UofL medical school husband and wife alumni return to practice with ULP

UofL medical school husband and wife alumni return to practice with ULP

Nurse Practitioner Christine Kerr, left, confers with Drs. Chris and Connie Angellis in their clinic at the University of Louisville Physicians Outpatient Center. The Anggelises, both UofL School of Medicine alumni, recently returned to UofL to practice.

Thirty-four years after they met as students at the UofL School of Medicine, cardiologists Drs. Chris and Connie Anggelis have joined University of Louisville Physicians and the school’s faculty.

They started seeing patients in June at the UofL Physicians Health Care Outpatient Center.

“I’m very excited about returning to the university,” said Connie Anggelis. “We went to medical school here, and we’ve been practicing in Louisville since. We toured the medical school during a class reunion, and it brought back great memories. We’ve been talking about doing this for a number of years.”

Chris said their return to the university “allows us to maintain our focus on patient care while giving something back to the community."  He said he enjoys teaching young doctors, “and hopefully some of them will stay in this community.”

For he and Connie, patient care is paramount.  “It’s more about quality rather than the number of patients you see,” said Connie. “I think doctors need to be able to spend adequate time with their patients. It allows us to educate them about cardiac issues. We also want to teach students to always put the patient first.”

Chris said their  goal is to be available and responsive to  patients’ needs. “We’re going to have multiple offices in different areas to accommodate them,” he said.

In addition to downtown at the UofL Physicians Health Care Outpatient Center, they will be seeing patients at offices in eastern Jefferson County (Jewish East and Jewish Northeast) and in Hillview in Bullitt County, where they have practiced in the past. They will also see patients at Jewish Hospital downtown.

“If a patient needs to be seen, we will see them when the referring doctor wants them seen,” Chris said.

Chris focuses on interventional cardiology and Connie on non-invasive cardiology, and both are passionate about preventive care, guiding patients on how to achieve health goals and do the little things to prevent big problems with their hearts later.

“An ounce of prevention can go a long way,” Connie said. “You would much rather see me before an event occurs, rather than after. I do my best to educate my patients.”

She said the combination of heart disease and stroke is the leading cause of death in Kentucky, and better education and prevention is needed.

“We have a long way to go in respect to prevention in Kentucky,” she said. “It’s about getting people to want to change their lifestyle. Preventive care can improve the quantity and quality of life.”

Medicine in the family

After meeting as students at the UofL School of Medicine, Chris and Connie double-matched for their residencies in internal medicine at Wake Forest and for fellowships in cardiovascular disease at Emory.

After their training was finished in 1990, they returned to Louisville. For them, it was returning home. But after 25 years in private practice together, they felt it was time to return to UofL.

“We received our medical education from UofL, and raised our children in this community,” Chris said.

All three of the Anggelis’ children are in health care: Their son, Nick, just finished dental school at UofL; one daughter, Lauren, is in the doctoral program for clinical neuropsychology at UofL; and another daughter, Emily, is in medical school at the University of Kentucky.

“We love our state and it is so nice to be back at UofL, where it all began for us,” said Connie.

Hats for Hope supports breast cancer patient care with Derby style

Twelfth annual event set for April 16 to benefit UofL’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center
Hats for Hope supports breast cancer patient care with Derby style

Hats for Hope has raised more than $500,000 over the past 11 years to support breast cancer patient care through its signature pre-Derby silent auction cocktail event. The 12th Annual Hats for Hope in 2015 will feature approximately 300 new and gently worn designer Kentucky Derby hats as well as 100 auction packages including gift baskets, jewelry, gift certificates, trips and more.

Hats for Hope will be held Thursday, April 16, from 6-9:30 p.m. at Triple Crown Conference Center, 1776 Plantside Dr.

“We have more hats this year than ever, so people are sure to find a few favorites as well as gift packages and tickets to favorite sporting events. Tickets go fast, so it is recommended that ticket purchases be made early,” said Ann Mudge, 2015 event chair.

Tickets are $30 in advance or $40 the day of the event. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit

Hats for Hope has grown from a small group of volunteers creating a corporate fundraiser to a premiere event and Louisville tradition to kick off the Derby season. The event celebrates survivorship, friendship, fun and fashion, with 100 percent of event proceeds supporting breast cancer patient care through the M. Krista Loyd Resource Center at the University of Louisville’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center, a part of KentuckyOne Health. The Resource Center provides a peaceful environment for cancer patients to learn, relax and heal emotionally. Last year, the event netted $60,000 supporting the cause.

In addition to the silent auction, guests will enjoy hors d’oeuvres and desserts, a complimentary specialty cocktail and a cash bar. Attendees also will enjoy trying on hats and posing for photographs with their friends on the Hats for Hope Pink Carpet. A highlight of the evening will be the presentation of moving stories of hope and survival from cancer survivors.

Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women and the second leading cause of cancer death in women after lung cancer. Nationally, an estimated 182,460 new cases of invasive breast cancer will occur among women this year and over 40,000 will die of the disease. Breast cancer does not only affect the patient but also has a devastating impact on the families of those whose loved ones are diagnosed with the disease. Supporting Hats for Hope helps reduce the burden this disease has on our community.

About the James Graham Brown Cancer Center

The James Graham Brown Cancer Center is a key component of the University of Louisville Health Sciences Center. As part of the region's leading academic, research and teaching health center, the cancer center provides the latest medical advances to patients, often long before they become available in non-teaching settings. The JGBCC is a part of KentuckyOne Health and is affiliated with the Kentucky Cancer Program. It is the only cancer center in the region to use a unified approach to cancer care, with multidisciplinary teams of physicians working together to guide patients through diagnosis, treatment and recovery. For more information, visit our web site,

Recent journal article echoes UofL professor's concerns on e-cigarettes

A University of Louisville professor who is the lead author of the American Heart Association’s policy statement on e-cigarettes has raised the same type of concerns expressed in a recent New England Journal of Medicine showing that e-cigarette vapor can contain cancer-causing formaldehyde at levels up to 15 times higher than regular cigarettes.

Dr. Aruni Bhatnagar, the Smith and Lucile Gibson Chair in Medicine at the University of Louisville, chaired a 10-member American Heart Association panel of experts in formulating the association's first-ever policy statement on e-cigarettes released in August 2014. The article's findings echo the concerns raised by Bhatnagar and the group over what is still unknown about e-cigarettes.

Bhatnagar's voices his concerns in the video shown here.

"People need to know that e-cigarettes are unregulated and there are many variables that we don’t know about them," Bhatnagar says. "Recent studies raise concerns that e-cigarettes may be a gateway to traditional tobacco products for the nation’s youth, and could re-normalize smoking in our society.”

Because e-cigarettes contain nicotine, they are tobacco products and should be subject to all laws that apply to these products, according to recommendations in the policy statement. The association also calls for strong new regulations to prevent access, sales and marketing of e-cigarettes to youth, and for more research into the product’s health impact.


The article, “Hidden Formaldehyde in E-Cigarette Aerosols,” is available at


NFL stars will walk The Julep Ball red carpet

NFL stars will walk The Julep Ball red carpet

Four of the NFL’s finest will join University of Louisville Head Football Coach Bobby Petrinoon the red carpet at The Julep Ball.

The premier Derby Eve Party with a Purpose, The Julep Ball is held annually on the evening before the Kentucky Derby and supports the work of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville. The event on May 2 at the KFC Yum! Center kicks off with a 6:30 p.m. cocktail reception, followed by dinner and a live auction at 8 p.m.

An Official Event of the 140th Kentucky Derby®, The Julep Ball provides a celebrity-studded night to remember with a multi-course seated dinner, a knock-your-socks-off auction, multiple open specialty bars, complimentary valet parking, and dancing until the wee hours of Derby morning. Tickets to The Julep Ball sell out early each year. The full evening’s entertainment is $600 per person, $5,000 for a table of 10, and $100 per person for dance-only tickets. For further information and to buy tickets, go to The Julep Ball website,

Two former UofL Cardinals now in the NFL – Eric Wood and Joe Johnson – will join EJ Manuel and Kyle Rudolph at The Julep Ball:

Joe Johnson

Joe Johnson attended the University of Louisville for four years where he was a full time starter for three years and was honored as a first team “All American” in his last year as a Cardinal.  He chose to forgo his senior year in college and was drafted 13th overall in the 1994 NFL draft by the New Orleans Saints. Joe received a number of honors during his 10-year NFL career, including: Pro Bowl (1998 and 2000), All Madden Team (1998 and 2000), Comeback Player of the Year (2000) and All Rookie Team (1994). He was named to the New Orleans Saints Hall Of Fame in 2007.


EJ Manuel

EJ Manuel is the starting quarterback for the Buffalo Bills. He was the 16th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft out of Florida State University, where he led the Seminoles to their first 12-win season since the 1990’s.  He was named the MVP of the Gator Bowl in 2009 and the MVP of the Senior Bowl in 2013. Off the field, EJ is National Ambassador for Camp Kesem, an organization dedicated to helping children whose parents suffer from cancer and is an advocate for Breast Cancer Awareness and Research in honor of his mother who is a breast cancer survivor


Kyle Rudolph

Kyle Rudolph is a tight end in his fourth season with the Minnesota Vikings. A graduate of Notre Dame and the first tight end to start every game as a freshman, Kyle was the first tight end drafted in the 2011 rookie class. After his breakout year in 2012, earning Pro Bowl MVP honors, he is now regarded as one of the league’s best. Kyle joined his teammates in community outreach activities as a rookie, planting trees as part of Planet Purple Week and visiting University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital when the Vikings were part of the Adopt-A-Room program.


Eric Wood

Eric Wood is a University of Louisville alumnus who played for Coach Bobby Petrino at UofL and is the starting center and team captain for the Buffalo Bills. He was the team's second pick in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft (28th overall). As a Cardinal, he earned Freshman All-American honors, All-Big East honors and Academic All-Big East accolades. Eric finished his collegiate career with 49 consecutive starts at center, the second-longest streak in school history behind Travis Leffew. Today, he is one of the five highest-paid centers in the NFL.


About the James Graham Brown Cancer Center:

The James Graham Brown Cancer Center is a key component of the University of Louisville Health Sciences Center. As part of the region's leading academic, research and teaching health center, the cancer center provides the latest medical advances to patients, often long before they become available in non-teaching settings. The JGBCC is a part of KentuckyOne Health and is affiliated with the Kentucky Cancer Program. It is the only cancer center in the region to use a unified approach to cancer care, with multidisciplinary teams of physicians working together to guide patients through diagnosis, treatment and recovery. For more information, visit our web site,

The Julep Ball is sponsored in part by Advanced Cancer Therapeutics, Ashton Advertising, Bob Montgomery Dixie Honda, Boutique Serendipity, The Dahlem Company, Dillards, Enterprise, Headz Salon, Heaven Hill, Hubbuch & Co., InGrid Design, Jaust Consulting Partners, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, KentuckyOne Health, Kroger, Louisville Magazine, Maker’s Mark, Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company, Morgan Stanley, MPI Printing, Nfocus, Old 502 Winery, Power Creative, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, WAKY and WHAS11.



Can nature thrive in the city? Beer with a Scientist, Nov. 16 with Margaret Carreiro

Learn how you can help conservation and urban development co-exist
Can nature thrive in the city? Beer with a Scientist, Nov. 16 with Margaret Carreiro

Margaret Carreiro, Ph.D.

From bees to birds to bats, species around the world are threatened at unprecedented rates. Many people feel powerless to help preserve local species because they think “real” nature can only be sustained in parks and reserves, but local urban park systems cannot do the job of maintaining native biodiversity alone.

About 120 square miles of plantable land in Jefferson County is residential property. However, much of this green space is planted in lawn, which is a food desert for many species of wildlife.

At the next Beer with a Scientist, Margaret Carreiro, Ph.D., will explain how residents in cities and suburbs can protect native species by weaving local nature into the very places where they live and work. She will describe Reconciliation Ecology, a concept in which habitats for wildlife are created within urban and suburban areas.

“I want people to know they can make a large difference in conservation of local species through their plantings at home,” Carreiro said. “They can use native plants to create food webs and friendly habitat for desired species, especially pollinators and birds. It's about keeping our common species common.”

Carreiro is associate professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Louisville. Her work focuses on understanding how urban environments interact with natural components of cities and suburbs. This includes studying the effects of atmospheric nitrogen from fossil fuel combustion and other sources, invasive species, habitat fragmentation, restoration management and socio-cultural legacies in affecting plant and soil communities and ecosystem processes.

The event begins at 8 p.m. onWednesday, Nov. 16, at Against the Grain Brewery, 401 E. Main St. in Louisville. A 30-minute presentation will be followed by an informal Q&A session.

The Beer with a Scientist program began in 2014, the brainchild of UofL cancer researcher Levi Beverly, Ph.D., who hoped to make science accessible to the public in an informal setting. Once a month, the public is invited to enjoy exactly what the title promises:  beer and science.

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



November 7, 2016

UofL oncology nurse recognized for compassionate care

Heather Hibbard, B.S.N., R.N., to be honored at luncheon, Feb. 28
UofL oncology nurse recognized for compassionate care

Heather Hibbard BSN, RN

Heather Hibbard, B.S.N., R.N., manager of the medical oncology and infusion center at the University of Louisville James Graham Brown Cancer Center, is being honored for making a difference in the lives of cancer patients. Hibbard is one of seven health-care providers who will be in the spotlight at the Third Annual Commitment to Compassion Luncheon, sponsored by Passport Health Plan, Insider Louisville and the Compassionate Louisville Healthcare Constellation. The event is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 28, at the Muhammad Ali Center.

Hibbard uses her training as well as her personal experience to make life a little easier for cancer patients. Her father and grandfather were diagnosed with lung cancer within one month of each other, and passed away one month apart in 2013. Although it was a painful time for her, that experience helps her understand how to improve care provided to the patients at the Brown Cancer Center.

Hibbard says she wants to provide the kind of care for patients and families that she would want to receive. To help make things easier, she developed a lab and line room where patients can have their vitals and lab work done before seeing the physician. This reduced patient wait times by two thirds.

“Cancer does not have to be a death sentence, but the patients need top-notch, nurturing and individualized care,” Hibbard said. “My one goal in life is to make a difference in cancer care – to give others hope that we are doing everything we can as an oncology center. I have a great group of people who want better care for their patients and I help them in reaching that goal.”

It is often little things that make a difference for patients.

“You don’t ever hear, ‘thank you for accessing my port,’” Hibbard said. “But you do hear ‘thank you for being gentle with me,’ ‘thank you for listening,’ ‘thank you for calling home health and getting things set up so my life is a little easier.’”

The Commitment to Compassion luncheon, emceed by television health and science reporter Jean West, will include recognition of the compassionate care honorees, a performance by the West Louisville Boys Choir and a panel discussion on “Innovative and compassionate care in West Louisville.” Reservations are available online.

Physician leader at UofL School of Medicine’s Madisonville campus honored by Kentucky Academy of Family Physicians

Physician leader at UofL School of Medicine’s Madisonville campus honored by Kentucky Academy of Family Physicians

William J. Crump, M.D.

The Kentucky Academy of Family Physicians (KAFP) has recognized the work of William J. Crump, M.D., associate dean, University of Louisville School of Medicine Trover Campus. The organization recently awarded Crump the Distinguished Service Award, an award given to a family physician who has served in leadership roles with the KAFP and has advanced the specialty of family medicine.

Nominated by William Thornbury, M.D., Crump of Madisonville, Ky., is praised for his leadership and tireless effort promoting evidence-based medicine through the publication of scholarly work. Crump, who served as editor of the Kentucky Academy of Family Physicians Journal from 2006-2017, helped transform the journal into a peer-reviewed publication for the scholastic contributions of the Commonwealth’s family medicine community.

“Perhaps the most enjoyable part of my role was getting students, residents and young faculty through their first manuscript effort, from bright idea to published product. They are our future,” Crump said.

Not only has Crump led the academy in his role of bolstering the scholarship for health improvement of Kentuckians, as an educator-physician Crump teaches medical students at the  UofL School of Medicine Trover Campus in Madisonville. Preclinical students have the opportunity to spend two three-week summer sessions at the campus, working with primary care preceptors. Up to 12 students are selected to spend their third and fourth years of training in Madisonville where they help meet health care needs of rural Kentuckians.


UofL pediatrician joins line-up for ‘Rally to End Child Abuse’ on March 30

Kentucky Governor and First Lady lead program to draw attention to issue
UofL pediatrician joins line-up for ‘Rally to End Child Abuse’ on March 30

Melissa Currie, M.D.

Melissa Currie, M.D., will be among the speakers who “Rally to End Child Abuse,” beginning at 11 a.m., Wednesday, March 30, at the Big Four Bridge Lawn on River Road.

Sponsored by the Family & Children’s Place, Kosair Charities’ Face It® Movement, and other Metro Louisville children’s organizations, the Rally to End Child Abuse kicks off Child Abuse Prevention Month in April.

Currie will join a slate of speakers including Gov. and First Lady Matt and Glenna Bevin, Family & Children’s Place President and CEO Pam Darnall, Louisville Metro Police Department Chief Steve Conrad, Kosair Charities Board Chair Jerry Ward and Kentucky Youth Advocates Executive Director Terry Brooks.

Currie is medical director and chief of the Kosair Charities Division of Pediatric Forensic Medicine and program director of the Child Abuse Pediatrics Fellowship in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Louisville. The division provides a standardized approach to the assessment of child abuse and neglect issues, providing medical expertise on the diagnosis, documentation and follow-up of suspected cases of child physical abuse and neglect. The first board certified child-abuse pediatrician in Kentucky, Currie practices with University of Louisville Physicians.

The pediatric forensic medicine team serves as liaison between the hospital team and community partners such as law enforcement, Child Protective Services and the Department of Justice. The UofL Department of Pediatrics serves with Kosair Children's Hospital as the only statewide medical referral resource for child maltreatment assessments.

The “Rally to End Child Abuse” highlights progress being made in stopping and preventing abuse and healing child survivors and families. According to 2014 data, nearly 23,000 children suffered physical or sexual abuse or neglect in Kentucky. In Jefferson County, that number totaled more than 3,016 children. Abuse creates a lifelong impact in emotional and physical health, in relationships and in every facet of a child’s life through adulthood.

For more information, visit


Cancer Awareness Show features something for everyone

Hillview event on May 21 benefits UofL’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center
Cancer Awareness Show features something for everyone

Something of interest for the entire family – and the chance to help the fight against cancer – will be on tap at the “Cancer Awareness Show,” Saturday, May 21, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hillview Community Center, 298 Prairie Drive.

Proceeds from the day’s activities will benefit research, community outreach and patient support programs of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville.

The event is comprised of three shows-within-the-show: a model train show including 9X9, 4X16 and 3X6 layouts; an arts and crafts show; and “Cruizin’ for Cancer,” a car, truck and motorcycle show and a model car show. Also included are a fire safety house sponsored by the Zoneton Fire Protection District; food and other vendor booths and prize and cash raffles. Representatives from Be The Match will be on hand to provide information about bone marrow donation. The James Graham Brown Cancer Center also will disseminate information on cancer prevention and treatment.

Admission is a cash donation to the James Graham Brown Cancer Center or canned goods to be donated to local food pantries.

“My vision is simple,” said show organizer Richard Luce Jr. “I want to get more information distributed about the multiple types of cancer and how we can prevent and treat it. I also want to support groups who help people dealing with cancer.”

The Hillview location on the southern side of Metro Louisville is by design, Luce said. “With the Hillview, Southern Jefferson County and Bullitt County areas growing, we need these types of events so people don’t always have to go to Downtown Louisville. The more we can help others with this disease (from throughout the region), the better we are.”

Like virtually every American, Luce has a personal connection to cancer. His father died from the disease in June 2013.

“Since my father’s passing, I have striven to improve cancer awareness,” Luce said. “We hear a lot about different types of cancers but how well informed are people about their personal risk and the importance of testing? Perhaps even more importantly, how can we help generate the necessary funding for cancer research and financial aid to those families affected by cancer?

“I am motivated to honor the memory of my father and to hopefully prevent others from enduring the pain of losing a loved one to cancer. In honor of my father’s memory, I have established the Cancer Awareness Show.”

Vendor spaces are still available, Luce said. A vendor space is $20 if paid by 5 p.m., March 31. The cost is $25 if paid from April 1 to the day of the show.

Sponsorships for the show also are available: Platinum, $1,000; Gold, $500; Silver, $300; and Bronze, $100.

For information on vendors, sponsorships or the show, contact Luce at, or 502-802-8308.

About the James Graham Brown Cancer Center:

The James Graham Brown Cancer Center is a key component of the University of Louisville Health Sciences Center. As part of the region's leading academic, research and teaching health center, the cancer center provides the latest medical advances to patients, often long before they become available in non-teaching settings. The JGBCC is a part of KentuckyOne Health and is affiliated with the Kentucky Cancer Program. It is the only cancer center in the region to use a unified approach to cancer care, with multidisciplinary teams of physicians working together to guide patients through diagnosis, treatment and recovery. For more information, visit our web site,

Posted March 9, 2016

Oral bacteria linked to risk of stroke

UofL brain researcher and Japanese collaborators demonstrate the importance of oral health in stroke
Oral bacteria linked to risk of stroke

Robert P. Friedland, M.D.

In a study of patients entering the hospital for acute stroke, researchers have increased their understanding of an association between certain types of stroke and the presence of the oral bacteria (cnm-positive Streptococcus mutans). Robert P. Friedland, M.D., the Mason C. and Mary D. Rudd Endowed Chair and Professor in Neurology at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, was a co-author of the study, published online this month in Scientific Reports, a journal of the Nature Publishing Group.

In the single hospital study, researchers at the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center in Osaka, Japan, observed stroke patients to gain a better understanding of the relationship between hemorrhagic stroke and oral bacteria. Among the patients who experienced intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), 26 percent were found to have a specific bacterium in their saliva, cnm-positive S. mutans. Among patients with other types of stroke, only 6 percent tested positive for the bacterium.

Strokes are characterized as either ischemic strokes, which involve a blockage of one or more blood vessels supplying the brain, or hemorrhagic strokes, in which blood vessels in the brain rupture, causing bleeding.

The researchers also evaluated MRIs of study subjects for the presence of cerebral microbleeds (CMB), small brain hemorrhages which may cause dementia and also often underlie ICH. They found that the number of CMBs was significantly higher in subjects with cnm-positive S. mutans than in those without.

The authors hypothesize that the S. mutans bacteria may bind to blood vessels weakened by age and high blood pressure, causing arterial ruptures in the brain, leading to small or large hemorrhages.

“This study shows that oral health is important for brain health. People need to take care of their teeth because it is good for their brain and their heart as well as their teeth,” Friedland said. “The study and related work in our labs have shown that oral bacteria are involved in several kinds of stroke, including brain hemorrhages and strokes that lead to dementia.”

Multiple research studies have shown a close association between the presence of gum disease and heart disease, and a 2013 publication by Jan Potempa, Ph.D., D.Sc., of the UofL School of Dentistry, revealed how the bacterium responsible for gum disease worsens rheumatoid arthritis.

The cnm-negative S. mutans bacteria is found in approximately 10 percent of the general population, Friedland says, and is known to cause dental cavities (tooth decay). Friedland also is researching the role of oral bacteria in other diseases affecting the brain.

“We are investigating the role of oral and gut bacteria in the initiation of pathology in the neurodegenerative disorders Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s with collaborators in the United Kingdom and Japan.”


Feburary 16, 2016

UofL medical school dean recognized for Army Medical Department support

Lt. Col. J. Patrick Staley, right, presents a U.S. Army Medical Recruiting Brigade certificate of Appreciation to Toni Ganzel, M.D., dean of the University of Louisville School of Medicine, Thursday (Jan. 28) at the University Club on the UofL campus. The recognition was granted for the support shown by Ganzel and the medical school across a variety of activities, including partnership with UofL’s Paris Simulation Center with the brigade for education and training; the provision by UofL of discounted training supplies and training to uniformed personnel; access to medical school grounds for Brigade-sponsored Deployable Rapid Assembly Shelter or “DRASH” exercises showing field medical operations; interaction between Brigade personnel and UofL students and residents; and more. Ganzel also received a battalion coin in recognition of the relationship that continues through the UofL Office of Military Initiatives and Partnerships and the Patriot Partnership Program. “We thank Dean Ganzel and the School of Medicine for their support of the Army Medical Recruiting Brigade and seek to further our partnership in the future,” Staley said.

School of Medicine faculty named editors-in-chief of two peer-reviewed journals

The University of Louisville continues to demonstrate international leadership in medicine as two faculty members have been named editors-in-chief of two peer-reviewed journals.

William Tse, M.D., director of Bone Marrow Transplantation at the University of Louisville James Graham Brown Cancer Center, has been named editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Transplantation Research and Medicine (IJTRM).Heidi M. Koenig, M.D., professor in the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, has been named editor-in-chief of the Journal of Medical Regulation (JMR).

IJTRM is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal covering research in tissue and organ transplantation and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. It also publishes research articles in the field of transplant rejection, immunosuppressant drugs, matching techniques, human genetic variability, transplant infectious diseases, therapeutics for human diseases, device-oriented aspects of transplantation, genetically engineered cells for transplantation, transplant complications and applications, transplant ethics and policy and more.

JMR is published by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), an organization representing the 70 state medical licensure boards in the United States and territories. State medical boards license and discipline allopathic and osteopathic (M.D. and D.O.) physicians and, in Kentucky and other jurisdictions, other health care professionals. The quarterly, peer-reviewed journal features research and articles of interest to members of medical boards and individuals interested in medical licensing and regulation.

About William Tse, M.D.:

 Tse was named director of the bone marrow transplantation program and the Marion F. Beard Endowed Chair in Hematology Research in the UofL Department of Medicine in September 2014. 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.

He was honored “the Top Cancer Doctors from United States of America in 2015” by Newsweek Magazine, Top Medical Oncologist in 2014; Leadership Development Program Award from American Society of Clinical Oncology in 2012; T. Franklin Williams Scholar Award from American Association of Specialty Professors in 2006, among other awards.

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 other journal 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 academic editor of PLoS One.

A graduate of the Sun Yat-Sen University School of Medicine in Guangzhou, Guangdong, China, he did a thoracic surgical oncology residency at Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center 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.

About Heidi M. Koenig, M.D.:

 In 2015, Koenig joined the FSMB Editorial Committee, which provides editorial guidance for JMR. Upon the retirement of the previous editor earlier this year, Koenig was named editor-in-chief of JMR.

“I hope to use my extensive knowledge of the various functions of the FSMB to the fullest by serving on the editorial committee,” Koenig said. “We are a small but growing journal and are working toward a greater online presence as well as becoming indexed.”

A journal is indexed if its articles are listed in a database such as PubMed or MedLine.

Koenig, who joined the UofL faculty in 2004, was named to the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure in 2013 and has served on that board’s task forces on Standardized Minimum Sanctions and Telemedicine and as the board’s representative to the Kentucky Board of Nursing APRN Council. In addition to licensing and regulating physicians, the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure regulates the practice of physician assistants, surgical assistants, athletic trainers and acupuncturists.

Koenig has been an active member of the Kentucky Society of Anesthesiology, serving as president from 2010-2014. She is author of more than 30 peer-reviewed publications in basic and clinical sciences. She gained editorial experience as an ad hoc editor for Metabolism, Anesthesia and Analgesia, Journal of Neurosurgical Anesthesiology, British Journal of Anaesthesia and Journal of Clinical Anesthesiology.


UofL pediatrician part of national study reported in New England Journal of Medicine

Therapeutic hypothermia doesn’t improve results in children who suffer heart attacks
UofL pediatrician part of national study reported in New England Journal of Medicine

Melissa Porter, M.D.

Dropping a child’s body temperature following a heart attack does not appear to improve the child’s chance of surviving or their heart function one year after the heart attack, reports a team of physicians including Melissa B. Porter, M.D., an associate professor in the University of Louisville Department of Pediatrics.

The study is in tomorrow’s edition of the New England Journal of Medicine. Porter was the principal investigator for the Louisville portion of the national clinical trial. The two participants included in the local portion of the study were seen by Porter at Kosair Children’s Hospital, where she serves as a pediatric intensivist.

While therapeutic hypothermia is recommended for comatose adults after such events, there was limited data about this intervention in children. The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, compared data for children who were treated with therapeutic hypothermia with those treated with the existing standard of care. The researchers concluded that therapeutic hypothermia did not offer significant benefit for the children’s survival and functional outcome at one year.

“It was a privilege to work with the team of physicians on this study,” Porter said. “It is gratifying to be a part of such wide-ranging research and to contribute to the improved standard of care for children with serious illnesses and speaks highly of the research practices here at UofL.”

This is the second large-scale, multi-center study involving UofL physicians published in the New England Journal of Medicine this spring, attesting to their increasing status among medical research centers nationwide.

In an earlier study, published March 5, 2015 in the journal, Charles R. Woods, M.D., a pediatric infectious disease specialist and acting chair of the UofL Department of Pediatrics, participated in a randomized, placebo-controlled trial of Valganciclovir therapy in newborns with symptomatic congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) disease.

CMV is the leading nongenetic cause of sensorineural hearing loss. Woods tested patients at Kosair Children’s Hospital over a three-year period, comparing a six-week period of treatment with the drug to six-month treatment. The researchers concluded that treatment with the drug for six months provided modest long-term improvements in hearing and development over the six-week treatment.

“This study of Valganciclovir showed that the drug improves hearing in infants with symptomatic congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection,” Woods said. “This also opens the door for more studies to see if this drug can help a broader group of infants with congenital CMV infection.”

University of Louisville physicians have long been at the forefront of pediatric medicine in Kentucky, providing state-of-the-art patient care at Kosair Children’s Hospital in addition to teaching and conducting research. Participation in studies such as these is an indication that their reputation for quality research is increasing among academic centers across the nation.

“Our contribution to these studies represents UofL’s growing connection and impact at the national level in research that improves health care for children,” Woods said. “UofL Pediatrics faculty members are becoming more widely recognized for quality research and contribution to medical knowledge.”

To read the NEJM articles, go to:

Therapeutic Hypothermia after Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest in Children

Valganciclovir for Symptomatic Congenital Cytomegalovirus Disease

Melvyn Koby, M.D., establishes award to encourage compassion among physicians

Melvyn Koby, M.D., establishes award to encourage compassion among physicians

Melvyn Koby, M.D., right, with Henry Kaplan, M.D., chair the UofL Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

Melvyn Koby, M.D., a University of Louisville alumnus and innovator in ophthalmology in Louisville for more than 40 years, has established an award to promote compassion among the physicians training at UofL. The Dr. Melvyn Koby Educational Excellence Award will be presented annually to a resident physician in the Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences in recognition of clinical and surgical expertise, as well as compassion for patients.

Koby grew up in Louisville, where he attended Atherton High School and worked as a clerk in his father's drug store, Koby Drug Company. He earned a B.A. in chemistry from Vanderbilt University and attended the UofL School of Medicine. After training for two years in internal medicine at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Koby served in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War. He returned to Barnes Hospital to complete his ophthalmology residency in 1971 and opened his practice in Louisville the same year.

Koby introduced radial keratotomy, the predecessor of LASIK, to the Louisville area in the early 1980s after spending time in Russia with the inventor of the technology, Svyatoslav Fyodorov. Koby also was the first ophthalmologist in Kentucky to insert an intraocular lens during cataract surgery.

Since retiring from practice in 2013, Koby has volunteered his time at the UofL Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, teaching and mentoring the residents training to become tomorrow’s ophthalmologists.

To encourage compassion among these young physicians, Koby has established an endowment to support the Dr. Melvyn Koby Educational Excellence Award. The award will be presented to the third-year ophthalmology resident at UofL who displays not only clinical and surgical excellence but shows the most compassion toward patients and families. The first award will be announced in June 2017.

To honor Dr. Melvyn Koby by to making a donation to the fund, please contact:  Telly McGaha at or 502-852-7448.

Culturally Effective Care Symposium empowers future health care providers

UofL health sciences event renamed to address ongoing challenges in caring for patients across identities and professions
Culturally Effective Care Symposium empowers future health care providers

2016 Culturally Effective Care Symposium

As they have every year for the past 11 years, future providers throughout health care disciplines dedicated a day to improving their ability to provide health care to all patients – especially those with perhaps different backgrounds and experiences than their own. At the 2016 Culturally Effective Care Symposium, nearly 550 students learned about working with colleagues from different disciplines to improve health equity for patients and populations and participated in discussions on LGBT health and barriers to health care faced by immigrants and refugees. The day-long event, “Health Equity through Interprofessional Practice,” was coordinated by the University of Louisville Health Sciences Center Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Previously known as Cultural Competency Day, the event was renamed this year to more accurately reflect its mission.

“Through one day events no one becomes ‘fully competent’ about any culture, including their own, so the name did not reflect the true purpose of the program,” said Ryan Simpson, assistant director of the UofL HSC Office of Diversity and Inclusion. “In these symposiums we are trying to provide participants foundational experiences in culturally effective care to equip future health professionals in achieving optimal patient care. Our planning committee renamed it the ‘Culturally Effective Care Symposium’ to better represent what we are there to achieve.”

Students from all four UofL Health Sciences Center schools, as well as the Sullivan University College of Pharmacy, and UofL Kent School of Social Work participated in the symposium, held at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage (KCAAH) in Louisville. Participants included students and residents in nursing, dentistry, dental hygiene, speech pathology, pharmacy, social work, public health and medicine.

UofL’s Patricia Allen Cultural Competency Day was first held in 2006, the result of efforts by V. Faye Jones, M.D., Ph.D., assistant vice president for health affairs – diversity initiatives, 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. The event is named for Allen, who helped lay the groundwork and planning for the event.


Nov. 17, 2016

Acting on and investing in the commitment to reduce patient infection

UofL Hospital is first in region to utilize latest infection-control technologies
Acting on and investing in the commitment to reduce patient infection

Two new technologies -- copper fixtures such as the sink shown at left and an electronic badge system, right -- are helping to control infection at University of Louisville Hospital.

Putting action and investment behind commitment is evident at University of Louisville Hospital with two new technologies put into place that advance the goal of controlling infection.

The hospital, in conjunction with UofL’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center, recently renovated and enlarged its Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit, including the installation of all new copper fixtures that utilize the metal’s antimicrobial properties to control infection. UofL Hospital is the first facility in the Kentuckiana region to install the new fixtures.

The hospital also is the first in the area to begin using a new hand hygiene system that reminds staff to wash their hands, if they forget. Staff members wear a badge that displays a red, yellow or green hand that automatically communicates compliance status to patients, reassuring them they are safe. The system collects compliance data that can be shared with staff and administrators.

These efforts are not isolated events but are part of a dedicated effort to improve patient safety, said University Medical Center (UMC) Interim President/CEO Ken Marshall. UMC is the parent organization that has operated the hospital and cancer center since July 1.

Ken Marshall“While we meet or exceed national standards of care once a hospital-acquired patient infection has been identified, our opportunity is around earlier recognition to prevent infection,” Marshall said. “To this end, we have enhanced the use of tools available to us through new technologies and have put in place a continual education and training process.”

While it is too soon to have verified data on the results of these efforts, hospital leaders are confident that the new measures will enable the hospital to increase its rates of infection control and reduce the incidence of hospital acquired infections (HAIs) in patients.

 “HAIs can happen in any health care facility,” said UofL Hospital Chief Medical Officer Jason Smith, M.D., Ph.D., including hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, long-term care facilities and others. “They are caused by bacteria, fungi, viruses or other less common pathogens. The new systems installed at UofL Hospital will have a significant impact in reducing the incidence of HAIs.”

HAIs can be a cause of illness and death, and they can have emotional, financial and medical consequences. At any given time, about 1 in 25 inpatients has an infection related to hospitals or other health care facilities in the United States. These infections lead to the loss of tens of thousands of lives and cost the U.S. health care system billions of dollars each year.

 “As front-line care providers, our nurses know better than anyone about the toll that HAIs can have on patients and their families,” said Chief Nursing OfficerShari Kretzschmer, R.N. “Nurses at UofL Hospital and James Graham Brown Cancer Center play a key role in preventing the spread of HAIs and we are excited to embrace these new tools introduced for the first time in our region to help strengthen infection control.”

The effort was a worthwhile investment, Marshall said. “On July 1, a health care resource that has been vital to this community for nearly 200 years entered a new era of service to the people of Metro Louisville and Southern Indiana,” he said. “Our necessity to change, improve and grow is mandatory, and we will work to implement whatever investment is needed to achieve that growth.”

 “Incorporating new technology shows our commitment to providing a safe environment for patient care,” said Director of Infection Prevention and ControlSarah Bishop, A.P.R.N., at UofL Hospital. “I’m proud to work for an organization that is an early adopter of these emerging technologies.”

The new technologies are CuVerro Bactericidal Copper Surfaces and the BioVigil Hand Hygiene System.

About CuVerro Bactericidal Copper Surfaces

Copper has been known to have inherent bactericidal properties for thousands of years. While its exact mechanism of action is not yet fully known, research suggests that copper surfaces affect bacteria in two sequential steps: the first step is a direct interaction between the copper surface and the bacterial outer membrane, causing the membrane to rupture. The second is related to the holes in the outer membrane through which the cell loses vital nutrients and water, causing a general weakening of the cell. CuVerro works with manufacturers to leverage this quality into the development of products that kill almost 100 percent of the bacteria that cause HAIs within two hours of contact.

CuVerro and JRA Architects of Louisville partnered with UofL Hospital in the renovation of the Bone Marrow Transplantation (BMT) Unit. Patients requiring BMT take anti-rejection drugs that compromise their immune systems, making them highly susceptible to bacterial infection. The copper surfaces on the fixtures in the BMT unit are an added protective measure against infection.

The surfaces are found in virtually every fixture touched by human hand: patient room sinks, bathroom sinks, faucets, electrical switch plates, door hardware, cabinetry hardware and shower safety grab bars. There are approximately 20 separate surfaces in each of the 16 rooms in the unit plus another 10-20 fixtures in each hallway, common area, office and treatment room.

About the BioVigil Hand Hygiene System

The BioVigil electronic hand hygiene solution reminds hospital staff to perform hand hygiene if they forget. BioVigil also visually communicates to and reassures patients and families that hand hygiene has been performed via a colored hand displayed on a badge worn by health care workers. Green confirms that hand hygiene has been performed. Yellow is a reminder that staff must wash their hands, and red means that staff must stop and wash their hands. To comply with hand hygiene, users apply sanitizer and place their hand over the badge, which detects the alcohol from the sanitizer.

Hand hygiene activities are automatically recorded by a badge and then securely downloaded to a cloud-hosted database once the badge is returned to a base station. The hospital retrieves monitoring and compliance reports through the system’s data suite or via email.

The system makes it easy for health care professionals to comply with hand hygiene, empowers patients to take an active role in their care and helps hospitals combat HAIs. The technology works with all sanitizer and soap products. It has been introduced in nine units thus far in UofL Hospital and will continue to be introduced to other units over time.

The system is manufactured by BioVigil Healthcare Systems Inc. of Ann Arbor, Mich.


CuVerro, with brand headquarters in Louisville, is manufactured by GBC Metals LLC, doing business as Olin Brass, a wholly owned subsidiary of Global Brass and Copper Inc. which is a subsidiary of Global Brass and Copper Holdings Inc., the leading manufacturer and distributor of copper, copper‐alloy and bactericidal copper sheet, strip, plate, foil, rod, ingot and fabricated components in North America and one of the largest in the world. GBC Metals engages in the melting, casting, rolling, drawing, extruding and stamping of specialized copper and copper alloys finished products from scrap, cathode and other refined metals (OB-0047-1711). For more information visit or contact


UofL’s LGBT-inclusive medical school curriculum recognized for innovation in medical education

UofL’s LGBT-inclusive medical school curriculum recognized for innovation in medical education

Members of the eQuality steering committee with AAMC president/CEO Darrell Kirch, MD

The University of Louisville continues to lead in educating future physicians to provide the best possible health care for patients who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT), gender nonconforming and those born with differences in sex development (DSD). UofL’s eQuality Project, the initiative to embed training in the care of these patients throughout its medical school curriculum, has won the 2016-2017 Innovation in Medical Education Award from the Southern Group on Educational Affairs (SGEA).

The SGEA presents a single Innovation in Medical Education Award each year for a good, replicable idea for other medical education institutions to consider. Chosen over three other nominees, UofL’s eQuality Project won thanks to the timely topic and the unique but practical approach, according to Karen “Sam” Miller, Ph.D., director of graduate medical education and research at UofL and chair of SGEA, a regional subgroup of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

In 2014, UofL became the pilot program for the development of curriculum to incorporate competencies published by the AAMC related to provision of care for LGBT and DSD individuals.

“Every patient deserves to be cared for with respect and competence,” said Toni Ganzel, M.D., M.B.A., dean of the UofL School of Medicine. “The faculty and staff members who have devoted so many hours in the eQuality Project have made it their mission to provide the best education for our future physicians in the care of LGBTQ patients. I am extremely proud of their work and pleased that the SGEA is recognizing it as a model for other institutions.”

Susan Sawning, M.S.S.W., director of undergraduate medical education research, and Laura Weingartner, Ph.D., research manager, were recognized for the award at the SGEA Business Meeting during the 2017 AAMC Learn, Serve, Lead conference in Boston earlier this month. The award will be presented formally at the SGEA Regional Conference in April 2018 in Jackson, Miss.

“This has been a beautiful team effort,” Sawning said. “I am most proud that our LGBTQ community is feeling empowered and better cared for, and that makes it all worth it.”

The project included Sawning, Weingartner and other members of the eQuality Steering Committee:  Chaz Briscoe, M.A., Dwayne Compton, M.Ed., Amy Holthouser, M.D., Charles Kodner, M.D., Leslee Martin, M.A., David McIntosh, Ph.D., Emily Noonan, M.A., M. Ann Shaw, M.D., M.A., Stacie Steinbock, M.Ed., and Jennifer Stephens, B.A.

The AAMC is the not-for-profit association representing all 145 accredited United States and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and nearly 90 academic and scientific societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC represents 148,000 faculty members, 83,000 medical students, and 110,000 resident physicians.




November 28, 2017

Norton Healthcare, UofL reach agreements, end litigation

Long term deal ensures stability and growth for Children’s Hospital

Norton Healthcare and the University of Louisville today announced they have reached agreements which end more than five years of negotiations and more than two years of litigation. The University of Louisville Physicians group and the Commonwealth of Kentucky are also parties to the agreements.

“This is great news for the Louisville community and the Commonwealth,” said Donald H. Robinson, chair of the Norton Healthcare board of trustees. “The agreements clear up critical land lease and ownership issues as well as bringing operational security to Norton while assuring stable financial support to the UofL School of Medicine in pediatrics. The real winners here are the families who depend on our children’s hospital for their child’s care.”

“We reached fair and mutually beneficial agreements that extend our long-time relationship for providing the highest level of pediatric care to the children of the Commonwealth and beyond,” said Larry Benz, chair of the UofL board of trustees. “Both organizations are passionate about fulfilling their missions in this regard. We are now focused on how our organizations will combine our strengths to make Kosair Children’s Hospital a top tier pediatric hospital in the United States.”

The agreements include an amendment to the 1981 land lease between Norton and the Commonwealth for the children’s hospital property which results in a permanent solution, one that secures Norton’s ownership and control of the hospital, confirmed by the Commonwealth and UofL. It also makes it possible for Norton to continue plans for more than $35 million in additional capital improvements to its children’s hospital over the next five years. Those plans had been held up due to the litigation.

An amendment to the 2008 academic affiliation agreement currently in place between Norton and UofL sets an initial eight-year term with automatic annual renewals thereafter. UofL will be Norton’s primary academic partner for pediatrics with at least 90 percent of the Norton’s residency positions at the children’s hospital being made available to UofL.

UofL guarantees that its pediatric residents will utilize the children’s hospital as UofL’s primary hospital training site and that the majority of its pediatric hospital admissions will be made to the children’s hospital.  Both Norton and UofL will appoint three representatives each to a new Pediatric Academic Medical Center Committee (PAMCC), charged with overseeing and making recommendations for the affiliation relationship. Norton can still pursue other third party relationships and programs, such as the previously announced intent to collaborate with UK Children’s Hospital, as long as its commitments to UofL are fulfilled. UofL agrees to participate in collaborative pediatric care joint programs with Norton and UK and/or others.

Under the terms of the agreement, UofL will receive $272 million over eight years. Norton has extended its current total of $30 million in annual funding (through separate individual contracts as is currently done) for UofL academic support and physician services over the next eight years, with an additional $3 million annually for additional pediatric care investments. Those investments are to be recommended by the PAMCC and approved by Norton. UofL will participate in independent audits to facilitate full transparency regarding how Norton’s financial support is used. UofL also will receive a one-time payment of $8 million to resolve any and all financial disputes from the past.

“We thank the administration of Gov. Bevin for its leadership in finalizing the land lease amendments and assuring we can move forward with our planned $35 million additional investments by Norton in our Children’s Hospital,” said Stephen A. Williams, CEO, Norton Healthcare. “We also sincerely thank UofL Board Chairman Larry Benz for his great leadership in helping accomplish these agreements. The combined agreements stabilize the relationship between Norton and UofL in pediatrics and facilitate additional investments in pediatric care, while also allowing for appropriate collaboration with UK and other providers across the state to advance pediatric care in Kentucky.”

“This agreement allows both organizations to continue fulfilling their missions of caring for the children of the Commonwealth; UofL through the education and training of future health care providers and conducting cutting-edge research and Norton as the primary site for the provision of the highest levels of health care possible,” said Dr. James Ramsey, president of the University of Louisville. “The Bevin administration’s quick attention and assistance is a demonstration of his desire for ensuring the future of the Commonwealth.”

All three of the agreements were effective immediately upon ratification over the last few days by the boards of Norton, University of Louisville, University of Louisville Physicians, and the Commonwealth.

UofL School of Medicine collects 570 toys for Toys for Tots

UofL School of Medicine collects 570 toys for Toys for Tots

Residents with 500 toys collected for Toys for Tots

The resident physicians at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, along with the school’s faculty, staff and medical students, are making the holidays a little brighter for underprivileged children in the Louisville community. In just one week, they collected 570 toys for Toys for Tots.

UofL’s House Staff Council, the representative body for resident and fellow physicians, issued a request on December 10 for new, unwrapped toys for its annual holiday service project. The group was inspired by Mayor Greg Fischer’s call to set a world record for the most toys collected in a 12-hour period during Holiday in the City.

As of December 16, the residents, fellows and program faculty had collected 500 toys.

“The initiative took hold more than we had even imagined,” said Matthew Bertke, M.D., president of the House Staff Council. “The response shows the kind of charitable spirit and sense of community we have in the house staff. Although young physicians are busy with patient care, we also are invested in our community.”

John Roberts, M.D., UofL’s vice dean for graduate medical education and continuing medical education, supported the request by offering a luncheon for the departments with the highest percentage of residents participating. Four programs earned the luncheon, having greater than 150 percent participation:  Psychiatry (430 percent), Neurology/Child Neurology (246 percent), Pediatrics (193 percent - the largest number of gifts at 166) and Emergency Medicine (161 percent).

The school’s faculty, staff and medical students then joined in the project, adding an additional 70 toys for a total of 570 from the UofL School of Medicine.

“Among the qualities of a good physician are empathy and compassion. It is inspiring to see how generously our young physicians, faculty, staff and students responded in order to brighten the holidays for our community’s children,” said Toni Ganzel, M.D., dean of the UofL School of Medicine.

The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program collects new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distributes those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.


December 21, 2015

Before you need that AED, make sure it’s functional

UofL researchers find readiness of public access defibrillators alarmingly low
Before you need that AED, make sure it’s functional

UofL students walk past a public-access automated external defibrillator at the Health Sciences Center. Research led by Brad Stutton shows that a lack of AED registration correlates with an increased chance that the device could malfunction if needed.

No national standards exist for the maintenance of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and their registration with manufacturers, making these practices voluntary and highly variable. What the public may not realize, however, is that regions where there is a high degree of unregistered AEDs also show a much greater chance that these devices will fail if needed.

That’s the finding of a study conducted by cardiologist Brad Sutton, M.D., an assistant professor of medicine and assistant dean for health strategy and innovation at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. The group found that significant variability exists in how AEDs are registered and maintained and because of this variability, the true risk for failure remains unknown.

“We know that rapid bystander CPR and the appropriate use of AEDs increases survival rates for the more than 350,000 victims of sudden cardiac arrest in the United States each year,” Sutton said. “However, we found that the percentage of public access AEDs that fail standardized testing is quite high, and the incidence of potentially life-threatening malfunction is likely underreported.”

“Our data suggests that registering AEDs correlates with increased likelihood that the device will pass testing, and therefore, stand a greater chance of being operational if needed by someone having a cardiac arrest.”

“Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the United States,” Keisha Deonarine, senior director of community health for the American Heart Association in Kentuckiana, said. “The American Heart Association believes it is important to do a weekly or monthly visual inspection of AEDs to ensure they are in working order. It may be the difference between life and death.”

About the research

The group assessed AEDs in public, non-hospital settings in four geographically distinct regions – Seattle, Suffolk County, N.Y., Central Illinois and Louisville. Each AED was tested according to manufacturer guidelines. A total of 322 AEDs at 190 unique sites were investigated.

The team found that more than one-fifth of the devices – 21 percent – failed at least one phase of testing. Five percent had expired batteries, failing to power on at all and rendering them useless in the case of sudden cardiac arrest.

At the same time, public access AEDs found in areas where there was a higher rate of registration were significantly more likely to pass testing. AED registration was high  -- greater than 80 percent -- in both Seattle and Suffolk County, with zero battery failures found in Seattle and only 2 percent in Suffolk County.

By comparision, both Louisville and Central Illinois had lower rates of registration – less than 25 percent  – and higher rates of test failure at 19.8 percent in Louisville and 38.2 percent in Central Illinois. Central Illinois also had the highest regional battery failure rate at 12.36 percent.

AED registration typically is handled the way it is with consumer products: The AED is registered with the vendor so the purchaser can be updated on potential recalls and advisories. There also is an industry built around AED maintenance, and many sites with AEDs outsource maintenance of the devices for a monthly fee. Sites with AEDs also can register the devices with some municipalities or other local authorities, but again, Sutton said, this varies greatly from region to region.

“Unfortunately, our data suggests that even when you find an AED in the time of need, it may not work,” Sutton said. “These devices require routine upkeep in order to remain functional and ready. This is the major message that our elected officials and community members need to be aware of.”

Sutton’s research group was made up of Jamie Heimroth, Stuart Crawford and Erica Sutton, M.D., of UofL and Josh Matzke of Eureka College in Illinois. The team presented their findings in November at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, and Sutton said he is currently in talks with AED manufacturer Zoll Medical Corp. to expand this line of study across the United States.

“Our study was limited in that results depended upon the voluntary participation of sites with AEDs,” he said. “Those sites that refused to participate in the study may represent yet additional potential device failures, and ultimately, additional potential loss of life.”