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News – Sep 2013

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Sparks Joins Baptist Medical Associates

LA GRANGE L. Brad Sparks, MD, internal medicine, has joined Baptist Medical Associates’ practice located at 1031 New Moody Lane, Ste. 300.

Sparks is a 1998 graduate the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. He completed his internal medicine residency at the University of Kentucky in 2001. He is board certified in internal medicine. He is accepting new patients.

Strain Joins Baptist Medical Associates

LOUISVILLE Ann Strain, APRN, has joined Kentucky Heart Specialists, part of Baptist Medical Associates, at 3793 Poplar Level Road.

Strain is a 2000 graduate of the family nurse practitioner program at Spalding University. She also holds an associate degree in nursing from the University of Louisville and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Spalding University. She is board certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Ambati Receives Junius-Kuhnt Award

LEXINGTON Dr. Jayakrishna Ambati, professor and vice chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, received the Junius-Kuhnt Award from the University of Bonn in Hamburg, Germany, for his group’s outstanding work and commitment to age-related macular degeneration (AMD) research.

The Junius-Kuhnt Award honors physicians and scientists who have made outstanding contributions to the study and treatment of AMD, and has been awarded annually since 2007 at “Makula Update,” an annual congress of German retina specialists.

This award is named after the German ophthalmologists Paul Junius and Kuhnt Hermann who, at the University Eye Clinic of Bonn, were the first to describe the neovascular, “wet” form of AMD. Their 1926 monograph entitled, “The disk-shaped degeneration of the retinal center,” was the world’s first on AMD, and is still considered a milestone in ophthalmic medical history. Ambati is first non-European winner of this award, and delivered a lecture on CCR3 as a diagnostic and therapeutic target for AMD.

Mannino Receives COPD Foundation Award

LEXINGTON Dr. David M. Mannino, professor and chair of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health, has been honored as the recipient of the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Treatment Achievement Award from the COPD Foundation. Mannino holds a joint appointment as professor of medicine in the UK Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, and as the director of the UK Pulmonary Epidemiology Research Laboratory.

The award is given to recognize Mannino’s development of the COPD Foundation Pocket Guide for Diagnosis and Management of COPD, a practical and user-friendly tool that assists clinicians in navigating the complex treatment options for COPD. The guide not only improves clinician educational resources, but ultimately improves COPD patient outcomes.

The COPD Treatment Achievement Award will be presented to Mannino at the COPD Foundation’s Annual Awards and Recognition Benefit on Dec. 5, in New York City.

Mannino formerly served as the chief science officer of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Air Pollution and Respiratory Health Branch. While at CDC he was the lead author on key publications reporting on the epidemiology of COPD and asthma.

He has authored more than 200 publications in leading peer-reviewed journals on topics that range from the epidemiology of lung disease to health effects related to air pollutant exposure. He is an active member of and adviser to several professional organizations, including the COPD Foundation, the USCOPD Coalition, the National Lung Health Education Program, and the Alpha-1 Foundation.

UK Pediatric Resident Receives Grant to Spread Vaccine Awareness

LEXINGTON Pediatric resident Dr. Akshay Sharma and the University of Kentucky College of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics were recently awarded one of 10 mini-grants from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to support events that benefit global vaccine advocacy and the United Nations Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign.

With the funding, Sharma and the UK Department of Pediatrics hosted an event on Sept. 26 that featured guest speaker Dr. Stephen Warrick of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, who talked about the incidence of vaccine preventable diseases worldwide and what efforts are being made to eradicate them.

A movement to protect children worldwide by providing life-saving vaccines where they are most needed, Shot@Life educates, connects, and empowers Americans to champion vaccines as one of the most cost-effective ways to save the lives of children in developing countries. By encouraging Americans to learn about, advocate for, and donate to vaccines, Shot@Life aims to decrease vaccine-preventable childhood deaths and give every child a shot at a healthy life.

As a founding partner of the UNFoundation’s Shot@Life campaign, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and Shot@Life provide pediatricians opportunities to talk to engage with the public and our government about the critical role of vaccines in saving and improving the lives of children around the world. The AAP spreads the message that all kids deserve a shot at life and offers resources to help pediatricians educate parents about the importance of international vaccine programs.

Photo Caption: Dr. Akshay Sharma leads fellow residents in a vaccine information session.

Joseph Gilene Named President of Saint Joseph Hospital

LEXINGTON KentuckyOne Health added Joseph J. Gilene, an accomplished health care executive with nearly three decades of experience, as president of Saint Joseph Hospital in Lexington effective Oct. 28.

Most recently, Gilene worked in Charlotte, North Carolina, as regional vice president for the nation’s largest hospital management organization, Quorum Health Resources. Gilene was responsible for strategic planning and cost and quality control for nine nonprofit hospitals in a three-state (North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia) region. Earlier he held senior executive positions at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, Washington, and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

Gilene is a fellow of both the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE) and the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA). He is also a certified public accountant. He has served as an advisory council member for the American College of Healthcare Executives, an international professional society of more than 40,000 health care executives.

New Physician Course to Curb Prescription Drug Abuse

LOUISVILLE The Greater Louisville Medical Society is pleased to announce a three day intensive course for physicians aimed at improving skills in controlled substance prescribing and decreasing prescription drug abuse in Kentucky and surrounding states. The course, named OPIOID (Optimal Prescribing is Our Inherent Duty), was developed by GLMS’s in-house Medical Society Professional Services and GLMS President and addiction specialist, James Patrick Murphy, MD, MMM, as a service to the community.

The course will lead physicians through a critical self-assessment in order to provide the best possible care. Leading clinical experts from the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky will teach pain and addiction, behavioral psychology, clinical forensics, as well as current legal and regulatory environments. The combination of didactics, experiential learning, role-playing by clients from The Healing Place, and interactive group dynamics make this course unique. More than just a skill set, this course will provide a framework with which physicians can build confidence in overcoming tactics used by patients seeking narcotics inappropriately and help to eliminate stress when optimal care of a patient requires a controlled substance.

Designed to provide 18-hours of Continuing Medical Education, OPIOID was recently approved by the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure for physicians identified by the board as being in need of remedial training. Prior to this course, Kentucky physicians were referred to courses outside the state, such as at Vanderbilt. Teaching this course in Kentucky keeps physicians from having to travel outside state boundaries and improves physician education in the region.

OPIOID is also listed on the Federation of State Medical Board’s website as a physician assessment and remedial education program. For more information about OPIOID, contact GLMS at (502) 736-6350 or visit The first class is scheduled for February 7 – 9.

UK HealthCare Releases Report Regarding Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery Program

LEXINGTON A comprehensive report released in mid-October by a nearly 30-member UK HealthCare taskforce outlines a series of steps that will be taken in the coming months to re-open the pediatric cardiothoracic surgical program.

UK HealthCare’s pediatric cardiothoracic surgical program was voluntarily and temporarily suspended last fall after questions were raised internally about how best to improve the program. UK Executive Vice President for Health Affairs Dr. Michael Karpf convened the taskforce and charged it with providing recommendations regarding the future of the UK HealthCare Pediatric Heart Program including program scope, resource planning, strategy for launch and a post-launch monitoring and oversight plan.

The report of the UK Pediatric Heart Program Taskforce is available at

The more than 100-page report assesses the program and offers three major, potential recommendations to re-institute the surgical program within the next several months:

Change the health care delivery model from a traditional approach to a service line for pediatric heart care. In a service line approach, care delivery is integrated with specialists, doctors, nurses, and other professionals working closely together around the needs of a patient.

Increase resources in terms of hiring doctors, specialists, and nurses for the program. It would include the creation of a four-bed pediatric cardiothoracic intensive care unit, among other measures.

Consider whether a partnership or alliance with another health system or systems should be established to take advantage of synergies that benefit pediatric patients with cardiac disease.

The report contemplates re-opening the program on or after Jan. 1, 2014. Dr. Bernard Boulanger, UK HealthCare’s chief medical officer, said the commitment is there to re-open the program as soon as possible, but only after the resources and process improvements are in place to ensure the delivery of high quality, safe and compassionate cardiac care for the children of Kentucky and beyond.

UofL Researchers Sign Global Licensing Agreement

LOUISVILLE The University of Louisville recently announced that researcher Dr. Suzanne Ildstad, representing Regenerex LLC, has entered into a license and research collaboration agreement with Novartis to provide access to stem cell technology that has the potential to help transplant patients avoid taking anti-rejection medicine for life and could serve as a platform for treatment of other diseases.

The University of Louisville and Regenerex LLC announced the research collaboration agreement, which will significantly enhance the university’s Institute for Cellular Therapeutics’ ability to carry out cutting edge research related to the Facilitating Cell, a novel cell discovered by Ildstad, a professor of surgery and director of the institute at UofL as well as CEO of Regenerex. Underpinning this collaboration is an exclusive global licensing and research collaboration agreement between Regenerex and Novartis.

Ildstad published results in a March 2012 Science Translational Medicine demonstrating the efficacy of this process, known as Facilitating Cell Therapy, or FCRx which is currently undergoing Phase II trials. The collaboration provides for investments in research, as well as milestones and royalty payments from Regenerex to the University of Louisville in connection with commercialization of the FCRx technology.