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‘A Taste of Health’ to honor nurses, health care workers for community service during hepatitis A outbreak

July 26 event will feature healthy food from local restaurants, live music
 ‘A Taste of Health’ to honor nurses, health care workers for community service during hepatitis A outbreak

Ruth Carrico, Ph.D., RN, is clinical director of the UofL Physicians Vaccine and International Travel Center and an associate professor at the UofL School of Medicine.

“A Taste of Health” event will be held on Thursday, July 26, to thank nurses and other health care workers for their service to the community during the recent hepatitis A outbreak.

The event, which is open to the public, will feature healthy food options from more than 20 different restaurants and local grocers, as well as a cash bar, live music from Joe DeBow (blues, R&B, reggae, jazz), a silent auction and raffles.

Hosted by University of Louisville Physicians – Infectious Diseases, the Kentucky Nurses Association and the Kentucky Restaurant Association, the event will be held from 6-8 p.m. at the UofL Kosair Charities Clinical and Translational Research Building at 505 S. Hancock St. on the UofL Health Sciences Campus.

The cost of the event is $45 for members of the Kentucky Nurses Association, and $50 for others. The money will go toward scholarship funds, education and research at the UofL School of Nursing, and some also will go to UofL Physicians - Infectious Diseases for vaccine supplies. The event also will feature a “Giving Tree.” 

“The event is a way for restaurants and the community to say ‘thank you’ to nurses for their efforts to mobilize and come to restaurants and vaccinate all workers against hepatitis A,” said Ruth Carrico, Ph.D., RN, clinical director of the UofL Physicians Vaccine and International Travel Center and an associate professor at the UofL School of Medicine.

Nurses from UofL vaccinated around 6,000 people at restaurants in Louisville and Jefferson County. Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection, most likely to be spread from contaminated food or water or from close contact with an infected person or contaminated object.

“It’s important to recognize their contribution to public health,” Carrico said. “It’s also important to realize what a resource UofL is, in that we have the ability to mobilize and respond to a public health crisis such as this.”

RSVPs are requested by July 20 by visiting the Kentucky Nurses Foundation site here, or by calling the Kentucky Nurses Association office at 502-245-2843.

UofL researcher receives Outstanding Investigator Award from International Society for Heart Research

Steven P. Jones, Ph.D., works to understand the molecular explanations of heart failure
UofL researcher receives Outstanding Investigator Award  from International Society for Heart Research

Steven P. Jones, Ph.D., has been named the 2018 Outstanding Investigator from the International Society for Heart Research.

University of Louisville researcher Steven P. Jones, Ph.D., was named the 2018 Outstanding Investigator from the International Society for Heart Research on Tuesday at the society’s meeting in Amsterdam.

The annual Outstanding Investigator Award, one of the society’s highest and most prestigious, recognizes a scientist who is making major and independent contributions to the advancement of cardiovascular science, and is leading a growing research program likely to play a major role in the future.

Jones is a senior faculty member at UofL’s Institute of Molecular Cardiology and a professor at the UofL School of Medicine. A goal of his research is to understand the mechanisms of cardiac muscle damage during a heart attack, and to develop novel therapeutics to preserve the heart. He also is investigating the confounding influence of risk factors, such as diabetes, on the development of heart disease, and the molecular explanations of ventricular remodeling and heart failure.

Jones was chosen by an international panel of experts from among some of the best scientists in the world. The winner presents a major lecture and receives a $1,500 honorarium and plaque. Jones delivered his lecture Tuesday morning at the meeting, which is taking place July 16-19 at Vrije University Medical Center in Amsterdam. The meeting is focused on basic and translational research in cardiology. The topic of his lecture was “Non-catabolic Fates of Glucose in the Heart.”

The International Society for Heart Research, which has 3,000 members on five continents, is an international organization devoted to promoting cardiovascular research.  It is dedicated to the discovery and dissemination of knowledge in cardiovascular science worldwide, and publishes the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology.

The Outstanding Investigator Award was created by UofL researcher Roberto Bolli, M.D., when he served as the society’s secretary general nearly two decades ago. Bolli is the director of UofL’s Institute of Molecular Cardiology and scientific director of UofL’s Cardiovascular Innovation Institute. He is also a professor and chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at UofL. The award is for established investigators in the intermediate phase of their academic career.

“The roster of previous recipients for the Outstanding Investigator Award is simply amazing,” Bolli said. “We are proud of Steven, and grateful for his support in the research mission of the Institute of Molecular Cardiology here at UofL. He has been one of my best recruits ever.”

Jones serves on the editorial boards of several journals, including the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology, Basic Research in Cardiology, and Circulation Research. Since 2012, Dr. Jones also has been associate/consulting editor for the American Journal of Physiology — Heart and Circulatory Physiology.

He regularly serves on editorial boards and review panels for the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health. He recently started a term as chairperson of the Myocardial Ischemia and Metabolism Study Section of the NIH’s Center for Scientific Review. In addition to Jones, the study section consists of 18 experts from around the U.S.

Jones received his doctorate in physiology in 2002 from Louisiana State University. After graduation, he joined Johns Hopkins University, where he focused on mitochondrial function with the goal of developing a deeper understanding of the metabolism-dependent mechanisms of cell death and survival. He came to UofL in 2004.

UofL Hospital, partners offering free testing for hepatitis C across city on World Hepatitis Day

All groups may be at risk for hepatitis C, which can have no symptoms
UofL Hospital, partners offering free testing for hepatitis C  across city on World Hepatitis Day

University of Louisville Hospital and community partners will be offering free hepatitis C screenings at 18 locations in Louisville and surrounding counties for World Hepatitis Day on Saturday, July 28.

University of Louisville Hospital and community partners will be offering free hepatitis C screenings at 18 locations in Louisville and surrounding counties for World Hepatitis Day on Saturday, July 28.

Hepatitis C, a blood-borne illness, is prevalent in the Louisville area and throughout the state. Currently, providers are encouraged to test for hepatitis C only in patients with certain risk factors or are from the Baby Boom generation (born 1946-1964). 

“A growing body of evidence suggests age and risk-based screening is missing a significant number of people, including children, with hepatitis C infection. Universal hepatitis C screening will be a future standard of care,” said Barbra Cave, a family nurse practitioner specializing in gastroenterology and hepatology who leads the Hep C Center at UofL Hospital. Cave is helping to organize the event.

Kentucky has one of the highest hepatitis C infection rates in the country – seven times the national average. “Up to half of patients who have it may not know they are infected, and people may carry the disease for decades before they have symptoms,” Cave said.

While in the past certain groups were known to be at risk, Cave said a recent spike in hepatitis C cases among those who have no or unrecognized risk factors has prompted health officials to consider screening all adults. This spring, the state of Kentucky passed a law requiring all pregnant women to be tested for hepatitis C, as the disease can be passed from mother to baby. The law went into effect July 1. Kentucky is the first state in the nation to require universal hepatitis C screening in pregnant women.

“The goal of the World Hepatitis Day screening event is to expand testing and awareness, link more people to curative treatment, and normalize the conversation about hepatitis C,” said Cave. “There should be no stigma surrounding hepatitis C. Anyone could have it, including babies.”

Screenings will be offered from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday, July 28. Screening is done with a simple finger prick, similar to checking a blood sugar, and results will be available on site in 20 minutes. Hepatitis C experts will be available at all sites to answer questions, and help link those affected by hepatitis C to appropriate care.

This is the second year UofL Hospital and community partners are offering the free screenings on World Hepatitis Day. Screening sites, staffed by more than 130 health care volunteers, will be set up in Louisville and Jefferson County, along with sites in Oldham, Shelby and Bullitt counties and Clark County, Indiana. Last year, 488 people were tested. Cave said she hopes to double that number this year.

There are some known risk factors for hepatitis C:

  • Born between 1945 and 1965. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends  screening for all baby boomers.
  • A blood transfusion or organ transplant prior to 1992
  • Had blood filtered by a machine (hemodialysis) for a long period of time because kidneys were not working
  • IV drug use at any point in life, even if just once
  • Intranasal drug use at any point in life
  • HIV or hepatitis B infection
  • Healthcare workers exposed to blood through a needle stick or other contact with blood or bodily fluids
  • Exposure to contaminated tattoo equipment, including ink
  • Men who have sex with other men
  • Prior military service. “Older veterans are particularly at risk due to the use of the old ‘jet gun’ vaccinators by the military, and from combat injuries requiring blood transfusion,” Cave said.

Contaminated dental equipment, such as that used before most items were single patient/single use, may have also spread hepatitis C, and Cave said the virus can live on a surface for six weeks if not sterilized properly.

But there are many cases of hepatitis C that are not tied to any risk factors, Cave said.

Left untreated, the disease can cause major complications. It can cause cirrhosis of the liver or liver cancer, and is a leading cause of liver transplant. Hepatitis C may also predispose those infected to diabetes and depression, and has an association with joint pain, certain skin disorders and lymphoma.

World Hepatitis Day is marked across the globe on July 28 every year. The purpose is to increase awareness of viral hepatitis, including hepatitis A, B and C. “We have a local goal to decrease the stigma about hepatitis C, and let people know it is easy to test for and treat,” said Cave.

“Some may still remember the old days of treating hep C when treatment was difficult,” Cave said. “It involved a triple therapy with interferon that lasted almost a year, with multiple side effects. Not everyone was a candidate for treatment, and some patients opted to not get treated at all.

“Today, hepatitis C is easily curable and relatively inexpensive to treat. Treatment is one pill, once a day, for 8-12 weeks – with minimal side effects. It is covered by almost all insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid. Cost and side effects are no longer an excuse to defer treatment.”

Partners with UofL Hospital in the screening event include the Louisville Metro Department of Health and Wellness, the Kentucky Department of Public Health, KentuckyOne Health, Volunteers of America, the Sullivan University College of Pharmacy, the nursing programs of Galen University and Bellarmine University, and University of Louisville Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry and Public Health.

Free hep C testing sites on July 28

  • St. Matthews Mall (2 sites within the mall), 5000 Shelbyville Road, Louisville, 40207
  • Walgreens, 3980 Dixie Highway, Louisville, 40216
  • Walmart, 10445 Dixie Highway, Louisville, 40272
  • Walmart, 500 Taylorsville Road, Shelbyville, 40065
  • Walgreens, 152 N. Buckman St., Shepherdsville, 40165
  • Walgreens, 4310 Outer Loop, Okolona, 40219
  • Wayside Christian Mission, 432 East Jefferson St., Louisville, 40202
  • CVS Pharmacy, 1002 Spring St., Jeffersonville, IN 47130
  • CVS Pharmacy, 1950 State St., New Albany, IN 47150
  • Kroger, 10645 Dixie Highway, Louisville, 40272
  • Walmart, 7100 Raggard Road, Louisville, 40216
  • Southwest Family YMCA, 2800 Fordhaven Road, Louisville, 40214
  • Oldham County Family YMCA, 20 Quality Place, Buckner, 40010
  • Kroger, 2710 W. Broadway, Louisville, 40211
  • CVS Pharmacy, 3229 Poplar Level Road, Louisville, 40213
  • Walmart, 11901 Standiford Plaza Drive, Louisville, 40229
  • St. Stephen Church, 1018 S. 15th St., Louisville, 40210
  • Churchill Downs, Backside

UofL film aims to change the way students are taught CPR

Scenario is one students can relate to, hope is to aid skill retention
UofL film aims to change the way students are taught CPR

Filming on a new CPR training film developed by UofL cardiologist Lorrel Brown, M.D.

A beloved high school basketball coach suffers cardiac arrest at practice. Alone with his players, they are forced to step in to help save his life until an ambulance can arrive.

Dramatic, yes, but it’s a scene that could happen, and it’s the plot of a new CPR training film developed by a University of Louisville doctor. Lorrel Brown, M.D., physician director for resuscitation at UofL Hospital and an assistant professor at the UofL School of Medicine, is hoping the novel approach will improve high school CPR training by helping students remember what they have learned by applying it to a real-life situation they can relate to.

CPR instruction in high school is now required by law in a growing number of states. Thirty-nine states have passed laws requiring the training before graduation, including Kentucky, which passed its law in 2016. Similar laws are being considered in the remaining states.

“The goal is to create a real, emotional scenario,” said Brown. “There are so many lives that could be saved if more Americans knew CPR, and we have all of these students coming out of high school with CPR training.”

About 4 million students per year now graduate with CPR training. Brown has studied CPR training in high school, with her work recently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. She found CPR skill retention in high school students was poor, with only 30 percent able to perform adequate CPR six months after training. She also found that there was no standard method of implementation.

“We wanted to know, is there a better way to do it?” she said.

That’s where the film comes in. Working with the local Start the Heart Foundation and using $10,000 in grant money she received from winning the prestigious Stamler award for young researchers at Northwestern University last October, she modeled the film after one done in the United Kingdom, where CPR training also is required.

The interactive film, designed for classroom use in high schools and shot at Ballard High School by a local film company, forces students to make choices along the way about how to respond. It will be rolled out in local high schools this fall, then Brown will determine whether it improves skill retention. If it does - and Brown said she believes it will - the plan is to expand it across Kentucky and the nation.

“This could be a game-changer in the way CPR is taught in the United States,” she said.

The film used six local high school and college actors, and paramedics from Louisville Metro Emergency Medical Services, who brought an ambulance for one scene. In the film, the coach (Brown’s real-life husband, who auditioned for the part) stuffers cardiac arrest during basketball practice, and staggers out into the lobby, where he becomes unconscious and falls onto the floor. He is found by a player, who, along with the other students at practice, must call an ambulance and perform CPR on the coach together until the paramedics arrive. The coach regains consciousness, and the students are congratulated by paramedics for saving his life.

In the United States, 350,000 people suffer cardiac arrest outside a hospital each year. Only 30 percent get bystander CPR, which affects whether they survive, Brown said. Only 11 percent of the 350,000 receive CPR. Brown has said that if CPR survival improved by just 1 percent, 3,500 more people would live.

Expanding and improving CPR training has been a personal mission for Brown, who has worked for several years on unique approaches.  These days, effective CPR is hands-only, removing a barrier for some from the old mouth-to-mouth method. She also founded and directs a program called “Alive in 5” (www.alivein5.org), a five-minute method of teaching CPR she developed.

The American Heart Association wants to double the percentage of cardiac arrest victims who receive bystander CPR by 2020, and CPR training in high schools has been endorsed by a variety of organizations.

“It’s important that people be willing to act, and that they remember the skills that they’ve learned,” she said. “As most cardiac arrests that don’t occur in a hospital happen in homes, it is likely they will save the life of someone important to them.”

See the filming

To watch a video on the making of the film, click here.

More on CPR training

Watch a video on how to perform hands-only CPR, and find printable posters and fact sheets, on the American Heart Association’s web site here.

About the Start the Heart Foundation

The Start the Heart Foundation is a group dedicated to teaching hands-only CPR classes to improve survival from cardiac arrest in the community.  Classes are free and taught by CPR-certified college students. The foundation educates people about cardiac arrest and empowers them to act during a cardiac emergency. For classes and other information, visit the website at www.starttheheartfoundation.org.

M&I Faculty Publish Back-to-Back High Impact Articles in 2018

Bing LiDr. Bing Li's discovery of a novel molecular link between obesity and breast cancer entitled "Circulating Adipose Fatty Acid Binding Protein is a Link Underlying Obesity-Associated Breast/Mammary Tumor Development," appeared in the online version of the November 2018 issue of Cell Metabolism (2017 impact factor 20.565).  The study was the result of a long-standing collaborative project between the Li lab and colleagues at the University of Minnesota, Hartford Healthcare Cancer Center in Connecticut and Peking University in China.  Separately, Dr. Bing Li was selected to be featured in NCI’s electronic newsletter, Nutrition Frontiers, a publication of the Nutritional Science Research Group (NSRG), NCI, NIH. The NSRG Program staff selected him based on the high level of enthusiasm for his research efforts on Prevention of Breast cancer Development by Epidermal Fatty Acid Binding Protein as well as his past contributions in the field of nutrition and cancer prevention.  He will be featured in the section, “Investigator Spotlight” in October.

 

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Haval Shirwan

Dr. Haval Shirwan, along with a team of researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Michigan published on a potential new therapy for treating Type 1 Diabetes.  This new therapy involves the use of a novel technology for islet cell transplantation.  More information regarding Dr. Shirwan's, et al., research may be found in Nature Materials (2017 impact factor 39.737).

 

 

 

 

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Huang-Ge ZhangDr. Huang-Ge Zhang’s paper entitled “Plant-derived exosomal microRNAs shape the gut microbiota” has been accepted for publication in the journal “Cell Host Microbe” (2017 impact factor 17.87).  The article will be featured on the cover.   It describes the novel finding that diet-derived exosome-like nanoparticles can selectively modulate the metabolism of gut-resident bacteria via microRNA, which ultimately impacts  immune homeostasis in the gut.


 

Jones begins term as NIH study section chairman

Leading UofL cardiology researcher to head the Myocardial Ischemia and Metabolism Study Section
Jones begins term as NIH study section chairman

Steven P. Jones, Ph.D., FAHA


In looking for a top authority to lead one of its featured research groups, the National Institutes of Health turned to one of the University of Louisville's leading cardiology researchers.

Steven P. Jones, Ph.D., FAHA, professor of medicine in UofL's Division of Cardiovascular Medicine recently started his term as chairperson of the Myocardial Ischemia and Metabolism Study Section of the NIH's Center for Scientific Review.

Jones, a University Scholar who also directs the Imaging & Physiology Core in UofL's Diabetes and Obesity Center, began his one-year term on July 1, 2018.

The Myocardial Ischemia and Metabolism (MIM) Study Section reviews applications involving basic and applied aspects of myocardial ischemia/reperfusion, coronary circulation, and myocardial metabolism.

It includes the review of studies using molecular, genetic, cellular, biochemical, pharmacological, genomic, proteomic, and physiological approaches to define normal and pathological processes.

MIM also evaluates study proposals ranging from in vitro models of simulated ischemia in isolated cells to whole animal models to human studies.

In addition to Jones, the study section consists of 18 experts from around the U.S.

According to the NIH, study section members are selected on the basis of their demonstrated competence and achievement in their scientific discipline as evidenced by the quality of research accomplishments, publications in scientific journals, and other significant scientific activities, achievements and honors.

In addition, service on a study section also requires mature judgment and objectivity as well as the ability to work effectively in a group.

Parents: Don't share the slide with your kids

Parents: Don't share the slide with your kids

A seemingly simple and fun activity that parents may want to share with their children could have serious medical repercussions, as evidenced by a video currently popular on Facebook.

Sharing a ride down a slide with your child may appear to be fun but it could cause serious injury, said Heather Felton, M.D., medical director of the UofL Pediatrics - Sam Swope Kosair Charities Centre. Felton cites a USA Today photo showing a playground accident that broke a 1-year-old girl’s leg, leading to national attention to slide safety for little ones.

In a video shared to Facebook on an incident that took place in 2015, Heather Clare of Huntington, N.Y., shared footage in which she put her 1-year-old daughter on her lap and took her “down a slide during a family outing at a local park.” The child’s “right foot caught the side of the slide, snapping her tibia and fibula.” In her Facebook post, Clare advocated “for warning signs at playgrounds telling parents not to ride down slides” with their kids.

Felton agrees. ““From 2002-15, there were 350,000 children under the age of five who were injured on slides, according to the Centers for Disease Control. A 2017 study published in the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics showed that more than 350,000 children younger than 6 years old were injured by going down a slide in the United States between 2002 and 2015,” she said.

“In the majority of cases, children experienced a fracture after their foot caught the edge or bottom of a slide while sitting on a parent’s lap.”

For the safest outcome, Felton said, parents should allow their child to go down slides alone.

 

UofL Brown Cancer Center social worker surprised with award

Marc A. Lehmann Spirit of Service Award honors compassion for patients
UofL Brown Cancer Center social worker surprised with award

Laura Jones, an oncology social worker at the University of Louisville Brown Cancer Center, was surprised with a Marc A. Lehmann Spirit of Service Award.

Laura Jones, an oncology social worker at the University of Louisville Brown Cancer Center, received a Marc A. Lehmann Spirit of Service Award for her compassion in her work with cancer patients.

On Tuesday, an unsuspecting Jones was led by co-workers into the M. Krista Loyd Resource Center at the cancer center, where she was presented with her award by Marc Lehmann’s father, George.

Marc Lehmann, a UofL student, passed away in 2012 after an eight-year battle with cancer. He had been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia just a few months after high school graduation.

The Spirit of Service Awards in his name are given to oncology support staff who show compassionate patient support.

At the Brown Cancer Center, Jones provides psychosocial support and clinical case management for patients in the neuro, bone marrow transplant and gynecological oncology clinics. She works closely with bone marrow transplant patients with complicated issues that require lengthy care.

In her award nomination, nurse manager Dianne Thomas wrote that Jones “possesses a warm and friendly mannerism that is evident on your first encounter.” She noted Jones’ dedication and compassion to low-income patients, and her ability to build a strong rapport. Thomas noted that Jones has carved out new avenues for funding for patients, and “has become a valuable asset to her peers, as well as patients.”

She said Jones “deserves to be recognized for her dedication and loyalty.”

The Marc A. Lehmann Spirit of Service Award Foundation’s mission is to conduct and promote initiatives that encourage medical care with empathy and compassion, and to recognize physicians, caregivers and support staff with long-standing service to patients and their families in the areas of hematology and oncology.

Each October, the foundation holds an awards banquet at Vincenzo’s Italian restaurant, where five deserving oncology support staff from the community are recognized, along with one physician.

This year’s banquet will be held on Oct. 26. The featured speaker will be Jason Chesney, M.D., director of the Brown Cancer Center, and the featured physician will be Kelly McMasters, M.D., chair of the Hiram C. Polk Jr. M.D., Department of Surgery at UofL and director of the Multidisciplinary Melanoma Clinic.

Paul Resch, director and advisory committee member of the foundation, is a leukemia survivor himself. He told Jones that in addition to doctors, he knew from experience how important the support staff was to cancer patients.

“It’s the feet on the ground that touch us every day that make a difference - whether it’s a touch, or a conversation. You’re blessed that you have those skills, and you’re sharing them with others. And it does make a difference.”

Study: Artificial pancreas controls diabetes better than standard insulin therapy in patients with type 2 diabetes

Better control achieved without increasing the risk of hypoglycemia
Study: Artificial pancreas controls diabetes better than standard insulin therapy in patients with type 2 diabetes

Sri Prakash Mokshagundam, M.D., is an endocrinologist and diabetes specialist with University of Louisville Physicians.

A new study published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine found that for hospitalized patients with type 2 diabetes who were receiving noncritical care, the use of an automated, closed-loop insulin delivery system (an artificial pancreas) to deliver basal insulin resulted in better glycemic control than standard insulin therapy injected under the skin.

With increasing evidence that an artificial pancreas can improve glucose control in patients with type 1 diabetes, investigators had sought to see if it could also help patients with type 2 diabetes.

The study also found the improved glucose control in patients with type 2 diabetes was achieved without increasing the risk of hypoglycemia. One of the major limiting factors in achieving improved glucose control is the increase in hypoglycemic events.

Conducted by researchers at the University of Cambridge and Manchester University in the United Kingdom, along with the University of Bern in Switzerland, the study was published to coincide with a presentation at the American Diabetes Association’s 78th Scientific Sessions in Orlando, Fla., this week.

It was notable as most studies of automated closed-loop insulin delivery systems include patients with type 1 diabetes, said Sri Prakash Mokshagundam, M.D., an endocrinologist and diabetes specialist with University of Louisville Physicians. It also focused on hospitalized patients, where most studies have focused on outpatients who were already on insulin, he said. About 25 percent of hospitalized individuals have diabetes.

In the study, patients who were not already on a pump or sensor to control their diabetes prior to admission were placed on the system upon admission to the hospital. Mokshagundam said that using the technology in an inpatient setting has certain advantages, such as less burden on nursing staff as they try to manually adjust insulin doses. Meal-time insulin delivery still has to be planned by the health care team.

He said that while the technology helps in the acute setting, procedures need to be developed to transition it from acute to chronic care after patients leave the hospital.

He noted there also are some hurdles at this time to implementing the technology in the United States, as the technology used in the study has not yet been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for inpatient use here. A slightly different type of system has been approved for outpatient use, which uses a different algorithm to calculate the dose.

“The study that shows that this can be done, but we are still a ways off, before this becomes routine practice,” Mokshagundam said. “There is some refinement needed.”

Now open, for Kentuckiana's children

First patients seen at Novak Center for Children’s Health
Now open, for Kentuckiana's children

Eleven-month-old Zayne Richard is all smiles as he enters the new Novak Center for Children's Health.

Physicians and other providers at the Novak Center for Children’s Health began seeing patients this week, marking the facility’s official opening.

“We are thrilled that the years of careful planning and construction are behind us, and we have opened our doors,” said Kimberly Boland, M.D., interim chair of the University of Louisville Department of Pediatrics. “This facility enables us to transform how we deliver care by having multidisciplinary teams located in one space so they can meet simultaneously with our patients and their families.

“This eliminates substantial inconvenient delays and obstacles for our patients to receive the very best care in the most efficient way possible.”

Maranda Griffith and son Zayne RichardAmong the first patients seen in the new facility was 11-month-old Zayne Richard, a patient of pediatric cardiologist Craig H. Alexander, M.D. Zayne was born with an atrioventricular canal defect, which occurs when there is a hole between the heart's chambers and there are problems with the valves that regulate blood flow in the heart. He also has Down’s syndrome.

UofL doctors successfully treated Zayne for his heart condition with surgery in February, said his mother, Maranda Griffin, who brought him in Tuesday (June 26) for follow-up echocardiogram and electrocardiogram tests to monitor his heart.

Griffin praised the new Novak Center. “This is so nice,” she said, laughing before adding, “nicer than the old office we went to in the Children’s Hospital Foundation Building. It’s much bigger. There is so much more room for Zayne’s stroller, and parking is so convenient, just across the street in the (Chestnut Street) garage.

“It’s so much lighter and brighter too. I love it.”

The new 176,000-square-foot facility at 411 E. Chestnut St. enables providers with the UofL Department of Pediatrics and UofL Physicians to accommodate an anticipated 135,000 patient visits annually in the new center – now one of the largest and most technically advanced pediatric outpatient centers in the United States. The building’s namesakes are retired CEO of Louisville-based Yum! Brands David Novak, his family and their foundation, the Lift-A-Life Foundation.

animal-color gridDesigned in kid-friendly colors, the facility features several public areas with soft seating and interactive screens to entertain children while they wait to see providers. But the waiting shouldn’t be long, Boland said: “We have implemented the latest in technological advances, the Real Time Locator System (RTLS), to help move patients and providers to their appointments without lengthy wait times.”

Each floor in the eight-story building has a different predominant color and animal theme to help both children and grownups identify it. Because the Novak Center houses general, specialty and subspecialty pediatrics services in a single building, patients and their families have all their needs handled in one convenient location.

Among the features of the building’s design:

  • lobbyAll pediatric providers are in a single building to ensure a multidisciplinary approach in providing care.
  • Innovative clinical and research programs not only provide the latest advances in treatments and cures but also create and develop them.
  • The environment enables staff to explore new initiatives, including holistic life style approaches to diseases and conditions that impact children.
  • Both basic and clinical research is carried out at the site and will help UofL attract new researchers as faculty.
  • Education and training provided to medical students, residents and fellows is enhanced, giving them first-hand experience with interdisciplinary learning they can take directly into the patient exam room. 

Also included in the facility is the Wendy Novak Diabetes Center, created in 2015 with support from the Novaks to provide comprehensive diabetes care as well as access to clinical research trials that sometimes are patients’ only chance at diseases management and survival.

The services of the Wendy Novak Center are augmented with the facility’s up-to-date kitchen. “We are going to invite the world-class chefs of Louisville to teach families how to prepare menus and foods that are diabetic-friendly and can actually improve lives,” Boland said. “Some of these chefs have diabetes themselves so they can speak and teach from first-hand experience.”

To learn more about the scope of pediatric health care at UofL, including how to make appointments, visit www.UofLPhysicians.org.

 

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UofL associate vice president V. Faye Jones to be honored for focus on diversity and health equity

Inclusive Equity Award recognizes UofL professor’s efforts to provide inclusive education in health-care professions
UofL associate vice president V. Faye Jones to be honored for focus on diversity and health equity

V. Faye Jones, M.D., Ph.D., M.S.P.H.

Louisville Central Community Centers, Inc. (LCCC) will honor V. Faye Jones, M.D., Ph.D., M.S.P.H., associate vice president for health affairs/diversity initiatives at the University of Louisville Health Sciences Center, for her work in educating future health-care professionals with a focus on diversity and instilling health equity. The Inclusive Equity Awards Gala will be held Tuesday, June 19 beginning at 6:00 p.m. in the Old Walnut Street Atrium at 1300 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd., to honor six community leaders in equitable inclusion.

Jones, a professor of pediatrics in the UofL School of Medicine, has more than 29 years of medical experience in practice and training future pediatricians. In her administrative role at the health sciences center, she focuses on diversity initiatives and health disparities, overseeing the integration of equitable and diverse health-care activities throughout the health sciences center. In addition to training and mentoring future physicians in the UofL School of Medicine, Jones directs programs to introduce and assist underrepresented students in achieving acceptance and success in medical professional careers through pipeline programs designed to recruit and retain diverse and underrepresented students. Her passion lies in creating a community where health equity is a reality.

The awards gala will raise funds and awareness for LCCC’s mission of self-reliance and service to the Russell neighborhood and the larger community, as well as efforts to help improve the circumstances of low-income, disadvantaged families throughout Louisville. LCCC programs include an early childhood learning center, Kids Arts Academy and a dynamic Teen Leadership Council for school age youth. LCCC also provide programs that seek to increase economic equity and mobility for family leaders.

This Trustees of Inclusive Equity Awards Juneteenth Celebration is symbolic of a significant date that marks strides to promote upward mobility, self-development, respect for all cultures, and true equitable opportunities for all. With that backdrop, LCCC wants to highlight community and corporate leaders who are innovative in their approach to advancing equitable inclusion in corporate, organizational, healthcare, nonprofit and community settings.

In addition to Jones, honorees include:

  •  Mark Wheeler, President, Central Bank Jefferson County, Companies of 1,000 or more employees.
  •  Peggy Arthur, Account Manager, BB&T, Companies of 500-999 employees.
  • The Louisville Defender, weekly newspaper, Companies of less than 500 employees.
  • Dr. Tim Findley, Sr., Division VP, Kindred Healthcare, healthcare.
  • Cathe Dykstra, President and CEO, Family Scholar House, non-profit organization.

Tickets for the event are available at louisvilletickets.com. Visit www.lcccnews.org for more information.

UofL pediatrician echoes study finding: high school pitchers should not also play catcher

UofL pediatrician echoes study finding: high school pitchers should not also play catcher

Pitchers who also played catcher were more than three times likely to have shoulder or elbow injuries.

High school baseball players who both pitch and catch suffer more injuries than pitchers who play other positions, reports a new study, and it is advice shared by a UofL pediatrician.

Heather Felton, MD, medical director of the UofL Pediatrics – Sam Swope Kosair Charities Centre, advises parents, coaches and providers to be aware of the study’s findings. “Clinicians, coaches and parents can use this information to determine secondary positions for pitchers to decrease injury risk,” she said. “The findings suggest that pitchers should not play catcher as their secondary position, in order to allow adequate time for recovery and to decrease their overall throwing load.”

High rates of shoulder and elbow injuries are common among young pitchers. Nationally, pitchers incur 73 percent of injuries among high school baseball players, and about 10 percent of them require surgery, the researchers noted.

According to the study from the University of Alabama and published online recently in the Journal of Athletic Training, pitchers who also catch are at a nearly three times greater risk of injury, because catchers throw significantly more than other field positions. Monitoring pitch counts is not enough, the study authors said.

Throughout the course of the study, pitchers reported 24 throwing-related shoulder or elbow injuries. Five occurred among pitcher-catchers, an injury rate of nearly 16 percent. Nineteen injuries occurred among pitchers who played another position, but not catcher, for an injury rate of about 5 percent.

 

UofL names new chief of pediatric cardiac surgery division

Alsoufi also will serve in same role at Norton Children’s Hospital
UofL names new chief of pediatric cardiac surgery division

Bahaaldin Alsoufi, M.D., comes to UofL from Emory University.

Bahaaldin Alsoufi, M.D., has joined the Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at the University of Louisville and Norton Children’s Hospital as the new chief of the Division of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery. He will practice with UofL Physicians - Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery. Alsoufi joins UofL after being on staff at Emory University.

“In Bahaaldin Alsoufi, we have an accomplished teacher, researcher and clinician,” said Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery Chair Mark Slaughter, M.D. “His expertise will be a great asset in contributing to our continued success in providing best-in-class care to our pediatric patients.”

“We’re excited to have Dr. Alsoufi join Dr. Erle H. Austin III and Dr. Deborah J. Kozik in helping us provide the most advanced care for children at the Norton Children’s Heart Institute,” said Steven T. Hester, M.D., division president, Provider Operations, and system chief medical officer, Norton Healthcare “Dr. Alsoufi will be part of a team that includes many heart specialists from UofL Physicians. This group collectively performs more than 17,500 procedures annually including heart transplants, open heart surgeries, catheterizations, electrophysiology and noninvasive tests, such as echocardiograms.”

Alsoufi is board-certified by the American Board of Surgery, American Board of Thoracic Surgery, American Board of Congenital Cardiac Surgery and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He has served as associate professor in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery’s Section of Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery at Emory in Atlanta since 2013. Prior to his appointment at Emory, Alsoufi served in a number of positions at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Alsoufi is lead or co-author on 150 peer-reviewed journal articles and has presented at more than 100 international, national, regional and institutional conferences. His clinical interests include neonatal cardiac surgery, single ventricle palliation, valvular heart disease in children and adults with congenital heart disease and pediatric heart transplantation. His research interests include clinical outcomes research, valvular heart disease, heart transplantation and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, known as ECMO, which is the process of providing prolonged cardiac and respiratory support to persons whose heart and lungs are unable to provide an adequate amount of gas exchange to sustain life.

Additionally, he serves on the editorial board of multiple international journals including the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery and the World Journal of Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery. He is interested in quality, teaching and clinical outcome research and has received a number of teaching and academic rewards.  

Alsoufi is a native of Syria where he earned his M.D. degree from Damascus University. He completed a general surgery internship at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore and a general surgery residency at the University of Massachusetts in Worcester. He completed a cardiothoracic surgery residency at Oregon Health Science University, Portland; a fellowship in adult cardiac surgery at Toronto General Hospital, University of Toronto, Canada; and a fellowship in congenital cardiac surgery at the Hospital for Sick Children also at the University of Toronto.

 

UofL cardiology team’s editorial stresses need for more accurate heart disease risk-prediction models

Widely used scoring system may inaccurately estimate risk
UofL cardiology team’s editorial stresses need for more accurate heart disease risk-prediction models

Andrew DeFilippis, M.D., director of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at the UofL School of Medicine and a cardiologist with UofL Physicians.

A University of Louisville cardiologist and data scientist stressed the need for more accurate heart disease risk-prediction models in an editorial published in the Annals of Internal Medicine this week.

The editorial by Andrew DeFilippis, M.D., director of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at the UofL School of Medicine and a cardiologist with UofL Physicians, and Patrick Trainor, a data scientist on DeFilippis’ research team, accompanied a study of a new risk prediction model that could improve the guideline-recommended scoring systems for who is at risk.

That study, by a group of researchers from Stanford University, the University of Michigan, the University of Washington, the University of Mississippi and Harvard Medical School, showed a widely used scoring system that helps physicians identify who is at risk for heart disease may inaccurately estimate risk, especially for certain patients, such as African-Americans. The scoring system, last updated in 2013, is recommended by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association.

DeFilippis said that accurate risk predication is needed to effectively balance the risks and benefits of medicines used to prevent heart disease, and is important to help doctors decide who needs a statin, blood pressure medications or aspirin.

“Doctors must balance the risk of medication side effects with the risk of disease,” DeFilippis said. “Medications are expensive, and unnecessary treatment also costs the healthcare system, which is not an endless resource.”

DeFilippis has led efforts to evaluate cardiovascular disease risk prediction scoring systems, analyzing how they perform using data from clinical studies. He said the while this new study is helpful, risk scoring must continue to evolve based on demographic and societal trends and the availability of new biomarkers for assessing cardiovascular disease.

“Risk prediction is of tremendous benefit,” DeFilippis said. “The guideline-recommended scoring models were created from data collected from groups of patients decades ago. This new study used more modern patient groups and new methods for making the risk calculations.”

He noted that as heart disease is the leading killer of Americans, assessing risk is a critical issue. And while the calculator isn’t perfect, “there is no question these calculators are better than the eyeball test and certainly outperform a physician just saying ‘I think this person is high or low risk’ after looking at them.”

In previous studies, DeFilippis and other researchers at the University of Louisville, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Washington looked at the 2013 scoring system, along with three others, in a study of different ethnic groups. They collected information on patients who began participating in 2000-2002 and followed them for 10 years, evaluating the accuracy of the 2013 scoring model and publishing the results in 2015 in the Annals of Internal Medicine. That study found that the guideline-recommended calculator overestimated a person’s risk.

A 2017 study in the journal The BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal) noted more than one in five Americans between the ages of 40 and 75 takes a statin. It has been hotly debated who should take statins, and several studies have questioned the accuracy of the risk calculator.

DeFilippis said the new study published this week rebuilds the risk score using a different statistical approach. It re-analyzed data from participants in multiple large studies. The new risk prediction model was shown to make more accurate predictions of risk for many patients, especially for some ethnicities, though further validation is needed.

Because of the need to continually update data, the team in the study that was published this week made the statistical model and computer code public so other scientists could evaluate them.

DeFilippis said that ultimately, “the decision on who should take statins or other medications to reduce risk should be a conversation between doctor and patient.”

While the guidelines still generally recommend them for some groups with a particular score, he said treatment should be individualized.

Biomaterial particles educate immune system to accept transplanted islets

Team of researchers, including those from UofL, open potentially new pathway for treating type 1 diabetes
Biomaterial particles educate immune system to accept transplanted islets

Haval Shirwan, Ph.D., the Dr. Michael and Joan Hamilton Endowed Chair in Autoimmune Disease at the University of Louisville School of Medicine and director of the Molecular Immunomodulation Program at the Institute for Cellular Therapeutics at UofL.

By instructing key immune system cells to accept transplanted insulin-producing islets, a team of researchers including those from the University of Louisville have opened a potentially new pathway for treating type 1 diabetes. If the approach is  successful in humans, it could allow people with type 1 diabetes to be treated without the long-term complications of immune system suppression.

The technique, reported this week in the journal Nature Materials, uses synthetic hydrogel particles (microgels) to present a protein known as the Fas ligand (FasL) to immune system T-effector cells along with the pancreatic islets being transplanted. The FasL protein “educates” the effector cells – which serve as immune system watchdogs – causing them to accept the graft without rejection for at least 200 days in an animal model.

The FasL-presenting particles are simply mixed with the living islets before being transplanted into the mice, which suffer from chemically-induced diabetes. The researchers believe the FasL-presenting hydrogels would not need to be personalized, potentially allowing an “off-the-shelf” therapy for the transplanted islets.

Researchers from the University of Louisville, Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Michigan collaborated on the work, which was supported by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

“We have been able to demonstrate that we can create a biomaterial that interrupts the body’s desire to reject the transplant, while not requiring the recipient to remain on continuous standard immunosuppression,” said Haval Shirwan, Ph.D., the Dr. Michael and Joan Hamilton Endowed Chair in Autoimmune Disease at the University of Louisville School of Medicine and director of the Molecular Immunomodulation Program at the Institute for Cellular Therapeutics at UofL.

“We anticipate that further study will demonstrate potential use for many transplant types, including bone marrow and solid organs,” he said.

In the United States, some 1.25 million persons have type 1 diabetes, which is different from the more common type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is caused by immune system destruction of the pancreatic islet cells that produce insulin in response to glucose levels. Current treatment involves frequent injection of insulin to replace what the islets no longer produce. There is no long-term cure for the disease, though persons with type 1 diabetes have been treated experimentally with islet cell transplants – which almost always fail after a few years even with strong suppression of the immune system.

“Drugs that allow the transplantation of the islet cells are toxic to them,” said Andrés García, the Rae S. and Frank H. Neely Chair and Regents' Professor in Georgia Tech’s George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering. “Clinical trials with transplantation of islets showed effectiveness, but after a few years, the grafts were rejected. There is a lot of hope for this treatment, but we just can’t get consistent improvement.”

Among the problems, García said, is toxicity to the islet cells from the immune system suppression, which also makes patients more susceptible to other adverse effects such as infections and tumors. Other researchers are exploring techniques to protect the islets from attack, but have so far not been successful.

The research reported in Nature Materials takes a totally different approach. By presenting the FasL protein – which is a central regulator of immune system cells – the researchers can prevent the immune system from attacking the cells. Once they are educated at the time of transplantation, the cells appear to retain their acceptance of the transplanted islet cells long after the FasL has disappeared.

“At the time of transplantation, we take the islets that are harvested from cadavers and simply mix them with our particles in the operating room and deliver them to the animal,” García explained. “We do not have to modify the islets or suppress the immune system. After treatment, the animals can function normally and are cured from the diabetes while retaining their full immune system operation.”

The hydrogels can be prepared up to two weeks ahead of the transplant, and can be used with any islet cells. “The key technical advance is the ability to make this material that induces immune acceptance that can simply be mixed with the islets and delivered. We can make the biomaterial in our lab and ship them to where the transplantation will be done, potentially making it an off-the-shelf therapeutic.”

In the experimental mice, the islets were implanted into the kidneys and into an abdominal fat pad. If the treatment is ultimately used in humans, the islets and biomaterial would likely be placed laparoscopically into the omentum, a tissue with significant vasculature that is similar to the fat pad in mice. Garcia’s lab has previously shown that it can stimulate blood vessel growth into islet cells transplanted into this tissue in mice.

In future work, the researchers want to see if the graft acceptance can be retained in more complex immune systems, and for longer periods of time. By reducing damage to the cadaver islets, the new technique may be able to expand the number of patients that can treated with available donor cells.

García’s lab uses polymer hydrogel particles that are about 150 microns in diameter, about the same size as the islet cells. They engineer the particles to capture the FasL – a novel recombinant protein developed by Shirwan and Esma S. Yolcu, associate professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Louisville – on the particle surface, where it can be seen by the effector cells.

Thousands of women diagnosed with breast cancer might not need chemotherapy, study shows

UofL doctor says study of women with most common type confirms what many had believed
Thousands of women diagnosed with breast cancer might not need chemotherapy, study shows

Elizabeth Riley, M.D., FACP, a breast cancer expert at UofL’s Brown Cancer Center and deputy director of the center.

Thousands of women diagnosed with the most common type of breast cancer can now skip chemotherapy and still have the same outcome, according to a new study presented this week.

The long-awaited study, presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting over the weekend in Chicago, confirmed what many breast cancer specialists, including those at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville, had already believed.

For women with this common type of cancer - early stage estrogen-receptor positive - anti-estrogen treatment alone provide the same benefit as chemotherapy, without the harsh and sometimes devastating side effects. Chemotherapy can cause hair loss, a weakened immune system and heart problems, among other issues. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide.

“The name of the study is TAILORx, which is perfect, because what this means is that for a large group, treatment can be truly tailored to a woman’s circumstances,” said Elizabeth Riley, M.D., FACP, a breast cancer expert at UofL’s Brown Cancer Center and deputy director of the center. “We now have solid data that chemotherapy is not needed for many in this group and helps validate what many specialists already knew.

“For years, physicians made treatment decisions solely based on a woman’s stage of breast cancer. TAILORx now confirms the biology of the tumor may be more important. This study should reassure a woman with very early stage, estrogen-driven breast cancer that chemotherapy can be avoided without increasing her risk of breast cancer,” Riley said.

The study, published Sunday in the New England Journal of Medicine, analyzed how well a widely used genetic test called the Oncotype DX Breast Recurrence Score assessed the risk of breast cancer returning. The Oncotype DX test looks at 21 genes linked with a likelihood of recurrence. The test has a range between 0 and 100, and determines whether these genes are turned off or on, or are over expressed.

The study’s lead author, Joseph Sparano M.D., associate director for clinical research at the Albert Einstein Cancer Center and Montefiore Health System in New York City, said the data confirms women can be spared “unnecessary treatment if the test indicates chemotherapy is not likely to provide benefit.”

Riley noted there are multiple types of breast cancer, with multiple genes involved in the growth of tumors. She said those patients who will benefit from the study’s findings are estrogen sensitive, test negative for HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2), a gene that can play a role in the development of breast cancer, and have early-stage tumors below 5 centimeters that have not spread to lymph nodes.

They also have what is considered an intermediate score on the OncotypeDX test, one between 11 and 25.

Riley said that past research has shown women with scores between 0 and 10 could safely forego chemotherapy, while those with scores over 25 were best treated with a combination of chemotherapy and anti-estrogen hormonal treatment, as the cancer recurrence risk in this group was high.

“There have been clear guidelines on treatment for woman with a high or low score OncotypeDX score. It was the group in the intermediate range, from 11 to 25, that the degree of benefit of chemotherapy was not well established,” Riley said.

The study followed over 10,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer between 2006 and 2010. Of those, 6,711 had intermedia scores between 11 and 25. That group was split into two: one receiving hormone therapy and chemotherapy, and the other only hormone therapy.

The women were followed for an average of nine years, and researchers found the outcome in recurrence and survival was virtually the same.

“If you are seen by a doctor tomorrow and have a low to intermediate score on the test, you should expect not to be offered chemotherapy, unless you are under the age of 50,” Riley said.

That is the caveat, she said. Breast cancer in younger women is biologically different, and typically comes with a poorer prognosis. In premenopausal women and those younger than 50, the TAILORx results suggested that hormonal therapy alone may not be enough and chemotherapy may still be needed, she said.

While these patients should discuss their options with their doctor, they would be likely candidates for the more aggressive combination therapy, she said.

“In that case, the treatment decisions are going to depend on more than just the test, such as a thorough analysis of a patient’s particular tumor type. We can’t say that everyone under 50 needs chemotherapy, but future studies may be necessary to interpret the test in this age group,” Riley said.

Breast cancer in younger women is a focus of Riley’s. At the Brown Cancer Center, she also leads the HER Breast Cancer Program, which addresses the challenges this group faces with regional experts in the management of breast cancer in young women. The program also addresses the impact of treatment on fertility, the patient’s young children, and her career. HER stands for Hope, Empower and Restore.

A new era in medical care for children begins

The Novak Center for Children’s Health represents paradigm shift in pediatric care
A new era in medical care for children begins

David and Wendy Novak, left, and their family stand with the architect's rendering of the Novak Center for Children's Health in July 2017.

A new era in medical care for children will begin this June when the Novak Center for Children’s Health at the University of Louisville opens to patients and their families.

A preview of the new 176,000-square-foot facility was held Thursday evening (May 31) for supporters and friends of the university, including the building’s namesakes, David and Wendy Novak, their family and their foundation, the Lift-A-Life Foundation.

The retired CEO of Louisville-based Yum! Brands, David Novak headed the lineup of dignitaries launching the building’s debut, including University of Louisville Board of Trustees Chair David Grissom, UofL President Neeli Bendapudi, Ph.D., and UofL Executive Vice President for Health Affairs Gregory Postel, M.D. Honored among the group were the Novaks’ daughter, Ashley Novak Butler, for her leadership with the project along with others who played a role it: Tony and Lisa Christensen, the WHAS Crusade for Children, Bruce Henderson and Henderson Services, Lynnie Meyer and Emmett Ramser of Norton Healthcare, and the former vice president of advancement at UofL and current Kosair Charities President Keith Inman.

 David Novak lauded the facility for creating the environment where a new paradigm of health care for children will be fostered. The Novak Center will house all general, specialty and subspecialty pediatrics services in a single eight-story building, meaning patients and their families will be able to have all their needs handled in one convenient location.

An anticipated 135,000 patient visits will occur annually in the new center – now one of the largest and most technically advanced pediatric outpatient centers in the United States.

David Novak noted the vision of the center: “UofL has the world-class minds; it needed a world-class center. It is so gratifying to be here tonight and see that we are on the cusp of opening a building that has the potential to impact generations to come.”

“This magnificent facility promises to change how health care is delivered to our children with no child turned away from that care,” Grissom said. “Its design for efficiency of care was not by accident; a number of UofL staff spent a tremendous amount of time exploring the best practices from throughout the nation and took the best of those to implement here in Louisville.”

Bendapudi reminded the crowd that implementing such change takes ongoing support. “Progress cannot occur without generous support from our community,” she said. “We could not be able to improve how health care is delivered to every child who comes to our door if it were not for the generosity of supporters such as the Novak family and the Lift-a-Life Foundation.”

Postel outlined many of the building’s features: “For too long, we have required our children and their families to move from building to building, office to office, to see all the providers who meet their health care needs. This facility changes that,” with:

  • All pediatric providers in a single building to ensure a multidisciplinary approach in providing care
  • Innovative clinical and research programs that not only provide the latest advances in treatments and cures but also create and develop them
  • An environment that enables staff to explore new initiatives, including holistic life style approaches to diseases and conditions that impact children
  • A site where both basic and clinical research will be carried out and will help UofL attract new researchers as faculty
  • Enhancement of the education provided to medical students, residents and fellows, giving them first-hand experience with interdisciplinary learning they can take directly into the patient exam room

The total patient experience was at the forefront of the facility’s design, Postel said. “In addition to the excellence in patient care provided here, we looked at the ‘softer’ touches – light-up benches along the skybridge (connecting the building to the parking garage); using colors to identify floors so that no matter what language people speak, they can find the right floor; coding the floors with animals representing regional and Kentucky wildlife to pique children’s interest; and much more.”

Designed in kid-friendly colors, the facility features several public areas with soft seating and interactive screens to entertain children while they wait to see providers. But the waiting shouldn’t be long, say UofL Department of Pediatrics providers: The latest in technological advances, the Real Time Locator System, will help move patients and providers to their appointments without lengthy wait times.

Also included in the facility will be the Wendy Novak Diabetes Center, created in 2015 with support from the Novaks and currently housed in the Children’s Hospital Foundation Building. The Wendy Novak Diabetes Center provides comprehensive diabetes care as well as access to clinical research trials that sometimes are patients’ only chance at diseases management and survival.

The services of the Wendy Novak Center will be augmented in the new facility with the addition of an up-to-date kitchen. “We are going to bring in the world-class chefs we have in Louisville to teach families how to prepare menus and foods that are diabetic-friendly and can actually improve lives,” Novak said. “Some these chefs have diabetes themselves so they can speak and teach from first-hand experience.”

The Novak Center for Children’s Health will be staffed by faculty physicians practicing with UofL Physicians and will open for patient appointments in June. To learn more about the scope of pediatric health care at UofL, visit www.UofLPhysicians.org.

The Novak Center for Children's Health is located at 411 E. Chestnut St. Budget to construct the new facility was $79 million. Messer was construction manager for the project.

Pediatric diabetes educator reminds that summertime is perfect time to adopt healthy habits

Pediatric diabetes educator reminds that summertime is perfect time to adopt healthy habits

Kick Starter and hocolate Peanut Butter, Banana & Strawberry Smoothies can help you begin to establish health habits this summer.

With Memorial Day around the corner, even adults can begin to have a “school’s out” attitude and let healthy habits fall by the wayside. As temperatures rise, children enjoy their freedom and plans are being made for vacations, Diabetes Educator Whitney Cessna, M.S., R.D.N., L.D.N,, reminds both grown-ups and kids alike that staying in shape is a priority all year long.

“Summer can be the perfect time to improve your health without even noticing you are doing so,” said Cessna, who practices with University of Louisville Physicians-Pediatric Endocrinology and at the Wendy Novak Diabetes Center, managed jointly by UofL and Norton Children’s Hospital. “Making several small changes in your routine can reap big health benefits.”

Cessna has put together a few of her personal tips to make the most out of your summer, all while being healthy at the same time:

  • Drink at least 64 ounces of water a day. This is important to stay hydrated whether at the pool, on the golf course or sitting outside soaking up that sunshine. Hydration is also key for any physical activity, and especially when drinking alcohol.
  • Make half your plate vegetables. They are lower in carbs, higher in fiber and contain essential vitamins and nutrients that help reduce certain chronic risk factors and diseases. Veggies such as cucumbers, asparagus, avocados, zucchini and leafy greens are high in fiber and over time will help decrease bloating.
  • Exercise. If you can find more time to exercise, do it. Exercising in the extreme heat should be kept to a minimum, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take your workouts to the gym or do some circuits in the luxury of your home in the air conditioning.
  • Go light on the alcohol. Summer is the best time to skip those hard liquor drinks you’ve been consuming all winter. Choose lighter options lower in calories and carbohydrates. If you are going to be outside for several hours, cut back on alcohol. When you drink it in the sun, it dehydrates you further, causing you to urinate and sweat more. Although you may crave more of that crisp, cold beverage, alcohol fails to replenish those water stores, potentially causing dehydration.
  • Get plenty of sleep. Sleep plays an important role in physical health and mental health. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, sleep deficiency may lead to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes.
  • Give your diet a boost of berry.  Strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries are some of Cessna’s year-round favorites, but more so in the summer when they are available fresh at stores and farmers markets. Berries are full of antioxidants, which help prevent tissue damage and reduce risk of age-related illnesses. Berries are perfect for a breakfast fruit bowl, as a snack by the pool or blended into a delicious and nutritious smoothie such as these:

Kick Starter Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup blueberries
  • ½ frozen banana
  • 1 peeled carrot
  • 1 tbsp. flax seed
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup ice
  • 2 tbsp. oats
  • ½ packet of Breakfast Essentials powder (any flavor, but chocolate would go perfect!)

Directions:

  • Peel a carrot and place in blender with ice. Pulse a few times to get carrots semi blended.
  • Add in other ingredients until smooth and enjoy.

Chocolate Peanut Butter, Banana & Strawberry Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • ½ avocado
  • ½ frozen banana
  • 2 strawberries
  • 1 scoop of Protein Superfood Chocolate Peanut Butter powder, whey protein or a plant-based protein if not able to tolerate whey, or Breakfast Essentials powder
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup ice
  • 3 tbsp. cocoa powder or ½ packet of Breakfast Essentials powder
  • 3 tbsp. peanut butter or PB2 powder, a good alternative to peanut butter

Directions:

Blend all ingredients in blender until a creamy, smooth consistency is reached.

 

 

UofL pediatricians emphasize that tick-borne diseases exist but are rare in Kentucky

UofL pediatricians emphasize that tick-borne diseases exist but are rare in Kentucky

Victoria Statler, left, and Gary Marshall

Kentucky parents concerned about tick-borne diseases can relax a bit, say pediatricians with the University of Louisville Department of Pediatrics. While ticks and tick bites are common here, the diseases that ticks carry and transmit are rare – so much so that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention do not recommend routinely giving preventive antibiotics to people who have had a tick bite and are otherwise well.

Recent media reports have indicated concern about ticks in New Jersey that can transmit SFTS – severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome. Thrombocytopenia is a decrease in blood platelets, which are cells that help form clots.

However, the tick carrying SFTS is not found in Kentucky, so physicians and public health officials are less concerned about this condition in the Commonwealth. The same is true about the tick that carries Lyme disease, the deer tick with the species name Ixodes scapularis. This tick is much less common in Kentucky than it is in coastal New England, where Lyme disease is frequently seen, Marshall said. The immature forms of ticks common to Kentucky, such as the dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis) and the lone star tick (Ambylomma americanum) can be mistaken for the tiny deer tick.

“You do not need to bring your child to the doctor if he or she has an attached tick but is otherwise well,” said Gary S. Marshall, M.D., who practices with UofL Physicians – Pediatric Infectious Diseases. “You should remove the tick and watch for signs of illness such as fever, headache, nausea, rash or sensitivity to light; if these conditions occur, then bring your child in to see your pediatrician immediately.”

Victoria A. Statler, M.D., also with UofL Physicians – Pediatric Infectious Diseases, concurs. “While tick bites are common during the warmer months in Kentucky, tick-borne diseases are rare,” she said. “The vast majority of bites never result in any disease.”

The CDC notes there is no need to panic if you find a tick attached to your child. There are several tick removal devices on the market, but a plain set of fine-tipped tweezers will remove a tick quite effectively. The CDC offers these steps to safely remove a tick:

  1. Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin's surface as possible.
  2. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don't twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
  3. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub or soap and water.
  4. Dispose of a live tick by submersing it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag/container, wrapping it tightly in tape, or flushing it down the toilet. Never crush a tick with your fingers.

Do see your doctor if symptoms occur, said Statler. “If you have fever and any combination of rash, headache, light sensitivity, muscle aches and pains or nausea during tick season, see a doctor, whether you’ve had a tick bite or not,” she said.

To make an appointment with UofL Physicians - Pediatric Infectious Diseases, call 502-588-2348. After 5 p.m. on weekdays and on weekends, call Norton Children's Hospital at 502-629-6000.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UofL neurologist uses acupuncture to help patients

Way to treat migraines, headaches without medication
UofL neurologist uses acupuncture to help patients

Elizabeth S. Doll, M.D.

Elizabeth S. Doll, M.D., completed years of medical training to become a child neurologist. But what most people don’t know is she also spent hundreds of hours at Harvard University, training in the art of acupuncture.

“I’ve always been interested in integrative and alternative medicines,” said Doll, who cares for patients at University of Louisville Physicians – Child Neurology and Norton Children’s Hospital. “Even with all the advancements in modern medicine, we still can learn a lot from ancient treatments.”

She’s recently combined her love of neurology and acupuncture. She offers acupuncture as a way to help with migraines and severe headaches in teens and children as young as 6 years old.

“Research shows that acupuncture, when done properly, is a great, noninvasive way to treat headaches and other pain conditions, often without the use of medicines,” Doll said. “Many patients I treat in the hospital see relief quickly.”

Doll said when most people think of acupuncture, they picture someone lying down with hundreds of needles all over their body. That’s not the treatment she provides.

“My treatments are about 45 minutes and involve roughly 10 to 15 needles,” she said. “Those needles are usually placed at acupuncture points in distant areas, like the ears and feet."

How can needles treat headaches?

“It’s about opening up pathways throughout the body,” Doll said. “You’d be amazed to see how different body parts are connected.”

She admits that most patients and families are skeptical or fearful at first, but once they try it, they become believers.

“People have a fear of needles, but it really doesn’t hurt,” Doll said. “And patients end up liking it when they feel the results.”

Doll said acupuncture isn’t going to replace modern treatments and medications, but rather it’s a good way to supplement care, especially in the hospital setting.

“It’s not a miracle cure,” she said. “Acupuncture can relieve pain quickly, but medicines and other forms of treatment are still important. Acupuncture can be effective long-term, but periodic treatments outside the hospital setting are needed.”

For those with severe headaches, acupuncture can make a big difference.

"I recently had a patient in the hospital and we were treating her with IV medication for her migraine,” Doll said. “After performing acupuncture, she didn’t need any more medications and went home the next day.”

To make an appointment with Dr. Elizabeth Doll, call 502-588-3650.


Reprinted by permission from Norton Children's Hospital.