Health and Welfare

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

8:24am

Mon January 21, 2013
Health and Welfare

A Campaign on Curves

Lexington transportation activist Gerard Gerhardt.
Credit Stu Johnson / WEKU News
  • A Lexington man campaigns on additional signage for certain highway curves

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.”

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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)

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

5:34pm

Mon January 7, 2013
Health and Welfare

Legislature Likely to Review 'Pill Mill Bill'

State lawmakers could narrow the focus of last year's "pill mill bill" during the legislative session that begins tomorrow, to concentrate on adults with long-term prescriptions for frequently abused painkillers, John Cheves of the Lexington Herald-Leader reported yesterday. Doctors, hospitals and patients have complained that HB 1 in its current from "restricts too many drugs in too many clinical settings, needlessly complicating medical care in an effort to shut down storefront pain clinics that recklessly hand out prescriptions," Cheves writes.

Read more

5:32pm

Mon January 7, 2013
Health and Welfare

Health Agencies to Lose Employees

Environmental and food-safety inspections will be reduced by layoffs in four counties served by the Cumberland Valley District Health Department because of changes in the state Medicaid program, Nola Sizemore of the Harlan Daily Enterprise reports. Health departments in Harlan, Rockcastle, Clay and Jackson counties will lose a total of 14 employees later this month. (Enterprise photo: Harlan County Health Department)

Read more

10:59am

Mon January 7, 2013
Health and Welfare

Poll Shows Increased Support for Statewide Smoking Ban

Credit creative commons

The majority of Kentuckians — 59 percent — support a statewide smoking ban, says a poll conducted by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. Last year, the poll said for the first time that most Kentuckians supported banning smoking in  public establishments. This year, fewer than  38 percent of Kentuckians opposed such a ban. The rest had no opinion.

Read more

1:03pm

Sun January 6, 2013
Health and Welfare

Fiscal-Cliff Deal Revives Rural Hospital Program

Even though most of the hospital industry wasn't happy with the fiscal-cliff deal that will only pay half the $30 billion needed to avoid a 27 percent Medicare fee cut for doctors, the deal gave about 200 rural hospitals, including 10 in Kentucky, reason to celebrate. It extends a program that pays hospitals up to several millions of dollars a year because they have fewer than 100 beds, are located in rural areas and have a high percentage of Medicare patients, Phil Galewitz of Kaiser Health News reports.

Read more

1:18pm

Fri January 4, 2013
Health and Welfare

Pike County EMS Firm Closes

One of Pike County’s emergency medical service firms is officially shut down. Questcare EMS officially ceased all business operations effective Dec. 31 and is now slated for liquidation, according to a statement from the company. The announcement also signals the beginning of a void in EMS coverage in Pike County, one which other ambulance services are now attempting to fill.

5:46pm

Thu January 3, 2013
Health and Welfare

Health Care Reform Drives Hospital Mergers and Affiliations

Is your community's hospital one of the many rural hospitals considering sale, merger or affiliation with a larger hospital or group of hospitals, all options that are becoming more common, partly due to federal health-care reform? A recent article in HealthLeaders magazine, which examines some of the considerations, may inform your coverage.

Read more

5:40pm

Thu January 3, 2013
Health and Welfare

Beshear Announces Funding for Colon Cancer Screening

FRANKFORT - Ten local health departments across the state will receive grants to expand colon cancer screening services, Gov. Steve Beshear announced Thursday. Beshear sought funding for the program in last year’s biennial budget proposal in an effort to reduce colon cancer incidence and mortality rate in Kentucky, according to a state news release. According to data from the Kentucky Cancer Registry at the University of Kentucky, about 2,600 new cases of colon cancer will be diagnosed in Kentucky each year and nearly 900 people will die.

Read more

6:14pm

Wed January 2, 2013
Health and Welfare

Chart Shows How to Get Coverage Under Federal Health Care Reform

The core of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is helping people get health insurance, beginning next year. That will be relatively simple for some people, but complicated for others, as this infographic produced by the Kaiser Family Foundation for the Journal of the American Medical Association shows. For a larger, clearer, PDF of the chart, click here. In most states, including Kentucky, a key question remains unanswered: Will the state opt to expand Medicaid eligibility to households with incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level (138 percent with a fudge factor)?

6:05pm

Wed January 2, 2013
Health and Welfare

UK's Pediatric Heart Program Under Review

Kentucky Children's Hospital at the University of Kentucky is reviewing its cardio-thoracic surgery program and referring surgical patients to other hospitals, "but the reasons why are unclear," Brenna Angel reported Dec. 21 for WUKY-FM, the university-owned station.

Read more

5:38pm

Mon December 31, 2012
Health and Welfare

Abduction Prevention

A recent abduction related case in Lexington reaffirms this type of act can occur within families.  A California grandmother faces charges in Kentucky after being arrested pushing her granddaughter without gloves, shoes, or a coat in a stroller on UK’s campus.  Fayette County Sheriff Kathy Witt admits custodial abductions often don’t attract the attention given stranger kidnappings.

Read more

Pages