shanghai University.

Beshear Signs Bills Honoring and Supporting Military, Veterans in Ky.

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 15:51

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 21, 2014) — Gov. Steve Beshear today helped honor Kentucky veterans and recognize military training and service by ceremonially signing six bills from the recent 2014 session of the Kentucky General Assembly.


The governor’s action today at Barker Hall/Buell Armory in Lexington supports his ongoing commitment to Kentucky military personnel – both active members and veterans. Buell Armory is the home of the Army and Air Force ROTC on the University of Kentucky’s campus. UK Board of Trustees member Keith Gannon introduced the governor.

“We can never repay the huge debt we owe our servicemen and women or fully express our appreciation to them,” Beshear said. “With Memorial Day fast approaching, I cannot think of a better way to once again say ‘thank you’ by signing these bills. I ask all Kentuckians to join us in honoring our veterans, active servicemen and women, and our military personnel who made the ultimate sacrifice.”

As a former member of the U.S. Army Reserve, Beshear has worked hard over the last several years to help Kentucky troops, veterans and their families deal with financial hardships, provide employment and transportation assistance, and gain deserving recognition.

“Working with our governor, who along with the First Lady has been a tremendous supporter of the military and veterans of the Commonwealth on these bills – particularly HB 337 and HB 289, which I sponsored – and other issues, has been an honor,” said Rep. Tanya Pullin, of South Shore.  “As chairwoman of the House Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Safety Committee, I look forward to continuing to work with other members of the General Assembly and the Beshear Administration to address the needs of both the active duty military and veterans and ensure we properly recognize their work and sacrifice.”


“I first want to thank our Veterans for their service,” said Sen. Jimmy Higdon, of Lebanon.  “The Kentucky General Assembly is constantly striving to address the issues that affect veterans both at home and while they are abroad. Our veterans are – and will continue to be – a priority to us.”


The bills signed include:


House Bill 337


This measure applies military experience toward obtaining a heating, ventilation and air conditioning license and allows a 60-day grace period after the expiration of the license for the licensee to continue to practice and apply for renewal.


House Bill 289


This measure adjusts the membership of the Kentucky Commission on Military Affairs to reflect critically important military commands within Kentucky and their unique contributions to our national defense and the economic vitality of the region.


“The men and women who give their all to protect our nation deserve to have folks looking out for them who share their passion and understand their unique talents,” said Rep. Jeff Greer, of Brandenburg. “Helping ensure that all aspects of national defense are reflected on the Kentucky Commission on Military Affairs will only strengthen this important organization.”


“The collaboration and partnership between the Kentucky Commission on Military Affairs and military commands within the Commonwealth is strengthened by expansion of our membership,” said retired Col. David Thompson, executive director of the Commission on Military Affairs. “We now add the Army’s Human Resources Command, Recruiting Command, Cadet Command, the adjutant general of the Army, the Huntington District of the Corps of Engineers and the 84th Training Command of the Army Reserve. As we focus on the future of the vitally important military installations in Kentucky, we must have all the key leaders at the table. House Bill 289 recognizes the importance of the military in Kentucky and strengthens the bond between our military and our Commonwealth.”


House Bill 189


This measure clarifies that the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs has administrative authority over the Veterans’ Program Trust Fund and the authority to promulgate administrative regulations related to the trust fund.

“The Veterans’ Program Trust Fund is vital to making sure Kentucky veterans get the assistance and programs which they earned through their service, and this bill will help the fund stay focused on this mission,” said Rep. Charlie Miller, of Louisville.


House Bill 322


This measure establishes a special military service academy license plate, available Jan. 1, 2015, to current attendees and graduates of the U.S. military service academies.


“As someone who is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, I can appreciate and applaud my fellow Kentuckians who count themselves among the alumni of our outstanding military academies,” said Rep. Tim Moore, of Elizabethtown.  “I'm proud my bill passed both chambers and will become law, to allow our graduates to proudly display their alma mater on their Kentucky license plate.”

House Bill 246


This measure adds the word “history” to the Kentucky Military Museum. The Kentucky Military History Museum is located on East Main Street in Frankfort.


“The Kentucky Military History Museum plays a crucial role in educating our citizens about the sacrifices our men and women in uniform have made on our behalf,” said Rep. Kevin Sinnette, of Ashland. “Since the completion of its five-year renovation last year, it has become what I think is one of the finest museums of its kind in the country.  I’m proud to sponsor the law that is helping to promote this institution.”

House Bill 234


This measure creates the recognition of Korean War Armistice Day on July 27 by the Governor’s Office through an annual proclamation.  


“It’s time we make ‘The Forgotten War’ a time of remembrance and thanksgiving, and recognize those who defended the free rights of others against the encroachment of communism,” said Rep. Myron Dossett, of Pembroke.  “House Bill 234, which I proudly sponsored during the 2014 session, designates July 27th as a time to thank our Korean War veterans.  But I’m hopeful that Korean War Armistice Day is the first step for us to appreciate those who served and fought in Korea on a daily basis.”


At the signing, Beshear highlighted the progress his administration is making in assisting active members and veterans.


One goal, he said, is to strengthen mental health services for service members, veterans and families.


Currently, the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs (KDVA) is partnering with the federal Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities to expand telemental health services for veterans in rural Kentucky.


KDVA is also in the process of building a fourth state veterans nursing home in Radcliff. The design provides 120 veterans with a private room and bath and family-style living room, dining room, kitchen and patio. A separate administration building will house recreation, therapy and other services. Construction began in July 2013; the facility is scheduled to open in September 2015.


Additionally, KDVA, in conjunction with the national Vietnam War Commemoration Partner Program, will mark the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War by planning local and community events and activities in 2014 and 2015, honoring Vietnam War Veterans and their families for serving during a tumultuous period in our nation’s history.


“We are seeking commemorative partners, like local communities, universities and other organizations, to assist in thanking and honoring Vietnam veterans and their families,” said KDVA Commissioner Ken Lucas.


For more information, visit or KDVA’s website at

Know Your Risk for Radon Exposure

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 15:23

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 27, 2014) -- Kentucky has the "triple crown of lung cancer" -  the country's highest rate of smoking and high rates of secondhand smoke exposure and radon exposure. Radon exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. If you're exposed to radon and tobacco smoke, either through personal use or secondhand smoke, your risk of lung cancer increases tenfold.


Radon is a radioactive soil gas that is colorless, odorless and tasteless. It enters buildings through the foundation and plumbing and becomes trapped in indoor spaces. When inhaled, radon causes immediate DNA damage before decaying into lead, which stays in the body for decades. Most radon-induced lung cancers are thought to be associated with low to moderate radon concentrations.


The entire state of Kentucky is at high risk for radon exposure, with about 40 percent of homes estimated to have unsafe levels. Here's how you can make sure that you and your loved ones are not exposed to radon:


1.     Test your home. Radon is only detectable through testing of indoor spaces, which is easy and free or low-cost.  Many local health departments have radon programs providing free radon test kits. Most testing is as easy as setting the testing envelope on a bookshelf for 2 to 3 days. The tests are then mailed, usually free of charge, for processing, and the lab mails or emails the results. Long term tests of 90 days are encouraged if tobacco smoking occurs in the home. 


The Kentucky State Radon Program can provide contact information for your local health department's radon coordinator, and offers free radon test kits. Visit or call (502) 564-4856.


Radon test kits can also be purchased at home improvement stores for $15-$25.



2.     Mitigate your home if radon levels are unsafe. If a building has unsafe levels of radon exposure, the radon can be mitigated from the soil by a certified mitigation specialist. The mitigation process, however, can be expensive, ranging from $1,200 to $2,500 depending on the size of the home. Certified radon mitigation professionals can be found at


3.     Prevent radon exposure in new home construction. Prevent radon exposure before it starts by adding a Radon Resistant New Construction (RRNC) passive system during home construction. This system can be activated by a certified mitigator if high radon levels are found in the home. RRNC costs approximately $600-$800 for a single family home, compared to $1,200 to $2,500 for mitigation of an existing home.


If you are interested in participating in a UK FRESH research study to prevent lung cancer by addressing radon levels and smoke exposure in your home, please call 859-323-4587 or email


Dr. Ellen Hahn is a professor in the UK Colleges of Nursing and Public Health, and director of the Clean Indoor Air Partnership and Kentucky Center for Smoke Free Policy. 


This column appeared in the May 25, 2014, edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader



Medical Emergency on Airplane Elevates UK Nurse to Hero Status for Local Businessman

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 13:43


Video Produced by UK Public Relations and Marketing.  To view captions for this video, push play and click on the CC icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.  If using a mobile device, click the "thought bubble" icon in the same area. LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 22, 2014) — On April 3, 2014, Sarah Buschmann, a University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital neurosciences ICU nurse, had just settled into her seat near the back of an airplane departing Bluegrass Airport for Las Vegas.  About 20 minutes into the flight, she put her headphones on to take a nap. She was eagerly anticipating meeting up with four friends from other states to celebrate her 29th birthday on April 17 and her cousin's birthday on the 6th. It was a great excuse for them all to get together and she was excited. 


Bill Schutters, a 63-year-old businessman and entrepreneur from Richmond, Ky., and his companion Carol Conyers, were on the same flight. Schutters had a stressful week of traveling and work and they were looking forward to a little rest and relaxation in Las Vegas.

About 20 minutes into the flight, Schutters felt hot and began sweating profusely. As he removed his jacket, he told Conyers he was feeling sick.


"We joke around a lot and at first I thought he might be joking," Conyers said. "But when he threw his head back gasping for air and his normal ruddy complexion turned white as a sheet, I knew he was in trouble. His head fell forward and his eyes rolled back into his head as he passed out. I thought he was having a heart attack."


Buschmann was dozing peacefully to her music when she heard a voice talking over the loud speaker although she didn't understand what was said. She asked a nearby flight attendant who told her that a medical doctor or nurse was needed for someone in distress.


Without hesitation, Buschmann stood up and said, "I am a nurse. What can I do to help?"

Buschmann was led to a three seat aisle in the middle of the plane where she saw Schutters in the middle seat, pale, sweating, and unresponsive. The passenger in the third seat on the other side of Schutters was frightened and left for another seat. Buschmann sat down and began trying to figure out what was going on.


"He was having difficulty breathing, epigastric pain with nausea, in a cold sweat, dusky and in and out of consciousness," Buschmann said. "He was struggling to answer my questions and Ms. Conyers had to fill in the blanks for him. I had to continually probe him to keep him awake and talking."


"Sarah was so calm, a real pro," Conyers said. "She asked for a blood pressure cuff, a stethoscope and oxygen. The oxygen tank arrived covered in dust. Sarah just calmly wiped it off with her hand and onto her pant leg as she checked the gauges and expiration date. She didn't hesitate to turn it on to start getting oxygen to Bill. He went through four tanks.  She knew he needed fluids and got him ginger ale and an aspirin. She was amazing."


Buschmann never left Schutters' side for the duration of their four hour flight, constantly monitoring him and checking in with the pilot and air medics by phone until they safely landed.  His color slowly returned after the ginger ale although he remained drowsy, continuing with spells of having trouble breathing and diaphoresis. The pilot decided that as long as he was conscious and stable he would able to tolerate the flight, there was no need for to divert the flight and land.


"Sarah has quite a sense of humor," Conyers said. "We really got to know each other during those four hours. We talked about everything that had happened that day prior to the flight.  We laughed so hard over that dirty oxygen tank. We can laugh about it now. Sarah talked about her how much she loved her job at UK. I learned that she went through the same nursing program that my niece is going through."


Schutters describes what happened to him that day as "the perfect storm." He only had a light meal and a glass of wine before the flight and his blood sugar had dropped. His normally elevated blood pressure had plummeted, he was under a lot of stress, dehydrated, couldn't get enough oxygen, and the extreme turbulence the airplane was experiencing that day only seemed to exacerbate his symptoms.


A medical team was on the runway when the plane landed to perform medical tests and take over Schutters' care, but to Schutters and Conyers, Buschmann was the real hero that day.

"Sarah was our angel because we don't know what would have happened if she hadn't been there," Conyers said. "She jumped to help us immediately. She didn't think about us intruding on her birthday celebration. She is amazing and an excellent reflection on UK. I have adopted her into my heart."


Buschmann attributes her attitude towards helping others to her upbringing. "My parents raised me well, teaching me to always help others. My mother is also in the medical profession and my godfather is a physician," she said. "All my life I’ve witnessed them jumping in to provide care when called upon. As a nurse in the ICU, I'm used to helping in a moments notice without stopping to think about it. We see everything here at UK and feel well prepared. It was my job to make sure that he was OK first and foremost."


After deboarding the plane, Buschmann made sure that Schutters and Conyers were OK with her leaving them with the medical team on the ground.


Schutters and Conyers thanked Buschmann many times over for everything she had done to help them. Still, a few weeks after their trip Conyers felt the need to find the young nurse they only knew as "Sarah" and to thank her again as well as let her co-workers and supervisors at UK HealthCare know about the exemplary care Schutters received that day thousands of feet in the air.  On May 21, a much healthier Schutters and Conyers came to the hospital to thank Sarah again and to be present as she was honored for her actions that day. 


“At UK HealthCare, our nursing vision is 'leading the way for every patient, every time,'" said Colleen Swartz, Chief Nurse Executive at UK HealthCare. "Sometimes the 'patients' we encounter may not actually be located at UK, but a patient we encounter by chance.  Sarah demonstrates our core values and lives out our vision of what being a nurse at UKHC means.  We are fortunate to have Sarah, and many others like her on our team."    


Media Contact: Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or          

UK Athletics Posts Record GPA for 2014 Spring Semester

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 11:27

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 22, 2014) — In the midst of a record-setting athletic season, University of Kentucky Wildcat student-athletes combined for their best academic semester since 2002-03, the first year for which complete grade information is available.


Continuing to raise the bar in the classroom, scholarship Wildcats combined for a 3.218 cumulative grade-point average for the spring semester. UK Athletics has now posted GPAs of at least 3.0 in four consecutive semesters.


“We have great expectations for our student-athletes, but to get to this spot is special,” Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. “I know how hard our kids work every day, and I’m so proud to see it pay off like this. This semester is proof of the commitment they have made in the classroom.”


Of UK’s 20 teams, 18 posted GPAs of better than 3.0. The women’s swimming and diving team led the way with a 3.728 GPA, closely followed by women’s cross country (3.667), softball (3.599), women’s tennis (3.546) and rifle (3.517). Men’s tennis (3.401) led all UK men’s teams.


Women’s swimming and diving, softball and men’s and women’s tennis were among 13 teams to attain 3.0 GPAs while also competing in the championship portions of their schedule. Included in that group was the men’s basketball team, which posted a 3.050 cumulative GPA and reached the national championship game in April.


“Balancing schoolwork and competition is not easy,” Barnhart said. “Excelling in both is an incredible achievement and the fact that some of our top performers on the field are some of our best students is really special.”


In total, 325 Wildcats — scholarship and non-scholarship — earned GPAs of 3.0 or better, accounting for more than 60 percent of UK’s student-athlete population of 508. Seventy-one of those student-athletes had perfect 4.0 GPAs this spring.


“Our student-athletes get the work done, but our coaches and the staff at CATS (Center for Academic and Tutorial Services) are important pieces of the puzzle,” Barnhart said. “I want to thank them for everything they do.”


With the streak of four straight semesters of GPAs of 3.0 or better, the Wildcats continue to make progress toward the goals set forth in Barnhart’s 15 by 15 by 15 Plan. UK ranks No. 14 in the latest national all-sports standings, on pace for the best finish in the 20-year history of the Directors’ Cup, and has 11 conference or national championships since November of 2008.




MEDIA CONTACT: Tony Neely,, 859-257-3838; Guy Ramsey,, 859-257-3838.

UK Establishes Office of China Initiatives

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 10:27

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 22, 2014) — The University of Kentucky is deepening its ties with China by establishing an on-campus Office of China Initiatives.


The Office of China Initiatives – located on UK’s campus, in Bradley Hall – is an outcome of the strategic planning conversations convened by the UK International Center (UKIC) during Spring 2013. UKIC provides coordination, consistency and focus for UK’s international work in seven world regions.  During discussions about the collaborative opportunities available in China, faculty members stressed the need to focus partnership efforts and to support UK faculty engagement with their colleagues in China.


China’s growth as an economic superpower has made it a priority for UKIC’s regional strategic vision.


“China is an area where UK can't afford to be left behind,” said Susan Carvalho, associate provost for internationalization. “I think it’s fair to say that every college and university in the country has its eye on China and is looking for the connections that will yield the most benefit to their students and their scholars. So finding our place in the complicated map of Chinese higher education is an imperative.”


Building on the success of the UK Confucius Institute, director Huajing Maske will continue that leadership and will also serve as executive director of the Office of China Initiatives, focusing on UK’s strategic interests.


“The UK Confucius Institute helped establish many important partnerships with Chinese Institutions,” Maske said. “The Office of China Initiatives will focus on putting these partnerships into real practice by helping faculty identify their Chinese collaborative counterparts and provide resources to help them succeed.”


The Office of China Initiatives will facilitate broader collaborations among Chinese and University of Kentucky scholars and will support existing partnerships that require aligned research agendas and greater investment.


“Developing UK’s China partnerships will create new opportunities for funded collaborative research, as well as new student pipelines to and from China,” Maske said.


Collaborative Funded Research

The Chinese government offers significant funding opportunities to its top universities when they engage in collaborative global research. UK faculty can access this funding through partnerships, and the Office of China Initiatives will help to establish or extend these partnerships. Similarly, major funders in the U.S., such as the National Science Foundation, are offering grants, for U.S. researchers who are collaborating with international scholars.


“The more we can link with those universities faculty-to-faculty and department-to-department, the better positioned we will be to apply for collaborative grants based in the U.S. or in China,” Carvalho said. “We are looking to establish the kinds of shared interest and synergies that would position our researchers and theirs for some of those funding opportunities.”


An example of collaborative funded research is UK’s Center for Applied Energy Research’s (CAER) participation in the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center.


"China is making the most investments right now, with respect to coal use and also at the scale in which they're doing it," said Rodney Andrews, director of CAER. "They're willing to do large-scale tests that aren't going on anywhere else."


CAER is participating in the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center through its Power Generation Group, Algae Research Group and Coal Ash Group to develop next-generation clean coal technologies, carbon capture and storage.


Student Pipelines

The Office of China Initiatives will also develop avenues for UK students to visit China for international education experiences, and for students from China to study at the University of Kentucky.


“As the world's leading exporter, with the world's second-largest economy, there is no question that China is a dominant player in the 21st century marketplace,” Carvalho said. “We would like our faculty and our students to be attuned to economic, political and social developments in China so that they have context for understanding the trade relationships that are developing.”


China also has a strong presence in UK’s student body. Currently 44.2 percent of the international students at UK come from China.


The Office of China Initiatives, in collaboration with International Enrollment Management, will help recruit Chinese students to UK through Chinese high school and university partnerships.



The Office of China Initiatives hopes not only to increase collaborative research and international education at UK, but also to expand opportunities for shared instruction with Chinese universities, building toward eventual dual degrees and UK credits delivered in China.


“Such deep connections with China will allow UK to flourish as a world-class research institution, and prepare students to lead high-impact, 21st-century careers,” said UK Provost Christine Riordan. “UK is part of the future of U.S.-China relations, one that is based on collaboration rather than competition.”


For more information about the Office of China Initiatives, contact Huajing Maske, executive director of the Office of China Initiatives at

DOLLY Is Not Your Mother's Map

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 17:40


LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 21, 2014) -- Today’s maps aren’t the finite, two-dimensional, frustrating-to-fold piece of paper you or (if you are younger than 30) your parents tucked behind the sun visor of the family car. Today, a map of virtually anywhere on the planet can be accessed by one’s smart phone or even the computer installed in your car’s console.


Today’s geographers and their research are just as different as their predecessors’ paper maps. Their work is conducted totally in cyberspace and it has provided insightful snapshots of our world. 


One young University of Kentucky research team led by geography professor Matthew Zook spent more than two years collecting and analyzing 6.5 billion globally geotagged tweets (messages with a location specified by the sender or by GPS), and remarkable pictures of our world, its people and cultures evolved. They have explored how increased reliance on mobile devices that access the geoweb influences the way people view the physical realm. In a second paper, Zook with Mark Graham of the UK Oxford Internet Institute and doctoral candidate Andrew Boulton focused on digital mapmaking and the limitless bits of information that can be “attached” to a single geographic location, a spot on a virtual map.


As founding member of UK’s interdisciplinary New Mappings Collaboratory, Zook’s research focuses on how “code, space and place” interact as people use mobile and digital technologies to navigate through their day to day lives, especially in large digitally augmented cities. Fascinating “selfies” of society have evolved.


For example:

·       3.5 million global tweets were about Justin Beiber.

·       Americans living in the northeast tweet more about pizza than those living in the south. 

·       A wide swath of north central America has more bars than grocery stores.

·       Predictably, the deep south tweets about grits with faithful regularity, while people in Ohio, West Virginia and southern California apparently rarely, if ever, think about grits.

·       While beer is the preferred alcoholic beverage in middle America, those living on the east and west coast tend to prefer wine. The exception being a few large inland metropolitan areas, like Atlanta and New Orleans.   


Zook and his team of researchers believe they have only begun analyzing this concoction of people, places and cyberspace. Although only about 2 percent of the staggering amount of daily internet communications in the world today is actually fixed with a specific geographic location, it still leaves UK researchers 200 tweets each and every second to capture, store and analyze through the Digital Online Life and You (DOLLY) project. DOLLY is quickly establishing the Department of Geography at the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences as a key center for critical research on big geosocial media data.


Using this digital “sixth sense” access to cyberspace, we can now determine if families enjoyed their Orlando vacation or how tweeters feel about the latest celebrity scandal or where the “haters” of America live. All this thanks to the insatiable compulsion of millions of people to document and share with the world their memories, feelings, prejudices and reactions to whatever is happening wherever they happen to be at the moment. DOLLY collects the content of 200 global geotagged tweets every second, allowing researchers to pick a specific region of the country (Louisville, Kentucky, for example), during a chosen time frame (the first week of May), analyze messages containing a key word (like Derby) and come up with which thoroughbred is likely to be the favorite on Derby Day. The result would not be limited to the opinions of only those gambling on the race.


For a video explanation of the process, visit or


According to the website describing DOLLY, the research team sees DOLLY as both a key tool for their own work but also as a means to break down the technological barrier that is often present for researchers that would like to study big data but do not necessarily possess the required technical skills.


Never has humanity disseminated so much information so widely at such high speeds. Zook sees this new cyberworld as a two-edged blade – unifying and globalizing us at the same time. Now we carry our computers in our pocket, computers that only a few decades ago filled a room. Where this new blend of the digital and the physical worlds takes us is anyone’s guess.


MEDIA CONTACT: Gail Hairston, 859-257-3302,


Birdwhistell, Steltenkamp Among 2014 MediStar Award Winners

Mon, 05/19/2014 - 17:04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 20, 2014) - Mark D. Birdwhistell and Dr. Carol Steltenkamp were among the Individuals and organizations honored on May 13 at the eighth annual MediStar Awards. Held at the Hyatt Regency Louisville, the MediStar Awards are the region’s premier venue for recognizing excellence in the business of health care. 


IGE Media is a publishing company that serves members of the Kentuckiana business and healthcare communities and is the only publishing company in Kentuckiana that reaches both the healthcare executive and the healthcare consumer. IGE Media publishes two healthcare newspapers, Medical News and Medical News for You, and produces the annual MediStar Awards.


Birdwhistell, vice president for administratin and external affairs for UK HealthCare received the Seven Counties Services Health Advocacy Award which is pesented to an individual or organization that has worked to raise awareness of health challenges in our region and worked to affect change.

Birdwhistell represents UK HealthCare at the local, state and national levels and serves as a national speaker on healthcare policy and Medicaid reform efforts. Prior to this position, Birdwhistell served in senior leadership roles in the private and public sector, including secretary for the Kentucky Cabinet of Health and Family Services and chief executive officer for CHA Health. He has more than 30 years experience in healthcare.


Steltenkamp received the Hall Render Leadership in Healthcare Award presented to a progressive and entrepreneurial individual who is not afraid to take risks and whose job performance is considered exemplary by providers, patients and peers. Steltenkamp is UK HealthCare chief medical information officer and executive director for the Kentucky Regional Extension Center, a health IT staff resource used by 2,800 Kentucky health professionals. Steltenkamp, also a pediatrician, was instrumental in the development of UK HealthCare’s data warehouse, a system incorporating data mining capabilities and maintaining a pleasant and highly functional user interface. 


Other winners were:
The Healthcare Innovation Award
Presented to an organization that has developed a new procedure, device, service, program or treatment that improves the delivery of care.    

University of Louisville Institute of Molecular Cardiology (IMC) 

Under Dr. Roberto Bolli’s leadership, the Institute of Molecular Cardiology is making significant contributions in ischemic heart disease, heart failure and stem cell therapy for cardiac repair. The IMC is recognized worldwide as a leading cardiovascular research program and consistently brings more than $13 million annually in national federal funding to the Louisville Metro region. Most importantly, the IMC is developing novel treatments and future cures for cardiovascular disease.

The Middleton Reutlinger Nurse of the Year Award
Presented to a nurse who has gone above and beyond their normal responsibilities to improve best practices and contribute to patient education.

Tracy Williams, DNP
Senior Vice President and System Chief Nursing Officer
Norton Healthcare

Tracy Williams provides leadership and professional development vision for more than 4,200 nurses with Norton Healthcare. She created an academic partnership with the University of Kentucky College of Nursing that will prepare and education 150 Norton Healthcare BSN employees over the next seven years to complete their DNP with APRN credentials.

The Facility Design Award
Presented to an architectural firm that demonstrated functional or innovative design in a new or renovated healthcare facility, which improves the delivery of care.

Norton Women’s and Kosair Children’s Hospital
Architect: LMH

Norton Women’s and Kosair Children’s Hospital is a full-service, acute care facility. The vision for the architectural design is based on the “Kentucky Forest” theme. The forest can be seen in design elements, including a large expanse of colorized glass representing a canopy of the trees. The facility has an intuitive way-finding system, a new inpatient pediatric unit, a state-of-the-art neonatal intensive care unit and healing garden.

The Passport Health Plan Champion in Health Award
Steve Johnson
Executive Director of Governmental, Community and Legislative Affairs
Owensboro Health
Campaign Chair
Owensboro Health “Gives”

Last year, under the director of Steve Johnson, Owensboro Health partnered with Community Health Charities and United Way to build a new kind of campaign, one that gives employees more choices about how to give. The campaign giving was all done online through Community Health Charities’ “” platform. The online portal allowed Owensboro Health employees to allocate their contributions as they saw it. The employees’ giving and organization’s match combined raised a grand total of $300,543.

The BOK Financial Aging Care Award
Presented to an organization that has advanced the level of care for the senior community through innovative methods resulting in reduced costs and improved quality of care.

Nazareth Home

Nazareth Home is a 118-skilled bed facility, which offers specific programs for short stay rehabilitation and traditional long-term care nursing encompassing dementia and end-of-life care. Nazareth Home’s legacy of compassion and spirit for innovation focused on the individual has led to consistent staffing and healthy, happy elders. This past year, Nazareth Home became the one of only 200 homes in the country (and the only Kentucky certified one) to utilized the Music and Memory Program.

The XLerateHealth Physician of the Year Award
Presented to a physician who has shown outstanding leadership and vision and has contributed to their workplace leaving a lasting legacy.

Donald Miller, MD
Director, James Graham Brown Cancer Center
James Graham Brown Professor of Oncology and 
Associate Vice President for Health Affairs
University of Louisville, School of Medicine

Under Dr. Donald Miller’s leadership, the James Graham Brown Cancer Center developed a nationally recognized research program in cancer drug development with more than a two dozen novel treatments being studied in their labs., with three entering early phase clinical trials. Miller’s laboratory is currently studying short DNA sequences, which cause cancer cells to “commit suicide.” These genomic DNA sequences will enter clinical trials within the next two years.

The A.O. Sullivan Award for Excellence in Education
Presented to an organization that takes creative approaches to developing and implementing programs, which enhance the level of knowledge, education and career opportunity in healthcare.

Associate Education Programs
Floyd Memorial Hospital and Health Services

Floyd Memorial Hospital and Health Services’ Associate Education programs are tailored to the associates’ needs. Offerings focus on physical, financial, professional and personal development through traditional and online classes. The hospital offers tuition and certification reimbursement, in–house career opportunities, career fit and skills assessments and resume writing and interviewing tutorials. The six-month School at Work program and four-month ECHO (Expanding Your Career in Healthcare Opportunities) programs give the opportunity to expand healthcare career opportunities inside and outside of the organization.


Pikeville Native Sees Bright Future Thanks to Opportunities at UK

Mon, 05/19/2014 - 16:39


Video Produced by UK Public Relations and Marketing.  To view captions for this video, push play and click on the CC icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.  If using a mobile device, click the "thought bubble" icon in the same area.


LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 20, 2014) — When Samuel Potter visited UK’s campus while he was in high school, he immediately felt at home.


Despite being from a smaller town in Eastern Kentucky, the engineering major felt UK’s size fit perfectly for what he wants to achieve before graduating with his bachelor’s degree.


Watch the video feature above to discover why UK’s unique offerings for an undergraduate are helping him prepare for a well-rounded future. 


For more information how you can “see blue.” visit:  To watch other “see blue.” student stories, click on the playlist below. 





VIDEO CONTACTS:  Amy Jones-Timoney, (859) 257-2940, OR Kody Kiser, (859) 257-5282,

Gatton Professional Evening MBA Enhances Offerings

Mon, 05/19/2014 - 16:23

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 21, 2014) — For the first time ever, the Professional Evening MBA programs in The University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business and Economics will be offering certifications in three important areas -- Project Management, Global Management, and Lean Six Sigma Green Belt.


Previously, these certifications had only been offered as a part of Gatton's accelerated One-Year MBA program.


Applications for incoming students to the Professional Evening MBA will be accepted until July 1, with classes in both the two-year and three-year evening options beginning in late August.  With regard to the new certification offerings, Gatton's MBA Center will pay for all instruction and materials while students are responsible for the cost of the certification exam.


"These certification offerings enhance an already strong program for our evening MBA students," said Steve Skinner, associate dean for graduate programs and chair of the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain. "For a number of years, our MBA Policy Committee has observed the positive impacts of these certifications on students in our one-year program.  Now our evening students will have the same access."


Gatton MBA Programs Director Harvie Wilkinson said the college sought the input of current and former students when considering these enhancements. 


"Our goal always is to keep students at the heart of our offerings," said Wilkinson. "Virtually all of the students in our two-year and three-year Professional Evening MBA programs have job responsibilities during regular business hours. They come to the table with a valuable, real-world perspective. Listening to that perspective is the guiding force driving these enhancements." 


The evening MBA programs average 45-50 new students each year. 


To apply or to get more information, visit, email, or call 859-257-1306.


MEDIA CONTACT: Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200;

As the Season for Water Activity Heats Up, Protect Young Swimmers Against Drowning

Mon, 05/19/2014 - 14:50

This column first appeared in the May 18 edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader. 


LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 20, 2014) -- Many Kentuckians will commemorate the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend by splashing into a pool, boating on a lake or canoeing down a stream. As the season for recreational water activity gets under way, it's important to remember steps to keep children and adolescents safe.


Children and adolescents are at risk

Every year in Kentucky, an average of 14 children die by drowning. About half the drowning deaths occur among children ages 1 to 4. From 2009-11, 80 percent of childhood drowning deaths occurred at the child’s residence or someone else’s home. A quarter of drowning deaths occured among adolescents, mostly while swimming, boating or fishing on lakes and rivers.


Supervise young children around water

Prevention of toddler and child drowning requires constant supervision around all types of water, including car-washing buckets, bathtubs, baby pools, ornamental ponds, swift-flowing creeks, pools and larger bodies of water. Toddlers can fall in and drown even in just a few inches of standing water in a bucket, so it's important to empty baby pools immediately after use.


Because drowning can happen swiftly and silently, a responsible adult or "water watcher" should actively supervise children at all times, even if lifeguards are present. They should be within arms-reach of toddlers and children who cannot swim. Floaties and waterwings are not sufficient life-saving devices. U.S. Coast Guard-approved life vests for the appropriate weight are needed, with supervision still needed.


Create barriers to water sources

Four-sided, 4-foot high fencing and a self-closing gate prevent your children and neighborhood children from falling into a backyard pool. Removing a ladder might be helpful for above-ground pools that are not fenced.


Teach children how to swim

Swimming lessons don’t ever replace supervision, but are a life-saving skill that should be learned The YMCA, Red Cross and university swim programs all offer lessons.


Wear a life-jacket on the water

While boating, U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets should be worn at all times by all boaters for the best protection. As water distances can be deceptive when swimming, it's also important to remind teen swimmers of the dangers of fatigue. Never swim without a buddy and always remember that alcohol and boating never mix.


Recreational water activity is a great way to incorporate exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle for all ages. A bit of prevention will keep your water fun safe.


Dr. Susan Pollack is the director of the Pediatric and Adolescent Injury Prevention Program at the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center and a pediatrician at Kentucky Children's Hospital.

UK Study Underscores Benefits of Clinical Massage Therapy for Chronic Lower Back Pain

Mon, 05/19/2014 - 13:59



LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 22, 2014) – Clinical massage therapy has alleviated chronic lower back pain (CLBP) in patients who participated in a recent University of Kentucky study of complementary therapies.


Researchers in the University of Kentucky Department of Family and Community Medicine recently completed a study pointing to real-world evidence that clinical massage therapy helps reduce symptoms in CLBP patients. The department partnered with 67 primary care providers (PCPs) and 26 massage therapists in urban and rural Central Kentucky to study provider decision-making for complementary treatments and short-term effects of clinical massage and progressive muscle relaxation therapies for CLBP patients.


Through the study, PCPs in five counties referred CLBP patients with point of service cards to community practicing, licensed massage therapists for clinical massage therapy or to a course of patient-administered progressive muscle relaxation therapy. All study therapies were provided to patients free-of-charge. Of the 100 participants in the study, 85 received clinical massage therapy, and 54 percent of those patients reported a clinically meaningful decrease of pain and overall disability.


Study investigators Dr. William Elder, UK Family and Community Medicine, and Dr. Niki Munk, Indiana University School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, are currently disseminating study results on the regional and international level. They most recently presented results at the International Research Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health 2014, May 13-16 in Miami.


Elder, principal investigator for the study, said CLBP is a common diagnosis, especially in people who have performed physical labor as part of their job. The musculoskeletal problem is perpetuated by the patient's emotional stress or anxiety. Because more members of the aging population expect to maintain healthy functioning into their later years, medical researchers are interested in measuring the effectiveness of alternatives to habit-forming pain medications, such as narcotics.


"CLBP is interesting because most people recover, but those who don't usually have some very challenging circumstances that they are living with and a propensity to experience stress," Elder said.


The study served to forge relationships between the University and community massage therapists. In addition, the study indicates a need for  future research investigating the extent to which complementary therapies could lessen or eliminate the patient's reliance on opioids for CLBP symptoms. While long-term studies are needed to fully understand the benefits of clinical massage therapy, Elder said the initial study may give physicians a higher level of confidence to refer patients to massage therapists practicing in the community.


"I think the study has promise for the possibility that someday these treatments could have parity and be available to patients suffering these problems," Elder said. "This was a real-world study with real-world results because we were able to engage our primary care providers and massage therapists."


The study was funded by a grant from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine with the National Institutes of Health.


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,


UK Receives $1.5 Million Grant for Youth Substance Abuse Program

Mon, 05/19/2014 - 13:49

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 20, 2014) – The University of Kentucky has been awarded a $1.5 million grant by the state of Kentucky to develop a comprehensive plan for the prevention and treatment of substance abuse by adolescents.  


The grant money comes from a $19 million fund administered by the Substance Abuse Treatment Advisory Committee, which was created to distribute monies garnered from settlements with two pharmaceutical companies. It will be used to create and implement "UK Kentucky Kids Recovery," a program that addresses every stage in the continuum of adolescent substance abuse, including community and physician outreach and education, treatment plans, and outcomes measurement. 


"Adolescent substance abuse is at epidemic proportions,” the Kentucky's Attorney General Jack Conway said at a press conference announcing the award. “This grant will allow us to explore all of the resources available to Kentuckians to fight this growing problem."


A 2011 study from the Centers for Disease Control documented that 66 percent of Kentucky kids have used alcohol, 37 percent have used marijuana, and 19 percent have abused prescription drugs, said Dr. Catherine Martin, director of UK's Division for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the director for UK Kentucky Kids Recovery.


"Our goal is to develop a start-to-finish plan with elements that offer evidence-based treatment, reach out to teachers, families, primary care providers and pharmacists, and target resources to communities with the highest need," Martin said.  "The program will utilize only treatments with a proven track record of success.”


UK Kids Recovery contains an additional emphasis on the development of measurable outcomes benchmarks and the need to evaluate and determine the most cost-effective routes of treatment and education.


"We must be able to demonstrate that these resources are being applied using concrete, measurable goals and to benchmark our activities in a way that optimizes Kentucky's bang for the buck,” Martin said.


Dr. Michael Karpf, UK executive vice president for health affairs, said that this partnership could become a model for other states struggling with the issue of adolescent substance abuse.


"At UK HealthCare, we believe in Kentucky's youth and their potential to do great things for this state," Karpf said. "We have the expertise to help these kids get healthy and stay healthy, and we are appreciative of the state's partnership to aid in achieving this goal."

Power Restored to UK Buildings

Mon, 05/19/2014 - 11:07

Power has been restored to several University of Kentucky buildings along East Maxwell Street that lost power Monday morning. Main campus buildings were not affected.