LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 30, 2014) — The section of Cooper Drive between Sports Center Drive and Nicholasville Road will be impacted by road work beginning Monday, June 2. The work includes road resurfacing and restriping, resulting in enhanced bicycle and pedestrian facilities. Vehicle through traffic will be maintained, but motorists should expect delays.
Anyone who normally travels in the vicinity should allow extra time for their commute. Drivers and pedestrians are encouraged to use caution as they navigate the area.
The project is scheduled to conclude by Friday, July 11.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 30, 2014) — 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 program features UK Opera Theatre Director Everett McCorvey giving a preview of the upcoming It's a Grand Night for Singing.
To listen to the podcast interview from which "UK Perspectives" is produced, visit http://wuky.org/post/grand-night-singing-preview.
"UK Perspectives" airs at 8:35 a.m. and 5:45 p.m. each Friday on WUKY 91.3, UK's NPR station.
Video by Jenny Wells/UK Public Relations.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 30, 2014) — Before embarking on a two-week tour of China, the University of Kentucky’s Jazz Ensemble will take a Bluegrass stage to present a preview concert of music they plan to perform on tour. The free public concert will begin 7:30 p.m. Monday, June 2, at the Singletary Center for the Arts.
The concert, featuring everything from big band swing music to more contemporary jazz performed by the UK Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Miles Osland, is designed to showcase the tremendous breadth of the American art form for Chinese audiences, who have become major fans of the genre but rarely get to hear live American performances.
UK is serving as an ambassador for the American music genre. "We're one of the first American university jazz ensembles ever to play in China. So the programming that I have is wide and varied, doing some Count Basie, Duke Ellington, but then doing a lot more contemporary, more updated things too," said Miles Osland, director of UK Jazz Studies and a professor of saxophone at UK School of Music.
The ensemble will also play some hip versions of popular tunes like the theme song to "The Flinstones," as well as a jazz version of "My Old Kentucky Home."
UK Jazz Ensemble, composed of 17 undergraduate and graduate students, will pack up their instruments and depart for Beijing June 4. During their 14-day stay, the group will perform at the Beijing Contemporary Music Institute in Beijing, the Xi’an Conservatory of Music in Xi’an, and the JZ Club and Shanghai University in Shanghai. At the last concert, the ensemble will even perform with students from Shanghai University’s music program during UK Week at the institution.
Based on the popularity of jazz in China the ensemble is looking forward to playing for the Asian audience. "I think the crowds are really going to enjoy it. They will probably come out to hear an American ensemble playing a variety of different types of big band music. I think we are going to be rock stars over there," said Carlos Espinosa, a saxophone player and doctoral candidate from Fort Worth, Texas.
In addition to playing concerts for audiences abroad, the UK students and Osland will also open their rehearsals and present seminars and master classes in jazz for the Chinese music students and educators where they hope to also learn from the local artists.
"We're actually going to be working with students form Shanghai University. I am really excited to see not only how they play jazz, but how they approach it, how the ensemble works together and in the back of my mind compare it to how we do things here and hopefully take something back from that," said UK Honors Program member and Singletary Scholar Drew Burke, a trumpet player and music education and music performance freshman from Pikeville, Ky.
Osland is also interested in hearing the Chinese musicians. "It will be real interesting to see how they feel and play jazz. I am not saying that you have to be American, but it is America's indigenous art form. Hopefully they'll learn a lot from us, but it will be interesting to hear how they foresee or pursue their jazz interests also."
While they aren’t rehearsing, teaching and performing, the UK students will get to visit such popular and important historic sites as the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, Temple of Heaven and the Bird’s Nest. The UK Jazz Ensemble Tour is made possible by support of the China Jazz Association and the UK Confucius Institute.
For many of the students this will be their first trip abroad. "This experience is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for all of us. We get to travel halfway across the world and play jazz," said Colleen Wagoner, a saxophone player and music education senior from Lexington. "I know I am going to be overwhelmed with the amount of people and the size of the buildings. I am just excited to just experience China because I have no idea what to expect and know I will be in disbelief."
"Personally, I just want to share my love of this music and show them individually the things I have to offer as a musician. I want to speak basically from my heart, my soul, my mind in music and I want to put that out there for other people to see. And collectively as a group, I think we can really showcase how much fun it is to be in an ensemble like this, the camaraderie that's built, not just through music but personally. And just bring them a taste of Kentucky," Espinosa said.
Even after the students head back to the United States, Osland will remain to participate as one of a group of 15 UK faculty members teaching at Shanghai University during the inaugural UK Week at the school. He will present a jazz appreciation course during his time at the university. Osland will also perform in the week’s opening ceremony to be held June 20.
"I get to impart not only the music with the ensemble performing, but also the knowledge, a little bit of our history and what it really is," said Osland. "What's nice is that I've got recordings, I've got videos, and I plan on personally playing in class a lot because the music says it all. I can talk all day about it, but when you hear it, that says it all."
Osland has made appearances throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia as a guest conductor, performer and clinician for Selmer Saxophones, Jody Jazz mouthpieces and D'Addario Woodwinds, Osland’s compositions and arrangements have been recognized and supported by fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Kentucky Arts Council and by numerous other art foundations.
Under Osland, the UK Jazz Ensemble has received invitations to perform at the Midwest Clinic International Band, Orchestra and Music Conference three times, most recently in 2013, and the International Association of Jazz Educators Conference. In July 2011, UK Jazz Ensemble, along with the Osland/Dailey Jazztet, toured France, Switzerland and the Netherlands, performing at two of the world’s most prestigious jazz festivals.
Recipient of the Outstanding Jazz Ensemble certificate at the Annual Notre Dame Collegiate Jazz Festival, and winner of “Downbeat Magazine’s” DeeBee award for Best Jazz Instrumental Studio Orchestra, UK Jazz Ensemble has been featured with many national touring artists, including David Liebman, Tom Harrell and Mel Torme.
UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts has achieved awards and national and international recognition for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as for music education, composition, theory and music history.
MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; firstname.lastname@example.org
HAZARD, Ky. (May 30, 2014) – More than 100 participants came to Kentucky’s first Rural Health Clinic (RHC) Summit, hosted by the Kentucky Office of Rural Health (KORH) on May 16, 2014. Attendees from 28 Kentucky counties, along with a few from Tennessee and North Carolina, traveled to Hazard for a full day of networking and learning at the University of Kentucky Center of Excellence in Rural Health (CERH).
Bill Finerfrock, executive director of the National Association of Rural Health Clinics in Washington D.C., delivered the opening keynote and provided a legislative update. New sequester-related cuts are not expected for Medicare, though the 1.6 percent reduction in provider payment is expected to continue for the foreseeable future, said Finerfrock.
Kentucky’s decision to expand Medicaid coverage to the levels identified in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to 138 percent of poverty level, new and proposed rules affecting regulatory requirements and independent contractor status of mid-level practitioners, and a delay in the ICD-10 implementation to Oct. 1, 2015, were among Finerfrock’s updates.
Robin Rowe, with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services Office of Inspector General Division of Health Care, presented on the licensure and certification process for RHCs. Panel presentations and breakout sessions throughout the day offered participants a wide range of educational topics including, patient centered medical home, Medicaid managed care, community health workers, electronic health records, revenue cycle and more.
Kentucky is home to 175 RHCs, which are certified to receive special Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement to help improve access to primary health care in underserved rural areas. RHCs operate with a team approach of physicians and mid-level providers for staffing.
“The many recent changes in health care have created significant challenges for RHCs from a number of angles,” said Ernie Scott, director of the KORH. “We surveyed attendees to ask what they would like to see happen as a result of the RHC Summit. Establishing an RHC network, concern about the future of RHCs, patient centered medical homes, and rural health access and growth were among the excellent feedback we can use to chart our course for a stronger future for rural health,” Scott said.
“We are thrilled with the level of participation and interest at this inaugural RHC Summit. An RHC Advisory Board is in the process of being developed and KORH is optimistic about the potential of the RHC Summit continuing as an annual event,” said Scott.
Shelia Bowling, billing supervisor at Primary Care Centers of Eastern Kentucky, attended the summit and said it was “informative and helpful in topics that we are currently facing.”
The UK CERH serves as the federally designated Kentucky Office of Rural Health (KORH), which was established in 1991 as a framework to link small rural communities with local, state and federal resources while working toward long-term solutions to rural health issues. The KORH assists clinicians, administrators and consumers to find ways to improve communications, finances and access to quality health care while insuring that funding agencies and policy makers are made aware of the needs of rural communities.
Some of the programs available at the KORH include Kentucky’s Rural Hospital Flexibility Program (Flex), a grant established to assist rural hospitals and improve access through critical access hospital (CAH) designation. Since the majority of CAHs have been converted, the Flex grant has evolved to support quality and performance improvement activities, financial improvement activities and the integration of emergency medical services (EMS) into rural healthcare systems.
Other services of the KORH include the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Grant (SHIP), which provides funding to support quality improvement initiatives in small hospitals, and the Kentucky State Loan Repayment Program, which is a 50/50 matching program that increases availability of primary health care services through repayment of education loans to eligible health professionals practicing in health professional shortage areas.
To learn more about KORH services and technical assistance, visit www.kyruralhealth.org, or call 606-439-3557, or toll-free 855-859-2374.
MEDIA CONTACT: Beth Bowling, email@example.com, 606-439-3557, ext. 83545
LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 30, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Ag Equine Programs will host the 6th Annual Equine Farm and Facilities Expo from 4 to 8 p.m. EDT Tuesday, June 3, at the Kentucky Equine Humane Center in Nicholasville, Ky. The event is free and open to the public and a meal will be provided.
“The expo is a great opportunity for any equine owner on any size farm to learn some of the latest information from all of the various equine industry companies and UK specialists,” said Nick Carter, Fayette County agriculture and natural resources extension agent.
UK specialists will provide hands-on instruction and lead informal demonstrations on parasite control, equine digestion, fencing options and sampling techniques for soil fertility and hay quality. Other highlights include weed control, vaccination protocol, nutrition, pasture management and farm safety.
“The expo will provide equine enthusiasts the chance to learn practical information that can be used on their own farms,” said Ray Smith, professor and forage extension specialist within the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “It’s a great way to learn about multiple topics in a single day.”
The Kentucky Equine Humane Center, 1713 Catnip Hill Road, provides treatment and shelter for unwanted equines, regardless of breed. Directions to the center are available at http://www.kyehc.org/Map_Directions.html.
MEDIA CONTACT: Jackson Wells, 859-257-5164.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 2, 2014) — Three University of Kentucky students and an alumnus have been awarded Critical Language Scholarships to study the Arabic, Japanese and Turkish languages abroad.
The Critical Language Scholarship Program, a program of the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, will offer intensive summer language institutes overseas in 13 critical need foreign languages during the summer of 2014. The Critical Language Scholarship Program is part of a U.S. government effort to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical need foreign languages. Program participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship period and later apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers.
The four UK recipients of Critical Language Scholarships are:
· biology senior Naomi Hayes, who will travel to Japan for Japanese language studies;
· anthropology doctoral student Lydia Roll, who will return to Turkey for her second consecutive year of language coursework in Turkish; and
· 2013 Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce graduate Wade Wilson, who will travel to Jordan to study Arabic.
Honors Program member Jordie Gamble, a 2012 graduate of Christian Academy of Louisville, is the daughter of Lisa and Shannon Gamble of Louisville, Ky.
Gamble, who also plans to study abroad in Spain next fall, will use her Critical Language Scholarship in Arabic to strengthen her conversational skills and learn more about the culture. "I will bring my Arabic skills up to a fully conversational level that will increasingly open up the opportunities available to me. I will also gain valuable experience about living abroad and how to assimilate to new cultures gracefully, a lesson that will come in handy if I'm to become a viable player in the global marketplace."
The Global Scholar credits Nada Majzoub, her Arabic teacher in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages Literatures and Cultures, for her love of Arabic. "She helped inspire in me a love for the language while breaking it down into manageable portions. I'm so grateful to her," Gamble said.
Upon completion of her bachelor's degree, Gamble would like to work with a global nonprofit on marketing and promotional materials.
Honors Program member Naomi Hayes, a 2011 graduate of Louisville Male High School, is the daughter of Hiromi and Peter Hayes, of Louisville.
Hayes, who is also working on a Japanese minor at UK with her biology major, will use her Critical Language Scholarship to take intensive language classes in Himeji, Japan.
The choice to study Japanese is a very personal one for Hayes, who is president of the Japanese Culture in Kentucky Society. "I decided to study Japanese because even though my mother is Japanese herself, I am not able to speak the language fluently. I hope to reclaim some of my heritage by learning the language and culture. I also in general have an interest in Japan and its modern entertainment industry.
Hayes hopes to one day be fluent in Japanese. Upon completion of her bachelor's degree, she would like to pursue graduate school in Japan.
This is the second Critical Language Scholarship awarded to Lydia Roll, daughter of Darla and Roger Pitman of Bloomington, Ind., and Michael and Cheryl Roll of Marathon, Fla. She will use the second scholarship to help prepare her for a year of living in Istanbul to complete her dissertation.
"I conducted three weeks of preliminary dissertation fieldwork in Istanbul during May 2013. Additionally, I will conduct 12 months of dissertation research in Turkey, beginning in 2015. While there, I will engage in participant observation and ethnographic interviews with university students. For this reason, conversational Turkish language skills are essential. Participation in the Critical Language Scholarship Program will provide the opportunity to strengthen my Turkish language skills, thereby enabling me to conduct my research."
Roll, who holds a bachelor's degree from Indiana University, became interested in studying Turkish after living in the International House at the University of Chicago while she was a master’s student at Loyola University. "At I-House, I was able to make friends from around the world, including a group of Turkish students, who over countless cups of tea and conversation, inspired my initial interest in studying Turkish."
At UK, Roll credits her advisor in anthropology, Diane E. King, with providing invaluable guidance, including the process of narrowing her research focus and crafting the application for the Critical Language Scholarship program.
Upon completion of her doctoral degree, Roll plans to become a university professor.
Wade Wilson, the son of Bill and Nancy Wilson of Owensboro, Ky., holds multiple degrees from UK. He earned his bachelor's degrees in accounting and economics and most recently received his master's degree from the UK Patterson School in December 2013. He will use the Critical Language Scholarship to advance his language skills in Arabic in Amman, Jordan.
Studying a language critical to national security makes sense for an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran who has seen U.S. foreign policy at work on the front line. "International relations and the American foreign policies that frame those relations have always been very interesting to me, especially after joining the military and experiencing the effects of our policies first hand," Wilson said.
Last year, Wilson studied Arabic at Yemeni College of Middle Eastern Studies in Sanaa, Yemen, with partial funding from the Patterson School. He hopes to continue his Arabic education after finishing his Critical Language Scholarship program, as well as studies in other foreign languages.
The Critical Language Scholarship Program provides fully funded, group-based intensive language instruction and cultural enrichment experiences for seven to 10 weeks for U.S. citizens who are undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students. During the summer program, participants will cover approximately one academic year of university-level language coursework. The application for the 2015 summer program will be available in the fall on the program website, http://clscholarship.org.
Students interested in applying for the Critical Language Scholarship and/or Boren Scholarships should contact Pat Whitlow, director of the UK Office of External Scholarships (OES). Part of the Academy of Undergraduate Excellence within the Division of Undergraduate Education, OES assists current UK undergraduate and graduate students and recent alumni in applying for external scholarships and fellowships funded by sources (such as a nongovernment foundation or government agency) outside the university. These major awards honor exceptional students across the nation. Students who are interested in these opportunities are encouraged to begin work with OES well in advance of the scholarship deadline.
MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; firstname.lastname@example.org
FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 30, 2014) — Imagine having five minutes to pitch your business idea to a group of investors who could make your dream come true. Sound like a reality show? It is reality, right here in Kentucky. And the University of Kentucky's Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship, part of the Gatton College of Business and Economics, is playing a key role.
Earlier this week, Governor Steve Beshear announced the state will host eight regional pitch competitions this summer. Similar to the hit television show “Shark Tank,” these competitions will feature Kentucky entrepreneurs presenting their business ideas to a group of local angel investors, individuals who provide capital for startup companies. Winners will receive cash prizes and the opportunity to present their business plans to the entire Kentucky Angel Investors Network (Kentucky Angels) in Frankfort.
“The next great idea can come from anyone,” said Gov. Beshear. “As a state, we need to support these visionaries and provide them the tools to turn their vision into a reality, including the financial means to get started. I look forward to seeing more small businesses and new jobs come to life as a result of these competitions.”
The competition is sponsored by the Office of Entrepreneurship within the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, along with the Kentucky Angels Network and the Kentucky Innovation Network. The events will take place in Ashland, Pikeville, Murray, Elizabethtown, Richmond, Covington, Lexington and Louisville.
“These regional events help form the foundation for a statewide network of entrepreneurs and investors working together to create new businesses and jobs across the Commonwealth,” said Dean Harvey, executive director of the Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship.
“Small businesses are job creators and the backbone of Kentucky’s economy,” said Mandy Lambert, acting commissioner of business development at the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. “This is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to network with potential investors and get their businesses off the ground. We want to expose more people to investment opportunities right here in the Commonwealth.”
The pitch competitions will make the following appearances:
Ashland: June 3, 2014, Ignite Accelerator, 1100 Greenup Avenue, 5-7 p.m.
Pikeville: June 10, 2014, Coleman College of Business, UPIKE, 5-7 p.m.
Murray: June 17, 2014, Heritage Hall, Murray State University, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Elizabethtown: June 19, 2014, Brown-Pusey House, 128 North Main Street, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Richmond: June 20, 2014, Central Bank Community Room, 350 West Main Street, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Louisville: July 23, 2014, Greater Louisville Inc., 614 West Main St., Suite 6000, 4-5:30 p.m.
Lexington: Sept. 24, 2014, Commerce Lexington, 330 East Main St., Suite 100, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
For more information on the competition, visit kyinnovation.com.
Last year, the cabinet successfully launched the Kentucky Angels Network. Kentucky Angels brings new ventures and accredited investors together via monthly online meetings, providing investors access to form deals and partnerships with entrepreneurs statewide. Membership is open to those accredited investors in and outside the state who are passionate about investing in Commonwealth companies. To learn more about Kentucky Angels, visit www.kyangels.net.
Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com.
MEDIA CONTACT: Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200.
CollegeAtlas.org evaluated the social media efforts of major U.S. colleges and universities. The 2014 rankings focused on each school’s activity, reach and engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Instagram.
"We were pleased to see an unusually broad set of colleges emerge as top performers in our social media rankings," said Branden Neish, general manager of CollegeAtlas.org. "These schools offer immersive collegiate experiences and fervent alumni groups that positively impact students throughout their lives. Social media helps us measure these difficult-to-quantify, yet important, aspects of higher education."
Using a data set, ranging from the number of Facebook likes to tweeting frequency, CollegeAtlas.org developed proprietary algorithms to generate top 20 lists for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, as well as Google+. From those lists the website also developed at top 30 list for the social media platforms combined.
CollegeAtlas.org teamed up with Shawndra Russell, a writer and social media educator for businesses, professionals and graduate students at Armstrong Atlantic State University, to analyze the top-performing colleges. Their findings are published as "A Study of Social Media in Higher Education."
The website anticipates its findings will be used by a wide variety of organizations to further develop their social media strategies, as well as by prospective students looking for colleges that offer tight-knit and supportive communities.
CollegeAtlas.org, which describes itself as the encyclopedia of higher education, aims to provide comprehensive and unbiased information about universities, degrees and academic programs. CollegeAtlas.org publishes rankings that help students make important higher education decisions. For nearly a decade, CollegeAtlas.org has been helping aspiring students and education-minded professionals make more informed choices by providing up-to-date information about college and higher education opportunities. More information is available at CollegeAtlas.org.
Other colleges joining UK in top five of the CollegeAtlas.org Google+ list are Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, Duke University and Columbia University.
To connect with UK online, visit the following social media outlets:
- on Facebook at www.facebook.com/universityofky;
- on Flickr at www.flickr.com/universityofkentucky;
- on Foursquare at http://foursquare.com/universityofky;
- on Google+ at http://plus.google.com/113736732922435907446;
- on Instagram at http://instagram.com/universityofky;
- on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/edu/school?id=18413&trk=tyah;
- on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/universityofky;
- on Tumblr at http://university-of-kentucky.tumblr.com;
- on Twitter at www.twitter.com/universityofky; and
- on YouTube at www.youtube.com/universityofky.
MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 30, 2014) — A group of University of Kentucky arts administration students has taken a course project from the classroom to the community, launching an effort to bring art to Lexingtonians who need it the most. The group will begin seeking community support this weekend as they launch their own Kickstarter campaign June 1.
Art in Unlikely Places was founded by 17 students in an arts administration spring 2014 class under the guidance of UK Arts Administration Director of Undergraduate Studies Mark Rabideau. What began as a class project has grown into a fully functioning arts organization. Driven by the belief that creativity is the seed of hope, Art in Unlikely Places connects artists to those most in need of the transformative powers of the arts.
To support the development of the organization, the students were awarded a grant from the Michael Braun Endowment Fund, which awards projects and activities that enrich student knowledge of the arts administration profession and field.
The organization’s first project is Future Doors, launched with the belief that art by definition challenges the mind and emotions and refocuses our perspective of the world.
For the project, local artists were commissioned to create works of art on doors that reflect the mission of eight partner nonprofit organizations. These artworks serve as reminders of hope for the underserved of Lexington. Each door is on display at its respective nonprofit until June 25, at which time they will be auctioned off at the historic Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center. Proceeds from the auction will go to the artists and nonprofit organizations.
To help further support the Future Doors project and auction, Art in Unlikely Places will launch a Kickstarter campaign beginning June 1. Funding received through the campaign will be used for supporting the efforts of Art in Unlikely Places partner charitable organizations and future cultural and social entrepreneurial projects.
"For me, the real investment through Future Doors is empowering young people to see themselves as change-agents, leveraging their skills, knowledge, experience and passion toward providing hope for those most in need of the transformative powers of the arts," Rabideau said.
The Future Doors participating nonprofits and artists, including current UK students and alumni, are:
- Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital and Emily Slusher;
- Christian Health Center and Caitlin Serey, a 2014 arts administration and art studio graduate;
- Hope Center and Spencer Reinhard;
- Lexington Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Cameron White;
- NAMI Lexington and Sara Hadorn, an arts administration senior from Erlanger, Ky.;
- Ronald McDonald House and Jenny Kittinger, a 2008 art studio and art education graduate who teaches at Anderson County High School.
- Shriners Hospital for Children and Andria McElroy, a music education senior from Georgetown, Ky.; and
- The Nest Center for Women, Children and Families and Isabell Park, an integrated strategic communication sophomore from Hopkinsville, Ky.
The Arts Administration Program at UK College of Fine Arts offers one of the most comprehensive curriculums in the country and the first online master's degree in the field at a public university. The program is designed to teach students the concepts, technologies and skills necessary to successfully direct an arts organization in a competitive and changing environment.
MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 30, 2014) -- A multidisciplinary team of doctors, researchers, and informaticists the University of Kentucky is working to improve identification of lung cancer patients who are eligible to participate in clinical trials for novel treatments.
Clinical trials are critical for advancing research into new and better treatments for patients, and the need for improved treatment of lung cancer is dire: Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Its burden is especially significant in the Commonwealth, where rates of lung cancer incidence and mortality are the highest in the country. In Appalachian Kentucky, the situation is even worse, with incidence rates nearly twice the national rate.
Despite high rates of lung cancer, less than 1 percent of lung cancer patients enroll in clinical trials. This is partly due to the difficult and tedious business of identifying and recruiting patients who are eligible for trials, a task currently conducted by research staff who manually reviews patient information for a multitude of (often complex) eligibility factors. The process is time consuming and inefficient, with studies showing that manual identification can overlook up to 60 percent of eligible patients. Furthermore, patient eligibility can vary by study and change over time.
And, unfortunately, the severity of the disease also contributes to the exceptionally low rates of lung cancer patient enrollment in clinical trials. Lung cancer is often diagnosed so late that the median survival time is only eight months, leaving little time for patients to explore treatment options or for doctors to identify patients who are eligible for novel therapeutic interventions offered through clinical trials.
The combination of the burden of lung cancer in Kentucky and the urgency of identifying patients who are eligible for clinical trials motivated Dr. Eric Durbin and his team to devise a more efficient method for screening patient eligibility. Durbin, an assistant professor in the division of biomedical informatics at the UK College of Public Health, is the director of the Cancer Research Informatics Shared Resource Facility at the UK Markey Cancer Center and director of cancer informatics at the Kentucky Cancer Registry.
With pilot funding from the Kentucky Lung Cancer Research Program (KLCRP), Durbin and his team are leveraging the rich and unique electronic data sources managed by the UK Center Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS), the UK Institute for Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy (IPOP), the Markey Cancer Center, and the Kentucky Cancer Registry (KCR), which is housed at UK, to design, develop, pilot, and evaluate an innovative, electronic informatics system to automatically identify patients who are eligible for clinical trials. The outcomes of the automated identification system will then be compared to those of the manual identification methods. If successful, the automated system could dramatically increase the speed, completeness, and efficiency of identifying patients for lung cancer clinical trials.
"The need for improvement was pretty obvious, and my colleagues and I thought it would be an ideal project for KLCRP pilot funding," said Durbin, who is the principal investigator on the project. "We're trying to leverage existing and new electronic data sources to improve the efficiency of the identification and recruitment process."
The pilot project will specifically focus on identification of eligible patients at the UK Markey Cancer Center. Due to its designation as National Cancer Institute, Markey offers unique clinical trials that are only available through NCI centers.
"Clinical trial recruitment is critically important to the Markey Cancer Center if we're going to get lifesaving therapeutics to our patients," said Dr. Susanne Arnold, associate professor in medical oncology and radiation medicine at the Markey Cancer Center and member of the project team. “It’s also how we make progress in cancer treatment.”
It is particularly important to identify and recruit clinical trial participants from the entire pool of eligible patients in order to remove any potential bias from the study results and to ensure that the findings are applicable to the general population. Additionally, under-recruitment in underserved populations, such as Kentucky's Appalachian residents, can be perceived as unequal access to the most cutting-edge treatments and technologies.
"We want to ensure that all patients have the opportunity to enroll in clinical trials," said Durbin.
The two-year project is currently in its seventh month, and the team is in the discovery phase of evaluating the multiple data sources and testing different query methods. In addition to using discrete data elements, such as lab values, the team is utilizing natural language processing methodology to incorporate more conceptual data, such as patient performance status, from the qualitative notes that doctors make in their medical records.
"We are combining discrete data elements with natural language processing approaches to extract complete information," said Durbin. "This is a very important area of informatics."
The objectives of the project align perfectly with the mission of the Kentucky Lung Cancer Research Program, who funded the project and whose mission is to reduce the burden of lung cancer in Kentucky.
"A critical component to reducing this burden is clinical research," said Dr. Nathan Vanderford, assistant director for research at the Markey Cancer Center and the center's liaison to the Kentucky Lung Cancer Research Program.
"The potential to greatly improve enrollment in studies will ultimately translate into improved lung cancer detection, diagnosis, and treatment in the future."
Vanderford recognizes the distinctive capacity of Durbin's team to capitalize on the robust data, expertise, and technology available at UK. In addition to the wealth of electronic health data at UK, the Kentucky Cancer Registry (KCR) is housed at the university by legislative mandate. The KCR operates a population-based electronic pathology reporting system that captures 90 percent of all histologically confirmed cancer cases in Kentucky within days of diagnosis.
"We are very uniquely situated in terms of the data sources and technology we have at UK. And this team is uniquely skilled to do this project. They have a significant number of years of experience and are very familiar with all the data sources. We're very cutting edge in being able to apply all these different data sources to achieve our objective in a much better way," he said.
While the pilot project focuses specifically on lung cancer patients at Markey Cancer Center, the automated identification system could be easily applied to a broad range of cancers and other disease conditions in the future.
"What's really exciting about Dr. Durbin's study is that it has the potential to greatly improve clinical research not only in lung cancer but in other cancers and disease conditions as well," said Vanderford.
MEDIA CONTACT: Mallory Powell, email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 2, 2014) — For more than a century, Kentucky women have fought for the right to vote, to own property, to earn and control their wages, and to be safe at home and in the workplace. Tragically, many of them have been silenced by abuse and violence.
In "Violence Against Women in Kentucky: A History of U.S. and State Legislative Reform," Carol E. Jordan, executive director of University of Kentucky's Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women, gives Kentucky women — specifically victims of rape, domestic violence and stalking — a voice. Their stories punctuate her account of the struggles of advocates and legislators to bring legal protections to these Kentuckians. Written for those engaged in the anti-rape and domestic violence movements, legislators and policy makers, criminal justice and health care professionals, and anyone interested in the fight for women’s rights, "Violence Against Women in Kentucky" documents the legislative reform made, but also outlines the work yet to be done.
For local audiences wanting to hear more about the book, Jordan will be the featured guest on WUKY's "Curtains @ 8" beginning 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 3, on 91.3 FM.
In the book published by University Press of Kentucky, Jordan sets the stage with the suffrage and temperance movements of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. From the passage of the 23rd amendment in 1920 granting women the vote, it was more than 40 years before a second women's reform movement began with a focus on economic justice and other freedoms. It was from that second wave of reform that the nation’s attention was first riveted on rape and domestic violence.
Jordan provides a decade-by-decade account, examining more than 100 bills covering rape, domestic violence and stalking that were passed by the Kentucky General Assembly. She begins with the creation of the Kentucky Commission on Women in 1970, passage of the rape shield law, marital rape, domestic violence reforms, and the state’s first anti-stalking legislation; and goes to recent legislation, including the 2010 passage of Amanda’s Law, which expanded the use of GPS tracking devices to protect victims of domestic violence. She also places Kentucky in a broader context by examining violence against women-related reform efforts across the nation.
More than just an explanation of legislation, however, "Violence Against Women in Kentucky" gives voice to Kentucky women and their advocates. Jordan recounts the story of Myrtle Whitaker, who was shot and paralyzed by her husband, who then killed their two sons before turning the gun on himself. She also tells the stories of advocates like Louisville lawyer Bonnie Brown, who was key to the passage of laws recognizing marital rape in Kentucky. At the heart of the book are elected officials like State Senators Georgia Davis Powers and Marshall Long; State Representatives Gerta Bendland Joni Jenkins; and many more, who championed reform, sometimes in the face of formidable opposition.
"Violence Against Women in Kentucky," however, is not merely a descriptive account of progress; it also serves as a guide for advocates throughout the nation. Policy makers in other states can learn from Kentucky’s successes and failures, and Jordan outlines specific legislative strategies that can be used. In addition, she notes work yet to be done, including an amendment of the Domestic Violence and Abuse Act to extend protective orders to cover dating couples. With an understanding of where we have been and where we need to go, victims of rape, domestic violence and stalking will hopefully have an even stronger voice in the future.
Carol E. Jordan is the executive director of the Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women at UK College of Arts and Sciences and holds appointments in the departments of psychology and psychiatry. She is co-author of "Intimate Partner Violence: A Clinical Training Guide for Mental Health Professionals" and "Women and Victimization: Contributing Factors, Interventions, and Implications." She has also published more than 35 peer-reviewed articles on violence against women, heavily focused on civil and criminal justice reforms.
UK’s Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women (OPSVAW) works to shape the creation, implementation and evaluation of public policy to improve the lives of women harmed by violence and abuse. It is based in the UK College of Arts and Sciences and is affiliated with the Department of Psychology and the Department of Political Science. In addition to its policy work, the OPSVAW provides student support through the Women’s Empowerment Scholarship, the Mary Byron Graduate Fellowship, and other assistantships.
"Violence Against Women in Kentucky" is a Thomas D. Clark Medallion winner. The medallion is presented by the Thomas D. Clark Foundation, which was established in 1994 in honor of Thomas Clark, Kentucky’s historian laureate and founder of the University Press of Kentucky. Since 2012, the foundation has chosen one book that highlights Kentucky history and culture to be honored with a Clark Medallion. Previous medallion recipients are "Kentucky Government, Politics and Public Policy" and "The Hills Remember: The Complete Short Stories of James Still."
The University Press of Kentucky is the scholarly publisher for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, representing an association that now includes all 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; firstname.lastname@example.org