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Houston, We Have a Problem: Astronaut Jim Lovell to Headline Sanders-Brown Annual Dinner

Tue, 03/22/2016 - 13:28

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 23, 2016) — You'd be hard pressed to find someone who hasn't heard the phrase, "Houston, we have a problem."

 

Those five words scrambled NASA Flight Control in Houston and made Capt. Jim Lovell, commander of Apollo 13, an enduring national icon.

 

On April 7, 2016, almost 46 years to the day Apollo 13 splashed down safely in the Pacific Ocean after one of the most harrowing chapters in space exploration to date, Lovell will be the featured speaker at the University of Kentucky's Sanders-Brown Center on Aging Foundation's annual dinner.

 

In 1970, space exploration was starting to become a routine enterprise in the public's eyes, and the Apollo 13 mission was, according to an MSNBC documentary, "the moon mission people ignored." But that changed when two of the spaceship's three oxygen tanks exploded, leaving the crew stranded without electrical power, computers or the use of their propulsion system approximately 200,000 miles from Earth.

 

"I floated back to look at the tank gauges, and one was at zero, and the second one was going down," he recalled.  "Then I looked out the window and I could see gas escaping at a fairly high rate.  It didn't take much to put two and two together and know we were in really big trouble."

 

That moment, says Lovell, was like a "lead weight sinking to the bottom of my stomach."

 

But with the inventiveness of the staff at Houston's Johnson Space Center and the courageous spirit of Lovell and his crew Fred W. Haise Jr., and John L. "Jack" Swigert Jr., the astronauts repurposed what little they had on board with them to modify the lunar module into an effective lifeboat that would return them to Earth safely against all odds. The dramatic story of Lovell's calm, careful command and the teamwork of his co-astronauts and ground crew has been immortalized in books and on film, and earned Lovell the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Neil Armstrong Outstanding Achievement Award from the National Aviation Hall of Fame.

 

At the Sanders-Brown annual dinner, Lovell will share how teamwork was an essential element in the success of Apollo 13’s safe return to Earth and how that same team spirit can help patients with Alzheimer's or other age-related dementias — and their families — persevere through terrible strife.

 

"Having Captain Lovell come is a delight for us, since he personifies the qualities that we see in the Sanders-Brown researchers and in the families touched by Alzheimer's disease," said Bennett Prichard, COAF board member and dinner committee chairman. 

 

The UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging has been conducting research on Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and other age-related disease for more than 35 years. In 1985, the Center was one of the first ten National Institutes of Health-funded (NIH) Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers, and today is one of only a handful of centers that has enjoyed continuous ADC funding.

 

The SBCoA Foundation was founded to support this internationally prestigious research center, underwriting the work that identifies mechanisms for healthy brain aging and age-related diseases and exploring treatments that may slow down, cure and/or prevent these diseases entirely.

 

The dinner will take place Thursday, April 7 at the Lexington Center Blue Grass Ballroom starting with a cocktail reception at 6:30 pm. The dinner and program begins at 7:30 p.m. Individual tickets are $175; table sponsorships start at $1,500. For more information contact the Foundation Office at 859-323-5374.

 

Media Contact: Laura Dawahare, laura.dawahare@uky.edu

Auditions Open to All UK Students for Springsteen Rock Musical

Tue, 03/22/2016 - 09:02

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 22, 2016) — Open auditions for an original rock musical at the University of Kentucky take place 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, March 23, in 117 Fine Arts Building — the Dance Studio.  The auditions for actors and singers are open to all UK students, including students who are not theater or music majors.

 

 

The show, "The Promised Land," is an original rock musical based on the music and lyrics of "The Boss" Bruce Springsteen.  It is being produced by UK Opera Theatre.

 

Students selected for the show must enroll in an eight-week summer course, June 9-Aug. 4.

 

For more information, visit Facebook.com/UKOperaTheatre/events or contact Courtney Reed, with UK Opera Theatre at courtney.reed@uky.edu or 859-257-9331. More information is also available at http://uknow.uky.edu/sites/default/files/tpl_audition_flier_3_17_16.pdf and http://uknow.uky.edu/sites/default/files/2016_cfa_summer_course_description_tpl_final.pdf.

All-Star Ensemble to Perform Works by Pierre Boulez, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon

Mon, 03/21/2016 - 16:04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 22, 2016)Dieter Hennings, assistant professor of guitar at University of Kentucky School of Music, and an all-star ensemble will present "Le marteau sans maitre" ("The Hammer Without Master"), the 1953 masterwork by iconic composer and conductor Pierre Boulez, along with Pulitzer Prize finalist Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon's stunning song cycle "Sones de tierra fría." The free public concert will begin 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 24, at the Singletary Center for the Arts Recital Hall.

 

A controversial work of chrystalline, hallucinatory beauty, "Le marteau sans maitre" by Pierre Boulez is rarely performed due to its monumental technical and interpretive demands. The "Marteau" perplexed many composers and theorists of the day with the complexity of its harmonic language. It was a rallying cry for the postwar avant-garde, and became one of the most important works of the 20th century, standing alongside Arnold Schoenberg's "Pierrot Lunaire," Igor Stravinsky's "L'Histoire du soldat" and Olivier Messiaen's "Quartet for the End of Time" as one of the greatest achievements in modern chamber music.

 

Historical importance and infamous difficulty aside, the music speaks for itself: amidst an exotic and seductive sound world of alto flute, xylorimba, vibraphone, percussion, guitar and viola, texts by the surrealist poet René Char melt into a sea of colors and textures. Australian, Chicago-based mezzo-soprano Jessica Aszodi, member of the acclaimed International Contemporary Ensemble, delivers the virtuosic solo vocal part. Grammy Award-winner Molly Barth takes the stage with the alto flute, and Andrew Bliss, the distinguished UK graduate, joins the percussion section.

 

"Sones de tierra fría" is by Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, one of Mexico's most prominent composers, who studied with George Crumb and Franco Donatoni and teaches at Eastman School of Music.

 

"'Sones de tierra fría' is an extended 'cancionero' (a songbook), currently 'under construction.' The title of the work refers to my having composed all these songs — my tribute to the 'sones' of México — in Rochester, New York, the cold northern region where I have made my home for the past 13 years," the composer said.

 

When completed, "Sones de tierra fría" will include settings of poems in several languages, penned by a number of authors from different eras, but woven together by a common thematic thread — love and absence. The cycle is also unified by its musical content: each song develops and recasts a small collection of harmonic and melodic archetypes, resulting in an overall formal design that is akin to a set of variations. The composer draws on texts from William Shakespeare (sonnets relating to night and day), and the Mexican poet Raúl Aceves. Internationally renowned soprano Tony Arnold is the soloist in these lush, evocative and rhythmically vital settings.

 

Other guest artists joining Hennings on stage are percussionist Stuart Gerber, fellow member of Bent Frequency and professor of percussion at Georgia State University; violinist Hanna Hurwitz, fellow member of Eastman BroadBand; violist John Richards, of JACK Quartet; percussionist Paul Vaillancourt, professor of percussion at Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University; and conductor Tim Weiss, director of Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble.

 

For more information on this concert, contact UK doctoral candidate Jeremy Bass, at

jeremy.andrew.bass@gmail.com.

 

The UK School of Music in the UK College of Fine Arts has garnered national recognition for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, theory and music history.

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

UK-UofL Executive MBA Program Achieves Tier One Global Ranking

Mon, 03/21/2016 - 15:54

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 22, 2016) — With its first class graduating just three months ago (December 2015), the joint University of Kentucky-University of Louisville Executive MBA program is already being ranked in the top tier. Recently, the UK-UofL EMBA became the only program in the region ranked in CEO Magazine's Tier One Global EMBA programs for 2016.

 

CEO Magazine has been showcasing top business schools from around the globe since it first launched in 2008. In 2012, the publication launched its annual global MBA rankings, designed with applicants in mind and examining the nuts and bolts of an MBA: the faculty, learning environment, class sizes, tuition fees, delivery methods, international diversity, gender make-up and more. The objective is simple: to identify schools which marry exceptional quality with great ROI.

 

“We are pleased to be recognized with a tier one executive MBA program ranking,” said Joe Labianca, co-director of the UK-UL Executive MBA program at the University of Kentucky’s Gatton College of Business and Economics. “It is extremely gratifying to be ranked as an outstanding program that prepares seasoned professionals to advance in their careers and achieve their goals.”

 

Drawing upon the top-tier faculty from UK's Gatton College of Business and Economics and UofL’s College of Business, this first-rate Executive MBA program is aimed at rising executives from regional organizations, and maximizes the industry expertise of the students in a dynamic, cohort-based learning environment. With sessions split between the UK campus in Lexington and the UofL campus in Louisville, its Friday and Saturday classes on every other weekend allow students to keep their existing jobs, while preparing for more senior roles. Applications are being accepted now at http://execmba.biz; the next cohort will begin coursework in August 2016.

 

“This ranking is a wonderful recognition of the unique partnership forged between Kentucky’s two top research universities to serve the Commonwealth and our region,” said T. Vernon Foster, executive director, MBA Programs and Career Management at the University of Louisville College of Business. “Our EMBA faculty members bring real-world experience to the classroom, where students can collaborate and develop effective leadership, problem-solving and research strategies.”

 

For the full 2016 CEO Magazine Global EMBA Rankings, visit http://ceo-mag.com/rankings-category/executive-mba-rankings.

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

MEDIA CONTACTS: Ann Mary Quarandillo, 859-257-0750; Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200.

Breakthrough Clinical Trial Success Attributed to Dedicated Metabolic Team, Patients with Rare Genetic Disorder

Mon, 03/21/2016 - 15:47

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 22, 2016)  — In his 46 years, Gordon Lester has never experienced the satisfaction of ordering his first-choice item off a restaurant menu.

 

The native of Russell Springs, Kentucky, has never bit into a crunchy chicken wing or savored a hamburger hot off the grill. He’s resisted flavorful foods and missed out on memorable family meals because his wellness and mental capacity depended on it — until now.

 

For Lester, a patient with a rare genetic disorder, Phenylketonuria (PKU), eating protein even in the smallest amounts is a poison. Patients with PKU lack the enzyme to break down an amino acid found in protein. When the metabolic syndrome isn’t managed through dietary restrictions, amino acids called phenylalanine build up in the patient’s blood stream and become toxic to the brain. The disease degrades an individual’s cognitive capacity, resulting in a reduction of IQ points over time, as much as one to two points per year, and causing a number or side effects, including moodiness and loss of concentration. If the condition is not diagnosed and managed early in life, patients will suffer from severe psychiatric disorders, including mental retardation.

 

 

 

 

Each patient’s ability to break down protein varies, but most patients must adhere to a strict low-protein diet of fruits, vegetables and a metabolic formula to prevent the deterioration of cognitive abilities and the onset of psychiatric disorders.

 

Now, after returning to the clinic where he received treatment for PKU as a child, Lester is increasing his intake of protein without fear of the adverse effects of his disease.

 

Since November 2014, Lester has participated in a Kentucky Children’s Hospital (KCH) clinical trial testing an aggressive enzyme therapy to help PKU patients tolerate higher levels of protein. KCH is one of multiple sites around the nation participating in an experimental trial testing the safety and efficacy of a Biomarin pharmaceutical that reduces concentrations of phenylalanine in the bloodstream. In the time he’s received incremental dosages of the potent therapy, Lester’s tolerance for protein has increased from about 8 grams per day, or the amount of protein in an 8-ounce glass of milk, to 35 grams a day, or about the amount of protein in a small piece of meat.

 

Last month, Lester’s enzyme levels were high enough for his enzymes to break down a cheeseburger. His wife and two children piled around the dinner table with camera phones ready to capture Lester’s long-awaited first bite of beef. 

 

“It’s a whole new world for me,” Lester said of his menu options. “And not one I thought I would have the chance to have in my lifetime.”

 

One of the oldest PKU patients to participate in the trial, Lester has encouraged others with his condition to return to KCH to receive the progressive treatment, which he credits with allowing him to have more flexibility in his diet. Dr. Stephen Amato, a genetic metabolic specialist at KCH who serves as the principal investigator on the clinical trial, and his study team faced the logistical challenge of bringing adult patients back to KCH to participate in the trial. After adjusting to their condition as children, many PKU patients treated at KCH as children drifted away from their original point of care. Fewer than 20 percent of PKU patients nationwide receive regular clinical care, and even fewer follow the restrictive diet as adults.

 

Study recruitment stemmed from the KCH metabolic team’s previous efforts to “reclaim” patients who had fallen off the grid. Metabolic dietitian Nicole McWhorter and Angela Crutcher, a nurse practitioner in the clinic, accessed decades-old medical records in a long effort to personally contact patients to present the opportunity to volunteer for the trial.

 

Out of 150 pediatric medical records, the team was able to contact about 50 PKU participants. Volunteering for the trial is an intensive and time-consuming process spanning three years. The KCH pediatric clinic first screened participants, and eligible participants started with a daily injection of the enzyme therapy in 2013. Those patients who responded positively to the treatment advanced to the next stage of the study, which involved the continuation of daily dosages as well as cognitive tests and psychological counseling.

 

While many PKU patients lost contact with the KCH clinic, some continued receiving treatment at KCH into adulthood. One of those patients, Chase Herndon, was studying psychology at UK when he learned about the innovative trial coming to KCH in 2013. Herndon attended PKU summer camps at Lake Cumberland and remained in contact with many of his former camp friends and PKU families through social media groups. He also worked as a camp counselor at a summer camp, mentoring youth who struggled to adhere to their diet during a period of growth, temptation and peer pressure.

 

Herndon, whose cognitive abilities suffered when he went off the diet during high school, felt an obligation to help others with the condition preserve their wellness and maximize their potential in life by encouraging adherence to the PKU diet. When he returned to the diet, he pledged to never again trade his future career and productivity for the short-term gain of a cheeseburger. 

 

“I like to think of myself as a quick-witted guy, and I had taken a step or two back from that,” Herndon said of going off his PKU diet in high school.

 

Herndon was excited to learn about the KCH clinical trial testing a treatment he considered the “closest thing to a cure” for PKU. But he wasn’t eligible to volunteer for the study because he was experiencing success with another therapy and his levels of phenylalanine in his blood were too low to participate in a study designed for patients with high levels of intolerance. Herndon’s fidelity to the PKU diet rendered him ineligible for the trial.

 

“The reason it was so enticing is, my (phenylalanine) levels could be at a level I’ve never seen, except when I was a baby,” Herndon said of the new therapeutic. “I joked and said I was going to go eat a box of Kentucky Fried Chicken just to qualify.” 

 

Even though he wasn’t a candidate for the trial, Herndon wanted other PKU patients in Kentucky to have the opportunity to improve their quality of life by volunteering for the study. Fulfilling an internship credit for one of his classes, Herndon volunteered as a research assistant in Amato’s pediatric clinic during the spring semester of 2014. His primary role was assisting the metabolic team in recruiting adults who were once treated as children for PKU but had since lost contact with the clinic and their pediatrician. The study team gave Herndon a list of former patients to call, and he already knew many of the individuals on the list through his PKU social networks.

 

In speaking with fellow patients about their lifelong struggles with PKU, Herndon learned many PKU patients abandoned their rigid diet at some point in adulthood, giving way to cognitive and behavioral dysfunction. He came across heart-wrenching stories of irreparable damage cause by the mismanagement of the condition. One patient’s neglect of the PKU diet caused serious birth defects in her children. But his fellow PKU patients also inspired him with their stories of sacrifice. Herndon motivated patients to enroll in the study, urging them to consider the potential long-term gains of the therapy rather than the temporary burden of aggressive treatment. Through the recruiting efforts of Herndon, Crutcher, and McWhorter, KCH recruited the third-most participants of any site collecting data for the national trial.

 

“It’s allowed me to understand where people are coming from and not be judgmental,” Herndon said of his role in recruitment. “Some people wanted to get off the phone, and some people just didn’t care. I tried to be really down to earth and maybe talk about some of the struggles I’ve had. I tried to give them my background and where I was coming from.”

 

Through his recruitment role, Herndon gained a greater appreciation for those people who held him accountable to the PKU diet throughout his life, especially his parents and PKU role models like Gordon Lester. Herndon said Lester personified toughness in confronting the limitations of his disease. As a young PKU patient, Herndon heard stories about Lester — a teenager at the time — pricking his own foot without hesitation to draw blood and check his levels. After that, Herndon started to believe people who suffered from PKU were not weak and vulnerable, but tough and resilient.

 

As a youth, Lester couldn’t break down the minimal amounts of protein found in most foods, consuming about 5 or 6 grams of protein per day growing up. With his family and pediatrician at KCH as his support system, Lester pushed forward in life, determined to achieve in academics and a career despite the looming threat of losing his cognitive abilities should he stray from his diet. Despite his lifelong struggle to maintain the diet, Lester graduated from Western Kentucky University and now works as a resource director for the local school system.

 

“A lot of people have different issues in their life — mine is as simple as not being able to eat what you want to,” Lester said. “Something that is so simple to one person might not be so simple for the other.”

 

Herndon has also maintained his cognitive abilities through his commitment to the PKU diet and clinical therapies to treat the condition. He graduated with a psychology degree in 2014 and plans to apply to graduate school to study evolutionary psychology. Through his experience with the clinical trial, Herndon learned that personal change must originate with each individual. Still, through his involvement with the study, he knows he presented many PKU patients with the chance to experience a better — or at least tastier — lifestyle.

 

“What I was trying to preach to them is, ‘you can get back on track — this is a breakthrough drug, and you can possibly be part of the study,’” Herndon said. “You have to spark something inside of them to want to be better.”

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, elizabethadams@uky.edu

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

'Good Morning America' Interviews Emotional UK Basketball Fan

Sun, 03/20/2016 - 20:47

LEXINGTON, Ky. ( March 21, 2016) — University of Kentucky mathematical economics major Taylor Hunt probably had no idea when her emotions took over at the end of the UK-Indiana basketball game that her reaction — captured on national TV — would go viral.

 

But for the London, Kentucky, senior and saxophone player in the UK pep band, her tears over the Wildcat’s close loss in the NCAA tourney prompted ABC network's "Good Morning America" (GMA) to interview her for a story on the national program Monday morning.

 

Hunt, interviewed Sunday evening at K-Lair in the heart of campus, recounted for GMA that emotions had been building throughout the game for her and her bandmates as the Cats played a close, tension-filled game against the Indiana Hoosiers. Toward the end of the contest, as senior Alex Poythress stood at the line for two free throws, Hunt said her emotions simply overtook her and the tears started flowing.

 

The honest, emotional reaction was captured on the CBS national broadcast. Hunt said at one point, right before the end of the game, she glanced at her phone and noticed that it was blowing up with messages about her tears of sadness being captured on TV.

 

In recounting the experience for national television, Hunt said what many Wildcat fans feel: 

 

“I always cheer for the Wildcats,” she said. “I can’t imagine cheering for anyone else.”

 

"I’ve been here for four years,” she added.  "It has been a crazy four years. It has been an awesome four years."

 

Hunt's story is expected to air between 7 and 8 a.m. Monday morning on GMA.

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

Alternative Textbook Grant Program Supports Teaching, Learning and Student Success

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 16:29

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 21, 2016) — Committed to supporting student success and knowledge sharing, University of Kentucky Libraries is launching the Alternative Textbook Grant Program to encourage faculty members to adopt peer-reviewed, open access alternative textbooks or to create alternative textbooks for their courses.  Faculty members may apply for one of 10 grants of up to $1,500 each to implement any curriculum change required for the use of alternative textbooks. 

 

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics has shown that the cost of college textbooks has risen 82 percent from 2002 to 2012.  Studies indicate that the financial burden of textbooks negatively impacts student success by limiting students’ access to essential learning resources.

 

Open educational resources and alternative textbooks present a proven solution and allow faculty members to customize course materials in timely and innovative manners.  UK Libraries’ academic liaisons will provide faculty members with assistance in identifying existing alternative textbooks and UK Libraries’ licensed information resources that are appropriate substitutes for traditional textbooks. 

 

Any current UK faculty member teaching a course in 2017 using a commercial textbook is eligible to apply for one of the 10 alternative textbook grants.  Proposals must be submitted via the program’s online form

 

The Faculty Senate Library Committee will review the proposals. Successful applicants will be notified of awards in early FY 16/17.  Selection criteria include strength of statement of concern, estimated potential savings by students in the course, sustainability beyond the initial semester and the ability to use the alternative textbook in 2017.  Each grant recipient will have to submit a report that describes the alternative textbook, the number of students impacted, estimated student savings, and a short evaluation of the experience with the program.  Outcomes of the program will be shared with the UK community.

 

The proposal submission deadline is April 29, 2016.  For more information about the Alternative Textbook Grant Program, please contact UK Libraries Director of Digital Scholarship Adrian Ho at adrian.ho@uky.edu or UK Libraries Senior Associate Dean Mary Beth Thomson at mbthomson@uky.edu

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT:  Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716

Legacy Gift for NICU Renovations Honors Mother of Outgoing KCH Council Chair Missy Scanlon

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 15:54

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 21, 2016) — In the Kentucky Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), a shared sense of loyalty to patients unites neonatologists, nurses, surgeons and support staff in their work.

 

NICU caregivers exert every effort to achieve the best possible outcome for patients and their families — through whatever means, and to whatever end. 

 

The NICU staff’s unflinching commitment to caring for families reminds KCH Development Council Chair Missy Scanlon of someone who instilled in her the importance of pushing forward until the job was done — her mother.

 

“They serve the families, whether it’s a good outcome or not a good outcome” Scanlon said of the NICU staff. “They see the tiniest of babies with these situations and they don’t give up, and that’s how my mom was.” 

 

Scanlon, the chair of the Kentucky Children’s Hospital (KCH) Council, said her mother Betti Ruth Robinson Taylor wouldn’t quit working until she finished the task at hand. While Taylor confronted a number of setbacks in her life, she faced conflict head-on and fought her battles with grace and dignity. Scanlon used the metaphor of a duck on water to describe her mother’s handling of tough situations — gliding across the surface but paddling with urgency underneath.

 

“She was a good soul, and she tried her best,” Scanlon said of Taylor. “You keep going until it’s done and you just don’t stop — whatever you have to do, whatever you have to make happen, you have to keep going until you get it done.”

 

Nearing the end of her second and final term as KCH Council chair, Scanlon has mirrored her mother’s determination through years of leadership, volunteerism and fundraising on behalf of KCH. Sealing the completion of a renovation and relocation of the NICU, Scanlon has donated a $2 million legacy gift to name the new facility after her mother. The March 20 gift announcement occurred on the would-be 90th birthday of Taylor, who passed away in 2002. The Betti Ruth Robinson Taylor NICU, set to open in the spring of 2018, will equip the NICU staff with more resources and greater capacity to care for Kentucky families.

 

The new Betti Ruth Robinson Taylor NICU will feature spacious patient rooms and areas for family consultation and privacy. The 47,000-square foot facility will accommodate the rising number of patients and families receiving care at the region’s only Level 4 Pediatric Trauma Center. Patient rooms, themed after Kentucky native wildlife and landscape, will include conveniences for the long-term stay of patients, including sleeper sofas, wardrobes and kitchen spaces.

 

The new location on the first floor of the UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital will improve the flow of patient care with direct access to the Pediatric Emergency Department. The facility also provides new spaces for procedures and training, including a new procedure room, a simulation room for training exercises, and “huddle” rooms for staff mentoring and team building.

 

The KCH NICU serves as a regional hub for advanced neonatal care, with pediatric transport services from 22 hospitals across Eastern and Central Kentucky. In 2015, the KCH NICU admitted 913 babies and the NICU Graduate Clinic scheduled more than 1,500 appointments.

 

UK Executive Vice President of Health Affairs Dr. Michael Karpf recruited Scanlon to serve on the KCH Council more than a decade ago. Scanlon brought to the Council experience increasing awareness and fundraising for causes in the Lexington community. Scanlon’s civic life has centered on efforts to improve the health and welfare of children.

 

Scanlon steps down as KCH council chair in June but plans to continue advocating and organizing on behalf of KCH. The KCH Development Council consists of volunteer community leaders who provide organizational support and advisory council to strengthen KCH and elevate the awareness of KCH in the community. Scanlon credited the cohesiveness of a hardworking KCH Council and an exemplary KCH staff for gaining ground to transform KCH facilities. Channeling the wisdom of her mother, Scanlon emphasized that the job isn’t finished for the KCH Council.

 

“KCH is near and dear to my heart — it’s my happy place,” Scanlon said. “There are so many things that are happening there, and there are so many things that need to happen there.”

 

To learn more about KCH, click here. For more information about giving to KCH, click here.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, elizabethadams@uky.edu

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

UK Honors Invites Faculty to Submit Course Proposals

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 15:39

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 22, 2016) — The University of Kentucky Honors Program is inviting UK faculty to submit course proposals for the Spring 2017 semester. The program is actively looking to recruit new faculty and new course offerings to better expand the depth and breadth of the Honors curriculum.

 

Honors offers faculty the opportunity to teach intensive, rigorous courses with smaller groups of students; existing courses can also offer Honors sections within their own departments. Recent Honors courses have included "Music and War in the Twentieth Century"; "Development of a Biotechnology: Protein Design and Engineering"; "Honors Asian Philosophy"; "Honors Special Topics in Writing: Horror"; "Human Aging: The Ticking Biological Clock Within"; "Honors German Fairy Tales"; and "Babies are Not Pizzas: The Science of How Babies are Born, Not Delivered."

 

All Honors courses should incorporate at least one of the following elements: interdisciplinary content, use of primary materials, independent research, intensive discussion, intensive writing, and the development of critical thinking and analytical skills.

 

Social Sciences and Arts and Creativity courses are of particular interest at the moment, but Honors would encourage any interested faculty of any discipline to take a look at the requirements and consider designing and proposing a course. More information is available at http://www.uky.edu/academy/teach-course. 

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

CORRECTION: Seth Russell Now Executive Chef at Boone Center and The Club at Spindletop

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 15:29

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 21, 2016) — The Club at the University of Kentucky's Spindletop Hall has named Chef Seth Russell the new culinary director and executive chef. Russell, who has served as the executive chef at the Hilary J. Boone Center for the past five years, will remain in that position as well. 

 

He spent his formative years in Lexington and Versailles and steadily worked his way into higher profile establishments such as Amelia’s Field, Roy and Nadine’s, and Dudley’s. He later traveled to France for a year apprenticeship in a Michelin-starred inn in the Burgundy region of France and ultimately graduated near the top of his class from the French Culinary Institute in New York City.

 

Russell returned to Lexington to begin work at Idle Hour Country Club as a pastry chef and assistant chef. In 2008, he joined the Boone Center team and was named as executive chef in early 2010.

 

"It has been a great pleasure working with Chef Russell as he has developed a culinary team that consistently delivers high quality, handcrafted food to the members and guests of the Boone Center," said Gerald Marvel, general manager of Spindletop and the Boone Center. "I’m elated to have him bring the same talents to bear for the dining pleasure of the members of The Club at UK’s Spindletop Hall. His food is really fabulous!"

 

Drawing inspiration from around the world, Russell sources the freshest local ingredients to put a twist on traditional Kentucky cuisine.

 

"I am excited to bring my culinary expertise and love for great food to our members of The Club," Russell said. 

 

The Club at UK's Spindletop Hall is running a spring promotion that allows 50 percent off membership initiation fees for UK faculty and staff through April 30. For more information, visit the employee discount site at http://spindletophall.clubsoftlinks.com/upload/O8hynfc-l9Mst.pdf.

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Kathy Johnson, 859-257-3155, kathy.johnson@uky.edu

Fayette Schools Chief Holds Second Listening Session on UK Campus

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 15:02

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 22, 2016) — Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Emmanuel “Manny” Caulk is seeking input on the future direction of the school district. In partnership with the University of Kentucky Office of Community Engagement, Caulk is hosting a listening session March 24 for all UK faculty and staff who want to share their opinions about the current state of the Fayette County Public Schools.

 

The session for UK employees is scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday, March 24, in the Lexmark Room, 209 Main Building. A previous listening session was held March 16 on campus as well.

 

The superintendent’s “Listening, Learning and Leading” entry plan has included quantitative and qualitative data collection through school and program visits, one-on-one meetings, surveys, and an organizational and structural review of the district across 10 domains. External agencies also conducted curriculum and program audits in career and technical education, and the services provided for students with special needs, students identified as gifted and talented, and students learning English as a second language.

 

Caulk is holding feedback sessions for community members from across Fayette County to inform his recommendations for making sure that every student achieves his or her unlimited potential. 

 

Please RSVP for the UK session by email to rodney.creager@uky.edu or by phone at 859-257-7144 no later than March 23.

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

MEDIA CONTACT:  Kathy Johnson, 859-257-3155

Holmes Award Presented to Women in UK Nursing Areas

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 13:58

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 22, 2016) — Two University of Kentucky women who profoundly contribute to issues that affect women at the university and across the Commonwealth received the Sarah Bennett Holmes Award March 10 during a luncheon ceremony at the Hilary J. Boone Center on campus. Nicole Waite, staff, and Kristin Ashford, faculty, received the 2016 Holmes Award.

 

The award recognizes one female faculty member and one female staff member who promote growth and well-being of women at the university and across Kentucky. Created by the UK Women’s Forum, the Sarah Bennett Holmes Award has been among the most esteemed recognitions bestowed at UK and brings recognition for efforts that might otherwise go unnoticed.

 

Nicole Waite is an administrative support associate at UK HealthCare Nurse Recruitment. She is instrumental in assisting with scholarship programs and internships for nursing students. In the past three years Nicole has helped her team develop new hiring processes, which accelerated interviewing and resulted in record onboarding. She is also a board member and secretary for After The Storms Inc., a nonprofit organization helping victims and survivors of domestic violence.

 

Kristin Ashford is currently serving as the assistant dean of research at the University of Kentucky College of Nursing, and is nationally known for her work in the field of perinatal tobacco use, immune response, and preterm birth research. She has been instrumental in the Kentucky Giving Infants and Families Tobacco-free Starts (GIFTS) program, a prenatal tobacco treatment program across Kentucky, which provides enhanced and supportive services for pregnant women who use tobacco.

 

Guest speakers at the Sarah Bennett Holmes Award Luncheon were the 2015 Holmes Award recipients Pamela Remer and Joanne Brown.

 

Nominees for the 2016 Holmes Award included 15 faculty members and eight staff members.

 

Faculty Nominees:

·         Elizabeth Arnold, College of Fine Arts, Vocal Music

·         Kristin Ashford, College of Nursing

·         Christia Brown, College of Arts and Sciences, Psychology

·         Patricia Cook-Craig, College of Social Work

·         Renee Fatemi, College of Arts and Sciences, Physics and Astronomy

·         Lindsey Fay, College of Design, School of Interiors

·         Diane Follingstad, Center for Research on Violence Against Women

·         Jenna Goldsmith, College of Arts and Sciences, English

·         Laura Meints, College of Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology

·         Jonell Pedescleaux, College of Education, Kinesiology and Health Promotion

·         Rebekah Radtke, College of Design, School of Interiors

·         Susan Smyth, Gill Heart Institute

·         Anita Superson, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Philosophy

·         Margaret Szabunio, Department of Radiology, Division of Women’s Radiology

·         Robin Vanderpool, College of Public Health, Department of Health Behavior

 

Staff Nominees:

·         Jane Andrus, School of Art and Visual Studies

·         Neomia Hagan Flores, Robinson Scholars Program – Undergraduate Education

·         Nancy Jennings, College of Nursing, UK’s Polk Dalton Clinic

·         Tracy Macaulay, College of Pharmacy

·         Shonta Phelps, Gatton College of Business and Economics

·         Ashley Rouster, Violence Intervention and Prevention Center

·         Nicole Waite, Nurse Recruitment

·         Marianne Young, Gatton College of Business and Economics

 

For a list of past winners, visit http://www.uky.edu/womensforum/sbhal.html.

 

Sarah Bennett Holmes, a distinguished former dean of women at UK, tirelessly championed the rights of women throughout her career. Widowed at a young age, Holmes raised four children while completing her own education. She then began a successful career at the university where she inspired young women to persevere in the face of hardship and pursue their career goals. Among her accomplishments, Holmes developed work programs for women during the Depression.

 

In her honor, the UK Women's Forum created the Sarah Bennett Holmes Award and since 1994 has been honoring women at UK who demonstrate the same principles as Holmes through their work and service.

 

The UK Women's Forum is an organization for all employees of the university faculty and staff. Its mission is to exert a leadership role in empowering, validating, informing, including and celebrating all women employed at UK by addressing challenges, communicating issues and recognizing successes within the context of the workplace.

Eastern Tent Caterpillar Egg Hatch Begins in Central Kentucky

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 11:49

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 21, 2016) — An eastern tent caterpillar egg hatch was reported March 17 in Scott County.

 

“This year’s first observed hatch is seven days earlier that 2015, reflecting the warm spring temperatures,” said Lee Townsend, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment extension entomologist. “The hatch is not synchronized; tiny larvae will continue to emerge over the next two weeks from eggs laid last summer on wild cherry, flowering cherry, apple and related trees. This is a hardy insect so low temperatures in the 30-degree Fahrenheit range should not affect their survival.”

 

Eastern tent caterpillars spend the winter as tiny, fully developed insects in distinctive egg masses that encircle twigs of wild cherry and related trees. It is one of the first insect species to become active in the spring and is well adapted to survive Kentucky’s erratic winter and early spring weather.

 

Populations of eastern tent caterpillars have been increasing steadily over the past four to five years.

 

This trend is likely to continue, producing locally high numbers in some areas, Townsend said. The rise in numbers is normal and mirrors the cyclical aspects of insect populations in general. Eastern tent caterpillar cycles are roughly 10 years in length. After two or three high years, the numbers usually drop again due to diseases or natural enemies.

 

When mature, the large, hairy caterpillars wander from their developmental sites along fence lines. Consumption of large numbers of caterpillars by pregnant mares precipitated staggering foal losses in the Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome (MRLS) outbreak of 1999-2001. MRLS can cause late-term foal losses, early- and late-term fetal losses and weak foals. UK researchers conducted studies that revealed horses will inadvertently eat the caterpillars, and the caterpillar hairs embed into the lining of the horse’s alimentary tract. Once that protective barrier is breached, normal alimentary tract bacteria may gain access to and reproduce in sites with reduced immunity, such as the fetus and placenta.

 

Townsend said horse owners and farm managers with pregnant mares should begin to monitor fence lines containing wild cherry and other host trees in about seven days. They should look for small tents produced by developing caterpillars.

 

If practical, farm managers should plan to move pregnant mares from areas where these trees are abundant to minimize the chance of caterpillar exposure. The threat is greatest when the mature tent caterpillars leave trees and wander to find places to pupate and transform to the moth stage.

 

Eastern tent caterpillars are also a significant nuisance to people living near heavily infested trees. The caterpillars may wander hundreds of yards in search of protected sites to spin cocoons and pupate.

 

To get rid of active caterpillars, Townsend recommends pruning them out and destroying the nests if practical. Farm managers can use any one of several biorational insecticides registered for use on shade trees as needed. Spot treatments to the tents and the foliage around them can be applied according to label directions, which vary by product.

 

For more information about how to assess trees for egg masses, the UK Entomology publication, "Checking Eastern Tent Caterpillar Egg Masses" is available at https://entomology.ca.uky.edu/ef449.

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT:  Holly Wiemers, 859-257-2226

Pulmonary Rehabilitation Can Improve Health for Patients With Lung Disease

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 10:06

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 21, 2016) — Kentucky is well known for basketball and horses.  Unfortunately, it is also well known as a "smoker's state" as more than one quarter of all Kentuckians smoke.  That translates to poor health: we have the highest rate of death in the U.S. from chronic lower respiratory tract diseases.

 

Pulmonary rehabilitation has been shown to help improve quality of life for individuals with lung disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), interstitial pulmonary fibrosis, or pulmonary hypertension. 

 

What, exactly, is pulmonary rehabilitation? It is a comprehensive multidisciplinary program for patients whose chronic respiratory diseases impede their ability to participate in daily life activities. It helps patients understand their disease better, self-manage common complications and know when to call for help. 

 

According to the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR), patients in a certified pulmonary rehab program report decreased breathlessness and fatigue, increased exercise tolerance and enhanced quality of life.  Patients who complete the program also report fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety, which are commonly associated with chronic lung diseases.

 

At AACVPR-Certified Cardiopulmonary Rehab Clinics, a team of physicians, nurses, exercise physiologists and dietitians work with patients to tailor a treatment plan specific to their needs.  The program can help restore strength and endurance, reduce disease symptoms such as shortness of breath, and increase understanding of disease self-management. 

This typically involves an initial assessment, exercise training, self-management education, psychosocial support and an outcomes assessment.  Program duration varies based on individual goals and progress, but usually requires two or three two-hour sessions per week for between eight and 12 weeks.  Many health insurance plans cover pulmonary rehabilitation programs, as it's been demonstrated that patients who participate in such programs actually end up needing less health care in the long run.

 

A patient care team facilitates therapeutic support among participants, their family members and friends and creates an environment where people learn from each other. Group discussions led by experts share information about the disease process, teach breathing techniques, and provide nutritional support to complement supervised exercise training. Improvements in patient function can be sustained after completion of the program through the Optimal Health Wellness training program.

 

Dr. James McCormick is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine and is the Medical Director for the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Clinic at UK HealthCare.

 

This column appeared in the March 20, 2016 edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader.

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

 

WUKY's 'UK Perspectives' Highlights Project About UK African-American Trailblazers

Thu, 03/17/2016 - 17:22
LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 18, 2016) — WUKY's "UK Perspectives" focuses on the people and programs of the University of Kentucky and is hosted by WUKY General Manager Tom Godell.  Today's show highlights the UK Alumni Association project  “They Came Before: The Legacy of African-American Pioneers and Trailblazers at the University of Kentucky.” Godell talks to Elaine Wilson, chair of the Pioneer Project Committee and Tina Bryson, project coordinator.

 

To listen to the podcast interview from which "UK Perspectives" is produced, visit http://wuky.org/post/tracing-legacy-african-american-pathfinders.

 

"UK Perspectives" airs at 8:45 a.m. and 5:45 p.m. each Friday on WUKY 91.3, UK's NPR station.

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

New Studies Test Novel Systems for Integrating Medical, Public Health and Social Services

Thu, 03/17/2016 - 17:03

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 21, 2016)  To support its new Systems for Action: Systems and Services Research to Build a Culture of Health Research Program, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation announced $3 million of research funding to support three new Collaborating Research Centers at Arizona State University, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and the University of Chicago.

 

These awards are managed by the Systems for Action National Coordinating Center, housed at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health. Systems for Action seeks to identify system-level strategies for enhancing the reach, quality, efficiency and equity of support services that promote health and well-being on a population-wide basis. Providing expertise in diverse health and social science disciplines, the centers will conduct studies that test novel ways of integrating the multiple financing and delivery systems that support a Culture of Health in U.S. communities.

 

Each center will receive up to $1 million in funding over two years to lead research initiatives that test innovative ways of integrating medical, public health, social, and community services. Collectively these studies aim to solve vexing problems of fragmentation, duplication, and variation that currently exist in the delivery and financing of services that address social determinants of health and well-being. New research conducted by the centers will identify how services in sectors such as housing, transportation, food and nutrition, criminal justice, and arts and culture can be better coordinated with medical and public health services so as to achieve larger and more equitable impacts on health and well-being. All three centers will work closely with the National Coordinating Center on collaborative research designed to expand scientific knowledge about ways of improving population health through multi-sector alignment and integration.

 

“The health of a community is shaped by a constellation of services and supports delivered outside the traditional health and medical sectors. These new studies will help us learn better ways of deploying these resources so as to achieve a larger collective impact,” Glen Mays, director of the Systems for Action National Coordinating Center, said.

 

The three centers and their investigators are:

 

Arizona State University

Financing and Service Delivery Integration for Mental Illness and Substance Abuse

Principal Investigators: William J. Riley, Ph.D., and Michael Shafer, Ph.D.

 

Arizona State University’s School for the Science of Health Care Delivery and School of Criminology and Criminal Justice will integrate rich data sources from Arizona’s medical, mental health, and criminal justice systems in order to explore opportunities for better coordinating services for persons with mental illness and/or substance abuse disorders. Using interactive system dynamics modeling and network analysis methods, this study will identify how people and dollars move between and within the state’s medical, mental health, and criminal justice systems. Interactive simulation models informed by stakeholder input will then explore how changes to funding streams and service delivery models can produce improved health and social outcomes.

 

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

Improving Population and Clinical Health with Integrated Services and Decision Support

Principal Investigators: Paul K. Halverson, Dr.P.H, and Joshua R. Vest, Ph.D.

 

Researchers from IUPUI and the Eskenazi Health System will use retrospective studies and a prospective randomized controlled trial to test the effectiveness of several strategies for integrating the delivery of medical, public health, and social services for low-income populations receiving care through Indianapolis’ network of federally qualified health centers. The integration strategies to be studied include the use of population health nurses who conduct home and community visits, the use of interdisciplinary case conferences involving medical and public health professionals, and a novel electronic decision support tool that combines clinical, social, and public health data to better characterize the social and physical environments in which patients live. This research will provide important insights into the value of integrated approaches to health delivery and how public health organizations can contribute to efforts of the health care and social and community services systems.

 

University of Chicago

The Comprehensive Care, Community, and Culture Program

Principal Investigators: David Meltzer M.D., Ph.D., and Harold Pollack, Ph.D.

 

The University of Chicago’s Urban Labs will use a randomized controlled trial to test the feasibility and effectiveness of a comprehensive community care model for low-income, urban-dwelling seniors at high risk of hospital admission. The model combines (1) “comprehensivist” physicians who provide both inpatient and outpatient care for their patients, (2) community health workers who connect seniors to needed social and community services such as transportation and food assistance; and (3) a community arts and culture program designed to strengthen social support and community engagement. This study will examine the individual and combined effects of these strategies on important health and economic outcomes for vulnerable seniors.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Kara Richardson, Kara.Richardson@uky.edu

UK’s Shaunna Scott Named a Weatherford Award Winner for Best Nonfiction Appalachian Book

Thu, 03/17/2016 - 15:03

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 18, 2016) — Shaunna L. Scott, associate professor of sociology and director of the Appalachian Studies program at the University of Kentucky, is co-editor of a book chosen as the 2015 Weatherford Award winner for nonfiction.

 

"Studying Appalachian Studies: Making the Path By Walking," edited by Chad Berry, Phillip J. Obermiller and Shaunna L. Scott (University of Illinois Press), is a collection of essays reflecting on the scholarly, artistic, activist, educational and practical endeavor known as Appalachian Studies. Following an introduction to the field, the writers discuss how Appalachian Studies illustrates the ways interdisciplinary studies emerge, organize and institutionalize themselves, and how they engage with intellectual, political and economic forces both locally and around the world.

 

Weatherford Award judges in nonfiction say that the book “captures an Appalachian Studies that is still developing, but one that has come of age” and “points toward new ways of studying Appalachian Studies as well as raising questions that need to be grappled with in the future.”

 

Scott is editor of the Journal of Appalachian Studies and past president of the Appalachian Studies Association. Berry is academic vice president and dean of the faculty at Berea College where he is the Goode Professor of Appalachian Studies, and professor of history, and Obermiller is a senior visiting scholar in the School of Planning at the University of Cincinnati. 

 

The Weatherford Awards honor books that “best illuminate the challenges, personalities and unique qualities of the Appalachian South.” Granted by Berea College and the Appalachian Studies Association for 36 years, the awards commemorate the life and achievements of W.D. Weatherford, Sr., a pioneer and leading figure in Appalachian development, youth work and race relations, and of his son, Willis D. Weatherford, Jr., who was Berea College president from 1967-84.

 

Other winners of the 2015 Weatherford Awards are Nickole Brown’s “Fanny Says” (poetry) and Robert Gipe’s “Trampoline” (fiction). 

 

These winning authors will be recognized at the 2016 Appalachian Studies Association Conference at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, March 18-20.

 

Finalists for the 2015 Weatherford Award in Nonfiction are James Green’s ‘The Devils Is Here In These Hills’ (Grove Atlantic), Sue Eisenfeld’s ‘Shenandoah: A Story of Conservation and Betrayal’ (University of Nebraska Press), and Phil Jamison’s ‘Hoedowns, Reels, and Frolics: Roots and Branches of Southern Appalachian Dance’ (University of Illinois Press).

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Gail Hairston, 859-257-3302, gail.hairston@uky.edu

 

 

UK Shines at CASE District III Awards

Thu, 03/17/2016 - 14:00

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 18, 2016) — The University of Kentucky received nine awards at the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District III Conference held in February in Nashville.

 

CASE District III advances and supports educational and professional institutions in the southeastern United States by enhancing the effectiveness of the alumni relations, fundraising, communications, marketing and other advancement professionals who serve them.

 

The CASE District III Award Program, given each year at the district conference, recognizes the very best in advancement across the Southeast. This year, awards were given in 68 categories.

 

The University of Kentucky received a Grand Award, the highest award given, for the Specialty Piece, “You Make Us Take Note,” in the Graphic Design category (UK Public Relations and Marketing).

 

"The UK Public Relations and Marketing team has once again demonstrated their incredible talent and creativity, winning nine honors in the CASE District III Awards Program, including a Grand Award," said Tom Harris, vice president for University Relations. "It is especially rewarding for this team to be recognized by their peers for their excellent work. UK realizes the results of these communication tools every day and this validates that this staff understands the marketplace and how to develop a communications plan that appeals to their target audiences."

 

UK also took home two Awards of Excellence for “Why Wouldn’t You? Frank and Dorian” in the Commercial or Public Service Announcement category (UK Public Relations and Marketing); and for the “Kentucky Engineering Journal” in the Magazine/Tabloid Improvement I category (College of Engineering).

 

The university also received six special merit awards. Winners are:

·       “50-Year Class Reunion Planned Giving Appeal” in the Writing for Fundraising category (Office of Philanthropy)

·       “Column for a planned giving tabloid” in the Writing for Fundraising category (Office of Philanthropy)

·       “Gatton College of Business & Economics “Gatton United” Building Campaign Brochure” in the Fundraising Publication category (Gatton College of Business and Economics)

·       “Biomedical Engineering Minor flyer” in the Single-Page Publication or Flier category (College of Engineering)

·       “Transform Magazine” in the Periodical category (Gatton College of Business and Economics)

·       “Planned Giving advertisement” in the Individual Print Advertisement category (Office of Philanthropy).

 

“It's very rewarding to see the Gatton marketing team’s work recognized by our higher education advancement peers across the Southeast,” said Gatton College of Business & Economics Dean David W. Blackwell. “It's a testament to the great things our team is able to do in collaboration with colleagues across the college and the university.”

 

CASE District III comprises Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia and is the second largest district in the United States. 

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Katy Bennett or Rebecca Stratton, katy.bennett@uky.edu or rebecca.stratton@uky.edu, 859-257-1909/859-323-2395 

UK College of Health Sciences Student and Husband to Open Clinic in Kenya

Thu, 03/17/2016 - 12:44

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 18, 2016) — At age 19, Amy Hehre was not only dreaming of her future – she was drawing the blueprints for it. It wasn’t a suburban dream home she was planning. Instead, Amy mapped out in detail a facility that could care for terminally ill orphans in Kenya, a place she had just visited for the first time on a pre-professional health care mission.

 

Her vision came to life four years later, when she and her husband, Robert, came across the real-life rendition of Amy’s vision – an 11,000 square-foot building in Suna, Migori Kenya. Amy recounts she and her husband were stunned at how similar the building, affectionately called “Blue,” was to her sketches from years before.

 

“It even has the verandas we had imagined,” Amy said, “a place for rocking chairs, to bring the children outdoors, when they will not likely have the energy to play outside.”

 

A lot has happened since Amy originally visited Kenya in 2012 and sketched her plans for a medical facility. Amy, a Somerset native, is now 23 and studying to be a physician assistant at the University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences' Morehead Campus. Her desire to become a physician assistant has its roots in Kenya as well. After her initial visit, Amy researched the position referred to as “clinical officer” in Kenya, and it turned out that a physician assistant was the closest match.

Amy said the Physician Assistant Studies program has provided her with the opportunity to gain a great deal of experience working with patients, even before the standard clinical year of PA school. She puts this hands-on knowledge to use on the couple’s trips to Kenya two to three times each year.

 

“My favorite part about working with patients is getting to know people … and getting to hear their stories,” Amy said. “Whenever I go in, I don’t see someone as a map or a piece of technology I need to fix. I see them as someone’s daughter, as someone’s friend, as someone’s cousin, favorite student, best friend. So that really drives me – to see them holistically.”

 

One of the critical advantages for the College’s PA students is the opportunity for extensive experience with patient care and the integration of community outreach.

 

“We are delighted that we were able to attract a student with such an incredible dedication to outreach,” said Scott M. Lephart, Ph.D., dean of the College of Health Sciences. “It is a privilege to be part of Amy’s story and to provide her with the skills, knowledge, and experiences that she will take with her to the children of Kenya. We’ve all heard the expression ‘I can’t be everywhere.’ Well, the College of Health Sciences can be everywhere through the care and healing provided by our alumni, faculty, and students.”       

 

The story of Amy and Robert began 10 years ago, long before the couple realized their shared desire to bring health care to Kenya. The two met at a summer church camp and quickly became friends. Although they kept in touch, it took seven years to discover that both wanted to be physician assistants and wanted to provide health care to underserved areas abroad.  

 

“Then we knew it was not a coincidence. It was something more,” Amy said.

 

Amy and Robert, 26, who works as a physician assistant in LaGrange, were married in 2015. Their shared vision for a life serving the terminally ill orphans of Kenya has coalesced into near-future reality, with the couple anticipating a move shortly after Amy’s graduation in 2017.

 

To support their efforts, the couple started a nonprofit foundation, Ovi & Violet International, named for Amy’s late nephew, Ovidio, and for the healing power and peaceful symbolism of the violet. Amy’s sister lived in Guatemala and served as Ovidio’s primary caregiver until his death at the age of three.

 

“It’s a lot of what inspired what we do and to live up to his legacy,” Amy said. “Even though he only had three years, and it’s the most painful thing we’ve ever been through, we would do it all again to have that same joy in our lives. Some of the kids we are taking care of won’t live longer than six months, but it’s important for them to know they will be remembered, and that they will be missed.”

 

Through Ovi & Violet International, the couple will focus on serving some of the 3.6 million Kenyan orphans – those with the most critical cases of cancer, HIV/AIDS, and blood diseases. These terminally ill orphans cannot receive the medical care they need in Kenya’s orphanages, many of which run on a monthly budget of $400 or less, barely covering educational and nutritional expenses, according to Amy.  

 

The couple is currently securing the future medical facility, which will be renovated to become a 40-bed inpatient/outpatient clinic. The entire second floor will house clinic space, with half dedicated to the most critical cases that require 24-hour care. The other half will house a clinic to provide free vaccinations and well-child exams for other orphans, providing a key outreach service to Kenya’s orphanages.

 

The future Ovi & Violet facility is located between Kenya’s two major hospitals, where children will go to receive major medical treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and bone marrow transplants. The couple believe this is key to supporting the local economy, as well as making their facility a safe harbor for the children who will call it home.

 

To some of the outside world, the couple realizes their endeavors seem challenging and downright monumental. But Amy is quick to point out that this is their dream come true.

 

“It’s not very often someone gets to say this is the only life they want,” Amy said. “It is the most rewarding thing we’ve ever done, and we can’t see ourselves doing anything else. It’s a really easy choice for us. It’s just home, and whenever we are there, it feels right. We have so much purpose there. We get asked all the time what is our exit strategy – we don’t have one. I want to build up this facility to the point that I wouldn’t mind dying in it … that I would entrust my own life to it.”

 

The overall message Amy hopes to convey is one of hope and healing, not sadness.     

 

“People say ‘isn’t that going to be a sad life?’ and we always tell them that we aren’t afraid of being sad,” Amy said. “We’re afraid of what will happen if no one takes the risk to love them.”

 

The facility will need a team to operate smoothly. Amy foresees the need for nurses, social workers, chaplains, nutritionists, physicians and more. The couple would like to maintain ties with UK as well through possible medical missions to the facility. In the meantime, there are several ways to support Ovi & Violet. The couple is planning a renovation mission trip in December 2016 and volunteers are welcome. Please visit their website for more information.

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

Kentucky Geological Survey at UK Serves the Commonwealth

Wed, 03/16/2016 - 22:39

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 17, 2016) — What lies beneath the earth's surface across the 40,000 square miles that make up Kentucky is fascinating, and also scientifically important.

 

The Kentucky Geological Survey (KGS) investigates the mineral, energy and water resources, and geologic hazards of the state. As the official geologic research organization for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the mission of KGS is focused on research in earth resources and processes, public service, and the dissemination of data, knowledge, and experience to stakeholders in industry, government, educational institutions, and the general public.

 

Recently, Jerry Weisenfluh, interim state geologist and director of KGS, was the featured guest on "UK at the Half," a radio feature which airs at halftime of every UK basketball and football game broadcast on the UK Sports Network. "UK at the Half" is produced and hosted by Carl Nathe of UK Public Relations and Marketing.

 

To hear the "UK at the Half" interview, click on the play button below.

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT:  Kathy Johnson, 859-559-5396; Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200.

 

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