Associate Dean Honored for Long-Standing Involvement in Kentucky Rural Health

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 16:11

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 10, 2014) — Anyone familiar with Appalachian culture should recognize the dulcimer, a stringed instrument used to play mountain folk music.


Every year, the Kentucky Rural Health Association (KRHA) presents this symbol of rural Kentucky heritage to the recipient of the Dan Martin Award for Lifelong Contributions to Rural Health. The annual KRHA award honors a health care professional who has shown a long-standing commitment to solving health challenges in rural areas across the state. This year's recipient, James Norton of the University of Kentucky, has pledged to go a step further and learn how to play his handmade and locally crafted gift.


Norton, associate dean for educational engagement at UK College of Medicine, was surprised with a dulcimer and plaque in September before leaving for a trip abroad. Recipients of the annual award are usually honored during the KRHA annual conference, which was held Sept. 17-19 in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Norton, who has in the past served on the committee that chooses recipients, said his fellow recipients demonstrate a pattern of service in many rural areas over a long period.


"It's really gratifying," Norton said of receiving the award. "You do this for a long time, and it's nice to have your peers convey to you that they think what you've done has value in the long pull."


Norton works closely with regional physicians to place medical students participating in the Western Kentucky Initiative (WKI) at clinical sites in Murray/Paducah, Bowling Green and Owensboro. He has led the WKI since its initiation several years ago. The program places third-year medical students in rural communities for five clinical rotations during the third year and promotes electives as these sites during the fourth.


In addition to overseeing educational activities for the College of Medicine in rural parts of the state, Norton is the director of CE Central, the administrative office responsible for managing continuing education for doctors and pharmacists. Dr. Norton has served on state and national boards that include National Rural Health Association and on groups that are part of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). He is a past president of the KRHA.  


"For over 30 years, Dr. Norton has been a major contributor and leader in developing programs directed to developing future health care providers for rural and underserved communities," Linda Asher, chair of the KRHA selection committee, said.


Started in 2003, the award is named after its inaugural honoree Dan Martin of the Trover Foundation in Madisonville, Kentucky. Nominations for the award accepted from across the state.




MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,



UK Professor Recognized With AIA Kentucky's Highest Honor

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 11:34

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 10, 2014) — Clyde Carpenter, professor of architecture at University of Kentucky College of Design, has been presented with the C. Julian Oberwarth Award from the Kentucky Society of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Kentucky). The award recognizes and honors an individual society member who has displayed a long-standing commitment to the betterment of the profession and well-being of architects in Kentucky, and who has dedicated extraordinary time and talent to this end.


The Oberwarth Award, presented to Carpenter on Oct. 3, at AIA Kentucky's annual convention, is the society's highest individual honor. The award is named for C. Julian Oberwarth, former executive director of the Kentucky Board of Architects and the first architect registered under the Kentucky registration law he championed, as well as the first recipient of his namesake award in 1981.


A native of Lexington, Carpenter received his bachelor's degree in civil engineering from UK and his master's degree in architecture from University of Pennsylvania. After graduation and completion of his traveling fellowship, he joined the architecture faculty at UK.


During his time at UK, Carpenter has served as assistant to the dean of the College of Architecture and director of Academic Programs. He was later appointed an associate dean, a position he held until 2003, with the occasional stint as acting dean. Carpenter then served as chair of the newly formed Department of Historic Preservation and Clay Lancaster Endowed Professor in Historic Preservation until 2010. He remains a professor in both the School of Architecture and the Department of Historic Preservation.


For the past 50 years, Carpenter has educated, advised, inspired and befriended virtually every student who has gone through the architecture program at UK. He has been cited by many architects as the heart and soul of the School of Architecture and as the one person who most influenced them to become an architect.


Carpenter's nomination for the Oberwarth Award was accompanied by numerous letters of support from architects across the Commonwealth. Time and again, his former students spoke with great warmth and passion about the profound impact he had on them and their careers.


The esteem Carpenter's former students hold for him can probably be best summed up by one letter which noted “He led by being the finest example of a true professional in the practice of architecture. He has served as an extraordinary role model to senior professionals, as well as an inspiration to young students beginning their careers. He is a wise counselor, a standard bearer of integrity and civility, and is as highly respected as anyone in the field.”


As a practicing architect, Carpenter's work has involved historic preservation and adaptive reuse, as well as new construction. He has received four AlA Kentucky Honor Awards for architectural projects and four awards for his work in historic preservation. He serves on the advisory board for the Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation, which has established the annual Clyde Carpenter Award for Adaptive Reuse in his honor.



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

Singletary Center for the Arts Hosts 'hEAR the Music' to Benefit UK's Pediatric Cochlear Implant Program

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 10:34

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 10, 2014) — Songs for Sound, a Nashville based nonprofit organization that promotes cochlear implant awareness, will present 'hEAR the Music' at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, at the University of Kentucky Singletary Center for the Arts. Songs for Sound presents programs featuring country music artists such as Jay Clementi and Danielle Peck. Proceeds from the event will benefit the University of Kentucky Pediatric Cochlear Implant Program, which is run jointly by the UK Department of Otolaryngology and the Lexington Hearing and Speech Center.


Songs for Sound was founded by Kevin and Jamie Vernon whose daughter Alexis is a cochlear implant recipient.  Their core mission is to improve the quality of life for profoundly deaf children worldwide by providing resources to give them the chance at a mainstream life. Songs for Sound informs the hearing-impaired community and provides resources for cochlear implants and rehabilitation, including speech/audiology services, to children and adults in need.


“‘Hear the Music’ is such an important event for our patients, the University of Kentucky, and our region" said Dr. Matt Bush, assistant professor in UK's Department of Otolaryngology. "It represents a collaborative effort among dedicated clinicians, amazing patients, and the generous Songs for Sound team. Our cochlear implant program has grown progressively over the past 20 years, and this event will enable us to expand our research and extend our reach to provide the absolute best hearing health care for patients throughout Kentucky and beyond. This will be a fantastic event that will highlight top country artists and patients who, in spite of their hearing loss, have regained the ability to ‘hEAR the music.’”


VIP level tickets for 'Hear the Music' can be purchased from the Songs for Sound website ( and general admission tickets ($35 or $20) can be purchased directly from the Singletary Center for the Arts website at

( or at the Ticket office located at 405 Rose St. in Lexington. Doors will open to the Singletary Center President’s Room at 5:45 p.m. the day of the event for the VIP ticket holders and the concert will begin at 7 p.m. in the Singletary Center Recital Hall for the general admission ticket holders. For more information, email in the UK otolaryngology department or call the Singletary Center at 859-257-4929.


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

'UK at the Half' Explores the Field of Nursing

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 17:59

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 9, 2014) – University of Kentucky's Janie Heath, dean of the College of Nursing, was the guest of "UK at the Half" that aired during the UK vs. University of South Carolina football game, broadcast on the radio Oct. 4.


Heath took over the position as dean of UK's College of Nursing Aug. 1. She talks about nurses' work at the forefront of the health care system and transformations currently taking place in the field.


"UK at the Half" airs during halftime of each UK football and basketball game broadcast and is hosted by Carl Nathe of UK Public Relations and Marketing.


To hear the "UK at the Half" interview, click on the play button below. To view a transcript for the Oct. 4 "UK at the Half" interview, click here.


'Appalachia in the Bluegrass' Presents Local Honeys, Ritchie Family

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 17:34

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 10, 2014) — From some Local Honeys to the beloved Ritchie family, "Appalachia in the Bluegrass" concert series is sure to pack the Niles Gallery. On Friday, Oct. 10, the old time music trio the Local Honeys will perform. A couple weeks later, on Friday, Oct. 24, the "Singing Family of the Cumberlands" is in the spotlight with an appearance by four of Jean Ritchie's nieces. Both free public concerts will take place at noon at the Niles Gallery, located in the University of Kentucky Lucille C. Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center.


The Local Honeys perform B.F. Shelton's "Darlin' Cora." 


A Sweet Old Time Trio

The Local Honeys are a vibrant female trio specializing in old time music, primarily connected to Kentucky. The group all met as students and faculty at the Kentucky

Center for Traditional Music at Morehead State University. The multi-instrumentalists also incorporate comedy and dance into their performances.


The Kentucky trio is comprised of Montana Hobbs on clawhammer banjo and vocals; Stephanie Jeter on autoharp and vocals, as well as clogging and flatfooting; and Linda Jean Stokley on fiddle, clawhammer banjo and vocals. 


Regionally, the Local Honeys have appeared at the Red Barn Radio Show, the Kentucky Folk Art Center, Wallace Station and Willie's Locally Known. The band members consider themselves ambassadors of traditional music and are dedicated to the preservation of traditional songs, ballads, fiddle tunes and dance.


The Next Generation of the 'Singing Family of the Cumberlands'

Celebrated traditional singer, dulcimer player, author, songwriter and UK alumna Jean Ritchie wrote of her life growing up in the community of Viper, in Perry County, Kentucky, in the book "Singing Family of the Cumberlands." It was a remarkable singing family in every regard; they would spend evenings “singing up the moon” at their homeplace nestled in the mountains.


Ritchie wrote, “Best of all the singing. When we got started on ‘The Cuckoo She’s a Pretty Bird,’ we sang back all the happy days and ways of our growing up. Remembrances by the score swept over my mind. Funny happenings, happy days and sad days, and I could tell by the sound of the other voices that they were remembering too. The lovely past was not gone, it had just been shut up inside a song.”


Jean and her brother, Wilmer Ritchie, who lives in Berea, Kentucky, are the last of that generation, but the next generations of the "Singing Family of the Cumberlands" continue to “sing up the moon” together. Four of the Ritchie family nieces, Susie Ritchie, Patty Tarter, Judy Hudson and Joy Powers will gather for a special appearance at the Niles Gallery, creating a “blood harmony,” a very special understanding of music bound to a sacred place. Despite their jobs and lives in different parts of the country, the Ritchies still come together with their unique repertoire and sweet, close harmony.


"It is an honor to have Susie, Patty, Judy and Joy conjure up the beauties of the Appalachian Mountains here in the Bluegrass," said Ron Pen, director of the John Jacob Niles Center for American Music and host of the concert series.


The “Appalachia in the Bluegrass” concert series celebrates the old-time roots of American folk music by featuring a diverse range of traditional musical expression. The concert series will showcase 13 different artists, duos and groups from southern Appalachia ranging from artists straight off their front porch to those who have earned international acclaim. The concert series is generously presented by the John Jacob Niles Center for American Music, a collaborative research and performance center maintained by the UK College of Fine Arts, UK School of Music and UK Libraries.


For more information on the “Appalachia in the Bluegrass” concert series or the concerts featuring the Local Honeys or members of the Ritchie family, contact Ron Pen, director of the Niles Center, by email to or visit the website at




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


UPK Book on Burley Wins Wayland D. Hand Prize

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 16:51

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 9, 2014) — University Press of Kentucky (UPK) author Ann K. Ferrell has been named the recipient of the 2014 Wayland D. Hand Prize for Outstanding Book that Combines Historical and Folkloristic Perspectives for her book "Burley: Kentucky Tobacco in a New Century."


A biennial prize, the award is named for eminent folklorist Wayland D. Hand (1907–1986). The Hand Prize, selected by a jury of distinguished scholars, is sponsored by the History and Folklore Section of the American Folklore Society.


In a press release announcing the award, the jury praised Ferrell’s "Burley" saying, “The volume’s combination of historical and ethnographic methodologies with rhetorical analysis stands out among the many entries for the prize. Writing precisely and in an engaging style, Ferrell has constructed both a history of the small farmer burley tobacco industry and an ethnography of tobacco cultivation.”


In "Burley," Ferrell uses the stories of individual farmers to trace not only the history of tobacco cultivation, but also to illuminate the region’s complex relationship with the crop. Building on interviews and oral histories, she examines how all aspects of cultivation have changed over the years, from sowing and setting through harvesting and curing to selling and marketing. Her inquiry gives tobacco farmers a voice as they have become increasingly stigmatized by changing social attitudes toward smoking. She concludes by looking at the future of tobacco, including the problems associated with replacing it with alternative crops.


Ferrell is assistant professor of folk studies at Western Kentucky University.


UPK is the scholarly publisher for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, representing a consortium that now includes all of the state universities, five private colleges and two historical societies. Led by Director Stephen Wrinn, its editorial program focuses on the humanities and the social sciences. Offices for the administrative, editorial, production and marketing departments of the press are found at UK, which provides financial support toward the operating expenses of the publishing operation.



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

College of Dentistry Welcomes Class of 2018

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 15:42

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 9, 2014) − The University of Kentucky College of Dentistry recently welcomed 67 new students into the dental profession with the presentation of the traditional doctors white coat at a ceremony held on Friday, Sept. 19, in Memorial Hall on UK's campus.


The College of Dentistry Alumni Association and the American College of Dentistry helped to sponsor the event, making it possible for each member of the class to receive a personalized monogrammed white coat.


Keynote speaker Dr. Sharon Turner, dean of the College of Dentistry, charged the class of 2018 to reflect on this rite of passage and to "accept both the rights and the responsibilities that come with the role of a dental professional."


“We will help guide your steps for the next four years,” Turner said.  “…you will be well prepared to walk the professional path on your own thereafter when you constantly reflect on both the rights and the responsibilities of caring for the oral and thus the overall health of your patients.”


The College of Dentistry's class of 2018 is comprised of 30 males and 37 females, 40 of whom are from Kentucky. 


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

Outreach Center's Legendary "Mobile Classroom" Retired from Service

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 15:04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 9, 2014) – Skeletons? Check. Body parts including hearts, lungs, brains and more? Check. A large truck to haul this unusual cargo? Check.


It's not the premise to the latest Hollywood horror movie -- for Dr. Don Frazier, director of the Outreach Center for Science and Health Career Opportunities, this unusual set-up was part of his mission to educate young Kentucky students about what he calls "an extraordinary machine" -- the human body.


In 1995, Frazier serendipitously purchased a large truck using grant money from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The opportunity arose because of a delay in the national budget that year – he received his award notice four months after the expected start date.


"Basically, although the first year’s budget was approved, we had to spend the total amount in eight months," Frazier said.


Because of this delay, he had to present a new year one budget to the NIH. On an outside chance, he renewed his request, originally denied, for TV cameras and a truck to use as a "mobile classroom," taking specimens and equipment out on the road. They once again declined his request for the TV cameras, but gave him the greenlight on the truck, and a unique roadshow was born.


The truck allowed the Outreach Center Team to travel across the entire state of Kentucky. Frazier, who grew up in Floyd County, originally focused on schools in Eastern Kentucky due to his connection and knowledge of the area.


His first trip was to a small elementary school in Mount Sterling, Ky.222 On his way to the school, he got a little surprise when some construction road crew members stopped him, intrigued by the medical nature of the truck, and asked what was inside. With no hesitation, Frazier opened up the back to showcase the displays inside, always ready and eager to teach others about science and medicine.


"They stopped me to ask me what I did," Frazier said. "So I said, “let me show you!”

Initial outreach trips went well, and soon the buzz about the truck spread, leading the team to travel all across the state.


"When you go out to a school, the word gets out," said Frazier.


For students, the truck represented more than just an opportunity to get out of school for a few hours – it became a fun and interesting way to learn about a complicated topic. Frazier's truck allowed students to actually see and feel what they were learning about, using resources that many teachers out in the state simply didn't have.


One major benefit of these outreach trips is that it provided the Outreach Center team a better perspective on how to interact with students with more knowledge of their environment and curriculum.


"We try to instill confidence that they have the ability to think their way through problems given some facts," Frazier said. "Learning is more fun when they feel engaged."


Frazier estimates that the Outreach Center has entertained, on the average, at least 4,000 students each year, and over its 20-year lifespan, reached more than 100,000 young minds. The visits personally touched many students, and the effect was seen through the thousands of letters he has received from students over the years.


"I keep all of them," Frazier said. “It certainly helps to keeps us going!”


Earlier this year, the truck was officially "retired" due to budget cuts and the cost of maintaining the decades-old vehicle. Now, Frazier and other volunteers use their own cars to make trips out to schools, loading up their own vehicles with as many displays as they can manage.


However, the loss of the Outreach Center truck and its funding has limited the number of students the Center is able to reach – unfortunately, many schools don't have the budget to pay for a bus to bring young students onto UK's campus for health and science demonstrations.


“As a consequence, most of our on-site visits are high school/tech classes with a modest number of middle schools still able to make the trip," Frazier said. "Our interactions with elementary schools are almost exclusively off-site.”


Even with the setbacks, the Outreach Center team is able to see the positives with their mission. They love the opportunity to work with kids.


“Thanks to a dedicated staff and wonderful UK volunteers, I am certain that the Center has made and will continue to make a substantial difference in these young students' lives," Frazier said. “I know it has mine!”


Teachers from across the state can request a visit to the Outreach Center – or a visit from Frazier's team – by contacting tour coordinator Lisa Stevens at (859) 257-6440 or


MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or

Expert on Community Engagement to Address UK Community Today

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 14:44

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 9, 2014) — Andrew Furco, national expert on community engagement among universities, will present at 9 a.m today, Thursday, Oct. 9, in the Lexmark Public Room in the Main Building.


The next speaker in the "see tomorrow.": Strategic Plan Speaker Series, Furco is an associate professor and associate vice president for public engagement in the University of Minnesota Office for Public Engagement. 


Furco works with units across the University of Minnesota to advance the institutionalization of various forms of public and community engagement into the university’s research, teaching, and outreach activities.


Furco's current work includes co-chairing the UNESCO International Values Education Research Consortium, a research collaborative composed of researchers from eight nations who are working to deepen understanding of universal values through a series of nationally based and transnational research studies. He also serves on the Council of Engagement and Outreach for the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC), which focuses on advancing the role of community engagement at public institutions of higher education.


The speaker series is co-sponsored by the University Senate and the Office of the Provost.




MEDIA CONTACT: Sarah Geegan, (859) 257-5365;

BLOG: Nursing Profession Doing More to Meet Health Needs

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 19:20

Following is a blog by Janie Heath, Warwick Professor and dean of the University of Kentucky College of Nursing.


Oct. 8, 2014 


When a brother or sister is hurting, the whole family feels it and worries about it.  That is what happens in nursing as well.  As the largest health care profession, there are approximately 3 million registered nurses in the United States who I consider part of an extended family.  


Do I worry about the stress and fatigue many nurses are experiencing as patient needs grow and the number of caregivers equipped to care for them diminishes?  I do — but I worry just as much about how that story is told and its impact on perceptions of this critically important profession.


Sanjay Gupta M.D. recently made clear in his article “Why America’s Nurses Are Burning Out” (posted Sept. 19 2014; ), that the nation’s nursing shortage is real and the number of patients is growing.  Add to that a community of health care professionals nearing retirement — the average age of today’s registered nurse is 47 — and you can see where this is heading.  Dr. Gupta reports the story of a 48-year-old woman who decided to become a nurse because she wanted to make a difference.  After just three years in practice, she not only quit her job but gave up nursing altogether. The emotional and physical toll was just too great.


That nurse’s story bothers me on a number of levels.  No nurse, especially a new one, should have to navigate the beginning of a challenging career without mentors and champions for guidance and support. Nursing requires courage and tenacity.  It’s a world where sadness meets joy and inspiration meets frustration.  I can’t imagine navigating it alone, especially as a new nurse.


Like so many other nurses, I am grateful for the numerous mentors who encouraged me, inspired me and helped shape me into the nurse I always wanted to be — exactly the kind they were: passionate, dedicated and completely focused on the health and well-being of the people they served. 


Research clearly demonstrates the positive impact of quality nursing care on patient health outcomes.  However, the health of our profession is at risk with the national problem of nursing burnout.  It’s also a very costly one, both for hospitals and for patients.  


The challenge is real. But as problematic is sensationalizing the problem, rather than discussing it in an objective, evidence-based way. In fact, we marginalize nursing when media outlets sensationalize the symptoms of nurse turnover and ignore the root causes.  Some of them are beyond our control — patients who are sicker and a medical environment that’s more complex, just to name two.  Others, however, are not.  


In nurse satisfaction surveys we hear directly from the source as to what would keep nurses engaged and inspired, despite the long hours and daily challenges.  Nurses want a stronger voice and the authority to use it.  They want learning opportunities and tools that will help them grow as professionals, whether they’re looking to move up or content to stay where they are.  They want support that allows them to practice at the full scope of their education and license as well as equal recognition of the contributions they make in care delivery models.  Systems that value nurses are systems that bring value to patients and their families and are recognized as authentic healthy working environments.


Today in Kentucky, and at leading academic medical centers and nursing programs across the country, you’ll find nurses leading change at the bedside through innovative education, cutting edge research, and boardroom leadership. These are the stories we need to be telling to attract the next generation of nurse leaders. In so many respects, there’s never been a better time to choose nursing.  Women and men can make a measurable difference in people’s lives, and the career opportunities and avenues to do so are wide open.  It’s an honorable profession and a remarkable family — one I’m very proud to call my own.  


The challenges, indeed, are real. But, so too, are the opportunities and the compelling examples of how nursing is having a positive impact on both people and a health care system being asked to do more today than at anytime in our history.


That's a story worth telling.       

Photographer Laurel Nakadate to Open May Lecture Series

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 14:51

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 8, 2014) — Laurel Nakadate, a photographer known for her work exploring power, intimacy and trust, will open this year's Robert C. May Photography Lecture Series, discussing her various performative projects with Stuart Horodner, the director of The Art Museum at the University of Kentucky, at 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10, in the Worsham Theater in UK's Student Center. Her exhibition, "Laurel Nakadate: Strangers and Relations," is currently on display through Dec. 23, at the Art Museum at UK. Both the lecture and exhibition are free and open to the public.


Born in Austin, Texas, Nakadate earned a bachelor's degree from the Boston Tufts University School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1998, and a master's degree from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, in 2001.


Nakadate is known for her provocative works in video, photography, performance and film that challenge conventional perceptions of power, intimacy and trust. She received acclaim for two feature-length films, "Stay the Same Never Change" (2009), which premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, and "The Wolf Knife" (2010), which was nominated for Gotham and Independent Spirit awards. She has participated in solo and group exhibitions at museums and galleries worldwide, including the 10-year survey "Laurel Nakadate: Only the Lonely" at MoMA PS1 in 2011.


"Strangers and Relations," Nakadate's exhibition at The Art Museum at the University of Kentucky, displays individuals who have crossed her path to create images that are surprising, confrontational and unsettling.


"Viewers will immediately notice that the artist’s portraits share formal and psychological qualities. The individuals represented all meet our gaze, asking to be considered extremely present at a unique location and moment in time," Horodner said of the exhibition.


The May Lecture Series explores photography's roots in the 19th century and its reinvention in the digital world. The lecture series is made possible through the Robert C. May Photography Endowment, a museum fund established in 1994 for the support of acquisitions and programs relating to photography. Other speakers coming to town as part of the series include Marvin Heiferman, Tanya Habjouqa and Julian Cox.


The mission of the Art Museum at UK, part of the UK College of Fine Arts, is to promote the understanding and appreciation of art to enhance the quality of life for people of Kentucky through collecting, exhibiting, preserving and interpreting outstanding works of visual art from all cultures. Home to a collection of more than 4,500 objects including American and European paintings, drawings, photographs, prints and sculpture, the Art Museum at UK presents both special exhibitions and shows of work from its permanent collection.




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

College of Pharmacy Clinical Skills Team in Quarterfinals

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 11:53

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 8, 2014) — University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy students have always had exceptional clinical skills. Thanks to the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP), now there is a national stage on which to showcase them. 


The college’s 2014 ACCP Clinical Pharmacy Challenge team has reached the national quarterfinals for a second year in a row, and is the only college of pharmacy to return from last year’s roster.


This year’s team is led by Jonathan Hughes of Madison, Mississippi, and includes fellow team members Brette Hogan Conliffe of Frankfort, Kentucky; Savannah Lindsey of Glasgow, Kentucky; David Roy of Fort Thomas, Kentucky; Carly Stoneman of Hendersonville, North Carolina. All of the students are members of the college’s fourth-year PharmD class. Hughes, Lindsey and Stoneman will represent UK in Austin. Conliffe and Roy competed in the early rounds of competition and will serve as alternates.


Now in its fifth year, ACCP’s national team competition for pharmacy students returns to the annual meeting in Austin, Texas, site of the inaugural 2010 Clinical Pharmacy Challenge. The competition continues to grow, drawing participation from 104 institutions across the country and internationally.


The online round competition, which concluded September 12, gave eligible teams the opportunity to compete in up to four rounds of competition in which they answered items in each of the competition’s distinct segments: trivia/lightning, clinical case and Jeopardy-style.


“We were elated to have this opportunity to compete at the quarterfinals,” Hughes said. “And we are proud to be carrying the torch of fellow UK College of Pharmacy clinical skills teams who have paved the way for us. I remember looking forward to hearing from Dr. Kuhn each week about how last year’s team had done. We were so proud of them and they served as an inspiration to our team.”


The 2014 entrants first heard about the competition from last year’s team, which also competed at the national quarterfinals. That team was comprised of Class of 2014 graduates Zachary Noel, David Marr, Katy Garrett, Gavin Howington and Andrew Stacy.


According to last year’s team captain, there is a certain pride in seeing this year’s team reach the quarterfinals.


“When we met with this year’s team, I knew they had a chance to not only make it back but to advance even further than we did,” said Noel, now a UK HealthCare pharmacy resident.


The common bond to the teams is faculty member Bob Kuhn, the College’s Kentucky Hospital Association Professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science, who serves as coach. Kuhn takes great pride in preparing the team and brings in UK HealthCare clinical specialists to help sharpen the team’s skills. The preparation for the Pharmacy Challenge is truly a team effort with nearly a dozen faculty and clinical specialists hosting review sessions and questions for the team as they prepare for the competition.


And, as Noel says, the team appreciates their tireless leader.


“We can’t thank Dr. Kuhn enough,” Noel said. “He really is the engine that inspires, motivates and helps build our confidence. We would never have represented UK at this level without his leadership.”


For Kuhn, being able to spark a passion in clinical pharmacy and help students succeed is at the heart of why he became an academic pharmacist.


“It is all about the students,” Kuhn said. “Being able to watch them grow throughout this process is rewarding both professionally and personally. And I can’t wait to see what this year’s team does.”

UK Physician Assistant Alumna Dedicated to Her Profession and to Service

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 11:37

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 8, 2014) -- Each year during the white coat ceremony, which marks the transition from the classroom to clinical studies, future physician assistants recite a professional oath that includes the line: I will hold as my primary responsibility the health, safety, welfare and dignity of all human beings.


Stefanie Brock, a 2012 physician assistant studies graduate, is committed to fulfilling that promise not only on a local level, but on a global level as well. Her education and experiences while at the University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences Physician Assistant Studies program prepared her well for both her profession and for service-oriented activities.


Brock works as a physician assistant (PA) in small, rural emergency departments in Kentucky, and spends time each year devoted to medical missions in Haiti, where she assists a Haitian physician at a clinic.


“As a medical provider, I believe service is a responsibility we carry throughout the rest of our lives,” Brock said. “Education is the primary form of service we are dedicated to. It is through education that patients are informed, medical management is encouraged, and self-accountability can exist among our patients.”


Brock’s desire to provide service to underserved populations has its roots in her post-undergraduate experiences. After graduating from Transylvania University with bachelor’s degrees in biology and Spanish, Brock planned to earn a Ph.D. in Spanish language and literature and go into teaching. However, her experiences as a medical interpreter and clinical assistant working with underserved Hispanic populations in Lexington changed the course of her career and established her lifelong commitment to service.    


Brock decided to pursue a career in health care and enrolled in the UK Physician Assistant Studies program. Her outreach experience expanded exponentially during her time at UK with service as an interpreter for the physical therapy team working with Shoulder to Shoulder Global in Ecuador, as well as acting as an interpreter during the Hispanic Health Fair. In addition, Brock spent a month teaching public health and English literacy at an orphanage in the Dominican Republic. She also shadowed a medical caravan in Morelia, Mexico, while on spring break.


The second year of a PA’s education consists of rigorous clinical rotation across different specialties, such as pediatrics, surgery, and women’s health. Brock is quick to say that this year was the toughest.


“It’s difficult to prepare anyone for a professional career without them diving right in,” Brock said. “The hardest year of PA school was my third year when I was working (on clinical rotations). However, I had an excellent support network at UK. The faculty did a good job of being real and saying ‘This is what to expect. We’re not going to sugarcoat it. It’s going to be difficult.’… And that prepared me for a real work environment.”


Brock completed the majority of her clinical rotations in rural and underserved communities in the Commonwealth. Additionally, she completed three months of clinical rotations in Africa and Peru. To further augment her international experiences, she earned the Global Public Health graduate certificate.


The UK College of Health Sciences is recognizing Brock’s service with a commendation during National PA Week, Oct. 6-12. PA Week, hosted by the American Academy of Physician Assistants, is a celebration of the more than 100,000 clinically practicing PAs in the U.S., who are striving to meet patients’ needs in a changing health care system. PAs play a vital role in providing access to quality health care by examining, diagnosing and treating patients under the supervision of physicians. The profession is projected to experience

incredible growth over the next several years. 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.


Brock’s dedication to service and outreach is a testament to the values and ideals of the PA profession. However, she believes the call to serve extends beyond health care providers.      

“Frankly, I believe that service is a lifelong goal and responsibility for humans,” Brock said. “We are not created to exist in isolation or in silos. We are created to live in community. We live in a world that is getting more difficult with each day. But we can find so much hope in the support, assistance and love we can provide to each other in seemingly endless ways.”


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

University of Kentucky Approved to Lead $14.9 Million Research Project to Study Care Transitions

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 09:03



LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 7, 2014) – The University of Kentucky has been approved to lead a $14.9 million project from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to identify the most effective approaches for patient care transitions as they move between hospitals, nursing homes and their own homes.


PCORI, an independent, non-profit organization authorized by Congress as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, approved this week a recommendation for UK's Dr. Mark V. Williams, director of the Center for Health Services Research, to lead a three-year contract for one of PCORI's priority projects, "Effectiveness in Transitional Care."


"The expert faculty and staff at the University of Kentucky are committed to improving the well-being of the communities and people they touch and teach," said President Eli Capilouto. "UK's new $14.9 million contract will help improve research and understanding of outcomes in the patient transition process and translate new knowledge into application. It's how we help shape better outcomes along the spectrum of patient care." 


Poorly managed patient care transitions between hospitals, clinics, home or nursing homes can lead to worsening symptoms, adverse effects from medications, unaddressed test results, failed follow-up testing, and excess rehospitalizations and ER visits, said Williams, who is also professor of internal medicine and health policy and management at UK.


Patients in the U.S. suffer harm too often as they move between sites of health care, and their caregivers experience significant burden, he said. Unfortunately, the usual approach to health care does not support continuity and coordination during such “care transitions” between hospitals, clinics, home or nursing homes.


“Through kynect and Medicaid expansion, hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians who were previously uninsured now have access to health care services. Greater access was a critical first step in improving Kentucky’s dismal health rankings," said Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Audrey Tayse Haynes. "Now we must ensure quality, coordination and continuity of care as patients receive health care services, transition between providers, and return home. This project will help identify best practices for transitional care, which will play a pivotal role in improving health care outcomes in Kentucky.”


The study, Project ACHIEVE (Achieving Patient-Centered Care and Optimized Health In Care Transitions by Evaluating the Value of Evidence), combines the expertise of patients, caregivers and stakeholders with national leaders in care transition research.


It will identify which combination of transitional care services improve outcomes that matter most to patients and their caregivers as they leave the hospital and return to their homes. Patient characteristics, care settings, and other factors will be incorporated in the analysis to determine which transitional care services work best for whom and under what circumstances.


"Receiving this contract from PCORI to lead this project is a testament to the outstanding work being done by a very capable and expert team at the University of Kentucky," said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK executive vice president for health affairs.  "Care transitions can be a challenge for patients, their families and providers and this project will give evidence-based information on how we can make significant improvements and impact in this area."


The goal is for Project ACHIEVE to determine which transitional care services most effectively produce patient and caregiver desired outcomes among diverse patient and caregiver populations in different health care settings, Williams said.


Using the results, the project team will develop concrete, actionable recommendations regarding how best to implement strategies and provide tools for hospitals, community-based organizations, patients, caregivers, clinicians and other stakeholders to help them make informed decisions about which strategies are most effective and how best to implement them in their communities.


"Each year more than 33 million Americans make this difficult journey from the hospital bed to the post-acute setting to home and community-based care and, all too often, back again.  Various strategies for improving care transitions are being tested across the country, but no one has yet determined which strategy works best, for whom, and under what circumstances," said Glen P. Mays, Ph.D., Scutchfield Endowed Professor in Health Services and Systems Research in the UK College of Public Health. "Our team will bring together the best possible data and analytic methods to answer these questions. From public health and economic perspectives, there is no health care delivery quandary more important to solve than this one."


The project team will identify which transitional care services and outcomes matter most to patients and caregivers, evaluate comparative effectiveness of ongoing multi-component efforts at improving care transitions, and develop recommendations on best practices for the design, implementation and large-scale national spread of highly effective, patient-centered care transition programs.


This collaborative team includes experts in statistics, surveys, implementation science, and quality improvement from 14 organizations including UK, University of Pennsylvania, Boston Medical Center, Telligen, Westat and Kaiser Permanente.


“This new round of funding not only adds several innovative studies to our growing portfolio of patient-centered outcomes research, but also reflects our progress toward funding bigger, larger studies on specific high-impact, high-burden topics, such as obesity treatment and transitional care,” said PCORI Executive Director Dr. Joe Selby. “As we increasingly focus on specific high-priority topics and larger pragmatic studies, we continue to benefit from and seek insightful proposals initiated by both researchers and the broader healthcare community.”


This three-year study is divided into two phases. During the first phase, Project ACHIEVE will use focus groups and site visits to identify the transitional care outcomes and service components that matter most to patients. During the second phase, the team will evaluate the comparative effectiveness of multi-component care transitions programs occurring across the U.S. The project team will evaluate studying historical and current and future groups of patients, caregivers and providers using site visits, surveys, and clinical and claims data.


The award has been approved pending completion of a business and programmatic review by PCORI staff and issuance of a formal award contract to UK. PCORI has approved nearly $671 million to support 360 research studies and initiatives since it began funding research in 2012. For more information about PCORI funding, visit


In 2013, Debra Moser, professor at the UK College of Nursing, was awarded $2.1 million over three years from PCORI to advance her research in risk-reducing interventions for cardiovascular disease in Kentucky’s Appalachian region.


MEDIA CONTACT: Kristi Lopez, 859-806-0445,