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Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Marks Official Opening for the UK College of Medicine-Bowling Green Campus

Friday, October 12, 2018

A ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday marked the official opening of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine-Bowling Green Campus. The celebration of the new home for faculty, staff and the inaugural class of 30 students was also an opportunity to thank the medical school's partners - Med Center Health and Western Kentucky University - and the community of Bowling Green.

The college encompasses 24,000-square-feet on the second floor of the newest building at Med Center Health which will also include offices for The Medical Center and a five-level, 832-space parking structure. Amenities of the second floor include a computer lab, two large classrooms, four multi-purpose, six small group rooms and eight simulation and standardized patient rooms.

"One of the critical barriers to improving the health and wellness of the people in the Commonwealth is the shortage of physicians serving in community settings across the state," said UK Provost David Blackwell. "Today's ceremony marks an important milestone in strategically addressing this need but it could not have been possible without our partners at Med Center Health and Western Kentucky University."

The UK College of Medicine is at its capacity at the Lexington campus and although there is a deep applicant pool for medical students, the college couldn’t expand enrollment without the help of regional partners. In addition to the Bowling Green Campus that opened this fall, a Northern Kentucky Campus will open in Fall 2019.

“This new medical campus and these students help ensure our state will remain competitive as the landscape of health care changes,” said Dr. Robert DiPaola, Dean of the UK College of Medicine. “It signals a new beginning in training more physicians in Kentucky, for Kentucky, and the support we have received from Med Center Health and Western Kentucky University as well as this community has been extraordinary and we are truly grateful."

The UK College of Medicine-Bowling Green Campus is a fully functioning campus, utilizing the exact curriculum and assessments as UK’s Lexington campus. Faculty have UK College of Medicine appointments and teach in small groups, as well as provide simulation/standardized patient experiences.

“As someone who grew up in a rural part of Kentucky, I understand firsthand the need to provide quality medical care throughout our state," said Associate Dean Dr. Todd Cheever. "The UK College of Medicine-Bowling Green Campus is poised to address the physician shortage, especially in southcentral and Western Kentucky and I am proud of the students who have chosen to complete their medical education in Bowling Green and take this important step toward improving the health of our citizens.”

As part of the medical students' education, clinical experiences occur at Med Center Health facilities, which span six hospitals, including its flagship hospital The Medical Center at Bowling Green, and more than 30 other entities.

“Med Center Health’s involvement in this project shows how serious we are about living up to our promise to care for people and improve the quality of life in the communities we serve,” said Connie Smith, President and CEO of Med Center Health. “The UK College of Medicine-Bowling Green Campus is a giant leap forward for our health system. Being a teaching hospital brings an unprecedented level to delivering the best in evidence-based care to our patients. We are committed to training doctors in Kentucky, for Kentucky.”

Through the partnership, basic science and early didactic training is being taught in conjunction with faculty at WKU through both onsite classes and live-streaming of lectures in accordance with UK College of Medicine curricular protocols.

"This remarkable partnership between Med Center Health and our two universities represents the very best of what higher education institutions can do to elevate the communities we serve when we work together,” said Timothy C. Caboni, President of Western Kentucky University. “We are excited for the opportunity that many of our students will have to move seamlessly into medical school right here in our community and for the many ways that WKU faculty will be engaged.”

For students, the program in Bowling Green offers the benefit of scholarships, smaller class sizes and the opportunity to live, work and learn in an up-and-coming Kentucky community.

"Being a part of the inaugural class at the UK College of Medicine-Bowling Green Campus is truly a once in a lifetime experience," said Caitlyn Galloway, a Bowling Green native and also a WKU graduate. "Every single student in our 30-student class and all of the administrative staff are part of a new beginning for both the school and the community. We have the chance here to create something that is good not just for the city of Bowling Green, but also for the entire state of Kentucky."

The Medical Center at Bowling Green Receives Hero and Karpf Awards from UK HealthCare/Norton Healthcare - Stroke Care Network

Thursday, September 20, 2018

UK HealthCare/Norton Healthcare - Stroke Care Network has recognized The Medical Center at Bowling Green with the “Karpf Award" and the “Hero Award” for its work in improving stroke care for patients and communities.

As an affiliate in the Stroke Care Network, The Medical Center at Bowling Green has access to UK HealthCare/Norton Healthcare’s expertise and resources. At the Network's annual Summit in Lexington, Dr. Michael Dobbs, MHCM, director of the Stroke Care Network, praised The Medical Center at Bowling Green for having dedication to excellence in stroke care.

"The Medical Center at Bowling Green’s commitment to quality improvement and coordination of resources to provide their patients with the highest quality stroke care is to be commended," Dr. Dobbs said. "Everyone's goal is to provide the best care for stroke patients as close to home as possible and The Medical Center at Bowling Green’s efforts embody that principle."

The Karpf Award is named after the visionary and innovative Dr. Michael Karpf, who served as UK’s Executive Vice President for Health Affairs from 2003 until 2017. Dr. Karpf was highly instrumental in changing the face of healthcare in Kentucky to ensure that Kentuckians have access to the best of care, not only at UK, but across the entire Commonwealth. The “Karpf Award” is given to those who promote the concept of a stroke system of care and participate in state-wide stroke care improvement initiatives.

The “Hero Award” is given to stroke centers who have the “Fastest Door-to-Treatment” time for IV-tPA in the Stroke Care Network. IV-tPA is a term used for the stroke “clot-buster” drug Alteplase® which, when given to eligible acute ischemic stroke patients as soon as possible after arrival in the ED, may help restore blood flow to the area of the brain impacted by the stroke.

“Time equals Brain,” said Bill Singletary, RN, director of specialty certifications. “We know that for every single minute an acute stroke goes untreated, a patient loses 1.9 million brain cells. Because of this, many individuals and departments at The Medical Center play a critical role in achieving these incredible Door-to-Treatment times — including EMS, the Emergency Department physicians and staff, Diagnostic Imaging, Lab, Pharmacy and Neurology.”

Lisa Bellamy, RN, BHS, CPHQ, the Stroke Care Network's managing director, notes that “The Medical Center at Bowling Green was recognized with the Network’s ‘Karpf Award’ and ‘Hero Award’ because their commitment to providing the best possible stroke care is evidenced by the unrelenting efforts throughout this entire health system.”

The Medical Center at Bowling Green is a recipient of The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check mark for Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers. The Gold Seal of Approval® and the Heart-Check mark represent symbols of quality from their respective organizations. The Medical Center was first certified in 2009 and has consistently maintained certification since that time.

The Medical Center at Bowling Green Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program Nationally Recognized

Monday, August 20, 2018

The Medical Center at Bowling Green is proud to announce the re-certification of its pulmonary rehabilitation program by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR). The Medical Center at Bowling Green was recognized for its commitment to improving the quality of life by enhancing standards of care.

“The Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Program at The Medical Center has a dedicated and passionate staff,” said Justin Srygler, director of Clinical Allied Services. “We are proud the pulmonary program joins the cardiac rehabilitation program in being recertified by the AACVPR. This achievement is a result of the professionalism and commitment of both the cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation staff.”

Cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation programs are designed to help people with cardiovascular problems (e.g., heart attacks, coronary artery bypass graft surgery) and pulmonary problems (e.g., chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD], respiratory symptoms) recover faster and improve their quality of life. Both programs include exercise, education, counseling, and support for patients and their families.

The Medical Center at Bowling Green pulmonary rehabilitation program participated in an application process that requires extensive documentation of the program’s practices. AACVPR Program Certification is the only peer-review accreditation process designed to review individual programs for adherence to standards and guidelines developed and published by AACVPR and other professional societies. Each program is reviewed by the AACVPR Program Certification Committee and Certification is awarded by the AACVPR Board of Directors.

AACVPR-certified programs are recognized as leaders in the field of cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation because they offer the most advanced practices available. AACVPR Program Certification is valid for three years.

The Medical Center at Bowling Green Receives Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Medical Center at Bowling Green, flagship hospital of Med Center Health, has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

The Medical Center at Bowling Green earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients. These measures include evaluation of the proper use of medications and other stroke treatments aligned with the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Before discharge, patients should also receive education on managing their health, get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition interventions.

“The stroke care team at The Medical Center at Bowling Green is dedicated to constantly improving the quality of care for our patients,” said Jean Cherry, Executive Vice President of Med Center Health. “For every patient who comes to The Medical Center with a stroke, our team goes above and beyond to positively impact their outcome. We are proud to be recognized by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, but our greatest achievement is in saving lives and preserving the quality of life for our patients.”

The Medical Center at Bowling Green additionally received the association’s Target: Stroke℠ Elite award. To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke.

“We are pleased to recognize The Medical Center at Bowling Green for their commitment to stroke care,” said Eric E. Smith, M.D., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee and an associate professor of neurology at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. “Research has shown that hospitals adhering to clinical measures through the Get With The Guidelines quality improvement initiative can often see fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates.”

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and nearly 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

The Medical Center at Bowling Green Becomes Donation Site for Human Breastmilk

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

On Tuesday, July 24, The Medical Center at Bowling Green, flagship hospital of Med Center Health, held a grand opening to celebrate becoming a “milk depot” for The Milk Bank.

The Milk Bank is a nonprofit organization that promotes community health by expanding the safe use of human milk for all babies, especially premature and ill infants. The Medical Center will act as a donation site to accept milk from lactating women with infants who are less than two years old. As one of only six milk depots in Kentucky, The Medical Center will ensure the safe handling, storage and transport of donated human milk. Headquartered in Indianapolis, The Milk Bank also has depots in Indiana, Illinois and Missouri.

“We are so excited to become a Milk Depot location for The Milk Bank,” said Caitlin Burklow, Director of Women and Newborn Services at The Medical Center. “We have enjoyed a longstanding relationship with the Milk Bank as the only Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in the area and have seen firsthand the wonderful benefits of donor milk for our patients. I know the breastfeeding mothers in our area will be excited to have a convenient way to drop off milk that can potentially impact the life of a premature or ill infant.”

Area donors who have been approved will be able to drop off their excess breastmilk at The Medical Center. From there, the milk will be sent to The Milk Bank where it is bottled, pasteurized and tested for sterility by an independent lab. Once checked for safety, it is sent to ordering hospitals or outpatients with physician prescriptions.

To learn more about becoming a breastmilk donor, call The Medical Center at Bowling Green Lactation Department at 270-796-2108. For more information about Women’s Health Services at The Medical Center, visit