Health and Welfare

12:47pm

Fri August 31, 2012
Health and Welfare

Female Life Expectancy Declines in Rural Areas

The life expectancy of the average U.S. female increased 1.7 years from 1999 to 2009 -- 79.6 to 81.3 years. Good news on the whole, but Daily Yonder reporters Bill Bishop and Robert Gallardo went a little farther in their analysis of the data from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. They found that rural women hardly kept up, and some even lost ground in the decade while their urban sisters obviously gained from widespread health advances.

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10:50am

Wed August 29, 2012
Health and Welfare

Health Care Savings at Lexington City Hall

A new wellness and healthcare clinic for Lexington’s city workers is saving substantial money.  The Samuel Brown Center, which is just off Leestown Road, opened last January.  The clinic is managed by Marathon Health.  In the first half of 20-12, company Vice President David Demers says there’s been more than one million dollars in savings.

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2:51pm

Tue August 28, 2012
Health and Welfare

Health Boards to Address Community Issues

Christian County's health director told the county Board of Health last week that it "needs to spend less time on the health department’s budget and more time addressing big questions of community health," Nick Tabor writes for the Kentucky New Era. "The past four years, we haven’t talked about a lot of health issues. That’s going to change,” Director Mark Pyle told the 11-member board.

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1:59pm

Tue August 28, 2012
Health and Welfare

UK Medical Center Receives Triple-Designation Honor

Because they use extracorporeal (out-of-body) membrane oxygenation, or ECMO, to support patients, the University of Kentucky's Albert B. Chandler Hospital and Kentucky Children's Hospital have been awarded a triple designation from the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization. UK is just the fifth medical center to receive the triple-designation honor, reports UK's Allison Perry. (UK photo)

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1:55pm

Tue August 28, 2012
Health and Welfare

Fruit Costumes Promote Healthy Eating for Kids

Wanna get kids to eat more fruit and vegetables at lunch time? Dress up in a banana suit. That's what cafeteria workers do at an elementary school in Hallandale Beach, Fla. (MCT photo by Mike Stocker) "They love it," said intern Ericka Floyd while wearing the yellow costume. "Some kids want to bite me."

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2:39pm

Mon August 27, 2012
Health and Welfare

Tobacco Use Higher in Rural Areas

Tobacco use is higher among rural communities than in suburban and urban areas, and smokeless tobacco use is twice as common. According to the American Lung Association, rural youth are more likely to use tobacco and to start earlier than urban youth, perpetuating the cycle of tobacco addiction, death and disease.

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6:54am

Mon August 27, 2012
Health and Welfare

'Food for Thought' fed Homeless Panel

A weekend public forum on homelessness in Lexington included comments from a number of people living on the streets.  It was called an ‘open space’ dialogue.  Lafayette Hodges, who’s homeless, believes there’s interest in soliciting a broad range of ideas.  “They’re asking the people that are actually living the homeless life, what they need to do about it.  There’s a lot of great ideas that came out of that.  They did it before they decided what to do about homelessness is ask the people,” said Hodges.

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1:32pm

Sun August 26, 2012
Health and Welfare

Prescription Drug Abuse Could Worsen

Prescription drug abuse has dominated news headlines across the state over the last several weeks and new cases are leading officials to believe that more and more cases will be filed against physicians in and around Eastern Kentucky. Officials on both the state and federal level have been busy over the last year in taking action against a number of medical professionals, both in and around Pike County.

1:27pm

Sun August 26, 2012
Health and Welfare

Website Explores Affordable Care Act

One of the most complex and far-reaching pieces of legislation to pass in recent years is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the federal health-care reform law that, among other provisions, requires Americans to buy health insurance or pay a penalty. But because of its complexity, journalists can shy away from delving into stories about it.

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1:25pm

Sun August 26, 2012
Health and Welfare

Laurel Co. Man Discusses Bout with West Nile Virus

A Laurel County man has shared his story after contracting the West Nile Virus, which, though rare in Kentucky, has been more common nationwide this year than it has been since it was first discovered in 1999. Kelly Curens spent three weeks at the University of Kentucky medical center, much of which was spent in an induced coma. He started feeling sick after a camping trip at Lake Cumberland, reports Phil Penderton for WKYT-TV.

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4:51pm

Fri August 24, 2012
Health and Welfare

Indiana Farm Responsible for Salmonella Outbreak

Photo by Richard North for Gristmill

Health officials have zeroed in on a farm in southwestern Indiana responsible for at least some of the cantaloupe that were contaminated with salmonella, an outbreak that has sickened at least 50 Kentuckians and 178 people nationwide. It has also been associated with the death of two Kentuckians.

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1:23pm

Fri August 24, 2012
Health and Welfare

Program Discusses Dangers of Synthetic Drugs

From victim to medical practitioners to law enforcement, one theme was clear Thursday night during a two-hour program about synthetic drugs in Bowling Green: Not enough is known about this relatively new menace to our children. Even with new local, state and federal laws enacted this year against synthetic drugs, those who make and those who market what might be called “7H,” “Mr. Happy,” “K2,” “K3,” “Wicked X,” “Happy Hour” or “Head Trip” – among many trade names – continue to create chemical combinations that can’t be detected by drug screens and can fly under the radar of vigilant parents.

3:57pm

Thu August 23, 2012
Health and Welfare

Health Campaign Urges Cavity Prevention

Kids should brush their teeth twice a day for two whole minutes at a time, a new public-service campaign urges. The “Kids’ Healthy Mouths” campaign includes TV spots, print ads, a website, social media messages and other materials, reports Jennifer LaRue Huget for The Washington Post.

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3:31pm

Thu August 23, 2012
Health and Welfare

'West Nile' Cases Rare in Kentucky

A major outbreak of West Nile virus, so far, has skipped the Commonwealth.  Texas, meanwhile,  has been impacted significantly.   Since August, the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture reports four cases of West Nile virus in horses and one confirmed case in a resident of Henry County.  West Nile is spread by mosquitoes.   So far, Martin Evans, who’s a professor of Infectious Diseases at UK, says Kentucky has been lucky.

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1:34pm

Wed August 22, 2012
Health and Welfare

GOP Healthcare Reforms Outlined

Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul at Tuesday's Tea Party Rally in Frankfort.
Kenny Colston Kentucky Public Radio

Kentucky's two U.S. Senators, Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, are some of the most vocal opponents of the Affordable Care Act. The two co-headlined a Tea Party rally in Frankfort yesterday to protest the health care law. During the rally, Paul said he wants to not only repeal the law, but replace it with a different one. Other Republicans have taken a similar stance, but the details behind the Republicans' preferred approach are largely unknown.

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12:50pm

Tue August 21, 2012
Health and Welfare

Doctors Confused by Pill Mill Bill

Dr. Kathy Nieder, with patient charts (C-J photo by Michael Clevenger)

 Dr. Alvarado's medical practice in Winchester has prescribed controlled substances to 1,800 patients in Central Kentucky over the past three years. But he and other doctors in the practice decided to put down their pens four weeks ago. That’s because, Mike Wynn of The Courier-Journal reports, "The standards imposed under a new Kentucky law designed to crack down on prescription drug abuse are so strict and complex that he would go bankrupt in a month -- or worse -- if he were to continue prescribing controlled substances."

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9:33am

Tue August 21, 2012
Health and Welfare

Carlisle Nursing Home on "Troubled" List

A Carlisle nursing home has been placed on the federal government's list of troubled nursing homes in the United States. Johnson Mathers Nursing Home was placed on the federal list based on "poor compliance history over the past three years," Beth Fisher, a spokeswoman for the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services, said Monday. Among the problems at Johnson Mathers Nursing Home is a 2010 death that has been under review by the Kentucky Attorney General office.

4:00pm

Mon August 20, 2012
Health and Welfare

Open Enrollment Opens for Medicaid Patients

Kentuckians on Medicaid now have the opportunity to change healthcare providers for the first time in months. Open enrollment for all of the state except Louisville started today. It's the first time since Medicaid was privatized that residents can choose a new private operator to handle their care.

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11:35am

Mon August 20, 2012
Health and Welfare

Ever Changing Drought Climate

Kentucky has experienced a variety of weather conditions this summer.  Far western Kentucky remains in the grip of summer long drought.  But, after an early summer dry-spell, rain has returned to much of central and eastern Kentucky.  State Climatologist Stuart Foster says his hometown of Bowling Green is living up to its name.  “You can go from there where now it’s really no visual indication of drought to the traveler passing through and you can travel about a hundred miles to the west and to from what appears to be no drought to a very extreme drought situation and that’s pretty unusual,” said Foster.

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10:46am

Mon August 20, 2012
Health and Welfare

KY Ranks High in Obesity

Last week Kentucky got the kind of ranking you won't be seeing anybody brag about: A new government survey showed that 12 states, including our commonwealth, now have very high obesity rates. At least 30 percent of adults are obese in Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia. The figures came from a 2011 survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

1:52pm

Sun August 19, 2012
Health and Welfare

First Cases of the Flu Reported

Kentucky has its first confirmed cases of flu for the year, and officials are urging residents to get their vaccinations. (WYMT-TV photo) The Department for Public Health reports six confirmed cases in Boyd County of the H3N2 strain, which is included in this year's flu vaccine. No cases of flu that contain genetic material from swine flu have been reported in Kentucky this year.

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1:49pm

Sun August 19, 2012
Health and Welfare

Soda Loses Fizz in Public Schools

New research from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shows more than half of middle and high schools have purged the pop since the 2006-2007 school year. That year, 53.6 percent of high schools and 27.4 percent of middle schools gave students access to soda. In the 2010-2011 those numbers dropped to 25.3 in high schools and 12.5 percent in middle schools, reports Sarah Kliff for The Washington Post.

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1:37pm

Sun August 19, 2012
Health and Welfare

Medicaid Managed Care Open Enrollment Begins

FRANKFORT — The Kentucky Department for Medicaid Services has announced that Medicaid recipients in 104 Kentucky counties will have the opportunity to select coverage by a new managed care organization (MCO) during this year’s annual open enrollment period Aug. 20-Oct. 19.

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2:06pm

Fri August 17, 2012
Health and Welfare

Cantaloupes Connected to Salmonellosis Outbreak

FRANKFORT - The Department for Public Health today reported that cantaloupes tested in the state public health laboratory carry the same strain of Salmonella associated with a statewide outbreak that health officials say is still ongoing.

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9:29am

Fri August 17, 2012
Health and Welfare

KentuckyOne Health Cancels Contract with Coventry Cares

Kentucky's largest health care system on Thursday said it is terminating contracts at all its facilities with Medicaid managed care provider Coventry Cares. KentuckyOne Health — which formed earlier this year to operate Saint Joseph Health System and Jewish Hospital & St. Mary's HealthCare — said the terminations will be effective Nov. 1 for Jewish Hospital & St. Mary's HealthCare and Dec. 1 for Saint Joseph Health System.

11:31am

Thu August 16, 2012
Health and Welfare

Health Reform Law Could Improve AIDS Treatment

Thousands of Kentuckians with HIV or AIDS could have access to more effective treatment because of health care reforms if advocates and providers inform state officials what's needed to make it work — now. "It's like building a plane while we are flying a plane," said Amy Killelea, senior manager for health care access for the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors, a national advocacy group. Killelea spoke Wednesday, the second day of a two-day conference on AIDS and HIV that drew advocates and health providers from across Kentucky to Lexington.

9:14am

Thu August 16, 2012
Health and Welfare

Kentucky's Obesity Ranking Lower Than Last Year

The percentage of Kentucky adults who are obese is smaller than its was, but the state is still 10th in the country, according to a new, influential analysis by Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The report found 30.4 percent of Kentucky adults are obese, an improvement from last year's 31.5 percent and the state's sixth-place ranking. The numbers do not include the percentage of adults that are merely overweight.

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5:50am

Thu August 16, 2012
Health and Welfare

Health Exchange Debated

Kentucky lawmakers are frustrated by the lack of information on the state’s incoming health insurance exchange. The exchange is required under the healthcare law, and will allow Kentuckians to compare and purchase insurance plans.  At a meeting of the joint Health and Welfare committee, many lawmakers prodded members of the executive branch for details on the costs and operations of the exchange. But answers were lacking.

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10:38am

Tue August 14, 2012
Health and Welfare

Family Health Info Available at State Fair

FRANKFORT – Visitors to the Kentucky State Fair in Louisville this month can get information to help their families’ health and well-being through free screenings and educational activities at the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services exhibit. The interactive display, which will be located in the Health Horizons section of the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center’s South Wing B, features a chance to speak one on one with health educators and learn more about family services.

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5:14pm

Mon August 13, 2012
Health and Welfare

State Fair Taking Precautions to Prevent Swine Flu

With cases of swine flu popping up in adjoining states to the north, officials are taking precautions to prevent the disease from spreading at the Kentucky State Fair's Swine Pavilion. The fair starts Thursday. The state veterinarian staff will be inspecting all swine — between 650 and 675 pigs — and looking for signs of flu, which includes coughing, sneezing and labored breathing. Animals showing symptoms will be evaluated and tested for the disease. Exhibitors coming from out of state must show a certificate of veterinary inspection with 72 hours of arrival, The Courier-Journal reports. Fairgoers are encouraged to wash their hands frequently.

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