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Bluegrass Care Navigators honored with prestigious Circle of Life Award™

The American Hospital Association has presented a 2017 Circle of Life Award™ to Bluegrass Care Navigators “for innovation in palliative care and for improving the care of patients near the end of life.”

Bluegrass Care Navigators, the only repeat honoree, has done “incredible work incorporating palliative and end-of-life care into all aspects of care, from primary to specialty, and into the community,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. Now in its 18th year, the Circle of Life Award™ celebrates programs that have made great strides in palliative and end-of-life care. Nominations were reviewed and site-visited by a selection committee that included leaders from medicine, nursing, social work and health administration.

“Since 1978, we have cared for thousands of families in our community and expanded our services to improve quality of life long before the final months. Through the strength and diversity of our community and provider partnerships, we are taking a strategic, thoughtful approach to the care continuum,” said Liz Fowler, President and CEO of Bluegrass Care Navigators.

The award is the agency’s third recent national honor. In June, it was named a 2017 Hospice Honors Elite recipient, placing it among the best in the nation. The award recognizes hospices providing the highest level of quality as measured from the caregiver’s point of view.

In May, Modern Healthcare named Bluegrass Care Navigators one of its prestigious “2017 Best Places to Work” award winners. Based on employees’ input, the award salutes health care workplaces that empower their employees to provide patients and customers with the best possible care.

The three major national awards reflect praise from consumers, the agency’s staff and the health care community – for nearly four decades of providing expert, compassionate care.

About Bluegrass Care Navigators

Bluegrass Care Navigators is a national leader in delivering high quality end-of-life care and a pioneer in developing new programs that are responsive to the evolving needs of seriously ill patients and their families. In addition to providing hospice services in 32 counties across central, southeastern and northern Kentucky, Bluegrass Care Navigators operates Bluegrass Extra Care, Bluegrass Transitional Care, Bluegrass Palliative Care and Bluegrass Grief Care. All of these programs offer invaluable services that enhance the quality of life of patients and families.

United Way of the Bluegrass Elects John Pollom to Board of Directors

United Way of the Bluegrass recently elected Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorney John Pollom to its Board of Directors.  He will serve a three-year term.

United Way of the Bluegrass is a leader and motivator of change for long-term solutions in Central Kentucky communities.  Its mission is to fight for the education, basic needs and financial stability of every person in the Bluegrass.

Pollom is a Member (Partner) in Stites & Harbison’s Lexington office where he is a member of the Business Litigation Service Group.  He is experienced in matters related to medical and professional malpractice litigation, product liability defense, financial institutions litigation, insurance coverage, and civil litigation defense, including toxic tort. Outside of the firm, Pollom serves as President of the Hanover College Alumni Board of Directors.  He is a member of the Leadership Kentucky Class of 2016.

About Stites & Harbison

Stites & Harbison, PLLC is a nationally recognized, full-service business and litigation law firm with 10 offices in five states – Kentucky, Georgia, Indiana, Tennessee and Virginia.  Tracing its origins to 1832, Stites & Harbison is one of the oldest law practices in the nation and among the largest law firms in the Southeast.  For more information, visit






Saint Joseph Berea Foundation Announces $1.1 Million Initiative to Assist Patients in Accessing Health and Social Services

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Catholic Health Initiatives’ Mission & Ministry Fund have awarded $1,124,240 in grant funding to the Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation, in cooperation with the Saint Joseph Berea Foundation, both part of KentuckyOne Health. The grant will help develop an innovative model for addressing barriers created by social determinants of health, to build and sustain healthy communities. A check presentation was held today at Saint Joseph Berea to announce the grant, which will run through the end of December 2019.

Social determinants of health - the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live and age - contribute in a significant way to inequities in health status. Understanding and addressing the barriers is essential to providing equitable, effective and high-quality health care.

The grant is part of CHI’s “Total Health Roadmap” initiative. The funding will be used to identify and address the social and environmental issues that affect well-being and health equity by including screening for basic human needs in three primary care physician practices in Berea and London. In addition, three Community Health Workers will be hired, one for each practice, to assist patients identified as having unmet basic human needs. The Community Health Workers will connect patients with the proper community resources for assistance with housing, food security, childcare, behavioral health and transportation.

In addition, the grant will also help fund the development of new services to close gaps in resources that will be determined in collaboration with other community agencies. As an “anchor organization”, KentuckyOne Health will build broad-based community coalitions and establishing and reinforcing ties with existing community partner organizations.  This new care model is eventually expected to expand across Kentucky as well as in communities served by CHI across 17 states.

“The Community Health Workers will help bridge communication and cultural gaps between underserved patients and clinical staff, resulting in better health outcomes,” said Leslie Buddeke Smart, president, Saint Joseph Berea Foundation. “This will also result in an improvement in overall health for our communities receiving this grant.”

Practices selected to participate in this program include KentuckyOne Health Primary Care Associates in Berea, KentuckyOne Health Pediatric Associates in London, and KentuckyOne Health Primary Care Associates (5th Street location) in London.

“This new approach to care will ultimately eliminate barriers for patients,” said Eric Gilliam, president, Saint Joseph Berea. “This funding will give us the tools we need help improve patient health, also making our community stronger.”

This grant is part of a larger $5 million project, funded by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and CHI’s Mission and Ministry Fund. Similar programs are being implemented in Colorado and Iowa.

About Saint Joseph Berea Foundation

Saint Joseph Berea Foundation supports KentuckyOne Health’s drive for excellence by inspiring donors to make a tangible difference through their philanthropic investment in outstanding patient care facilities and services, the education of caregivers, advanced clinical research and improved access to quality medical care.