Health and Welfare

4:39pm

Thu March 22, 2012
Health and Welfare

Health Illiteracy Drives Care Costs

Health Literacy Summit Logo
healthliteracyky.org

Of the problems facing the nation's health care system, one rarely discussed factor helping up drive up costs is something called "health literacy." Like many health care-related issues, it’s a problem that affects not just patients but medical professionals."You could have a PhD and be very health illiterate," says Deborah Murray, associate director of the Health Education Though Extension Leadership program and organizer of a Health Literacy Summit taking place in Lexington.

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5:29pm

Wed March 21, 2012
Health and Welfare

Campaign Against Smoking

Kick Butts Day at the YCMA in Beaumont Circle
Josh James

A coalition of organizations is rallying Wednesday to urge lawmakers and citizens to take a stronger stance against smoking in the Commonwealth. “Kick Butts Day” is focusing on preventing young people from taking up the habit. Evidence of the 17th annual “Kick Butts Days” is on display at the YMCA of Central Kentucky in Beaumont Circle Wednesday, as the lobby is filled with pamphlets, displays, and organizers such as Betsy Janes with the American Lung Association.

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4:12pm

Tue March 20, 2012
Health and Welfare

Personal Care Home Report

Residents of a personal care home eating at separate tables.
Photo by Kentucky Protection & Advocacy

A state agency that serves as a watchdog for people with disabilities says the Commonwealth is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by placing people with mental illnesses in personal care homes. A personal care home is a long-term care facility for residents who do not need intensive care but do require more than just room and board. There are more than 6,000 personal care home beds in Kentucky. A report issued this week by Kentucky Protection and Advocacy found that people in these facilities are not given opportunities to interact with others or be part of the community.

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2:49pm

Sun March 18, 2012
Health and Welfare

New Clark Medical Center Dedicated

Ninety-five years after the original Clark County Hospital opened on Wainscott Avenue, local and state officials gathered with community members to celebrate the completion of the new Clark Regional Medical Center on Lexington Road. “Boy, what a project it’s been,” hospital CEO Kathy Love said. “We’ve had incredible partnerships, incredible vision and incredible foresight.” LifePoint Hospitals purchased Clark Regional Medical Center in May 2010 and construction began in September 2010. The facility is licensed for 100 beds and is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, allowing staff to expand medical services.

11:45am

Tue March 13, 2012
Health and Welfare

Public Smoking Ban Clears First Frankfort Hurdle

A proposal for a Kentucky statewide smoking ban has cleared its first hurdle. The House Health and Welfare committee passed the bill today. The bill was expected to pass easily, but a few Republicans did vote against the measure because of concern for individual property rights.Lexington doctor Sylvia Cerel-Suhl supports the ban. She says it’s her right to go out in public and not be subjected to second-hand smoke.

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3:20pm

Thu March 8, 2012
Health and Welfare

Thousands of Alzheimer’s Patients Living Alone

A new report today from the Alzheimer’s Association says more than 11,000 Kentuckians diagnosed with the disease still live alone, and up to half of them have no identifiable caregiver. In Indiana, the number exceeds 17,000. Teri Shirk, president of the association’s Kentucky and southern Indiana chapter,says the numbers are climbing as more people live to be senior citizens, with many having no family members to look after them.

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10:29am

Fri March 2, 2012
Health and Welfare

Slow Medicaid Payments Trouble Physicians

Three private companies that took over management of Kentucky’s Medicaid system in November have become a clogged channel between payments from the state and the hospitals and doctors who need the money. Jennie Stuart Medical Center, the Christian and Todd County health departments and Pennyroyal Mental Health Center are awaiting months’ worth of back payments, causing major budget shortfalls.

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5:47am

Fri March 2, 2012
Health and Welfare

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month

The Kentucky Department for Public Health, along with the Kentucky Cancer Program at the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville, is helping to promote “Dress in Blue Day” by asking Kentuckians to wear blue on Friday to promote colon cancer screening. During a rally at the Capitol, Gov. Steve Beshear signed a proclamation designating March 2012 Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. In his current budget proposal, Beshear seeks funding for the colon cancer screening for 4,000 uninsured Kentuckians.

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12:12pm

Tue February 28, 2012
Health and Welfare

Colon Cancer Target of Public-Private Partners

Several healthcare groups have come together in a public-private partnership to fight cancer in Kentucky. The newly-formed Kentucky Cancer Foundation is part of a two-million-dollar initiative to help uninsured Kentuckians get cancer screenings. In his proposed two year budget, Governor Steve Beshear earmarked half a million dollars each year for colon cancer screenings. He also proposed raising another million from a public-private partnership.

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5:09pm

Thu February 23, 2012
Health and Welfare

Bill's Eye: It’s Kentucky Kids Who Count

For a few minutes today, let’s put aside expanded gambling, redistricting, Medicaid, and pill mills and talk about Kentucky kids. In a Weekly Wrap-up, Kentucky Youth Advocates (KYA)  is writing about the plight of the children in the Commonwealth. It is not a pretty picture. One of Executive Director’s Terry Brook’s brightest policy analysts has taken a look at the latest annual national snapshot from the  Annie E. Casey Foundation and found some disturbing news for kids in Kentucky.

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2:06pm

Thu February 23, 2012
Health and Welfare

Kids "Brush Off" In Unison

Kids at Booker T. Washington Academy exit the 'Brush Off' rally.
Josh James Kentucky Public Radio

February is National Children's Dental Health Month and hundreds of students at a local elementary school brushed their teeth in unison at an assembly this/Thursday morning as part of the first annual "Brush Off!" event. The rally at Booker T. Washington Academy was meant to urge kids to adopt good oral hygiene habits. But for student Samantha Wiggington, avoiding drills and fillings might be all the encouragement she needs. 

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2:27pm

Tue February 21, 2012
Health and Welfare

Former UK Coach Honored

Joe B. Hall

Former UK basketball coach Joe B. Hall is a busy fellow these days. One of his pursuits is a daily statewide radio show with former U of L coach Denny Crum. Hall, now 83, recalls the moment back in 1997 when his heart stopped him in his tracks and led to his being honored Saturday as a survivor at the Lexington Heart Ball. Hall replaced the legendary Adolph Rupp as UK coach and led the Wildcats to an NCAA championship in 1978. He retired as coach in 1985.

10:51am

Tue February 21, 2012
Health and Welfare

Study Sees No Clear Link Between Health and Mining

A new study out of Yale University offers evidence that coal mining isn’t directly to blame for Appalachia’s health problems—but it could play a part. For years, researchers have tried to figure out why people in Appalachia contract diabetes, heart disease and various cancers at higher rates than most of the country. Several studies out of West Virginia University found links between some of those maladies and coal mining. The new study,from researchers at Yale’s School of Public Health, suggests the causes are more complicated.

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8:26am

Tue February 21, 2012
Health and Welfare

Third Try at Mandatory AEDs in Schools

For the third time, a bill that would provide grants to put heart-shocker machines in all US schools is making the rounds in Congress. And, an obstacle that’s stopped this bill before could once again halt it.

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9:43am

Mon February 20, 2012
Health and Welfare

Smile Kentucky Provides Dental Care

Dr. Eric Abang prepares Friday to treat a student's cavity, aided by dental assistant Lisa Compton at Elizabethtown Dentistry for Children. The child was receiving treatment for free as part of the Smile Kentucky program.
Jill Pickett/The News-Enterprise

Dr. Marianne Sheroan eased her patient’s fears of a cavity treatment by telling her that she was receiving “princess fillings.” And they were indeed pretty special, because for the patient, they were free. More than 60 children received free dental work in the past few weeks as part of the Smile Kentucky program. The program in Hardin County screens every third grader and relays the assessments of dental needs to parents. But for about 70 students, the needed treatment is provided free by dental professionals who volunteer with the program.

8:08am

Sat February 18, 2012
Health and Welfare

Local Food Fair at Transy

Transylvania University's first-ever local food fair attracted a larger crowd than expected Friday. There were three letters on the lips of nearly everyone at the fair: CSA. It stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Organizer Angela Dossett said CSAs are like Farmer's Markets, only they allow growers and buyers to forge a different kind of bond. "You invest in a farm at the beginning of the growing season and then all through the growing season you get beautiful boxes of produce every week," Dossett said.

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12:49pm

Fri February 17, 2012
Health and Welfare

Schools Receive Money to Promote Health

The Kentucky Department for Public Health and its partners have selected 41 high schools to receive grants to develop or improve the nutritional, physical activity or tobacco prevention policies at their schools. The $500 grants are part of the Students Taking Charge program offered by Kentucky Action for Healthy Kids. Students Taking Charge provides students with the tools necessary to develop healthy policies and environments within their schools, according to a state press release.

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6:01am

Fri February 17, 2012
Health and Welfare

Eighth Hand Transplant in Louisville

An Indiana man has become the eighth person to receive a hand transplant at Louisville’s Jewish Hospital.Fifty-six year old Ronald Thurman of Marion received a new right hand in a 15-and-a-half hour procedure that ended early Thursday morning. The donor hand came from a 22 year old Texas man who lost his life in a car accident.

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2:48pm

Thu February 16, 2012
Health and Welfare

School Lunch Overhaul on the Way

Audrey Rowe, USDA Administrator for the Food and Nutrition Service, talks with eighth-graders, left, Becca Penn, 14, and right, Taylor Boggs, 13, during Rowe's visit to Elkhorn Middle School Wednesday.
Hannah Reel/The State Journal

Elkhorn Middle School eighth-grader Hanna Sewell sat at the lunch table Wednesday behind a foam tray that held a hamburger and french fries. A few feet away, officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Kentucky Department of Education were eating lunch too. They stopped by Elkhorn Middle Wednesday to promote new federal guidelines that will cut sodium, add whole grains and provide a wider selection of fruits and vegetables on the side of school lunches nationwide. Announced just a few weeks ago, it’s the first major nutritional overhaul of school meals in more than 15 years. Some of the changes will take place when kids return to school this fall; others will be phased in over time.

2:30pm

Thu February 16, 2012
Health and Welfare

Panel Approves Care Home Bill

Larry Lee

Six months after a brain-injured Lebanon man disappeared from a Falmouth personal care home and died, a panel of lawmakers approved a bill Wednesday aimed at preventing similar deaths. Larry Lee's family mounted an extensive search to find the 32-year-old man with a history of mental illness, but it was four weeks after his August disappearance before Lee's body was found on the banks of the Licking River not far from Falmouth Nursing Home in Pendleton County. The personal care home where he was placed by the state did not have adequate services for Lee, his family said.

2:15pm

Tue February 14, 2012
Health and Welfare

Flu Cases On the Rise in Lexington

A spokesman with the Fayette County Health Department says the flu season so far, has been mild. Kevin Hall says there are fewer confirmed cases to report than at this same time last year. "The flu is down. Last year at this time we had 160 cases. The average age then was about twenty-five. We're looking at about 18 right now, so you can see that it is trending younger."

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1:58pm

Tue February 14, 2012
Health and Welfare

UK Heart Transplant Group Celebrates

Members of a heart transplant support group met for a special Valentine's Day celebration at UK hospital Tuesday. "Organ donation saves lives," Dr. Charles Shelton, a recovering heart transplant patient at UK, ended his speech at the Valentine's Day get-together of the Heart to Heart support group. They meet to share stories, update each other, and become part of a community.

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4:55pm

Mon February 13, 2012
Health and Welfare

Jane Beshear Unveils Women's Health Kiosk

First lady Jane Beshear Monday joined Dr. Mary Lynn Capilouto, Kentucky Commission on Women Executive Director Eleanor Jordan and other women health advocates to unveil a new interactive women’s wellness kiosk at the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center. “As women, wives and mothers, we tend to take on the role of caregiver, putting others’ needs above our own, and many times neglecting our own health,” Beshear said said in a press release.

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9:45am

Mon February 13, 2012
Health and Welfare

Managed Care Firms Struggle, Lose Some Providers

Since taking over a portion of Kentucky’s Medicaid system, Managed Care Organization (MCO) Kentucky Spirit Health Plan has lost nearly 70,000 members while some healthcare professionals are questioning whether the three new private operators can handle the state’s Medicaid program.

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12:00am

Mon February 13, 2012
Health and Welfare

Video Battle Against Teen Drinking

Over the last eight years, over 600 Kentucky teenagers have used video to deliver warnings against ‘underage drinking.’  The lasting impact is hard to gauge, but participating youth and adults are confident lessons are learned.  The Keep-It-Real Contest puts a high school student’s creativity to the test by asking them to develop a 30 second video message.  Donna Weisenhahn  with the Bluegrass Prevention Center believes the project has become more than a warning against the dangers of ‘drinking and driving.’

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11:57am

Fri February 10, 2012
Health and Welfare

More Bugs Forecast This Spring

Mild weather this winter could result in major bug infestations this spring.  Since December, University of Kentucky Entomologist Lee Townsend says the central Kentucky area has only seen about 30 days  with freezing temperatures.  Normally, Townsend says, that figure can reach as high as 50 days.   As a result, Townsend says more insects may survive the winter.

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11:26am

Fri February 10, 2012
Health and Welfare

Beshear Confident in Medicaid Managed Care

Governor Steve Beshear says the problems with Kentucky’s new Medicaid Managed Care system will be resolved. Beshear pushed for the managed care system last year to take some of the administrative burden of Medicaid off of the state. But earlier this week, doctors, pharmacists and hospital officials told lawmakers there were significant problems with the system. Specifically, care providers are owed millions of dollars in claim payments and have struggled to get pre-authorizations for procedures and medications.

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3:06pm

Wed February 8, 2012
Health and Welfare

Medicaid Reforms "Disastrous" in the Commonwealth

Kentucky’s private Medicaid providers say they need immediate changes in the state Medicaid system. Kentucky turned the system over to managed care providers four months ago. And today doctors, pharmacists and hospital executives told a Senate committee how disastrous the change has been. Kentucky currently contracts with four Managed Care Organizations, known as MCOs. Passport is based in Louisville, while Kentucky Spirit, WellCare and Coventry Cares operate statewide.

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12:48pm

Sun February 5, 2012
Health and Welfare

Head Injury Bill Receives House Support

State House lawmakers, in a rare show of unity, unanimously approved a bill requiring high school and middle school coaches to obtain more training to recognize and treat concussions and other head injuries. Rep. Ben Waide, a Madisonville Republican, said new medical information has surfaced within the past two years pointing to the dangers of head injuries.

12:41pm

Sun February 5, 2012
Health and Welfare

Northern Kentucky Looks to Limit Smoking

Judy Jackson smokes a cigarette as she sits on the porch of her home in Latonia Terrace. Jackson called a proposal to ban smoking in public housing "outrageous."
Patrick Reddy/Kentucky Enquirer

Northern Kentucky's smoking opponents lost a battle last year when Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties decided not to impose indoor smoking bans for restaurants and other businesses. But the Northern Kentucky Health Department is trying to clear the smoke from other areas, including Covington’s public housing projects and the city’s swimming pools. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last month awarded the health department and city $26,950 to explore non-smoking policies in its housing-authority apartments and $4,000 more to expand smoke-free areas around three city pools and a water park.

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