School of Medicine Dean named vice president for academic medical affairs Friday, Apr 3 2020 

By Matthew Keck —

The University of Louisville named Toni Ganzel, School of Medicine dean, vice president for academic medical affairs March 30.

“I’m pleased to announce that School of Medicine Dean Toni Ganzel has agreed to take on an additional role in leading our Health Sciences Center,” said President Neeli Bendapudi.

Ganzel will be taking on the role of vice president for academic medical affairs while also remaining the School of Medicine dean.

Her duties as vice president will include overseeing research activity at the Health Sciences Center, areas regarding diversity and inclusion and faculty development and student health. She will be reporting the overseen activity to Bendapudi and provost Beth Boehm.

Alongside U of L Health CEO Tom Miller, Ganzel will be in charge of making sure that teaching and researching are successful at U of L Health.

“Dr. Ganzel has done an excellent job as dean of the School of Medicine,” said Bendapudi. “I value her expertise and her leadership and look forward to continuing to work with her in this new role. She and Tom Miller are a great team to lead medical education, research and care in our community.”

Ganzel has served as the School of Medicine dean since 2012. She joined U of L in 1983 as an assistant professor in otolaryngology and has held other various roles with the school since.

Bendapudi said she wishes Ganzel well in educating U of L’s health professionals of tomorrow.

Photo Courtesy of The University of Louisville

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U of L Health expands telehealth program in response to COVID-19 outbreak Tuesday, Mar 31 2020 

By Eli Hughes —

U of L Health announced March 26 they are expanding their telehealth program in order to continue to treat patients while maintaining a social distance.

This telehealth program allows patients to have an appointment with their doctor over video chat. This service will be available to current U of L health patients as well as qualifying new patients.

“This is something that had been on track for a launch later this year,” said Wade Mitzel, chief operating officer of U of L Physicians.

“But given the current need to reduce contact and increase precaution, we fast tracked the launch in order to give our patients peace of mind, with a convenient and safe way to access their provider.”

Patients who wish to set up an appointment can do so by calling their primary care number at 502-588-4343. If it is determined that a telehealth appointment may be beneficial, the patient will be able to set up a video call with their provider.

U of L Health assures patients that these calls are secure and HIPPA compliant. The calls will also not be recorded or stored in any way.

Providers can use these appointments to assess possible COVID-19 symptoms as well as to treat minor illnesses like a common cold or flu. Providers will also be able to prescribe medication or recommend over the counter options when needed.

When necessary the provider can refer the patient to a specialist, a U of L health location or an emergency medical center.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

 

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U of L Health opens drive-thru COVID-19 testing Thursday, Mar 26 2020 

By Matthew Keck — 

The University of Louisville began drive-thru COVID-19 testing March 26. The drive-thru is located in the U of L Health parking lot on Brook Street between Muhammad Ali and Liberty Street.

Dr. Hugh Shoff, chief quality officer for U of L Health, said that the drive-thru is an effective way to keep potentially infected patients from spreading the virus.

“Really what we want to do is centralize this to get it away from our clinics so that our patients aren’t exposing those other patients that are just there for routine care,” Shoff said.

Patients who want to be tested at the drive-thru must be referred by their doctor first.

Healthcare workers in protective gear are set up to swab the inside of patient’s noses while they remain in their cars. After the swabbing, the sample is placed in a test tube and sent to a lab to be tested for COVID-19.

The typical turnaround time for testing results is several days, possibly longer. There were around 12 patients tested at the drive-thru March 26.

Currently, the state of Kentucky has tested 4,016 people for the COVID-19 virus. Of that number, there have been 248 positive cases confirmed. Jefferson and Fayette County have the most reported cases in the state.

U of L Health said they plan to have more patients approved for their drive-thru testing in the coming weeks.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal 

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How to avoid the flu and what to do if you get it Monday, Feb 17 2020 

By Matthew Keck —

It is flu season again. There are many ways to avoid getting the flu, but if you happen to draw the short straw, don’t panic.

What To Do If You Get Sick

The first thing to do if you end up with the flu is to stay home and avoid contact with others, except medical care, according to the University of Louisville Campus Health.

Resting, drinking lots of fluids (stay away from caffeine and alcohol, though), and using fever reducing medicine is suggested as well.

It is also recommended that those infected with the flu wear a face mask if they need to go out in public. This helps stop the spreading of the flu.

What Not To Do

U of L Campus Health says that people infected with the flu should not go to the emergency room unless their symptoms are more severe. “In most cases, you don’t need to see a medical provider when you have a cold or the flu,” U of L Health website said.

Anyone infected with the flu should avoid contact with others. This can be tricky for college students living in dorms since they can be such close quarters.

U of L Health’s advice for students in this situation is to avoid contact with the sick roommates belongings and wash your hands.

How To Prevent Getting the Flu

Washing your hands is one of the best ways to prevent getting the flu says U of L Health. They also say that eating healthy, exercising and getting enough sleep plays a major role in boosting your immune system to fight off the flu.

U of L Campus Health also says to get a flu shot each year before flu season begins. And their website dispels the myth that getting a flu shot gives you the flu. “The flu shot contains dead viruses. You cannot get the flu from the flu shot or nose spray vaccine,” says its website.

U of L students can get a free flu shot at any of these locations:

  • Campus Health Medical Services.
  • Health Promotion Office.
  • Flu Shot Stations.

More information regarding the flu can be found at louisville.edu/campushealth.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal 

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Physicians at U of L Health celebrate 1,000 robotic-arm assisted surgeries Sunday, Feb 2 2020 

By Matthew Keck — 

U of L Health physicians completed their 1,000 Mako Robotic assisted joint replacement procedure last month. Patients in Jewish Hospital’s Total Joint Replacement program seeking treatment for hip and knee arthritis are the subjects of this procedure.

“The Mako system procedures allow us to better plan for hip and knee replacement surgeries to exactly hit our surgical target which creates a more favorable outcome for the patient,” said Dr. Arthur Malkani, MD, Orthopedic Surgery.

Malkani was the surgeon for this Michael Kirkham’s operation. Kirkham had his entire knee replaced using the Mako Robotic assisted system. During these procedures, the arm accurately determines implant sizes and exact placement of the joint replacement parts.

Dr. Logan Mast and Dr. Madhu Yakkanti, along with Malkani, have performed the majority of hip and knee replacement surgeries at Jewish Hospital using this technology. “This innovative technology allows us to customize the placement and size of hip and knee implants for the individual patient using minimally invasive surgery techniques allowing for a perfect fit in addition to faster recovery, less opioid consumption and improved outcomes,” said Malkani.

This robotic arm allows the surgeons to make precise bone cuts and place the implants to exactly match patient’s anatomy based on the preoperative plan. This technology helps surgeons make any adjustments during the procedure and reach their surgical goal.

With this system, the physicians were able to replicate Kirkham’s knee alignment prior to his injury and before the area became arthritic. They were then able to reestablish his knee’s pre-arthritic alignment with better precision.

“The Mako system gives us the ability to develop patient-specific 3D models of the arthritic area,” said Malkani. “This 3D technology lets us know precisely where to place the new parts and the exact size of the parts needed.”

Patients like Kirkham have reported less short-term pain after undergoing procedures with the Mako Robotic assisted surgery. Those same patients have also reported faster recovery times than patients who underwent traditional replacement surgery.

“I am very satisfied with my surgery and without all the pain, I am looking forward to getting back to enjoying hiking, gardening, yard work, camping and spending time with our five grandkids,” said Kirkham.

“The use of computer technology and robotic assisted surgery has been a significant benefit and evolution in the field of total joint replacement in helping surgeons improve surgical accuracy and overall satisfaction in our patients undergoing hip and knee replacement,” said Malkani.

U of L Health – Jewish Hospital is the only facility in its region to perform these cutting edge procedures.

Photo Courtesy of U of L Health 

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Loan to help U of L with Jewish Hospital acquisition passes legislature Thursday, Jan 30 2020 

By Matthew Keck —

The University of Louisville’s $35 million loan request to help with the purchase of Jewish Hospital passed one barrier of legislature Jan. 21. The Kentucky House’s Appropriations and Revenue Committee approved the university’s request, and now it moves to the full House.

“We appreciate the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee’s vote in favor of the state loan supporting the acquisition and enhancement of the properties that now are part of U of L Health,” said U of L President Neeli Bendapudi.

The request for this loan came back in August 2019 when U of L decided they would purchase KentuckyOne Health’s Louisville assets. Originally, U of L asked for a $50 million loan, but they announced that they decreased the loan to $35 million Jan. 9. Bendapudi said this was due to U of L calculating procurement savings and reductions in operational expenses.

“Under the leadership of Chairman Rudy, the committee showed its commitment not only to the teaching, research and patient care missions of the University of Louisville and its medical system, but also to the economic success of the commonwealth and the health and well-being of its citizens,” she said. “I also want to personally thank Speaker Osborne and Minority Floor Leader Jenkins for their continued support of the legislation.”

While the bill was passed, some still had doubts about this being good for the state. Andrew McNeill, state director of Americans for Prosperity, was concerned about this loan leaving tax payers on the hook.

The original terms of the loan request are being upheld: Half of the loan will be forgiven if U of L meets certain criteria, including retaining jobs and providing their services to underserved communities in Louisville. These terms were set by former Gov. Matt Bevin when he committed this loan last August.

“We continue to work with our elected officials to emphasize the importance of this loan, which will help us stabilize these assets and ensure the long-term viability of U of L Health,” said Bendapudi.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal 

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U of L Health – Frazier Rehab celebrates 65 years of healthcare Friday, Jan 24 2020 

By Matthew Keck —

U of L Health – Frazier Rehab Institute celebrated 65 years of healthcare Jan. 16. Frazier Rehab first opened their doors in 1954 under the title of Louisville Rehabilitation Center located in the basement of Louisville General Hospital.

“Frazier Rehab has had the privilege of improving the quality of life of thousands of patients throughout its rich history, and the innovations developed here and implemented at other facilities extend that ripple of impact even further,” said Cathy Spalding, chief administration officer of Frazier Rehab. “We could not be more grateful for our continued and ever-strengthening relationship with University of Louisville, which allows us to look forward to many more years of changing lives.”

The idea for Frazier Rehab was formed by Amelia Brown Frazier after she suffered serious injuries in a car accident in the late 1920s. Brown had to travel to The Rusk Institute for Rehabilitation in New York City for treatment since Louisville had no such place.

It was finally in 1954 when Brown Frazier received enough support and funding to open up what is now Frazier Rehab. Frazier Rehab moved to its current location in 1965 and was officially renamed after Brown Frazier in 1984.

“My grandmother [Amelia Brown Frazier] didn’t create the rehabilitation center as a monument to herself, but rather out of her own experiences with rehabilitative care,” said Sandra Frazier, granddaughter of Amelia Brown Frazier. “I have no doubt she would be amazed at how the Rehab Institute has grown and evolved over 65 years.”

Frazier Rehab works with multiple areas of rehabilitation, but their main focuses are on brain and spinal cord injury rehabilitation. They opened the Michael Brent Resource Center for spinal cord patients in 2010 and were selected as a Spinal Cord Injury Model System by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.

In 2013, Frazier established the EMERGE Brain Injury program that helps diagnose and treat patients with low levels of consciousness. Even more recently, they introduced a pediatric treadmill that helps children with spinal cord injuries to recover.

Frazier Rehab has partnered with U of L Health for decades and officially became part of the U of L Health family when they purchased KentuckyOne Health’s assets in November 2019.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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New chief administrative officer for Mary and Elizabeth Hospital announced Tuesday, Jan 14 2020 

By Matthew Keck —

U of L Health – Mary and Elizabeth Hospital announced that Melisa Adkins, RN, BSN, MBA, will be the new chief administrative officer Jan. 9. Adkins was previously the CEO for Heartland Regional Medical Center in Marion, Ill. since 2017.

“I’m very excited for the opportunity to work with Mary & Elizabeth Hospital and with the outstanding team they have in place,” said Adkins. “I look forward to helping them continue providing first-rate services to their patients, staff and employees.”

While at Heartland Regional, Adkins helped lower contract labor expenses by 31 percent. She also aided in creating an occupational health clinic and increased the net revenue growth by 4 percent.

Along with her accomplishments at Heartland Regional, Adkins has earned multiple award nominations for her work. Two of her nominations include Citizen of the Year in 2018 and the Community Health System Excellence in Nursing Leadership award in 2012.

“We’re very pleased to have Adkins join our team at Mary & Elizabeth,” said Tom Miller, CEO of U of L Health. “She has an outstanding reputation in healthcare, and we know she will bring added value and expertise that will help us continue improving the quality care we can provide to our patients.”
Adkins served as the chief nursing officer at Physicians Regional Medical Center (PRMC) in Knoxville, Tenn., before joining Heartland Regional in 2017. She oversaw more than 30 departments along with opening two units that assisted in patient transfers from the ICU at PRMC.
At PRMC, Adkins implemented a new emergency department, neonatal ICU and cardiac and step-down monitors at the facility in 2016. Adkins also increased the facilities three-star rating to four-stars in just one year.
Adkins has an associate degree in nursing from John A. Logan College, along with a bachelor’s degree in nursing and an MBA from University of Phoenix.
Photo Courtesy of the University of Louisville

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U of L Health expands women’s health services to downtown and South Louisville Tuesday, Nov 26 2019 

By Matthew Keck —

The University of Louisville Health Frazier Rehab Institute is bringing their women’s health services to two more of their locations: the U of L Health – Mary and Elizabeth and downtown campuses.

David McArthur, U of L Health media relations, said this expansion has been planned over the last six months. He said U of L Health wanted to serve the needs of the entire Louisville area, and these two locations allow them to do so.

U of L Health – Medical Center East is where they developed the Women’s Health and Pelvic Floor Therapy program. This program was developed to help women living with urinary problems, pelvic pain and pregnancy pain or weaknesses, to name a few.

According to a study in the Journal of the American Medicine Association, up to one in five women in America are affected by pelvic floor disorders. ” More than 25 million Americans have urinary incontinence, and the experience can leave them feeling ashamed, socially isolated, and depressed,” states the U of L Health Frazier Rehab website. “Recent research has demonstrated the effectiveness of physical therapy in treating the symptoms of urinary incontinence.”

This program treats women through different stages of life with common diagnoses like:

  • Urinary Incontinence or Urinary Urgency.
  • Dyspareunia/Painful intercourse.
  • Interstitial cystitis/bladder pain/painful urination.
  • Pelvic pain.
  • Vaginismus/pelvic muscle tightness.
  • Vulvodynia/vaginal burning.
  • Pelvic floor myalgia (muscle pain)/muscle spasm.
  • Levator ani syndrome.
  • Pregnancy- and post-pregnancy related issues.
  • Post-surgical pelvic pain.

With this program, they provide treatments to address muscle weakness or imbalance which may be causing these issues. According to their website, “Pelvic floor muscle training, in conjunction with bladder retraining, has been shown to reduce or resolve symptoms of urinary incontinence in women.”

The program features multiple treatments and therapies including:

  • Assessment to determine the type of incontinence (stress, urge, or both), the extent of incontinence, and assessment of the strength, motor control and endurance of pelvic floor muscles.
  • Assessment of musculoskeletal issues with particular emphasis on pelvic and back pain.
  • Comprehensive treatment plan in collaboration with the patient’s physician.
  • Therapeutic exercise to enhance pelvic floor and abdominal muscle function, and incorporation of these exercises into daily activities.
  • Surface EMG (electromyography) to measure muscle activity and to provide patients with feedback on the muscle control as it develops.
  • Electrical stimulation to facilitate muscle contraction or to reduce pain.
  • Recommendations on lifestyle changes that will help make the bladder less irritable, including avoiding common bladder irritants, retraining the bladder, keeping a bladder diary and lifting, moving, and exercising correctly.

The goal of this program is to reduce or resolve these issues with muscle treatment or therapy.

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How college students can use their fitness trackers more effectively Thursday, Nov 21 2019 

By Eli Hughes —

As of 2019, there are approximately 56.7 million people in the U.S. who wear smartwatches and fitness trackers, many using them for the latter function.

According to a recent study published in The American Journal of Medicinethere isn’t evidence that correlates lower cholesterol or lower blood pressure to fitness tracker use. Only one of the six studies showed a correlation with weight loss. However, this doesn’t mean these devices aren’t useful to some people. 

The studies determined that fitness trackers were useful in improving the health of adults living with type two diabetes. Some college students reported finding them helpful, but not necessarily for the reasons tested in the studies. 

University of Louisville Health offered tips for those using the devices such as sharing the data collected with one’s doctor or nutritionist. This allows them to help people improve results and effectively use their fitness tracking devices.

Junior Aiden Strivers has been wearing a Fitbit for four years. Strivers uses it to count his steps and monitor his sleep. He says wearing a Fitbit motivates him to a certain extent, but once he reaches the standard 10,000 steps goal, that motivation goes away.

Strivers believes he gets more benefit out of the sleep function because he likes being able to look at the data and see how much quality sleep he gets. “I would say it has benefitted me overall,” Strivers said. He noted how it has positively impacted his mental health and made him feel healthier.

Junior Hannah Winner has been wearing a Fitbit for almost a year now. Much like Strivers, she uses it to count steps, calculate her heartbeat during workouts, monitor sleep and track her food. She was already an active and health-conscious person before she got her Fitbit, but she says her device motivates her to walk instead of drive somewhere within walking distance.

Winner said the food tracker has been the most helpful. She uses it to be aware of the nutritional value of her foods and to remind her to practice healthy eating habits.  

She says she would recommend it based on the person, and what their specific health goals are. “I think for people who aren’t very active it would be very worth it, and overall if you are active and want to understand more about your overall health.”

Dr. Martin Hueker, an emergency physician with U of L Health, advises that if you plan to use a fitness tracker, you might find it helpful but don’t go into it with big expectations about the device changing your life. For people who don’t want to buy a fitness tracker, Dr. Hueker made suggestions for other ways to stay motivated.

“It’s good to develop stackable habits. Lay out your gym clothes the night before so it’s easier to get in the habit of going to the gym the next day,” said Dr. Hueker. “It’s also good to hang out with people with the same goals.”

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