London NICU Project Will Save Lives

Carly Grace and Anna Margaret Storm

Brandon and Jaclyn Storm’s pregnancy was deemed high risk early on, and the babies, Carly Grace and Anna Margaret, were expected to be premature. Jaclyn needed to stay near a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) or similar critical care facility. Otherwise, she and her babies could have died. When the twin girls were born prematurely on Sept. 10, 2005, the London couple’s joy was mixed with fear and exhaustion. They spent several months in Lexington so their babies could receive lifesaving care at a NICU, a 90-minute trip from their home.

Looking Back

Almost 14 years later, Brandon cries recalling the trauma his family endured. Carly was born weighing 1 pound, 10 ounces, and Anna was 3 pounds, 1 ounce. Brandon drove to Lexington every night after working eight to 10 hour days in London. He often had a friend or family member ride with him because it became too exhausting to drive safely.

The financial burden of finding a place to stay in Lexington was challenging, and eventually the family was placed in a home with a host. He said Carly would not have survived without the NICU, where she spent two months. The twins both had additional complications and needed specialized care.

“It was very touch and go for a while,” he said. “And the sad thing is, right next to us, a baby passed away. That makes it even more real.”

Establishing NICU Care in London

Staying close to home would have saved the family overwhelming stress and a lot of money. That’s why the Saint Joseph London Foundation is focused on fundraising for a Level II NICU at Saint Joseph London’s Birthing Center to help area families. It will be one of only two hospitals in southeastern Kentucky with both a birthing center and a NICU. This will allow the hospital to keep about 80% of the premature or at-risk babies in London for treatment.

Stories like the Storms’ are near to the hearts of the physicians and staff at Saint Joseph London, including President John C. Yanes, FACHE, CPPS. The hospital is the leading obstetrical provider in the area and delivers approximately 1,200 babies every year.

“Establishing a NICU at Saint Joseph London is an overarching priority as we remain unwavering in our commitment to improve timely access to vital medical care to the residents we serve in a six-county service area,” Yanes said. “The NICU will build on and expand existing inpatient services for some of the most medically vulnerable patients.”

The Birthing Center opened in 2010, and in 2017 the hospital delivered 1,203 babies. Of those, 86 infants required treatment in a NICU, and 69 of them could have been cared for in London if the NICU was available. The Saint Joseph London NICU will cost approximately $1.4 million.

You can support this important project by contacting the Saint Joseph London Foundation at foundation@sjhlex.org.

A version of this article originally appeared in the Spring 2020 edition of Spirit of Health. For more stories like this one, subscribe to Spirit of Health magazine today.

Healing from a Safe Distance

Dr. Thomas Coburn

Despite the obstacles the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic presented, Thomas Coburn, MD, family medicine physician and medical director of information technology for the ambulatory medical group, found a way to continue serving patients in Wilmore, Kentucky.

“I considered it a calling to go into medicine,” said Thomas Coburn, MD. “As an undergraduate at Duke University, I believed God was calling me to serve Him as a physician to those in great need in our inner cities. But while training at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, I realized there was just as great a need in the rural areas of Kentucky, my home.”

Since graduating in 1995 and completing his residency through the University of Kentucky College Of Medicine in 1998, Dr. Coburn has become an integral member of the Wilmore community as both a physician and neighbor.

“Wilmore is an amazing place where people can walk down Main Street, grab a coffee at Solomon’s Porch and catch up with friends because we are all neighbors,” Dr. Coburn said. “It’s been very difficult to maintain that sense of community during the novel coronavirus outbreak. We recognize, as a medical facility, we have to be vigilant to provide care for our patients in a safe way.”

A New Approach

CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group primary and specialty care practices began offering virtual care visits for patients using Zoom, a HIPAA-compliant videoconference tool. As the medical director of information technology for the ambulatory medical group, Dr. Coburn worked to make virtual care available to all CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group physicians and advanced practice providers.

“Patients depend upon their physicians for health and assurance,” Dr. Coburn said. “A lot of our patients need to have a way to see us and talk to us about their health. And we want to be able to see our patients and talk to them about what they’re facing. There’s nothing that can replace the personal interaction of a handshake or being face to face, but using a virtual care platform is the next best thing. Patients really appreciate that we’re finding ways to meet with them during this time of crisis.”

Make the Most of Your Virtual Care Visit

  • Set up the Zoom app on your mobile device or laptop one hour prior to your visit.
  • Don’t share your Zoom Personal Meeting ID.
  • Plan your meeting in a secure and comfortable place — no distractions.
  • Be prepared — have your list of personal information, medicines and any reports ready to discuss.
  • Check your temperature, weight, pulse rate and blood pressure prior to your visit.

To schedule a virtual visit with a CHI Saint Joseph Health provider, call 844.611.6877.

A version of this article originally appeared in the Spring 2020 edition of Spirit of Health. For more stories like this one, subscribe to Spirit of Health magazine today.

Avoid Injuries During Fourth of July Celebrations

Avoid Injuries During Fourth of July Celebrations

For many, summer celebrations aren’t complete without fireworks. Whether you’ll be watching a show from afar or setting off fireworks yourself, it’s important to take steps to avoid injuries and make your festivities as safe as possible.

In 2017, eight people were killed and more than 12,000 were seriously injured in fireworks-related accidents, according to the National Safety Council. To avoid such injuries, consider taking the following precautions when setting off fireworks.

Proper Fireworks Safety

  • Children should never handle fireworks. Of those injured in 2017 by fireworks-related incidents, 50 percent involved children and young adults.
  • Although sparklers might seem less dangerous, they are the leading cause of fireworks-related injuries and can reach temperatures up to 1,800°F.
  • Avoid picking up fireworks after an event. They may still be ignited and could cause serious injuries.
  • Never hold fireworks or stand over them while igniting.
  • Wear eye protection if available.

What to Do If You Are Burned

If you are burned by fireworks, you should use a mild soap and lukewarm water to clean the affected area. Coat the wound with petroleum ointment and keep it covered.

When to Seek Medical Attention

According to The American Burn Association:

  • Seek medical care immediately if the wound is larger than the palm of your hand.
  • If the burn has not healed after seven days, it is urgent to consult a health care provider.
  • If a burn occurs to the face, groin, ears, feet or hands, it should be evaluated by a physician.
  • If you are experiencing signs of an infection, including increasing pain, fever or redness, seek medical attention. 
  • Third-degree burns are more serious than a blister, and typically become brown or black discoloration and require medical attention.

Anyone experiencing fireworks-related burns or injuries should call 911 or visit their nearest emergency or express care site.

Know the Signs of Skin Cancer and Take Steps to Prevent It

Woman in garden

Summer is here and many people will be getting outside to enjoy the warmth and sunshine. But it is important not only to take precautions against harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun, but also to recommit to taking care of already sun-damaged skin. Make sure you know the signs of skin cancer and take steps to prevent it.

About one in five people will be diagnosed with some type of skin cancer by age 70, making it the most common form of cancer found in the United States, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. It’s often caused by damage from the UV rays from the sun or those emitted by tanning beds.

Forms of skin cancer include basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma.

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer, occurring in the basal cells found in the bottom of the skin’s outermost layer. This cancer typically appears as a small, shiny bump on the face, scalp, ears, neck, shoulders and back. People with a fair complexion are at the highest risk for this type of skin cancer. This type of cancer has very little chance of spreading to other parts of the body.

Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer, also appearing in the outermost layer of the skin but arising from squamous cells. This cancer also appears on exposed parts of the body and is often a patch that is red and scaly. Like basal cell carcinoma, this form of skin cancer rarely spreads to other parts of the body.

Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer, as it can spread rapidly to other organs in the body. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, more than 196,000 cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2020. Melanoma develops from melanocytes, which are the pigment-producing cells in the upper layer of the skin. This often resembles a mole but can arise from them as well. Melanoma ranks fifth in the types of new cancers diagnosed in Kentucky, according to the American Cancer Society.

Warning signs of melanoma include asymmetrical lesions and uneven borders around the mole. If a mole is multi-colored and one-quarter of an inch in diameter, it should be examined by a physician. Also take note of any moles that appear to be changing over time; this could be a sign of melanoma.

With or without previous skin damage, you still have some control over your skin and its health. Protect your skin from the sun by using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 daily. For those who are outside for large parts of the day, working or recreationally, however, an SPF of at least 30 is recommended. Wearing protective clothing when spending long hours in the sun is important. You should perform monthly skin self-examinations.

If you see a mole or any other skin discoloration that doesn’t look right, do not wait for your annual visit to talk to a physician. Catching skin cancers early on is the key to a successful treatment.


Michael Horn, MD

Michael E. Horn, MD

Dr. Horn is with CHI Saint Joseph Health – Hematology and Oncology.

We Are Here For You

We Are Here For You

You and your loved ones’ health care needs can feel like a lot to manage. Between preventive medicine and routine check-ups, caring for unexpected illnesses and injuries, and specialized or long-term care for chronic illnesses, it can feel like your health care is in a constant state of change.

“Making health care decisions can be challenging for patients. Trying to figure out which path is the best often seems overwhelming,” said Viren Bavishi, DO, president of CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group. “We try to help patients navigate the system, so they understand where and how to get the care they need.”

CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group works to serve families in Central and Eastern Kentucky, offering comprehensive, compassionate care at easy-to-access locations. In addition, CHI and Dignity Health recently merged to create CommonSpirit Health, allowing facilities to share practices and providers and giving facilities access to advanced technology and innovation while still living out our faith-based mission.

As CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group is part of the national CommonSpirit Health system in 21 states, we also have a wealth of resources nationally — and we are the only medical group in the area to have these connections.

“We begin every day with the belief that we are called to serve our community,” said Carmel Jones, MBA, CPA, CMPE, chief operating officer at CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group. “We approach every decision with a desire to honor the calling, especially given the current COVID-19 pandemic. Patients and communities need us now more than ever.”

Our Team’s on Your Team

Our network includes a diverse group of family, internal medicine, primary care and specialty providers to ensure our patients’ health care needs are met. Holistic care for the patient as a person, not an illness, is crucial to that care. For that reason, physicians with CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group act as leaders on every level, joining together to find solutions when challenges arise.

“Within our organization, physicians from different specialties work together to provide patients with unique insights and comprehensive solutions,” Dr. Bavishi explained. “Having multiple points of perspective leads to better care for the patients.”

While this camaraderie between providers is an important part of our care, perhaps even more important is the value of compassion for the patients.

“Health care is ultimately about meeting the needs of patients,” Dr. Bavishi said. “It’s why many of us are in this field: We want to care for people. When you focus on patients as individuals, understanding what their needs are, you are able to take care of them in ways that don’t just improve their physical health but also their life and overall well-being.”

Care Close to Home

In the wide-open spaces of Kentucky, services you need may often be far from home. This is why we are dedicated to serving patients in a variety of locations through different clinics and local care programs. Most of our physicians also make a point to offer some form of outreach so patients don’t have the hassle of traveling long distances for their care.

“Some members of our community would have to go without care or treatment if we could not meet them where they are,” Jones said. “We want to prevent that from happening whenever possible.”

In March, providers with the Medical Group found new ways to connect with patients and manage their care, using new technology and telehealth services. The change came out of necessity due to COVID-19, but we expect this type of care to prove particularly beneficial to patients who live farther away.

“I think of it this way: We want our health system as big as it can be but as small as it can feel,” Jones said. “We want to serve as many patients as possible while maintaining a personal connection with each individual.”

“CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group is part of a legacy that is known for providing great care to the surrounding community,” Dr. Bavishi added. “We are working hard to carry on that tradition and continue to provide for our patients for generations to come.”

To schedule an appointment with a CHI Saint Joseph Health provider, call 859.313.2255.

A version of this article originally appeared in the Spring 2020 edition of Spirit of Health. For more stories like this one, subscribe to Spirit of Health magazine today.

Men’s Health Month and the Benefits of Annual Physician Visits

June is Men’s Health Month, and one way to take an active role in your health care is by scheduling an annual appointment with your physician. From your physical health to your mental well-being, physicians can guide you on how to best maintain a healthy lifestyle. Here are a few things you should think about for your annual wellness exam.

What to Expect During Your Annual Wellness Exam

Your regular exam should include a blood pressure check, as 47% of all men have high blood pressure, or hypertension, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). High blood pressure, if left unchecked, can lead to other health problems, such as heart attack, stroke, aneurysm or heart failure. High blood pressure usually doesn’t have any symptoms, making annual check-ups all the more crucial.

You can change some of the contributing factors to high blood pressure – such as quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet and increasing physical inactivity – but other uncontrollable elements, such as your family history and race/ethnicity, can also lead to the condition. By scheduling an annual physician appointment, you can have your blood pressure checked and work with your doctor to manage it if it is high.

Having your cholesterol checked by your physician is also an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in your bloodstream, and when too high, it can accumulate in your arteries and lead to chest pain, or a heart attack or stroke.

Like high blood pressure, high cholesterol isn’t always controllable. Maintaining a nutritious diet and exercising regularly can help you maintain healthy cholesterol levels. However, uncontrollable factors, such as your genetic makeup, can cause this condition. Adults with no risk factors usually have their cholesterol checked every five years, but at your annual physician appointment, your doctor can advise on how often you need to have your levels tested.

Prostate health is also important in your overall health care plan and should be discussed with your physician. Aside from non-melanoma skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the United States. Some symptoms of prostate cancer include frequent urination, pain or burning during urination, or difficultly completely emptying the bladder. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that men with prostate cancer won’t always experience these symptoms. Therefore, it is important for men between the ages of 40 and 69 to annually talk to their physician about prostate cancer screenings. 

As we observe Men’s Health Month this June, make a commitment to take an active role in your health care. By scheduling an annual physician appointment, you will not only receive expert guidance and be able to discuss any health concerns or questions, but you will also have a greater peace of mind about your well-being.

If you don’t have a primary care provider, find one online using our Find A Provider directory or call 859.313.2255.


Dr. Don Morring

Don Morring, MD

Dr. Morring is with CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group – General Surgery in London, Kentucky.

Feeling Stressed and Isolated Over COVID-19?

Feeling Stressed Over COVID-19

The coronavirus has become a part of our lives. Turn on any news program, browse the internet, read a newspaper or listen to the radio — chances are high the main story of the day is the latest COVID-19 update.

We’re bombarded. We hear “flattening the curve” and see maps highlighting the spread of the disease. No wonder so many people are worried. On top of this, we’re told to stay at home. Caution is wise, and having a plan can lower your anxiety level.

Being away from family and friends can be tough both mentally and physically. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, being socially apart from others can lead to depression. To cope, try the following:

  • Take breaks from the news. Although it’s important to stay informed, overload can take its toll on your mental health.
  • Limit your time on social media sites, which have an overabundance of COVID-19 stories, not all of which are factual.
  • Acknowledge feeling lonely, sad, frustrated or depressed.
  • If you feel overwhelmed, talk to someone you trust.
  • Take breaks. Give your dog some exercise or go for a walk. Just make sure you follow the rule of keeping a distance of six feet away from others.
  • Call friends.
  • You can be face-to-face from a distance by video chatting. Thanks to video chats, you can see the facial expressions of friends and family.
  • Host a virtual book club. Invite friends to read a book and discuss in a video chat.
  • Prepare a virtual dinner. Ask friends to make a dish and share the recipe.
  • Make sure you get some exercise. According to a study in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry, physical exercise can reduce depression. You can exercise at home. Put on music and dance. If you prefer, watch and follow along with an exercise video. You can also invite friends virtually via video chat to join you.

Check in on a Friend

According to the National Institute on Aging, older adults can be especially vulnerable to loneliness. Call and ask if they need anything. The same advice applies to people with disabilities and special needs.

Limit your time shopping and socializing. If you run any errands for someone in need, wear a mask and observe the six-feet-of-separation rule.

Another way to boost your mood is to let our health care workers know you appreciate their efforts. To share an encouraging message or positive story, email our CHI Saint Joseph Health Foundations.

A version of this article originally appeared in the Spring 2020 edition of Spirit of Health. For more stories like this one, subscribe to Spirit of Health magazine today.

Leaving a Legacy

Richard Floyd, MD

Richard Floyd, MD, cardiothoracic surgeon, retires after 29 years of service at CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group.

Born and raised in Lexington, Kentucky, Dr. Richard Floyd was inspired by his father to become a surgeon. Following in his father’s footsteps, he completed medical school and training in cardiothoracic surgery.

“I loved the technical aspect of surgery,” said Dr. Floyd. “I watched my father enjoy what he did for his career, and that’s what convinced me to pursue it as well.”

Dr. Floyd knew once he completed his education that he wanted to stay local with his practice. He began working in his hometown with Saint Joseph Hospital in 1991, where his father had worked, too.

“My name is familiar at Saint Joseph Hospital,” said Dr. Floyd. “When I retire, it will be the first time in 60 years that a Richard Floyd hasn’t been on staff.”

A Fulfilling Career

Through the years, the longtime surgeon was able to watch the hospital develop and grow with the arrival of new physicians, innovative technology and minimally invasive procedures. What remained the same was the quality of the medical staff and their dedication to meeting patients’ needs.

“I was fortunate to work with an outstanding team of health care providers throughout the years,” said Dr. Floyd. “The people I work with at the hospital, as well as the interactions with patients, are what I’ll miss the most about my job.”

Looking back, Dr. Floyd’s greatest accomplishment was to help improve the lives of his patients.

“People came to me with a specific problem, and we had to find the solution,” Dr. Floyd said. “Being able to operate and help people heal and have a better quality of life is what I’m most proud of working at CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group.”

Family remained a priority through Dr. Floyd’s career, and will continue to be the center of his retirement. He plans to move cross-country to Utah to live closer to relatives. Excited about the extra free time, he intends to spend the next stage of his life traveling, hiking and playing basketball.

“We are privileged as health care providers to be able to take care of patients and earn their trust. The relationships I’ve formed here have been rewarding,” said Dr. Floyd.

To find a specialist in cardiothoracic surgery, visit our Find a Provider directory.

Partners for Life

CHI Saint Joseph Health team members, dressed in red for the Go Red for Women Luncheon.

CHI Saint Joseph Health and the American Heart Association (AHA) Lexington are dedicated to improving the cardiac health of people in central and eastern Kentucky.

Heart Disease does not discriminate, impacting men and women and sometimes even babies—and it is the leading cause of death in the United States and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

“It is important for us to have the support of the medical community to reverse that trend,” said Joey Maggard, executive director, AHA Lexington.

Community Care

Together, AHA Lexington and CHI Saint Joseph Health lead educational programs in the community and host events to raise awareness, including the annual Heart Ball in February, the Heart Walk in May and the Go Red for Women Luncheon in November. They also collaborate to enhance quality improvement programs, such as Get With The Guidelines.

“When medical professionals apply the most up-to-date, evidence-based treatment guidelines, patient outcomes improve,” Maggard said. “That’s the simple truth behind the drive for continuous quality improvement. Our comprehensive suite of programs can help you advance further and faster in the quest for ever-better care.”

To learn more about the American Heart Association Lexington, visit heart.org/en/affiliates/kentucky/lexington.

A version of this article originally appeared in the Winter 2020 edition of Spirit of Health. For more stories like this one, subscribe to Spirit of Health magazine today.

Screening Saves Lives as Colon Cancer Affects Younger Adults

Woman outdoors smiling

If you’re a young adult, chances are that getting screened for colorectal or colon cancer isn’t on your list of priorities. But you might want to reconsider that perspective following a recent study by the American Cancer Society. The study found an alarming growth in the number of colon cancer cases in adults under age 50 in the United States. In fact, we’re seeing more and more colon cancer cases with patients in their 20s and 30s.

Colon cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer-related death in the U.S. that affects both men and women. This type of cancer occurs when abnormal growths, called polyps, form in the colon or rectum. These polyps are often precancerous and can turn cancerous over time. Colorectal cancer screenings allow doctors to find and remove the growths before they turn cancerous.

Colon cancer screenings are especially important because the disease doesn’t always cause noticeable symptoms. When they do occur, symptoms may include blood in the stool after bowel movements, stomach aches or pains that don’t go away, unexplained weight loss and fatigue. If you’re experiencing any combination of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your primary care physician and ask about colon cancer screenings.

The American Cancer Society recommends colorectal cancer screening starting at age 45; while the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening starting at age 50. Certain groups are at a greater risk for developing colon cancer and should be screened earlier. This includes people with a family history of colon cancer. Lack of regular exercise, diets low in fruits and vegetables, and frequent alcohol or tobacco use can also increase your risk for the disease. If you have any of these risk factors, tell your doctor and ask if they recommend a screening.

The most common screening tests administered to find precancerous polyps include stool screenings, flexible sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy. These tests are quick and easy, and cause minimal to no pain. A stool screening allows doctors to detect any traces of blood or cancerous cells in the stool. Flexible sigmoidoscopies and colonoscopies both use a thin, flexible, lighted tube to check for polyps or cancer. Schedule an appointment with your doctor to determine when you should be screened, and which procedure is right for you.

If you or a loved one suspect you have colon cancer symptoms, have a family history of colon cancer, have several risk factors or are over the age of 45-50, schedule a colorectal cancer screening today.

To learn more about colorectal cancer screening and treatment, contact your primary care provider or call 859.313.2255 to schedule an appointment or receive assistance with a provider referral.


Dr. Monte Martin

Monte Martin, MD

Dr. Martin is with the Cancer Care Center at CHI Saint Joseph Health – Oncology and Hematology.