Number of painkiller prescriptions decline statewide, but remain high in many individual counties

Kentucky Health News reported in July about a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report showing ranges of painkillers sold per person in each county in 2015 and whether there had been an increase or decrease since 2010. Individual county data was unavailable at the time of the July report, but has since been made available. The CDC report calculated the rate of “morphine equivalent doses”...

Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky offers workshop to help businesses implement smoke-free policies

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky is offering a workshop to help businesses learn how to implement smoke-free policies in their workplaces Aug. 31 in Louisville. “More than 70 percent of Kentucky adults and 90 percent of Kentucky businesses support smoke-free, so it’s never been easier for Kentucky businesses to adopt workplace policies to protect their employees from the dangers of...

Patient overcomes fear of the dentist, finds healthy new smile leads to newfound confidence

By Olivia Ramirez Special to KyForward For Andrea Crookston, taking photos used to mean hiding her smile. Fear and anxiety kept Crookston from going to the dentist every six months as recommended. Instead, she’d only go when the pain was too much for her to bear. “I’d been in pain for a long time, but I was afraid of the dentist,” she said. “The sound of the drill gives...

State public health officials issue advice for safe viewing of upcoming solar eclipse

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH), within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) is warning the public not to directly look at the upcoming solar eclipse on Aug. 21 without the proper equipment and techniques. People from all over the world will converge on the U.S. to witness the eclipse. While the solar eclipse will occur across the continental U.S., those within an estimated...

Thomas More College graduate taking part in sports medicine research into concussions, knee injuries

By Terry Boehmker KyForward sports reporter The knee injuries that disrupted Katie Kitchen’s college basketball career triggered her interest in sports medicine research so the Cold Spring resident has taken part in some fascinating studies over the last two years. As a research assistant in the Division of Sports Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Kitchen is currently involved...

Foundation for Healthy Kentucky’s Chandler gives legislature overview of state’s health challenges

Citing the need for Kentucky to move from a health care rescue system that treats patients once they become acutely ill to a system that promotes health on the front end, the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky outlined several policy measures to improve Kentucky’s relatively poor health compared to the rest of the nation.   The presentation made by President and CEO Ben Chandler at Wednesday’s...

Early diagnosis of rare ocular cancer at UK Advanced Eye Care gives infant a future with sight

By Christina Brigg Special to KyForward Kenley Overton’s parents didn’t know much about retinoblastoma when they took their infant Kenley in for her four-month wellness checkup, but that quickly changed. Kenley was born Aug. 24, 2010, to Jason and Kendra Overton. Kenley was a welcome addition to the family by her big sister Jaylen. When Kenley was a few weeks old, the Overton’s noticed her right...

Shriner’s Hospital creates SpineScreen app to help parents detect signs of scoliosis in kids

Parents can now check their child’s spine for possible signs of scoliosis with the new app SpineScreen developed by Shriners Hospitals for Children. Available for free on the App Store and Google Play, SpineScreen detects curves when the phone is moved along a child’s back, giving parents a quick, informal way to regularly monitor their child’s spine. Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the...

Often undiagnosed, dangerous deep vein thrombosis could become life-threatening condition

By Dr. Nathan Orr Special to KyForward Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a dangerous condition where a blood clot forms in the larger veins of our body due to slow blood flow, blood vessel damage, or increased tendency to clot. When we cut or scrape our skin, the clotting process creates a scab. When that process begins inside our bodies – typically in the blood vessels in our legs or thighs – the...

Deadlines for individual insurers extended to Sept. 5 amidst uncertainty over cost-sharing subsidies

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Insurers in the Obamacare marketplace for individual coverage have been given three more weeks to finalize their 2018 rates, pushing the deadline to Sept. 5. The most recent filing deadline was Aug. 16. This is in response to the uncertainty around whether the Trump administration will continue to fund the cost-reduction payments that help low- and moderate-income...

Giesbrecht named new public health veterinarian; will focus on diseases spread between animals, humans

According to the World Health Organization, nearly 75 percent of the new diseases that have affected humans over the past 10 years originated from an animal or an animal product. Kentucky has appointed a new public health veterinarian, Dr. Kelly Giesbrecht, to help protect Kentuckians and the state’s animal populations from such diseases. “We are very pleased to have Dr. Giesbrecht join our...

Smoking largely responsible for shorter life spans, higher infant death rates in Appalachia

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News People who live in Appalachia are dying sooner than two decades ago, and the region has a higher infant death rate compared to the rest of the nation. A new study blames both largely on the region’s high smoking rate, as well as its other bad health habits. “What this report shows is the extreme damage that tobacco is causing our people, and how we are...

Information sought for Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky’s 2017 statewide group directory

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky will issue its 2017 statewide directory of Kentucky-based coalitions and other groups that are working to improve health in their communities. It is asking groups who want to be listed to enter their contact information in an online form by Sept. 8. The Foundation and other organizations use the directory to offer training, share funding opportunities, and connect...

With cancer in the rearview mirror, it’s back to school time once again for Versailles teacher Erika Carter

By Samantha Almeida Special to KyForward Dealing with a classroom full of rowdy second-graders can be taxing on even the most patient, energetic individual. But for 42-year-old Versailles schoolteacher Erika Carter, her real challenges have happened outside the classroom. In the summer of 2015, she visited her doctor for her regular yearly checkup and bloodwork, which yielded some bad news: an anomaly...

Reds’ Duvall grew up with Type 1 Diabetes and learned to deal with it to play in the Majors

Adam Duvall, Cincinnati Reds left fielder, visited with patients at St. Elizabeth Healthcare’s Total Joint Center in Northern Kentucky this week. As a professional athlete, Duvall understands what it takes to be world class. Together with St. Elizabeth Healthcare, Duvall is committed to the health and wellness of his fellow Kentuckians.

UK College of Social Work, UK HealthCare hosting integrated behavioral health conference

The University of Kentucky College of Social Work in collaboration with UK HealthCare’s Department of Family and Community Medicine will host the third conference on integrated behavioral health in primary care Aug. 17–18 at the Doubletree Hotel on Richmond Road in Lexington. The day and a half conference will be held from 9 a.m.–5:30 p.m., Aug. 17, and 9 a.m.–noon, Aug. 18. The conference’s...

New UK Markey Cancer Center study shows ‘killer peptide’ helps eliminate some cancer cells

By Allison Perry Special to KyForward A new study by University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center researchers shows that when therapy-sensitive cancer cells die, they release a “killer peptide” that can eliminate therapy-resistant cells. Tumor relapse is a common problem following cancer treatment, because primary tumor cells often contain therapy-resistance cancer cells that continue to...

Registration open for annual HealthWatch USA Healthcare Transparency conference in Lexington

Somerset-based HealthWatch USA will hold its annual Healthcare Transparency and Patient Safety conference Nov. 3 in Lexington. In addition to exploring issues around problems that occur with medical devices and implants, the importance of creating cultures of safety and health-care accountability, this year’s conference, “The Setting of Strong Quality Standards and Research Integrity,”...

Healthy Start: Returning college students should also make plans to take care of their health

By Dr. Ann Hays Special to KyForward As August begins, college-bound students and their families will soon begin planning for college this fall. While shopping for dorm supplies and registering for classes, new college students should also take a moment to plan for a healthy start to their new lives. When packing for college, include up-to-date childhood immunization records, copies of health insurance...

Governor’s office placing rocks with anti-drug messages around Kentucky’s state parks

Gov. Matt Bevin’s office says it is putting painted rocks around the state to raise awareness about Kentucky’s opioid epidemic and the governor’s “Don’t Let Them Die” initiative to fight it. “Rocks for this campaign will initially be hidden in the Frankfort, Lexington and Louisville areas but the governor’s office hopes to have rocks placed in all 120 Kentucky counties...