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News – Mar 2018

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Jewish Hospital Trager Transplant Center Performs 500th Heart Transplant

LOUISVILLE In February, the Jewish Hospital Trager Transplant Center and the University of Louisville (U of L) celebrated a major milestone after performing their 500th heart transplant. This team Trager and U of L is one of the leading providers of organ transplantation in the country since the heart transplant program began there nearly 35 years ago. The Jewish Hospital Trager Transplant Center is a joint program with the University of Louisville School of Medicine and KentuckyOne Health.

“As we end American Heart Month, it’s the perfect time to share this wonderful news,” says Mark Slaughter, MD, surgical director of heart transplant for University of Louisville Physicians and Jewish Hospital, and professor and chair of the department of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery at the U of L School of Medicine.

On Aug. 24, 1984, Laman Gray Jr., MD, performed the hospital’s first heart transplant, which was also the first heart transplant accomplished in Kentucky. Gray currently serves as medical director at the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute and oversees its clinical translation program. Gray says, “After performing the first heart transplant, it means a lot to me to see the 500th and where we are today.”

In addition to performing Kentucky’s first heart transplant, the U of L and Jewish Hospital transplant team is one of the leading providers of organ transplantation in the country, and is known for performing the state’s first adult pancreas, heart-lung, and liver transplants, as well. In 2001, Gray, alongside the Trager-U of L surgical team, implanted the first fully implantable replacement heart, the AbioCor™.

The 500th transplant was performed by Slaughter on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. The recipient, a 59-year-old man, had a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implanted to support his heart until the donor heart was available for transplant. Slaughter states, “The 500th heart transplant is a reminder of the commitment by Jewish Hospital and the University of Louisville to provide advanced therapies for patients with advanced heart failure.” He goes on to say, “We’ve come a long way since Dr. Gray broke ground with that first heart transplant more than 30 years ago. Every day, we continue to advance the science of heart transplantation here at U of L and Jewish Hospital. I’m excited about the future of this program, and I’m confident that we’ll mark a lot more milestones over the next thirty years.”

President of Jewish Hospital, Ronald Waldridge II, MD, elaborates, “Five hundred hearts is much more than a milestone. It represents the life-changing impact on our patients, their families, and the entire region. Together with U of L, Jewish Hospital’s Trager Transplant Center is investing in research, technology and advanced procedures to increase access to transplant services.”

In 2017, the center also achieved several other milestones, including its 5,000th transplanted organ, 3,000th kidney transplant, and 900th liver transplant. However, David Lewis, director of Transplant Services at the Jewish Hospital Trager Transplant Center reminds us that the 500th heart transplant and other milestones wouldn’t have been reached without organ donors.

“We often encourage people to sign up as organ donors to help save lives. The need for organ donors is unfortunately greater than the number of people who donate, so each day, an average of twenty people pass away while waiting for a transplant in the United States,” says Lewis. “Knowing that we have helped save five hundred people in need of a new heart is a wonderful feeling, and it would not be possible without the donors and their families.”


LEXINGTON Lexington Clinic, Central Kentucky’s oldest and largest group practice, recently elected the officers for its 2018 Board of Directors. At their annual board meeting it was announced that Stephen C. Umansky, MD, would step into the office of board president. Umansky is a board certified orthopedic hand surgery specialist. After attending medical school at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, he went on to an orthopedic surgery residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania; a fellowship in hand and upper extremity surgery at Indiana Hand Center; and an internship in general/ orthopedic surgery with the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

“Our board of directors is committed to providing Central Kentucky with high-quality, value-based care while continuously striving to perfect the patient experience,” says new board president Umansky.

Michael T. Cecil, MD, will serve as vice-president, Kimberly A. Hudson, MD, as secretary, and Andrew C. McGregor, MD, as treasurer. Other board members include Haider Abbas, MD, Kyle Childers, MD, Shailendra Chopra, MD, Robert Davenport, MD, Jamil Farooqui, MD, and Gregory Osetinsky, MD. Mr. Nick Rowe and Mr. Alan Stein will also serve for their second year on the Board.

UK HealthCare Submits Certificate of Need for 141 Beds

LEXINGTON UK HealthCare has submitted a Certificate of Need (CON) application outlining a plan for 141 inpatient beds at University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital. As the largest provider of advanced specialty care in the state, UK HealthCare, which includes UK Chandler Hospital, Kentucky Children’s Hospital, and UK Good Samaritan Hospital, has found expansion necessary to accommodate patient needs.

Despite adding 120 beds at UK Chandler Hospital in 2015, the rate of occupancy remains more than 85% and is consistently climbing leading to record-breaking patient volumes. “In Kentucky, the state uses a target occupancy level of seventy-five percent for a hospital our size,” states Mark Newman, MD, UK executive vice president for health affairs. “Higher occupancy levels of inpatients can cause inefficiencies and a strain on resources.”

Newman goes on to explain, “Increasingly, the state’s rural and community hospitals and providers are turning to UK HealthCare when patients need complex, advanced specialty care—often for care and procedures that can only be provided at an academic medical center.” He continues, “Last year, about half of Chandler’s admissions were patients transferred from other providers, and this CON application is a proactive measure we are taking as part of our long-term strategy to provide inpatient services for complex patients in the Commonwealth.”

During December 2017, UK Chandler Emergency Department had as many as 60 “boarders.” Because of the lack of available hospital beds, 60 inpatients were required to be “boarded” in temporary accommodations, such as outpatient areas and post-operative units. “Additionally, patients being asked to transfer to UK from other facilities at times were having to be diverted to other hospitals and sometimes even transferred out of state,” says Newman.

If approved, UK HealthCare would have an overall capacity of 1,086 beds, including 221 beds at UK Good Samaritan. And, 64 of the 141 beds would be located on one of the two remaining shelled floors in Pavilion A of UK Chandler Hospital when it is completed.

A decision is expected to be made on the plan by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services in June. In the meantime, long-term plans to decommission Good Samaritan and the first Chandler Hospital facility have been put on hold.

U of L’s William J. Crump, MD, Awarded Distinguished Service Award

MADISONVILLE The Kentucky Academy of Family Physicians (KAFP) recently awarded William J. Crump, MD, the Distinguished Service Award for serving in leadership roles with the KAFP and advancing the specialty of family medicine. Crump is the associate dean at University of Louisville (U of L) School of Medicine Trover Campus in Madisonville, Kentucky.

Crump was Nominated by William Thornbury, MD, of Madisonville, for leadership and tireless effort promoting evidence-based medicine through the publication of scholarly work. From 2006–2017, Crump served as editor of the Kentucky Academy of Family Physicians Journal. During this time, he helped transform the journal into a peer-reviewed publication for the scholastic contributions of the Commonwealth’s family medicine community.

Crump says, “Perhaps the most enjoyable part of my role was getting students, residents and young faculty through their first manuscript effort, from bright idea to published product. They are our future.”

Three KentuckyOne Health Facilities Make “Best Places to Work in Kentucky” List

LOUISVILLE The 14th Annual Best Places to Work in Kentucky list, which identifies and recognizes Kentucky’s best employers, recognized Our Lady of Peace, Flaget Memorial Hospital, and Medical Center Jewish Southwest, all part of KentuckyOne Health.

The Best Places to Work initiative, based on Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work for in America” list, is hosted by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and the Kentucky Society for Human Resource Management (KYSHRM). The goal of the Best Places to Work in Kentucky competition is to motivate companies in the Commonwealth to focus, measure, and move their workplace environments toward excellence in order to increase profitability through creating a positive work environment.

Our Lady of Peace in Louisville was recognized for the third year in a row in the large-sized employer category, reserved for businesses with 500 or more employees. Flaget Memorial Hospital, located in Bardstown, received recognition in the medium-sized employer category, for businesses with 150–499 employees, while Medical Center Jewish Southwest in Louisville earned a place in the small-sized employer category, for businesses with 15–149 employees.

Paula Reis, DO, Joins Baptist Health Medical Group Primary Care

LEXINGTON Paula Reis, DO, has joined Baptist Health Medical Group Primary Care. Reis earned a doctorate in osteopathic medicine from the University of New England. In addition, she completed an internal medicine residency at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts and is board certified in internal medicine.