Tickets now available for Best of Louisville; event benefits Brown Cancer Center

Tickets now available for Best of Louisville; event benefits Brown Cancer Center

Tickets are now available for Louisville Magazine’sBest of Louisville® award celebration recognizing people and companies who make Louisville a great city.

The James Graham Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville has been named the “Charity of Choice” of the event, scheduled for 6:30-10 p.m., Thursday, July 12, at the C2 Event Venue, 225 E. Breckinridge St.

Funds raised for the cancer center from the Best of Louisville event will specifically go to the UofL Brown Cancer Center’s M. Krista Loyd Resource Center, a place for patients and families to receive much-needed resources such as transportation and lodging assistance; wigs, scarves and prosthetics; and a variety of therapies, education and support.

Early bird tickets throughout May are $35 per person when using the code ENDCANCER at checkout. Beginning June 1, early bird tickets will be $45 with the code. Regular-price tickets purchased without the code are $50 per person.

Tickets are available at by clicking on the “Best of Louisville” link. All sales with the promo code ENDCANCER go directly to the cancer center.

Admission includesfood and drink tastings, cash bar and a complimentary copy of Louisville Magazine's July "Best of Louisville" issue. The magazine created the city’s first reader-voted awards 33 years ago.

Sponsors of the event are UofL Hospital, Korbel California Champagne, DJX 99.7 All the Hits, Four Roses Bourbon and Universal Linen Service/Every Piece Counts.

For information, contact Elea Fox, executive director of advancement for the Brown Cancer Center, 502-852-3380 or


Postponed: Ribbon-cutting for Medical Mile walking path at UofL health sciences campus

Due to anticipated inclement weather on Tuesday, April 24, the ribbon-cutting event for the new Medical Mile walking path at the University of Louisville Health Sciences Center campus has been postponed.

The event will be rescheduled for a later date.

Please contact Jill Scoggins at 502-852-7461 or if you have any questions.

About the Medical Mile:

The creation of the Medical Mile walking path is part of the School of Medicine’s SMART Wellness Task Force and the Being Well Initiative. The Medical Mile follows a 1-mile path on the University of Louisville Health Sciences Center campus. A map of the path can be found here.The mile is marked along the way with the Medical Mile graphic image and with one-fourth, one-half and three-quarter mile markers.



$11.2 million federal grant to support microorganism and disease research

$11.2 million federal grant to support microorganism and disease research

Rich Lamont, Ph.D.

It is well-established that the community of organisms inside our bodies perform vital roles in digestion, production of critical metabolites, controlling the immune system and even affecting the brain.

To further understand these associations linking the microbiome - bacteria, yeasts, fungi, viruses and protozoans - with inflammation and disease, the University of Louisville has received an $11.2 million federal grant over five years to establish an interdisciplinary research program.

The grant, awarded through the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, establishes a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) and pairs well-funded scientists with junior faculty in the Schools of Dentistry, Medicine and Engineering. This arrangement facilitates the career development of junior faculty, and aims to advance the study of the interface between microbiome, inflammation and disease development.

“Although the microbiome contributes to many beneficial aspects of our physiology, when these communities are out of balance, or dysbiotic, they are implicated in an array of diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, periodontitis, vaginosis, colorectal cancer, and distant sites like rheumatoid arthritis, even neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease and autism spectrum,” said Richard Lamont, Ph.D., chair of the School of Dentistry’s Department of Oral Immunology and Infectious Diseases and principal investigator for the grant.

Furthermore, Lamont said, inflammation is a process that provides the mechanism connecting the microbiome and disease.

“The interplay of the pro and anti-inflammatory components of the immune system with microbes often dictates whether a person remains healthy or develops a disease, as well as controls aspects of recovery, chronic infection and the level of tissue destruction,” he said.

Microbiology and Immunology in the School of Medicine is the other primary department participating in the COBRE. Researchers in the J.B. Speed School of Engineering’s bioengineering department will provide expertise as possible new discoveries show potential for new therapeutic technology against disease.

“This program will synergize with, and augment, existing research priorities at UofL centered around microbial community-associated diseases,” said Greg Postel, M.D., interim UofL president. “We are confident that establishing a critical mass of investigators with unique complementary expertise will propel UofL to a position of preeminence in this important field.”

“We are thrilled to add this COBRE multidisciplinary program in research, education and mentoring to facilitate and accelerate the transition of junior faculty to independent extramural funded status, advancing our overall research enterprise,” said T. Gerard Bradley, B.D.S., M.S., Dr.Med.Dent., dean of the School of Dentistry.

The grant will support five junior faculty and their specific research focused on the mouth, GI tract, arthropod (flea) vector environments, vagina and lungs:

  • Juhi Bagaitkar, Ph.D., will study how oxidants change neutrophil, or white blood cell, responses in the mouth. She is focused on inflammatory pathways regulated by Reactive Oxygen Species essential in host responses to oral bacteria. She hopes to provide insights into neutrophil biology, and enhance the understanding of immune pathways related to inflammation of the gums and the interface with microbes.
  • Venkatakrishna Jala, Ph.D., will investigate the beneficial effects of the microbial metabolite, uronlithin A (UroA) and its structural analogue UAS03 in inflammatory bowel disorders. He will examine their impact on both immune responses and maintenance of the epithelial barrier in the gastrointestinal mucosal membrane.
  • Matthew Lawrenz, Ph.D., will study the pathogenic mechanisms of Y. pestis, a bacterium that causes bubonic plague. Humans can become sick after being bitten by a rodent flea. Lawrenz will further investigate several mechanisms, including how Y. pestis evades macrophages, a kind of white blood cell first on the scene of infection. As the project develops, Lawrenz also hopes to explore the relationship of Y.pestis and microbial communities of the flea, which may impact colonization and transmission.
  • Jill Steinbach-Rankins, Ph.D., will investigate a new nanotherapeutic approach to treat bacterial vaginosis (BV), a dysbiotic condition where vaginal microbial communities are disrupted. With expertise in materials science engineering and biomedical engineering, Steinbach-Rankins aims to develop targeted community engineering to restore the balance between the microbiome and host to prevent the manifestation of disease.
  • Jonathan Warawa, Ph.D., will investigate Burkholderia pseudomallei (Bp), the bacterium responsible for respiratory melioidosis, an inflammatory disease of the lungs that progresses into a fatal systemic disease involving major organs. This project drills down into innate immune responses contributing either to protection and resolution of diseases or to increased morbidity. Through greater understanding of immune responses, therapeutic intervention is possible.

The COBRE also helps establish a functional microbiomics core research facility at UofL. The facility will provide germ free animal facilities, oxygen-free culture capability, microbiome sequencing and bioinformatics, assessment of inflammatory markers and pathology services. 

Aging – and why no ‘cure’ for it has been found – to be discussed July 16

Monthly Beer with a Scientist program features UofL researcher
Aging – and why no ‘cure’ for it has been found – to be discussed July 16

Leah Siskind, Ph.D.

The next Beer with a Scientist program will shed light on the “incurable” condition of aging.

Leah Siskind, Ph.D., associate professor of pharmacology and toxicology at the University of Louisville, will present “Everyone is Aging: So Why Haven’t We Found a Scientific Cure?” from 8-9 p.m., Wednesday, July 16, at Against the Grain Brewery, 401 E. Main St.

Admission is free. Purchase of beer, other beverages or menu items is not required but is encouraged.

The Beer with a Scientist program is now in its third month and is the brainchild of University of Louisville cancer researcher Levi Beverly, Ph.D. Once a month, the public is invited to Louisville’s Against the Grain brewpub for exactly what the title promises: beer and science.

Beverly created the monthly series as a way to connect with people who don’t have scientific backgrounds but want to know about scientific topics. “We lose sight of the fact that most people have never even met a Ph.D., never talked to one,” he said. “(However) whenever I go someplace, if I strike up a conversation at a bar and I tell someone what I do for a living, they always have questions. It leads to a whole conversation.”

Against the Grain’s Sam Cruz believes Beer with a Scientist bridges what he sees as a disconnect between scientists and the general public. “If you don’t know about something, it’s hard to care,” he said. “I think that’s why this works; what we’re doing with these talks is letting people take the time to think about these things.”

Organizers add that they encourage Beer with a Scientist patrons to drink responsibly.

For more information and to suggest future Beer with a Scientist topics, follow Louisville Underground Science on Facebook.

Cancer Education Program shapes future scientists and clinicians

New class of students begin 10 week experience
Cancer Education Program shapes future scientists and clinicians

Sara Mudra

Unraveling  the complexities of cancer continues as the next generation of scientists pick up the baton and blaze new trails of discovery. Influencing students to pursue cancer research careers is at the heart of the University of Louisville’s National Cancer Institute-funded Cancer Education Program, now in its seventh year.

A new class of more than 40 undergraduate and medical students representing 13 institutions including Stanford University and MIT, began the 10-week program in May.

Sarah Mudra completed the program in 2014. Inspired by her experience in Louisville, she’ll start medical school at UofL this summer.

Mudra, who plans to pursue the School of Medicine’s Distinction in Research Track, will conduct research in collaboration with Beth Riley, M.D., F.A.C.P., associate professor of medicine and deputy director of clinical affairs at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center.

Riley was Mudra’s primary mentor in the Cancer Education Program.

“I witnessed the multi-faceted nature of medicine as Dr. Riley balanced relational care with scientific inquiry and ethical decision-making – I became fascinated with the field of oncology,” Mudra said. “Dr. Riley became a steadfast encourager and mentor, prompting me to ask complex research questions and examine new bodies of literature.”

Throughout the 10 weeks, Mudra worked with Riley to analyze data from individuals who were diagnosed with breast cancer through testing on the cancer center’s mammography van. They engaged in conversations about patient care and population-based research, including the utility of mobile mammography for reducing health disparities.

Mudra said it was her participation in the Cancer Education Program that laid the foundation for continued scientific exploration as a post-baccalaureate research fellow at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. During the two-year fellowship, she worked to refine her research techniques and develop a novel protocol for human microbiome analysis.

“It is remarkable how the Cancer Education Program molded my professional and scientific development, serving as my foundation,” Mudra said. “I would advise all students interested in scientific growth to pursue a dedicated period of research in a field of interest. Be inquisitive and curious. Exercise a willingness to learn any aspect of a project, and uphold a tireless work ethic. Above all, demonstrate gratitude for the opportunity to be shaped through a mentor’s guidance.”

The directors of the program, David Hein, Ph.D., Peter K. Knoefel Endowed Chair of Pharmacology and chair of the Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology, and La Creis Kidd, Ph.D., Our Highest Potential Endowed Chair in Cancer Research and associate professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, outlined the success of UofL’s program in an article published in the Journal of Cancer Education.

Since 2011, 188 students have completed UofL’s program.


May 31, 2018


UofL School of Medicine launches Medical Mile walking path to promote wellness

Mayor, Medical School Dean cut the ribbon on Louisville's newest urban trail
UofL School of Medicine launches Medical Mile walking path to promote wellness

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and School of Medicine Dean Toni Ganzel, M.D., cut the ribbon to open the Medical Mile at the UofL Health Sciences Center.

Students, faculty, staff, patients and visitors to facilities within the University of Louisville Health Sciences Center now have a marked one-mile path to foster wellness through walking.

The HSC Medical Mile walking path was dedicated at a ribbon-cutting on Tuesday, May 23. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer joined UofL School of Medicine Dean Toni Ganzel, M.D., to open the new path.

The Medical Mile follows a 1-mile path from the HSC Plaza north to East Muhammad Ali Boulevard, east to South Hancock Street, south to East Chestnut Street, west to South Floyd Street, north to East Muhammad Ali again, and finishing up by going south on South Preston back to the starting point.

The mile is marked along the way with the Medical Mile graphic image and with one-fourth, one-half and three-quarter mile markers as well.

The creation of the Medical Mile was part of the School of Medicine’s SMART Wellness Task Force and the Being Well Initiative, said Chief of Staff Karan Chavis, and is the product of the work of the committee under the leadership of former co-chair Miranda Sloan and current co-chair Tamara Iacono.

“We know that walking is great physical activity that virtually anyone can do, and with the sidewalks we have surrounding our buildings, we have a ready-made way to create a dedicated walking space for people,” Chavis said. “Through the spring and summer, we are encouraging people to create ‘walking trains,’ picking up people along the way and walking together.”

Photos of the ribbon-cutting are available here.




Psychiatrist recognized for work on worldview in clinical psychiatry

Allan Josephson, M.D., to receive the Oskar Pfister Award from the American Psychiatric Association
Psychiatrist recognized for work on worldview in clinical psychiatry

Allan Josephson, M.D.

In recognition of his work on understanding the importance of both the patient’s and the clinician’s worldview in clinical psychiatry, Allan Josephson, M.D., chief of child and adolescent psychiatry and psychology in the University of Louisville Department of Pediatrics, will be the 2015 recipient of the Oskar Pfister Award from the American Psychiatric Association.

This award recognizes individuals who have made professional contributions to the interfaces of psychiatry, religion and spirituality in research and clinical practice.

"The Department of Pediatrics is honored to have Dr. Josephson leading our Division of Pediatric Psychiatry and Psychology,” said Charles Woods, M.D., interim chair of the UofL Department of Pediatrics. “This award recognizes his longstanding personal efforts and excellence in advancing the quality of mental health services for children and families both in the Louisville area and nationally."

For more than a decade, Josephson coordinated workshops, symposia and lectures on religion, spirituality and psychiatry at the annual meetings of the American Psychiatric Association. These events resulted in several publications, including the “Handbook of Spirituality and Worldview in Clinical Practice,” co-edited by Josephson and John Peteet, M.D., of Harvard Medical School. The work is now used in the teaching programs of many psychiatry residencies throughout the country.

“Are there people who come in to a psychiatrist’s office who really have spiritual issues, concerns about life in a broader context? We think there are,” Josephson said. “What we tried to do is bring these ideas in front of the psychiatric community. Some of my work and that of others has been directed toward helping psychiatrists say this may be an important part of your patient’s life.”

Josephson will receive the award at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in Toronto May 16-20, and will deliver the 33rd Oskar Pfister Lecture in New York in October at the American Psychiatric Association’s Institute of Psychiatric Services meeting.


About the award:

Oskar Pfister was a Protestant minister who regularly corresponded with Sigmund Freud on matters of psychiatry and religion. Award recipients are selected by representatives of the American Psychiatric Association, the Caucus on Religion and Psychiatry and the Association of Professional Chaplains.

How in the brain are you?

UofL Alzheimer’s specialist to talk brain health at Beer with a Scientist, Sept. 11
How in the brain are you?

Sam Cotton, Ph.D.

The search for effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease continues, as new cases are diagnosed at an ever-increasing rate. Unfortunately, every drug tested to treat the disease so far has been proven ineffective. The focus now is on prevention with healthy habits and mitigating other health risks.

At this month’s Beer with a Scientist, Sam Cotton, Ph.D., program manager of Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP) at the University of Louisville Trager Institute and director of the Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias program, will share the latest updates on what we all can do to prevent development of Alzheimer’s disease. Plus, for those who have developed Alzheimer’s and their caregivers, Cotton’s talk also will include how to care compassionately for people who have the disease.

This month’s Beer with a Scientist event is part of Research!Louisville, a citywide event going on Sept. 10-13 highlighting health research for physicians, nurses, researchers and other health care providers and students. In addition, September is Optimal Aging month, with a focus on aging well.

Cotton’s talk begins at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 11, at Holsopple Brewing, 8023 Catherine Lane. A 30-minute presentation will be followed by an informal Q&A session.

Admission is free. Purchase of beer or other items is not required but is encouraged. Organizers encourage Beer with a Scientist patrons to drink responsibly.

UofL cancer researcher Levi Beverly, Ph.D., created the Beer with a Scientist program in 2014 as a way to bring science to the public in an informal setting. At these events, the public is invited to enjoy exactly what the title promises:  beer and science.

Spike it to Cancer Volleyball Tournament to benefit patients at UofL Brown Cancer Center

Two-division tournament set for Aug. 10 funds Thanksgiving turkeys for cancer patients
Spike it to Cancer Volleyball Tournament to benefit patients at UofL Brown Cancer Center

Participants in the 2018 Spike it to Cancer Tournament

Sand volleyball teams from around Kentuckiana are invited to the seventh annual Spike it to Cancer sand volleyball tournament on Saturday, Aug. 10, at Baxter Jack’s Volleyball Cub, 427 Baxter Ave. The tournament will raise funds to support patients at the University of Louisville James Graham Brown Cancer Center through the Mary Jane Gift Quality of Life Fund.

Established in 2013 by Alex and Tommy Gift in honor of their late mother, who passed away from breast cancer in 2010, the Gift Fund helps patients and their families enjoy life while facing a cancer diagnosis. For the past several years, the fund has provided Thanksgiving turkeys for patients at the UofL Brown Cancer Center.

To continue the tradition, the Gifts and former volleyball player Paige Sutton are sponsoring the tournament. Coed Quad Open Division play starts at 9 a.m. (check in at 8:15 a.m.). The Coed Sixes Division will start at about 2 p.m. (check in at 1:30 p.m.). 

Team registration fees of $300 go directly to the fund. A cash prize of $3,000 to be divided among winning and runner up teams has been donated by The Power Agency. To register a team or make a donation, go to the event’s online link.

Ward 426 on Baxter Ave., directly across the street from Baxter Jack’s, has once again agreed to donate a portion of all food and beverage sales throughout the day to the Gift Fund.

“Mary Jane taught us countless lessons throughout the course of her life. Stay Positive. Be thankful. Step away from it all,” Alex Gift said. “The fund can help do this by providing simple gifts to patients that could help improve their quality of life, even if it’s for a short period of time.”

The event has brought in more than $45,000 over six years.

UofL medical student wins national essay contest

UofL medical student wins national essay contest

April Butler

This year, the Gold Foundation’s annual essay prompted students with a Maya Angelou quote: “I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.”

For one UofL medical student, this quote struck a particularly personal chord. 

“‘Home is wherever I’m with you,’ a patient wrote on a marker board to his daughter. He lay in a hospital bed thin and frail, with the sound of his ventilator whirring in the background, a wash cloth hanging in his mouth to soak up saliva, a fentanyl patch tucked behind his ear. Out of his entire body, he could only use his right hand. In a few hours he would be taken off his ventilator and placed on a morphine pump. His daughter held his hand with tears in her eyes. This is ALS.”

These are the opening words of the winning submission by April Butler, which chronicles her father’s battle with ALS – the disease commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s – from the outside in.

“I had this unique parallel in school about learning anatomy and how the body is supposed to work, and at home I was witnessing the manifestations of what happened when the body didn’t follow the rules we learned,” said Butler, who learned of her father’s diagnosis before starting medical school. “In medical school – especially the first two years – it can sometimes be hard to see in the thick of all the exams and the stress why we’re doing this. I was lucky enough to always have my ‘why’ on the forefront of my mind.”

It’s easy to understand why this perspective on medicine would be shared by the Gold Foundation, whose mission statement includes the evolution of healthcare through both compassion and “scientific excellence.” The Hope Babette Tang Humanism Contest (named for Hope Babette Tang-Goodwin, MD, who devoted her career to treating HIV-infected babies) is overseen by a panel of experts that includes various healthcare professionals, writers/journalists and educators.

There were 300 submissions this year. By winning first place, Butler’s essay will be published in two esteemed medical journals: Academic Medicine, in the October, November, and December issues, and Journal of Professional Nursing, in the September/October, November/December and January/February issues.

“A physician once told me, ‘you will not be able to cure or save every patient in your career. However, you do have the opportunity to heal every patient,’” she writes in The Healing Yellow Raincoat. “I did not truly understand what this meant until my experience with my dad. […] I am thankful for some of his final ‘words’ that I will carry with me throughout my medical career and life: ‘Because of the challenges I face, I am less than half the man I used to be on the outside, but more than twice the man on the inside.’”

Now in her fourth year of medical school, Butler will take this experience with her as she applies for Internal Medicine and Pediatrics residencies this fall.

Elder abuse is a growing danger as population ages

UofL Trager Institute and Age-Friendly Louisville urge seniors, loved ones to look for signs of abuse
Elder abuse is a growing danger as population ages

Dr. Christian Furman

With a growing older adult population, the potential for elder abuse is a problem that affects the health and human rights of seniors. Leaders of the University of Louisville Trager Institute and Age-Friendly Louisville encourage older adults and their loved loved ones to take steps toward prevention.  

“As a geriatrician, I routinely check for signs of physical abuse, such as unusual weight loss, bruising or skin breakdown, but the form of elder abuse I encounter the most is financial abuse,” said Christian D. Furman, MD, MSPH, AGSF, interim chief, Division of General Internal Medicine, Palliative Medicine and Medical Education, Margaret Dorward Smock Endowed Chair in Geriatric Medicine and medical director, UofL Trager Institute. “Older adults are vulnerable to financial exploitation, such as scams, especially when they have dementia. This population is targeted as many receive monthly income (such as pensions or VA checks), have savings and may have a reduced ability to fend off scams.”

She encourages older adults and their family members to sign up for the Kentucky Attorney General Scam Alert service to receive notice of how would-be criminals may try to steal money.

Furman urges older adults to plan ahead financially to prevent this type of abuse.

“I see too many individuals who lose their life savings in situations like this,” she said.

Elder abuse can take on different forms: physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect and financial exploitation. Possible signs include:

  • Physical abuse - frequent injuries; multiple bruises in various stages of healing; individual appears to be frightened
  • Sexual abuse - fear of a particular person; upset when being changed or bathed; irritation or injuries of the mouth, genitals or anus
  • Neglect - obvious malnutrition or dehydration; dirty and offensive body odor; absence  of glasses, dentures or hearing aid
  • Financial exploitation - unusual activity in bank account; lack of food, clothing and personal supplies; missing personal belongings such as jewelry, television or art

Age-Friendly Louisville, through the Social Participation, Respect and Inclusion Workgroup, is working to raise awareness of elder abuse in Louisville. In coordination with various social service agencies, the group seeks to improve community cohesion to guard against elder abuse through education.

“It can be hard to imagine that anyone would deliberately want to harm an elderly person, but unfortunately elder abuse does occur,” said Chris Clements, Louisville Metro Retired Senior Volunteer Program coordinator and facilitator for Age-Friendly Louisville. “Some instances of elder abuse are intended to exploit the person through things like scams, and in other cases, neglect can be unintentional like when an older adult’s caretaker does not provide them with basic necessities.”

The Age-Friendly Louisville Social Participation, Respect and Inclusion Workgroup meets the second Tuesday of every month from 2p.m.– 4 p.m. at the Thrive Center, 204 E. Market Street.

To learn more about elder abuse and other Age-Friendly Louisville initiatives, visit or contact Natalie Pope at 502-852-7733 or


$200,000 goal set for 2015 raiseRED Dance Marathon to benefit pediatric cancer research

 $200,000 goal set for 2015 raiseRED Dance Marathon to benefit pediatric cancer research

Dancers again will get their groove on for raiseRED to support pediatric cancer research at the University of Louisville Friday, Feb. 27.

It’s time to shake it for a good cause. The University of Louisville student group raiseRED is hosting its annual dance marathon beginning Friday (Feb. 27) night to fight pediatric cancer.

About 800 dancers will dance to raise $200,000, about $50,000 more than the record-breaking amount the group collected last year.

“We’re looking at a huge event this year,” said Taylor Wilson, executive director. She said the students organizing this year’s event have been working since the 2014 event ended.

The dance marathon kicks off at 6 p.m. Feb. 27 in the Multipurpose Room at the Swain Student Activities Center. The fundraising total will be announced at noon Feb. 28. The night is a mix of dancing, plus testimonials by patients and special guests to keep the dancers energized and focused on how their participation makes a difference.

The money raised helps doctors and families fight pediatric cancer right here in Louisville. Funds from raiseRED go to the UofL Division of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation, headed by Ken Lucas, M.D., division chief in the UofL Department of Pediatrics.

Student dancers have been split into teams, and each member collects pledges of support. In addition, dance marathon is supported by the Trager Family Foundation, Papa John’s, and Thorntons, Inc.

The public is invited to take part in a community celebration from 10 a.m to noon Feb. 28. The celebration will feature inflatables and balloon artists for children, guest speakers, family testimonials, a performance of the 8-minute dance students learned during the evening and the reveal of the total amount of money raised.

To make an online donation, go to Learn more about raiseRED at Contributions are tax-deductible and 100 percent of donations go to the University of Louisville Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Clinic.

For additional information, contact raiseRED at


UofL diabetes prevention program earns CDC recognition

UofL diabetes prevention program earns CDC recognition

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has granted the University of Louisville Physicians Diabetes and Obesity Center full recognition as a certified Diabetes Prevention Program. The three-year designation recognizes programs that effectively deliver a quality, evidence-based program that meets all of the standards for CDC recognition. The UofL program is one of just two in Louisville to earn full recognition.

More than 84 million Americans – one in three adults -- now have prediabetes. Of those 84 million, nine out of 10 of them don’t know they have it. Without intervention, many people with prediabetes could develop type 2 diabetes within five years.

In Kentucky, diabetes and prediabetes are at epidemic levels, according to the American Diabetes Association. More than 531,000 people in Kentucky, or 14.5 percent of the adult population, have diabetes. Of these, an estimated 108,000 have diabetes but don’t know it, greatly increasing their health risk. In addition, 1.168 million people in Kentucky – 35.5 percent of the adult population – have prediabetes with blood glucose levels higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Every year an estimated 27,000 people in Kentucky are diagnosed with diabetes.

The center is located in the UofL Physicians Outpatient Center, 401 E. Chestnut St., and serves as the clinical arm of the UofL Diabetes and Obesity Center headed by Aruni Bhatnagar, Ph.D., which focuses on research into prevention of diabetes. “It is immensely gratifying to see the science of diabetes prevention being implemented to improve the public’s health,” Bhatnagar said. “It is through programs such as this that we will turn the tide in the fight against the epidemic of type 2 diabetes.”

In addition to the CDC recognition, the UofL Physicians - Diabetes and Obesity Center, in a partnership with ULP Department of Medicine, is recognized by the American Diabetes Association for Quality Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support.

The Uof Physicians - Diabetes and Obesity Center was created in part from support by KentuckyOne Health to provide preventive care and education and to promote research in diabetes and obesity. The Center is directed by Sri Prakash Mokshagundam, M.D. “Once you have diabetes, you can’t get rid of it, but if you have prediabetes, which is higher than normal blood sugar levels, or if you are at risk for developing diabetes, you can prevent it with lifestyle changes,” Mokshagundam said. “Diabetes also can be effectively managed with physician-directed care.

“We want people to know they have the power to change their outcome.”

The program is directed by Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator Beth Ackerman, who cited UofL’s own employee wellness program, Get Healthy Now, in earning the recognition. “This recognition was made possible through collaboration with UofL Get Healthy Now and its director, Patricia Benson, assistant vice president for health, wellness and disease management,” Ackerman said. “We currently offer the program to UofL employees who are covered by the university’s health plan, and will begin offering it to other patients in January.”

The UofL Physicians Diabetes and Obesity Center works to:

  • Elevate the health status of our community by raising awareness of the risks for diabetes and heart disease;
  • Facilitate prevention and management programs;
  • Be a resource to our patients and community health care providers; and 
  • Support researchers in their efforts to fight the growing epidemic of diabetes and obesity.

The Diabetes and Obesity Center at UofL Physicians offers diabetes self-management education and support if a patient is newly diagnosed or has had diabetes for many years. The center’s diabetes educators assess each patient’s needs and help them individually or to enroll in an education class to meet those needs. Classes cover:

  • Diabetes Prevention
  • Diabetes Self-Management 
  • Pregnancy Planning
  • Diabetes Medications
  • Diabetes and Technology
  • Medical Nutrition Therapy
  • Weight Management
  • Monitored Activity Options

Registered Nurse and Certified Diabetes Educator Paula Thieme is the quality coordinator of the diabetes self- management and support program. For information or to make an appointment, call 502-588-4600.




In the lineup

Symposium draws all-star list of speakers

Nathan Berger, M.D., the Hanna-Payne Professor of Experimental Medicine and director of the Center for Science, Health and Diversity at Case Western Reserve University, holds the Louisville Slugger bat he was given as a speaker at the first symposium honoring the late co-division chief of the Blood and Bone Marrow Transplantation Program at UofL. The Geoffrey P. Herzig, M.D., Memorial Symposium for Hematologic Malignancies and Bone Marrow Transplantation drew a stellar cast of presenters April 8-9 at the Jewish Hospital Rudd Heart & Lung Conference Center. Herzig came to UofL in 2000 as co-division chief with his brother, Roger Herzig, M.D., shown second from left. The symposium was created by current division chief William Tse, M.D., at far left, with another presenter, Hillard Lazarus, M.D., the George & Edith Richman Professor and Distinguished Scientist in Cancer Research at Case Western Reserve, at far right. Twenty-six physicians and other scientists from the United States, Canada and England presented the symposium, covering the latest advances in treating leukemias, myelomas and other blood-borne cancers. (Robert Burge Photography)

UofL event prepares future health professionals to improve health equity

The 10th annual Cultural Competency Day set for Nov. 10

Among the most important issues facing health care are social barriers to care. To ensure future health professionals are equipped with the understanding to reduce health inequities, the University of Louisville Health Sciences Center Office of Diversity and Inclusion will hold its 10th annual Patricia Allen Cultural Competency Day on Tuesday, November 10. Nearly 700 students will participate in “Health Equity through Interprofessional Practice,”a day-long workshop that includes discussions on Poverty and Accessing Health Care, LGBT Health, Immigrant and Refugee Populations and Cultural Barriers in Health Care.

Students from UofL Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry, Public Health and Kent School of Social Work, as well as the Sullivan University School of Pharmacy and nurses with Passport Health Plan will take part in the program, to be held at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage (KCAAH).

Vivian Lasley-Bibbs, the acting director for the Office of Health Equity in the Kentucky Department for Public Health, will open the event with a keynote address on the increasing racial, ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversity in the American population and the need for health-care practitioners to understand the socio-cultural background of their patients in order to deliver high quality health care.

“This is the 10th year for this conference reflecting the Health Sciences Center’s commitment to health equity for all. In addition to this important milestone, the program has expanded to include almost 700 students from multiple health disciplines,” said V. Faye Jones, M.D., Ph.D., assistant vice president for health affairs – diversity initiatives. “We all have a role in achieving health equity, and this year’s program allows students to learn with and from each other in the community setting of the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage.”

Attendees will be assigned to interprofessional teams that rotate together among 75-minute breakout sessions covering each topic. This format, which differs from previous years, will ensure that all attendees are exposed to each topic and will accommodate the large number of participants. The interprofessional teams, which mix students and residents from dentistry, speech pathology, pharmacy, social work, public health and medicine, allow the students to experience the topics from the unique perspectives of each field.

UofL’s Cultural Competency Day was first held in 2006, the result of efforts by Jones and Patricia Allen, administrative associate for the Area Health Education Center (AHEC) program office at UofL, to improve cultural understanding of UofL Health Sciences Center students. Approximately 150 students attended the event its first year. The event is named for Allen, who helped lay the groundwork and planning for the event.

November 9, 2015

Future physician-scientist wins funds for training and research

M.D./Ph.D. student Heather Clair joins elite group of students to earn NIH grant
Future physician-scientist wins funds for training and research

Heather Clair

It is never too early for medical researchers to begin obtaining funding for their work.

Heather Clair, a student in the M.D./Ph.D. program at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, has secured a five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to help fund her research and education. The Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, an F30 fellowship from the NIH, is designed to support highly promising predoctoral students in a dual-doctoral degree training program such as the M.D./Ph.D. to increase the pool of highly trained clinician-scientists in biomedical research.

Clair won the grant in consultation with her mentor, Matt Cave, M.D., associate professor of medicine at UofL with expertise in liver disease and transplantation. Clair and Cave have designed a research plan to study of the effects of exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) on the liver. Clair will be investigating how synthetic organic chemicals change the programming of the body’s cells.

“We believe that PCBs are one of the factors leading to liver disease and other types of metabolic dysfunction – maybe diabetes, cardiovascular disease or obesity,” Clair said.

Clair earned a master’s degree in biotechnology and worked in laboratories and other settings for a number of years, including lab work at UofL. After talking with medical students who shared their enthusiasm for working with patients, Clair decided to add clinical work to her professional palette and applied to the School of Medicine.

“I wasn’t ready to leave research, however, so I applied to the M.D./Ph.D. program. When I got in, it was like winning the lottery – I get to do two things I love at the same time,” Clair said.

Earning a grant from the NIH is a precocious accomplishment for a student, preparing her to obtain grants as a professional researcher.

“Just writing the grant was a tremendous learning experience,” Clair said. “When I go back to write a K award or an RO1 as an independent investigator, I will have already done it once. It also gives me the opportunity to show the NIEHS and the NIH that I can do what I said I was going to do.”

Students in the M.D./Ph.D. program study medicine for two years, followed by three to four years of doctorate-level biomedical research, finishing off with the final two years of medical school. Upon completing the program, the physician-scientists have fulfilled the requirements for both an M.D. and a Ph.D. degree and are ready to care for patients and conduct biomedical research at the doctorate level. The UofL program has 13 students, with enrollment having been as high as 22. The school receives between 80 and 100 applications each year for the two to three positions available.

“These are the best medical students and the best graduate students. Having a group of students this bright at UofL helps in every possible way with the educational process,” said Donald Miller, M.D., Ph.D., director of the M.D./Ph.D. program at UofL and director of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center.

In the past 12 years, 10 students at UofL have been awarded F30 grants, including nine In the M.D./Ph.D. program and one in the D.M.D./Ph.D. program at the School of Dentistry.

“These grants raise the visibility of the university,” said Brian “Binks” Wattenberg, Ph.D., assistant director of the M.D./Ph.D. program. “When study sections – expert scientists in a specific area who review the grant applications – see the quality of the applications that are coming from UofL, they start to recognize this is a substantial, high quality institution.”

Funding from an F30 grant typically adds more than $100,000 to the institution over a period of three to five years. This allows existing funds to support additional research activities in the mentor’s lab or to assist other students at the School of Medicine.

“These grants release funds from the principal investigator whose lab they are in to support other activities,” Wattenberg said. “And if the grant pays for part of the medical school tuition, that money can be used for other students. Every dollar we get in from the outside helps everyone.”

One of the previous grant-winning students, Janelle Fassbender, M.D., Ph.D., was mentored by Scott Whittemore, Ph.D., in neurobiology and presented a dissertation on "Improving Functional Recovery Following Spinal Cord Injury by Therapeutically Targeting the Vasculature.” After receiving her degrees in 2012, Fassbender completed a preliminary year of residency in general surgery and is back at UofL serving as a medical resident in ophthalmology.

Other graduates from UofL’s M.D./Ph.D. program who received F30 awards have gone on to residency positions at Washington University in St. Louis, Yale University and Icahn School of Medicine at The Mt. Sinai Medical Center.

Success in receiving the grants reflects on the quality of the research being done at UofL and the mentors.

“As funding gets more and more competitive, it’s very important that we turn out people who have good training, good science and can compete for grants, and I think this program does that,” Miller said.

UofL medical students and Parkinson’s Disease patients to gather for “Buddy” program kickoff September 3

Pairs to meet monthly for one-on-one exchange benefiting patients and students
UofL medical students and Parkinson’s Disease patients to gather for “Buddy” program kickoff September 3

Kathrin LaFaver, M.D.

Take a walk in the park.

Meet for a cup of coffee.

These simple social interactions can make a world of difference to patients with Parkinson’s Disease and to University of Louisville medical students who will have the opportunity to see what daily life is like for individuals with the disease.

The Parkinson’s Buddy Program, a unique new partnership between the UofL School of Medicine and the Parkinson Support Center, has matched 25 “buddies” from the first-year class of medical students with patients served by the center. In the first program of its kind for Parkinson’s patients, the pairs are participating in a year-long program designed to give the patients social interaction and allow them to share their stories with the medical students, who in turn gain first-hand knowledge about living with a nervous system disorder.

The program kicks off Thursday, September 3 when the buddy pairs will meet for the first time from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. at the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, 1640 Lyndon Farm Ct., #100 in Louisville. (Editor’s note:  Members of the media are invited to attend.)

Student-patient pairs then are encouraged to meet on their own about once a month for a board game, lecture or exercise class to share their stories and enjoy time together. Kathrin LaFaver, M.D., Raymond Lee Lebby Chair for Parkinson’s Disease Research in the Department of Neurology at UofL, said the exchanges will give the students a deeper understanding of how patients cope with the disease.

“This program will educate medical students on Parkinson’s and neurological disease and help them understand the day-to-day issues faced by individuals living with Parkinson’s,” LaFaver said.

Allie Hanson, assistant director of the Parkinson Support Center, proposed the idea for the program as a way to improve the wellbeing of patients served by the center.

“The patients will be able to share their stories, plus the meetings will reduce some of the social isolation that people with Parkinson’s can experience,” Hanson said.

In addition to meeting with their patient buddies, students will keep a journal reflecting on their experience after each buddy meeting. Students also will attend hour-long mentoring sessions each month with LaFaver, the director of the Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Clinic at UofL Physicians. The seminars will provide additional medical information and inform the students about research and career opportunities in neurology and movement disorders.

Parkinson’s Disease is a chronic and progressive brain disorder of the central nervous system. The motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease result from the death of dopamine-generating cells in the substantia nigra, a region of the midbrain. Dopamine is the chemical that sends messages to the part of the brain that controls movement and coordination. The loss of dopamine causes neurons to fire without normal control, leaving patients less able to control their movement. Patients are also frequently suffering from so-called “non-motor” symptoms including loss of smell, constipation, fatigue, anxiety and depression. Muhammad Ali and Michael J. Fox are notable individuals living with Parkinson’s Disease.

Registration now open for UofL Geriatric Health Care Symposium

‘Maximizing Independence for Optimal Aging’ theme of Sept. 18th event
Registration now open for UofL Geriatric Health Care Symposium

Registration is now open for the 15th Annual Geriatric Health Care Symposium, “Maximizing Independence for Optimal Aging,” presented by the University of Louisville Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging.

The symposium will be held 7:30 a.m.-4:45 p.m., Friday, Sept. 18, at the Founders Union Building of UofL’s Shelby Campus, 9001 Shelbyville Road.

Keynoting the event will be David Morris, Ph.D., interim chair of the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. A licensed physical therapist and known nationally for his expertise in physical therapy for seniors, Morris will speak on “Fitness for Life.”

Other sessions at the symposium include “Google Glass in Rural Nursing Homes and Home Health,” “Preventive Care in Older Adults,” “Polypharmacy 2.0 – Antipsychotic Meds,” “Maximizing Oral Health,” “Update on Dementia” and more.

Faculty include Amelia Kiser, M.D., Laura Morton, M.D., Christian Furman, M.D. and Daniela Neamtu, M.D., all from the UofL Department of Family and Geriatric Medicine; Demetra Antimisiaris, Pharm.D., UofL Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology; Mike Mansfield, D.M.D., and Gustavo Oliveira, D.M.D., UofL School of Dentistry; Belinda Setters, M.D., Robley Rex Veterans Affairs Medical Center; Benjamin Mast, Ph.D., UofL Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences; and Anne Veno, R.N., Episcopal Church Home.

Continuing education credits are available through the UofL Department of Continuing Medical Education and Professional Development for physicians, nurses, physical therapists and dentists. Continuing education credit for social workers is in process, and the program is pending approval by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

Registration before Aug. 15 qualifies for early bird discounts. Registration before Aug. 15 is $125 for physicians; $35 for students; and $100 for all others. Valid identification is required to qualify for registration categories.

To register and for more information, go to the symposium website.

UofL researchers take lead role in exploring liver disease

UofL researchers take lead role in exploring liver disease

Craig McClain, M.D.

Photos from the news conference announcing the grant are available here.


Liver diseases are clinically important health problems and are generally underappreciated.  The University of Louisville has brought together a critical mass of investigators to study liver diseases in a comprehensive fashion.  These studies include a unique focus on environmental exposure and subsequent liver injury.  Craig McClain, M.D., associate vice president for health affairs/research, is the principal investigator and head of the team that has received a Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) grant from the National Institutes of Health to explore diseases of the liver—hepatobiology and toxicology.

“Dr. McClain and his team are among not only that nation’s leaders, but the world’s leaders when it comes to researching liver diseases,” said Gregory C. Postel, M.D., UofL interim executive vice president for health affairs. “Receipt of this grant demonstrates the breadth of the program Dr. McClain has developed through the years and the importance of that work in our understanding the liver function, liver disease and how to combat it.”

The grant, which totals more than $11.5 million over five years, bring together experienced senior mentors and promising junior investigators from across the university  in collaboration with scientists throughout the nation and world to perform cross-cutting research on the unique topics of hepatobiology and toxicology. The research will evaluate clinical barriers in the understanding of the development and progression of liver diseases. Additionally, they will define targets for prevention and treatment that may transform current medical practice.

The researchers have four current areas of interest:

  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, a major cause of cirrhosis of the liver,

  • Alcoholic liver disease,

  • Environmental toxicology and liver disease, and

  • Liver cancer.

Future areas of research include infectious and viral liver disease and drug induced liver injury.

The liver is the largest internal organ. It plays a vital role in protein, carbohydrate, and fat, as well as micronutrient metabolism and it is the major site for drug and toxicant metabolism/detoxification.

Liver diseases are some of the most common health programs afflicting Americans. Approximately one-third of American adults and 10-12 percent of children in the United States have fatty liver disease as a consequence of overweight/obesity.  This is by far the most common cause of abnormal liver tests in the nation. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) represents a spectrum of diseases involving hepatic fat accumulation, inflammation with the potential progression to scarring and cirrhosis over time. Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) remains a major cause of mortality and morbidity in the United States, and ALD and NAFLD can proceed through the same pathway from simple fatty liver to cirrhosis in some patients. Importantly, there is no FDA-approved therapy for NAFLD or ALD. Liver cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide and is the fifth most common cause of cancer deaths in men in the United States.

“This effort will help ensure a pipeline of new investigators into liver biology and disease, as well as stimulate research into the field,” McClain said. “We will build upon the broad body of knowledge already existing, take that information into novel areas to create new methods for the prevention and treatment of liver disease.”


UofL goes to the fair

Variety of health services, information offered at the Kentucky State Fair
UofL goes to the fair

Health care providers with the University of Louisville will be featured at the Kentucky State Fair, Aug. 17-27. All services will be provided at the UofL booth in the Health Horizons Pavilion. Most services will be provided between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on the days shown, but fair-goers should check the booth for exact scheduling. Some services require that participants meet certain criteria; staff in the booth can provide information.


    University of Louisville health care providers will be on-site in the Health Horizons Pavilion at the Kentucky State Fair, Aug. 17-27, at the Kentucky Expo Center, and three programs will be available each day of the fair:

    • Mammogram screenings: Providers affiliated with the UofL James Graham Brown Cancer Center and Kentucky Cancer Program will provide mammograms. All screenings will take place in the privacy of the Horses and Hope Cancer Screening Van. For more than 25 years, the Brown Cancer Center and Kentucky Cancer Program have brought the mobile van to the fair to remove barriers to screening, providing women a key service in early detection. Mammogram screenings will be billed to insurance, so participants should have their health insurance verification and photo identification handy. Yearly mammograms are covered by Medicare and most private insurance providers for women over 40. Special discounted rates are available to those without insurance.
    • Vascular screenings, including carotid artery screen and ankle brachial index: Provided daily at the fair, Aug. 17-27. A carotid artery screen is ideal for anyone with dizziness, ringing in the ears or anyone with a family history of carotid artery disease. It also is indicated for smokers and people with high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes or is over the age of 50. The test is administered by a registered technologist and uses ultrasound technology. The ankle brachial index screening is ideal for anyone with leg pain while walking or resting or anyone with a family history of peripheral arterial disease. It also is indicated for smokers and people with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or is over the age of 50. This test utilizes blood pressure cuffs to determine the amount of blood flow to your legs.
    • Education, prevention and survivorship information from the Kentucky Cancer Program: The Kentucky Cancer Program is a statewide cancer prevention and control program, bringing together local organizations, providers and other partners in planning, implementing and evaluating cancer prevention and control efforts. The KCP staff and volunteers will be on-site providing information and giveaways to fair-goers with the goal of reducing cancer incidence and cancer death in Kentucky.


    Staff from UofL Hospital’s Center for Women & Infants and UofL Physicians-Ob/Gyn & Women’s Health will be on hand at the fair to help women of all ages. The Center for Women & Infants specializes in both high-risk obstetrics and general maternity services and gives expectant families their choice of care from board-certified obstetricians and certified nurse midwives who practice with UofL Physicians-Ob/Gyn & Women’s Health.

    At the fair, staff will be on hand to discuss urogynecology with providers  from the Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery practices, fertility specialists in reproductive endocrinology and infertility, the certified nurse midwifery program, family planning services, and our newest offering – Centering Prenatal Care. Women enter centering groups of 8-10 other expectant mothers and they receive both individualized care as well as the benefits of group discussion.

    Women’s health services will be offered each day beginning Thursday, Aug. 17 through Saturday, Aug. 26.


    The UofL Hospital Level I Trauma Center and the Burn Unit will both provide a variety of services at the fair.

    The Trauma Center is the region’s only Level I trauma unit. Staff will train fair-goers to “Stop the Bleed” on Friday, Aug. 18. This innovative program uses a lifelike replica of the human thigh – complete with faux blood – to train participants in handling bleeds from wounds at the scene where they occur. On Tuesday, Aug. 22, the Trauma Center will participate in Senior Day at the Fair, and feature a walk-through demonstration to help older adults identify potential hazards, help prevent falls and improve balance. The Trauma Center staff will return on Saturday, Aug. 26, with more trauma prevention activities.

    The UofL Burn Unit is the region’s only dedicated adult burn unit and will provide safety information and fun for the entire family. Fair-goers can spin a prize wheel to learn about fire safety and burn care. They also will be able to see the “smoking house” – an animated educational tool with tips on how to keep homes safe from fire. Burn Unit personnel will be at the fair on Wednesday, Aug. 23.


    Senior Day at the Fair will feature two programs that will only be available to fair-goers on that date, Tuesday, Aug. 22:

    • UofL Hospital Pharmacists will share information of interest to older adults, including diabetes, vaccinations, pharmacy services at UofL facilities and more. They also will be available to answer questions one-on-one with fair-goers about their medications and treatments.
    • UofL Hospital Volunteers will be at the fair to provide information on how fair-goers can serve others as a hospital volunteer. Each year, volunteers gain pride in providing meaningful service through their collective thousands of hours of service, helping the staff provide high quality care to patients, their families and the community. A wide array of service opportunities are available, from greeting guests to clerical service and more.

    Also on Senior Day, the UofL booth will provide mammogram screenings, vascular screenings, colon cancer screenings, blood pressure checks, stroke assessments, women’s health information and a walk-through demonstration for older adults to help them avoid falls.


    Several specialty services will be provided by UofL staff at the fair:

    • UofL Physicians-Pediatrics will be at the fair Saturday, Aug. 19, offering vision and blood pressure screenings and a child safety demonstration. UofL Pediatrics provides children and their families with doctors and other providers to see them through the milestones of childhood.
    • UofL Physicians-Diabetes & Obesity Center will be at the fair Wednesday, Aug. 23, providing screenings for prediabetes and diabetes. The screening requires a finger stick and the participant does not have to be fasting.
    • UofL Hospital Infection Control will be at the fair Thursday, Aug. 24, with information on the importance of hand hygiene in preventing the spread of disease. The staff also will show fair-goers the benefits of getting annual flu vaccinations and provide information on when antibiotics should be used and when they should not.
    • Carbon monoxide screening will be available during the final four days of the fair, Thursday, Aug. 24 through Sunday, Aug 27. The carbon monoxide breath test shows the amount of carbon monoxide in the lungs and blood in an indirect, non-invasive manner. Breath carbon monoxide also is an indicator of the levels of approximately 7,000 toxic substances present in cigarette smoke, 69 of which are known to cause cancer. Participants will blow into a small handheld device for several seconds.


    Staff with UofL’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center, the Kentucky Cancer Program and the UofL School of Dentistry will be on hand to provide information, screenings and more:

    • Education, prevention and survivorship information from the Kentucky Cancer Program: Provided daily at the fair. The Kentucky Cancer Program is a statewide cancer prevention and control program, bringing together local organizations, providers and other partners in planning, implementing and evaluating cancer prevention and control efforts. The KCP staff and volunteers will be on-site providing information and giveaways to fair-goers with the goal of reducing cancer incidence and cancer death in Kentucky.
    • Mammogram screenings: Provided daily at the fair. Providers affiliated with the Brown Cancer Center and Kentucky Cancer Program will provide mammograms. All screenings will take place in the privacy of the Horses and Hope Cancer Screening Van. For more than 25 years, the Brown Cancer Center and Kentucky Cancer Program has brought the mobile van to the fair to remove barriers to screening, providing women a key service in early detection. Mammogram screenings will be billed to insurance, so participants should have their health insurance verification and photo identification handy. Yearly mammograms are covered by Medicare and most private insurance providers for women over 40. Special discounted rates are available to those without insurance.
    • Head and neck cancer screenings: Provided Saturday, Aug. 19, Sunday, Aug. 20, Tuesday, Aug. 22, Saturday, Aug. 26 and Sunday, Aug. 27. The UofL School of Dentistry and the Kentucky Cancer Program are observing the 25th anniversary of their collaboration in providing head and neck assessments at the fair. Dental students and faculty have conducted more than 3,800 screenings since the collaboration began. This oral head and neck exam is painless and quick, and open to everyone. Participants wearing dentures will be asked to remove them during the 10-minute exam.
    • Prostate cancer screenings: Provided Saturday, Aug. 19-Sunday, Aug. 20. Prostate screenings are recommended for men with average risk starting at age 50. African-American men and anyone with a brother, father or son who had prostate cancer before age 65 should begin getting screened for prostate cancer at age 45. Testing will involve a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test that involves taking a small amount of blood. A digital rectal exam also will be performed in the privacy of the Horses and Hope Cancer Screening Van to feel for any lumps, bumps or other abnormalities. The results of the PSA will be mailed about two weeks after the fair ends. The entire testing process takes approximately 20 minutes.
    • Colon cancer screenings: Provided Monday, Aug. 21 through Sunday, Aug. 27. Colon cancer screenings with FIT kits are available to anyone over 50 who has not had a colonoscopy within the past 10 years or a stool test in the past year. A free take-home kit will be available for men and women 50 and older and to younger participants who are cancer survivors or have a history of cancer in close relatives. The participant will complete stool collection at home and then mail it to UofL Hospital in special packaging provided.
    • Cancer resources and Reiki demonstration from the M. Krista Loyd Resource Center at the Brown Cancer Center: Provided Thursday, Aug. 24. The Krista Loyd Center provides a peaceful environment for patients with cancer to learn, relax and heal emotionally. A wealth of support services is available along with cancer education and information. One service provided is the Japanese technique of Reiki for stress reduction and healing promotion. Personnel from the Loyd Center will demonstrate the technique.


    A variety of screenings and information will be provided to help fair-goers lessen their risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke:

    • Vascular screenings, including carotid artery screen and ankle brachial index: Provided daily at the fair, Aug. 17-27. A carotid artery screen is ideal for anyone with dizziness, ringing in the ears or anyone with a family history of carotid artery disease. It also is indicated for smokers and people with high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes or is over the age of 50. The test is administered by a registered technologist and uses ultrasound technology. The ankle brachial index screening is ideal for anyone with leg pain while walking or resting or anyone with a family history of peripheral arterial disease. It also is indicated for smokers and people with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or is over the age of 50. This test utilizes blood pressure cuffs to determine the amount of blood flow to your legs.
    • Coronary artery disease screenings:Provided Thursday, Aug. 17. This simple blood test is ideal for individuals with a family history of heart disease, high blood pressure, shortness of breath, heartburn or high cholesterol. This test measures to see if you have blockages in your coronary arteries, the vessels that supply blood to your heart.
    • Hands-only CPR: Provided Thursday, Aug. 17. This award-winning program trains fair-goers to be lifesavers in the event of cardiac arrest. UofL staff will train participants in hands-only cardiac pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) which is pushing fast and hard in the center of chest. For every minute’s delay in starting CPR, a cardiac arrest victim’s chances of survival decrease by 10 percent. Hands-only CPR helps beat those odds.
    • Stroke risk assessments and blood pressure screening: Provided Tuesday, Aug. 22 and Saturday, Aug. 26. The UofL Hospital Comprehensive Stroke Center was the first certified stroke center in Kentucky. Staff will provide free stroke risk assessment and blood pressure checks to fair-goers.