Campus News

Vermeulen Joins UK Center for Health Services Research

Wed, 11/02/2016 - 11:51

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 3, 2016) – The University of Kentucky Center for Health Services Research welcomes Lee Vermeulen Jr., as director of the Office for Value & Innovation in Healthcare Delivery (OVIHD) and professor in the Division of Biomedical Informatics within the UK Department of Internal Medicine. Vermeulen will hold a joint appointment between the UK College of Medicine and the UK College of Pharmacy.


“We are thrilled to recruit someone of Lee Vermeulen’s caliber to lead our Office of Value & Innovation in Healthcare Delivery, and guide UK HealthCare in implementing cutting edge evidence-based care,” said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK executive vice president for health affairs.


In addition to serving as director of OVIHD, he will help lead UK HealthCare’s OptimalCare efforts to deliver evidence-based practices across the health system. An internationally recognized expert in pharmacy and informatics, Vermeulen will facilitate the implementation of evidence-based clinical decision support and knowledge management tools in electronic health records.


“As an addition to the Center for Health Services Research, Lee Vermeulen’s extensive experience and expertise allows UK HealthCare to take a major step toward advancing our efforts in applying research to optimize care,” said Dr. Mark V. Williams, professor and director for the UK Center for Health Services Research.


Vermeulen's research focuses on measuring the value of medical care interventions, clinical practice tools that improve patient outcomes, and the efficient application of health care technology. His research also evaluates technology development and diffusion, and he publishes annual forecasts of the medication development pipeline and forecasts of the rising cost of medications. His previous scholarly work has focused on measuring the impact of various health-system medication use policies and programs.


Previously, Vermeulen served as director of the Center for Clinical Knowledge Management with the University of Wisconsin Health System (comprised of the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics and UW Medical Foundation). He received his undergraduate degree in pharmacy from the University of Buffalo in New York and a master’s degree in pharmacy administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He completed a residency in pharmacy practice and pharmacy administration at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics and a fellowship in medical technology assessment at the University Healthsystem Consortium (now known as Vizient).


“Lee brings great expertise to UK, helping further leverage our academic strengths with evidence based discovery and implementation for healthcare,” said Dr. Robert DiPaola, dean of the UK College of Medicine.


"We are overjoyed to have Dr. Vermeulen joining the College of Pharmacy," said Kip Guy, dean of the UK College of Pharmacy. "His strong expertise in decision support adds immensely to or programs aimed at improving medication choice at point of care."


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

UPK Authors in Spotlight at Kentucky Book Fair

Wed, 11/02/2016 - 11:11

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 3, 2016) Now in its 35th year, the Kentucky Book Fair will be held from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, at the Frankfort Convention Center. This year’s fair will feature more than 150 authors and editors showcasing their most recent books including several writers from University Press of Kentucky (UPK), including many with University of Kentucky ties.


Presented by the Kentucky Humanities Council, and co-sponsored by Lindsey Wilson College, Joseph-Beth Booksellers and UPK, the Kentucky Book Fair attracts thousands of avid readers and patrons from across the country. With many books ranging from children's books and regional cookbooks to wartime histories and poetry collections, the fair has a book for everyone with a passion for reading.


Founded in 1981, the Kentucky Book Fair is the state's leading literary event and the largest and oldest event of its kind in the state. Since its inception, the fair has recognized outstanding Kentucky authors and editors.


University of Kentucky authors published by UPK participating in the Kentucky Book Fair include:

Other authors, editors and contributors to publications from UPK participating in the fair and their corresponding books are:

To hear University Press of Kentucky Director Leila Salisbury talk about the press' offerings at the Kentucky Book Fair on "UK At the Half" with Carl Nathe, click play on the audio player below. To see a transcript of this interview, visit here


For a full listing of authors participating in the Kentucky Book Fair as well as on-site events, visit


UPK is the scholarly publisher for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, representing a consortium that includes all of the state universities, five private colleges, and two historical societies. The press’ 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 through the UK Libraries.



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: #uk4ky #seeblue

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

'UK at the Half' Features Social Work Assistant Professor Jay Miller

Tue, 11/01/2016 - 17:15

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 2, 2016) — Justin "Jay" Miller, an assistant professor in the University of Kentucky College of Social Work, was featured during "UK at the Half," which aired during the UK vs. University of Missouri football game, broadcast on radio Oct. 29.


Miller, who experienced the foster care system firsthand as a child, is now conducting research in the area of foster care in addition to teaching in the College of Social Work.


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


To hear the Oct. 29 "UK at the Half," click on the play button below. To view a transcript of the show, click here.



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: #uk4ky #seeblue

UK Center of Excellence in Rural Health Receives 2016 MediStar Award

Tue, 11/01/2016 - 16:45

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 2, 2016)  ̶  Fran Feltner, director of the University of Kentucky Center of Excellence in Rural Health, recently received the A. O. Sullivan Award for Excellence in Education on behalf of the center during the 2016 MediStar Awards presented Oct. 25 in Louisville.


Since 2007, IGE Media, publisher of Medical News, has recognized excellence in the business of health care at the exclusive MediStar Awards, which honors seven health care professionals for their achievements in advocacy, innovation, education, leadership, aging care, as well as announces the physician and nurse of the year.


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


The UK Center of Excellence in Rural Health (CERH) was established by state legislation in 1990 to address health disparities in rural Kentucky, including a chronic shortage of health professionals and residents’ poor health status.  For more than two decades, the Center has partnered with communities, providers, students and individuals to provide health professions education, health policy research, health care service and community engagement toward reaching this mission.


To date, more than 800 students have graduated with health professions degrees offered at the Center, including:

  • East Kentucky Family Medicine Residency
  • Master of Social Work
  • Doctor of Physical Therapy
  • Bachelor of Health Sciences with a Major in Medical Laboratory Science
  • Bachelor of Arts in Social Work

The Center’s academic offerings are focused on curbing health professions shortages within rural Kentucky and have had a profound and positive impact on the region’s health care community with approximately 80 percent of the graduates working in rural communities.  


Other 2016 award winners were:  Physician of the Year Award – Dr. LaTonia Sweet,; Hospice of the Bluegrass Aging Care Award – Dr. Bill Bryant, Owensboro Health;

Nurse of the Year Award - Sandy Mathis, Hospice of the Bluegrass; Hall Render Leadership in Healthcare Award - Susan Starling, Marcum & Wallace Memorial Hospital; The Kentucky Life Sciences Council Healthcare Innovation Award - Karen Lower, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Kentucky; and Seven Counties Services Healthcare Advocacy Award - Mark Bolton, Louisville Metro Department of Corrections.


Media Contact:  Kristi Lopez,


VIDEO: UK Alumna Loves Helping Athletes Live Healthier, Perform Better

Tue, 11/01/2016 - 14:44


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



LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 2, 2016) — On most days, it’s a job that starts in the early morning and ends late into the evening.


But for University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment alumna Monica Fowler, a sport nutritionist for UK Athletics, it’s a job she wouldn’t trade for the world.


"It’s really fun to work here," Fowler said. “I just really enjoy working with all of the athletes … I feel like they’re all my kids!”


We recently chatted with Fowler about what her job is like and how the University of Kentucky impacted her career. 


UK: What is the typical day like in your position?

Monica Fowler: There is no typical day. Some days I am sitting in meetings, some days I get to spend more time with the athletes. I think the most typical thing about any job in athletics is that it starts early in the morning and often goes well into the evening. The athletes are students and are busy during the day with classes and tutors so our work with them is often before and after their student activities.


UK: We hear this wasn’t your original career. What made you switch directions to go into this field?

Fowler: I’m not really sure. I had raised my children and retired from my first job and decided to go back to school and finish my degree in dietetics. I always thought that I would be working with underserved populations and dealing with food insecurity issues. I thought this was a great opportunity though so I thought I would give it a try, I ended up really loving working with the athletes. They have a lot of unique issues and it keeps me on my toes.


UK: How did you go from being a UK graduate to your current position?

Fowler: After I graduated I was working as a part-time advisor for the dietetics and human nutrition department. UK Athletics had called the DHN department and said they were looking for someone to work part time with the athletes. Dr. Hazel Forsythe encouraged me to go talk to them. They offered to make me a graduate assistant, and I was interested in getting my master's so I took the position. After two years the position had grown enough that the Athletic Department needed me to become full time.


What is the best part of your job?

Fowler: Getting to get to know the athletes, getting to sit down with them at dinner and hear about their days … I have really enjoyed learning about all the different backgrounds our athletes come from. Watching them mature from their freshmen year and then graduate is really rewarding.


UK: What is the most challenging aspect of your position?  

Fowler: The most challenging aspect has to be making athletes that have already made it to a Division I school on incredible talent and hard work, understand that optimizing what they eat can give them an edge. Small edges can add up to an advantage. When one tries to change a habit it can be incredibly difficult. Imagine a golfer trying to change her swing. She won’t be perfect at it all at once. College athletes have been developing their food habits and preferences for 18 years by the time they come to college. If they have earned a scholarship and are already competing at a high level it is easy to understand why they would not want to change, or why it would be hard to change. Convincing them that what they do out of the arena (sleep, hydration, nutrition) directly affects what happens in the arena can be a challenge. Eating one healthy meal does not automatically translate into a great performance the next day. It requires a sustained effort to create a new habit and see the results.


UK: What is the most fulfilling part of your job?

Fowler: Everyone has a very distinct food culture that they come from. My mom grew up on a farm so I was accustomed to eating vegetables based on when they were in season. My summers were spent helping my mom and my aunts can and freeze food for the winter. It is easy to think that your experience is typical when really everyone’s experience is unique. One of my athletes told me that he had never tasted blueberries or raspberries because he came from a family that had limited resources for purchasing food. Berries are an expensive fruit so he had never been exposed to tasting them. His knowledge of blueberry and raspberry flavor came from candy so the real thing tasted tart to him rather than sweet. Learning to meet the athletes where they are with their food preferences and trying to get them to eat better — even just a little — is the most fulfilling part. I can’t often get them to eat exactly what I would like them to eat, but I can help them eat better. 


UK: How did UK prepare you for your career?

Fowler: The dietetic department at UK gave me a great background in basic nutrition and medical nutrition therapy. They provided a great foundation and instilled a love of learning. They also taught me to critically digest the research to create best practices for the athletes. 


UK: What is your favorite UK memory?

Fowler: I grew up in Leitchfield, Kentucky. It is about two hours from Lexington. I was in high school in 1978 when UK beat Duke and won the NCAA championship. When they won my dad piled my sister, Paige, and I into the car and drove us to Lexington to meet the team when they landed at the airport. Jack “Goose” Given was named Most Outstanding Player. At the airport someone had taken a sheet and painted a sign that said “We Goosed Duke.” The team stood on the second floor landing and threw down little pieces of the net. It was pretty cool. My dad was a HUGE UK fan when he was alive. If he were still here today I have no doubt he would be camping outside my office for Big Blue Madness tickets. 


UK: What is the best piece of advice you would give to current UK students?

Fowler: Gather volunteer experience with all different types of dietitians. All experience is important. The clinical experience I had during my dietetic internship has been invaluable at the Athletic Department. Embrace learning. Every aspect of the curriculum in the DHN department is there because dietitians’ jobs are in many different areas of business. You may not land your dream job right out of college, but you should embrace any opportunity to add to your knowledge. You never know when you will need it again.


Watch the video above to discover how UK helped prepare Monica Fowler for a job she looks forward to doing each and every day. 


This video is part of a new bi-monthly UKNow series. We want to tell “see blue.” stories about our alumni to show how the University of Kentucky prepares students to succeed after graduation. If you know of any UK alumni who should be featured, please email us. We might choose your suggestion for our next “see blue.” alumni story on UKNow.  



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, visit #uk4ky #seeblue



VIDEO CONTACTS: Amy Jones-Timoney, 859-257-2940,; or Kody Kiser, 859-257-5282,

Health Sciences Professor Stewart Receives Prestigious Professional Award

Tue, 11/01/2016 - 11:11


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 2, 2016)  — A University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences associate dean recently received a prestigious award from the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions (ASAHP).


Sharon Stewart, associate dean for special projects and professor, was presented with the Darrell C. Mase Presidential Citation from ASAHP. The award, presented by president Linda Petrosino at the 2016 ASAHP Annual Conference in New Orleans, was a surprise to Stewart.


“It was an honor to be recognized for my work, especially to be recognized by my peers,” Stewart said. “My work with ASAHP has been focused on developing the leadership potential of allied health faculty and administrators, improving allied health education, and empowering the Association and the health professions, all with the ultimate goal of improving health care for our citizens.”


The award is a means for the ASAHP president to express gratitude to members who have dedicated themselves to helping maintain the qualities of excellence that characterize a professional association. Typically, one ASAHP member receives the award each year.


Petrosino said that she was pleased to acknowledge Stewart, who has tirelessly devoted herself to ASAHP and to allied health education. She also noted Stewart’s contributions in heading this year’s ASAHP Leadership Development Program.  


“This award is no surprise to those of us fortunate enough to be colleagues of Dr. Stewart,” said Scott M. Lephart, dean of the College of Health Sciences. “Our college, university, and health sciences professions continue to be positively impacted by her dedication, tenacity, and excellence.”


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: #uk4ky #seeblue


Behind the Blue: Preserving the Past With Deirdre Scaggs

Mon, 10/31/2016 - 22:43




LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 1, 2016) — Behind the Blue has been telling stories about how the University of Kentucky helps lead the Commonwealth into the future, through groundbreaking research, community health initiatives, and preparing the next generation of students to become the great leaders and thinkers of tomorrow. The university also works hard to preserve its past, and allow Kentuckians to see UK’s rich history as the state’s flagship land-grant institute.


This week, Behind the Blue talks to Deirdre Scaggs, associate dean of UK Libraries, Special Collections Research Center (SCRC), and director of the Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center.


Along with the Ford Research Center, the Special Collections Research Center is home to UK Libraries' collection of rare books, Kentuckiana, the Archives, the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, the King Library Press, the Bert T. Combs Appalachian Collection, the John G. Heyburn Center for Judicial Excellence, and the Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center.


SCRC collects, preserves, and provides access to materials documenting the social, cultural, economic, and political history of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.


Scaggs talks about her work with the UK archives, some of the rare materials she and her team get to work with and, as a special Halloween treat, a few stories from UK’s past, including one about Maxwell Place, and the case of the poisoned salmon.


Become a subscriber to receive new episodes of Behind the Blue each week. For questions or comments about this or any other episode of the podcast, email, or tweet your question with #BehindTheBlue.


Click here for Behind the Blue on iTunes. Click here for Behind the Blue on Stitcher.



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: #uk4ky #seeblue

Chellgren Center Celebrates 10 Years of Service to Students, University

Mon, 10/31/2016 - 15:12

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 1, 2016) — University of Kentucky students, alumni, faculty, administrators and friends gathered recently to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the founding of the UK Chellgren Center for Undergraduate Excellence.


Special guests at the celebration included Mr. and Mrs. Paul W. Chellgren, the benefactors who not only created the center but also its legacy of hope and confidence for 335 students, including 54 students currently enrolled in the sophomore fellowship program.


At the anniversary celebration, UK President Eli Capilouto thanked the Chellgren family “for believing in the University of Kentucky and believing in the generations to come.”


"We are a university that is not about the buildings; it’s about the people," he said. "It’s my honor … to thank the Chellgrens for believing in us. They came with a dream, and then many other people … turned that into a reality. They had confidence in us, and now they will birth — for generations to come — people who, I think, will live in their image."


“I don’t care what the issue is, (the Chellgrens) will bring their full humanity to it,” added Capilouto. “They bring their ideas, their financial support, their advocacy, and their humanity. More than ever, we need more Chellgrens, and (our students) are the ones who will inherit this precious legacy.”


Chellgren also reminisced, adding his own personal memories of the center’s creation and his pride in graduates and aspirations for current and future students.


"UK needed something really special to focus on excellence in undergraduate education. I was receptive to creating … a statement, a signature program," Chellgren said, adding that he recognized "… the benefits that could be achieved by focusing on a program (to) identify the truly excellent undergraduate students."


Chellgren said that as an undergraduate, he “always felt that a horizontally focused program with the best students would have … enormous advantages. I had seen … center models where a faculty-oriented, student-oriented mentorship program could pay enormous dividends and benefit those truly excellent students.” 


Chellgren is a UK Honors Program alumnus. As a student he was a star intercollegiate debater and president of the student body his senior year. He subsequently earned a Harvard University MBA and a DDE from Oxford University, where he has been named an honorary fellow. In addition to a celebrated career in business, one that included service as the CEO of Ashland Inc., Chellgren has been a very active UK alumnus, serving 11 years on the UK Board of Trustees. 


Chellgren surely sees reflections of himself among the current Chellgren students, “a group of extraordinary men and women who are at the very earliest stages of their careers,” he said. “They are doing exactly what you’d hope they’d be doing — experimenting, trying things out. We’re focusing on giving horizontal opportunities both in the personal and professional sense to these selected and very special young men and young women.”


Philipp Kraemer, Chellgren Endowed Chair for Undergraduate Excellence and advocate for the program, also contemplated the early days, before there was a Chellgren Center.


“What Mr. Chellgren recognized was that the very best research universities are excellent at everything, including undergraduate education, and that was something that wasn’t getting the attention it deserved. So, he came to us with … a very generous a multi-million dollar gift to the university that we were able to match with the Research Challenge Trust Fund model,” Kraemer said.


The Research Challenge Trust Fund was created by the Kentucky Legislature in 1997 with legislation that allowed philanthropic gifts to eight Kentucky universities to be matched with state funds. It was designed to advance the economic success of Kentucky and its citizens through education and research.


Chellgren’s gift matched by state funds provided the predominate funding for most of the programming and student support at the Chellgren Center.


“More importantly,” said Kraemer, “Mr. Chellgren provided us with the vision of what we should be thinking about in order to begin to foster academic excellence among our undergraduates.”


The donor’s vision has been excelled by reality. The Chellgren Center today takes a leadership role in advocating for undergraduate excellence, educational innovation and community service. Its faculty contribute greatly to the goal of excellence at UK by raising students’ aspirations. They are joined by staff who assist students in realizing their highest academic potential; inspiring progressive reform and innovation in teaching, learning and curriculum development; and fostering creative and productive collaborations across the many programs and departments engaged in the undergraduate mission.


UK student Andrew Cech, who was a Chellgren Fellow during his sophomore year, shared with the anniversary audience his experiences at the center and encouraged other students to seek the support he found at the Chellgren Center.


“Because I had the support group here (at the Chellgren Center),” said Cech, “I was able to finish (my undergraduate research) and end up with an internship at a think tank that following summer. That would not have come about if not for my undergraduate time here at the Chellgren Center.”


Speaking directly to the current Chellgren students in the audience, Cech said, “The Chellgren Center has put into place all the institutions needed to help develop undergraduate students for the future, whether that be research, study abroad, whatever your interest is, this institution is there to help you out. I can’t express enough gratitude for that.”



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: #uk4ky #seeblue



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



UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Recognizes Those Who Empower Women

Mon, 10/31/2016 - 14:22

LEXINGTON, Ky., (Nov. 1, 2016) The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment recently honored 25 students, staff, faculty and alumni for empowering women during the college’s second annual Multicultural Awareness Day.


The nominees honored at the "Women in CAFE — Empowering our Future Luncheon and Awards Ceremony," which was held at the Hilary J. Boone Center on campus, spanned the three aspects of the university’s land-grant mission, teaching, research and extension, as well as alumni and students.


“With the college’s first female dean, we felt it was imperative that we took time to recognize all the women and the work they’ve been doing in our college, and most importantly, unsung heroes — those who may not always get the spotlight,” said Natasha Saunders, extension associate for diversity recruitment and retention and a member of the event’s planning committee. “And we wanted to include those we partner with, who work really hard to make sure we’re providing opportunities for UK employees and students.”


Dean Nancy Cox welcomed the group by referencing the origins of the college 151 years ago under the “rather bold concept for a university to educate the common folks.”


“We’ve been spending the last couple of years reflecting on what it means to be a land-grant university,” she said. “It was considered a university for the people, but many sitting in this room would not have been enrolled then. It was mostly for white men at that time, but it still was a revolutionary concept, because it exposed a whole new generation of folks to education. As that initial legislation has evolved, we have grown in diversity. We are still growing in diversity at the University of Kentucky and in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.”


Currently, more than 57 percent of undergraduate students in the college are women. A little more than a quarter of the faculty are women and 38 percent of those in college leadership roles are women.


Saunders said the common thread among the nominees is they all are going beyond the call of duty to make sure that women feel empowered.


“Whether that’s in the lab or the classroom, whether that’s to help overcome gender barriers or to make them feel they have what it takes to be competitive against any male counterpart in their field — that’s what we’re taking time to honor today,” Saunders said.


The nominees and winners for this year’s awards are:


Trailblazer Award:

· Nancy Cox, winner. First female dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment


Passing the Torch Student Award:

· Elham Darbandi, winner. Graduate student, Agricultural Economics

· Barbara Wadsworth, winner. Graduate student, Animal and Food Sciences

· Karmella Dolecheck, nominee. Graduate student, Animal and Food Sciences

· Erica Rogers, nominee. Undergraduate student, Agricultural Economics


Community Empowerment Award:

· Hazel Forsythe, winner. Retired professor, Dietetics and Human Nutrition

· Ashley Searles, winner. Farm Credit Mid-America


Alumni Legacy Award:

· Martha Thompson, winner. Retired, UK Cooperative Extension Service

· Susan Campbell, nominee. CAFE Business Center


Research Empowerment Award:

· Sue Nokes, winner. Chair, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering

· Lesley Oliver, winner. Associate director, UK Agricultural Experiment Station

· Claudia Heath, nominee. Professor, Family Sciences

· Vanessa Jackson, nominee. Chair, Retailing and Tourism Management

· Ann Vail, nominee. Director, School of Human Environmental Sciences, assistant director, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension, and interim dean, College of Social Work


Instruction Empowerment Award:

· Czarena Crofcheck, winner. Professor and director of undergraduate studies, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering

· Krista Jacobsen, winner. Assistant professor, Horticulture

· Mark Coyne, nominee. Professor and director of graduate studies, Plant and Soil Sciences

· Rita Parsons, nominee. Administrative assistant and chair of the Department Support Committee, Agricultural Economics


Extension Empowerment Award:

· Kim Henken, winner. Assistant to the director, Human Environmental Sciences

· Ashley Holt, winner. 4-H youth development education agent, Jefferson County

· Janet Mullins, winner. Extension professor, Dietetics and Human Nutrition

· Kim Ragland, winner. 4-H youth development education agent, Boyle County

· Ann Freytag, nominee. Senior laboratory technician, Plant and Soil Sciences

· Nicole Gauthier, nominee. Extension plant pathologist, Plant Pathology

· Karen Ramage, nominee. Retired county operations director, UK Cooperative Extension Service

· Laura Skillman, nominee. Director, Agricultural Communications Services


“We really do take pride in our collaborations, trying to learn from each other’s differences, being flexible, being fair and providing equal opportunity,” Cox told the gathering. “We’re still trying to do better every day, but this is the day we can pat you on the back for a good job.”



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: #uk4ky #seeblue



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

Feeling Election Stress? You're Not Alone

Mon, 10/31/2016 - 14:14


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 1, 2016) — Are you stressed out about this year’s election? It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, Democrat or Republican – chances are the answer is yes.


According to new research from the American Psychological Association, more than 50 percent of American adults say this year’s election is a significant source of stress in their lives. Uncertainty about the future combined with a constant barrage of political conversation online, on TV, and with family and friends has many people anticipating Election Day with tension and anxiety.


Although it might seem minor, election season stress can lead to health-related side effects, including fatigue, headaches, upset stomach and tightness in your chest.


Check out our infographic for tips on how keep your stress in check this election season, and be sure to share it with friends and family members.


Next steps:

·        Looking for more ways to feel less stressed? Check out our tips to help you relax.

·        If you or someone you know is experiencing anxiety, depression or another mental health concern that is affecting daily life, UK Psychiatry may be able to help. Learn more about our services today.


Link to the UK HealthCare Blog,


Media Contact: Olivia McCoy,



Office for Institutional Diversity Now Accepting Proposals for Inclusive Excellence Program Grants

Mon, 10/31/2016 - 14:00

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 1, 2016) — As a campus community, the University of Kentucky demonstrates its commitment to encouraging an environment of diverse people, thoughts, ideas and teachings. However, there is still a call to work more collectively and challenge our ways of thinking and doing. To encourage more engagement, teaching and learning, the Office for Institutional Diversity is now accepting proposals for Inclusive Excellence Program grants.


The office is seeking innovative inclusive excellence programs that are student-centric and foster collaborative programming and partnerships among groups, centers, programs, registered student organizations and/or initiatives that have goals to:

  • create or improve collaborative programs that include or address the importance of diverse views and cultures;
  • encourage the participation of all students in inclusive excellence initiatives at the university;
  • educate ourselves and others on issues of social justice, diversity, intercultural dialogue and communication;
  • increase belonging and engagement of marginalized, historically underrepresented and minority groups;
  • develop sustainable programs that increase awareness and appreciation for a diverse and inclusive community; and/or
  • increase opportunities for collaborative learning around issues of inclusive excellence.

Preference will be given to groups, centers, programs, registered student organizations (in good standing) and/or initiatives that propose activities and opportunities that:

  • are inclusive of our diverse student populations;
  • demonstrate collaborative partnerships with other groups, centers, programs, registered student organizations and initiatives that engage diverse students across various identities;
  • serve as models for replication and sustainability throughout the campus community; and
  • extend the success of existing programs or events at the university with significant impact.

For more information or to submit a proposal, visit



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: #uk4ky #seeblue



MEDIA CONTACT: Blair Hoover, 859-257-6398,

UK Libraries Announces Dean’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Scholarship

Mon, 10/31/2016 - 13:54

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 2, 2016) The University of Kentucky Libraries is pleased to announce the opening call for the inaugural Dean’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Scholarship for the 2016-17 academic year.


The award will recognize and celebrate exceptional, original scholarship and research by UK undergraduates whose research projects make substantive and creative use of the UK Libraries’ collections, services and resources.


“UK Libraries is very pleased to draw attention to the scholarship, innovation and creativity of UK undergraduate students with this award," Dean of Libraries Terry Birdwhistell said. “This award is another opportunity for UK Libraries to contribute to student success and recognize the important role that library resources play in research by UK students and faculty.”


Submissions are encouraged from all disciplines. Awards are judged on how well the student’s project demonstrates information literacy skills and the effective use of library resources. The deadline to apply is March 15, 2017.


Examples of possible projects include:

· written essay or research project in any field;

· documentary, podcast, interview or any other multimedia project;

· performance art project, performance, choreography or other original work;

· studio art project including but not limited to: painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking or environmental art;

· original science, mathematics, physics or engineering project; or

· recorded presentation in any field or discipline.


A cash prize of $1,000 will be awarded each year. The student winner and their faculty sponsor(s) will be honored at a special event in the spring.


For details about eligibility, evaluation criteria and submission requirements, please see the UKL Dean’s Award Guide at



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: #uk4ky #seeblue

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

UK Places Fourth in National Persuasion Contest

Mon, 10/31/2016 - 13:40

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 1, 2016) The University of Kentucky Forensics Team placed fourth in the national persuasion contest "Pitch it to PKD," held by Pi Kappa Delta.

Pi Kappa Delta is the national honorary for speech and debate competition at the collegiate level. The "Pitch it to PKD" contest solicited video presentations from colleges and universities across the nation that advocated for change at the local, national or global level. The best pitches, as judged by the national council of Pi Kappa Delta, would be supported financially over the coming year as a model for engaging the speech and debate community in real world change.


Senior Logan Hurley and freshman Matt Karijolic’s pitch video advocated for increased support for local refugee resettlement agencies like that of Kentucky Refugee Ministries here in Lexington. In the video, Hurley notes that refugee resettlement agencies’ “advocacy focuses on realizing the full extent of human potential, which is something we can all get behind.”

Pi Kappa Delta would seem to agree. The video pitches were due in February of this spring. After being assessed and ranked by the national council of Pi Kappa Delta over the summer, the winning videos were announced this fall.


The UK Forensics Team is committed to training the next generation of civic leaders who are passionate about effecting change in their communities. To foster these skills, the team takes part in competitions throughout the southeast region of the United States.


UK Forensics is a student organization in the School of Information Science in the College of Communication and Information. The team regularly competes in 12 public speaking events and three forms of debate. To find out more, visit



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, visit #uk4ky #seeblue



MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Harder, 859-323-2396,

UK Alum's Company First to Present Sensory-Friendly Musical for Autistic, Epileptic Patrons in Central Kentucky

Mon, 10/31/2016 - 10:00

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 1, 2016) The Bluegrass Opera, co-founded by University of Kentucky alumnus Lorne Dechtenberg, will present a new musical this weekend that is much more than just another world premiere. "Just So," adapted from Rudyard Kipling’s "Just So Stories," will be Central Kentucky’s first sensory-friendly live theater production — designed to be safe and welcoming for those with autism, epilepsy and other sensory sensitivities.


On the surface, "Just So" is a fun fable about a crab, a kangaroo and the way each animal gets its distinctive features, but it also teaches a lesson about the dangers of egoism and greed, and the importance of compromise and personal responsibility. The British team of Paul Ayres and Sarah Grange created this musical adaptation of Kipling's work.


Sensory-friendly performances feature more gradual light and sound changes as well as relaxed house rules that permit audience members to move, make sound, or leave and re-enter during the show. This production format has recently allowed those with autism spectrum disorder to experience Broadway shows, as well as stage events in other large cities, but only a few have been presented in Kentucky, and none have been specifically designed to be safe for those with epilepsy until "Just So."


“We’re incredibly excited to be able to make the musical theater experience accessible to a part of our community that hasn’t been able to enjoy it until now,” said Dechtenberg, who is directing the production. “My mother, Linda Dechtenberg, who is a clinical research nurse in UK Chandler Hospital’s Emergency Department, has been instrumental in helping us to connect with a number of experts whose input has shaped this production, and we’re really proud of what we’ve come up with.”


Bluegrass Opera's performances of "Just So" and their formats are as follows:

• school matinees: Nov. 3 (conventional) and Nov. 4 (sensory-friendly);

• conventional performances: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 4 and 5; and

• sensory-friendly performances: 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 5 and 6.

All "Just So" performances will take place at the Downtown Arts Center. Tickets for this musical are $15 for general admission, $12 for seniors and $8 for students. Tickets can be ordered online via Downtown Arts Center's box office or by phone at 859-940-9379.


"Just So" was made possible with the support of many individuals in the community. The consultants and advisors include UK Epilepsy Nurse Coordinator Rachel Ward-Mitchell, as well as individuals from the Kentucky Autism Training Center, Kentucky Center for the Arts, Epilepsy Foundation of Kentuckiana and Autism Society of the Bluegrass.


Dechtenberg, who holds degrees from UK School of Music in composition and conducting, co-founded the Bluegrass Opera in 2008. In 2010, he and his "Honeymoon Symphony" were chronicled in the KET documentary "Composer at Work," an effort that brought together members of the Lexington Philharmonic, UK Symphony Orchestra and the Lexington Community Orchestra for a premiere at UK's Singletary Center for the Arts.


In addition to Dechtenberg, "Just So" will feature other performers with ties to UK, including UK College of Medicine faculty member Dr. Stephanie Rose and graduate student Tanya Roodhouse.


The Bluegrass Opera is a nonprofit performing arts company that specializes in the performance of new and underperformed musical works for the stage — operas, musicals and everything in between.



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: #uk4ky #seeblue



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

"see blue." #selfie: Kaylon Kennedy

Mon, 10/31/2016 - 09:30

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov 1, 2016) — Want to get to know the people behind some of the biggest student leadership positions on campus? We did, too! That's why we've introduced "see blue." #selfie — a series on UKNow that lets student leaders from across campus tell us a little bit more about themselves and their organizations. Up this week, the University of Kentucky Speech and Debate Team President Kaylon Kennedy.


Kaylon Kennedy is a junior communications major who is minoring in political science. Speech and debate have been part of her life since high school, and when she found out during her freshman year that UK had a speech and debate team, she jumped at the opportunity. Now, she heads the team, encouraging each member to strive toward the team's goal of rising in national rankings. Practicing at least two hours each day, this motivated and passionate leader explains what it takes to be part of a top 10 speech and debate team in her "see blue." #selfie.


UKNow: What is your major and what year are you?

Kaylon Kennedy: I'm a junior and my major is communications with a minor in political science.


UK: Where are you from?

KK: I was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. My mom was in the military so I moved around a lot. I consider my hometown to be Elizabethtown because that's where I went to high school. Actually, I was looking up colleges that offered forensics and I just happened upon UK. I fell in love! I thought this was the school for me. I was part of forensics in high school.


UK: Tell me about what you do as president of the UK Speech and Debate team.

KK: Pretty much my role was just recently adopted onto the leadership team. The team is only five years old. President is in charge of campus activities, interacting with the College of Communication and Information. Since we are new, we try and stretch our roots on campus with other organizations with similar goals.


UK: When did you become involved?

KK: My freshman year, two years ago.


UK: What made you decide that you wanted to be a part of this team? 

KK: Well, I did it all four years of high school. I really loved it, so I wanted to keep doing it. I tried out. I was nervous, but I ended up getting on the team!


UK: How many people are on the Speech and Debate team?

KK: Right now, there are 10. We are pretty much capped at 10.


UK: What is a typical schedule for you all throughout the year? 

KK: We have individual practices every week. Then, every other weekend, especially in October and November, we have a tournament that lasts almost all weekend. We travel across the country to them!


UK: How far have you traveled to compete?

KK: Once we drove 14 hours to go to Minnesota, but I think the farthest we have traveled has been Texas though.


UK: How many competitions do you all have a year?

KK: Approximately eight or nine. Then we have two national tournaments. The national tournaments are the real deal!


UK: You had a successful year in 2015, ranking within the top 16 nationally! How many hours on average a week do you prepare for competitions?

KK:  We are top 16 in the National Forensics Association and then top 10 in the nation in Pi Kappa Delta, which is a forensics community that any team across the nation can join. Personally, I practice every day at least two hours. You have to keep up to do well! But, without meeting times, our practices can last five to six hours because we have group and individual practices. We like to be competitive. It's a time commitment if you want to do well.


UK: What do you find is the best way to prepare for competitions?

KK: I run my speeches over and over. I have really bad memory naturally. I just have to practice.


UK: What is the difference between forensics and the speech and debate team? 

KK: Forensics is based on Aristotle of rhetorical perfections. We combine debate and speech as a team to make forensics. So, it's the same thing!


UK: Have you ever had a really embarrassing moment during a competition?

KK: My debate partner had an embarrassing moment once. It was very cold and there was ice on the steps. We had to wear heels because our competitions require business attire. My debate partner didn't realize the stairs were so slick and she fell down and all of our competitors outside saw her. But, she survived!


UK: What is your vision for the team this year?

KK: My vision is for the team as a whole to do better than last year. It's not a huge goal, but it's important for everyone to do their best. We have a really great team and we recruited four new people who have so much potential. We are hoping to move up in the national rankings!


UK: Has there been a faculty or staff member who has encouraged you to take on this role or just guided you throughout your time at UK?

KK: Tim Bill. He's the greatest person. When I first joined the team I had no idea how much I would be involved. Tim teaches and coaches the team — he doesn't have to, but he does. He's always there for us. He has made my stay at UK really warm!


UK: Is there anything else that you're involved in on campus?

KK: Yes, I'm part of the Black Student Union and the Communication Student Association.


UK: What is your favorite thing to do in your free time? 

KK: I love the Internet. I love social media and things like Tumblr. Really, I like anything social media involved.


UK: What was your favorite Halloween costume growing up? 

KK: When I was five or six, in kindergarten, they made us costumes. I was a soda can, Mountain Dew. I was out trick-or-treating and I wanted to keep up with my older brother. I tripped and fell and rolled into the ditch! I just cried because I couldn't get up. It was a cute costume though!


UK: What is your favorite thing about campus in the fall?

KK: I like the leaves on campus. I like taking pictures with my Starbucks. I'm into it. I just love the way campus looks in the fall!


UK: What is your go-to Starbucks order?

KK: I like chai tea lattes!


UK: What is one place in Lexington where you like to spend your time? 

KK: I really like going to Triangle Park. I just started going there! There are so many cool restaurants and stores. I really like that area.


UK: What is your favorite candy?

KK: It's between Reese's Cups and Skittles.


UK: What is one piece of advice you'd give to an incoming freshman?

KK: I would tell them to go to class and to balance work and social life. When I first got here, I was so hyper-focused on classes that I didn't do any of the fun stuff.


UK: You're happiest when …

KK: I'm with my animals! I have a cat named Cole and a dog named Savannah. Cole is a tuxedo cat, so he's black and white. Savannah is a miniature schnauzer. Also, I'm happy when I'm with my family.


"see blue." #selfies will appear every other Tuesday on UKNow. Know a student leader we should feature? Contact Rebecca Stratton at to nominate someone.



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: #uk4ky #seeblue



MEDIA CONTACT: Rebecca Stratton,, 859-323-2395


250 Students Receive First Passports From CIEE’s Passport Caravan

Fri, 10/28/2016 - 17:21


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 1, 2016) — The University of Kentucky was selected by the Council on Educational Exchange (CIEE) as one of the few universities in the nation to host its Passport Caravan initiative this fall. The initiative enables students who are first-time passport-seekers to apply for the opportunity to obtain a free passport on campus.


UK Education Abroad (UK EA) launched a fundraising campaign to match the donation of CIEE’s 150 passports to students. Thanks to the pledges of the Gatton College of Business and Economics, College of Communication and Information, College of Public Health, College of Engineering, College of Social Work and UK EA, a total of 250 UK students will be able to obtain their passports for the first time this year.


“Having a passport is the first step to opening the door to a world of opportunities. We want to promote the value of an international experience for student travelers,” said Miko McFarland, acting director for UK Education Abroad and Exchanges.


The selected recipients received instructions via email to complete the pre-registration process, which included obtaining documents such as birth certificates and completing their passport application. Students were required to do the pre-check in order to ensure their documents were correct and ready to be filed on Nov. 10, when the actual Passport Caravan will take place.


Students will be able to file the application for their passports with the Wildcat Passport Services office, as well as talk to providers including CIEE and UK faculty and staff from 8:30 a.m.- 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10. There will be hot chocolate and snacks inside the Buell Armory, where the event will take place.


“You can’t go abroad without a passport in hand,” said Susan Meredith, education abroad advisor. “This is the first obstacle many students encounter when they think about going abroad, they don’t have a passport. Let’s get one in their hand so they can start imagining where they can go and what they can do. Our event will have five passport agents collecting documents, two CIEE staff writing the donation checks, and UK faculty and staff available to talk about upcoming spring and summer program options that they can now participate in by using their new passport.”


UK already has many other initiatives in place to motivate students to participate in education abroad and help them expand their world perspectives. This fall, in addition to Passport Caravan, UK EA launched the GOBro campaign with its partner International Studies Abroad with the aim of increasing participation among male fraternity students. Such efforts have yielded results, positioning UK once again above national averages:

· The number of UK students who studied abroad for credit during the academic year 2015-16 increased by 8.8 percent to 1,195 enrollments since 2014-2015, while the national average for U.S. students studying abroad in 2013-2014 had increased by 5.2 percent.

· Approximately 18 percent of the 2016 graduating class earned credit abroad at some point during their UK education. Although UK has even higher aspirations, the current rate is still higher than the 10 percent national average reported by the Institute for International Education for the 2013-2014 academic year.


Although this year’s passport recipients have been already selected, UK EA is still taking donations to sponsor students seeking passports for the first time in 2017.


Donating to UK EA is easy. To submit your gift, visit and follow the next steps:

· Type Passport Caravan on the search bar located on the top right corner.

· Select the “Education Abroad: Passport Caravan Fund.”

· Input your donation amount and click donate.

· Complete the prompted fields and click donate again.

· Review your cart and click check out to submit your payment details.

· Insert your payment details and click complete transaction to submit your gift.



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: #uk4ky #seeblue


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


UK Art Museum Exhibition Has That Presidential Look

Fri, 10/28/2016 - 16:50

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 31, 2016) — With all the talk of what it means to be and look presidential during this year's inimitable election, it makes perfect sense that the University of Kentucky Art Museum is displaying an exhibition of representations of individuals who have been president, as well as those who aspire to the office. "POTUS," which is free and open to the public, is on display as part of the museum's permanent collection through Nov. 27.


"One of the joys of our permanent collection area upstairs is that we can be flexible and respond to current events like the election. It seemed like the perfect time to use art to examine how our attitudes toward the presidency have shifted over time," said UK Art Museum Curator Janie Welker.


"POTUS" (President of the United States) features both historic and contemporary art work ranging from the museum’s iconic 1795 portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart to drawings made by Lexington artist Joel Feldman in response to the 2016 presidential primaries. Other highlights include a Gutzon Borgulm bronze bust of Abraham Lincoln (on loan from UK Special Collections Research Center) and political cartoons by Edward Sorel and others of Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal.


Described as "wonderfully personal and irreverent" by Welker, Feldman’s art is specific to the 2016 campaign and features satiric drawings of Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and other candidates, as well as U.S. citizens contemplating their choices, or lack thereof. Feldman loves to make sketches responding to current cultural and political events as part of his daily art practice, so the museum commissioned a series called “Commentary.” He made watercolors and collages featuring almost everyone who threw their hat in the ring, along with a variety of alien invaders, robots and sometimes scary members of the general public.


The museum also included a video installation piece by Harry Shearer, a radio show host, voice actor for "The Simpsons" and former writer and cast member of "Saturday Night Live." It dates to the 2008 election when he was working on NBC late night comedy show and would see live satellite feeds coming into the network. It features Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton — then all candidates — sitting in studios, waiting to go on air.


"It’s fascinating to see how their characters are revealed in these generally unseen moments, and sort of startling to see these moving 'portraits' next to more traditional art forms," Welker said.


While many voters may not naturally connect this year's election or the actions of government to a concept for a museum exhibition, art has a long and complicated relationship with politics. "It goes back many, many years, definitely to Egyptian times, and probably beyond," Welker noted. "Think of the French Revolution and Delacroix’s 'Liberty Leading the People.' Or the Guerilla Girls in the 1970s asking why women need to be naked to be shown in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Art is about culture and all that is essentially human, from a sense of humor to death. How can we avoid politics?"


As visitors take in "POTUS" at the UK Art Museum, Welker hopes they are not only struck by the images in front of them but their own importance in the political process.


"I hope it spurs them to think about their political views and to get out and vote! You know, when my mother was born, women could not vote in this country. We got the vote two years later, but still, I am one generation away from being disenfranchised. I always feel that for all the people who can’t vote or who have been prevented from voting because of sex, race or dirty politics that I have an obligation to show up at the polls."


The UK Art Museum, located in the Singletary Center for the Arts at Rose Street and Euclid Avenue, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free but donations are encouraged. For more information on membership, contact Lyndi VanDeursen at 859-257-8164 or


The mission of the UK Art Museum, 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 4,800 objects including American and European paintings, drawings, photographs, prints and sculpture, the UK Art Museum presents both special exhibitions and shows of work from its permanent collection. 



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: #uk4ky #seeblue

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


KIPRC Awarded Grant to Implement Real-Time State Opioid Overdose Surveillance System

Fri, 10/28/2016 - 16:11

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 31, 2016) — Rapid tracking and detection of drug overdose trends can alert local law enforcement officials and health care workers to possible changes in drug trafficking patterns and other overdose risk factors. Timely information on opioid and heroin overdose patterns statewide provides opportunities for preparation, prevention and public health intervention.


But current surveillance systems for monitoring opioid overdose fatalities and incidents in Kentucky don’t provide real-time data to inform health and law enforcement workers. In fact, the reporting system for overdoses treated at hospitals and emergency departments, which is based on medical billing records, can lag as much as eight months behind actual events. Due to limited manpower and resources, comprehensive data collection for fatal overdoses occurs once annually.


Researchers at the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center (KIPRC) based at the University of Kentucky, recently received a national grant to expedite the collection and dissemination of drug overdose data to key stakeholders. The Enhanced State Surveillance of Opioid Morbidity and Mortality (ESSOMM) surveillance system will improve the timeliness of reporting and identification of overdose patterns statewide. The ESSOMM project will collect geographically specific data on non-fatal and fatal opioid overdoses, involved drugs, overdose patterns and community risk factors. Michael Singleton, an assistant professor of biostatistics in the UK College of Public Health, serves as principal investigator on the grant and will oversee implementation of the surveillance system.


“The ESSOMM system will provide a more complete and up-to-the-minute picture of the opioid epidemic and problematic areas in Kentucky,” Singleton said. “Keeping in step with the trends can lead to life-saving opportunities from a public health and public safety standpoint.”


Once established, the system will translate surveillance data from a number of sources into actionable information. A syndromic surveillance system will gather information on emergency department opioid overdose cases on a near-real-time basis, and analyze the data stream for unusual changes in the number of cases or types of drugs occurring in a given area. The system will also facilitate collaboration among stakeholders to develop coordinated risk-reduction strategies tailored to local communities.


Currently, KIPRC and the Kentucky Department for Public Health conduct surveillance on fatal and non-fatal drug overdose, drug abuse and dependence, neonatal abstinence syndrome, and drug-related infections diseases, with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


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, visit #uk4ky #seeblue


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,




Second Cohort of Interdisciplinary Health Faculty Members Named CIHE Fellows and Associates

Fri, 10/28/2016 - 15:47
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 31, 2016) — The University of Kentucky Center for Interprofessional Health Education recently inducted faculty members from across four health colleges to the second cohort of faculty fellows and associates. Fellows are recognized as champions of multidisciplinary education through their involvement in research, learning and service opportunities bringing together a diverse group of professions. Interprofessional education (IPE) prepares students for collaboration with other disciplines in real-world health care environments and develops team-oriented faculty committed to improving health care delivery. Fellows and associates include: ·       Jennifer Cowley (Associate): College of Nursing·       Hartley Feld (Associate): College of Nursing·       Pinar Huja (Fellow): College of Dentistry·       Donna Morris (Fellow): College of Health Sciences·       Wayne Sanderson (Fellow): College of Public Health·       Lee Anne Walmsley (Associate):  College of Nursing As fellows and associates, these faculty members will assist the center in its mission to disseminate interdisciplinary curriculum to UK faculty and students in the six health sciences colleges on campus. Fellows and associates were either nominated by a member of the academic community or self-nominated.  The Center for Interprofessional Health Education is devoted to facilitating the design, implementation and evaluation of interprofessional education experiences for students, and provide interprofessional development opportunities for faculty. “We are very happy to welcome this new group of fellows and associates of the UK Center for Interprofessional Health Education. They are important advocates for IPE and have already made significant contributions to our efforts to prepare UK health professions students to enter the team-based health workforce of the future.  As a group, the exemplify in their own work, the sort of interprofessional collaboration and teamwork we hope to teach and thus are great role models for our students.” said Jim Norton, director of the center. MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,

DanceBlue Silent Auction: Supporting the Kids

Fri, 10/28/2016 - 15:08

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 31, 2016)  DanceBlue always brings excitement and spirit to the early months of spring semester on campus. Now there is another tradition to look forward to when missing a reason to break it down — the DanceBlue Silent Auction. On Nov. 12 from 5-8:30 p.m., DanceBlue invites alumni, faculty and community members to support and celebrate the upcoming 12th marathon in the Woodford Reserve Room at Commonwealth Stadium.


Enjoy dinner, live music and exciting silent auction items such as a Randall Cobb signed jersey and Lollapalooza tickets. On top of that, take in the amazing view of the new Commonwealth Stadium and the luxurious experience the Woodford Reserve Room has to offer. The evening will be one to remember, but not solely for the reasons listed above.


The DanceBlue Silent Auction will be a special night of relishing in what this organization and university have done for the lives of others. The kids in the Kentucky Children's Hospital DanceBlue Hematology/Oncology Clinic are the reason this auction exists. DanceBlue is also transforming the lives of current students. The silent auction provides another opportunity to support, love and celebrate the kids and this organization filled with passion and purpose, always "For The Kids."


Tickets can be purchased through the Student Involvement Ticket Center in Bowmen's Den, over the phone at 859-257-8427 or online at Come support DanceBlue, for the sleepless nights of fighting, the amazing memories, and for the day when cancer no longer is a battle to be fought.


DanceBlue is the University of Kentucky’s 24-hour no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon that benefits the Golden Matrix Fund and the DanceBlue Kentucky Children’s Hospital Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic. Now in its 12th year, DanceBlue has raised more than $9.8 million dollars for pediatric cancer research and child life efforts.


For more information about DanceBlue, registration information or to support its efforts, please visit Connect with DanceBlue on Facebook at and on Twitter at


DanceBlue is a program housed in the UK Center for Community Outreach. The CCO seeks to serve, connect and unite the University of Kentucky with the surrounding community in collaborative efforts to promote lifelong community service. For more information about the CCO, visit



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: #uk4ky #seeblue



MEDIA CONTACT: Rebecca Stratton,, 859-323-2395