UK Polk Dalton Clinic Creates Educational Series for Patients

The UK Polk Dalton Clinic is launching a new educational outreach program that will tackle tough topics, including a variety of issues identified as barriers to living healthy and happy lives.

The “First Fridays Family Education Series” will be held at the clinic on the first Friday of each month and will feature local experts who will speak on wide-ranging topics that influence individuals every day.

There are many factors that contribute to the health of a community, including economic stability, access to education and healthcare and employment opportunities. Dr. Kim Thompson, a physician at the UK Polk Dalton Clinic and assistant professor of Medicine in the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, said their clinical staff are constantly looking for ways to reduce the impact of these social determinants on their patients.

After screening patients for about a month, clinical staff found parenting issues –emotional health in teens, preventing substance use and abuse, sex education, cyber safety, and nutrition and wellness, among others – were among the most important to address, hence the idea to create the First Fridays series. 

“We recognize the invaluable work that others are engaged in to further support the population we serve,” Thompson said. “Through collaborating with many of these community partners on this program, we will be able to more effectively address a range of needs to provide valuable educational services right here in our own back yard.”

The first event, set to start at 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 4, will feature Detective Anthony Young, who works in the Crimes Against Children Unit with the Lexington Police Department. Young will talk about the new social world children are growing up in and will explore related topics, like cyber bullying, social media and keeping personal information private.

Those who attend the events will have the opportunity to talk one-on-one with the speaker during and after the hour-long conversation.

“We are so proud of what we do and the community that we serve,” Thompson said. “This exciting new program will provide essential education to our patients and community members who live around us.”

These events will be held on a seasonal basis. The following is a list of topics on the Fall schedule.

Oct. 4, 2019: Cyber Safety – The world we grew up in is very different than the new social world our children are growing up in. We will explore topics related to cyber bullying, social media, keeping personal information private and many more. This event will be led by Detective Anthony D. Young, Crimes Against, Children Unit of the Lexington Police Department.

Nov. 1, 2019: The Hidden Dangers of e-Cigarette Use – This discussion, led by Thompson, will explore current trends in tobacco-related produce use among teens and preteens along with a special presentation by a UK college group called “Tobacco-Free Take Action.” The goal is to correct the false “no-cost” mentality regarding vaping and to empower younger generations to end the trend of e-cigarette use among their peers as health advocates.

Dec. 6, 2019: Parenting Your Adolescent Teenagers – Jill Blackman, a guidance specialist at Crawford Middle School, will discuss how to identify and parent through emotional issues during the teen year, how to use positive behavioral supports and techniques to keep kids productive and avoid parent-child power struggles, how to empower our kids to resist negative social pressure, how to talk to your kids if you suspect they are in trouble and much more.