A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

UK physician Dr. Angela Tackett Dearinger appointed commissioner of KY Department for Public Health

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News The state Cabinet for Health and Family Services has named Dr. Angela Tackett Dearinger commissioner of its Department for Public Health. Dearinger, 43, is board-certified in internal medicine, pediatrics, public health and general preventive medicine. She is an associate professor at the University of Kentucky and is its College of Medicine’s assistant...

New contract allows UK to expand, improve rural Ky. opioid use disorder program for pregnant women

By Olivia Ramirez UK Now With a $4.9 million contract from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), the University of Kentucky will expand and improve treatment for pregnant women with opioid use disorder (OUD) in rural areas of Kentucky. The need for multidisciplinary comprehensive treatment for OUD was seen across multiple disciplines – members of the Department of Obstetrics...

UK pediatric psychologist develops Cellie Coping Kit to help sick kids manage the stress of treatment

By Hilary Brown Special to KyForward Treatment for any serious medical condition can be daunting for even the most intrepid adults. But for children who deal with serious illness, the lack of understanding about what is happening to them coupled with fear and anxiety, can make it difficult for them to cope with their treatment. Dr. Meghan Marsac, pediatric psychologist and assistant professor in the...

UK researchers seek to identify ways to relieve cases of post-chemotherapy cognitive impairment

By Gail Hairston and Allison Perry Special to KyForward Of the 14 million cancer survivors in the United States, a significant number experience a serious side effect called chemotherapy-induced cognitive impairment (CICI). While easily recognized, little is known about the etiology of this condition, also known informally as “chemo brain.” CICI can significantly reduce patients’ quality of...

Treating Pain: Discuss risks, alternatives to taking opioids for relief with your doctor

By Dr. Kristy Deep Special to KyForward Treating pain is important and for many people, the reliance on opioids or narcotics may not be the best answer. The amount of opioids prescribed in the U.S. has quadrupled since 1999, but the overall amount of pain reported hasn’t changed. There are also risks from opioid pain medicines — including side effects and the risk of overdose. And according to...

UK College of Medicine’s Northern Kentucky campus gets $2.5 million scholarship from St. Elizabeth

St. Elizabeth Healthcare has provided a gift of $2.5 million to support a tuition scholarship program for the University of Kentucky College of Medicine in Northern Kentucky. Through this gift, scholarships will be awarded to medical students enrolled at the Northern Kentucky campus, which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2019. The affiliation between the University of Kentucky, Northern Kentucky...

Kentucky doctors, lawmakers, insurance companies battle opioid epidemic by limiting prescriptons

To fight the opioid epidemic, Kentucky doctors, legislators and health-insurance companies are working to limit the prescription of painkillers. At the annual convention of the Kentucky Medical Association, a University of Kentucky trauma surgeon told other physicians how he and his colleagues got a wake-up call about the problem and “how they were able to halve the amount of opiates given to...

New UK Markey Cancer Center study shows ‘killer peptide’ helps eliminate some cancer cells

By Allison Perry Special to KyForward A new study by University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center researchers shows that when therapy-sensitive cancer cells die, they release a “killer peptide” that can eliminate therapy-resistant cells. Tumor relapse is a common problem following cancer treatment, because primary tumor cells often contain therapy-resistance cancer cells that continue to...

Groundbreaking ceremony held for UK College of Medicine’s new campus in Bowling Green

A groundbreaking ceremony for the University of Kentucky College of Medicine-Bowling Green Campus was held earlier this week at The Medical Center at Bowling Green. The four-year, regional campus medical school is the first of its kind in Kentucky and is a partnership between The Medical Center, the University of Kentucky and Western Kentucky University “Through this investment in education, we...

UK launches revamped Women’s Health & You program to make good health an ongoing priority

By Ann Coker Special to KyForward Health conditions and medications affect women’s bodies differently than men’s, so it’s important that we understand the specifics of women’s health. Heart attacks often present differently in women than men, for example. And we’re learning that medication, such as the common sleep aid Ambien, is metabolized in women’s bodies differently than in men, meaning...

UK students working Shoulder to Shoulder in Ecuador as part of spring break health project

During spring break 47 University of Kentucky students, faculty and community members will be spending their spring break in Santo Domingo, Ecuador on an interdisciplinary health brigade experience with Shoulder to Shoulder Global (STSG). The Centro de Salud Hombro a Hombro clinic (CSHH), the primary worksite for UK’s STSG volunteers, provides medical care, prevention services, oral health and school-based...

UK researcher traces molecular pathways to obesity and cardiovascular disease

By Elizabeth Adams Special to KyForward An array of scientific evidence demonstrates a correlation between diets high in fat and cholesterol content and blockages in the arteries, which lead to cardiovascular disease (CVD). But a lesser-known risk factor for CVD is exposure to the chemical compound biphenyl A, or BPA, a base component of consumer plastic products such as water bottles. A fundamental...

UK College of Medicine associate dean Elam receives 2016 SGEA Career Educator Award

Carol Elam, associate dean of Admissions and Institutional Advancement at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, has been named the recipient of the 2016 Southern Group on Educational Affairs (SGEA) Career Educator Award. The award acknowledges Elam’s leadership and contributions to medical education. Carol Elam and Gary Rosenfeld, past chair of the SGEA (UK Now Photo) As a professor of...

UK professor’s finding involving cell splicing may point to new ways to treat obesity and cancer

University of Kentucky College of Medicine Professor Stefan Stamm has identified a previously-unknown function of small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs): regulating a fundamental cellular process called alternative splicing. His findings point to new ways to treat obesity and cancer. “Alternative splicing allows cells to make multiple proteins out of a single gene,” Stamm explains. In alternative splicing,...

UK HealthCare’s Dr. Michael Karpf announces decision to retire in 2017

University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto and UK Executive Vice President for Health Affairs (EVPHA) Dr. Michael Karpf Wednesday announced Karpf’s decision to retire in 2017 following the hiring and appropriate transition period for his replacement. “My original mandate when recruited to this position by then UK President Lee Todd was to revitalize the clinical enterprise at UK incorporating...

Commentary: Unused, expired medications have potential for abuse and should be discarded

By Dr. Amy Meadows Special to KyForward When was the last time you cleaned out your medicine cabinet? Unlike a messy refrigerator there’s nothing in your medicine cabinet to send a scented reminder you need to throw out old bottles of ibuprofen and pain killers from your oral surgery two years ago. Not only is this unsafe because medications should not be consumed past their expiration date, but...

Safety First: When mowing the lawn, keeping children indoors is the best possible safety precaution

By Dr. Lesley Wong Special to KyForward Spring is here which means children will begin playing outside more often. With the change in the weather, it also means time to add another chore to the list: mowing the lawn. Depending on where you live, you may mow your lawn 30 times or more this year. However, every time you start your mower, you are dealing with a dangerous, potentially deadly piece of equipment....

National Kidney Foundation presents UK professor with Distinguished Physician Award

Dr. Thomas Waid, professor in the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, received the Distinguished Physician Award from the National Kidney Foundation during its March meeting. The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is an organization dedicated to the awareness and treatment of kidney disease. The award recognizes Waid’s leadership and commitment to the NKF mission and his contributions to the...

Research finds a web-based reward program helps teens, pregnant smokers in Appalachia quit

A new web-based program that uses a reward system to help people quit smoking has shown some promise in Appalachian Kentucky, an area that has some of the highest smoking and smoking-related disease rates in the nation, according to a University of Kentucky news release. The research is led by Brady Reynolds, a native of Appalachian Virginia who works in the Department of Behavioral Science in UK’s...

Former Rutgers Cancer Institute director DiPaola named new dean of UK College of Medicine

University of Kentucky Provost Tim Tracy and Executive Vice President for Health Affairs Dr. Michael Karpf announced Monday that Dr. Robert DiPaola, director of the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Vice Chancellor for Cancer Programs, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, has been named dean of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. Dr. DiPaola is expected to assume the dean’s...