UofL Physicians/UofL Health Sciences Center News Tip Sheet: Kentucky Derby Edition For the week of April 24, 2017


    Doctors and specialists with University of Louisville Physicians are available to discuss any of the following health topics this week. Click on the headline or scroll down for more information:

    May health awareness observances:

    • National Asthma & Allergy Awareness Month
    • National Melanoma/Skin Cancer Month
    • National Physical Fitness & Sports Month
    • May 6-12 is National Nurses Week
    • May 7-13 is Drinking Water Week
    • May 6 is Bladder Cancer Day
    • May 8 is World Ovarian Cancer Day
    • May 26 is Heat Safety Awareness Day


    University of Louisville Physicians and other providers and staff at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center and UofL’s Kentucky Cancer Program will join with Texas Roadhouse and KentuckyOne Health for the “Party for the 2017 Pegasus Parade: A Celebration for Cancer Survivors” on Thursday, May 4.

    This annual celebration of cancer survivorship will kick off at 3:30 p.m. at the Kosair Charities Clinical and Translational Research Building, 505 S. Hancock St.

    The party will be emceed by Miss America 2000 and Miss Louisville and Miss Kentucky 1999 Heather French Henry and feature musical entertainment, great food and, of course, a tribute to all survivors of cancer and their caregivers. An added component this year will be a Salute to Veterans of the Armed Forces.

    Following the party, survivors wishing to attend the 2017 Pegasus Parade will be escorted to special seating on East Broadway to view the parade.



    Derby Day weather can cause problems, says a geriatrician with University of Louisville Physicians who warns young and old alike to stay mindful in avoiding heat-related illness.

    “Hot temperatures and long hours exposed to the sun can bring on sunburn, heat stroke, dehydration or heat exhaustion,” says Dr. Christian Furman, who also serves as the medical director of UofL’s Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging. “Everyone should take precautions to avoid heat-related illness.”

    Furman offers these tips to follow, whether you are partying in the infield or seated on Millionaire’s Row:

    • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
    • Eat smaller amounts – don’t gorge on that buffet if you can help it – but do eat often throughout the day.
    • Avoid extreme temperature changes as much as possible.
    • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing and comfortable shoes. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
    • Slow down and stay indoors or in the shade, especially during the hottest part of the day.
    • Wear sunscreen of 30 SPF or higher to protect your skin from the sun’s rays.



    Spring comes with challenges for allergy sufferers in Derby City, but an allergist with UofL Physicians Allergy and Immunology says taking over-the-counter medications can prevent or treat troubling symptoms.

    “Prominent allergens at the racetrack will be tree and grass pollens and horse dander,” says Dr. Adriana McCubbin. “Pollen counts are highest during dry, windy weather, so be prepared.”

    McCubbin advises those with allergies to start taking medications now in preparation for spending time outdoors. Nasal steroid sprays (Nasacort, Flonase, Rhinocort), daily non-sedating antihistamines (Zyrtec, Allegra, Claritin, Xyzal) and an allergy eye drop containing ketotifen are good options.



    Whether the weather cooperates for your Derby activity or not, it is important to wear sunglasses with ultraviolet (UV) light blocking lenses any time you are outdoors. These lenses protect the eye and surrounding skin from sun damage.

    “Sunny or not, UV light is always present and your eyes need proper protection,” said Patrick Scott, O.D., Ph.D., an optometrist with UofL Physicians Eye Specialists.

    If you want to make sure you can see your horse at the top of the home stretch, non-polarized sunglasses will be your best bet. Polarized lenses filter light and reduce glare, whereas non-polarized lenses allow more light and visual information to enter the eye and are better for long-distance viewing. When you are enjoying water-related activities such as fishing, sailing or lounging by the pool, glare is a major visual factor and polarized sunglasses will help reduce that glare.

    Regardless whether you choose polarized or non-polarized sunglasses, always check to make sure the lenses have a UV filter before purchasing.



    The Kentucky Racing Health Services Center, a nonprofit clinic run by the University of Louisville School of Nursing, has been recognized as an innovative clinical model by the American Academy of Nursing.

    The academy has named School of Nursing faculty members Whitney Nash, Ph.D., A.P.R.N., and Sara Robertson, D.N.P., A.P.R.N., Edge Runners for establishing and growing the clinic, which serves low-income thoroughbred racing industry workers and their families. The designation recognizes innovative, evidence-based and nurse-designed care models that have shown significant clinical and financial outcomes.

    Located a block from Churchill Downs, the clinic is a partnership between the UofL School of Nursing and the Kentucky Racing Health and Welfare Fund that provides comprehensive health care to backside workers – including assistant trainers, grooms, hot walkers and stable hands – a majority of whom migrate from Latin America and do not have health insurance.

    “It is a privilege to be recognized by such a prestigious designation,” said Whitney Nash, Ph.D., A.P.R.N., UofL School of Nursing Associate Dean of Practice and Service, who founded the clinic. “We are honored to serve one of the most vulnerable populations through this clinic.”

    Services include mental health treatment, physicals and women’s annual exams, care for minor illnesses and maintenance treatment for chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma and hypertension.



    A former Kentucky First Lady’s effort to help provide health services to racetrack workers is continuing to help provide health screenings throughout the entire region.

    In 2015, First Lady Jane Beshear created a public-private partnership with the Kentucky Cancer Program, James Graham Brown Cancer Center, University of Louisville and KentuckyOne Health to raise $1 million for the Horses and Hope Cancer Screening Van. University of Louisville Physicians and other practitioners provide services via the van throughout the year in the Kentuckiana region.

    The van provides mobile mammography along with services for other cancers including cervical, colon, lung, prostate, skin and head/neck. In addition to cancer prevention and early detection services, patients are referred to local resources for care and support.

    The effort grew out of Beshear’s Horses and Hope program, begun while she was First Lady of Kentucky. Concerned about the lack of access many racetrack workers have to health care, Horses and Hope was developed to bring screenings, education and other medical services at low- or no cost to people employed in Kentucky’s equine industry.

    Today, the van can be found at churches, neighborhood fairs and festivals, workplaces, educational institutions – as well as Kentucky’s racetracks – bringing potentially life-saving early detection screenings to the people of the Commonwealth.


    About University of Louisville Physicians

    University of Louisville Physicians is the largest multispecialty physician practice in the Louisville region, with more than 700 primary care and specialty providers in more than 78 specialties and subspecialties. Our doctors are the professors and researchers of the University of Louisville School of Medicine, teaching tomorrow’s physicians and leading research into medical advancements.


    Jill Scoggins is Director of Communications at UofL's Louis D. Brandeis School of Law. She has been at UofL since 2010.