Dr. Smotherman’s story of hope

Dr. Smotherman

In August 2017, Dr. Robert Smotherman and his wife Janice were eating breakfast when Dr. Smotherman realized something was wrong.

He was starving, but he wasn’t able to swallow the food. Each bite was getting stuck in his throat.

Dr. Smotherman
Pictured: Dr. Robert Smotherman


Worried, Dr. Smotherman, a retired Bardstown City Schools Superintendent, made an appointment with his friend Dr. Mickey Anderson, a surgeon at Flaget Memorial Hospital. That appointment included a scope that revealed a tumor in Dr. Smotherman’s esophagus.

That day was the start of more than a year of cancer treatment and surgery. Dr. and Mrs. Smotherman and their four kids met with Dr. Kristie Paris and Dr. Monte Martin at the CHI Saint Joseph Health – Cancer Care Center at Flaget Memorial Hospital, and they walked away confident in his treatment plan.

“They were all so supportive,” Mrs. Smotherman remembers.

Dr. Smotherman received five chemotherapy treatments and 25 radiation treatments. That was capped off with a nine-hour surgery in February 2018 to remove what remained of the tumor.

Dr. Smotherman is now cancer-free and is recovering from a whirlwind year and a half. He said he can’t say enough about the care he received at Flaget Memorial Hospital. Dr. Paris would bring him protein packs and other foods to help him stay nourished. The nurses would encourage him, and celebrated with big cheers and gifts when he finished his treatment.

“I have no regrets about choosing Flaget,” Dr. Smotherman said. “They were great.”

Hospital Volunteer Shares Message of Hope

Hospital Volunteer Shares Message of Hope

On a chilly February night, Frank Peters stood inside the crowded lobby of Flaget Memorial Hospital’s Cancer Center and nervously read his story of hope.

Frank and Patsy PetersAt first, it didn’t seem like a hope-filled story. In fact, it seemed like anything but that – Frank’s wife Patsy had died from an aggressive cancer in summer 2017.

But Frank was flooded with memories of how the volunteers and staff at the cancer center at Flaget Memorial Hospital treated him and his wife of 52 years. His voice halted as he looked over at Marty Mercer, one of the center’s volunteers, and shared memories of how much Patsy had adored her.

“I can’t say enough about that woman,” Frank said about Marty. He then extended his gratitude to, “all the nurses.”

But the cancer center team, superb treatment and quick scheduling made their experience a little easier, he said. Frank now volunteers at the hospital, where he greets people many afternoons as they walk through the main entrance, and he’s a supporter of Project Hope. He also spoke in February at the foundation’s Stories of Hope tour.

“If I had cancer, I’d come right back here,” Frank said.

About Project Hope

The Flaget Memorial Hospital Foundation is on a mission to raise $1.1 million for two of the most critical projects in Nelson and surrounding counties: expanding the cancer center to have more infusion rooms and its own pharmacy, and adding 3D mammography. Project Hope is helping to make this possible.

Learn more about Project Hope and how you can help make a difference today.

A Lifetime of Giving Back

A Lifetime of Giving Back

A Lifetime of Giving Back

After dedicating years to improving the care of others, Marcia Schuster recently retired from her role as a volunteer. Her spirit of service is an inspiration to us all.

Many people struggle to find time to give to something greater than themselves. So when someone dedicates herself and donates more than 4,500 hours of her time, it deserves special recognition.

A Volunteer Career


Marcia SchusterSchuster has been a volunteer at Jewish Hospital, part of KentuckyOne Health, since 1972. During her decades as a volunteer, Schuster was:

  • Elected to the Jewish Hospital Board in 1983
  • Vice chair of Jewish Hospital Health Services
  • Awarded the Jewish Hospital Board presidency in 1993
  • Honored as a life member of the board in 2000
  • Presented with the Volunteer of the Year award in 2011

“We can’t help but applaud Schuster’s contributions as a trustee, board chair and volunteer,” said Richard Schultz, vice chair of the KentuckyOne Health Board of Directors. “We are all grateful for her years of service and everything she has given to us.”

This article originally appeared in the 2017 Fall edition of One Health Magazine. Sign up for your free subscription.

Inspired by Schuster’s spirit of giving? Follow her footsteps by registering to volunteer your time today.

The Power of Nursing

The Power of Nursing

The Power of Nursing

Offering patients compassionate, quality care is what nurses do best. Two such nurses lived this legacy while also breaking barriers for women and minorities in health care. A sizable nursing scholarship left in their name at Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Foundation propels this pattern of Nursing excellence forward.

These two women — Willie Mena Jones-Glass and Grace M. Busey — were pioneers in the field of nursing in the 1950s when they became the first African-American nurses at Jewish Hospital, part of KentuckyOne Health.

Nurses Willie Mena Jones Glass and Grace Busey

Glass and Busey were best friends who transitioned from working at Red Cross Hospital, an all African-American hospital, to care for the needs of newborns, expectant mothers and other women at Jewish Hospital. This event was a major leap for two empowered women — and one their children remember well.

A Dynamic Duo

“Back then, doctors at Jewish Hospital also treated patients at Red Cross Hospital, where they met my mother, who was an OB-GYN nurse,” said Reginald Glass, Glass’ son. “They recognized her skills and dedication to caring for patients and asked her to join their team, which was a big deal back then. My mother was proud to step into this role, not only for herself, but for women and minorities like her.”

Glass was to be the first African-American registered nurse working at Jewish Hospital, but she become ill and that pushed back her start date. Always a woman who prioritized responsibility, she knew who could best fill her shoes and saw to it that Busey joined the team in her place, so that Jewish Hospital wouldn’t be short-staffed.

“Once she regained her strength, my mother joined Busey on the job, and that’s how two women made history for two decades doing what they did best — serving patients,” Reginald said.

Brenda Strickland, Busey’s daughter, remembers her mother’s dedication with pride.

“My mom was born to be a nurse,” Strickland said. “That gentle nature of hers led her to care for her neighbors, lending them the same courtesy she would patients at Jewish Hospital. That’s the caliber of nurse she was — that they both were.”

Both Glass and Busey are local healthcare celebrities. And now, with a $10,000 scholarship named in their honor, nursing students have the opportunity to follow in their footsteps, advancing quality nursing care.

Learn more about the Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Foundation and contribute to healthcare scholarship funds.

This article originally appeared in the 2017 Summer edition of One Health Magazine. Sign up for your free subscription.

Candy for Caring

Candy for Caring

Candy for Caring

Making a difference has never been so sweet.

In 1996, Sister Margaret Regina Murphy was urged by what she can only define as God’s spirit to make a difference in the lives of those suffering from hunger, homelessness and sickness. To do so, Sister Margaret Regina turned to what she does best — making sweets.

As her candy became more popular and additional volunteers joined her team, Sister Margaret Regina’s dream eventually led to the creation of the Candy for Caring program.

Volunteers in the community make the candy — which includes everything from bourbon balls to almond brittle — by hand and sell it at various locations, including hospital lobbies and gift shops.

The funds made from candy sales directly help the underserved through the Jewish Hospital & Saint Mary’s Foundation. Profits have gone to programs such as:

  • Sisters of Charities Ministries
  • Dare to Care
  • Healing Place
  • Veteran organizations

If you’re looking for a tasty treat for yourself, or as a gift for a special occasion, there’s nothing sweeter than a gift that makes a true difference in the community.

To purchase candy or volunteer, contact the Candy House at 502.380.0064

This article originally appeared in the 2017 Summer edition of One Health Magazine. Sign up for your free subscription.

A New Space for Family Medicine

A New Space for Family Medicine

A New Space for Family Medicine

Thanks to a generous gift, Berea Family Medicine has been redesigned with you in mind.

To provide excellent care, it helps for providers to work in a space designed specifically for the needs of their patients. When it became clear that the outdated layout and atmosphere of Berea Family Medicine, part of KentuckyOne Health, was no longer meeting that standard, Saint Joseph Berea Foundation stepped in to help.

“After hearing our plans for improving the space to better serve our patients and improve efficiency, the Foundation presented us with a gift of $380,000 that made the project possible,” said Nikki L. Cooper, practice manager at Berea Family Medicine.

Thanks to the support of generous donors and fundraisers working through the Foundation, Berea Family Medicine now has a more efficient layout and more room for patients, as well as new hardwood floors, furniture and lighting, and artwork by local artists and photographers.

“It’s amazing how much difference a renovation like this can make,” Cooper said. “Visitors and patients are amazed the moment they step off the elevator. Our office is a warm, inviting environment for care. We’re thankful for the gift that made it possible.”

Vital updates to patient care are made possible by the generous support of community members and businesses. Learn more about the different ways you can help make a difference.

This article originally appeared in the 2017 Summer edition of One Health Magazine. Sign up for your free subscription.

Digging for Yes, Mamm!

Digging for Yes, Mamm!

Digging for Yes, Mamm!

An innovative fundraising effort helps bring more cost-free mammograms to the community.

To support the mission of cost-free mammograms through Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation’s Yes, Mamm! program, Lexington-based Link-Belt Excavators (LBX Company LLC) donated funds from auctioning off this year’s aptly named pink excavator, PINK-BELT. Every dollar raised helps fund local mammography services.

All proceeds donated by LBX went directly to the Yes, Mamm! program. Yes, Mamm! started in 2010 as a grassroots fundraising initiative specifically earmarked for breast imaging assistance.

The program’s goal is to cover the cost of mammograms for any woman or man in the area who cannot afford this lifesaving screening. Seven years later, Yes, Mamm! has funded more than 1,500 free mammograms.


The auction of PINK-BELT raised $38,750 for the Yes, Mamm! program, allowing hundreds of people to receive free screenings.

Watch the video below to learn more about the auction.

PINK-BELT also helped raise breast health awareness by touring the country throughout the year. The tour wrapped up in March at Conexpo, a construction show held in Las Vegas, where PINK-BELT was auctioned off to the highest bidder, Thompson Brothers Excavating in Vancouver, Washington.

Also held in Las Vegas that weekend was a national breast cancer consortium where the breast care team from Saint Joseph East, part of KentuckyOne Health, was in attendance to speak about the Yes, Mamm! program. Team members were also at Conexpo to promote breast cancer and mammography awareness and support the auction.

Yes, Mamm!

Save the date! The 2017 Yes, Mamm! 5K will take place Oct. 14. LBX will also join in supporting that annual fundraising event.

Ready to start training for the upcoming race? Join us for the start of our Couch to Yes, Mamm! training program beginning on Friday, August 4. Learn more and register today!

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2017 edition of One Health magazine. Sign up for your free subscription.

The Power of Puppy Love

The Power of Puppy Love

The Power of Puppy Love

Frazier Rehab Institute recently welcomed a new furry friend to the team.

In December 2016, thanks to donations to the Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Foundation, Frazier Rehab Institute patients received a wonderful surprise: a 15-week-old yellow Labrador retriever puppy named Stanley. Stanley is joining the pet therapy program at Frazier Rehab Institute, part of KentuckyOne Health. This program plays an important part in providing emotional support to hundreds of patients each year.

The addition of Stanley and other future therapy pets is possible thanks to a generous donation from the June and Stanley Atlas family to the Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Foundation.

“The Atlas family graciously provided more than $160,000 in support, which will allow Frazier Rehab Institute to grow the pet therapy program and add an additional three therapy dogs,” said Leslie Buddeke Smart, CFRE, division vice president of development for KentuckyOne Health.

For the Atlas family, this generous donation came straight from the heart.

“We want to help make a difference for patients like my mother, June, who spends so much time at Frazier Rehab Institute,” said LouAnn Atlas, who is also a KentuckyOne Health board member. “Seeing her face light up when she opened this gift and saw Stanley was truly
a priceless moment. We know he will be loved by my mother and so many other patients.”

June Atlas and her granddaughter, Maggie Atlas, introduce Stanley at Frazier Rehab Institute

June Atlas and her granddaughter, Maggie Atlas, introduce Stanley at Frazier Rehab Institute.

Learning the Ropes

Stanley will join forces with Charlie, the Frazier Rehab Institute’s beloved therapy dog who came on board in 2015. Canine Partners for Independence, a local nonprofit, will assist in training Stanley as a therapy pet. He will learn various skills to help promote physical movement, emotional well-being, cognitive function and social improvements in patients.

“The pet therapy program has helped so many patients,” Smart said. “It is a great example of integrative medicine and has been shown to help patients relax, reduce blood pressure
and heart rates, and serve as a calming distraction during procedures.”

Want to help support Frazier Rehab Institute’s pet therapy program? Visit Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Foundation to make a donation or learn more about giving opportunities.

This story originally appeared in the 2017 Spring edition of One Health magazine, a free publication distributed quarterly. Subscribe to One Health for more health and wellness stories.

A Gift that Makes a Difference

Read A Gift that Makes a Difference

A Gift that Makes a Difference

When Walter Clare’s wife Lisa passed away in April 2015, the Kentucky resident began thinking about his estate and how he could make a lasting impact on the lives of others. His search led him to the Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Foundation.

Lisa had cancer and Clare wanted their legacy to benefit families dealing with cancer and the related financial hardships that can interfere with people’s ability to get the care they need. Well aware of the work performed at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, part of KentuckyOne Health, Clare established an endowment fund that will offer assistance to families in need.

“There are many families who travel long distances to come to the cancer center, and they need help paying for gas and meals,” Clare said. “It’s my hope that I can ease that burden.”

An Accessible Choice

Many people believe that planned giving is only an option for those with large estates, but as Clare noted, leaving a legacy to a charitable organization is within everyone’s reach.

“I’m an average person – my estate includes life insurance, a retirement account, my home and personal property,” Clare said. “For people like me, planned giving is a good way to benefit organizations that are important to them. It gives me a sense of comfort to know that after I’m gone,” I’ll be providing resources to a worthy institution.”

This story originally appeared in the Fall 2016 edition of One Health magazine. For more inspirational stories of support and generosity, subscribe today.

Expanding Transplant Care

Expanding Transplant Care Thanks to $5.3 Million in Funding

Trager Transplant Center

One of the leading providers of organ transplantation in the country has a new home.

The Trager Transplant Center in downtown Louisville provides world-class transplantation services to Kentucky and the surrounding states. Overwhelming success in such a short time has taken the center from Jewish Hospital to the newly renovated third floor of the Frazier Rehab Institute — a space nearly twice the size.

The Trager Center is recognized as being one of the first in Kentucky to perform adult heart, pancreas and liver transplants. It’s also capable of implanting the latest technology — such as the ventricular assist device — to act as a transplant alternative.

The Trager Transplant Center ribbon cutting ceremony

Pictured: Leslie Buddeke Smart CFRE, division vice president, development; Kelly McMasters MD, chairman of the U of L department of surgery; Mark Slaughter MD, executive director of cardiovascular services for the KentuckyOne Health Louisville Market, chair of the department of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery at the University of Louisville; Amy Trager; Jean Trager; Steve Trager; Michael Trager and Andrew Trager.

“We’ve certainly established a reputation in the region for high-quality care and incredible patient experiences,” said Joe Gilene, market president for the KentuckyOne Health downtown Louisville campus. “Many years of exceptional work, support from the Foundation and a generous gift from Jean and Bernard Trager in honor of their children and grandchildren have allowed us to expand our space to meet the rising demand.”

With the first procedure completed on Aug. 1, the new venue has already revealed numerous benefits, including:

  • Increased volume, thanks to expanding from six to 16 exam rooms
  • More comfort for patients and their families within a brighter area
  • Improved communication with four new consultation rooms
  • Updated education rooms to help answer patient questions and concerns
  • Additional space for on-site administrative and physician offices

“Our volume has greatly increased even from just two years ago,” said David Lewis, director of transplant services at KentuckyOne Health. “The new space allows us to take in more patients and, ultimately, save more lives.”

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2016 edition of One Health Magazine