GHN Wellness Center celebrates three years of sustained growth

It’s been three years since the Get Healthy Now Wellness Center underwent its $1.3 million renovation/expansion and relocation initiative, made possible by partnerships with the UofL Foundation and Athletics. The GHN team hosted an open house on April 21 to mark the occasion, and to also officially launch its latest program: A Meatless Monday campaign with food samplings and cooking demonstrations.

The Wellness Center moved from a small, 2,000-square-foot space in the lower level of Crawford Gym to the newly-renovated 22,000-square-foot space in the spring of 2013.

According to Patricia Benson, AVP for Health, Wellness and Disease Management, the new space allowed Get Healthy Now to expand the geographical reach of its workplace wellness efforts, including membership access to alumni and affiliated university partners and community engagement initiatives and events that are hosted at the facility, such as the American Heart Association Worksite Wellness Symposium.

In the three years since the move, the Wellness Center has hit its projected milestones, both in terms of membership and overall utilization rates.

“When we first reopened the doors to the GHN Wellness Center in 2013, we brought a membership base of 750 employees over from Crawford Gym. Now we have over 2,100 employees who have activated their membership,” Benson said.

Overall employee utilization of the Wellness Center has also steadily climbed from year-to-year with an average of 1,205 monthly visits in 2013, to 3,677 monthly visits in 2016. In the month of March, the GHN Wellness Center experienced a 14-percent increase in visits versus March 2015, with 3,677 employees walking through the doors. In January and February combined, more than 18,000 member visits were recorded.

In addition to membership/visit growth, the GHN Wellness Center has also added programming to fit the changing demands of its members, offering everything from water fitness and meditation to Zumba and Pilates.

“We are constantly reviewing our programs and offerings to keep our members coming through the doors and are actively engaged in our wellness offerings, no matter where they are on their wellness journey,” she said.

In year four, the Wellness Center plans to offer new classes that are focused on holistic health and wellbeing, starting with Tai Chi this summer.

“We will be working closely with our clinical partners to help employees transition and rebound from chronic and acute health challenges – be it knee replacement surgery or other conditions that create barriers in achieving overall wellness goals and living a full, active and independent life,” Benson said.

The focus on holistic health is in response to an annual survey conducted by GHN to ensure the team is offering relevant classes and programs for its members. Benson said the GHN team also stays on top of emerging trends in wellness and fitness.

GHN’s model has been so successful, other larger universities – including the University of Alabama and the University of Michigan – have used it as a benchmark for their own employee wellness programs.

“If there is one thing that surprises me, it’s that we were able to do this when much larger institutions haven’t figured it out yet,” Benson said. “The key for us is to offer a plethora of wellness opportunities that engage multiple interests and passions for all of the employees we serve. Our intent from day one was to create a sustainable program that has measurable impact. We’ve been able to do that.”



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UofL cardiologist wins top award for bringing CPR training to the Kentucky State Fair

Lorrel Brown, M.D.
Lorrel Brown, M.D.

It stands to reason: If you want to educate large numbers of people, go where large numbers of people go.

In Dr. Lorrel E. Brown’s case, that place was the Kentucky State Fair – and the nation’s premier cardiology association has presented her an award for her innovative thinking.

Brown, assistant professor of medicine in UofL’s Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, won first place in the category of “Young Investigator Awards in Cardiovascular Health Outcomes and Population Genetics” from the American College of Cardiology earlier this month. The award was presented at the organization’s 65th Annual Scientific Session in Chicago. It also was published in the April 5 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Brown headed a group of researchers that included Dr. Glenn Hirsch, associate professor of medicine, cardiology fellows Dr. Wendy Bottinor and Dr. Avnish Tripathi, medical student Travis Carroll, Dr. Bill Dillon, who founded the organization Start the Heart Foundation, and Chris Lokits  of Louisville Metro Emergency Medical Services, Office of Medical Direction and Oversight. They tackled the problem of surviving cardiac arrest – the sudden stopping of the heart – by increasing the number of people trained in hands-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Titled “CPR at the State Fair: A 10-minute Training Session is Effective in Teaching Bystander CPR to Members of At-risk Communities,” the research effort brought CPR training to the Kentucky State Fair’s Health Pavilion in August 2015.

Nearly 400,000 people in the United States have out-of-hospital cardiac arrest each year, she said, or nearly 40 people every hour. Only one in 10 survives.

“The vast majority of people who suffer cardiac arrest don’t experience it in a well-equipped hospital with highly-trained medical staff,” Brown said. “They experience it as they go about their daily lives, and just 30 percent of cardiac arrest victims receive CPR, usually from bystanders. Yet we know that bystander CPR dramatically improves chances for survival.”

The group created a 10-minute training module that uses a short video and hands-on coaching to teach people the basics of hands-only CPR. To further determine their mastery of CPR, participants completed a post-training survey and were asked to return to the training site at the fair one hour after training to re-test their CPR ability.

The state fair location also provided an additional benefit: the ability to reach people from communities and counties throughout Kentucky with low rates of bystander CPR.

“In Jefferson County alone, bystander CPR rates vary dramatically according to zip code, ranging from 0 percent to 100 percent,” Brown said. “We know there is the same variation throughout the state, and 77 percent of the Jefferson County residents we trained at the fair were from zip code areas with bystander CPR rates under the national average of 31 percent.”

Since the 2015 fair, Brown has led efforts to conduct bystander CPR training at other locations. “Through the Take It to the Heart tour with KentuckyOne Health, we provided this training in hospital lobbies throughout the state, at UofL women’s and men’s basketball games and even at the Capitol in Frankfort with the Kentucky Senate,” she said. “Through these efforts, we have trained more than 1,000 individuals in CPR and educated another 43,000. We hope that these efforts not only raise the rates of bystander CPR and survival from cardiac arrest in our own communities, but also serve as a model for other communities.”

Brown will bring the training back to the Kentucky State Fair again this year.

“These results suggest that by providing brief trainings in public venues, such as the state fair, we can effectively train people and potentially improve the rate of bystander CPR in this country,” she said.

Organizations or businesses also can schedule their own bystander CPR training session via the Start The Heart Foundation, for which Brown serves as a board member, by calling 502-852-1837.

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UofL students recognized for outstanding achievements, service

Outstanding University of Louisville students, organizations and employees received recognition April 19 for achievement on campus and in the community.

The UofL Student Awards are in their 16th year. Using criteria of leadership, service and involvement, a committee selects recipients from student, faculty and staff nominations.

Michael Mardis, Dean of Students and Vice Provost for Student Affairs, said it’s important for the university as a whole to take a moment to recognize the hard work of students for their excellence both inside the classroom and outside.

“The University of Louisville is fortunate to have so many outstanding students deserving of recognition. It is pleasing to honor such a diverse group of students who have made meaningful contributions to the university, our community and the world,” Mardis said. “The kindness they demonstrate in serving others is inspirational, and their commitment and hard work has left a lasting impact.”

Mardis and Interim Provost Neville Pinto helped present the awards to students. Emcees were 2016 Mr. and Ms. Cardinal Kevin Grout and Amanda Allen and 2015 Homecoming Queen Lauren Lewis.

The awards were sponsored by Commonwealth Credit Union and Kentucky National Guard.

Winners are listed below. Photos from the awards ceremony available online:

DRC Student of the Year Award – Keith Auspland

Intramural and Recreational Sports Solid Performance Award – Ruby Aebersold, Shelby Fisk, Emily Hansen, Steven Russ and Samantha Taylor

REACH Tutor Award of Excellence – Kristian Conway

REACH Ambassador Award of Excellence – Zofia Hetman

REACH Ambassador Spirit Award – Samuel Stevens

ACC Top Six for Service Awards – Olivia Boesing, Taylor Bradley, Caitlin Gilmore, Isabela Habuda, Tim Kubel and Jerry Ramirez

Outstanding Metropolitan College Student Award – Crystal Krages

Profiles in Leadership – Robyn Blackman, Abigail Corder, Gabe Draper, Madison Duff, Emerald Dunn, Charron Elliot, Austin Ferrell, Kevin Grout, Bridgette Hildreth, Alicia Humphrey, Kevin Jacob, Jason Jewell, Kevin Lackey, X’Zashea Lawson-Mayes, Crystal Newman, Katie Olsen, Darren Porter, Mercedes Samuels, Kyle Schroader, Alexander Stewart, Savanah Treece, Karen Udoh, Dakota Waldecker, Madeline Weiner, Maya White and Chloe Zoeller

A&S Peer Advisor of the Year – Corey Feger

A&S Peer Advisor Rookie of the Year – Lauren Lewis

Most Outstanding Gen 101 Teaching Assistants -Kirtley Hall and Natalie Shields

Most Outstanding Orientation Peer Advisor – Aaron Vance

Cultural Center Advocacy Award – Caitlin Durgin, Demarcus George, Craig Nichols, Leonardo Salinas and Talesha Wilson

Cultural Center Celebration Award – Leticia Miguel Antonio, Tram Nguyen and Maya White

Cultural Center Engagement Award – James Alcantara and Aaisha Hamid

Cultural Center Scholarship Award – Rashon Sadler and Jalyn Shontee

Woodford R. Porter Scholar Service Award – Akram Abdulle, Kassidy Barnett, Christia Brown, Alexsis Carter, Thomas Gordon, Nia Johnson, Corey McKee, John Rhodes and Anoa Zakee

PEACC Keeper Award – Hannah Nausbaum

AVIATOR of the Year – Kianna Johnson

Spirit of AVIATOR Award – Destinee Germany

AVIATOR Tour Guide of the Year – Logan Sanderson

AVIATOR Recognition for Outstanding Service – Brittney Brown

Outstanding AVIATOR Intern of the year – Jamitra Fulleord

AVIATOR Legacy Award – J. Taylor Smith and Jasmine Wilkins

Interfraternity Council Chapter President of the Year – Dakota Waldecker, Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity

National Panhellenic Council Chapter President of the Year – Sydni Gordon, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority

Panhellenic Council Chapter President of the Year – Mary Elizabeth Young, Chi Omega Sorority

Katy Garrison LGBT Student Leadership Award – Ben Vivona and Talesha Wilson

Amber Carrier Student Ally Award for LGBT Service – Jenna Lyons

Outstanding Freshmen Student Award – Kyle D. Bilyeu and Nicholas Yates

Outstanding Sophomore Student Award – Kevin Jacob and Karen Udoh

Outstanding Junior Student Award – Hares Patel

Outstanding Senior Student Award – Jacquelyn Ha, Allen L.H. Rakotoniaina and Megan Seldon

Outstanding Student Awards for Graduate and Professional Students – Hossein Mirinejad, Femmy Rose, Douglas Saforo and Natalie Spiller

Spirit of Community (Individual) – Nicole Robertson

Spirit of Community (Student Group or Organization) – Delta Zeta Sorority

Spirit of Service (Individual) – Grace Flaherty

Spirit of Service (Student Group or Organization) – Cards Beyond Borders

Social Justice and Inclusion Award (Individual) – Brandi Jones

Social Justice and Inclusion Award (Student Group or Organization) – Best Buddies at UofL and Minority Association of Graduate Students (M.A.G.S)

Outstanding New Program – Cards Against Hunger by the Student Activities Board: Outreach Committee

Outstanding Program of the Year – Omit the Silence: Stand Up for Equality by the Student Activities Board: Diversity Committee

Collaboration Award – Graduate Student Council, Minority Association of Graduate Students and UofL Counseling Center

Outstanding Student Employee Award – Katie Connor, Ekstrom Library; Allison Cook, Athletics; Jacqueline Wandling, Office of Communications and Marketing

Advisor of the Year – Stephanie Passow, National Residence Hall Honorary

Harold Adams Award – Cathy Patus

Outstanding New Organization of the Year – College Mentor for Kids

Student Organization of the Year – Best Buddies at UofL

The Cardinal Award of Excellence – Scholar/Leader – Allen L.H. Rakotoniaina

The Cardinal Award of Excellence – Scholar/Volunteer – Jerome Soldo

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Full day of activities planned for Cancer Awareness Show

More activities have been added to the lineup of the Cancer Awareness Show, set for Saturday, May 21, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hillview Community Center, 298 Prairie Drive. Proceeds from the day’s activities will benefit research, community outreach and patient support programs of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville.

The Zoneton Fire Department will have its Fire Safety House for participants to walk through, and the Kentucky Cancer Program at UofL will display the pink Horses and Hope Mustang for breast cancer awareness.

Hobbies Café food truck also will be on hand, joining a variety of other vendors at the show, which has sold out its indoor booth spaces, said organizer Richard Luce Jr. Outdoor booth spaces remain available at $20 each.

The Cancer Awareness Show has something for the entire family with three shows-within-the-show: a model train show including 9-by-9, 4-by-16 and 3-by-6 layouts; an arts and crafts show; and “Cruizin’ for Cancer,” a car, truck and motorcycle show and a model car show.

The Zoneton Fire Department’s Fire Safety House is a walk-through model that helps teach children how to best respond to a house fire situation. The house is designed to provide a realistic environment for teaching basic fire prevention and survival skills. Kids learn about smoke detectors, how to determine escape routes from a fire in advance, and the importance of not hiding during a fire.

Former Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear and the organization she founded, Horses and Hope, commissioned the pink Mustang from Paul Miller Ford for the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at the Kentucky Speedway. Since then, the Mustang tours the state to share life-saving breast cancer information. Horses and Hope works with the state’s equine industry to provide breast cancer education, screening and treatment referral.

Also included are prize and cash raffles. Representatives from Be The Match will be on hand to provide information about bone marrow donation. The James Graham Brown Cancer Center also will disseminate information on cancer prevention and treatment.

Admission is a cash donation to the James Graham Brown Cancer Center.


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Truman Scholar from small town pursues big dreams

UofL junior Hannah Wilson is proof that big dreams can begin in small places.

She hails from Bradfordsville, Kentucky. Population: about 300 people. Actually, make that 300 very proud people.

That’s because Wilson has made them extra proud by winning a prestigious Truman Scholarship. The prominent award went to just 54 U.S. college students this year and is valued at $30,000. Wilson is Kentucky’s only 2016 Truman Scholar.

The prize recognizes college juniors with a record of outstanding leadership and community involvement who want to pursue careers in public service. The winners will receive their awards in a May 29 ceremony at the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum in Independence, Missouri.

Wilson is a political science, philosophy and women’s and gender studies major in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is also a McConnell Scholar and expects to graduate in May 2017.

After she graduates from UofL, she intends to use her scholarship to earn a PhD and a law degree from the University of California Berkeley School of Law. She then plans to focus on a career in civil rights.

“Hannah has certainly earned this honor,” said UofL President Dr. James Ramsey. “She exemplifies ambition, academic excellence, leadership and a passion for justice and I am certain that she will emerge as a leader of her generation.”

Dr. Patricia Condon, who directs UofL’s Office of National and International Scholarship Opportunities, said the highly competitive scholarship is a golden opportunity for public-service minded undergraduates like Wilson.

“During her time at UofL, Hannah has wisely leveraged leadership and community service opportunities — especially through her McConnell Scholarship. The Truman Scholarship is an ideal next step for her,” Condon said.

“I’m honored to be a Truman Scholar and I look forward to seizing the opportunities made available to me by the foundation in pursuit of a lifetime of public service,” said Wilson. “It is especially a privilege to represent the rural, central Kentucky community of which I am a product in my acceptance of this award.”

Wilson is the daughter of Cindy and Todd Wilson of Bradfordsville. She graduated from Marion County High School in 2013 and was the school’s senior class president.

Twelve UofL students have been Truman Scholars since 1977, the year the national program was launched.  Last year, UofL’s Amanda Allen was also Kentucky’s only Truman Scholar.

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