News

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
http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1411480

Valganciclovir for Symptomatic Congenital Cytomegalovirus Disease
http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1404599

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 telly.mcgaha@louisville.edu 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.

#WeAreUofL

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 cuverro.com or contact cuverro@olinbrass.com.

 

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.

 

#WeAreUofL

 

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.”

 

Saving lives from suicide topic of Sept. 8th program

UofL Depression Center lecture discusses new developments in suicide prevention
Saving lives from suicide topic of Sept. 8th program

David Goldston, Ph.D.

“Saving the Lives of Adolescents and Adults: New Developments in Understanding Suicidal Behavior” will be presented at the next “Building Hope” lecture sponsored by the University of Louisville Depression Center.

The program will begin at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 8, at Second Presbyterian Church, 3701 Old Brownsboro Rd. Admission is free.

Co-sponsored by the Louisville Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the program will provide participants with information on new developments in understanding suicidal behavior and approaches to treatment and interventions for suicidal individuals.

The speaker will be David Goldston, Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, in the Department of Psychiatry’s Division of Child & Family Mental Health & Developmental Neuroscience at the Duke University School of Medicine. He also serves as director of the Duke Center for the Study of Suicide Prevention and Intervention.

The University of Louisville Depression Center is Kentuckiana’s leading resource for depression and bipolar disorder treatment, research and education. It is a charter member of the National Network of Depression Centers, a consortium of leading depression centers that develops and fosters connections among members to advance scientific discovery and provide stigma-free, evidence-based care to patients with depressive and bipolar illnesses.

For more information, contact the Depression Center at 502-588-4450.

About the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is the leader in the fight against suicide. It funds research, offers educational programs, advocates for public policy and supports those affected by suicide. Headquartered in New York, AFSP has 75 local chapters, including Louisville, with programs and events nationwide.

High school students do summer right with medical research internships at UofL

Students mentored by James Graham Brown Cancer Center scientists present research posters.
High school students do summer right with medical research internships at UofL

JGBCC High School Research Interns 2015

When Mary Osborne and some of her classmates toured the James Graham Brown Cancer Center (JGBCC) and research facilities at the University of Louisville, she had a lot of questions. The sophomore at Central Hardin High School was fascinated by the research and treatments that Brian Clem, Ph.D. described for the students.

“When we got to ask him questions. I basically ended up grilling him about what he was doing,” Osborne said.

Clem, an assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular genetics at UofL and a researcher with JGBCC, appreciated her curiosity and encouraged her to apply for the Summer Research Intern Program sponsored by JGBCC for high school students.

“Mary asked me probably 30 questions on that tour. Her interest and enthusiasm stood out,” Clem said. “I definitely requested to have her as an intern.”

The 2015 Summer Research Intern Program provided 14 high school students from the Greater Louisville area with the opportunity to work in a University of Louisville medical research lab under the guidance of some of the top cancer researchers in the nation. Each student is assigned one of the Cancer Center’s research faculty as a mentor and works in that researcher’s lab for eight weeks. JGBCC has hosted the program for the past 13 summers as a way to reach out to the area’s budding scientists.

“I love science and I love that there never is really an answer to everything. There is always another question,” said Osborne, who hopes to pursue a career in medicine or science. “We can find treatments for cancer, but we want to find treatments for individual people. Every cancer is different.”

Many of the students in the program aspire to careers in medicine or research, and having spent a summer working in a medical lab and with an established researcher is an impressive point on the student’s resume and college applications. Another student in the program, Kyle Bilyeu, graduated from Louisville’s Trinity High School this spring and has been working with John Eaton, Ph.D., and Chi Li, Ph.D., this summer. He sees the program as a chance to get ahead on the path to becoming a clinical oncologist.

“This experience is invaluable. This introduction puts me ahead of everyone as I progress through my career goals,” said Bilyeu, who will enroll at UofL this fall as an undergraduate.

The program also gives UofL the chance to introduce the University’s vibrant research community to bright, curious students from the local area like Osborne and Bilyeu.

“UofL and the Cancer Center are trying to get high school students interested in science,” Clem said. “We want to highlight what UofL has to offer in terms of research to keep them in the city instead of going elsewhere for their education. Plus, it gets my foot in the door with them. If I find a really good student, I like to have them come back.”

Clem says that the researchers also benefit from having the young students in the lab.

“They bring a lot of different dynamics to the lab during the summer. It reinforces your teaching and mentorship ability,” Clem said. “High school students are inexperienced in the science background and knowledge necessary to work in the lab. You have to start from scratch. It is amazing to see how they progress in their knowledge base and ability to grasp new ideas and gain hands-on experience.”

Clem said one of the most difficult lessons for a high school-age student is understanding that experiments don’t always work the first time.

“The students get a crash course in the ups and downs of things not working and troubleshooting. They realize that research isn’t about everything working; 80 to 90 percent of it is about why stuff isn’t working,” Clem said.

The high school students presented posters representing their summer research work on Thursday, July 30 in the lobby of the Kosair Charities Clinical and Translational Research Building, along with undergraduate summer research students from other programs.

UofL physicians, KentuckyOne heart team to live stream, tweet surgery April 2

UofL physicians, KentuckyOne heart team to live stream, tweet surgery April 2

Physicians with the University of Louisville and the KentuckyOne Health Heart Care team will live stream and tweet updates from the operating room as a heart valve procedure is being performed April 2 at Jewish Hospital.

The staff anticipates that the live stream will begin around 10 a.m. To participate, go to www.kentuckyonehealth.org/ky1heartcare for the live stream or follow the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #KY1HeartCare.

The scheduled procedure will be a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), a minimally invasive valve replacement for patients with severe aortic stenosis who are not well enough to undergo traditional open-heart surgery.

During the TAVR procedure, a cardiologist and cardiothoracic surgeon work together to implant a new heart valve, called the Edwards SAPIEN XT, through a small puncture in the groin. The procedure is performed in the hybrid operating room at Jewish Hospital.

Performing the TAVR procedure will be Assistant Professor of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery Kendra Grubb, M.D. and Interventional Cardiologist and Assistant Professor of Medicine Michael Flaherty, M.D., along with the Jewish Hospital Heart Valve team. Both practice with University of Louisville Physicians.

ULP Cardiologist Lorrel Brown, M.D., also an experienced heart specialist, will be in the OR specifically to tweet during the procedure and answer questions posed on Twitter.

Students, faculty and staff are invited to take part as education, clinical care and new media come together in this unparalleled opportunity. For additional information, contact KentuckyOne Health at 502-562-7075.

 

Disaster Medicine Certificate Series hosts active shooter disaster drill Saturday, March 30

Bystanders should be aware of visual, sound effects and avoid area unless necessary.

The UofL School of Medicine Disaster Medicine Certificate Series will hold an Active Shooter Disaster Drill on the Health Sciences Center campus from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, March 30.

This will be a live-action (not tabletop) drill, complete with actors portraying both perpetrators and victims, and visual, sound and other effects to simulate reality.  The location will be the Instructional Building and the HSC Plaza, 500 S. Preston St. The second floor of Kornhauser Library will be open.

Due to the large-scale nature of this drill, bystanders may hear simulated gunshots or explosions, and see a large police presence on campus. Bystanders should not be alarmed, and should not call 911 as this is only a drill.

In order for this drill to be safe and effective, the number of people on campus must be minimized. If anyone does not have to be on the HSC campus on March 30, please avoid the area.

For additional information, contact Madison Kommor, madison.kommor@louisville.edu, or Jill Scoggins, jill.scoggins@louisville.edu. 

What do old bones tell us about the health of ancient humans? Beer with a Scientist March 13

What do old bones tell us about the health of ancient humans? Beer with a Scientist March 13

Fabian Crespo, Ph.D., at Stonehenge

A person’s immune system is affected by a large number of biological, social and environmental influences, many of which change throughout his or her lifetime. This makes it difficult to research certain aspects of immune health by studying living people.

At the next Beer with a Scientist, Fabian Crespo, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Louisville, will explain how bioarchaeologists are studying the skeletons of ancient humans to learn about health and disease.

“By studying different skeletal markers where inflammation is involved, bioarchaeologists can reconstruct immune competence in human skeletal samples. These osteoimmunological findings can help us understand the relationship between immune and bone cells,” Crespo said. “However, to better understand what these findings reveal about human health in the past requires discussion among immunologists, bioarchaeologists and historians.”

Crespo’s talk will begin at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 13, at Holsopple Brewing, 8023 Catherine Lane, Louisville, 40222. A 30-minute presentation will be followed by an informal Q&A session.

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

Organizers encourage Beer with a Scientist patrons to drink responsibly.

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

Upcoming Beer with a Scientist dates:  April 17, May 15.



March 6, 2019

Toni Ganzel to participate in national deans' panel on medical education, live-streamed Sept. 8 at noon

Toni Ganzel to participate in national deans' panel on medical education, live-streamed Sept. 8 at noon

Toni Ganzel

Dean Toni Ganzel, M.D., M.B.A., will discuss the future of American medical education in the National Deans’ Panel On Thursday, Sept. 8 from noon to 1:30 p.m., hosted by the University of Florida College of Medicine. The event is part of its 60th anniversary celebration. Ganzel will be joined by fellow medical school deans Joseph Kerschner, M.D. of the Medical College of Wisconsin, E. Albert Reece, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A. of the University of Maryland and Michael Good, M.D., of the University of Florida to discuss contemporary issues in medical education, biomedical science and American health care.

Join the live stream of the event online at: http://bit.ly/DeansPanelUF

Submit questions to the panel during the event via Twitter using the hashtag #UFMed60.

Native son, Nobel laureate Phillip Sharp, Ph.D., to discuss genetics research at UofL May 25

Native son, Nobel laureate Phillip Sharp, Ph.D., to discuss genetics research at UofL May 25

Phillip Sharp, Ph.D.

A Kentucky native who won the Nobel Prize for research that advanced the understanding of gene structure, Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D., will visit UofL on May 25. His presentation is titled, “40 years from split genes to convergence of life sciences with engineering and physical sciences.”

Sharp shared the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Richard Roberts, Ph.D., for 1977 research that revealed the first indications of “discontinuous genes” in mammalian cells. The discovery fundamentally changed scientists’ understanding of gene structure.

Sharp is an institute professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Department of Biology. His research centers on the molecular biology of gene expression relevant to cancer and the mechanisms of RNA splicing. The author of more than 400 publications, Sharp is a member of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and the Royal Society, United Kingdom. The Kentucky native earned his B.A. in chemistry and mathematics from Union College in Barbourville, Ky.

The lecture begins at noon, Thursday, May 25, at the Kosair Charities Clinical and Translational Research Building, room 101-102. The event, hosted by the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics of the UofL School of Medicine, is part of the Austin and Mary Frances Bloch Lecture Series, established in 1999 in honor of Austin Bloch and his wife, Mary Frances Bloch. Austin Bloch practiced medicine in Louisville for many years and served as an adjunct clinical instructor for the UofL School of Medicine. 

Sharp also will present a research seminar on Friday, May 26 in room 102 of the UofL School of Medicine instructional building on the topic, “Super-enhancer-associated microRNAs and phase transitions.”

Sharp is the second Nobel laureate to visit UofL this month. Peter Agre, M.D., spoke on Belknap Campus on May 8. Agre shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 2003, with Roderick MacKinnon for his work in the discovery of water channels in cell membranes. 

Kosair Charities Clinical and Translational Research Building is located at 505 S. Hancock St., Louisville, Ky. 40202.

 

Photo © Peter Badge / Typos1 in coop. Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings—all rights reserved, 2016

May 17, 2017

Evolent Health expands partnership with Passport Health Plan to support Medicaid beneficiaries in Kentucky

Evolent Health expands partnership with Passport Health Plan to support Medicaid beneficiaries in Kentucky

Passport Health Plan andEvolent Health, a company providing an integrated value-based care platform to the nation's leading providers and payers, announced on May 29 that Evolent has entered into a definitive agreement to partner with the current sponsors of Passport in continuing to serve the Kentucky Medicaid market. The current sponsors, which include The University of Louisville, University of Louisville Physicians, University Medical Center, Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence, Norton Healthcare and the Louisville/Jefferson County Primary Care Association, have been seeking a partner to provide expanded management and operational support, as well as capital through joint ownership of the health plan, and haveselected Evolent as its long-term financial and operating partner.

Per the terms of the agreement, Evolent will acquire an ownership interest in Passport Health Plan and will expand the scope and term of its long-term Management Services Agreement with the health plan. Evolent will also provide interim balance sheet support if necessary to meet near-term regulatory capital requirements.

Passport health plan logoPassport has provided Medicaid managed care services in Kentucky since 1997 and currently serves more than 300,000 members statewide. The plan employs more than 600 Kentuckians, primarily at its headquarters in Louisville. Evolent has provided extensive services to Passport since 2016, when the organizations formed a relationship to launch the Medicaid Center of Excellence focused on improving health outcomes for Medicaid beneficiaries in Kentucky and in several states nationwide.

Passport will be jointly owned and operated through a partnership between Evolent, The University of Louisville, the University of Louisville Physicians, University Medical Center, Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence, Norton Healthcare and the Louisville/Jefferson County Primary Care Association. The plan will be governed by a newly formed board of directors upon closing with joint representation from the current owners and Evolent Health. Evolent intends to maintain all Kentucky operations under the Passport name and looks forward to building upon the plan’s excellent history of service in the Commonwealth.  

“We strongly believe in Passport’s mission and have been proud to partner with Passport’s leadership team to serve the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” said Evolent Health Chief Executive Officer Frank Williams. “We are honored by the vote of confidence the owners of Passport have given us to continue to build on an extraordinary legacy of delivering an excellent member experience to Kentucky’s Medicaid beneficiaries. We are confident that by leveraging our value-based care platform and the full scope of our clinical programs, as well as providing enhanced functional expertise, we can drive strong operational and financial performance. We look forward to collaborating with The University of Louisville and other Passport owners—as well as local and state regulatory agencies and other key stakeholders—to continue driving improved health outcomes and critical support to one of the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable populations.”

 

“The University of Louisville helped create Passport Health Plan in 1997, paving the way for what has become a national model for managed care,” said University of Louisville President Dr. Neeli Bendapudi. “Now, we are proud to partner with Evolent Health to begin a new chapter that will continue to spark innovation in the delivery of care.”

“For the past 20 years, Passport has been proud to work with the Commonwealth, our provider partners and other valued supporters to deliver a quality health plan that promotes our members’ best interests and health outcomes,” said Passport Health Plan Chief Executive Officer Mark Carter. “I am confident that Passport has a bright future ahead, thanks to the solid foundation we’ve built and the significant investment, expertise and support that Evolent brings to the table. Evolent and Passport are dedicated to finding ways to bring the West Louisville Health and Wellbeing Campus to life, as we believe it will significantly positively impact the health of the community. Evolent and Passport will be working with developers and key stakeholders to create a definitive plan and select a real estate developer to bring the project to fruition.”

About Evolent Health

Evolent Health partners with leading provider and payer organizations to achieve superior clinical and financial results in value-based care and under full-risk arrangements. With a provider heritage and over 20 years of health plan administration experience, Evolent partners with more than 35 health care organizations to actively manage care across Medicare, Medicaid, commercial and self-funded adult and pediatric populations. With the experience to drive change, Evolent confidently stands by a commitment to achieve results. For more information, visit evolenthealth.com.

About Passport Health Plan

Passport Health Plan is a provider-sponsored, non-profit, community-based health plan administering Medicaid benefits to more than 300,000 Kentuckians. Named the top Medicaid plan in Kentucky by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) for 2016-17, Passport has been contracted with the Commonwealth of Kentucky to administer Medicaid benefits since 1997. For details, please visit passporthealthplan.com or call toll-free (800) 578-0603. Passport also operates a Medicare Advantage program, called “Passport Advantage,” for residents of Jefferson, Bullitt, Hardin, Nelson, Breckinridge, Carroll, Grayson, Henry, Larue, Marion, Meade, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer, Trimble and Washington counties who are eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare. For details, go online to passportadvantage.com or call toll-free (844) 859-6152.

 

UofL psychiatry resident wins national fellowship

Award provides for 10-month advocacy role with Congress
UofL psychiatry resident wins national fellowship

Daniel Jackson, M.D.

A third-year resident in the University of Louisville Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences has been awarded the Jeanne Spurlock, M.D. Congressional Fellowship of the American Psychiatric Association and the association’s related organization, the American Psychiatric Foundation.

Daniel T. Jackson, M.D., is serving in the Capitol Hill office of U.S. Rep. James McDermott, M.D. (D-Wash.) for the 10 months of the fellowship beginning in September. The award is offered to only one individual each year and provides the opportunity to represent the profession of psychiatry in Congress, working with federal policy makers to shape public policy.

“My work with Rep. McDermott – who is a psychiatrist himself – focuses on mental health issues including the Mental Health Reform Act of 2015 in the Senate and the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2015 in the House,” Jackson said. “We hope to see action on one or both bills in the coming months.”

Both bills propose to reform current mental health law to make available needed psychiatric, psychological and supportive services to individuals with mental illness and families in mental health crisis. The bills focus on providing more programs and resources to help those suffering from mental disorders.

 

Jackson is a two-time graduate of UofL, earning his medical degree in 2013 and a bachelor of arts degree cum laude in psychology with concentration in the natural sciences in 2007. He entered the residency program in July 2013.

As a resident, he lectures on substance abuse topics to third- and fourth-year medical students and sits on the UofL Psychiatry Residency Admission Committee. He also is a member of the American Psychiatric Association, Kentucky Psychiatric Medical Association, Kentucky Medical Association and Greater Louisville Medical Society.

He also has undertaken public policy advocacy work as a resident, attending the Advocacy Leadership Conference in Washington last year. There, he joined with others in the health care profession to recommend for increased federal investment through the National Institutes of Health, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and Indian Health Service. He has lobbied for passage of the Ensuring Veteran’s Resiliency Act and helped efforts that were successful in reforming Medicare’s physician payment formula.

 

UofL’s Trover Campus a national model in drawing physicians to rural practice

UofL’s Trover Campus a national model in drawing physicians to rural practice

William J. Crump, M.D.

Although many rural residents who were previously uninsured now have health insurance thanks to the Affordable Care Act, a shortage of physicians in many rural communities means it still can be difficult for rural residents to obtain health care.

The University of Louisville School of Medicine has been working to increase the number of physicians in rural communities by training doctors at Trover Campus at Baptist Health Madisonville for 17 years. William J. Crump, M.D., associate dean for the Trover Campus, and his colleagues at UofL have assembled data to demonstrate that their efforts are paying off. The physicians who spent the last two years of medical school at the rural location are much more likely to ultimately practice in a rural setting.

In a study published online last week in The Journal of Rural Health, Crump reveals that 45 percent of the physicians who completed medical school at the rural campus now practice in rural areas, compared with only 7 percent of graduates who remained on the urban campus. The authors examined data for 1,120 physicians who graduated from the UofL School of Medicine between 2001 and 2008, including those who completed training at the traditional urban campus as well as Trover Campus. They used statistical methods to control for the percentage of graduates who had rural upbringing and chose family medicine, factors that previously were shown to predispose a physician to rural practice, and were able to demonstrate the rural campus itself added to the likelihood a physician would choose a rural practice.

“We were able to show that the investment of resources in our campus over the past 17 years has made a real difference for our Commonwealth,” Crump said. “There are almost 20 other such small campuses that have been established recently around the country. It will be another 10 to 15 years before they are able to prove the outcomes that we have, but we are confident that they will find the same thing. Not only will physicians be placed into small towns, but the small towns that host these rural regional campuses will benefit greatly from the financial investment by the parent campus as well as potentially recruiting their graduates to make their own medical care better."

Almost two-thirds of Kentucky’s counties are considered health professional shortage areas, meaning they have far too few primary care physicians. The University of Louisville focused on correcting this shortage by establishing the Trover Campus in Madisonville, Ky., a town of 20,000 that is 150 miles southwest of Louisville in the west Kentucky coal fields. It was believed that training students from small towns in a small town would more likely produce physicians for the small towns, and now this concept has been proven. Trover Campus was only the second in the United States to be placed in such a small town.


November 6, 2015