Health and Welfare

Stu Johnson

Lexington city officials along with a non-profit agency serving homeless people are implementing new strategies to reduce street corner panhandling.  The launch of a new job centered service was unveiled Tuesday.

Stu Johnson

University of Kentucky medical researchers will use just over $11 million to further study the metabolism of cancer. 

The formal announcement of the National Institutes of Health’s Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence grant was made Monday.

Kentucky has disproportionately high rates of cancer and metabolic disorders. 

wkyt.com

The director of Kentucky’s Center for School Safety applauds legislative efforts to bring more attention to problems associated with human trafficking.   One provision pertains to schools across the Commonwealth.

Pinwheels Draw Attention to Child Abuse, Neglect

Apr 13, 2017
Stu Johnson

Nearly 1400 pin wheels are spinning at a busy Nicholasville Rd. intersection in Lexington.  They are there to draw attention to issues related to child abuse and neglect in Fayette County.    


Stu Johnson

Final preparations are underway in Lexington for the opening of a new Catholic Action Center for homeless men and women.  The new site off Industry Road is expected to open in about two weeks.


Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration has dropped its efforts to shut down Kentucky’s last abortion clinic pending the outcome of a federal lawsuit aimed at preventing its closure.

An agreement between lawyers for the Republican governor and the Louisville clinic, EMW Women’s Surgical Center, has been submitted to U.S. District Judge Greg Stivers, who has not yet signed off on it.

As part of the agreement, Bevin’s administration agreed to renew EMW’s license until the federal suit is resolved.

Fayette Co. Health Officials Confirm Mumps Cases

Apr 5, 2017
Lexington Herald-Leader/Kentucky.com

Fayette County health officials are reporting two cases of mumps in the Lexington area.  These are the first confirmed cases of the viral disease this year.  


A new poll shows growing support for a statewide ban on smoking in most public places, despite Kentucky having the highest rate of smokers in the nation.

The latest Kentucky Health Issues Poll shows 71 percent of Kentuckians support a comprehensive statewide-smoke free law compared to 66 percent over the last two years.

Ben Chandler, president and CEO of Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, says such a law would help reduce second-hand smoke and discourage young people from becoming smokers.

Federal Judge Halts Closing of Kentucky's Last Remaining Abortion Clinic

Mar 31, 2017
Lexington Herald-Leader/Kentucky.com

A federal judge has halted the impending shutdown of the only clinic in Kentucky that performs abortions.

As WEKU’s John Hingsbergen reports, a U.S. District judge issued a restraining order today that prevents state officials from revoking the license of the EMW Women’s Surgical Center in Louisville. 

Doctors will only be able to prescribe Kentuckians a three-day supply of opioid painkillers under House Bill 333, which now awaits the governor’s signature.

The last abortion provider in Kentucky is suing the state to stay open after Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration gave the clinic notice that it would be shut down.

According to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, the state health cabinet gave notice to EMW Women’s Surgical Center in Louisville on March 13 that the clinic was out of compliance with state regulations and that their license would be revoked within 10 days.

The clinic then got an extension until April 3.

Kentucky Medicaid Commissioner Stephen Miller said the state is moving full-speed ahead with changes to the Medicaid program known as “Kentucky Health” and he fully expects the waiver to be approved.

Miller’s comments Thursday come as Republicans in Congress work to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. A vote was scheduled for Thursday but was delayed due to opposition to the measure both from the center and the right within the party.

A federal court on Thursday heard testimony and arguments over a challenge to the state’s new ultrasound abortion requirement.

U.S. District Judge David Hale will decide in the next few days whether to temporarily block the law.

The law, signed by Gov. Matt Bevin on Jan. 9, requires doctors to perform ultrasounds on women seeking abortions, narrate a description of the fetus and play audio of the fetal heartbeat for the woman.

Avian Flu Found in Western Ky Poultry Flock

Mar 21, 2017
WKMS, Murray, KY

Federal and state agriculture officials are confirming a case of low pathogenic Avian Flu in a western Kentucky commercial poultry flock. This type of influenza doesn't typically pose a fatal threat to chickens.  

Kentucky State Veterinarian Robert Stout says the presence of low pathogenic avian influenza came from samples taken at a Christian County operation.  

This poultry flu may cause no disease or mild illness.  Highly pathogenic Avian Influenza can cause severe disease with high mortality.  

The Perry County Adult Drug Court is set to receive $1.3 million in federal support.  The grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance will be used to expand treatment services.  The funds are intended to help people who struggle with employment issues, mental health problems or a lack of basic education.

 

Wells says the funds will also provide a peer support specialist, who can relate to what drug court participants are going through. 

Smokers could have an easier time kicking the habit thanks to a measure passed by the Kentucky General Assembly this week.

Though insurance companies already offer aids including nicotine patches, the bill would prevent insurers from charging co-pays, requiring prior authorization or step therapy — a program that encourages the use of the least expensive drug before moving onto more costly drugs — to gain access.

Lexington-Fayette Co. Health Dept.

Later this year, Madison County will join about 15 other Kentucky communities that offer needle or syringe exchanges. The county’s fiscal court gave unanimous approval Tuesday morning.   

Like most of the state, Madison County has seen alarming increases in the number of Hepatitis C infections caused by sharing of dirty needles by drug users.

The County’s Board of Health held two informational meetings earlier this year in Richmond and Berea before considering the resolution to establish the program.

The GOP plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act — which was leaked to Politico and reported on Friday — would eliminate the money given to states for Medicaid expansion starting in 2020.

It would decrease the subsidies people receive for buying health insurance on the individual market, instead putting in tax credits that would increase as users age.

Some Kentucky businesses are placing their names on a growing national list of sanctuary restaurants. 

At least ten businesses in the commonwealth have declared themselves sanctuary restaurants, meaning they have zero tolerance racism, sexism, and xenophobia.  The designation also bans harassment against anyone based on their immigrant or refugee status. 

Home Café in Bowling Green has joined the movement.  Owner Josh Poling says restaurants can’t survive without immigrants, documented or undocumented.

Cheri Lawson

A giddy group of people meeting in Lexington may have observers wondering what’s so funny.  As WEKU’s Cheri Lawson reports, a unique form of yoga taught since the 1990’s has made its way to Central Kentucky.


Lawmakers have given initial approval to a plan to “defund” Kentucky’s Planned Parenthood locations in Lexington and Louisville by putting the organization at the back of the line for federal family planning dollars.

Bill sponsor Sen. Max Wise said the organization had a “notorious history as an abortion provider” and said he filed the bill in reaction to undercover videos allegedly showing Planned Parenthood officials negotiating the sale of fetal organs — allegations denied by Planned Parenthood and later debunked.

KET Premieres a new documentary tonight focusing on the opioid epidemic and dives deep into treatment options across the commonwealth.

Opioids – including heroin and prescription opioids such as oxycodone and hydrocodone – killed more than 33,000 people in 2015, more than any year on record, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Deaths due to opioid overdoses claim the lives of 91 Americans every day.

The social justice group Mijente is continuing its efforts to make Louisville a so-called sanctuary city.

The group delivered a petition with about 2,600 signatures to that effect to a mayor’s aide at Metro Hall on Monday morning.

healthwatchusa.org

A leader in a Kentucky-based patient advocacy group is calling for more timely information about drug-resistant bacteria cases.  Members of a state legislative health panel got a briefing earlier this month. 

A Lexington-based organization is about to begin its second decade distributing care packages to servicemen and women overseas. The number of deliveries from Military Missions Incorporated this year is significantly up from a year ago.

 

For 10 years, volunteers in Lexington have packed up items such as baby wipes, snacks, personal care products, socks and greeting cards. 

Volunteer Karen Weaver says, by year’s end, some 6000 packages will have gone out, about 1000 more than last year.

Stu Johnson

The State of Kentucky is offering a new way for people with disabilities to save and invest money. Legislators in Frankfort got an update Wednesday. 


wkyt.com

Kentucky's Department of Public Health is responding to concerns about the Zika virus with holiday travel suggestions.  Officials are especially concerned about pregnant women.  According to infectious disease specialist, Dr. Ardis Hoven, says pregnant women, those who might be pregnant and their sex partners should avoid areas where the virus remains active. 


Cheri Lawson

Actress Jodie Sweetin,known for her role as Stephanie Tanner on the TV Series, Full House, spoke to a nearly full house Tuesday night at Northern Kentucky University about her 10-year struggle with alcohol and drug addiction.  


wymt.com

Ongoing woodland fires across Kentucky are prompting Governor Bevin to declare a statewide emergency.  It means local officials can request state resources in their firefighting efforts.

State forestry officials report more than three dozen wildland fires have burned 3800 acres so far. 

libguides.uky.edu

The University of Kentucky Center for Clinical and Translational Science is receiving almost $20 million from the National Institutes of Health.  The grant announced Wednesday is expected to further lab-to-bedside patient care.

Dr. Philip Kern says this second multi-year NIH grant will continue efforts to move from studies with mice to trials with human subjects.  The director of the UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science says it may involve selective pilot seed money for researchers. 

Pages