Health and Welfare

2:19pm

Sun March 24, 2013
Health and Welfare

Medicaid Cuts Leave Children Without Dentist

Dr. Marty Gamble treats about 2,000 local children on Medicaid, give or take a few hundred. But after next week, he won’t accept CoventryCares, which will leave about three-quarters of them without a dentist. As it is, hardly any dentists in Christian County treat adults on Medicaid. And only one besides Gamble treats children. “It’s definitely a crisis,” Gamble said.

4:14pm

Fri March 22, 2013
Health and Welfare

Debate Centers on Study Suggesting Coal Causes Health Problems

A heated debate centers on new research showing that residents in Floyd County, where coal is stripped from the tops of mountains and ridges, report more health problems than those in two nearby communities without such mines, Elliott and Rowan.

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5:09pm

Thu March 21, 2013
Health and Welfare

Hound Welfare Support

A hunt club needs help with the aging dogs in its kennel.  The Iroquois Hunt Club, which organizes coyote and fox hunts, supports a hound welfare fund.  Without outside assistance, Organizer Glenye Oakford says the central Kentucky club cannot easily afford the care and feeding of dogs that can no longer hunt. “Whether it’s through age or injury, we take care of those hounds because they are no longer covered by the Iroquois Hunt budget, if they are not active hunting hounds. So, they get to stay in the kennel.  They get to be with all their friends.  They’re sort of a retirement pack, if you will that lives alongside the active pack,” said Oakford.

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11:05am

Thu March 21, 2013
Health and Welfare

Drug Overdoses Remain the Leading Cause of Death in Kentucky

Drug overdoses, driven largely by prescription drug abuse, overtook motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of unintentional deaths in Kentucky back in 2010 and remain the state's leading cause of death. From 2000 to 2010, the number of drug-overdose deaths in Kentucky rose a staggering 296 percent, highlighting the state's drug abuse epidemic that now kills more than 1,000 Kentuckians a year. But a recent poll suggests many Kentuckians are not fully aware of the state's drug problem.

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10:33am

Thu March 21, 2013
Health and Welfare

Analysis Says Oldham is Kentucky's Healthiest County

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Oldham is the healthiest county in Kentucky. The least healthy? Floyd County in eastern Kentucky. The ranking of health outcomes among Kentucky's 120 counties considers tobacco use, diet and exercise, access to healthcare and other factors. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute did the analysis.

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5:19pm

Wed March 20, 2013
Health and Welfare

County-by-County Health Rankings Released

Frankfort - Oldham County has the healthiest residents in Kentucky, according to the fourth annual County Health Rankings released Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

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5:17pm

Wed March 20, 2013
Health and Welfare

State Receives Funding to Fight Epidemic of Pre-Diabetes

FRANKFORT - The Kentucky Department for Public Health has been awarded a federal grant to help curb rates of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes among residents of the state. The award, worth $134,380, comes from the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Similar awards will also go to seven other states.

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12:27pm

Tue March 19, 2013
Health and Welfare

Legislature Eases Physician-Assistant Rules

The Kentucky General Assembly has joined other states in easing the restrictions on physician assistants’ medical practice, but has held up a similar move for advanced registered nurse practitioners. Both issues relate to the shortage of medical practitioners in many Kentucky counties, and the quality of medical care.

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12:24pm

Tue March 19, 2013
Health and Welfare

State Receives an F Grade for Low Funding of Mental-Health Services

Kentucky's supply of mental-health services is much lower than demand for those services, in terms of state funding, and the state spends only 45 percent of the national average in mental-health funding per person. In 2010, Kentucky dedicated about $232 million to mental-health services, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, which is $54 per person, compared with a U.S. average of $121 that year. That ranks Kentucky among the bottom 10 states without including individual mental health reimbursements for Medicaid, reports Chris Kenning of The Courier-Journal.

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12:16pm

Tue March 19, 2013
Health and Welfare

Kentucky Hospitals Gave $1.96 Billion to Communities in 2011

In 2011, despite economic and financial obstacles, Kentucky hospitals' estimated value of benefits to their communities up 17 percent from the year before, to $1.96 billion. So says the Kentucky Hospital Associated 2011 Community Benefits Report, compiled by the Kentucky Hospital Association with data submitted by hospitals. (Chart gives a breakdown of hospitals' total community benefits and services expenditures in 2011.)

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1:06pm

Fri March 15, 2013
Health and Welfare

Forums Presented on Recognizing Prescription Drug Abuse

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FRANKFORT - The Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, in cooperation with Appalachian Regional Commission and Operation UNITE, will present workshops to educate medical providers about prescription drug abuse and diversion at four locations across Kentucky this spring.

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12:49pm

Fri March 15, 2013
Health and Welfare

Northern Kentucky Health Department Looks at Smoking Ban

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The Northern Kentucky Health Department has taken a step toward considering regulations to prohibit smoking in public places. Board members voted Wednesday to request information from the Bullitt County Health Department and review them in committees for consideration and a possible recommendation. Bullitt County introduced regulations on smoking in public places, which have yet to be implemented because of legal challenges. The Northern Kentucky Health District includes Boone, Campbell, Grant and Kenton Counties.

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4:51pm

Thu March 14, 2013
Health and Welfare

New Colon Cancer Screenings for Low Income Residents

A half million dollars in state money will colon cancer tests for the low income residents of ten counties.  Kentucky Pink Connection is administering the screening in Fayette County.  Executive Director Vicki Blevins-Booth says they’ve tried to make it easy.  "There’s really no excuse not to have this, either the fit test or colonoscopy, if needed.  We provide great support, education, transportation is provided,” said Blevins-Booth.

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3:48pm

Thu March 14, 2013
Health and Welfare

Conway Signs Letter Asking FDA to Require Generic Pain Pills to be Abuse-Resistant

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Generic versions of popular pain relievers must be made harder to abuse, in order to curb prescription drug abuse that is epidemic in many states, Attorney General Jack Conway and 47 other attorneys general said in a letter sent to federal officials Monday.

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3:29pm

Thu March 14, 2013
Health and Welfare

Poll Shows Health-Care Providers Often Fail to Discuss HIV Testing

A new poll suggests that most Kentucky health-care providers follow guidelines for discussing HIV screening with their patients, despite the the importance of early treatment to prevent its progression to AIDS. Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends routine HIV screenings for most patients, just 32 percent of Kentucky adults aged 18 to 64 report discussing HIV testing with their medical provider, according to the Kentucky Health Issues Poll.

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10:48am

Wed March 13, 2013
Health and Welfare

Bill Encouraging Schools to Stock EpiPens to Become Law

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A bill encouraging Kentucky schools to stock EpiPens, or epinephrine auto-injectors, to stop anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction, has passed will soon be signed into law by Gov. Steve Beshear. When someone has anaphylaxis, the sooner you use an EpiPen, the better the outcome can be, said Thomas Sternberg, an allergist at Graves-Gilbert Clinic in Bowling Green, told Alyssa Harvey of the Daily News.

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9:45am

Tue March 12, 2013
Health and Welfare

Recalled Pills Circulating in Pennyrile Region

A pain reliever that has been recalled and declared dangerous by the Federal Drug Administration is still circulating around southern Kentucky. The drug marketed under the name Reumofan Plus is being distributed in Elkton and the broader Pennyrile Region, despite being recalled, and a local doctor's office says patients on the drug have had dangerous side effects, reports Nick Tabor of the Kentucky New Era.

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4:14pm

Thu March 7, 2013
Health and Welfare

Drug-Resistant Superbugs on the Rise in American Hospitals

"Nightmare bacteria" leading to deadly infections that are difficult and sometimes impossible to treat are on the rise in American hospitals, and threaten to spread to otherwise healthy people outside of medical facilities, according to a federal Centers for Disease Control Vital Signs report published Tuesday.

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1:36pm

Thu March 7, 2013
Health and Welfare

Study Finds Appalachian Counties Saw Increasing Rates of Death for Both Sexes

More than 40 percent of counties saw increases in female death rates as the 21st Century began, while the death rate for men rose in just 3 percent of counties, a study shows. Only Appalachian counties, mostly in Kentucky, had worsening rates for both sexes. (Click on a map for a larger version.)

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2:37pm

Tue March 5, 2013
Health and Welfare

Three Kentucky Health Departments Gain National Accreditation

The Northern Kentucky Health Department is among the first in the county to land an accreditation that ranks it among the highest performing public health agencies in the United States. The national Public Health Accreditation Board on Monday unveiled the first 11 recipients of a five-year accreditation, which also included the Franklin County Health Department in Frankfort and the Three Rivers District Health Department in Owenton.

4:44pm

Mon March 4, 2013
Health and Welfare

Statewide Smoking Ban Still Up in the Air

Supporters of a statewide smoking ban in Kentucky are once again trying to persuade a House committee to pass the the legislation this session.  The House Judiciary Committee is the second committee—after House Health and Welfare—to hear the smoking ban bill sponsored by State Rep. Susan Westrom, a Lexington Democrat.  This time, property rights and business rights were the main topic of questioning, but Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson told the committee that Kentucky's businesses have long supported smoking bans.

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4:37pm

Mon March 4, 2013
Health and Welfare

Year Long Emergency Preparedness Ad Campaign

A year- long campaign to raise awareness of disaster and emergency threats begins this week.  The Kentucky Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program is launching ‘Be Aware, Learn How to Prepare.’  While much attention centers on activities at the Blue Grass Army Depot, emergency preparedness covers a lot of areas.  Monica French is with Kentucky Emergency Management.

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11:18am

Fri March 1, 2013
Health and Welfare

Kentucky Ranks Next to Last in Well-Being

Kentucky ranks next to last in the annual Gallup-Healthways Well-Being index, just ahead of West Virginia. The Bluegrass State ranked last in the index's Healthy Behaviors category, which measures the percentage of residents who smoke, exercise frequently and eat healthy daily.

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1:40pm

Thu February 28, 2013
Health and Welfare

Bill for Statewide Smoking Ban Dies in General Assembly

State tobacco revenue (left bar) and spending (right bar)

As the bill for a statewide smoking ban lies on its deathbed in the General Assembly, new federal data show Kentucky still has the highest percentage of smokers (29 percent) of any state, leads the nation in the share of smoking high school students (24 percent) and spends only a miniscule portion of their tobacco revenues to fight tobacco use. Those figures come from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Tobacco Control State Highlights 2012 report. (For county-by-county figures, click here.)

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12:42pm

Thu February 28, 2013
Health and Welfare

Precautions Should be Taken When Using Space Heaters

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Warm weather isn't far away, but winter remains, and precautions should be taken to steer clear of a big cold-weather killer -- the space heater -- for the season's remaining cold days. The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that each year, space heaters cause more than 25,000 residential fires and more than 300 deaths, and more than 6,000 Americans get emergency-room care for burn injuries associated with room heaters.

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11:31am

Tue February 26, 2013
Health and Welfare

Poll Suggests the Recession has Harmed the Health of Kentuckians

A recent poll shows continuation of a trend threatening Kentucky's overall health: as the number of Kentuckians living in poverty goes up, the percentage of adults who report their health as excellent or very good goes down. Just over four in 10 Kentucky adults in the latest Kentucky Health Issues Poll described their health as excellent or good. In 2008, almost half used those descriptions.

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11:24am

Tue February 26, 2013
Health and Welfare

Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky Gives UK $1 Million for Co-Chairs in Rural Health Policy

Tyrone "Ty" Borders in the University of Kentucky College of Public Health's Department of Health Services Management, and Brady Reynolds in the UK College of Medicine's Department of Behavioral Science, have been named the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky endowed co-chairs in rural health policy.

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3:35pm

Mon February 25, 2013
Health and Welfare

Ear Infection Strategy

The recommended treatment for an ear infection is evolving.  Antibiotics have been a common treatment option for years.  Now, University of Kentucky ear, nose, and throat specialist Matthew Bush says ‘watchful waiting’ might be the best approach.  “There is a move to try and distinguish between infection and inflammation.   Those are two different processes, although inflammation often accompanies infection,” said Bush.

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2:26pm

Thu February 21, 2013
Health and Welfare

Three Kentucky Health Departments Considered for National Accreditation

Three Kentucky health departments are among the first in the nation to be considered for national accreditation, a process that could help improve patient care and put the agencies in closer touch with their communities' needs. The national Public Health Accreditation Board will make its first accreditation decisions next week.

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1:15pm

Thu February 21, 2013
Health and Welfare

Drug Overdose Deaths Hit New Record in 2011

Drug overdose deaths in the U.S. rose for the 11th straight year and accidental deaths involving addictive prescription drugs overshadow deaths from illicit narcotics, new federal data show. In 2010, there were 38,329 drug overdose deaths nationwide, and prescription drugs were the cause of nearly 60 percent of them.  As in recent years, opioid drugs such as OxyContin and Vicodin were the biggest problem, contributing to three-fourths of medication-overdose deaths, report Lindsey Tanner and Mike Stoppe of The Associated Press.

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