News

A special Halloween treat for NICU families

A special Halloween treat for NICU families

Family delivers Halloween baskets to NICU

Last year, Jaclyn Maria and her husband were leaving University of Louisville Hospital with a brand new bundle of life, Luca. Taking home their baby boy the day before Halloween was a special time for the family, after a challenging journey awaiting his arrival.

Jaclyn had been on bed rest at the hospital for 10 weeks after going into labor at 22 weeks. She delivered Luca on Oct. 1, 2017, at 32 weeks, and he stayed in the NICU for a month.

Jaclyn says she had a unique experience at the Center for Women and Infants at UofL Hospital. She worked with a music therapist to write songs for her baby and visited with a therapy dog to ease her anxiety.

“I had a daily a routine, and the weeks passed quickly,” she said.

“The staff did so much to spoil us and make the season of Halloween with our son special despite being in the NICU,” Jacyln said. “Thanks to the staff, we have fond memories of what could have been a very difficult time for our family.”

She received a Halloween card with Luca’s footprint, and a group of volunteers who knit costumes for the NICU babies made him a sock monkey outfit with his name and birthdate.

“It was a gift you don’t expect that means so much, and we treasure that,” she said.

As a way to pay it forward, Jaclyn launched a fund-raiser this year to fill enough Halloween baskets for every family in the NICU. Filled with candy and care items like tissues and lotion, she delivered the baskets in time to make it a special Halloween for those in a similar circumstance.

“We can’t believe it has been a year – they did so much for us while we were here and we are glad to bring cheer to others,” Jaclyn said.

Baby boom comes to UofL Center for Women & Infants in July

Birthing center sees highest number of deliveries for a single month in 10 years
Baby boom comes to UofL Center for Women & Infants in July

Giving babies such as sleeping Fred Crosthwaite IV the best possible start in life is the goal of the Center for Women & Infants. In July, the center witnessed the highest number of deliveries for a single month – 200 – in a decade.

The final numbers are in, and oh, baby, July was booming at the Center for Women & Infants at University of Louisville Hospital.

The center witnessed its highest number of deliveries for a single month in 10 years – 200 in the month of July alone.

CWI Director Libby Smith said the last time the center witnessed that level of deliveries was in July 2007, when 211 babies were delivered.

She attributes the high number of deliveries to the high quality care provided by the staff and to the number of birthing options offered by providers who deliver at the Center for Women & Infants.

“We offer expectant moms more choices than virtually any other birthing facility in our region,” Smith said. “Women can receive prenatal care and have their babies delivered by an obstetrician or a certified nurse midwife. They can experience labor in or out of water. They can receive traditional individual care or be part of our new centering groups in which expectant moms receive support from other expectant moms.

“And if a cesarean birth is medically called for, our family-centered cesarean delivery with the clear drape option allows moms and dads to see their little ones as they are born.”

The center also provides evidence-based care for high-risk pregnancies and deliveries. “We have exceptional maternal-fetal specialists – doctors who specialize in high-risk pregnancies – leading our multidisciplinary teams who are ready and able to handle virtually any situation,” Smith said. 

The center also practices Kangaroo Care, the placing of newborns skin-to-skin with moms and dads to comfort baby and foster bonding. The Center for Women & Infants has earned Baby-Friendly Designation by Baby-Friendly USA, for providing an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother/baby bonding. Also, La Leche League of Louisville meets monthly at the center, giving new moms support in breastfeeding, and the center’s Beautiful Beginnings prenatal care classes help expectant moms and dads prepare for their new baby.

Even with July’s record number of births, the center is ready to accommodate even more expectant families and bring new lives into the world, Smith said. “Delivering babies and giving them the best possible start in life is what we are all about,” she said.

For details about the Center for Women & Infants at UofL Hospital, visit the center website or call 502-562-3325.

Health professionals can expand primary care skills through UofL dentistry continuing education courses

Health professionals can expand primary care skills through UofL dentistry continuing education courses

UofL School of Dentistry faculty member performs an oral health screening on a child.

As health care providers seek to better meet the needs of their patients, interdisciplinary practice has become increasingly crucial.

This summer, health professionals from several disciplines can expand their skillset with new courses offered through the University of Louisville School of Dentistry’s Office of Continuing Education.

The first course, “Local Anesthesia for Advanced Nursing: Acute Dental Pain Management in a Primary Care Setting,” set for June 18 from 8a.m. – 3:30p.m., will teach nurses how to address acute dental pain when patients can’t immediately visit a dentist. The course, which costs $150, will focus on how to administer block and infiltration oral anesthesia.

“If a patient shows up in a primary care office with tooth pain late on a Friday afternoon or in a hospital emergency room over the weekend, a trained health professional could inject a long-acting local anesthetic to help manage the pain until the patient could get to a dentist the following week,” said Dedra Hayden, M.S.N., A.P.R.N.-B.C., School of Nursing assistant professor.

The School of Dentistry also will offer the course, “Integrating Oral Health into the Primary Care Setting Through Allowable Reimbursement Techniques” on July 9 from 8a.m. – 12:30p.m. The course, geared toward physicians, physicians’ assistants, registered nurses, advanced practice registered nurses and dental hygienists, informs these health care providers about their allowed role in conducting state required oral health screenings for Kentucky children entering Kindergarten, and understand that it is a billable service. The screening involves looking into a child’s mouth for signs of decay and reporting it on a required form.

The course will focus on optimizing oral health for evidence-based, patient-centered care and will include recent federal recommendations on prevention of tooth decay in children ages 5 and younger in the primary care setting. The class is $75 through advance online registration and $110 for on-site registration.

Both continuing education courses are part of the interdisciplinary collaboration between the UofL schools of dentistry and nursing, established through a $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration to integrate nursing and dental students in practice.

Since 2013, the schools’ collaboration has focused on the connection between oral and systemic health.

“Over the past several decades, there has been a tremendous amount of research directed at discovering the links between oral health and overall body health,” Hayden said. “The primary care provider can perform an oral exam and identify lesions in the mouth to indicate a systemic disease and the dental provider can identify when to consult primary care, therefore developing a reciprocal referral process.”

UofL nursing and dental students have engaged in joint seminars, standardized patient learning and clinical experiences to better identify and manage systemic diseases sometimes linked to oral health, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

“Our interprofessional collaboration has focused on the continued improvement of oral health across the lifespan and has contributed to the development of cutting edge providers in our community,” said Daniel Fadel, D.M.D., director of the School of Dentistry Office of Continuing Education.

For more information on the courses and to register, click here.

 

May 11, 2016

Combination vaccine could reduce number of shots for infants

UofL physician-led study showing hexavalent vaccine safe and effective against six diseases
Combination vaccine could reduce number of shots for infants

Gary S. Marshall, M.D.

A new combination vaccine may reduce the number of injections required to keep infants and toddlers up to date with the United States infant immunization schedule recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In a phase III trial reported in the August 2015 issue of Pediatrics, the vaccine was determined to be effective, safe and well-tolerated. Gary S. Marshall, M.D., professor of pediatrics at the University of Louisville, was the principal investigator of the multi-center trial and first author of the report.

The hexavalent vaccine combination, known as DTaP5-IPV-Hib-HepB, is aligned with the recommended immunization schedule and is expected to protect children against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) and hepatitis B. The trial, coordinated at UofL, included nearly 1500 children in multiple centers across the United States.

The long list of immunizations in the recommended immunization schedule can lead to deferred injections and limit the addition of new vaccines. Depending on which vaccine combinations are used by an individual medical practice, this new vaccine combination may mean an infant receives 1 to 4 fewer injections.

“It has gotten complicated because there are so many vaccines, which is good news because there are fewer sick children. Having combination vaccines is more good news – it makes things simpler without compromising protection,” Marshall said. “Hopefully, this vaccine combination will improve coverage rates. Studies show that when you use combination vaccines, more kids get vaccinated on time and by two years of age more are fully protected. When you make it easier, you get better coverage.”

A similar hexavalent vaccine has been available in Europe for more than a decade and has resulted in more timely immunizations.

The report in Pediatrics, entitled “Immunogenicity, Safety, and Tolerability of a Hexavalent Vaccine in Infants,” indicates that children who were given the new vaccine developed immunity to the listed diseases equivalent to that received from an existing immunization regimen. The children experienced a slightly higher rate of redness at the injection site and slightly higher rate of self-limited fever following the injections, as compared with the established regimen. Children receiving both the new vaccine and the established regimen were followed for serious adverse health events for six months following the final dose, with no safety signals raised in either of the two groups.

The new vaccine is currently under review by the Food and Drug Administration. After approval, the vaccine will be available for incorporation into the routine childhood schedule.

“Once it is licensed, we can take pride in having brought this new vaccine to the pediatric community and having done our part to simplify the routine immunization schedule,” Marshall said.

FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE:  Dr. Marshall has been an investigator on clinical trials funded by GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Novartis, Pfizer and Sanofi Pasteur, and he also has received honoraria from these companies for service on advisory boards.

October ‘Beer with a Scientist’ program looks up at the stars

October ‘Beer with a Scientist’ program looks up at the stars

Gerard Williger, Ph.D.

The October Beer with a Scientist program invites participants to look up at the night sky with a discussion on “How and where did stars form in the distant past?” presented by Gerard Williger, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Louisville. The program gets underway at 8 p.m., Oct. 15, at Against the Grain Brewery, 401 E. Main St. in Louisville.

Williger also is a visiting professor at the Jeremiah Horrocks Institute of the University of Central Lancashire, Preston, England; an adjunct faculty member in astrophysics at the Institute for Computational and Astrophysical Sciences at Catholic University of America, Washington; and a guest lecturer at the Observatory de la Côte d'Azur, University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, Nice, France.

Beer with a Scientist is a relaxed presentation of scientific information in language that any non-scientist will understand. The program is sponsored by Louisville Underground Science, an informally organized group made up of people who are “passionate about disseminating all things science to the general public of Louisville.”

Admission is free. Purchase of beer, other beverages or menu items is not required but is encouraged. Organizers add that they also encourage Beer with a Scientist patrons to drink responsibly.

For more information, contact Beer with a Scientist founder and organizer Levi Beverly, assistant professor, Departments of Medicine and Pharmacology & Toxicology, at 502-852-8968 or levi.beverly@louisville.edu.

 

University of Louisville institute focuses on sustainable health and optimal aging

The societal phenomenon known as the Baby Boom has impacted every aspect of life since it first burst on the scene following World War II. As these people reach what had been called their senior years, their effect on aging and expectations of older citizens is no less dramatic.

Understanding these societal implications, the University of Louisville Board of Trustees recently created the UofL Institute for Sustainable Health and Optimal Aging.

“Through this institute, the University of Louisville will grow the knowledge base related to the aging process, not just biologically, but also in terms of function, environment, culture and socio-economic aspects,” said David L. Dunn, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president for health affairs at UofL. “The need for multi-disciplinary approaches to examine issues that our aging population faces is significant because no issue stands on its own; all are inter-related from a health, social science, legal and policy perspective.”

As envisioned, the institute likely will include faculty, staff and students from nearly every school and college comprising the University of Louisville, including arts and sciences, dentistry, engineering, law, medicine, nursing, public health and social work.

The growth in the population over 65 years of age is significant with more than 40 million people in the United States over the age of 65 at the time of the 2010 census. This is a 13.3 percent increase from 2000. However, that number is expected to reach nearly 72 million by 2030, an 80 percent increase over 2010. In Kentucky, the numbers are nearly as dramatic. The Commonwealth is predicted to see a 56 percent increase in people 65 and older by 2030, reaching just more than 900,000.

No less than seven national senior care companies are headquartered in Louisville. Additionally, UofL houses the Commonwealth’s only fellowship program in geriatrics and has a nationally recognized polypharmacy in the elderly education program.

“Louisville is becoming the epicenter of business activity related to the aging population and this offers significant opportunities for collaboration and partnering for the university to address education, research and advocacy programs for the elderly,” Dunn said.

Further, UofL officials have had collaborative discussions with researchers at other leading universities including Duke University, the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Mt. Sinai Medical Center, among others.

Tse named director of bone marrow transplantation division at University of Louisville

Tse named director of bone marrow transplantation division at University of Louisville

Williams Tse, M.D.

William Tse, M.D., associate professor of medicine and eminent scholar in hematologic malignancies research at the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center at West Virginia University, has been named the new director of Bone Marrow Transplantation at the University of Louisville James Graham Brown Cancer Center, a part of KentuckyOne Health. Tse will join UofL Nov. 1.

Tse will hold the Marion F. Beard Endowed Chair in Hematology Research and become a member of the cancer center’s Developmental Biology Program.

“Dr. Tse is emerging as one of the thought leaders in bone marrow transplantation,” said Donald Miller, M.D., Ph.D., director of the JGBCC. “He has trained and worked at several of the leading blood cancer programs in the nation. We look forward to his leading our program at UofL.”

Tse has been at West Virginia since 2009, where he also is the co-leader the Osborn Hematologic Malignancies Program. Prior to joining West Virginia, Tse was on the faculty at the University of Colorado Denver, where he was the director of translational research program for bone marrow transplantation and hematologic malignancies. He also previously was with Case Western Reserve University and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/University of Washington Medical Center.

Tse is active in national organizations, serving in several capacities with the American Society of Hematology, including section chair for the annual meeting’s Oncogene Section and bone marrow transplantation outcome section, as well as the American Society of Clinical Oncology as an annual meeting abstract reviewer and the section chair on geriatric oncology. Tse also serves leadership roles on several editorial boards including as the senior editor of the American Journal of Blood Research, stem cell biomarkers section editor for Biomarker Research, senior editor of the American Journal of Stem Cells and the academic editor of PLoS One.

A graduate of the Sun Yat-Sen University School of Medicine in Guangzhou, Guangdong, in China, he did a thoracic surgical oncology residency at Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center in Guangzhou before completing postdoctoral research fellowships in medical biophysics, immunology and cancer at the Princess Margaret Hospital/Ontario Cancer Institute and the Hospital for Sick Children in Ontario, Canada. He completed clinical pathology and internal medicine residencies at North Shore-Long Island Jewish Hospital before undertaking a senior medical fellowship in clinical research and medical oncology divisions at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center at the University of Washington Medical Center.

UofL ribbon-cutting ceremony official opens renovated medical school instructional building

Ushering in a new era in medical education, officials with the University of Louisville School of Medicine formally celebrated the completion of a $9 million renovation of the school’s 40-year-old instructional building.

“How we educate our future physicians today barely resembles the methods we used four decades ago,” said David L. Dunn, M.D., Ph.D, UofL executive vice president for health affairs. “Instruction now is much more interactive, peer-to-peer and technologically driven. While we have made ad hoc changes through the years, today we celebrate an intensive transformation of a facility that affords each of our students the opportunity to be successful in earning the privilege of providing health care to the people of Kentucky and beyond.”

“The improvements in how we educate our students demanded a significant change in our instructional spaces,” said Toni Ganzel, M.D., dean of the UofL School of Medicine. “While needing new state-of-the-art lecture halls that support active learning, we also needed smaller study spaces the that allow for small-group learning and interaction.”

In addition to creating teaching environments to support the changing instructional techniques of the program that is focused on student-led dialogue, the renovated facility makes uses of an integrated audio-visual infrastructure that allows for the seamless sharing of information from instructor to student and also from student to instructor. The smaller group study rooms have been configured to support the School of Medicine’s six internal mentoring colleges to foster the support of a community for the students as they move through their years within the school’s programs.

The technology enhancements are among the key and fundamental changes undertaken. The first-floor lecture hall houses 30 tables, seating six students each who have the ability to collaborate using their tablets or laptops to share content locally on a table-mounted monitor. The technology provides the ability to switch to any of the six student’s devices at the touch of a button on the display cable, while reviewing information sent at the selection of the facilitator on a second table mounted monitor.

All the tables have a push-to-talk microphone to facilitate student group reporting to the entire class or for asking questions. Each table has a seventh space for the faculty facilitator to “drop in” and participate in the discussion. Faculty can route student laptop or tablet presentations from their table to all of the other tables, and/or on the six high-resolution, ultra bright, large projected displays that circle the room.

Technology enhancements also have created the ability to route audio, video and presentations to 12 small group break-out rooms per floor, where students have control of a large flat-panel monitor for collaboration, and the faculty facilitator controls a second display. For offline study, students can use both displays for local presentation from their devices.

“My colleagues have shown great excitement and enthusiasm in these new spaces,” said Travis Spaulding, president of the class of 2017. “The technological capabilities of the both the classrooms and study areas allow us to collaborate and share ideas like never before. Our administration has demonstrated a tremendous commitment to providing students with the resources necessary to succeed in an era of medical education that is constantly evolving. The University of Louisville School of Medicine is certainly ahead of the curve.”

Messer Construction served as the general contractor and EOP Architects, the architects for the project.

Bone marrow registration drive scheduled Sept. 16-18 at UofL

Set for Sept. 16-17 at the HSC, Sept. 18 on the Belknap campus
Bone marrow registration drive scheduled Sept. 16-18 at UofL

Owen is second from left in this portrait of the McMasters family.

The University of Louisville will host a bone marrow drive from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday (Sept. 16 and 17) on the Health Sciences Center campus in the courtyard between Kornhauser Library and Medical School Instructional Building B, and Thursday (Sept. 18) in the Swain Student Activities Center on the Belknap campus.

The drive is being held to highlight the ever-present need for bone marrow donations for patients such as Owen McMasters, the 15-year-old son of Kelly McMasters, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the UofL Department of Surgery. Diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) three years ago, Owen now needs a bone marrow transplant to fight the disease, requiring a donor with similar genetic composition.

The McMasters family has teamed up with Sharing America’s Marrow to host the donor registration events at UofL.  All it takes to sign up to the national marrow donor registry is completion of a short consent form and a cheek swab, which determines donor/recipient matches. Registrants must be between the ages of 18 and 55 and meet other requirements.

The entire registration process takes about 5 minutes and those who sign up could be the cure for Owen or for the thousands of patients like him who are fighting blood cancers.

For more information on the bone marrow donation process, visit https://www.deletebloodcancer.org/en/faq or contact sam@sharemarrow.com.

For information about Owen and his fight against ALL, “like” the Owen’s Wish page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/OwensWish.

Delivering depression treatment through technology

Delivering depression treatment through technology

Jesse Wright, M.D., Ph.D.

Computer-assisted cognitive behavioral therapy effectively treats depression, showing potential to improve access to the treatment and reduce its cost, according to researchers at the University of Louisville and University of Pennsylvania.

Patients experienced a positive and robust response to online cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), equaling a traditional in-person CBT treatment course with three times more therapist contact, according to the study, which published in the March issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

While one of the most effective non-pharmacological treatments for depression, traditional in-person CBT poses barriers to those who need treatment.

“Traditional CBT takes a fair amount of time, money and resources, and there aren’t enough cognitive behavioral therapists,” said Jesse Wright, M.D., Ph.D., director of the UofL Depression Center, Gottfried and Gisela Kolb Endowed Chair in Outpatient Psychiatry in the UofL School of Medicine, and an author of the study. “The technology delivers treatment more efficiently and reduces cost by allowing many more people to be treated by the same therapist.”

For the study, more than 150 medication-free patients with major depressive disorder were randomly assigned to 16 weeks of either traditional CBT, which entails up to 20 sessions of 50 minutes each, or computer-assisted CBT using the Good Days Ahead program and 12 abbreviated therapy sessions.

The program, which Wright helped develop, consists of nine Internet-based modules that use video, psychoeducation, mood graphs to measure progress and interactive skill-building exercises that help users apply CBT methods in daily life. A dashboard allows clinicians to assess progress and coordinate aspects of treatment.

Both treatment groups experienced significant improvements and similar rates of symptom reduction across the 16 weeks of treatment. Patients with chronic and severe depression benefitted from both treatment courses.

The research was funded by grants totaling more than $2.5 million from the National Institute of Mental Health, the lead federal agency for research on mental disorders and part of the National Institutes of Health.

Authors of the study are Wright, Michael E. Thase, M.D., Tracy D. Eells, Ph.D., M.B.A., Marna S. Barrett, Ph.D., Stephen R. Wisniewski, Ph.D., G.K. Balasubramani, Ph.D., Paul McCrone, Ph.D., and Gregory K. Brown, Ph.D.

Older adults in rural Ky. to benefit from more behavioral health services

UofL Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging receives nearly $2 million from HRSA
Older adults in rural Ky. to benefit from more behavioral health services

Older adult couple talking with a health care provider

Older adults are often burdened with a variety of health conditions, sometimes coupled with loneliness, anxiety and depression. A strategy to engage primary care practitioners in meeting behavioral health needs of older adults is at the heart of a new federal grant awarded to the University of Louisville Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging (ISHOA).

Nearly $2 million in funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will provide stipends each year over a four-year period to 13 master level social work students, five counseling psychology students, and four doctoral level psychiatric nursing students for a total of 88 students. These students will be part of the Rural Geriatric Integrated Behavioral Health (BH) and Primary Care (PC) Training Network and will complete behavioral health practicums in primary care settings throughout Bullitt, Henry, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer and Trimble counties. They also commit to seek employment in those areas upon graduation.

“Isolation and transportation are big issues for older adults. Often there are limited behavioral health clinicians in rural areas, and it is the perfect marriage to incorporate behavioral health services within the primary care offices where older adults are already seeking care,” said Anna Faul, Ph.D., executive director of ISHOA and associate dean of academic affairs at the
UofL Kent School of Social Work.

Christian Furman, M.D., the institute’s medical director and a professor of geriatric and palliative medicine, said the combination of multiple health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart failure and hearing or vision loss can be overwhelming for older adults.

“The mind-body connection is so important,” Furman said. “Physicians can write prescriptions but unless a person understands why they have a disease and receives the proper training on how to be resilient, people can feel helpless in their situation. We see a lot of alcohol and drug-abuse, and now the opioid epidemic.”

As the result of a $2.55 million HRSA grant awarded to the institute in 2015 for the creation of the Kentucky Rural & Underserved Geriatric Interprofessional Program, older adults in rural areas already are seeing the benefits of coordinated care.

Former Henry County resident Lynn Retzlaff, 66, has been living with a degenerative bone disease most of his life, resulting in a number of health complications leading to such factors as poor nutrition, reliance on opioids, isolation and despair.

Through meeting with one of the institute’s community health organizers, Retzlaff was able to get connected with multiple services for older adults, including a nutritionist, a student counselor and transportation services. He also learned new techniques for managing pain.

“I am no longer on opioids,” Retzlaff said. “I now use meditation tapes and have found they help me more than the pain medication. Before, I would cycle between relief and suffering.”

Retzlaff says he now eats more balanced meals and is in an overall better mental state.

“Many older people feel they can’t cope – they feel helpless. Without the help of the institute and community health organizers I would have deteriorated and life would be very gray.”

The newest HRSA grant also aims to bring enhanced training to both students and primary care providers. Utilizing the institute’s already established Interdisciplinary Curriculum for the Care of Older Adults, along with development of a curriculum for the Professional Certificate in Rural Geriatric Interdisciplinary Integrated BH-PC and continuing education courses for health care professionals, the initiative hopes to build capacity for the mind-body approach to care for seniors.

“We are thrilled to receive this grant award,” Faul said. “With this funding, we will improve the health outcomes of vulnerable older adults in our rural counties. We also will dramatically increase the interdisciplinary approach to health care education and service delivery, infuse behavioral health into rural primary care, and provide students with increased employment possibilities.”

Furman, who practices geriatric medicine with UofL Physicians, says both older adults and their care-givers stand to benefit from the grant.

“When you look at a disease like dementia, patients deal with many behavioral disorders like paranoia or agitation, and there can be a lot of anxiety on how to problem-solve around those factors. This grant is important in not only getting behavioral health specialists into rural areas but also in opening up opportunities for physicians and nurse practitioners to coordinate with behavioral specialists to improve patient outcomes from a social support stand-point.”

Watch a video about the institute’s work to benefit older adults in Kentucky.

Duo explores ‘Storytelling, Cancer and Compassion’

A novelist and a scientist will combine their expertise for “Storytelling, Cancer and Compassion: A Duet Talk and Conversation” at the University of Louisville Oct. 9.

The free, public event at 11 a.m. in Chao Auditorium, Ekstrom Library, will feature Cornell University couple Helena Viramontes, English professor and award-winning author, and Eloy Rodriguez, James Perkins endowed professor of environmental studies.

They will discuss how storytelling is universal among cultures and over time as well as being the conduit across generations for scientific and medicinal information. Viramontes refers to curative, medicinal plants helping characters in her short story “The Moths” and novel “Under the Feet of Jesus”; as a scientist, Rodriguez found that most of those references, common in Chicano culture, extend from Aztec plant knowledge and continue to be medically viable.

The event kicks off a discussion series that inaugurates the chemistry department’s Targeting Excellence: Hispanic-Latino Student Initiative to support opportunities for students. The chemistry and English departments are sponsoring campus visits by prominent Hispanic-Latino scientists and writers, supported by UofL’s Brown & Williamson endowment for distinguished speakers.

Viramontes won the 1995 John Dos Passos Prize for Literature and numerous fellowships from groups including the National Endowment for the Arts. She is former coordinator of the Los Angeles Latino Writers Association and a founder of the Southern California Latino Writers and Filmmakers.

Rodriguez has been director of the National Chicano Council for Higher Education’s science fellowship program and founder of the organization Kids Investigating and Discovering Science. His research interests include plant biology, chemical ecology, medicinal chemistry and environmental toxicology.

Also while at UofL, Rodriguez will speak at a chemistry seminar and Viramontes will lead a creative writing seminar.

For more information, contact GB Hammond at 502-852-5998 or gb.hammond@louisville.edu

Bone marrow drive nets more than 1,100 registrants

Vote online through Sept. 29 to help group compete for $50,000 grant

More than 1,100 University of Louisville students, faculty, staff and friends turned out last week to register as bone marrow donors, and both participants and non-participants in the drive can continue to support the effort.

Sharing America’s Marrow (SAM) conducted the event earlier this month on both the Health Sciences Campus and the Belknap campus, and 1,153 donors were registered as potential bone marrow donors.

“This is by far the biggest number SAM has seen in a three-day event,” said Kelli Bullard Dunn, M.D., senior associate dean, statewide initiatives and outreach, School of Medicine. “We are sure many patients fighting blood cancer will have a second chance at life thanks to this effort.”

The event was held to highlight the ever-present need for bone marrow donations for patients such as Owen McMasters, the 15-year-old son of Kelly McMasters, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the UofL Department of Surgery. Diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) three years ago, Owen now needs a bone marrow transplant to fight the disease, requiring a donor with similar genetic composition.

“I know our success was very special and inspiring to the McMasters family while Owen continues his search for a match,” Dunn said.

She added that SAM has been named one of the Top 10 finalists to compete for a $50,000 grant from National Geographic. The magazine’s “Expedition+Granted” contest highlights deserving nonprofit efforts. The public is invited to vote for the effort they believe is the most deserving, with the winner receiving the grant.

“A grant such as this would give SAM the support to produce more drives like the one at UofL across the country, and save even more lives,” Dunn said.

One vote per person per day through Sept. 29 is allowed at http://expeditiongranted.nationalgeographic.com/project/sharing-americas-marrow-sam/.

For more information on the bone marrow donation process, visit https://www.deletebloodcancer.org/en/faq or contact sam@sharemarrow.com.

For information about Owen and his fight against ALL, “like” the Owen’s Wish page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/OwensWish.

 

 

Assistant dean at UofL medical school selected for national program to train women executives

Assistant dean at UofL medical school selected for national program to train women executives

Kimberly Boland, M.D.

An assistant dean of the University of Louisville School of Medicine has been selected to the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program.
 
Kimberly A. Boland, M.D., has been elected for the 2017-2018 ELAM class. ELAM is a year-long fellowship for women faculty in schools of medicine, dentistry and public health. It provides leadership training with extensive coaching, networking and mentoring opportunities aimed at expanding the national pool of qualified women candidates for executive positions in the academic health sciences. Currently,  ELAM alumnae hold leadership positions at 240 academic health organizations worldwide.
 
The election of Boland brings the total of ELAM fellows from UofL to 19, including School of Medicine Dean Toni M. Ganzel, M.D., M.B.A., who participated in 2003-2004.
 
Boland has served as assistant dean of resident education and work environment in the Department of Graduate Medical Education at the UofL medical school since August 2016. Additionally, she holds the positions of vice chair of medical education, director of pediatric residency training and professor in the UofL Department of Pediatrics.
 
Boland is the current president of the Kentucky Pediatric Foundation and immediate past president of the Kentucky Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She also is chair of the Association of Pediatric Program Directors’ Mid-America Region and a member of its Curriculum Task Force.
 
In addition to overseeing the pediatric residency program, Boland oversees eight pediatric fellowship programs at UofL and assisted in the creation of the department’s Development and Behavioral Fellowship, Pediatric Child Abuse Fellowship, Pediatric Pulmonary Fellowship and Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship. She also serves the university on the Promotion and Tenure Committee and the School of Medicine Wellness Committee.
 
She is a past recipient of the Paul Weber Award herself, also with the School of Medicine Master Educator Award and Dean’s Educator Award for Distinguished Teaching along with five clinical teaching awards and seven faculty peer mentoring awards.
 
From Louisville, Boland earned her undergraduate degree from Notre Dame University and her medical degree from UofL. She completed her residency in pediatrics and a fellowship in pediatric critical care at St. Louis Children’s Hospital at Washington University in St. Louis. She is board certified in pediatrics and practices with University of Louisville Physicians.
 
For more information on the ELAM program, visit the program’s website. A complete list of ELAM alumnae selected while they were with UofL is shown below:
 
University of Louisville Alumnae: Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic MedicineProgram

Kathy B. Baumgartner, Ph.D. (2008-2009)
Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Population Health
University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences
 
Anees B. Chagpar, M.D., M.Sc., M.P.H. (2009-2010)
Academic Advisory Dean, School of Medicine
Director, Multidisciplinary Breast Program
Associate Professor of Surgery
University of Louisville School of Medicine
 
Mary Thoesen Coleman, M.D., Ph.D. (2002-2003)
Associate Professor of Family and Community Medicine
Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs, Department of Family and Community Medicine
University of Louisville School of Medicine
 
Lourdes C. Corman, M.D. (1996-1997)
Professor and Vice Chair of Medicine
Chief, Division of Medical Education
University of Louisville School of Medicine
 
Connie L. Drisko, DDS (2001-2002)
Professor of Periodontics
Assistant Dean for Research
University of Louisville School of Dentistry
 
Kelli Bullard Dunn, M.D. (2012-2013)
Vice Dean, Community Engagement and Diversity
Professor of Surgery
University of Louisville School of Medicine
 
Susan Galandiuk, M.D. (2001-2002)
Professor of Surgery
University of Louisville School of Medicine
 
Toni M. Ganzel, M.D., M.B.A. (2003-2004)
Interim Dean, School of Medicine
Professor of Surgery, and Otolaryngology
University of Louisville School of Medicine
 
Diane Harper, M.D. (2015-2016)
Rowntree Professor and Endowed Chair of Family and Geriatric Medicine
Department of Family and Geriatric Medicine
University of Louisville School of Medicine
 
Amy Laura Holthouser, M.D. (2016-2017)
Associate Dean, Medical Education
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
University of Louisville School of Medicine
 
V. Faye Jones, M.D., Ph.D., M.S.P.H. (2007-2008)
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Professor of Pediatrics
University of Louisville School of Medicine
 
Linda F. Lucas, M.D. (1999-2000)
Associate Professor of Anesthesiology
University of Louisville School of Medicine
 
Sharmila Makhija, M.D., M.B.A. (2012-2013)
Chair, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women's Health
Donald E. Baxter Endowed Chair in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Professor of Gynecologic Oncology
University of Louisville School of Medicine
 
Barbara J. McLaughlin, Ph.D. (2000-2001)
Professor of Ophthalmology
Associate Dean for Research
University of Louisville School of Medicine
 
Melanie R. Peterson, D.M.D., M.B.A. (2008-2009)
Associate Professor of Dentistry
University of Louisville School of Dentistry
 
Laura F. Schweitzer, Ph.D. (1998-1999)
Professor, Department of Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology
Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs
Associate Dean of Student Affairs
University of Louisville School of Medicine
 
M. Ann Shaw, M.D. (2013-2014)
Vice Dean, Undergraduate Medical Education
Professor of Medicine
University of Louisville School of Medicine
 
Jill Suttles, Ph.D. (2010-2011)
Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
University of Louisville School of Medicine

UofL’s public car-share program expands to Health Sciences Center, serves downtown

UofL’s public car-share program expands to Health Sciences Center, serves downtown

May 18, 2016

The University of Louisville car-share program is expanding to the Health Sciences Center to serve the downtown area with a new fuel-efficient vehicle available to the public for hourly, overnight and daily rentals.

Reservations have increased 30 percent since 2014 when UofL’s Enterprise CarShare program, which has been operating on the main Belknap campus since 2012, was opened to the public.

“UofL and the city of Louisville are committed to reducing pollution and the number of cars on the road,” said Justin Mog, UofL’s assistant to the provost for sustainability initiatives. “Having cars available to share allows people to commute via bus, carpool, bike or foot, knowing that a vehicle is accessible if needed for an appointment or errand. It also allows residents on or near campus to avoid the expense and hassle of owning a car. Millennials are totally into that.”

The new UofL CarShare vehicle will be parked outside UofL’s Kornhauser Library at 500 S. Preston St. Four other CarShare vehicles are located on Belknap Campus. All cars are cleaned, maintained, insured and fueled by Enterprise CarShare as part of the hourly rental charge.

Anyone over 18 with a valid driver’s license can use the cars, which are available year-round, 24 hours a day. Once users purchase a low-cost annual membership, they can access the vehicles whenever needed for $8 per hour or $56 per day. Details can be found at enterprisecarshare.com.

For more information, email Mog or call 502-852-8575.

Kentucky has highest antibiotic prescribing rate in U.S.; campaign aims to curb overuse

Kentucky has highest antibiotic prescribing rate in U.S.; campaign aims to curb overuse

A new public health campaign is highlighting the need for education and awareness on antibiotic overuse in Kentucky, the state with the highest rate of antibiotic use in the United States.

Although antibiotics are important life-saving drugs that treat bacterial infections – including strep throat and urinary tract infections – their overuse can lead to drug resistance, which occurs when antibiotics no longer cure infections that they should treat, said Bethany Wattles, Pharm.D., clinical pharmacist in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Louisville School of Medicine.

Kentucky Antibiotic Awareness (KAA), a statewide campaign to reduce inappropriate antibiotic use, is led by health professional researchers at the UofL Department of Pediatrics Antimicrobial Stewardship Program with collaboration and financial support from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services Department of Medicaid Services. The campaign provides education and resources to Kentucky health care providers and the public.

“If we continue to overuse antibiotics, even minor infections will become untreatable. This is a serious public health threat,” Wattles said. “To combat the spread of antibiotic resistance, we must use antibiotics only when necessary.”

Examining antibiotic prescriptions for Kentucky children on Medicaid, researchers found that the rate of antibiotic use has been especially high in Eastern Kentucky. In some areas, children are receiving three-times more antibiotic prescriptions than the national average, Wattles said.

Antibiotics are most frequently used for upper respiratory infections, many of which are caused by viruses that antibiotics do not kill.

The majority of antibiotic prescribing is done in outpatient settings, which include medical offices, urgent care facilities, retail clinics and emergency departments. An estimated 30 to 50 percent of this antibiotic use is considered inappropriate, Wattles said.

When antibiotics are prescribed, it is important to take them as instructed; do not share the medicine with others or save for later use.

To learn more, visit the KAA website and follow the campaign on Facebook and Twitter. Health care providers are also encouraged to join the KAA Listserv for newsletter updates, or email KYAntibx@louisville.edu with questions and suggestions.

Disclaimer: This project was supported by the following: Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services: Department for Medicaid Services under the State University Partnership contract titled “Improving Care Quality for Children Receiving Kentucky Medicaid”, Norton Children’s Hospital, and the University of Louisville School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics; School of Public Health and Information Sciences. This content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Department for Medicaid Services.

UofL researchers and doctors recognized as Health Care Heroes

UofL researchers and doctors recognized as Health Care Heroes

Walter Sobczyk, M.D., Susan Harkema, Ph.D., Erle Austin III, M.D., Christian Davis Furman, M.D.

Four UofL faculty were honored as Health Care Heroes this week during an awards presentation by Louisville Business First.

They are:

  • Innovator winner - Susan Harkema, Ph.D., professor, Department of Neurological Surgery, UofL School of Medicine; associate scientific director, Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center; director of research, Frazier Rehab Institute 

Harkema was honored for her research and ongoing commitment to the study of human locomotion. She has dedicated her career to the exploration of technology and development of therapies that will allow individuals with spinal cord injury to recover.

  • ·       Innovator finalist - Walter Sobczyk, M.D., pediatric cardiologist, University of Louisville, UofL Physicians – Pediatric Cardiology, Norton Children’s Hospital; associate professor, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Cardiology, UofL School of Medicine

A finalist in the innovator category, one of Sobczyk’s career highlights was the pioneering work of his pediatric cardiology group to use computer technology to transmit cardiac ultrasounds remotely from small community hospitals throughout the state of Kentucky. This important advancement helped provide high-level care to underserved areas of the state.

  • Provider Winner -Erle Austin III, M.D., cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon, University of Louisville, UofL Physicians - Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery; professor and vice-chairman of the Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, UofL School of Medicine

As winner of the provider category, Austin has spent his career as a physician-educator and surgeon treating adults and children in need of congenital heart repairs. The ability to positively impact a person’s health quickly, along with the challenge of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery made the specialty particularly appealing to him.

  • Provider Finalist – Christian Davis Furman, M.D., geriatrician, UofL Physicians - Geriatrics; professor of geriatric & palliative medicine; interim chief, Division of General Internal Medicine, Palliative Medicine and Medical Education, UofL School of Medicine; Margaret Dorward Smock Endowed Chair in Geriatric Medicine; medical director, UofL Trager Institute

Furman was recognized as a finalist in the provider category for her work in the field of geriatrics. She still makes home visits and in her Q&A with Business First says the most rewarding part of her job is bringing together patients and families to discuss goals of care and advance care planning.

Read more about the Healthcare Hero finalists and winners on the Business First website.

Call for summer research projects

Call for summer research projects

Proposals are now being solicited from faculty to submit a biomedical summer research project for medical students at the University of Louisville.

The student’s stipend support and poster production costs are covered by the School of Medicine’s Summer Research Scholar Program (SRSP) and NIH training grants. 

To submit a project, visit http://louisville.edu/medicine/research/students/srsp/faculty-project-submission      

Deadline is March 10, 2017.

 

 

UofL medical students welcome refugees with donation drive

Group encourages community to donate household items and winter clothing for new arrivals in Louisville

University of Louisville medical students in the Distinction in Global Health (DIGH) track are putting their passion to work for refugees resettling in Kentucky and they are inviting the community to join their effort.

Third-year UofL medical students Allison Lyle and MeNore Lake are spearheading the My New Kentucky Home: Donation Drive to collect clothing and household items for refugees arriving in Kentucky. The donations will be distributed directly to individuals in need by Migration & Refugee Services, a department of Catholic Charities of Louisville, Inc., which assists refugees in the Louisville area. The Kentucky Office for Refugees, also a department of Catholic Charities, reports that about 1,250 refugees arrived in Louisville in 2015 from 23 countries, and expects that many or more in 2016.

It all started late last fall when Lyle and her husband were cleaning out their apartment. Lyle decided she would like to get the unneeded clothing and household items to someone who could use them.

“This was around the same time as the attacks in Paris and the unfortunate discourse around Syrian refugees not being wanted,” Lyle said. “I thought we could do a med-school wide outreach program to show this demographic some extra kindness.”

As a member of the Distinction in Global Health track in the UofL School of Medicine, Lyle is particularly concerned with the needs of refugees. She brainstormed with Lake, a medical school classmate and fellow DIGH track member, and they began collecting clothing and household items for donation.

“We both recognize and respect the role of Louisville as a new home to refugees. I see the My New Kentucky Home: Donation Driveas an excellent initiative for our school to recognize and show a sense of community to refugees in Louisville,” Lake said.

The Distinction in Global Health track teaches medical students with interests in global health how to approach the literature and conduct scholarly projects in this field.

“This project, which was totally student-initiated, is in addition to all the work they are doing in school and in the track. It has now turned into a project to help stock up the warehouses around Louisville so that we are more prepared, as a city, to meet the needs of the refugees we are expecting,” said Bethany Hodge, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Global Education Office of the UofL School of medicine and the DIGH program.

The group is collecting new or gently-used items including:

  • Men's, women's and children's clothing
    (greatest need is for winter clothes, shoes, socks, undergarments)
  • Kitchen utensils, pots, pans, dish sets
  • Bedding (blankets, comforters, fleece throws and sheets) and pillows
  • Bath towels, hand towels and rags

Donations may be taken to Michael Keibler in the UofL Office of Student Affairs, “A” Building, 319 Abraham Flexner Way, Suite 210 through Friday, Jan. 29.

Items also may be dropped off at Migration Refugee Services, 2220 W. Market St. from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

To have furniture or other large items picked up, contact Chris Clements, Catholic Charities Assistant Community Resource Developer at 502-636-9263, ext 125

 

Jan. 15, 2016

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, find out ‘What’s Love Got to Do With It?’

UofL Optimal Aging Lecture Series begins spring slate of programs Feb. 10

The Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging at the University of Louisville begins its spring 2016 Optimal Aging Lecture Series with “What’s Love Got to Do With It?,” Wednesday, Feb. 10. The lecture will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the University Club, 200 E. Brandeis Ave.

The Institute’s Drs. Anna Faul, executive director, and Joseph D’Ambrosio, director of health innovation and sustainability, will deliver a timely discussion about the ways to infuse love into caregiving and everyday life as you age.

Infusing love into caregiving and long-term care for older adults is a daunting experience when you are exchausted, and there are minimal resources available to support you as a caregiver. This lecture will combine Faul’s and D’Ambrosio’s expertise in the areas of love, compassion and gerontology to empower caregivers and older adults to maintain love throughout the life span.

Faul and D’Ambrosio are recognized as academic experts in compassionate love; click here to learn about their 2014 study on compassionate love in long-term relationships.

Admission is $17 per person and includes lunch. Reservations are required; for information, call 502-852-8953 or email natalie.pope@louisville.edu.