Health and Welfare

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

Credit Creative Commons

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

Credit Creative Commons

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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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8:24am

Mon January 21, 2013
Health and Welfare

A Campaign on Curves

Lexington transportation activist Gerard Gerhardt.
Credit Stu Johnson / WEKU News

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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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