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About KMA

The Kentucky Medical Association is a professional organization for physicians throughout the Commonwealth. Established in 1851, the KMA works on behalf of physicians and the patients they serve to ensure the delivery of quality, affordable health care. Members of the KMA share a mission of commitment to the profession and service to the citizens of this Commonwealth that extends across rural and urban areas. From solo practitioners to academicians to large, multi-specialty groups, KMA is the ONLY state association representing every specialty and type of medical practice in Kentucky.

 

News Releases

KMA Addressing Opioid Issue through Education and Physician Input

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 23, 2017
CONTACT: Patrick Padgett
KMA Executive Vice President
502-814-1394
padgett@kyma.org

KMA Addressing Opioid Issue through Education and Physician Input

LOUISVILLE, KY—The Kentucky Medical Association (KMA) will hold its Annual Meeting Friday, August 25 and Saturday, August 26 in Louisville with a new format designed to educate physicians on the opioid problem around the state. One education session will also allow physicians to participate in discussions on how to address the opioid problem.

The keynote speaker on Friday is reporter and author Sam Quinones, who will discuss his book, Dreamland, which discusses the history of the opiate addiction problem and how it spread across the United States over nearly thirty years. One reviewer called Dreamland “a book that every American should read.”

“We believe it is important to know the issue from a historical perspective,” KMA President Nancy Swikert, MD, said. “Knowing how we got to where we are on this issue will help us address it going forward.”

Other speakers scheduled to discuss the opioid issue for the sold out event on Friday include Kentucky Educational Television host Renee Shaw, along with producers and participants of the “Journey to Recovery” opioid documentary, as well as Ivana Grahovac, Director of Advancement for Facing Addiction, who will share her story of addiction recovery.

The meeting will continue on Saturday with faculty from Butler University, who will discuss how physicians can be leaders on a variety of issues. Other speakers will address specific facets of the opioid issue including David Hopkins, Program Manager at KASPER, Kentucky’s prescription monitoring system, who will provide statistical information related to KASPER reporting; Phillip Chang, MD, Chief Medical Officer for the University of Kentucky Healthcare, who will discuss opioid use in an inpatient setting; attorney Sarah Spurlock of Stites & Harbison, who will discuss Kentucky’s new law limiting controlled substance prescriptions for acute pain to three days; and a follow up from KET representatives on their acclaimed opioid documentary.

Following the presentations, the attendees will break out into work groups to discuss the issues addressed in the presentations, with each breakout group led by a physician who recently graduated from KMA’s first class of the Kentucky Physicians Leadership Institute, or KPLI.

“These physicians have received in-depth training on various facets of leadership,” Doctor Swikert said of the KPLI graduates. “We trained them, and now we are putting them to work on one of the most important issues in health care. They developed the scenarios to be discussed, and they will lead the groups in their discussions. It is a perfect fit for their recent training.”

The breakout groups’ suggestions and feedback will be used later by KMA in developing steps the Association and its members can take to address the issue.

“This is the first time our Annual Meeting has had breakout groups to address an important public health issue,” Doctor Swikert said. “The structure that KMA put in place a few years ago allows us to work on problems like this. And our new Kentucky Physicians Leadership Institute is the perfect place to train physician leaders. Physicians want to be involved in addressing the major issues of the day, and these new KMA initiatives provide them the perfect opportunities to do so.”

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About KMA
Established in 1851, the Kentucky Medical Association is a professional organization for physicians throughout the Commonwealth. The KMA works on behalf of physicians and the patients they serve to ensure the delivery of quality, affordable health care.

KMA Files Motion to Intervene in Lawsuit Challenging Medical Review Panels

LOUISVILLE, Ky.(7-24-17)—The Kentucky Medical Association has filed a motion to intervene in the lawsuit filed in Franklin Circuit Court challenging the constitutionality of Senate Bill 4, which established Medical Review Panels to evaluate medical malpractice claims before they can proceed in court.

KMA was among several health care stakeholders that supported the legislation and worked with legislators to ensure it would pass constitutional muster.

“We believe that not only is the new law constitutionally sound, but that it will also improve the health care climate in Kentucky in several ways,” said Nancy Swikert, M.D., the 2016-17 KMA president. “That is why we are seeking to become a party to this lawsuit.”

The new law requires the review of medical malpractice claims by a group of independent, expert health care providers who offer an opinion on the merit of such claims before they are filed in court. KMA believes this first step in meaningful tort reform will help drive down medical costs for Kentuckians and make the Commonwealth more attractive to health care providers, which could address the shortage of physicians in many parts of Kentucky.

“This legislation has been a priority for physicians and the health care community as a whole for a long time,” Swikert said. “This new law will make Kentucky a better place to practice medicine and will enable us to recruit physicians and others who can treat the people of the Commonwealth. We have a host of health issues to address and we need a medical system that is not hamstrung so that we can provide the best care possible.”

The Institute for Legal Reform in 2015 ranked Kentucky 39th in the nation for its lawsuit climate. Senate Bill 4 is designed to significantly improve the Commonwealth’s legal liability climate, making the state a much more attractive destination for not only health care providers, but also businesses.

“As businesses compete to attract the most talented employees, they want to be able to offer a vibrant health care system as part of an employee’s benefit package,” Dr. Swikert said. “Having local physicians available to treat employees and their families is part of making any community a business-friendly place. A vibrant health care community needs a robust network of physicians and other providers who are there to meet the needs of individuals and businesses around the state.”

KMA believes the new law includes safeguards to ensure that legitimate malpractice claims have their day in court.

“This law makes certain that those who have been injured are compensated in a more judicious and timely way. It is a win for all Kentuckians,” Dr. Swikert said.

Kentucky Medical Association Launches “Know Your Meds” Campaign

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (November 29, 2016) – The Kentucky Medical Association (KMA), a statewide professional organization for physicians, today formally launched the “Know Your Meds” campaign to encourage physicians and patients across the Commonwealth to work together to prevent prescription drug abuse through knowledge and education.

Prescription drug abuse is a public health epidemic in Kentucky resulting in more than 1,000 deaths from overdoses each year. Physicians and patients both have important roles to play in stopping improper use of prescription medicines that can lead to abuse and addiction. The Know Your Meds campaign encourages patients to look to their physicians for education about how best to safely use, store and dispose of their medicines. It will also encourage physicians throughout the Commonwealth to take an active role in educating their patients about the importance of adhering to prescription schedules and how to safely dispose of unused medicines.

“Prescription medicines save lives. But if used improperly, they can also be dangerous—especially if they get into the wrong hands,” said Nancy Swikert, M.D., President of the Kentucky Medical Association. “A simple conversation with your physician can go a long way in equipping you with the knowledge you need to use, store and dispose of your medicines in the safest way possible.”

Kentucky ranks third highest in the mortality rate for drug overdoses in the United States. The Know Your Meds campaign seeks to prevent this through a strong patient-provider relationship and education.

The Kentucky Medical Association launched this campaign through funding from the Kentucky Foundation for Medical Care (KFMC), the charitable arm of the KMA committed to improving lives of Kentuckians through public health initiatives and medical education.

For more information on safe drug use, storage and disposal, please visit kyma.org/know-your-meds-ky.

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About KMA

The Kentucky Medical Association is a professional organization for physicians throughout the Commonwealth. Established in 1851, the KMA works on behalf of physicians and the patients they serve to ensure the delivery of quality, affordable health care. Members of the KMA share a mission of commitment to the profession and service to the citizens of this Commonwealth that extends across rural and urban areas. From solo practitioners to academicians to large, multi-specialty groups, KMA is the ONLY state association representing every specialty and type of medical practice in Kentucky.

Florence Physician Nancy Swikert, M.D., Installed as 2016-17 KMA President

LOUISVILLE, KY—Nancy Swikert, M.D., a Florence family physician, was installed as President of the Kentucky Medical Association Sept. 10 during the KMA’s Annual Meeting in Louisville. Dr. Swikert was also installed as President of the Kentucky Medical Association Alliance.

KMA members also elected other officers during the 2016 Annual Meeting. Maurice Oakley, M.D., of Ashland was elected president-elect; Brent Wright, M.D., of Glasgow was elected vice president; Dale Toney, M.D., of Lexington was elected chair of the KMA Board of Trustees, and Michael Kuduk, M.D., of Winchester was elected vice-chair.

Dr. Swikert was trained at the University of Louisville School of Medicine and the St. Elizabeth Family Medicine Residency Program in Edgewood, Kentucky. She and her husband, Don, also a family physician, then started their own medical practice and worked together for 18 years in Florence. Afterward, Dr. Swikert worked for a large multi-specialty practice as lead physician of her office for over 15 years. Now, she works part time for St. Elizabeth Physicians and is a consultant for the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure and Kentucky Department of Transportation.

During her address at the KMA Leadership Dinner, Dr. Swikert set forth three goals – to work to improve health outcomes for Kentuckians and to help develop a generation of physicians prepared to meet the needs of a 21st century health care system.

“And most importantly,” she said, “to restore the joy in medicine and enable physicians to spend their time where it matters most – helping patients.”

Dr. Swikert pointed out that a new study from the American Medical Association found physicians spend half their time devoted to the keyboard; only a third of their time was free to interact with patients.

“We physicians have become the most expensive data entry workforce on the face of the planet,” she said.

That change away from the reasons physicians entered the medical field have increased the frustrations and lowered the job satisfaction they feel, Dr. Swikert said.

She said addressing those changes will go a long way to improving the provision of care and the health outcomes for patients.

“Each one of us has a role to play,” she told KMA members and guests in attendance. “Each one of us contributes something the other cannot, a vital part to the puzzle. When it comes to something as important as shaping a better, healthier future, it will take every single one of us.

“It is no small thing to be tasked with improving America's health care system. But then it is no small thing to stand over a critically ill man or woman … and find a way to save them. As physicians, achieving the impossible is something we are called to do every day.

“With our unwavering commitment we can, we will create a future where physicians and patients thrive and the doctors of tomorrow have the support and training they need to meet any challenge.

“We can, we will create a better, healthier future for the people of this great commonwealth.”

 

9-19-16

KMA Presents 2016 Distinguished Service Award to Paducah Physician Shawn Jones, M.D.

LOUISVILLE, KY—Shawn Jones, M.D., a Paducah otolaryngologist, was recognized Saturday, Sept. 10, with the Kentucky Medical Association Distinguished Service Award during the Leadership Dinner at the 2016 KMA Annual Meeting.

“I am humbled beyond words,” Dr. Jones said. “To be honored by your peers in such a manner is truly incredible. I feel as though the doctors of Kentucky provide patients with distinguished care every day, so to win this award from them is just extraordinary."

Dr. Jones, who served as KMA president in 2011-12, has long been active in the organization. He’s vice president of KMA’s charitable arm, the Kentucky Foundation for Medical Care, and serves as the face of the KFMC Commit to Quit public health campaign aimed at helping people quit smoking. He also has been named chair of the KMA/KFMC Kentucky Physicians Leadership Institute, a new program aimed at helping Kentucky physicians become better leaders.

Dr. Jones was also one of nine physicians from across the commonwealth – including his wife, Evelyn Jones, M.D. – to graduate in the third class of the KMA Community Connector Leadership Program. The program is an opportunity for physicians to enhance their leadership skills through education and direct community involvement. Community Connectors are physicians who are engaged in their communities in an effort to promote the practice of medicine in Kentucky by working with business, government and civic leaders.

Dr. Jones is a graduate of the University of Louisville, where he received a B.A. with honors in biology, and the University of Louisville School of Medicine. He completed his residency at UofL Affiliated Hospitals. He is board certified through the American Board of Otolaryngology. Dr. Jones is a founding and senior partner of Purchase ENT of Paducah. He served as a Captain in the Medical Corps of the U.S. Army Rserve and served on active duty during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1991. He is a life member of the Reserve Officers Association of the U.S. Army.

He was elected in 2010 to the Kentucky Institute of Medicine, and is a member of the American Association for Physician Leadership, the American Medical Association where he serves as an alternate AMA delegate from Kentucky, the Christian Medical and Dental Association, Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Fellow of the American Academy of Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery, and McCracken County Medical Association.

Dr. Jones and his wife, Evelyn, a Paducah dermatologist, have three children, Rebecca, Shawn Curtis and Caleb.

9-19-16

KMA Presents 2016 Community Service Award to Sen. Ralph Alvarado, M.D.

LOUISVILLE, KY—The Kentucky Medical Association presented its Community Service Award to Sen. Ralph Alvarado, M.D., of Winchester during the Kentucky Physicians Leadership Academy Saturday afternoon, Sept. 10.

The award, given annually during the KMA Annual Meeting, recognizes a physician who has made significant contributions to his or her community. Sen. Alvarado was selected for his extraordinary dedication to the medical community and to Kentuckians and for his tireless efforts on behalf of the body of medicine. His determination and drive helped to ensure passage of several key pieces of legislation during the 2016 legislative session.

“It’s an honor for me. Almost anybody here would probably be a person to be eligible to get that award,” Alvarado said. “Every doctor serves their community in so many different ways. Life evolves in kind of odd ways when you become a face of a movement for physicians who are trying to fight back on some of the things that are going on. You get recognized for that, but there’s so many in this group—almost every doctor who works in a small community, serves in his community, takes care of patients, and is enduring all the changes that are going on—deserves those awards.

“To me it’s an honor for my colleagues to recognize me in that way. I’m humbled. You can almost pick any doctor who shows up at these KMA meetings and they would have a reason to receive this award as well.”

9-15-16

KMA Presents Educational Achievement Award to Sheldon Bond, M.D., of Louisville

LOUISVILLE, KY—The Kentucky Medical Association presented its Community Service Award to Sheldon Bond, M.D., FACS, of Louisville during the Kentucky Physicians Leadership Academy Saturday afternoon, Sept. 10.

Dr. Bond is the assistant dean, clinical education for the University of Louisville School of Medicine. The KMA Educational Achievement Award is given each year to a physician who has made contributions in all areas of teaching, research, clinical application in medical practice and patient education.

Dr. Bond has been a member of the faculty of UofL since 1991. From 2005 to 2006 he was the associate director of Student Education and in 2006 was appointed director of Surgical Student Education in the Department of Surgery, a position he currently retains. He has served as the assistant dean for Clinical Education since 2010. He is responsible for educating medical students in the practice of surgical excellence. In these roles, he completely renovated the student program in the Department of Surgery.

Dr. Toni Ganzel, dean of the UofL College of Medicine, said in the nomination letter that Dr. Bond is well-liked by all. “General surgery residents give testament that ‘his ability to find teachable moments each day and in all settings’ is renowned by those he teaches. He is definitely a favorite among students.”

Dr. Bond has been serving in an editorial capacity for more than 10 years for well-regarded publications such as “Journal of Surgical Research,” “American Journal of Surgery” and “Journal of Pediatric Surgery.” He has authored/co-authored 59 peer-reviewed publications, more than 25 published abstracts, achieved 55 local presentations, and more than 35 presentations both nationally and internationally. He has served on numerous committees for the School of Medicine, the University of Louisville and in the local community since coming to UofL. He also has provided his services on several mission trips as a participating surgeon.

In his brief remarks accepting the award, Dr. Bond said, “Teach your children well.”

9-19-16

KMA Presents 2016 Debra K. Best Layperson Award to Middlesboro Students

LOUISVILLE, KY—As they walked to the stage to talk about their efforts to implement a public smoking ban in their community, five young girls, their teachers and principal from Middlesboro received a standing ovation from the physicians in attendance at the Kentucky Medical Association Annual Meeting Saturday, Sept. 10.

The girls were part of the 2014 Destination Imagination Team from Middlesboro Elementary School that worked with the Middlesboro City Council to adopt the public smoking ban. Team members were Bryce Bowling, Chloe Burchett, Kaylea Martin, Haylee Mills, Sabrina Sparks, Ryann Tong and Jack Yoakum. Their coaches were Kelsey Massengill and Tonya Martin of Middlesboro Elementary School.

“You have no idea how many lives you have saved,” John Johnstone, M.D., a Richmond cardiologist, told the girls. “I wish so many people in this state could emulate you all. We need to learn from you.”

Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stresses there is no risk-free level of secondhand smoke exposure; even brief exposure can be harmful to health. For the past year, the Kentucky Medical Association and its charitable arm, the Kentucky Foundation for Medical Care, have joined with other stakeholders for its Commit to Quit smoking cessation campaign. KMA has lobbied for a statewide smoking ban during the most recent legislative sessions.

Shawn Jones, M.D., a Paducah otolaryngologist, has been a leader in that effort and the face of the campaign. He also will be heading up the KMA LEED initiative stressing Leadership through Education, Experience and Development. He applauded the efforts of the students and said they set an example of strong leadership and caring for their community.

“If fourth graders can get a major public health ordinance passed in their community, imagine what a highly trained and articulate physician could do,” Dr. Jones said.

Students attending the KMA Annual Meeting told the physicians how their project came together. Chloe Burchett said she didn’t like when her brother, who has asthma, had to walk through the smoke just to go into a local business. “After researching our county statistics, we realized it was a much bigger problem,” she said.

So the students chose the smoking ban as their project for Destination Imagination. The goal, said Massengill, the special education teacher who worked with the students on the project, is to “teach students the creative processes and empower them with skills needed for an ever-changing world.”

The students had to create a project brand with logo and jingle, and include a puzzle.

It wasn’t easy to get the smoking ban passed, and their first trip to City Hall was not successful. But the students persisted and collected 408 signatures on a petition. The team was successful in its second trip to the council. The ordinance took effect Aug. 24, 2015.

When they faced challenges, Sabrina Sparks said, “we came together as a team to keep going and believed what we could do.”

Physicians at the KMA Annual Meeting were impressed with their efforts. The team received another standing ovation when they were called to the stage by KMA President Ted Miller, M.D., PhD, to receive the Debra K. Best Outstanding Layperson Award Saturday night.

The success the students had at the local level prompted James Beattie, M.D., of Bowling Green, president of the Kentucky Foundation for Medical Care, to quip, “Can we turn you loose on the state legislature?”

Principal Anthony Maxwell, EdD, credited the students with sticking with a project that he thought would be controversial. The accolades they have received, including the KMA award Saturday, showed they can make a difference.

“We need to follow students more often,” Maxwell said. “They’re great leaders.”

9-15-16

KMA, KFMC Partner with Health Care Stakeholders to Aid Kentuckians who Commit to Quit Smoking

The Kentucky Medical Association and Kentucky Foundation for Medical Care have some advice for smokers who have made a New Year’s resolution to finally put smoking on pause for good – talk to your physician to help you find success. KMA and KFMC are teaming with local county medical societies and other health care partners to help smokers Commit to Quit through a public relations campaign that focuses on the critical relationship between patient and physician. KMA, KFMC and their partners will launch the campaign in early January 2016.

Studies have shown that when smokers work with their physician, they are more likely to be successful. In fact, the long-term rate for abstaining from smoking jumped from 7 percent to 30 percent when smokers seek help from their physician, a 2007 report from the Association of American Medical Colleges found.

“It just makes sense,” said Shawn Jones, MD, of Paducah, vice-chairman of the Kentucky Foundation for Medical Care and a smoking cessation advocate. “Physicians know their patients best and can recommend what they think will work for individual patients. Physicians can prescribe any needed medication and point smokers who want to quit down a path where they can be successful.”

Smoking is the leading cause of cancer in the United States, and tobacco use increases the risk of many causes of cancer. In Kentucky, 30 percent of adults and 14 percent of teens self-report as smokers. The commonwealth leads the nation in the number of cancer deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Smoking also contributes to other health problems, including heart disease, stroke, emphysema and bronchitis.

When people quit smoking, their health improves almost immediately. According to the American Heart Association, a smoker’s blood pressure and heart rate recovers from the cigarette-induced spike in only 20 minutes after quitting. Within 12 hours, the carbon monoxide levels in a smoker’s blood return to normal. One week after quitting, clear and deeper breathing gradually returns and circulation and lung function begin to improve in as short as two weeks.

“We can’t deny the health problems smoking has caused and the benefits people can attain by quitting,” said Dr. Jones. “Physicians stand ready to help our patients drastically improve their health by kicking the habit for good.”

KMA has long supported statewide smoke-free legislation, but recognizes the best way to cut down on secondhand smoke is to cut the number of smokers by helping people to quit. Studies show that as many as seven in 10 smokers want to quit; physicians can help them find the right path.

“Some people might be able to quit cold turkey,” said Dr. Jones. “But others might need something more. Physicians can help them along their journey to better health through quitting smoking.”

For more information and resources, visit committoquitky.com. Follow @Commit2QuitKY on Twitter and like CommittoQuitKY on Facebook.

1-4-16

Edgewood Physician Installed as 2015-16 KMA President

LOUISVILLE, KY–Theodore Miller, M.D., Ph.D., an Edgewood otolaryngologist, was installed as President of the Kentucky Medical Association on Aug. 29 during the KMA’s Annual Meeting in Louisville.

KMA members also elected other officers during the 2015 Annual Meeting. Nancy Swikert, M.D., of Union, was elected president-elect; R. Brent Wright of Glasgow was elected vice president; and G. Randolph Schrodt, M.D., of Louisville was elected chair of the KMA Board of Trustees.

During his address at the Leadership Dinner, Dr. Miller outlined many of the obstacles physicians face today in their efforts to deliver the highest quality of medical care. “There are clearly many challenges ahead for our profession and for organized medicine,” Miller concluded, “but the KMA has moved to become better positioned to deal with these challenges.”

Dr. Miller has long been active in organized medicine. He is currently a member of the Executive Board of the Northern Kentucky Medical Society and has served in the past as the president of the Cincinnati Society of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery. He was elected to the KMA Board of Trustees as an Alternate Trustee from the Eighth Trustee District in 2005, eventually serving as Trustee. He was appointed to the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees and subsequently served as vice chair of the Board of Trustees and then as chairman of the Board for two years. He also served as KMA vice president before being elected president-elect in 2014. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Kentucky Foundation for Medical Care since 2011.

Dr. Miller received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Thomas More College and then a master’s degree in psychology and a doctor of philosophy degree in sensation and perception from Loyola University of Chicago. His research work centered on human psychoacoustics, or the study of the auditory system through human behavior. While in graduate school, he was commissioned in the Medical Service Core of the United States Navy and, on matriculation, served on active duty as a research psychologist at the Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory New London in Groton, Conn. He studied the effects of noise on hearing in hyperbaric environments, achieving the rank of full lieutenant.

After finishing his commitment to the Navy, Dr. Miller attended the University of Louisville School of Medicine and was awarded the M.D. degree. He completed a surgical internship and a residency in otolaryngology and maxillofacial surgery at the University of Cincinnati. He has been in the private practice of otolaryngology in the greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area for more than 30 years. He joined Head and Neck Surgery and Associates (now known as ENT and Allergy Specialists) in 2006. He is currently on the active medical staffs of the St. Elizabeth Medical Center, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and Dearborn County Hospital. He currently serves on the Credentials Committee at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and had served for nine years as the chairman of the Ethics Committee in the former St. Luke Hospital medical system. In addition, Dr. Miller has been a member of the Board of Overseers of the Redwood Rehabilitation Center for more than 25 years and currently serves on its Medical Advisory Committee.

Dr. Miller and his wife of 41 years, Marianne, reside in an historic, pre- Civil War home.

 

9-1-15