Credit Credit Cabinet for Health and Family Services
Audrey Haynes, Secretary, Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
While Kentucky’s on-line marketplace for health insurance is running well, some questions remain about its long term costs. Louisville Republican Julie Denton, who chairs the Senate’s Health and Welfare Committee, still worries too many newly-insured Kentuckians will have costly health care needs.
The University of Kentucky is about to launch a clinical study into an existing medication as a treatment for Alzheimer Disease. Researchers at UK’s Alzheimer Disease Center think a cholesterol-lowering class of drugs known as fibrates can also prevent the deadly disease. Clinical Director Greg Jicka says fibrates apparently interact with a person’s RNA. Inside the cell, ribonucleic acid helps its cousin DNA determine a person’s physical characteristics.
A volunteer with the Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter which burned down on Friday night says all of the 21 dogs that made it out have found a home. But the nonprofit that runs the shelter could use donations to help rebuild. Theresa Martin said they do not yet know what caused the fire that killed one dog and 34 cats.
Kentucky parks officials are allowing a limited harvest of ash trees at General Butler State Resort Park. Many trees are feeling the effects of the emerald ash borer. Parks officials say the project will take place during the winter when the northern Kentucky park has fewer visitors.
As Kentuckians prepare their Thanksgiving feast, they’re advised to add fruits to the menu. As for concerns about the presence of pesticides and other farm chemicals, University of Kentucky Extension Specialist Rick Bessin says farmers have long been urged to assess the need for such chemicals and minimize their use.
A team of doctors at the University of Kentucky will investigate new treatments for patients with Parkinson’s disease. It potentially could reverse the brain damage done by Parkinson’s.
The current clinical trial focuses on transplanting a nerve taken from a patient’s ankle and implanting it in the brain. So far, five patients have undergone the procedure. Principal investigator Craig van Horne says the newly grafted nerves are also stimulated by electrodes. Over time, Van Horne says the hope is, the brain will heal.
Hyperactivity in children is often not a straight forward diagnosis. So says long time child psychologist Joe Edwards. The Louisville counselor was recently honored by the Kentucky Psychological Association. For those adolescents with properly diagnosed hyperactivity, Edwards says medicine alone is often not enough.
Sanders Brown Center on Aging Director Linda Van Eldik
The number of Kentuckians with Alzheimer’s Disease is expected to grow greatly. Currently, the disease afflicts 80-thousand patients here. Plus, as baby boomers age, more will suffer from dementia. Director of the Sanders Brown Center on Aging Linda Van Eldik says researchers are making progress in slowing the disease.
A veteran in public health care predicts a logjam when newly insured Kentuckians try to see a doctor. The Commonwealth has made national news in providing coverage to uninsured Kentuckians. Tens of thousands have signed up on-line and in just a couple months, they may hope to see a doctor. However, Fayette County Health Department Commissioner Rice Leach says making an appointment could be a challenge.
A statewide committee of volunteers is on target with its plan for a campaign to make Kentucky a healthier state, an expert in state and local health told the committee Monday. “You guys are absolutely on the right track,” Julie Willems Van Dijk of theUniversity of Wisconsin told the Friedell Committee for Health System Transformation at its annual meeting in Lexington. Read more...
Credit Photo by Joe Imel / Daily News, Bowling Green
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday, Nov. 3 that the federal health-reform law may "bankrupt" rural Kentucky hospitals "by overwhelming them with Medicaid patients." However, health-care leaders in the state "say its hospitals stand to benefit, since the expansion would provide insurance to those who otherwise wouldn’t be able to pay their hospital bills," reports FactCheck.org, a nonpartisan service of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. Read more...
Kentucky State Police are using every available sworn unit today for what it calls the largest one day drug round up in agency history. The aim is to arrest 479 individuals. Troopers from all KSP posts along with numerous other law enforcement officers began arresting individuals before daybreak.
A task force within the State Fire Marshal’s Office is working on new fire prevention strategies. Fire fatalities across the Commonwealth have exceeded 60 for a number of years. Kentucky Fire Marshal Bill Swope says work on the new program began this past summer. He says the hope is to pilot some aspects of it next spring.
Halloween can lead to increased safety concerns in children filled neighborhoods. Those worries may be tied to the traffic found moving about on Halloween night. As the holiday falls on a Thursday this year, Kentucky Office of Highway Safety Director Bill Bell says Thursday nights are already a time of heightened risk for alcohol related incidents.
Kentucky's Attorney General says while progress is being made against prescription drug abuse, the state can't afford to let down its guard. Jack Conway told Bowling Green Rotarians Wednesday the state's pill-tracking system--known as KASPER--is giving law enforcement an idea of how widespread the abuse still is.
"Last year in Kentucky we dispensed over 220,000,000 doses of hydrocodone. We're a state of 4.3 million people. That's 51 doses of hydrocodone for every man, woman and child in this state. That's how much of the stuff is out there," said Conway.
Kentucky has recorded its first two confirmed cases of flu for this season. The two cases of influenza are no indication of how prevalent flu will be the next several months. The first two cases of flu were reported in Henderson and Jefferson Counties. State epidemiologist Craig Humbaugh says the flu bug is not an ailment which spreads from county to county necessarily.
The Kentucky Department of Education has completed an informal survey of middle and high school students. It shows bullying remains a problem on campus and online. The department partnered with family resource and youth service centers to anonymously quiz randomly selected students across the state on a variety of topics.
The long time director of the University of Kentucky’s Ovarian Cancer Screening says it’s hard to say how the federal health care reforms will affect future screening. Dr. John Van Nagel says it’s difficult to determine if more or fewer Kentucky women will be screened for ovarian cancer under the new Affordable Care Act.
The planned explosive destruction of thousands of aging mustard projectiles stored at the Blue Grass Army Depot is not expected have an environmental impact. That’s according to a report released today. The explosive technique is expected to be used in a detonation chamber at the Madison County Depot.
State officials have approved a wider area in eastern Kentucky where hunters can take black bears. A statement from the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources says the number of counties where bears can be hunted has been expanded from four to 16. The Fish and Wildlife Commission said it recommended the changes in June and they recently received legislative approval.
More than two million dollars will be spent on safety improvements at railroad crossings in 17 Kentucky counties. The grants, all which require a dollar for dollar match from the railroad companies, are funded through the Kentucky Railroad Crossing Improvement Program. The transportation cabinet processed applications for more than a hundred projects at 99 crossing locations.
A proposed ordinance expected to be voted on this week would ban residents of a western Kentucky county from keeping livestock on smaller plots or close to dwellings. The measure is scheduled to be voted on Thursday by the Daviess County Fiscal Court in Owensboro.
Communities across Kentucky will benefit from nearly three million dollars in federal money intended to heighten security and safety measures. The funds are from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Computer based record keeping continues to grow within Kentucky medical community. Kentucky’s Health Information Exchange is the organization charged with coordinating this electronic data. State Health I.T. Coordinator Polly Mullins-Bentley says 65 out of 100 acute care hospitals are tied into the system.
Officials in towns along Kentucky's myriad of rivers are worried about being left blind the next time a waterway reaches overflow levels. Federal budget cuts, part of the $1.2 million mandatory cutback in spending, have eliminated river gauges that alert towns when the water is about to burst its banks.
This fall, undercover state investigators are crashing tailgate parties at the state’s universities. Since the end of August, the enforcement effort overall has resulted in more than 150 citations for alcohol-related offenses. The Commonwealth’s Alcoholic Beverage Control officers also patrol Keeneland, looking for underage drinkers. Director of Enforcement Mike Razor says they try to make repeat visits.
An emergency management agency official for greater Louisville says scattered flooding led to 82 people being evacuated over the weekend. Metro Safe Spokeswoman Jody Duncan says emergency workers safely removed people from homes and stranded cars late Saturday and early Sunday as waters rose waist-deep in some areas. There were no injuries.
Officials say the website for Kentucky's online health insurance exchange appears to have become smoother for users on its second day of operation. Kynect had nearly 110,000 visitors through late Wednesday afternoon, with about 10 percent of them starting applications for health care coverage. Nearly 7,000 applications have been completed.
On Tuesday, Kentuckians began buying health insurance through a state exchange created by federal health reform. Journalists have spent months trying to understand the reform law in an attempt to explain it to their readers, but unraveling the act can be a confusing and tiresome process. With open enrollment knocking at the door, Trudy Lieberman of Columbia Journalism Review asked for advice from Elisabeth Benjamin, a vice president at theCommunity Service Society in New York, which runs an insurance counseling program. She suggests looking at enrollment as a four-step process that she hopes will make the process easier for people. Read more...
Kentucky State Police in Mayfield are training school employees in western Kentucky on how to respond in a crisis. It’s being carried out with a special training program the KSP post created. Lt. Brent White says police have trained nearly 700 school staff members in 13 schools, and he says feedback indicates those employees feel more confident.