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If in doubt, sit them out

Drs. Harris, McCreary heading up program at LCHS...


By Angela Myhrwold and James Ellis

LOUISA -- Concussions are a serious risk for young athletes.  Not only are teenagers more vulnerable to concussions, they’re also susceptible to second impact syndrome – when people receive a second concussive blow before fully recovering from the first – which can cause permanent brain damage and even death.  Because of the threat of second impact syndrome, it’s imperative that young athletes are completely healthy before they return to the playing field. 

To help remove the guesswork from return-to-play decisions, Lawrence County Football Team Physicians, Dr. Spencer Harris and Dr. Chad McCreary have become credentialed providers of ImPACT, a 20-minute neuropsychological testing program that measures memory and function brain speed.  Used by NFL, NHL, NBA and MLB teams, ImPACT provides a tool that allows these physicians to compare pre and post-injury brain performance.  Both doctors, who are family practice physicians, and members of the medical staff at Three Rivers Medical Center, are the credentialed ImPACT consultants. 

Implemented with football and girls soccer this fall, teams and individuals can undergo baseline testing.  If an athlete who’s been pretested is injured, he or she will take another version of the test, post-injury.  Because concussion affects the speed in which people remember information and complete tasks, doctors can use the test result to objectively compare brain function before and after the injure. 

“I was contacted by Greg Kiser, the CEO at Three Rivers Medical Center.  He shared that TRMC would like to make a program available to our students that could benefit them in case the student suffered from a concussion,” said Lawrence County Superintendent Mike Armstrong of the program.

“This opportunity to collaborate, to the benefit of our student-athletes, is such a valuable relationship.  The willingness of TRMC to invest in the health and well-being of our students ultimately benefits our students in their academic progress.  This shared goal then benefits our entire community,” Armstrong said.

When used together with physical examinations and balance testing, ImPACT, can help doctors and other sports medicine personnel determine when student athletes can safely return to play.  ImPACT is not a diagnostic tool or sole determinant of an athletes’ readiness, but it can give the team physicians a more complete picture of an athlete’s recovery.

“Our entire team was screened before the season.  Dr. McCreary and Dr. Harris in conjunction with Three Rivers Medical Center provided their time and resources to ensure all our athletes were screened,” commented Lawrence County Head Football Coach Joe Cecil. “Anytime we can do something to further the safety measures for our student/athletes is extremely beneficial. The data we gather supplies a baseline, which if a concussion where to occur, gives us more information in making the return to play decision.  This actually goes above and beyond the Kentucky Medical Associations return to play protocol and I am deeply appreciative of the support we have from our hospital and doctors.”

Three Rivers Medical Center CEO Greg Kiser credited Drs. Harris and McCreary for the program.

“Dr. Chad McCreary and Dr. Spencer Harris came to me during football season a couple of years ago and said they wanted to start this program and asked me to fund it.  I said we will be glad to and do whatever it takes to continue this each year thereafter.    I am very proud of these two physicians for stepping up and doing this for our kids… not just football but all contact sports,” Kiser said.

These physicians recognize the value of competition, but their first priority is the long-term health of student athletes.  They use every tool at their disposal to ensure that young athletes are playing it safe in Lawrence County and are proud to introduce concussion management to the area.

Kentucky Health News

Ky. Health Cooperative, a new kind of insurer, could help hold down rates and reshape the health-care system;

By Molly Burchett
Kentucky Health News

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- A little-known but key part of federal health reform created a new kind of health insurance -- a cooperative that is neither public, like Medicare and Medicaid, or run for profit, like traditional insurance companies. And the Kentucky Health Cooperative is offering coverage this week, with the opening of the state health-insurance exchange.

Kentucky is one of 23 states with plans the law designated as Consumer Operated and Oriented, or "co-ops," designed to give for-profit companies more competition and hold down rates. The plans have received more than $2 billion in federal loans to build themselves from scratch, but have been operating largely under the radar.

Janie Miller (AP)Janie Miller (AP)"The co-op program is an extremely little known part of the Affordable Care Act," Kentucky Health Cooperative CEO Janie Miller said in an interview with Kentucky Health News. "It's been very difficult to get people to understand what the co-op is and why they should care."

The Co-Op provision was a political compromise in the Affordable Care Act, developed as an alternative to the "public option" of a government-run plan. "It's the closest thing you can probably get to a public option," said Miller. “We [cooperatives] are created to be the non-profit options in most states… specifically for the uninsured and under-insured. ”

But the co-op could also help all insurance buyers, by pushing private insurers to set premiums lower than they would without non-profit competition. "Since we are non-profit, we don’t have to add a profit margin to our products, so our price should be competitive," Miller said.

"We believe the addition of the Kentucky Health Cooperative will be positive for Kentucky consumers by bringing more competition to the market," said Ronda Sloan, spokesperson for the state Department of Insurance, which approves premium rates. "While Humana is offering a limited service area, both Anthem and the Kentucky Health Cooperative are offering plans statewide." READ MORE

Three Rivers Medical Center Names New Admitting Supervisor


Shana CookShana CookLouisa, KY --- Three Rivers Medical Center (TRMC) is pleased to announce Shana Cook was recently named Admitting Supervisor.  Most recently Cook worked for Three Rivers Medical Clinics as a clerk at the Immediate Care office. 

In her role, Cook will be responsible for the admitting department, including: switchboard, inpatient and outpatient registration and emergency department registration.  

Cook is originally from Mt. Sterling, Ky and attended Morehead State University where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in communications and marketing. 

She and her husband reside in Louisa.  In her spare time, she enjoys following Lawrence County Basketball.

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