Kentucky Department of Health reports 117-case, multi-county outbreak of Hepatitis A

A multi-county outbreak of Hepatitis A remains ongoing with the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) now reporting 117 cases, most of which have occurred in the Jefferson County/Louisville area. According to DPH, 96 of the cases were reported in Jefferson County. Outbreak-associated cases were also found in Boyd, Bullitt, Carter, Hopkins, Leslie, Marion, McCracken, and Taylor counties. DPH first...

Kentucky Health Issues Poll: One in four Kentucky adults concerned about losing health insurance

Click for larger image Twenty-four percent of Kentucky adults ages 18-64 are concerned they may lose their health coverage, according to the latest Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP). Due in part to Medicaid expansion, public insurance coverage has increased from 29 percent in 2016 to 35 percent in 2017, but 15 percent of Kentucky adults have no health coverage and an additional 6 percent currently...

Bill aimed at returning control of Medicaid pharmacy back to state advancing, despite cost warnings

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News A bill to put the state back in charge of its Medicaid drug program has cleared the Senate health committee and now heads to the full Senate for a vote, but with what will likely be a “winding road” to its final passage, according to its sponsor. Its main obstacle appears to be cost, but it could force more transparency in the shadowy process of making...

Pew Trusts: Trump administration’s historic move to retool Medicaid goes beyond work requirements

By Michael Ollove Special to KyForward Requiring able-bodied adults to work for their Medicaid is just part of the Trump administration’s drive to remake the decades-old health insurance program for the poor. The administration signaled late last year that it welcomes state-based ideas to retool Medicaid and “help individuals live up to their highest potential.” At least 10 states have requested...

Nearly 90 percent of Kentucky adults want schools tobacco-free, will this be the year for a statewide law?

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Most Kentucky adults, by far, want schools to be tobacco-free — and bills to do just that have been introduced in the Senate and the House. The latest Kentucky Health Issues Poll, taken Oct. 24 to Dec. 2, found that 87 percent of Kentucky adults favor tobacco-free campuses. Support was strong across party lines, with 89 percent of Democrats, 87 percent...

Hosparus Health plans annual Hope & Healing event in support of families dealing with traumatic death

With incidents of homicide and drug overdose deaths on the rise in the Louisville area, families of victims need support more than ever. That’s one reason the Hosparus Health Grief Counseling Center hosts its annual “Hope & Healing” event, a program to remember those who have died a violent death by homicide, suicide or accident. Held on Sunday, March 4, the event is returning to the Muhammad...

In a state thick with cancer, threatened research and screening organizations make cases for state money

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposed budget for the next two fiscal years calls for cuts to five cancer research and prevention programs, including screenings for breast, colon, cervical, lung and ovarian cancer, and for research on lung cancer, all of which plague the state. The programs are included in a list of 70 that Bevin proposed to eliminate to save the state...

KBEMS executive director Poynter named Board Certified Community Paramedic, one of 16 in nation

Michael Poynter, executive director of the Kentucky Board of Emergency Medical Services (KBEMS), recently became the first Kentucky Board Certified Community Paramedic by the International Board of Specialty Certification, only the sixteenth awarded in the nation. Michael Poynter “I am honored to receive this recognition and to be amongst such distinguished company,” said Poynter. “Community...

Bill could let legislature limit lawsuit awards; second bill could limit attorney fees in malpractice suits

The Kentucky General Assembly would be able to pass a law limiting the amount of non-economic damages that could be awarded in personal-injury and wrongful-death lawsuits, under a bill moving to a floor vote in the state Senate. The House may block the legislation, but a companion bill approved by another Senate committee Feb. 7 would limit the amount of attorney fees in medical-malpractice lawsuits...

Lexington-Fayette County Health Department to offer free flu shots Tuesday at Newtown Pike health facility

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department is offering free flu shots 4-6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13, in its Public Health Clinic, 650 Newtown Pike. No appointment is necessary. The seasonal flu shot is recommended for all people ages 6 months and older. There have been 513 confirmed flu cases in Lexington this season, including 11 deaths. “Flu season in Kentucky peaks in February and cases can...

52 Weeks of Public Health: Move with heart to better your health during American Heart Month

As part of American Heart Month in February, the Department for Public Health encourages Kentuckians to increase their levels of physical activity to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. To get involved, use the hashtag #MoveWithHeart on social media to connect with others and search for posts about exercise, physical activity and improving cardiovascular health. Heart disease is the second...

Lexington health department offering free flu shots on Tuesday, 4-6:30 p.m.

You can fight the flu this February with free flu shots.   The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department is offering free flu shots 4-6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13, in its Public Health Clinic, 650 Newtown Pike. No appointment is necessary. The seasonal flu shot is recommended for all people ages 6 months and older. There have been 513 confirmed flu cases in Lexington this season, including 11 deaths.   “Flu...

Supporters say increasing cigarette tax could help break link between smoking and mental illness

Kentuckians living with mental illness have high smoking rates, and often require stronger doses of psychiatric medications and live shorter lives as a result. But quitting smoking can improve their lives, and an increase in the state excise tax on tobacco products would be particularly effective in reducing smoking among this group, according to the Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow. More than 40...

Poll finds most Kentuckians support a law to raise the legal age to buy tobacco products to 21

Nearly six in 10 Kentucky adults favor raising the legal age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21 years, according to the Kentucky Health Issues Poll. The survey, taken Oct. 24-Dec. 2, found that 58 percent of Kentucky adults favored such a law and 39 percent opposed it, with majority support from both Democrats (63 percent) and Republicans (56 percent). Support among independents was 46 percent....

New research shows the more time teenagers spend on smartphones, the less happy they are

New research shows that teenagers who spend a large amount of time on their smartphones are more likely to be unhappy, Melissa Healy reports for the Los Angeles Times. The study, by researchers at San Diego State University and the University of Georgia, looked at data from the “Monitoring the Future” survey of more than 1 million eighth, 10th and 12 graders across the U.S to determine...

February is deadline for Ky students to receive first of two-dose Hepatitis A vaccine for 18-19 school year

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News A new state regulation says Kentucky students must prove that they have had the two-dose hepatitis A vaccine by the first day of school, so it’s time to get the first dose, because the shots are given six months apart. Most schools start in August. The regulation also applies to children entering day-care centers, certified family child-care homes and pre-school...

Campbellsville University to celebrate opening of ‘Tiger Health Clinic’ with open house Feb. 8

By Josh Christian special to KyForward Campbellsville University has partnered with Taylor Regional Hospital Care Center to open the Tiger Health Clinic. There will be an open house at the Tiger Health Clinic at 522 N. Hoskins Ave., Campbellsville, Ky., on Campbellsville University’s campus Thursday, Feb. 8 from noon to 2 p.m. The Tiger Health Clinic will be open to all Campbellsville University...

Researchers say e-cigs safer, but boost chances of youth smoking; more young adults vaping

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News A federally commissioned report on electronic cigarettes found “substantial evidence” that e-cigarette use among teens and young adults increases their chance of using tobacco cigarettes in the future. The report was released the same week as a poll that found e-cigarette use among young adults in Kentucky is increasing. The Kentucky Health Issues...

Critics say new insurance policy denying ‘non-essential’ ER visits expects patients to self-diagnose

Anthem, one of the country’s largest insurance companies, is increasingly denying coverage for emergency room visits it deems inappropriate–i.e., not true emergencies. The policy, which has been implemented in Indiana, Kentucky, Georgia and Missouri, exempts patients younger than 15, weekend visits, and patients who live 15 miles or father from an urgent care center. Other patients can...

LFCHD accepting nominations for 15th annual Dr. Rice C. Leach Public Health Hero Award

It is time to nominate people for the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department’s Dr. Rice C. Leach Public Health Hero Award. The award, now in its 15th year, is for individuals who have demonstrated their dedication to improving the health of Lexington residents. Criteria for the selection of the award include: • Exemplary leadership and diligence in promoting public health • Remarkable...