Much more has been learned about how to help children with autism, but parents still face challenges

Insider Louisville LogoThere is ample evidence that the number of individuals with autism in America is growing, and with that growth comes a better understanding of what it is and how to treat it.

There is also mounting evidence that early detection, maybe as early as age 2, can allow for intervention that will make a true difference in a child’s life.

Yet being the parent of a child on the autism spectrum remains a very difficult challenge. Sandra Duverge has faced that challenge for two decades, learning the ins and outs of school systems, medical treatments and government benefits in providing for her son, Sebastian, now 23.

“I tell parents you’re going to put all this effort in, as you would anyway for your child, and you push so your child can have a typical life and be a happy person. That’s where you spend your energy,” she says in a Passport-sponsored article on Insider Louisville.

To see a short video about this, please click here. Or to read more, click here.

 

Youth leaders inspire a compassionate future at Healthcare Leadership School

Insider Louisville LogoHorrified by needless deaths of patients in the Emergency Room, medical student Eddy Uwoghiren began to question his motives in becoming a doctor.

“In Nigeria,” he said, “talented young students took up medicine because of parental expectation and wanting to be rich.”

But for Eddy, asking why Nigeria doesn’t have an ambulance system became a more important question.

Following his experience at North America’s first Healthcare Leadership School (HLS), which was held June 10-18 in a rural setting an hour from Louisville, he’s committed his life to building trauma services in Nigeria, by becoming a trauma surgeon and also by advocating for improved services.

“I will be a great journalist as well as a surgeon,” he proclaimed, according to a Passport-sponsored article in Insider Louisville.

To read more about the 2017 HLS, which was hosted by the Healthcare Constellation of Compassionate Louisville, please click here.

 

Opioid-addiction is a crisis around the region and nation, but treatment options are available

Insider Louisville LogoNo one is disputing that the opioid crisis is an epidemic in communities all over America. What starts for many as an addiction to legally prescribed painkillers can become an overwhelming craving that makes the introduction of heroin an economical and logical choice for many.

In fact, the number of deaths due to heroin overdose have recently surpassed the number of deaths due to motor vehicle accidents, Dr. Mary Bouldin, director of addiction medicine at LifeSpring Health Systems in Jeffersonville, says in a Passport-sponsored article on Insider Louisville.

“It’s very rare that somebody starts off shooting heroin,” she says. “Nobody wakes up saying ‘I think I want to be an injection-drug user today,’ but what happens is that because of the development of tolerance, people keep crossing lines that they thought they would never cross.”

For those caught up in the addiction cycle, it can be challenging to get treatment. To read more from Dr. Bouldin, and to see how the issue has affected one former NBA and UK basketball star, please click here.

 

Go Red for Women helps increase awareness and education year-round about importance of heart health

Go Red for Women LogoGoing Red, as defined by the American Heart Association (AHA), may be the best thing a woman can do for her health.

The AHA began its Go Red for Women initiative in 2003 to bring awareness to the fact that heart disease is the number one killer of women, according to a Passport-sponsored article on Insider Louisville. That amounts to 1 in 3 women who die, which is more than all cancer deaths combined, according to the AHA.

Go Red for Women is “a passionate, emotional, social initiative designed to empower women to take charge of their heart health,” according to the website. More than a million women nationally have committed to Go Red.

“My goal is to make it not only a February thing, but we should make it 365 days a year. Everybody should be thinking about heart health,” said Jill Bell, vice president of Passport Health Plan and chair of the 2017 Go Red for Women Luncheon in Louisville, which will be held on Friday, May 19. For more information about the event, please click here. Or to see a video about what Go Red for Women means to two Louisville women, please click here.

Caregiver burnout is a growing problem across the U.S.

Restoring JoyFrom health sector caregivers to medical students and faculty, caregiver burnout continues to be a growing problem across the United States, according to a Passport-sponsored article on Insider Louisville.

A study released in 2015 by the Mayo Clinic and the American Medical Association reveals that more than 50 percent of physicians in the U.S. demonstrate at least one sign of burnout, a 9 percent increase between 2011 and 2014.

And, according to the 2016 National Healthcare Retention & RN Staffing Report published by NSI Nursing Solutions, Inc., the turnover rate for bedside RNs increased to 17.2 percent, up from 16.4 percent in 2014.

The Joy Experiment seeks to tackle this challenge through an exploratory pilot project for finding new way to use creativity (combined with compassion) to mitigate burnout and improve the health and well-being of caregivers. To learn more about this, please click here.

 

March of Dimes and others continue to help women reduce risk factors of premature births

HopeEvery expectant mother has an ideal vision of the birthing process, one that results in her holding her newborn in her hospital room with family gathered around.

But the reality is that premature births happen — and in Kentucky they happen at a rate 2 percent higher than the national average. When a baby is born prior to the 37th week of pregnancy, it is considered premature. There’s no official cause of premature birth, and the March of Dimes spends millions of dollars on research to determine ways to help mothers carry babies to full term births.

“The cause of premature birth is unknown,” Ryan Burt, Wellness Manager at Passport Health Plan, said in an Insider Louisville article. “There are certain risk factors that can lead to premature birth and we can tell women to be sure to lower their risk, but the actual reason is still unknown.”

To read more about this, please click here. To register for the March of Dimes’ biggest annual fund-raiser, the Greater Louisville March for Babies, on Saturday, May 13 on the Big Four Lawn at Waterfront Park, please click here.

 

Oral Health Has a Huge Effect on Overall Health

Insider Louisville LogoWhile many adults are focused on staying healthy through exercise and eating right, one area that is closely connected to a person’s overall health and often overlooked is oral health. Inside the mouth aren’t just teeth, but clues to keeping disease away.

The connection between oral health and overall health wasn’t always widely discussed, Cliff Maesaka, the president and CEO of Delta Dental of Kentucky, said in a Passport-sponsored article on Insider Louisville.

“Everybody knows the mouth is connected to the body, but in 2000, the surgeon general provided his first-ever report on the state of oral health in America, and it was the first time in about a hundred years anyone had said out loud that the mouth is connected to the rest of the body and things that go on in the mouth affect the rest of the body,” he said.

For more information, please click here.

 

“A Commitment to Compassion” luncheon sponsored by Passport honors six Louisville health care professionals

Insider Louisville LogoThe second annual “A Commitment to Compassion” luncheon was held on Tuesday, Feb. 7, to recognize and honor dedicated health care professionals who exemplify true compassion in the workplace.

The event, at the Muhammad Ali Center in downtown Louisville, was co-sponsored by Passport Health Plan, Compassionate Louisville and Insider Louisville.

Jean West, Executive Director of Communications for the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, served as emcee for the event, which honored six people who go above and beyond their job duties to extend needed consideration, kindness and compassion to patients, their colleagues and the broader community. They are:

  • Betty J. Adkins, Community Resource Development Manager at Louisville Metro Department of Health and Public Wellness
  • Lisa Benner, Transformation Coach at ChooseWell Communities
  • Sarah Daniel, Nurse Practitioner with MD2U
  • Mary Haynes, President and CEO of Nazareth Home
  • Diane Riff, Assistant Professor and Family Nurse Practitioner, UofL School of Nursing
  • Jonathan Sayat, M.D., Pediatrician and Associate Professor with UofL Physicians

In addition to recognizing these outstanding individuals, the luncheon honored one organization — Cedar Lake — for their active celebration of compassion. Cedar Lake is a private not-for-profit organization that serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

For more information, please click here.

 

Local healthcare professionals honored for compassionate care at Passport-sponsored ‘Compassionate Care’ event

Compassionate LouisvilleThe Louisville community is fortunate to have many healthcare professionals who are beacons of compassion. A luncheon in downtown Louisville on Tuesday, Feb. 7, aims to shine a light on these inspiring individuals who make a difference every day in the lives of others.

“A Commitment to Compassion” will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 7, at the Muhammad Ali Center, 144 N. 6th St., in Downtown Louisville. The event is co-sponsored by Passport Health Plan, Compassionate Louisville, and Insider Louisville.

“We are pleased to sponsor this event to honor healthcare professionals who go the extra mile by offering compassion and loving kindness to their patients,” said Jill Joseph Bell, Vice President, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer for Passport Health Plan. “Studies have proven that when healthcare providers practice compassion, their patients have a shorter recovery time and better overall health outcomes.”

For more information or to purchase tickets to the event, please click here.

 

It’s time to ‘Go Red for Women’ and fight heart disease

Insider Louisville LogoLet’s start with some good news: The fight against heart disease, the number one killer of women, is producing positive results.

Since 2004, when the national Go Red for Women organization began educating women about risk factors, 34 percent fewer women are dying of heart disease. That’s 300 women per day.

Jane Merman, Kentucky’s Go Red for Women Director, has seen the improvement during 14 years in her position.

“For many years it was thought of as a man’s disease,” Merman says in a Passport-sponsored article on Insider Louisville. “But more women actually die of heart disease than men and have since 1984. The good news is that 80 percent of the time, it can be prevented if we make the right choices when it comes to our lifestyle. We can’t control family history and our age, but we can control how we live our lives and we can know our numbers, such as blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose levels.

“If things are not right, we can do something about it, either through lifestyle or with medication.”

Go Red for Women, a part of the American Heart Association, organizes four major annual events — Wear Red Day on Feb. 3, the annual Heart Ball in February, a luncheon in May, and a walk in September. Kicking off the campaign with the annual Wear Red Day, the organization hopes seeing so many people wearing red will help spark conversations and action to change unhealthy lifestyles.

For more information, including a special video all about the Go Red for Women movement in Kentucky, please click here.