Health and Welfare

10:55am

Fri February 1, 2013
Health and Welfare

Small Steps Can Prevent Heart Disease

It is now February, which is American Heart Month and a perfect time to remind people that small steps can reduce their risk of heart disease, Kentucky's No. 1 killer. You may be surprised to hear that almost 80 percent of heart disease is preventable and there are daily things that can be done to keep hearts healthy, according Dr. Martha Grogan, medical editor-in-chief of Mayo Clinic Healthy Heart for Life.

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10:49am

Fri February 1, 2013
Health and Welfare

Improving Kentucky's Mental Health Requires Identifying Children's Needs Early

Credit Creative Commons

Many people may think that addressing mental health needs in Kentucky relies mostly on more funding, but its effectiveness hinges more on the ability to identify children who need help and make sure they get it early, two experts said on cn|2's "Pure Politics" Tuesday.

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10:44am

Fri February 1, 2013
Health and Welfare

Seven Obesity Myths Debunked

Credit Creative Commons

Think going to gym class drives weight loss, or that breastfeeding protects a child from obesity? Think again, because these are among seven popular myths about obesity myths, according to an international team of researchers. The seven popular but largely inaccurate beliefs, which lead to poor policy decisions, inaccurate public-health recommendations and wasted resources, were identified by the team led by David Allison, associate dean for science in the School of Public Health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

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2:36pm

Thu January 31, 2013
Health and Welfare

KentuckyOne's Headquarters to be in Louisville

Credit KentuckyOne Health

KentuckyOne Health's headquarters will be in downtown Louisville in the Jewish Hospital Medical Plaza building, the health system announced Thursday. The decision is expected to add 10 new full-time jobs—$1.3 million in new annual payroll, according to a related news release from Greater Louisville Inc.

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4:59pm

Wed January 30, 2013
Health and Welfare

State Health Plan Launches Discount Program with Walmart

Credit Creative Commons

Kentucky Employees' Health Plan members will receive access to Vitality HealthyFood, a program that makes plan members who shop at Walmart eligible for 5 percent savings on products including fresh fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy. The products carry Walmart's "Great for You" icon.

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12:39pm

Tue January 29, 2013
Health and Welfare

Experts Say Prescription Epidemic Stems from Societal Shift

The prescription-painkiller epidemic stems partly from an evolution of society's views toward pain and how to deal with it, said experts at "The Different Faces of Substance Abuse" conference in Lexington Jan. 23-24. "The entire society's viewpoint of pain and the management of pain has completed shifted," said Dr. Ryan Stanton, an emergency physician and conference panelist.

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5:54pm

Mon January 28, 2013
Health and Welfare

Experts Explain Changes to Prescription-Tracking System

The Kentucky All-Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting system, the key to fighting doctor-shopping for painkillers in the state, has undergone several changes since the legislature passed House Bill 1 last year to crack down on so-called pill mills. An expert panel at "The Different Faces of Substance Abuse"conference last week in Lexington addressed the more recent changes to KASPER.

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12:02pm

Fri January 25, 2013
Health and Welfare

Health Reform will Let Insurers Charge Smokers Higher Premiums

Credit Creative Commons

"Millions of smokers could be priced out of health insurance" because the health-care reform law
will let health-insurance companies charge smokers as much as 50 percent more starting next year" on individual policies, according to experts who are just now teasing out the potential impact of a little-noted provision in the massive legislation," The Associated Press reports.

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10:48am

Fri January 25, 2013
Health and Welfare

Health Departments Prepare for Challenges Posed by Reform Laws

No one really has a clue what changes from the health-care reform law will mean to Kentuckians and public health departments are preparing for the uncertainty, reports Kristy Cox of Business Lexington. "The Affordable Care Act will have an impact on health departments.  It is going to put a whole lot more people out there on the street on health insurance" of one kind or another, Dr. Rice Leach, head of the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department, told Cox.

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10:45am

Fri January 25, 2013
Health and Welfare

Statewide Poll Shows Registered Voters Favor Medicaid Expansion

A statewide poll last month found that most registered voters in Kentucky, when presented with specific facts and options, generally favored expansion of Medicaid under federal health-care reform. Similar results were found in six other states surveyed by a bipartisan pair of pollsters working for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.

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5:36pm

Wed January 23, 2013
Health and Welfare

Vaccines Can Prevent Virus-Linked Cancers

With a simple vaccine, you can avoid HPV-linked cancer, including cervical cancer and many cancers of the mouth, throat, anus and genitals, which constitute more than 3 percent of all U.S. cancer diagnoses. Vaccination against the human papilloma virus (HPV) thwarts the virus’s spread, wrecks its ability to jump between people and inhibits a virus that in 2009 led to a cancer diagnosis for 30,000 people in the U.S., according to the National Cancer Insititue.

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5:34pm

Wed January 23, 2013
Health and Welfare

UK Promotes Tobacco-Free Policy With Community Report Line

The University of Kentucky promotes compliance and enforcement of its tobacco-free policy through a community report line, among many other measures.  Although the report line was established last spring, its mention in recent campus communications suggests a hightened emphasis on compliance measures.

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1:56pm

Wed January 23, 2013
Health and Welfare

A Smoke Detector Campaign in Pike County

Firefighters are prepared to install more than 200 smoke detectors in Pike County homes.  The 250 detectors were donated by a manufacturer.  The campaign follows the fire-related deaths earlier this month of a father and his four children.  Pike County Emergency Management Director Doug Tackett says that fatal house fire has many families wanting smoke detectors.  “I certainly hope that it will because we don’t want to see another tragedy like that again.  It’s really important that they get their smoke detectors and get them installed.  If it saves one life, the whole program will be worth everything,” said Tackett.

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2:47pm

Tue January 22, 2013
Health and Welfare

Health-Care Law Addresses Tooth Decay in Children

Tooth decay is children's most common chronic health problem, and the 2010 federal health-care law addresses this problem by requiring insurers to cover pediatric dental services. But some advocates are concerned that the new benefits may not be sufficiently comprehensive or affordable, Michelle Andrews writes for The Washington Post.

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2:12pm

Tue January 22, 2013
Health and Welfare

McConnell Helped Amgen Delay Price Limits on Dialysis Drug

Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell
Credit Creative Commons

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, whose public statements usually emphasize the need to cut federal spending on entitlement programs, as they did in Lexington Friday, apparently passed up an opportunity to rein in Medicare spending when he signed off on a big favor for a significant campaign contributor in the fiscal-cliff deal.

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8:24am

Mon January 21, 2013
Health and Welfare

A Campaign on Curves

Lexington transportation activist Gerard Gerhardt.
Credit Stu Johnson / WEKU News

Highway safety comes in many shapes and sizes….not all of them from official government sources.   Governments set speed limits, improve roadways, and battle bad drivers.  But, for more than a decade, a Lexington man has argued the experts are not perfect.  

“You have a highway memorial here.  A burned out tree here.  Another highway memorial there.  Over my lifetime, I’m gonna guess maybe 15, 20 people have died at that same spot, that same stretch of road.”

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2:21pm

Sun January 20, 2013
Health and Welfare

UK to Manage Eastern State Hospital

Herald-Leader photo by Mark Mahan: Hospital nears completion

The University of Kentucky will manage the new Eastern State Hospital, replacing theBluegrass Regional Mental Health-Mental Retardation Board, which has operated the current facility since 1995. The new hospital, being built on UK's Coldstream Research Campus off Newtown Pike, will replace an outdated facility along that boulevard in central Lexington.

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2:19pm

Sun January 20, 2013
Health and Welfare

Poll Shows Depth of Prescription Drug Abuse in Kentucky

One-third of Kentucky adults have friends or relatives who have experienced problems from abusing prescription pain relievers, and 8 percent have used pain medicine when it wasn't prescribed or for the feeling it caused, according to a statewide poll conducted last fall.

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2:49pm

Thu January 17, 2013
Health and Welfare

School Nurses Become Scarce in Some Counties

Students in many Kentucky counties will find it harder to see a school nurse due to changes in the state Medicaid program and lack of payment from managed-care companies. In Crittenden County schools, budget woes have forced the Pennyrile District Health Department to request additional money from the school district to keep its school health clinics fully-staffed and open, reports Jason Travis of The Crittenden Press.  Allison Beshear, director of the health department, told Travis one reason from the budget crunch is a lack of payment from Kentucky Spirit, which owes the health department $266,000.

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12:27pm

Thu January 17, 2013
Health and Welfare

New U of L Public-Health Dean has Rural Health Background

Craig H. Blakely, dean at the School of Rural Public Health at Texas A&M University, has been named dean of the University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences. U of L has a role in rural health in Western Kentucky, overseeing the Area Health Education Centers in the region.

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12:19pm

Thu January 17, 2013
Health and Welfare

Flu Closes Several Kentucky Schools

Flu forced the Lawrence County School District to announce on Wednesday that it will be closed until Tuesday. According to a report in The Levisa Lazer, school officials said once attendance dropped below 80 percent, local doctors suggested closing the schools to reduce the spread of the illness.

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3:59pm

Tue January 15, 2013
Health and Welfare

Childhood Obesity Linked to More Immediate Health Problems

While a plethora of research on childhood obesity has linked it to long-term health problems, a new UCLA study focuses on the condition's more proximate consequences, showing that obese children are at a greater risk for immediate health problems than previously thought. That's important for Kentucky, which ranks poorly in many health measures and is third highest in child obesity. (Photo by Tara Kaprowy)

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3:17pm

Tue January 15, 2013
Health and Welfare

Kentucky Health Co-Op Not in Danger After Fiscal Cliff Cuts

One lesser-known aspect of the Affordable Care Act is it’s reliance on state health cooperatives —  which work separate of the state- or federally run health exchange, but are free to offer their own brand of insurance on the exchange. But recent Congressional deal-making is putting those co-ops in danger.

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5:42pm

Mon January 14, 2013
Health and Welfare

Experts Say it's Not Too Late to Get the Flu Shot

It's not too late to get your flu shot, even though the flu has hit earlier and more broadly than usual, experts say. It generally takes about two weeks for a flu vaccine to be most effective, said Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Getting the shot in mid-January might seem too late, but it's "better late than never," he said during a teleconference Friday.

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6:16am

Mon January 14, 2013
Health and Welfare

Flu Numbers Still Up

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Kentucky has spent five weeks at its highest level of flu, which is far more than last year. That means more than half of the state’s regions have reported an increased number of cases. Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services spokesperson Gwenda Bond says although this year’s outbreak is more severe than previous years, it is not too out of the ordinary.

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4:24pm

Fri January 11, 2013
Health and Welfare

Report Shows Electronic Health Records Haven't Cut Costs

Conversion to electronic health records hasn't produced hoped-for savings in health care costs predicted by a 2005 report, and it's had mixed results in improving efficiency and patient care, according to a RAND Corporation report. RAND's 2005 predictions helped drive growth in the electronic records industry and encourage billions of dollars in subsidies from the federal government to hospitals and doctors to implement such systems, Reed Abelson and Julie Creswell of The New York Times report.

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5:11pm

Thu January 10, 2013
Health and Welfare

Coalition Backs Westrom in Support of Proposed Smoking Ban

A coalition of health groups say they will give state Rep. Susan Westrom, D-Lexington, the most public support ever for a bill to ban smoking in Kentucky restaurants and workplaces, a bill she's tried to get passed twice, Jacqueline Pitts of CN2 reports. The coalition, which includes Smoke-Free Kentucky and the American Lung Association, revealed plans yesterday for a two-week ad campaign about the benefits of a statewide smoking ban law.

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4:38pm

Wed January 9, 2013
Health and Welfare

Health Group Launches Ad Campaign for Smoking Ban Support

A newspaper and online advertising campaign calling for "a comprehensive, statewide smoke-free law" is hitting Kentucky news outlets this week, as the legislature convenes. The campaign was launched by Smoke-Free Kentucky Coalition, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The ad can viewed here.

10:54am

Wed January 9, 2013
Health and Welfare

NKU Aims to Ban Tobacco on Campus

University campuses appear to be the newest battlegrounds over tobacco use. As Northern Kentucky University prepares to take its first steps toward becoming a tobacco-free campus, the University of Cincinnati has backed off because of the lack of widespread support. NKU’s governing Board of Regents is expected to vote today on banning tobacco from the Highland Heights campus.

5:36pm

Mon January 7, 2013
Health and Welfare

Independent Poll Shows Adults Favor Statewide Smoking Ban

Kentuckians now favor a statewide smoking ban by a margin of 3 to 2, according to the latest Kentucky Health Issues Poll conducted last fall for the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. Interestingly, 38 percent of the Kentucky adults polled said they were smokers, much more than the 29 percent found by ongoing federal surveys. Among those identified as smokers, 37 percent favored such a law, while it was favored by 68 percent of former smokers and 75 percent of those who said they had never smoked.

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