Health and Welfare

2:51pm

Wed January 18, 2012
Health and Welfare

Determining a Tornado

Officials from the National Weather Service will visit Franklin County today to determine if Tuesday’s downed power lines and roof damage were caused by straight-line winds or a tornado. About seven storage units at Ratliff’s Self Storage Center on U.S. 421 were damaged after strong winds tore through the area around noon Tuesday, said manager Leslie Driskell.  One of those units belongs to KB Construction, and the owner, Kevin Breeck, was inside when the storm came through. He said he was just leaving when the winds picked up.

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10:34pm

Tue January 17, 2012
Health and Welfare

Meth Issues in central Kentucky

The communities of far western Kentucky were among the first to feel the effects of methamphetamine production and addiction several years ago.   Both meth production and use have spread to most all corners of the commonwealth.  The problem can’t always be measured in the number of meth labs in a given area.  Lexington police detective Byron Smoot says local investigators typically find only a handful of meth labs in a given year.  But, he says Lexington ranks second in the number of pharmacies among Kentucky cities.  Smoot says groups of four to five people often come to Fayette County to buy cold remedies with pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in meth production.

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4:42pm

Tue January 17, 2012
Health and Welfare

UK Opens Student Wellness Center

A new center dedicated to student wellness has opened at the University of Kentucky. The Promoting and Achieving Wellness for Students Center, or PAWS, is intended for students with broad questions about their health. Fadyia Lowe, Health Education Coordinator for the University Health Service, says the center, which will provide health screenings and guidance for students, has been in the works for some time.

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3:00pm

Mon January 16, 2012
Health and Welfare

Better Bites Expanding at Lexington Pools

 The healthy way to a kid’s stomach may be found at a pool concession stand during the swimming season.   An expanded menu of healthy foods is planned in Lexington this summer.  The ‘Better Bites’ menu includes fruit, a grilled chicken sandwich, and bottled water.  It was posted at the Woodland and Southland Aquatic Centers this past summer.  Anita Courtney is chair of the Lexington Tweens Nutrition and Fitness Coalition.   She says the healthy menu will be offered at two additional pools this year.

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5:27am

Mon January 16, 2012
Health and Welfare

Child Welfare Recommendations

Kentucky Youth Advocates will propose three main recommendations this week for changes to the state’s child welfare system, according to executive director Terry Brooks.  Nearly 250 Kentuckians attended a summit this weekend to discuss those changes, including Janie Miller, secretary for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Attendees heard dozens of recommendations but the decision to narrow down ideas came down to the ideas’ impact and feasibility for government to make the change, said Brooks.

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3:01pm

Sun January 15, 2012
Health and Welfare

Debate Over Prescription-Only Cold Meds

Kentucky lawmakers may soon vote on legislation that would require a prescription for cold medicines commonly used for making methamphetamine. Several local officials believe meth production in Kentucky will drop dramatically if such a law takes effect. The chemical in this medicine, pseudoephedrine, is the only ingredient absolutely necessary for making meth, Commonwealth’s Attorney Lynn Pryor said.

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2:59pm

Fri January 13, 2012
Health and Welfare

Wind Prep in Jan.

Meteorologists will tell you severe weather can strike most any time of the year across Kentucky.  Just prior to this snowy cold snap, the threat of thunderstorm activity was a part of the forecast.  That includes the possibility of tornadic activity.  Pat Dugger, Director of Lexington’s Division of Emergency Management, says more attention is being given to building ‘wind resistant’ homes and businesses.

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7:14am

Fri January 13, 2012
Health and Welfare

Summit to Address Child Welfare System

A summit to address the problems facing Kentucky’s child welfare system will be held in Louisville Saturday. Kentucky Youth Advocates has been a leader in questioning the state’s child welfare system since criticism of its practices arose last year when an employee for the Department of Health and Family Services was accused of not adequately investigating a case that led to a child’s death.

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4:21pm

Thu January 12, 2012
Health and Welfare

New Pacing Device

New technologies in pace making could reduce the need for some open heart operations in the years ahead.  So says Lexington electrophysiologist,  Dr Gery Tomassoni who’s worked with the ‘Unify Quadra.’  The cardiac device features four electrodes on the end of a pacing lead.  He says it can significantly improve ‘quality of life’ in heart patients.

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2:52pm

Thu January 12, 2012
Health and Welfare

More Testimoney on Ways to Stop Meth

Officials from outside of Kentucky are encouraging state lawmakers not to repeat their missteps in the fight against meth.  At a joint meeting of the House and Senate Judiciary committees, officials from Oklahoma and Mississippi testified about how they've restricted the purchase of pseudoephedrine (PSE)—a common decongestant in cold medicines and an integral ingredient in meth.

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2:19pm

Thu January 12, 2012
Health and Welfare

Child Therapists Might Close Doors

State Sen. Julie Denton, R-Louisville

Therapists who work with abused, neglected and at-risk children told a legislative panel Wednesday that they might have to close their doors if they don't receive back payments from the state soon. "Our business is struggling to keep the doors open," said Peggy Smith-Puckett, a licensed family and marriage therapist from Glasgow. "We have received only a small fraction of the money we have billed."

1:10pm

Wed January 11, 2012
Health and Welfare

Wellness Clinic Opens in Lexington

Lexington city employees and their families now have a place of their own to see a doctor or get healthy living advice.  This morning Mayor Jim Gray became the first official patient, by getting a blood test and having his blood pressure checked, at the new Dr. Samuel Brown Employee and Retiree Wellness Center. The mayor says the clinic will mean substantial savings for the entire community.

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5:50am

Tue January 10, 2012
Health and Welfare

U of L Hospital Officials React to Beshear's Rejection

University of Louisville Hospital officials say Gov. Steve Beshear’s decision to reject the proposed merger with two other health care entities will likely lead to cuts to indigent care.  Beshear met with U of L merger officials last week after rejecting a three-way merger with Jewish/St. Mary’s Health System and Catholic Health Initiatives. Last week Jewish/ St. Mary’s and CHI officials announced they have reached an agreement to merger without U of L, retroactive for Jan. 1, 2012.

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4:06pm

Mon January 9, 2012
Health and Welfare

eBay Removes Synthetic Marijuana Listings

Two Bowling Green women are taking on nationally known Internet sales sites to stop the spread of synthetic marijuana marketed as herbal incense or potpourri. "We want it banned as many places as we can get it banned so it's not accessible to anyone," said Amy Stillwell, who has become a local anti-drug activist after her 18-year-old daughter smoked the herbal potpourri known as 7H last year and landed in the emergency room from the reaction caused by the drug.

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4:00pm

Mon January 9, 2012
Health and Welfare

Beshear Turns Down Revised Hospital Merger

 

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has again rejected a proposed merger involving University of Louisville Hospital with Jewish/St. Mary’s Health System and Catholic Health Initiatives. Last month, the governor found business consolidation would result in the loss of a public asset and blocked the deal. The merger would’ve put University Hospital under a contract inspired by Catholic doctrine that would have blocked certain reproductive health procedures and change employee benefits.

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12:40pm

Fri January 6, 2012
Health and Welfare

Jewish/St. Mary’s to Merge With Catholic Health

Officials for Jewish/St. Mary’s Health System say they’ll merge with Catholic Health Initiatives without University of Louisville Hospital. Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear rejected the merger between the three healthcare systems late last week after Attorney General Jack Conway—who previously ruled University Hospital is a public entity—said a merger with CHI may lead to loss of control of a public asset.

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2:06pm

Wed January 4, 2012
Health and Welfare

Funding Allocated for Healthy Lifestyle Projects

Gov. Steve Beshear Wednesday announced funding for eight projects that encourage and enable children to walk or bicycle safely to school. “Once completed, these projects will provide an opportunity for more of our children to safely practice a healthy lifestyle by walking and riding their bikes to school,” Beshear said in a press release from his office.

12:19pm

Fri December 30, 2011
Health and Welfare

Synthetic Drugs a Problem for Officials

Contrary to efforts by some Kentucky counties, a Franklin County official is hesitant to call synthetic marijuana and bath salts a concern until he has more evidence. While bath salts have been banned in the state, County Attorney Rick Sparks says he would not support adding similar laws locally until he finds evidence the current ban is flawed when it comes to enforcement. Sparks says “the General Assembly spoke,” and he wants to work under the existing law to find if there are violations.

2:32pm

Wed December 28, 2011
Health and Welfare

Perscription Drug Deaths on the Rise

The body count from prescription drug overdoses has risen in Kentucky, and narcotics officers face a daily dilemma in trying to find time to investigate prescription drug trafficking while also being ready to dismantle a methamphetamine lab on a moment's notice. From 2009 to 2010 in Kentucky, prescription drug overdose deaths climbed from 78 a month to 82. While this year's statewide overdose death numbers won't be available until the middle of 2012, the drug task force in Warren County has seen a 30 percent increase in prescription drug trafficking cases in 2011.

10:23am

Tue December 20, 2011
Health and Welfare

Prescription Drug Abuse Highest in NKY

About one in 11 Northern Kentucky adults has used a pain reliever such as OxyContin, Vicodin or codeine when not prescribed or for the experience it caused, a new poll shows. That's higher than the one-in-16 statewide rate uncovered in the Kentucky Health Issues Poll. It also was the highest rate of any region in the state – including eastern Kentucky, where prescription drug abuse is a particular problem.

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10:20am

Tue December 20, 2011
Health and Welfare

Group Homes Lack State Oversight

Most of the men living on a campus of three aging homes off Versailles Road have mental illness or developmental disabilities. "I get the ones that nobody else wants," said owner Ralph Messner. He says he runs a good home and often works more than 65 hours a week to meet the needs of the residents. But Kentucky officials have been investigating allegations of poor living conditions and have expressed a concern about the lack of government oversight at the homes for at least the second time since 1996.

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1:39pm

Tue December 13, 2011
Health and Welfare

Organ Donors Honored at Rose Parade

Tony & Lisa Ocampo will celebrate the upcoming New Year with a new lease on life thanks to Tony Ocampo's recent kidney transplant.
Kentucky Public Radio

Once again, UK HealthCare will send roses and messages of hope to Pasadena, California for inclusion in the Donate Life float as part of the annual Tournament of Roses Parade. On Monday, the university paid tribute to 30 families whose loved ones posthumously gave so that others might live. Dr. Andrew Bernard, chief of trauma surgery at UK HealthCare, says more than 750 Kentuckians currently are on a waiting list for an organ or tissue transplant.

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7:29am

Tue December 13, 2011
Health and Welfare

Rally Against Hospital Merger

Civic advocacy groups and individuals met Monday to discuss what actions they can take against the proposed hospital merger between University Medical Center, Jewish/St. Mary’s Health System and a division of Catholic Health Initiatives. The Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression organized a discussion at City Hall around the controversial merger that has been criticized for lacking transparency.

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2:46pm

Sun December 11, 2011
Health and Welfare

Lack of Specialists at UK Affects Patients

Lisa Esenbock and her son Logan, 2, are adjusting to the retirement of UK's Dr. Charlton Mabry, the "Michael Jordan of newborn metabolic conditions.

The day before Thanksgiving, 2-year-old Logan Esenbock went into a trance-like state, then screamed for an hour. Logan suffers from PKU, a rare metabolic disorder that makes it hard to break down protein. The condition was caught 10 days after his birth through a state newborn screening program and he was formally diagnosed at the University of Kentucky. Until this summer, he'd been under the care of Dr. Charlton Mabry at UK's Mabry Metabolic Disease Unit. But Mabry, 81, retired this summer and hasn't been replaced. Instead, Logan's appointments — along with some 50 other patients being treated by Mabry — were canceled, and his mother was told another doctor wouldn't be available until January.

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2:40pm

Sun December 11, 2011
Health and Welfare

Hospice Needs Less Social Workers, More Nurses

Increased need for specialized medical care is prompting Hospice of the Bluegrass to add 10-12 nursing positions and cut 16 social workers, including three from the Frankfort office. According to Deede Byrne, chief clinical officer for Hospice of the Bluegrass, feedback from staff and families indicates a rise in nursing interventions over the last 10 years. “Our patients are a lot sicker than they used to be,” Byrne said in an interview with the State Journal. “A decade ago, the situation may have looked like a nursing home. Now it looks more like an ICU room.”

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5:20pm

Thu December 8, 2011
Health and Welfare

Tobacco Possible Flu Fighting Tool

Kentucky-grown tobacco could someday be used in the fight against influenza.  It’s the premise of research work underway at Kentucky Bio-Processing in Owensboro.  C-E-O Hugh Hayden says the western Kentucky company has worked on the experimental program with the U-S Department of Defense.  Hayden says proteins found in tobacco could be used to cultivate flu vaccines.

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10:50am

Thu December 8, 2011
Health and Welfare

The Struggle with Sleep Apnea

Carol Waldemayer is breathing and sleeping a lot easier these days. The Elizabethtown resident was diagnosed with sleep apnea roughly three years ago and has been receiving treatment ever since, the benefits of which have transformed her life for the better.

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10:26am

Tue December 6, 2011
Health and Welfare

Open Records Hearing Set in Hospital Merger Suit

A Jefferson Circuit judge has scheduled a December 21 hearing on whether the University of Louisville should turn over records requested by the county attorney related to the pending hospital merger. County Attorney Mike O’Connell filed a lawsuit last week seeking what he says are substantive financial and other documents involving taxpayer money regarding the pending merger of University of Louisville Hospital, Catholic Health Initiatives and Jewish Hospital and St. Mary’s HealthCare.

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10:06am

Mon December 5, 2011
Health and Welfare

Louisville Youth Asthma Hospitalizations Continue to Rise

Hospitalizations for youth asthma in Jefferson County rose significantly during the past decade, while the state has maintained relatively consistent levels, according to the annual Kids Count County Data Book released from Kentucky Youth Advocates with data from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

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3:39pm

Fri December 2, 2011
Health and Welfare

State Urges Kentuckians to Get Flu Vaccinations

State public health officials are encouraging Kentuckians to get a flu vaccination during National Influenza Vaccination Week, Dec. 4-10, to reduce the spread of illness this holiday season.

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