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Kentucky Hospital Association and March of Dimes Recognize The Medical Center at Bowling Green for an Early Elective Delivery Rate of three percent or less

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Louisville, Ky. (October 13, 2016) — In 2012, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services launched the Partnership for Patients’ Hospital Engagement Network. Through that program many Kentucky birthing hospitals joined together to reduce the number of elective inductions and cesarean deliveries performed before 39 weeks of pregnancy. The Medical Center at Bowling Green was one of the participating hospitals.

While participating in the Hospital Engagement Network, The Medical Center at Bowling Green significantly reduced the number of early elective deliveries (inductions) and cesarean deliveries performed before 39 weeks of pregnancy. This will give more babies a healthy start in life, the March of Dimes says.

“We’re proud of our expert team of physicians and nurses who improved the delivery of care by putting in place policies to avoid unnecessary C-sections or inductions before 39 weeks of pregnancy, except when medically necessary,” said Connie D. Smith, Chief Executive Officer of The Medical Center at Bowling Green.

“In the last few weeks of pregnancy, the brain, liver and lungs are still developing. So even though your baby may look the right size to be born at 37 weeks, he or she is not quite ready. Electing to have an early delivery may even impact how your child performs in school,” said Jeffery Nemec, M.D., who specializes in obstetrics and gynecology at The Medical Center.

“Babies who survive an early birth often face the risk of lifelong health challenges, such as breathing problems, learning disabilities and others. Even babies born just a few weeks early have higher rates of hospitalization and illness than babies born at 40 weeks. I commend The Medical Center at Bowling Green for being a champion for babies and families. The goal for this project was an early elective delivery rate of 3 percent or less, and the obstetrical team at The Medical Center at Bowling Green was able to achieve this goal,” said Melanie Moch, the KHA Director of Data Collection and Training.

“Kentucky hospitals are always working to raise the bar to improve patient safety and quality improvement efforts. Every year, Kentucky’s 46 birthing hospitals welcome some 53,000 babies into the world and hospitals want these newest citizens to have the healthiest start possible” said Michael T. Rust, president of the Kentucky Hospital Association.

About the Kentucky Hospital Association
The Kentucky Hospital Association was established in 1929 and is a not-for-profit organization of which all Kentucky hospitals are members. The Association represents and facilitates collaborative efforts among Kentucky hospitals and is the source for strategic information about the constantly changing health care environment. KHA is a membership-driven organization that provides proactive leadership to create an environment in which Kentucky hospitals are successful in serving their communities. For more information, go to

The Kentucky Institute for Patient Safety and Quality is a non-profit subsidiary of KHA focusing on the statewide collection and analysis of adverse patient event data from health care providers and the dissemination of recommendations for improvement in care delivery. Based in Louisville, the mission of the federally-certified patient safety organization (PSO) is to improve health care quality and patient safety and provide a learning environment for persons engaged in the delivery of health care services. For more information, visit

About the March of Dimes
The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.
In 2007, The Kentucky Chapter began a comprehensive pilot program entitled Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait® (HBWW) in partnership with the Kentucky Department for Public Health and Johnson & Johnson. HBWW, now a nationwide effort, addresses the growing problem of premature birth. Kentucky’s preterm birth rate was 11.4 percent in 2014, down from 15.1% in 2006, the year the national rate peaked. Kentucky again earned a “C” on the March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card.

Find out how you can help raise funds to prevent premature birth and birth defects by walking in March for Babies at For the latest resources and information, visit or

The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit

Med Center Health Expands in Clinton County with Med Center MRI

Friday, August 26, 2016

Med Center Health has expanded its diagnostic imaging services in Clinton County with the addition of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The MRI service was acquired from Michael Cummings, M.D. who previously operated Twin Lakes MRI in Albany. Med Center MRI will be located in Twin Lakes MRI’s former location at 254 Burkesville Road.

“MRI is a much needed diagnostic imaging service for the local community, and we are pleased to provide this outpatient service in addition to the imaging services at The Medical Center at Albany,” said Laura Belcher, Administrator of The Medical Center at Albany and Vice President of Commonwealth Health Corporation (CHC). The Medical Center at Albany currently offers a range of diagnostic imaging services including 42-slice CT, digital mammography, and X-ray. “Investing in this MRI service ensures the local medical community has immediate access to the diagnostic imaging services they need to provide the highest quality of care to their patients.”

"We are excited about the opportunity to expand The Medical Center at Albany’s services,” said Eric Hagan, Executive Vice President for CHC. “In the short time that we have been in Clinton County, we have been blessed with the support of our community. We are happy to give back by providing this service locally so people don't have to travel excessive distances to receive the care they need. This aligns perfectly with our mission, ‘To care for people and improve the quality of life in the communities we serve.’"

MRI is used to diagnose a wide variety of medical conditions which affect soft tissue structures and organs in the body. It is particularly useful in diagnosing problems of the brain and spine. The MRI unit uses radio waves and a magnetic field to provide detailed images of particular parts of the body. MRI produces cross-sectional views of the body. By collecting a series of such images, MRI can create a multi-dimensional view of the body which greatly enhances a doctor's ability to accurately diagnose medical conditions.

The “open MRI” at Med Center MRI is open on all three sides to permit ease of side loading and optimized patient comfort. During most exams, the patient’s head remains outside the magnet which means less anxiety for patients, especially those who are sometimes claustrophobic. It can also accommodate patients weighing in excess of 350 pounds.

For more information, call Med Center MRI at 606-387-2066 or 877-387-2066. To learn more about diagnostic imaging services available at The Medical Center at Albany, visit

Med Center Health - WKU Expand Affiliation with Construction of New Med Center Health Sports Medicine Complex

Friday, August 19, 2016

Building upon decades of partnership in academic programs to train clinicians to meet the growing demand for additional healthcare professionals, Med Center Health and Western Kentucky University (WKU) today announced that the hospital will begin construction of the Med Center Health Sports Medicine Complex on WKU’s campus. The new facility will provide space for WKU’s Department of Physical Therapy and Med Center Health’s new Orthopaedic/Sports Medicine/Rehabilitation group. The complex will also provide space for WKU’s baseball fieldhouse and will include the construction of an indoor multi-purpose facility, which includes a football field, a straight track and netting for training for various outdoor sports. The estimated construction cost, totally funded by Med Center Health, is $22 million, making it the most significant investment by a private company to date on the WKU campus.

“Building on our recent announcement to collaborate with WKU on the opening of a new UK College of Medicine-Bowling Green campus in 2018, this new healthcare and academic affiliation agreement further strengthens the commitment of the two leading education and healthcare service organizations in South Central Kentucky,” said Connie Smith, President and CEO of Med Center Health. Smith added, “This partnership creates a treatment and teaching environment that is mutually beneficial to our patients, the university community, and specifically to WKU’s physical therapy students.”

“This facility will ensure that our partnership with Med Center Health and the University of Kentucky to bring a full four-year medical school to our community will occur on schedule,” said WKU President Gary A. Ransdell. “The new building we announce today will free up space for the UK Medical School and allow our Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program to move to our main campus and be joined by Med Center Health’s Orthopaedic/Sports Medicine/Rehabilitation group. It also engages our DPT program with our WKU athletic teams in a new state-of-the-art, year-round multi-purpose facility and will provide a valuable new indoor experience for our campus community and the public through collaboration with the Preston Health and Activities Center.”

Construction is expected to begin in January 2017 and will include a 57,000 square foot, two-story building that will be located between the existing football practice field and the baseball field. The present football practice field will be enclosed to create an additional 83,000 square feet, and the existing field surface will be replaced with an artificial turf. Enclosure of the existing practice field will create an indoor training/education facility that can be used year-round by the campus and for other community based events promoting good health and exercise. The new facility will include a full size practice field for football; sprint lanes for track and training; netting for baseball, softball and golf; a high jump area; a long jump pit; and a pole vault pit. Construction is expected to be completed in late spring of 2018. WKU’s Department of Physical Therapy, currently located on The Medical Center’s campus in the Health Sciences Complex (HSC), will move into the new Med Center Health Sports Medicine Complex, thus freeing up the third floor of the HSC to become the home of the new UK College of Medicine-Bowling Green campus.

“We are exceedingly grateful to Med Center Health for their commitment to build this much needed facility on the WKU campus,” said Dr. Ransdell. “The Med Center Health Sports Medicine Complex opens new opportunities for the faculty and students in our growing DPT program. Connecting them to the Orthopaedic/Sports Medicine/Rehabilitation group and to our own Hilltopper Athletic teams will provide them with incredible new real-life learning opportunities.”

Med Center Health will become the official healthcare partner of WKU and a preferred provider in WKU’s health plan for faculty and staff, and the two organizations are committed to co-marketing the affiliation and brand name. Med Center Health will also become the exclusive provider of physician and rehabilitation therapy services to WKU athletic teams. Med Center Health will eventually become the operator of the on-campus University Health Services clinic.

Both Dr. Ransdell and Smith believe that this new patient service/academic affiliation agreement will generate new opportunities for students and faculty from various departments across the University to become more engaged in hands-on clinical and research activities related to sports medicine and rehabilitation services. The affiliation could lead to additional sponsored grant research funding, scholarship support and internships for current students.

WKU will provide a 99-year lease at no cost to Med Center Health for the land on which the new facility will be built. Med Center Health will provide WKU with rent-free use of over 100,000 square feet of space in the new facility. The construction will be fully financed by Med Center Health. WKU will be responsible for operating and maintenance costs for the multi-purpose indoor facility it occupies and does not pay rent to use. WKU will lease space in the new complex from Med Center Health for its Department of Physical Therapy similar to the existing lease arrangement it has with the hospital at the Health Sciences Complex. If Med Center Health ever elects to discontinue the partnership, it will transfer the facility to WKU at no cost. If WKU ever elects to discontinue the partnership, it will buy or lease the space from Med Center Health at fair market value, whichever Med Center Health elects.

The Medical Center Earns Blue Distinction® Center Designation for Quality in Knee and Hip Replacement Surgeries

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield has selected The Medical Center at Bowling Green as a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement, part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. Blue Distinction Centers are nationally designated healthcare facilities shown to deliver improved patient safety and better health outcomes, based on objective measures that were developed by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies with input from the medical community.

Knee and hip replacement procedures are among the fastest growing medical treatments in the U.S., according to studies published in the June 2014 Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery1 and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons2. Hospitals designated as Blue Distinction Centers for Knee and Hip Replacement demonstrate expertise in total knee and total hip replacement surgeries, resulting in fewer patient complications and hospital readmissions. Designated hospitals must also maintain national accreditation.

The Medical Center at Bowling Green is proud to be recognized by Anthem for meeting the robust selection criteria for knee and hip replacements set by the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.

“The Medical Center is dedicated to providing outstanding care for our orthopaedic patients,” said Connie Smith, Chief Executive Officer of The Medical Center. “This type of high quality program allows us to provide excellent healthcare close to home.”

Since 2006, the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program has helped patients find quality providers for their specialty care needs in the areas of bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and rare cancers, knee and hip replacements, maternity care, spine surgery, and transplants, while encouraging healthcare professionals to improve the care they deliver.

“Congratulations to The Medical Center at Bowling Green on earning the Blue Distinction Center designation for Knee and Hip Replacement,” said Anthem Senior Medical Director Dr. Divya Cantor. “This designation and the hospital’s participation in initiatives that improve quality and safety demonstrate a focus on continuous improvement in patient care.”

For more information about the program and for a complete listing of the designated facilities, please visit

About The Medical Center

The Medical Center at Bowling Green is the flagship hospital for Med Center Health and Commonwealth Health Corporation (CHC). Located in Bowling Green, Ky., The Medical Center is a 337-bed, full service, not-for-profit hospital specializing in heart care, cancer care, obstetrics and neonatology, neuroscience and orthopaedic services. With a mission to care for people and improve the quality of life in the communities it serves, CHC and its entities including The Medical Center at Bowling Green contributed $68.8 million in community benefit in fiscal year 2015. The Medical Center treats patients regardless of their ability to pay and annually provides millions in community benefit through charity care for the uninsured and shortfalls in governmental reimbursements (Medicare and Medicaid). To learn more, visit

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Anthem Health Plans of Kentucky, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. ®ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Kentucky is available at Also, follow us on Twitter at, or on Facebook at
1 J Bone Joint Surg Am, The Role of Overweight and Obesity in Relation to the More Rapid Growth of Total Knee Arthroplasty Volume Compared with Total Hip Arthroplasty Volume, 2014 Jun 04; 96 (11): 922 -928.
2 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Annual Incidents of Common Musculoskeletal Procedures and Treatment, 2014 March;

About Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for nearly 105 million members – one-in-three Americans. For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog, for up-to-date information about BCBSA.

About Blue Distinction Centers

Blue Distinction Centers (BDC) met overall quality measures for patient safety and outcomes, developed with input from the medical community. A Local Blue Plan may require additional criteria for facilities located in its own service area; for details, contact your Local Blue Plan. Blue Distinction Centers+ (BDC+) also met cost measures that address consumers’ need for affordable health care. Each facility’s cost of care is evaluated using data from its Local Blue Plan. Facilities in CA, ID, NY, PA, and WA may lie in two Local Blue Plans’ areas, resulting in two evaluations for cost of care; and their own Local Blue Plans decide whether one or both cost of care evaluation(s) must meet BDC+ national criteria. National criteria for BDC and BDC+ are displayed on Individual outcomes may vary. For details on a provider’s in-network status or your own policy’s coverage, contact your Local Blue Plan and ask your provider before making an appointment. Neither Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association nor any Blue Plans are responsible for non-covered charges or other losses or damages resulting from Blue Distinction or other provider finder information or care received from Blue Distinction or other providers.

Med Center Health Facilities Earn ACR Lung Cancer Screening Center Designation

Monday, August 15, 2016

Three Med Center Health facilities have been designated Lung Cancer Screening Centers by the American College of Radiology (ACR). The Medical Center at Franklin, The Medical Center at Scottsville and Western Kentucky Diagnostic Imaging (WKDI), a department of The Medical Center at Bowling Green, have earned the ACR designation which is a voluntary program that recognizes facilities that have committed to practice safe, effective diagnostic care for individuals at the highest risk for lung cancer.

In order to receive this elite distinction, facilities must be accredited by the ACR in computed tomography (CT) in the chest module, as well as undergo a rigorous assessment of its lung cancer screening protocol and infrastructure. Also required are procedures in place for follow-up patient care, such as counseling and smoking cessation programs. For more information about the Lung Cancer Screening Center designation, visit:

Lung cancer screening with low-dose CT scans, and appropriate follow-up care, significantly reduces lung cancer deaths. Lung cancer is the nation’s leading cancer killer – taking the lives of more people each year than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined.

A recommendation from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force suggests that adults who have no signs or symptoms of lung cancer but who are at high risk for developing lung cancer should be screened every year with low-dose CT. High risk is defined as people who meet the following criteria:

• Are 55 through 77 years old, and
• Have a history of heavy smoking, and
• Are either current smokers or who have quit within the past 15 years.

Heavy smoking is defined as a smoking history of 30 "pack years" or more. A "pack year" is smoking an average of one pack per day for one year. For example, someone is considered a heavy smoker if they smoke one pack per day for 30 years or smoke two packs per day for 15 years.

Individuals who meet the criteria noted above should consider an annual screening for lung cancer. Individuals should talk with their doctor about their risk and obtain a physician’s order. The cost of the screening is $150. Traditional Medicare covers the screening. Screenings can be scheduled at WKDI, The Medical Center at Franklin or The Medical Center at Scottsville by calling (270) 745-1199 or (800) 231-9621.