Schools are a place where children share everything from desks to school supplies to food and drinks, making it one of the easiest places for germs to spread.


This is why Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) stresses the importance of teaching children good hand hygiene and how to properly wash their hands.


"The most important thing we can do to prevent the spread of infection is washing our hands," said PMC Pediatrician Brad Akers, MD. "No one wants their child to be sick and hand washing may be the single most important act you and your child have for disease prevention."


Mayo Clinic gives us tips to teach our children how to properly wash their hands:


Remind your child to wash his or her hands before eating, after using the toilet, blowing his or her nose or playing outside.


Suggest soaping up for as long as it takes to sing the "Happy Birthday" song twice.


"Our routine is the key to remembering to wash our hands," Dr. Akers added. "If we make it a point to teach our children how and when to wash their hands, perhaps they can avoid the infections that we so frequently see in the fall and winter months."


Good hand hygiene can prevent many illnesses and is one of the most important and easiest steps one can take to stay healthy.


"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," Dr. Akers advised. "Protect your children from illness this school year by re-emphasizing good hand hygiene."


For more information or to schedule an appointment with a PMC pediatrician, call 606-218-2207 or visit us on the web at

Author Name: 
Melinda Goodson
Friday, July 28, 2017

While summertime provides a great opportunity to spend time outside with friends and loved ones, it also puts you at higher risk of being bitten by pesky mosquitos.


Most of the time these insect bites are self-limiting and only result in some mild redness and itching around the site of the bite, but sometimes they can be dangerous.


Mosquitos can carry diseases such as the Zika virus, West Nile Virus, or Malaria, especially in tropical climates.


In our area, the risk of contracting these diseases is quite low, however, we should still do as much as we can to prevent mosquito bites from happening in the first place and take extra care when traveling to areas where these diseases are prevalent.


Mosquitos reproduce in areas of standing water, by eliminating areas where mosquitoes can reproduce can help reduce their presence around your home.


Doing simple things like unclogging gutters, changing water in birdbaths and children's wading pools, storing flower pots upside down and getting rid of old tires in your yard can make a big impact in the number of mosquitos. Additionally, mosquitos are most active around dusk until dawn, so staying inside during these times will reduce your exposure.


While spending time outside, wearing protective clothing and using insect repellent is key to preventing mosquito bites. According to the Centers For Disease Control (CDC), an insect repellent registered by the EPA containing ingredients such as DEET, Picardin, para-menthane-diol (PMD) or oils of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) can be used. These have been proven both safe and effective, and are even safe for pregnant and breast-feeding women.


With small children extra caution should be taken, as some insect repellents are not suitable for kids.


Insect repellent should not be used on babies younger than two months old, and products containing OLE or PMD are not safe for children under three years of age. Also take care to avoid putting insect repellent on children's hands because they tend to put their hands in their mouths. For babies under two months of age, the CDC recommends using mosquito netting over a baby's car seat or carrier that has an elastic band and is tight fitting.


Mosquitos are pests — plain and simple, but following these helpful tips will help you to enjoy your summer with a few less bug bites. So the next time you fire up the grill, head to the pool, or toss some logs in the fire pit, don't forget your insect repellent so you can enjoy your night without a single bite!


— Ashley Turley, D.O., is a second year Family Medicine Resident

Author Name: 
Ashley Turley, D.O.
Friday, July 28, 2017

What started out as a simple run for exercise, turned into a commitment.


Katrina Underwood, a Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) PET-CT technologist and 27-year hospital veteran, says she was seeking exercise for her overall good health when she turned to running.


She said, "I got into running and really enjoy everything about it."


Her intentions were never to be a competitive racer but her path quickly took a drastic turn.


"It is hard to explain. You just feel like you could go on forever when you get a runner's high," she said. "You do not want to stop running. You just feel wonderful."


That feeling was something her daughter, Ashley Thomas, had not experienced since high school, when she ran on the track team. Once she started college, Thomas did not make time for running until she moved back to the area.


"I ran a race with mom in 2012. She had to keep stopping with me and in the end she beat me," said Thomas. "I knew I was not going to let that happen again, so I started training and here I am five years later, still running."


The competitive nature of the two brought them together on a regular basis as they condition for their races.


"Mom was always running and I thought I would join her. It seemed like a good opportunity for us to spend some quality time together," said Thomas.


In the beginning Underwood was the fastest runner, but today you have to wait to see which runner will be crossing the finish line first.


Underwood said, "She is a faster runner than I am sometimes, but do not forget she is 26 years younger than me, too."


The mother and daughter team says the benefits of running are huge for them.


Thomas said, "I lost weight and I am more toned and muscular than I have ever been. I feel better than ever.  Even when I was in high school, I thought I was in shape when I played sports but I feel ten times better now."


Thomas also works in the PMC radiology department, as a nuclear medicine technologist. Most days, the two take lunch breaks together and walk around town.


"If our schedules are different we try to walk the clinic stairs, all the way up to the 11th floor. It is part of our conditioning for race time," Thomas said.


The two say they have competed in 5K and 10K races, half marathons and full marathons. They both estimate they have finished approximately 50 races each. They have raced locally in most of the area races and have also traveled for races that took them on long-distance road trips.


Their favorite races were in Las Vegas and New York City. Underwood has been informed she will be racing in the 2017 New York Marathon in November.


On the same day, at the same time, Thomas will be racing in The Marshall University Full Marathon in Huntington, W.Va.


Off the clock, you will find these avid runners looking for the next big race.


RUN LADIES RUN: Pikeville Medical Center PET-CT Technologist Katrina Underwood and her daughter, Ashley Thomas, share a passion for running. They say the competition level is a way for them to get into shape and stay healthy.
Author Name: 
Carol Casebolt
Friday, July 28, 2017

Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) proudly announces the addition of Yousef A. Hattab, MD, critical care physician.


Dr. Hattab received his medical degree from An-Najah National University in Nablus, Palestine.


He is board certified in Internal Medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine.


"I had the opportunity to work with excellent intensivists during medical school," he said. "During my residency and fellowship I decided to be an intensivist. I like the lifesaving opportunities in the Critical Care Unit, where you get to take action and watch results immediately."


Dr. Hattab looks forward to providing critical care to the region.


"My goal is to achieve excellent care for my patients, trying to save as many lives as I can while treating every patient as my own family member," Dr. Hattab said.


Several factors drew him to the area.


"I chose PMC for a few different reasons," he said. "PMC provides an excellent opportunity to work in critical care where I have potential to make a difference."


Dr. Hattab stated he has several friends practicing in Pikeville and all had wonderful things to say about the growth of PMC and the city of Pikeville.


When he's not caring for patients, Dr. Hattab enjoys spending time with his wife and two children swimming and playing chess.

Author Name: 
Amanda Jo Lawson
Friday, July 28, 2017

PIKEVILLE — Summer break will end soon for thousands of Kentucky students as they prepare to head back to school. Many students will rely on school buses to transport them to and from school.


Pike County Transportation Director Ancie Casey said safety of students is a top priority year round.


The Pike County Transportation Department holds a training session each July for all bus drivers. It serves as an active and evolving program designed to promote school bus safety.


"Each year we are required to have an eight-hour update," Casey said. "Every day throughout the month of July, fifteen to twenty drivers take a four-hour driving session and four-hour classroom session, totaling around two-hundred bus drivers."


The drivers practice backing into an alley, parallel parking and rail road crossing.


"We discuss ways to improve the safety for our students," he said. "We have the newest and most up-to-date buses in the state."


The new buses offer a safer transportation for students.


"It all goes back to safety and the precious cargo we carry," Casey said.


He said it is important to reinforce bus safety among students and express gratitude to bus drivers and staff for their hard work and professionalism.


"We want to run a first-class operation in Pike County and I feel we are taking the right steps to make that happen," Casey said.


School buses are serviced monthly and drivers are required to complete extensive training.


"Each county school bus driver is required to have extensive training and certification, more than drivers of any other highway vehicle," Casey said.


Unfortunately, every year children are injured or even killed due to school bus related crashes. In 2014, there were 864 collisions, directly and indirectly involving a school bus in Ky. These collisions resulted in 293 injuries and three fatalities.


Parents typically worry about their child's safety once they set foot on the bus, but many of the injuries happen on the road outside of the bus.


Casey urges parents, motorists and community members to be alert when school buses are loading and unloading.


He encourages parents to review the following school bus safety rules:


When waiting for the bus, stay away from traffic and avoid rough play or other behavior that can lead to carelessness. Do not stray onto streets, alleys or private property.


Walk with your children to the bus stop and wait with them until the bus arrives.


Line up away from the street and stand at least three giant steps back from the curb.


Wait until the bus has completely stopped and the door opens before stepping onto the roadway. Be sure to board the bus one at a time.


Use the hand rail when getting on and off the bus.


Wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before getting off and never walk behind the bus.


If a child needs to cross the street after exiting the bus, they should take five giant steps in front of the bus along the side of the road, make eye contact with the bus driver and wait for a signal from the driver to indicate it's safe. Make sure to look left and right again before crossing the street.


If a child drops something, they should tell the bus driver and make sure the bus driver is able to see them before they pick it up.


Motorists should follow the speed limit and slowdown in school zones and near bus stops. Stay alert and watch for kids trying to get to and from the school bus.

PROMOTING SAFETY: Pike County Transportation Director Ancie Casey, right, is pictured with driver trainer Leslie Rowe. Around 200 drivers have been through driving and classroom sessions this month.
Medical Leader│Photo by ABIGAIL GIBSON
Author Name: 
Abigail Gibson
Friday, July 28, 2017

Many different images run through our minds when we picture Jesus. Titles such as "King of Kings", "Prince of Peace", and "Lord of Lords" often cast Jesus in a "royal light."


While these titles are fitting of Jesus' character we must remember that above all Jesus was a servant. In the Gospel of St. Mark we read "For even the son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."


Instead of putting himself above others Jesus sought to serve and help everyone he met, even those who were at the bottom of society's hierarchy.


From healing a blind beggar to sacrificing himself on the cross for all of humanity Jesus sought to show God's love to everyone.


May we all try to follow his example and show compassion and love to everyone we meet.


~ PMC Chaplain Jordan Maynard may be reached at 606-218-3969.


Friday, July 28, 2017

PIKEVILLE — It took just one season for University of Pikeville men's basketball coach Kelly Wells to promote Evan Faulkner from graduate assistant to full-time assistant coach after a successful 2016-17 campaign.


"I'm very excited to have Evan Faulkner move into the assistant coach position, said Wells, entering his 12th season as UPIKE's head coach. "Evan's experiences as a player and coach are invaluable to our program and success. I am very comfortable knowing that Evan is a great person, driven for success and very knowledgeable in all areas of coaching college basketball.


"Working with Evan as a graduate assistant in our program last year secured my faith in his abilities and work ethic. I am so thankful for him and look forward to sharing all the responsibilities in developing and mentoring our student-athletes for the game of basketball and life."


Over the last year at UPIKE, Faulkner assisted in game preparation, player development and travel. He'll now take a larger role with opponent scouting and recruiting on and off campus. His first season with the Bears was a good one, helping them to a 28-8 record and a fourth trip to the NAIA national quarterfinals.


Faulkner came to UPIKE after two seasons as the head coach at Ripley High School (W. Va.) where he led the team to a 16-9 record in 2015-16, giving it the most wins since 1997 and the school's first trip to the regional tournament in 15 years.


Before Ripley, Faulkner spent the 2013-14 season as an assistant coach at NCAA Div II Charleston (W. Va.). Charleston reached the NCAA Div. II National Tournament that season after winning the Mountain East Conference Tournament title. Faulkner's duties included scouting, recruiting, budget management and academic success.


— Submitted for publication by UPIKE Sports Information Director Dan White

Friday, July 28, 2017

PIKEVILLE — After spending the 2016-17 season as a graduate assistant with the University of Pikeville women's basketball team, Shelby Wheeler has been promoted to the full-time assistant coach position, head coach Clifton Williams recently announced.


"Shelby did an outstanding job in all facets of our program this past season," said Williams, who will be entering his second season as head coach in 2017-18. "I'm excited to bring her on as our full time assistant coach. She's an invaluable asset to our players and our program."


Wheeler helped UPIKE to a 21-11 overall record and 8-6 mark in Mid-South Conference play last season and ended the year with the Bears advancing to a third straight NAIA National Championship appearance. Wheeler also served as the head junior varsity coach, along with game prep, scouting, recruiting and player development on the varsity side.


Prior to coming to Pikeville, Wheeler served as the Director of Women's Basketball Operations at Stetson University for the 2015-16 season. While there, she organized team travel, transportation, meals, lodging and the ordering and distribution of equipment. Wheeler was also responsible for managing video coordination for practices and games and team managers.


For Stetson's 2015 Elite and Team Camps, Wheeler served as co-director, handling the set up and operations. From 2013-15, Wheeler was a team manager at Stetson, helping at practices and coordinating game-day operations.


Before attending Stetson, Wheeler played two seasons (2011-12, 2012-13) at Florida Southern College. The team won the 2012 Sunshine State Conference Regular-Season title and participated in the NCAA Division II National Tournament.


— Submitted for publication by UPIKE Sports Information Director Dan White





Friday, July 28, 2017

Addilynn Hope Cain, daughter of Jessica and Christopher Cain, born July 20; weight: 6 lbs., 1 oz.


Gatlin Blake McCarty, son of Alyssa and Dylan McCarty, born July 19; weight: 8 lbs.


Wesley Izaiah Johnson, son of Sinead McGinnis and Wesley Johnson, born July 18; weight: 6 lbs., 8 oz.


Hudson James Robertson, son of Veronica Slone and Joseph Cline, born July 18; weight: 6 lbs., 6 oz.


Oliver James Branham, son of Lindsey and Aaron Branham, born July 18; weight: 8 lbs., 7 oz.


Kinley Grace Smith, son of Courtney Naylor and Bryan Smith, born July 18; weight: 5 lbs., 12 oz.


Michaela Rae Gable, daughter of Whitney Bowling and Terry Gable, born July 18; weight: 7 lbs., 5 oz.


Chase Francis Benedict, son of Amanda and James Benedict III, born July 18; weight: 8 lbs., 10 oz.


Mikey Shaun Butcher, twin son of Eula Jordan, born July 18; weight: 6 lbs., 3 oz.


Mickey Shane Butcher, twin son of Eula Jordan, born July 18; weight: 6 lbs., 14 oz.


Adilynn Belle Bryant, daughter of Kimberly Evans and Harley Bryant, born July 17; weight: 8 lbs., 4 oz.


Kadon Cole Thacker, son of Stormy Nicole Rich and Brian Thacker, born July 16; weight: 6 lbs., 9 oz.


Waverly Quinn Taylor, daughter of Ronda and James Taylor, born July 15; weight: 7 lbs., 10.7 oz.


Ikelin Dawn Justice, daughter of Teia Justice, born July 15; weight: 6 lbs., 13 oz.


Aaliyah Ma'Shae Bartley, daughter of Keisha Hall and Travis Bartley, born July 15; weight: 5 lbs., 0.4 oz.


Grant Alexander Blalock, son of Candice York and Jared Blalock, born July 14; weight: 7 lbs., 8.3 oz.


Aaryn Tyler Lee Adams, son of Whitney Thacker and Randy Adams, born July 14; weight: 7 lbs., 5 oz.


Samuel Thomas Sykes, son of Courtney Justice and David Sykes, born July 14; weight: 5 lbs., 1 oz.


Braxton Abel Porter, son of Amanda Mounts and Brady Porter, born July 13; weight: 8 lbs., 6 oz.


Jaxon Leo Slone, son of Misty Miller and Leo Slone, born July 13; weight: 7 lbs., 5 oz.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Roy Thomas "Tom" Smith, 69, of Williamson, W.Va., passed away July 19. He was a U.S. Navy veteran, having served during the Vietnam War. Memorial service, July 24, Burnwell Gospel Revelation Tabernacle, Burnwell.


Lee Thomas Leedy, 76, of Canada, passed away July 24. Memorial service, July 27, Edo Freewill Baptist Church, Kimper.


Jean Hall Hamilton, 78, of Pikeville, passed away July 22. Funeral, July 27, Island Creek Regular Baptist Church, Pikeville. Burial, Jack Thomas Cemetery, Island Creek.


Vernon C. "Huck" Childers, 68, of Dayton, Ohio, formerly of Newtown, W.Va., passed away July 22. Funeral, July 28. Burial, Ellison Hatfield Cemetery, Newtown.


Ruth Elizabeth Taylor Moore, 75, of Williamson, W.Va., passed away July 22. Funeral, July 27, First Mount Zion Baptist Church, Williamson. Burial, Mountain View Memory Gardens, Maher, W.Va.


Paul William Simpkins, 39, of Austinville, Va., formerly of Beech Creek, W.Va., passed away July 16. Funeral, July 29. Burial, Wolford Family Cemetery, Beech Creek.


Zelma Tackett, 83, of Turkey Pen, Virgie, passed away July 22. Funeral, July 26, Enterprise Old Regular Baptist Church. Burial, Frank Tackett Cemetery, Long Fork, Virgie.


Chad Taylor, 42, of Homosassa, Fla., formerly of Virgie, passed away July 17. Memorial service, July 23, Long Fork Freewill Baptist Church.


Avonelle Neeley, 77, of Prestonsburg, passed away July 24. Funeral, July 27. Burial, Johnny Neeley Family Cemetery, Left Fork, Abbott, Prestonsburg.


Minnie Sue Marsillett Honeycutt, 60, of Auxier, passed away July 21. Funeral, July 24. Burial, Highland Memorial Park, Martin.


Burnis Evans, 66, of Grethel, passed away July 21. Funeral, July 24. Burial, Glendale Cemetery, Cardington, Ohio.


Ornell Jamup Bentley, 82, of Beaver, passed away July 21. Funeral, July 24, Samaria Old Regular Baptist Church, Teaberry. Burial, Bentley Family Cemetery, Beaver.


Wendell L. Howard, 76, of Hueysville, passed away July 20. Funeral, July 24. Burial, Howard/Sexton Cemetery, Hueysville.


Earl Thomas "Tommy" Blackburn, 57, of Prestonsburg, passed away July 19. Funeral, July 23. Burial, family cemetery, Prestonsburg.


Mark Allen Blankenship, 57, of Salyersville, passed away July 19. Funeral, July 23. Burial, Morrison Family Cemetery, Prestonsburg.


James "Red" Virgil Stratton, 88, of Church Hill, Tenn., formerly of Harold, passed away July 21. Funeral, July 24. Burial, Bush Cemetery, Harold.


Stanley James, Sr., 85, of Pikeville, passed away July 18. He was a U.S. Army veteran. Funeral, July 21. Burial, Davidson Memorial Gardens, Ivel.


Johnny Robert Shortridge, 75, of Winchester, passed away July 17. Memorial service, July 22. Burial, Johnson Memorial Park, Pikeville.


Elbert Compton, 90, of Lincoln Park, Mich., formerly of Pikeville, passed away July 17. He was a U.S. Army veteran. Funeral, July 23. Burial, Stevens Cemetery, Hurricane Road, Pikeville.


Dawn Edward Adkins, 79, of Pikeville, passed away July 24. Funeral, July 28. Burial, Johnson Memorial Park.


Richard Lee Thacker, 59, of Shelbiana, passed away July 24. Funeral, July 29, Greasy Creek Freewill Baptist Church. Burial, Hopkins Cemetery, Greasy Creek.


Mary Athleen Baker, 79, of Grundy, Va., passed away July 24. Funeral, July 28, Mary Lou Old Regular Baptist Church. Burial, Mary Lou Cemetery.


Lloyd John Jenkins, 90, of Harold, passed away July 22. He was a former member of the National Guard. Funeral, July 27, Victory Baptist Church. Burial, Victory Baptist Church Cemetery, Board Bottom.


Linda Cochran, 68, of Dorton, passed away July 22. Funeral, July 27. Burial, R.H. Ratliff Cemetery, Shelbiana.


Jody Lee Adams, 40, of Ashland, formerly of Pikeville, passed away July 21. Funeral, July 25, Speight Church of Christ. Burial, Adams Flower Garden Cemetery, Long Fork.


Teddy Blaine Wright, 53, of Knoxville, Tenn., formerly of Letcher County, passed away July 19. Funeral, July 26. Burial, Wright Family Cemetery, Blaze Branch, Dorton.


Clifford Adkins, 69, of Pikeville, passed away July 20. Funeral, July 23. Burial, Adkins Cemetery, Phyllis.


Robert Gene Ratliff, 65, of Elkhorn City, passed away July 18. Funeral, July 22, Rockhouse Unity Freewill Baptist Church. Burial, Coleman-Ratliff Family Cemetery.


Thomas D. Lafferty Sr., 84, of Prestonsburg, passed away July 24. Funeral, July 28. Burial, Davidson Memorial Gardens, Ivel.


Alphajean "Jean" May Watson, 87, of Martin, passed away July 21. Funeral, July 23, Community United Methodist Church, Prestonsburg. Burial, May Family Cemetery, Martin.


Faye Coleman, 71, of Campbellsburg, formerly of Johns Creek, passed away July 23. Funeral, July 26, Johns Creek Primitive Baptist Church. Burial, Coleman Cemetery, Long Fork, Johns Creek.

Friday, July 28, 2017