Weekly News Health Topics for November 7, 2018


    Health care providers and researchers with the University of Louisville are available to discuss any of the following health topics this week. Click on the headline or scroll down for more information: 

    Diabetes affects nearly all aspects of a person’s everyday life, including what they eat, what they do and how they care for themselves. Cases are increasing in the United States – more than 30 million people now have the condition. There isn’t a cure for diabetes, but there are prevention measures.

    “Having annual examinations, seeing health care providers and being aware of the symptoms is really important. Once you have diabetes, you always have it,” said Diane Chlebowy Ph.D., R.N., UofL School of Nursing professor who is developing a mockup app to improve self-care behaviors of people with type 2 diabetes.

    There are three types of diabetes:

    • Type 1 – Develops when the pancreas produces little or no insulin. Usually diagnosed in children and young adults, but it can appear at any age. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin every day.
    • Type 2 – Develops when the body becomes resistant to insulin or when not enough insulin is produced. Type 2 can develop at any age. This is the most common type of diabetes and there is a growing incidence in children.
    • Gestational diabetes – Affects pregnant women who have high blood glucose levels during pregnancy. The condition can put the pregnancy and baby at risk and lead to type 2 diabetes later for both mothers and children.

    Risk factors for developing diabetes include a history of pre-diabetes, being overweight, being older than 45, physical inactivity, family history and history of gestational diabetes.

    Signs of diabetes include weight loss, blurred vision, cuts that do not heal and excessive fatigue, thirst, hunger and urination.

    Chlebowy advises people to get annual physicals, have a healthy diet, exercise regularly and manage stress.

    An online diabetes risk assessment is available from UofL Physicians-Diabetes and Obesity Center.

    Patients have moved into University of Louisville Hospital’s newly renovated and expanded Burn Center, the only dedicated burn unit in the state of Kentucky.

    The new Burn Center is on the hospital’s sixth floor, in 6 East, and holds 16 beds. The center was formerly housed on the hospital’s fifth floor, where it held six beds.

    Lori Sipes, clinical nurse manager for the Burn Center, said the renovation marks 35 years of UofL Hospital having a dedicated burn unit.

    “We are expanding all of our services to offer even better care for patients and their families,” she said. “Everything has been improved and updated, and they have a new state-of-the-art area for treatment.”

    Sipes said the center has 36 critical care nurses and technicians, all of whom have specialized education and training in the care of burn patients and the most up-to-date methods for their care. Its dedicated physical therapist is the only wound specialist in Kentucky dedicated to burns.

    UofL Hospital has been re-verified as a Level I Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons, recognizing its dedication to providing the highest quality of trauma care for all injured patients. UofL Hospital is one of just two adult Level I Trauma Centers in Kentucky.

    A team of experienced reviewers in the field of trauma conducted an on-site review of the hospital in July, and the hospital recently received word of the re-verification in an official letter. The verification process provides confirmation the hospital has demonstrated its commitment to providing optimal care.

    “The re-verification is acknowledgement of all the hard work that happens here at UofL Hospital every day,” said Kim Denzik, MSN, RN, director of the UofL Hospital Trauma Institute. “There is a tremendous amount of work and preparation that goes into the trauma review.”

    The re-verification came from the American College of Surgeons’ Verification Review Committee, an ad hoc committee of the group’s Committee on Trauma.

    The Committee on Trauma’s verification program does not designate trauma centers, rather it provides confirmation that a trauma center has demonstrated its commitment to providing the highest quality of trauma care. The actual establishment and designation of a trauma center is the function of local, regional or state agencies. However, verified trauma centers must meet essential criteria that ensure trauma care capability and institutional performance as outlined by the Committee on Trauma.


    The University of Louisville Research Integrity Program will host two free presentations of the Oprah Winfrey movie, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” followed by question-and-answer sessions to discuss the issues raised by the movie.

    The first showing will be at 10 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 8, in the basement auditorium of the Donald E. Baxter Biomedical Research Building (Baxter I) at 580 S. Preston St. on the UofL Health Sciences Center campus. The second showing will be at 2 p.m., Thursday, at the Floyd Theater located on the third floor of the UofL Student Activities Center, 2100 S. Floyd St. on the UofL Belknap Campus. Admission is free for both showings.

    In 1951, cancerous cells from Baltimore resident Henrietta Lacks helped lead to breakthroughs that changed medicine. Her case sparked legal and ethical debates concerning the rights of individuals in determining how their tissue and genetic material are used – rights that are still being debated to this day.

    The movie stars Oprah Winfrey as Lacks’ daughter Deborah, who headed her family’s effort to find out exactly how their mother’s cells were used and what rights they had to reap the same financial rewards from the use of the cells as the researchers had. Winfrey also was an executive producer of the film, taken from the best-selling book of the same name by Rebecca Skloot.

    Following the HSC showing, Debra Schaller-Demers, director of research outreach and compliance at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, and Paula Radmacher, UofL export control administrator, will lead a discussion with audience members on the issues raised by the movie. Following the Belknap campus showing, Schaller-Demers and Radmacher will be joined by UofL faculty members Avery Harman and Faye Jones for the discussion.

    For information, contact Carla Jones, training and outreach coordinator with the Research Integrity Program at UofL, 502-852-2403.


    Julie Heflin
    Julie oversees digital content for the Office of Communications and Marketing. She began her UofL career on the Health Sciences Center campus in 2007. Prior to this, Julie was a journalist with WFPL (Louisville Public Media), and occasionally filed reports for National Public Radio.