Sunday June 16, 2019
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Mayor Greg Fischer announced today that Louisville Metro Government, together with the University of Louisville’s Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging, AARP Kentucky and the Kentucky Regional Planning and Development Agency (KIPDA), have completed an Action Plan for Age-Friendly Louisville, an initiative to create an accessible and inclusive city for people of all ages and abilities.

With the guidance of a community advisory group, eight community meetings, two city-wide surveys, and collaboration with Plan 2040 (Louisville’s recently updated comprehensive plan), the Age-Friendly plan outlines goals and actions for four focus areas: housing, mobility and access, social participation and inclusion, and community support and health services.

The city and its partners will host a kick-off event for the Age Friendly plan at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18 at the Jewish Family and Career Center, 2821 Klempner Way.

The planning process began in late 2016 with Louisville’s membership in the AARP Network of Age Friendly Communities, an institutional affiliate of the World Health Organization’s Global Network of Age Friendly Cities & Communicates.

“Membership in the Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities has boosted our efforts to support our growing population of seniors and bring age-friendly practices to the forefront of our community,” the Mayor said. “One of our guiding principles in Louisville is to become an even more compassionate city, and that means ensuring that people of all ages and abilities have the opportunity to reach their full potential.”

Named “America’s Aging Care Capital” by Forbes magazine, Louisville is a leader in aging and health care innovation, with more than 85,000 professionals working to create the health and aging solutions of tomorrow. The Age-Friendly Louisville plan will help further position the city at the forefront of aging care for a global senior population.

“At the national level, AARP is a leader in promoting Age-Friendly cities. Locally, we will leverage our resources and network to connect the initiative to critical grassroots systems and advocacy channels,” said Tihisha Rawlins, Associate State Director at AARP Kentucky. “We are working to create a statewide conversation where all of Kentucky’s age-friendly communities—Berea, Bowling Green, Lexington, and Louisville—can share ideas and support one another in the process of becoming age-friendly.”

“I look forward to the day when all citizens in Louisville can say their community is age-friendly; that regardless of a person’s age (from early childhood to centenarian), all are able to access and actively participate in their community: the place where they live,” said Barbara Gordon, Director of Social Services at KIPDA.

Dr. Anna Faul, Executive Director of the University of Louisville Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging, said, “The Institute looks forward to leveraging its connections to achieve wide-reaching coordination and collaboration in this effort. Such comprehensive buy-in will be vital to the success of the age-friendly city endeavor: improving the quality of life not only for our older residents but for residents of all ages.”

The plan’s goals and actionable steps include:

  • Increasing the number of home maintenance resources for older adults, to ensure that they can age in place
  • Increasing the number of home builders who have earned the Certified Aging in Place Specialist certification from the National Association of Home Builders
  • Working with TARC to ensure its services are affordable, accessible and understandable to all community members
  • Improving sidewalks, crosswalks and signal crossing times to ensure all citizens can access their communities safely.
  • Increasing the capacity of neighborhood associations, Neighborhood Places, community ministries and other community organizations to promote health resource information.
  • Hiring an Age Friendly Louisville program manager to oversee the activities of the plan.

Louisville’s population currently includes 15% of people over the age of 60 and projections states that percentage could increase to 40% by 2050. The Age Friendly Plan has incorporated goals and strategies to improve the quality of life for people of all ages.

To view the complete Age Friendly plan, please visit https://www.agefriendlylou.com/

William Marvin Petty, M.D., Research Fund will support next step for promising research to improve pancreatic islet cell transplantation success

JoAnn Joule’s father, William Marvin Petty, M.D., suffered from diabetes for many years. A 1952 graduate of the University of Louisville School of Medicine, Petty served as Jefferson County Coroner from 1962 to 1974 and was a family physician in Fern Creek for 43 years.

Joule’s son lives with type 1 diabetes.

To honor her late father and help improve the lives of those with type 1 diabetes, Joule has given $500,000 to the University of Louisville Foundation to establish the William Marvin Petty, M.D., Research Fund. The fund is designated to support type 1 diabetes research at the UofL School of Medicine.

“I saw the toll diabetes took on my dad, and now my son is faced with the same disease,” Joule said. “I was not happy that medical research has not come up with anything new in the 40 years my son has been suffering. I am putting my assets behind the UofL research team.”

That research team includes Haval Shirwan, Ph.D., and Esma Yolcu, Ph.D., of the UofL Department of Microbiology and Immunology, who are working to develop techniques to prevent and treat type 1 diabetes with particular focus on transplantation of islet cells.

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the pancreas does not produces enough insulin, a hormone required to convert glucose to energy in the body. There is no cure for type 1 diabetes, and standard treatment involves regular injections of insulin, which is far from keeping blood sugar in balance.

Insulin is produced in the pancreas by a type of cells called islet cells. Individuals with type 1 diabetes have too few or altogether lack the type of islet cells that produce insulin to keep glucose at the proper level. In recent years, physicians have developed a treatment in which they transplant the needed islet cells into a patient. However, the patient’s immune system often rejects the transplanted islet cells over time, attacking and killing them. To keep the transplanted cells alive, patients must take immunosuppression medications, which have a number of undesirable side effects.   Continue reading

Mayor Greg Fischer today proclaimed that Friday will be Wear Red Day in Louisville to support the Louisville Cardinals women’s basketball team in the Final Four.

The Mayor is asking citizens across the community to wear Cardinal red on Friday, when the team takes on Mississippi State for a spot in the women’s NCAA Tournament championship game. If UofL wins, the Mayor asks that citizens again wear Cardinal red on Sunday to support the team as they play for the national championship.

“What the Cardinals have achieved this season is absolutely extraordinary — an ACC Championship, No. 1 seed in the Big Dance, a first team All-American in Asia Durr, and now a spot in the Final Four,” Mayor Fischer said. “Let’s show UofL women’s basketball that we stand with them and are ready to cheer like crazy this weekend.”

The Cardinals play Mississippi State at 7 p.m. Friday. The winner faces Notre Dame or Connecticut for the National Championship on Sunday.

Those who want to experience and learn more about virtual reality will have their chance tomorrow during a free, public event 2-3 p.m. at the University of Louisville’s Gheens Science Hall and Rauch Planetarium.

Two virtual-reality clips will be shown on the planetarium’s 55-foot, immersive dome:

  • Growing Up Girl” gives viewers a chance to experience a day in the life of a Kenyan girl as she copes with extreme poverty. The video shows the young girl as she travels vast distances to fetch water, gather wood and, after dark, walk to a nearby town so she will have lights to complete her school work.
  • Be Who You Are/Love Who You Are” shows the exuberance of gay pride parades from around the world. The clip was first shown during a 2016 LGBTQ event in Louisville and was so popular attendees rated it as the best session of the conference.

After the clips are shown, there will be a discussion about how to harness of the power of virtual reality filmmaking in the Louisville community.

The conversation will be facilitated by Aukram Burton, executive director of Kentucky Center for African American Heritage; Dean Otto, curator of film for the Speed Art Museum; Leo Osborne, founder of a video and digital communications firm; and Nathaniel Spencer, who runs a video services company and is a Louisville Film Commission advisory board member.

The Associated Press has been ranking the best teams in college basketball for more 68 years with over 1,100 polls.  Through all that, a total of 200 schools have been ranked with 59 of them earning the number one spot.  The AP recently came up with a formula to rank the Best College Basketball Team of All Time using data from those polls with the University of Kentucky squeaking out a win in the top spot.

The Wildcats’ all-time-best victory by a margin of just 1.17% over runner-up UNC might be some small measure of consolation for #2 seed UK fans after last week’s 73-75 loss to the #1 seed Tarheels in the 2017 NCAA tournament quarter-finals.

To rank the all-time Top 100 teams, the AP formula counted poll appearances at one point each to reward consistent winners and awarded two points each when teams appeared in the number one spot to acknowledge elite programs. National championship wins are not factored into these rankings since the Associated Press does not release a poll after the tournament.

University of Kentucky’s Wildcats appeared in more than 75% of all AP polls with 124 No. 1 rankings, earning them a total of 1,111 total points, just ahead of UNC’s 1,098.  The Tarheels had more overall appearances in polling but only 110 appearances in the top spot.

After a sharp drop-off in overall points, Louisville fans were not left out; the Cardinals finished the ranking at No. 7 behind Duke, UCLS, Kansas, and the Indiana Hoosiers.  The Cards earned 627 overall points with appearances in more than 54% of AP’s polls and two No. 1 appearances.

Arizona, Syracuse, and the Cincinnati Bearcats rounded out the top 10 positions with Jacksonville and Mississippi only just making the cut tied for #100.  Maryland toped the list of “never Number Ones” at #17 all-time, one of only two top-25 teams to have never earned the top spot in any AP poll.

The 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament continues with semi-finals games Saturday between South Carolina and Gonzaga at 6:09 PM and UNC facing Oregon at 8:49 PM.  The winners of those games will face each other April 3rd to determine the 2017 champion.

The University of Louisville’s Brandeis School of Law is marking the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s visit to the school with a free, public celebration today.

The noon – 1:30 p.m. event in Room 275 at the law school will feature a speaker panel including Stephen Porter, a 1968 law school graduate who invited King to speak at UofL in 1967.  Porter, a local attorney, will share his memories of the event and discuss King’s legacy.  Other panelists will be professors Ricky Jones, Pan-African studies, and Cedric Powell, law.

“He loved to speak at colleges,” said Porter in a 2014 UofL video about King’s visit. “As a matter of fact, the ‘I Have A Dream’ speech, he gave that dozens of times before he gave it in Washington and he gave it mostly to college groups.”

According to researchers in the law school, King came to Louisville many times during the 1960s but March 30, 1967, was the only time he visited UofL.

In 2014 the university unveiled never-before-seen photos of King’s law school stopover. The photo negatives were found among some old files and records. Those photos were reprinted and are now part of a permanent exhibit in the foyer of the school’s Allen Court Room.

“This was not a very big room, so there were people outside, people literally hanging from the windows,” said Porter, recounting the overwhelming student interest in the event.

Another university MLK-focused 50th anniversary celebration will be hosted April 4 by the Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research.  That event marks the anniversary of the civil rights leader’s notable anti-war speech. The 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. event will feature a reading of the speech; an open house will follow from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

University of Louisville and Kentucky State University announce BA/BS-MS offering for KSU students

UofL, KSU leaders formalize collaborative

Employment growth in careers related to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), underscores the importance of a new degree collaboration between Kentucky State University and the University of Louisville. The initiative allows KSU undergraduates majoring in math to study seven semesters (3.5 years) at KSU, and three semesters (1.5 years) at UofL, earning a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science (BA/BS) in math at KSU and a master of science (MS) in biostatistics from UofL. Students benefit by completing six years of study in five years.

“We continue to see a growing demand for a more highly educated workforce throughout the Commonwealth,” said UofL’s Interim President Greg Postel, M.D. “This collaborative effort will expose underrepresented groups to graduate education in a degree that will lead to high-demand, high-paying jobs and help Kentucky continue to move forward in an ever more competitive economy.”

“We are pleased to partner with a great institution like the University of Louisville, and I thank the KSU and UofL faculty for their innovative and creative thinking; our aim is to build a strong P-20 pipeline to serve Kentucky and this initiative helps meet that goal,” said KSU Interim President Aaron Thompson, Ph.D.

Interested students are identified in the early stages of their study at KSU and are mentored for the graduate program. They must take the GRE and apply for admission to UofL. Upon admission, students study the spring semester of their senior year at UofL and take courses that count toward a bachelor’s degree in math at KSU and the master’s degree in biostatistics at UofL. The balance of the master level courses are completed in the fifth year toward the MS degree in biostatistics.

Kentucky State Senator Gerald A. Neal, 33rd District, is an alumnus of both KSU and UofL and says the initiative is a significant inter-institutional collaboration.   Continue reading

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