Kentucky has highest child abuse rate in the U.S.; caregivers can help

Kentucky has the highest child abuse rate in the United States, according to federal data released in 2019 that shine a light on the issue and ways caregivers can curb abuse. April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

In 2017, Kentucky reported 22,410 child abuse victims, equating to about 22 out of every 1,000 children, which is more than double the national average, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Children’s Bureau Child Maltreatment 2017 report. The state’s number has increased 27 percent since 2013.

Nationally, 78 percent of child abuse perpetrators were parents, according to the report.

“Many factors go into child abuse, but it’s always 100 percent preventable,” said Kelly L. Dauk, M.D., pediatrician with UofL Physicians - Pediatric Hospital Medicine. “There are many resources available for parents, caregivers, babysitters and bystanders to keep children out of these dangerous situations.”

According to Face It, a movement to end child abuse, there are simple ways parents and caregivers can make a lifesaving difference:

  • Crying is normal. If you feel frustrated with your child, it’s OK to leave the baby in a crib or safe place while you take some deep breaths and calm down.
  • Hitting and yelling don’t work and are shown to be harmful. Scolding, if used frequently, can reinforce negative behavior and cause attention-seeking.
  • Potty training takes patience. Be patient and understanding with your child. Research shows physical punishment and shaming are not effective ways to help your child learn to use the potty. Instead, praise your child when she or he is successful. On average, potty training is an 18-month process.
  • Make sure your child knows the difference between “okay” and “not okay” touches.

For more information, visit

In Kentucky, to report suspected child abuse call 1-877-KYSAFE1 (597-2331). The National Child Abuse Hotline, 1-800-4-A-CHILD (422-4453), offers professional crisis counselors who can provide intervention, information and referrals to emergency, social service and support resources. Calls are confidential.

2019 Research Grant Awards

 Dr. Chung received a 5 year NIH U19 award (U19-AI142762) entitled“Center of Excellence for Encephalitic Alphavirus Therapeutics”, as MPI/Project leader.




EgilmezDr. Egilmez was awarded a two year Idea Development grant (LC180086)  from the DOD Lung Cancer  Research Program for a project entitled “Overcoming Anti-PD-1 Resistance in Lung Cancer” (PI) and a 3 year R44 award from the NIH (R44-DK117687) entitled “IL-10NanoCap for Therapy of Familial Adenomatous Polyposis” (MPI).




ShirwanDr. Shirwan was awarded a two-year NIH R21 grant (R21-AI147677) entitled “Establishing immunoprivileged scaffolds for transplantation of immature beta cells.





Matthew LawrenzDr. Matt Lawrenz is co-investigator on an NIH STTR (R41-AI142726) grant entitled “Use of a Designer Proline-rich antimicrobial peptide Chaperone protein inhibitor (DPC) for treating antibiotic resistant pneumonia” with a subaward to his laboratory.  The project period is 4/1/2019 – 3/31/2020.

'Selection Friday' a success for UofL internal medicine residency programs (w/VIDEO)

Match Day 2019 brings solid incoming classes filling all available spots for UofL Internal Medicine, Combined Med-Peds residency groups
'Selection Friday' a success for UofL internal medicine residency programs (w/VIDEO)

UofL fourth-year medical students celebrate Match Day 2019, when they found out where they will continue the residency portion of their medical education.


While basketball fans anxiously await the release of this year's NCAA Tournament bracket, University of Louisville medical students, and others nationwide, enjoyed their version of "Selection Friday."

March 15 was Match Day, as prospective medical residents opened their envelopes from the National Residency Match Program to find where they had been matched for their future training as residents.

"We would like to enthusiastically welcome a new class of categorical, preliminary, and med-peds interns to our Department of Medicine family," Jennifer Koch, M.D., FACP, Director of the UofL Internal Medicine Residency Program said. "Thanks to the hard work of both the applicants and our faculty members, I am confident that we have recruited a wonderful group of physicians who will be an excellent fit for our programs. We look forward to teaching them to be highly qualified internists!"

Conducted annually by the NRMP, The Match uses a computerized algorithm designed to the best results by aligning the preferences of applicants with the preferences of residency programs. The results are used to fill thousands of training positions available in the United States.

The UofL Internal Medicine Residency Program completed a perfect match yet again, filling 24 categorical and 12 preliminary positions.

In addition the Combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Residency Program, under the direction of Laura Workman, M.D., added five new members.

Our incoming Class of 2019 includes:

Categorical Residents

  • Sudeepthi Bandikatla - Kasturba Medical College Manipal
  • Chanelle Benjamin - Indiana University
  • Armondo Bosch - Indiana University
  • Harsimran Brar - Maulana Azad Medical College
  • Apaar Dadlani - Maulana Azad Medical College
  • Viral Desai - Grant Government Medical College
  • Michael Eiswerth - Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Harrison Falwell - Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Dylan Gerlach - University of Pikeville
  • Casey Grantham - University of North Dakota
  • Denny Grigorov - Kansas City University of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Matt Heckroth - St. George's University
  • Ryan Hosking - Wayne State University
  • Tanvir Kabir - University of Kentucky
  • Dipan Karmali - Loyola University
  • Jimmy Meade - University of Pikeville
  • Ishan Parikh - Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Nishant Patel - Lincoln Memorial University
  • Alexander Pinter - Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Shervin Sani - Nova Southeastern University
  • Nadine Sbaih - University of Utah
  • Laura Sims - University of Louisville
  • Jeff Spindel - West Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Cody Sullivan - University of Louisville


Preliminary Residents

  • Allie Everly - University of Louisville
  • Emily Haas - University of Louisville
  • Ishita Jain - University of Louisville
  • Jordan Jones - University of Louisville
  • Grant McKenzie - University of Louisville
  • Megan Mercer - University of Louisville
  • Umair Munawar - Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Maddie Oliver - University of Louisville
  • Rooshil Patel - University of Kentucky
  • Alex Rider - University of Tennessee
  • Brett Riedinger - University of Louisville
  • John Strickley - Indiana University


Combined Med-Peds Residents

  • Justin Chu - Wright State University
  • Ryan Conard - University of Louisville
  • Sarah England - University of Louisville
  • Ryan Mughmaw - Indiana University
  • Helen Turner - University of Mississippi


VIDEO: Match Day 2019

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 encouraged to join the KAA Listserv for newsletter updates, or email with questions and suggestions.


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.

raiseRED dance marathon raises thousands for childhood cancer fight

It’s time to shake it for a good cause. The University of Louisville student group raiseRED kicks off its 18-hour dance marathon Feb. 22 to fight pediatric cancer and blood disorders.

About 1,000 dancers will try to raise more than $601,000, the record-breaking amount collected last year.   

The dance marathon starts at 6 p.m. Feb. 22 in the Swain Student Activities Center. The night is a mix of dancing, patient testimonials and special guests to keep the dancers energized and focused on how their participation makes a difference. There also will be a kid talent show in which children from the pediatric cancer clinic get to show off their special talents.

The public is invited to take part Feb. 23 in the 10:30 a.m.-noon Community Celebration, which culminates in the grand reveal of the total number of dollars raised.

All funds from raiseRED go to research and patient care at the UofL Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology.

Student dancers have been split into teams, and each member collects pledges of support. In addition, the dance marathon is supported by Papa John’s, Kosair Charities, UPS and Churchill Downs.

Learn more at To make a donation, go to

Med students shave to support raiseRED

UofL medical students will shave their heads Feb. 12 as part of the raiseRED initiative. The money they raise will be used to support the UofL Physicians-Pediatric Cancer & Blood Disorders clinical practice and researchers developing pediatric cancer treatment therapies. Some participants will donate their hair to create wigs for children who have lost their hair from chemotherapy. RaiseRED Shaved Heads is noon-1:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Kornhauser Health Sciences Library, 500 S. Preston St. 

UofL graduate student in pharmacology and toxicology PhD program attends reception at Governor's mansion

UofL graduate student in pharmacology and toxicology PhD program attends reception at Governor's mansion

Yuxuan Zheng and Provost Beth Boehm

Yuxuan Zheng and Provost Beth Boehm attend Governor's reception

Yuxuan Zheng, a graduate student in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology PhD program who enrolled thru the partnership with Jilin University attended a reception hosted by Governor Bevin at the Governor's Mansion on Feb 5.  The governor talked about great collaborations between China and Kentucky in the economic field and wished to advance those collaborations. 

What to do if your child gets the flu

The number of influenza cases is on the rise in Louisville and across the country. The illness can be especially dangerous for young children.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that between 6,000 and 26,000 children younger than 5 have been hospitalized each year in the United States because of influenza,” said Navjyot Vidwan, M.D., UofL Physicians-Pediatric Infectious Diseases. “These young children are also at a greater risk of death from the flu.”

“Having your child vaccinated for the flu is a safe way to provide the best protection against the flu,” Vidwan said. “Washing hands often and well definitely helps keep flu at bay, too.”

Children with the flu may have one or many of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Feeling weak or extremely tired
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Body aches

If your child gets sick, call your pediatrician and let him or her know early on if you are worried about your child’s illness. This is especially important for children younger than 5 years old who have long-term health problems, including asthma, diabetes and disorders of the brain or nervous system. Make sure your child gets plenty of rest and drinks enough fluids, especially if he or she is coughing and blowing his or her nose.

The flu can become very serious. Get emergency medical care for your child if he or she shows any of the following signs:

  • Fast or troubled breathing
  • Bluish or gray skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Serious or constant vomiting
  • Not waking up or interacting
  • Extreme irritability
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve, but then return with a fever and worse cough

Also, it is important to get emergency medical care for an infant who is unable to eat, cries without tears or does not produce a wet diaper with normal frequency.

Children should stay home from school or day care until their temperature is less than 100 degrees without the use of medication for 24 hours. This will prevent spreading flu to others.

Tobacco at our public schools

By Brent Troy, M.D., M.P.H., Pediatric Resident Physician

Since the 1980s, we’ve known to protect our children from tobacco’s effects by having a minimum legal age of consumption, but we have failed to protect them from tobacco smoke while they attend public schools or ride a school bus in the state of Kentucky.

About 50 percent of the roughly 650,000 public school students in Kentucky currently attend school in districts that have become smoke free, but the state as a whole has not passed legislation to make our public school facilities smoke free.

While half of the states in this country have enacted laws to keep our children safe from second-hand smoke at school facilities, Kentucky is still working out the kinks of a bill that will pass through the House.

Just a quick search on the CDC website shows what the health care field has known for decades: the countless side effects from second-hand smoke such as asthma attacks requiring admission to the pediatric intensive care unit.  Children who are exposed to smoking are also more likely to smoke themselves, which can lead to breathing problems, increased general health risks and even lung cancer. 

In the emergency department, it is quite common to see children presenting with a severe asthma attack triggered by tobacco smoke.  Seeing the fear in a child’s face, just once, when they can’t get sufficient oxygen, is enough to know something has to be done at a health policy level.  Even those who generally support smaller government and fewer regulations should recognize that protecting vulnerable children is an appropriate role of government.  And while some parents can rest easy knowing their child isn’t exposed to smoke at home, they should have the same level of comfort when their child goes to school or simply rides the school bus.  

As a pediatrician, I have seen far too many cases of second-hand smoke being detrimental to children’s health. I urge you to contact your State Representative and State Senator during this current legislative session, from January to March, to help keep your children out of the hospital, to save money and time for all. 

This pediatrician will be advocating for your children throughout this legislative session and many years to come.



Coach, provost team up to battle childhood cancer

Head Coach Jeff Walz and Provost Beth Boehm will donate $10 to raiseRED for every student that attends the Louisville women’s basketball game vs. Connecticut.

The University of Louisville announced on Monday that women’s basketball Head Coach Jeff Walz and Provost Beth Boehm have agreed to donate $10 to raiseRED (up to $5,000 each) for every student that attends the Jan. 31 women’s basketball game against Connecticut.

raiseRED is a nationally recognized, student-led philanthropic campaign that fights to end pediatric cancer and blood disease and better the lives of Louisville children and their families.

Students receive a free ticket when they show their ID inside the KFC Yum! Center lobby. Tables will be set up to distribute student tickets on the right-hand side of the lobby.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Thursday and the game will tip off at 7 p.m.

“I’m so thrilled to join Dr. Boehm in support of raiseRED. As a leader of student-athletes, it’s exciting to see athletics and academia work in conjunction for such a worthy cause,” said Walz. “I encourage all of our students to join us at the KFC Yum! Center on Thursday night to cheer on our student-athletes and help us raise money for raiseRED.”

“I’m delighted to partner with Coach Walz to help our students raise money to end pediatric cancer,” said Boehm. “I have been a proud supporter of raiseRED since my son was a student here and am so excited to support this cause. Students can attend a great basketball game, support their fellow student-athletes, and contribute to raiseRED. What could be easier?”

“We are so thankful for this partnership,” said Mary Baker, a UofL junior and external project coordinator for raiseRED. “It’s incredible to see athletics and academics coming together to support student organizations like raiseRED, as well as the Louisville community.”

When the No. 4 Cardinals host No. 3 Connecticut on Thursday, it will mark the first time since 2014 that the former conference foes have squared off at the KFC Yum! Center. 

Louisville is averaging 8,823 fans per game this season, which ranks third in the country.

In the past five years, raiseRED has raised over $1.8 million dollars to support the Louisville community. raiseRED’s fundraising culminates in an 18-hour dance marathon that runs from 6 p.m. Feb. 22 until noon Feb. 23.

To donate or learn more, go to


UofL’s McMasters gives moving speech on difference between patient treatment and care

Keynote address given at national conference
UofL’s McMasters gives moving speech on difference between  patient treatment and care

Kelly McMasters, M.D., Ph.D.

In a moving speech on the difference between palliative “treatment” and palliative “care,” the University of Louisville’s Kelly McMasters, M.D., Ph.D., gave the keynote lecture today at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium in San Francisco.

McMasters is the Ben A. Reid Sr., M.D., Professor and Chairman of the Department of Surgery at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. He also serves as director of the Multidisciplinary Melanoma Clinic and is associate director of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center at UofL.

In his keynote address, titled “The Fundamental Difference Between Palliative Treatment and Palliative Care,” McMasters noted the audience was filled with those who have devoted their lives to the care of patients with cancer, and will perform research that will relieve suffering, improve quality of life, extend survival and find a cure.

Using one of his patients as an example, he argued that while regular tests and treatments make sense for patients whose cancer can be cured or their lives extended (with good quality), for those with recurring cancer who will eventually die from the disease, there is no evidence early detection of asymptomatic recurrence is any better than waiting until they are symptomatic. For those patients, regular tests and treatments can rob them of their quality of life.

“Our duty to our patients is to care for them, not just for their disease, but for who they are,” McMasters said. “Sometimes, it doesn’t make sense to put the patient through treatments and tests that in the end, won’t affect whether they live or die. They are often better served by living free of pain and suffering, happily in the company of those they love, doing the things that make life worth living.”

McMasters has personal experience in losing a loved one to cancer. He lost his son, Owen, to leukemia.

Also speaking on the topic during the keynote address was Shishir Maithel, M.D., chair of the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University.

McMasters specializes in melanoma, breast cancer, sarcoma, hepatobiliary tumors and pancreatic and gastric cancers.  At the Brown Cancer Center, he works to identify the most effective combination of treatment including surgery, immunotherapy, targeted therapies, and radiation therapy for patients with all stages of melanoma.

He has been principal investigator or co-investigator of over 30 clinical trials, and president of the Society of Surgical Oncology, the Society of Surgical Chairs, the Western Surgical Association and the Southeastern Surgical Association.  In 2018, he was named editor-in-chief of Annals of Surgical Oncology, and he has authored over 400 peer-reviewed publications and a book.

To hear more from McMasters, see this article on the difference between treatment and care in the Annals of Surgical Oncology:

For more information about society and the symposium, visit

The inaugural Richard N. Redinger, M.D. Lectureship

The inaugural Richard N. Redinger, M.D. Lectureship was presented at Medicine Grand Rounds December 13, 2018 by Donald R. Campbell, M.D., FACP, AGAF, University of Missouri-Kansas City.  His topic was “BOGUS or BENEFICIAL? Fecal Transplant for Sepsis, Cancer, Autism, Obesity, Parkinson’s, etc.”

UofL residents post another successful fellowship match

Near-perfection trend in fellowship matches continues for UofL internal medicine residents and junior faculty in 2019
UofL residents post another successful fellowship match

Several members of the of the UofL Internal Medicine Residency Program seeking fellowship appointments were matched successfully for the 2019-2020 academic year.

The fellowship match quest was again successful for several members of the University of Louisville Internal Medicine Residency Program as many found out their future path following their graduation in 2019.

Five of those will continue their career at UofL.

"Our residents have worked very hard to build clinical skills and engage in scholarship in order to successfully pursue subspecialty training," Jennifer Koch, M.D., director of the UofL Internal Medicine Residency Program said. "We are proud to have several of them continue their training at UofL, in addition to matching at multiple other excellent programs across the country!"

Over the past seven years, nearly all of the program's internal medicine residents have successfully matched into their choice of fellowship.

Those from The University of Louisville who matched for 2018-2019 include:


Lauren Albers

Gregory Scott Bills

Jorden Burlen

Dafang Chen

Liza Cholin

Praneeth Katrapati

Fahad Khan

Vincent Nguyen

Sanjay Patel

Cristian Rios

Yixi Tu

Benadin Varajic

Dana Williams




Pulmonary/Critical Care








Pulmonary/Critical Care


University of Louisville

University of Kentucky

University of Toledo

University of Southern California

Cleveland Clinic

University of Louisville

The Ohio State University

University of Louisville

University of Arizona

University of Louisville

Saint Louis University

University of Louisville

Wake Forest University

Inspiring Curiosity and Restoring Humility

Inspiring Curiosity and Restoring Humility: The Evolution of Competency-Based Continuing Medical Education
McMahon, Graham T., MD, MMSc
This article summarizes the findings from recent studies regarding the association of Maintenance of Certification and physicians’ learning and improvements in care.
CLICK HERE to read the full text.

Pharmacology and Toxicology Graduate Students and Postdocs Receive Awards at National Meetings

Pharmacology and Toxicology PhD candidate Christine Dolin (faculty mentors: Gavin Arteel and Mike Merchant) was selected to present her research in the Best of the Liver Meeting 2018 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases held Nov 9-13, 2018 in San Francisco, California.
Pharmacology and Toxicology graduate students and postdocs received best poster and travel awards at the 10th Conference on Metal Toxicity and Carcinogenesis Oct 28-31, 2018 in Albuquerque New Mexico:

Best Poster Award:

Balaji Chandrasekaran –  faculty mentor: Chendil Damodaran

Travel Awards:

Balaji Chandrasekaran, faculty mentor: Chendil Damodaran
Ana Cardoso, faculty mentor: Christopher States
Jamie Young, faculty mentor: Lu Cai
Christine Kim, faculty mentor: Brian Ceresa


Did you know...

Did you know...

The Novak Center for Children’s Health, an $80-million center that opened in downtown Louisville this summer, has been cited among the seven facilities and programs that represent the future of Louisville, according to Insider Louisville.

Prescription for play

Children should have play time every day, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, which is now urging physicians to talk with families about getting children to play.

“Playing is crucial for learning, stress relief, and brain and skill development,” said Heather Felton, M.D., medical director of the UofL Pediatrics - Sam Swope Kosair Charities Centre. “Developmentally appropriate play with parents and peers is an opportunity to promote social-emotional, cognitive, language and self-regulation skills. It also can be good exercise and supports formation of safe, stable and nurturing relationships.”

Types of play include:

  • Object play (playing with an object and learning about it)
  • Physical, locomotor or rough-and-tumble play
  • Outdoor
    • Social or pretend

How should play be encouraged?

  • It is so important that doctors may even write an actual prescription for play.
  • Doctors should discuss playing, including smiling back at infants and playing peak-a-boo, at every appointment until a child turns 2.
  • Schools should allow for unstructured playtime, as opposed to purely formal teaching, and include daily recess periods.
  • Avoid electronic devices because they encourage passivity and the consumption of others’ creativity rather than active learning and socially interactive play. Plus, they distract from real play.



UofL Hospital opens newly renovated and expanded Burn Center

Center is currently the only dedicated burn unit in state of Kentucky
UofL Hospital opens newly renovated and expanded Burn Center

Romaine Knight, a firefighter with the Louisville Fire Department’s Engine 5. Knight was a patient at UofL Hospital’s Burn Center in September 2017 after suffering severe burns to his hand.

University of Louisville Hospital has opened its newly renovated and expanded Burn Center, currently the only dedicated burn unit in the state of Kentucky.

Dozens of hospital staff and emergency service workers, including members of the Louisville Fire Department, marked the occasion on Friday with a ribbon-cutting and celebration at the center.

The new Burn Center is on the hospital’s sixth floor, in 6 East, and holds 16 beds. The center was formerly housed on the hospital’s fifth floor, where it held six beds.

“What makes this space so unique is that from start to finish, it was specifically designed just for burn patients,” said Glen Franklin, M.D., a trauma surgeon and a professor in the Department of Surgery at the UofL School of Medicine. “It was made just for them, by the people who take care of them. It’s special. ”

Lori Sipes, clinical nurse manager for the Burn Center, said the renovation marks 35 years of UofL Hospital having a dedicated burn unit. She said the expansion and renovation will help provide even better service to the community and state.

“We are expanding all of our services, from beds to staff to therapy, to offer even better care for patients and their families,” she said. “Everything has been improved and updated, and they have a new state-of-the-art area to be treated in.”

Sipes said the center has 36 critical care nurses and technicians, all of whom have specialized education and training in the care of burn patients and the most up-to-date methods for their care. Its dedicated physical therapist is the only wound specialist in Kentucky dedicated to burns.

Sipes said the center’s brand-new beds are the newest and best surfaces for patients, and each room has its own temperature and humidity control and heat lamps, which she said is important for burn patients as the skin is a primary method of thermoregulation. A new, larger hydrotherapy room with a shower system is also part of the new center.

Even the color palate and interior design is designed to be more soothing for patients and families, she said, with a sitting area in each room, cubbyholes to charge cell phones and dedicated room where families can conference with staff or members can be alone.

Among those in attendance Friday were Louisville Fire Department Chief Greg Frederick and Romaine Knight, a firefighter assigned to Engine 5 downtown at Floyd and Jefferson streets. Knight has firsthand experience in UofL Hospital’s Burn Center as a patient.

On Sept. 20, 2017, he suffered serious burns to his left hand and was admitted to the Burn Center. He was in the center’s intensive care unit for eight days, where he underwent skin grafts to his hand.

“They really have a good team there,” he said. “Everyone was exceptional. They were all so nice, from the nurses, to the technicians, to the plastic surgeons. And they have so much experience, which really helped alleviate my worries. They were able to explain what was happening, and what I could expect - the next day, the next week, the next month, the next year, and even the next couple of years.”

After surgery, he went immediately into physical therapy, which he continued at the UofL Physicians Outpatient Center after he was released from the hospital.

“They did everything they could to ensure I didn’t lose function of my hand, which was vital for me,” he said. “They told me that they would do whatever it took to have the best outcome.”

Today, he said he has virtually normal function of his hand. 

“I really, really appreciate everyone’s service.”

Just before the new Burn Center’s opening, UofL Hospital was re-verified as a Level I Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons, recognizing its dedication to providing the highest quality of trauma care for all injured patients.  UofL Hospital is one of just two adult Level I Trauma Centers in the state of Kentucky.

DOM members make impact at 2018 Research!Louisville

Annual event highlights, promotes excellence and public awareness of health sciences research at the Louisville Medical Center
DOM members make impact at 2018 Research!Louisville

Smita Ghare, Ph.D., of the UofL Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutirtion accepts her 1st place award in the Louisville Chapter - Women in Medicine & Science category at the recent 2018 Research!Louisville


The University of Louisville Department of Medicine made an impressive showing at the recent 2018 Research!Louisville competitions, held in conjunction with the event's 23rd annual showcase of health/life sciences research conducted at UofL.

A panel of university faculty judges selected the winners of this year's contest from hundreds of entries in the categories of professional/clinical students, basic science grad students, postgraduates and faculty.

Here's a look at finished at or near the top in their respective categories:

Master's Basic Science Graduate Student Award

  • 2nd Place: Aaron Whitt - Paraoxonose 2 plays a critical role in non-small cell lung carcinoma proliferation. Mentor: Chi Li, Ph.D.
  • 1st Place: Steven Gootee - Completing the Death Certificate Accurately: Results from a survey evaluating existing knowledge among practicing physicians. Mentor: Julio Ramirez, Ph.D.

Doctoral Basic Science Graduate Student Award

  • 3rd Place: Anne Geller - The characterization of b-glucan's mechanism of action as an anti-cancer. Mentor: Jun Yan, Ph.D.

Masters Engineering Student Award

  • 3rd Place: Justin Heidel - Cardiomyogenic lineage commitment augments cardiac mesenchymal stromal cell anti-fibrogentic paracrine signaling in vitro. Mentor: Joseph Moore, IV, Ph.D.

Norton Healthcare Medical Student Award

  • 3rd Place: Justin Winkler - Body Composition in Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Mentor: Stephen Winters, M.D.
  • 1st Place: Mallory Zaino - Myocardial infarction regulates prolidase activity and promotes insulin-mediated collagen remodeling in the heart. Mentor: Brad Hill, Ph.D.

Research Associate Award

  • 2nd Place: Min Wang - Aldose reductase is involved in the pathogenesis of alcohol-associated liver disease in mice and patients. Mentor: Swati Joshi-Barve, Ph.D.
  • 1st Place: Sarah Andres - Cancer-selective metal complexes: effects and a novel mechanism of action. Mentor: Paula Bates, Ph.D.

Research Staff Award

  • Winner: Kimberley Buckner - The two Diamond Open Access Journals at the University of Louisville: The University of Louisville Journal of Respiratory  Infections and the Journal of Refugee and Global Health. Mentor: William Mattingly, Ph.D.

Public Health & Information Sciences Master's Student Award

  • Winner: Ugochukwu Owolabi - Missing laboratory values among patients with pneumonia should not exclude them from analysis in clinical research. Mentor: William Mattingly, Ph.D.

Public Health & Information Sciences Doctoral Student Award

  • Winner: Stacey Konkle - Secular Trends in Ambient Volatile Organic Compound Levels, Biomarkers of Exposure and Associations with Cardiometabolic Syndrome: An Analysis of Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and the National Monitoring Program. Mentor: Aruni Bhatnagar, Ph.D.

Public Health & Information Sciences Research & Practice in Public Health Award

  • Winner: Connor Glick - Multiple comorbidities among patients with community-acquired pneumonia lead to higher mortality regardless of age. Mentor: William Mattingly, Ph.D.

Jewish Hospital & St. Mary's Foundation Faculty Award in Basic Science

  • Winner: Leila Gobejishvili, Ph.D. - Pathogenic role of PDE4 enzymes in the development of liver fibrosis in humans and mouse models.

Louisville Chapter - Women in Medicine & Science

  • 1st Place: Smita Ghare, Ph.D. - Assessment of sex-based differences in gut-immune interactions in viral-controlled HIV patients

UofL Hospital receives re-verification as a Level I Trauma Center

ULH is one of only two adult Level I Trauma Centers in Kentucky
UofL Hospital receives re-verification as a Level I Trauma Center

A medical transport helicopter takes off from University of Louisville Hospital.

UofL Hospital has been re-verified as a Level I Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons, recognizing the hospital’s dedication to providing the highest quality of trauma care for all injured patients.  

A team of experienced reviewers in the field of trauma conducted an on-site review of the hospital in July, and the hospital received word of the re-verification this month in an official letter. The verification process provides confirmation the hospital has demonstrated its commitment to providing optimal care.

“The re-verification is acknowledgement of all the hard work that happens here at UofL Hospital every day,” said Kim Denzik, MSN, RN, director of the UofL Hospital Trauma Institute. “There is a tremendous amount of work and preparation that goes into the trauma review. There are a lot of people to be thanked for their continued hard work, diligence and commitment to providing the very best care for our patients.”

The re-verification came from the American College of Surgeons’ Verification Review Committee, an ad hoc committee of the group’s Committee on Trauma.

The Committee on Trauma’s verification program does not designate trauma centers, rather it provides confirmation that a trauma center has demonstrated its commitment to providing the highest quality of trauma care. The actual establishment and designation of a trauma center is the function of local, regional or state agencies. However, verified trauma centers must meet essential criteria that ensure trauma care capability and institutional performance as outlined by the Committee on Trauma.

Having the expert level of care here in Louisville is important to patients like Brandon Clark, who was in a dirt bike accident in March 2017 at age 19.

“I was at my girlfriend’s house racing my brother when the throttle got stuck and I was thrown 53 feet,” Clark said. He was transported from Floyds Knobs, Ind., to UofL Hospital, where he was diagnosed with a broken femur and a separated shoulder. He underwent surgery with an orthopedic specialist at UofL Hospital the next morning.

“It was very rough in the beginning,” Clark said. “I was just 19, and I couldn’t even walk. I left the hospital in a wheelchair. I wanted to give up on life. But nobody there let me give up.”

By August 2018, he was walking again - at the Kentucky State Fair. It was there he ran into a member of the Trauma Center’s staff, Annabelle Pike.

“I wanted to tell her just how great it felt to be walking again. I wouldn’t be here without the staff at UofL Hospital. They work with you a lot. They want to help you out the most.”

Today, he’s going to the University of Northwestern Ohio to be a diesel mechanic, and driving home on weekends to do farming and construction work from his home in Ballardsville, Ky. On Oct. 16, he said he was able to run a mile, just a year and a half after his stay at UofL Hospital.

He said he’s appreciative of the second chance he was given. “It made me realize you can lose your life in the blink of an eye.”

Established by the American College of Surgeons in 1987, the Committee on Trauma’s Consultation/Verification Program for Hospitals promotes the development of trauma centers that provide the entire spectrum of care to address the needs of injured patient, from preventing injuries before they occur, to the hospital resources necessary for trauma care, all the way through the rehabilitation process.

There are five separate categories of verification in the Committee on Trauma’s program: Level I Trauma Center; Level II Trauma Center; Level III Trauma Center; Level I Pediatric Trauma Center; and Level II Pediatric Trauma Center. Each has specific criteria that must be met. UofL Hospital is one of just two adult Level I Trauma Centers in the state of Kentucky, with the other at the University of Kentucky’s Albert B. Chandler Hospital.

Founded in 1913, the American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational association of surgeons to raise the standards of surgical practice and education and improve the care of the surgical patient. The College is an important advocate for surgical patients and has over 72,000 members, making it the largest association of surgeons in the world.

The College’s Committee on Trauma promotes leadership and cooperation of all participants in a trauma center so injured patients are provided with the best possible care.