Health and Welfare

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

Credit Creative Commons

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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1:24pm

Tue February 19, 2013
Health and Welfare

Physician Suggests Medically Unnecessary Procedures a Broad Problem in Eastern Kentucky

St. Joseph London Hospital is taking heat over accusations of performing medically unnecessary cardiac catheterizations and other invasive cardiac procedures, and a look at the health data by a Kentucky physician suggests that the phenomenon is broader and reflects cultural problem in Eastern Kentucky.

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5:50pm

Wed February 13, 2013
Health and Welfare

Poll Shows 28 Percent of Adults in Kentucky Lack Health Insurance

Nearly three in 10 working-age adults in Kentucky are not covered by any form of health insurance, and the number who get health insurance from their employer, or their spouse’s employer, has plummeted since 2008, the first year of the Great Recession, according to the latest Kentucky Health Issues Poll. The decline accelerated in the last year, and was accompanied by a big jump in the percentage on public insurance.

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5:47pm

Wed February 13, 2013
Health and Welfare

State Ranks 10th in Nation for Injury-Related Deaths

Injuries are the third leading cause of death nationally, the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 1 and 44. Kentucky is among the nation's most problematic states, and it could take several more steps to prevent injuries, says a new state-by-state report on injury-prevention policy.

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12:40pm

Tue February 12, 2013
Health and Welfare

Nursing Homes Push for Lawsuit Protection

A state Senate committee has approved a bill that would require lawsuits against nursing homes to clear a review panel before going to court, a move that has drawn very sharp criticism from the editorial pages of the state's two largest newspapers. Meanwhile, the nursing-home industry is running television and radio ads urging calls to legislators in favor of the measure, which the Senate Health and Welfare Committee approved 7-4 last Wednesday without hearing from its opponents.

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12:34pm

Tue February 12, 2013
Health and Welfare

Study Finds Southern Diets Linked to Increased Stroke Risk

People with a Southern diet, or one heavy on friend food and sugary drinks like sweet tea and soft drinks, are more likely to suffer a stroke, a new study finds. It's the first big look at diet and strokes, and researchers say it might help explain people in the nation's "stroke belt" or southern states suffer more of them, reports Marilynn Marchione of The Associated Press.

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4:07pm

Mon February 11, 2013
Health and Welfare

Know Your Heart Numbers

An on-line test could help Kentuckians spot the warning signs for heart disease.  A study from the state Cabinet of Health and Family Services shows only 15 percent of Kentuckians recognize the signs and symptoms of heart disease.  Fayette County Health Department dietician Melissa Smith says a test on the American Heart Association web site could help.

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6:22am

Mon February 11, 2013
Health and Welfare

The Number of 'Scald Burns' Remains Consistent

In any given week, three to five burn patients could be treated at the University of Kentucky Hospital.  About half of the injuries in young children are typically ‘scald burns.  A ‘scald burn’ can happen in just a matter of seconds.  University of Kentucky Burn Unit Director Leslie Wong says many children are injured after pulling a hot liquid down off a counter.

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10:33am

Fri February 8, 2013
Health and Welfare

Stumbo Says Smoking Ban Close to a House Vote

Credit Creative Commons

For the second straight year, the state House Health and Welfare Committee has approved a bill that would ban smoking in enclosed public places or workplaces. It is still unlikely to become law, but might get farther in the legislative process.

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1:09pm

Thu February 7, 2013
Health and Welfare

Beshear Calls for Action to Improve State's Health

His priorities were education and tax reform, but Gov. Steve Beshear mentioned several health issues in his State of the Commonwealth speech tonight to a joint session of the General Assembly. Beshear called for action to correct the state's "fundamental weaknesses," including "a population whose health ranks among the worst in the nation." Near the end of his speech, he said, "We need to continue improving the health of our people," but after about a minute of discussing tobacco and smoking he stopped short of endorsing a statewide ban on smoking in the workplace. (KET photo)

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2:58pm

Fri February 1, 2013
Health and Welfare

Shop and Share Weekend

Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear is once again encouraging grocery shoppers to purchase a few extra items for the 15 domestic violence shelters across the commonwealth.  It’s all part of the fifth annual Shop and Share Day.    “And the idea is that each one of us goes this coming Saturday, February 2nd and as you are purchasing your items for your Super Bowl Party, that you think about helping others that are so desperate. There’ll be a volunteer in all of our stores and they’ll give you a list as to what are needed in your local shelter,” said Beshear.

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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

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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

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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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