A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky to get $10.5 million from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to combat opioid crisis

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is releasing the second year of funding to 50 states, four U.S. territories, and the free associated states of Palau and Micronesia, totaling $485 million to continue the Nation’s efforts to combat the opioid crisis. Kentucky will receive $10,582,093. “The Trump Administration is partnering with states and territories to accelerate the deployment...

KHIP: Historic shift in perceptions and most Kentucky adults now believe addiction is a disease

The most recent Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP) found that 7 in 10 Kentucky adults believe that addiction is a disease (70%).  Attitudes towards addiction as a disease were the same both among respondents who have a family member or friend who has experienced problems as a result of heroin use, methamphetamine use, or prescription drug use and among those who did not indicate such firsthand experience...

As Kentucky prepares to begin new Medicaid program resources provide more information

Kentucky will be phasing in its new Medicaid program in July, so the state and other stakeholders have created tools and “explainers” to help Medicaid enrollees and others understand the changes and deal with them. The program is expected to be fully implemented by the end of the year. The state’s new Medicaid plan, called Kentucky HEALTH for “Helping to Engage and Achieve Long-Term...

Smart Health: On the sweet side, local honey does have a lot of benefits, but there are some cautions

By Kristen Mees St. Elizabeth Healthcare Every spring and summer, you’ll likely see suggestions in the news to use local honey to boost immunity and decrease seasonal allergies. But is there any truth to it? The sweet side of local honey 
The short answer: local honey does have a lot of benefits. “Some research has shown that local honey can be a good source of vitamins and minerals, amino acids...

Poll: 24 percent of adult Kentuckians know someone misusing prescription pain relievers

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Whether it’s the misuse of prescription pain relievers, heroin or methamphetamine, the latest Kentucky Health Issues Poll findings indicate that many Kentuckians have a drug problem. The poll, conducted Oct. 24 to Dec. 2, found that nearly one in four Kentucky adults, or 24 percent, said they knew someone who had experienced problems as a result of prescription...

Index of readiness for disasters and health emergencies places Ky. about same as U.S.

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Is Kentucky is as ready to manage a natural disaster or a health emergency? Just as much as the nation as a whole is, according to a recently released Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report. The annual report, called the 2018 National Health Security Preparedness Index, gives Kentucky a score of 7.1 on a 10-point scale for preparedness, the same as the national...

Lexington-Fayette County Health Department’s free needle exchange program adds second weekday

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department’s needle-exchange program will add a second weekday to better serve clients’ needs. The program is now open 3-6 p.m. Wednesdays and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Fridays in the Dr. Rice C. Leach Community Room at 650 Newtown Pike. The free, anonymous and confidential program is designed to reduce the spread of HIV and hepatitis in Lexington. Used needles must be...

Foot Health: Numbness or burning in the ball of your foot could be neuroma, and there options for relief

By Dr. Amy Barko Special to KyForward Do you have nagging pain in the ball of your foot? It just might be a neuroma. Neuroma is an enlarged nerve in the ball of your foot that is trapped in-between the bones. If you’re thinking ouch, you’re right. Sometimes neuromas can be caused by as little as tight shoe gear or swollen feet in proper shoe gear. For example, one of my patients wore...

Critics say new Medicaid rules will result in greater loss of coverage than Bevin administration estimates

Changes in the state Medicaid program, to be phased in starting July 1, would lead to many more people losing health coverage than the state has estimated, 43 academic experts say in a friend-of-the-court brief filed in a lawsuit challenging federal officials’ approval of the changes. The experts argue that the changes are “likely to remove at least twice as many beneficiaries in the first...

Dept. for Public Health recommends Hepatitis A vaccination for at-risk counties in Kentucky

Due to an ongoing outbreak of Hepatitis A, the Department for Public Health (DPH) within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), is recommending vaccination for everyone residing in Jefferson, Bullitt, Hardin, Greenup, Carter and Boyd counties.   To date, 214 cases have been reported in the Jefferson County/Louisville area. Bullitt, Hardin, Greenup, Carter and Boyd counties have each reported...

Kentucky Children’s Hospital unveils Welcome Center, neonatal unit at Chandler Hospital

After years of careful planning, Kentucky Children’s Hospital (KCH) unveiled the new Makenna Foundation Welcome Center and Betti Ruth Robinson Taylor Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in UK HealthCare’s Chandler Hospital. Designated in 1988, KCH lacked a central lobby and registration space, and was only accessible via a single visitor elevator. This spacious center includes patient and visitor...

April is Minority Health Month in Kentucky; health status report reveals alarming statistics

Governor Matt Bevin has proclaimed April as Minority Health Month in Kentucky. The Department of Public Health (DPH), within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) joins Governor Bevin, public health professionals and advocates in heightening awareness of health issues affecting minority populations in Kentucky. During Minority Health Month, DPH’s Office of Health Equity releases the 2017...

ACLU files lawsuit to challenge new Kentucky law banning dilation and evacuation abortion method

The American Civil Liberties Union Wednesday filed suit on behalf of Kentucky abortion providers to challenge a state law banning physicians from providing a safe and medically proven abortion method called dilation and evacuation, or “D&E.” Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin signed the bill into law on April 10, and it took immediate effect. The federal lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for...

Beshear, AGs file court action to block ACA lawsuit; claims Kentucky would lose $49.7 billion in funding

A group of state attorneys general is joining together to protect the nation’s health care system by seeking to intervene in and combat a lawsuit aimed at dismantling the Affordable Care Act, Attorney General Andy Beshear has announced. The lawsuit claims that the ACA is unconstitutional because the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminated the ACA penalty for failing to purchase health insurance – known...

Surgeon General Jerome Adams comes to Kentucky to talk about opioid epidemic, treatment

By Hannah Carver Special to KyForward Fighting the opioid epidemic and its effects is no single-solution issue. Surgeon General Jerome Adams addresses local business and government leaders in Northern Kentucky (photos by Hannah Carver). Surgeon General Jerome Adams delivered that message Monday at the St. Elizabeth Training and Education Center in Erlanger, Kentucky, while addressing more than 100...

Legislature sends governor Medicaid drug measures to help independent pharmacies and consumers

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News A bill to allow pharmacists to tell their patients the least expensive way to pay for their medications and one to put the state back in direct charge of its Medicaid drug program have received final passage and are on the desk of Gov. Matt Bevin. Sen. Wise A revised version of Senate Bill 5, sponsored by Sen. Max Wise, R-Campbellsville, would put the Medicaid...

Lexington-Fayette Count Health Department offering free Narcan kits in community class April 30

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department is hosting a free community training on naloxone, which will include providing free kits containing the overdose-reversing medication. The class is scheduled for 4:30-6 p.m. Monday, April 30 at the health department’s main building, 650 Newtown Pike. Participants must complete a 10-15-minute training to receive a free naloxone kit. The kits are only...

University of Kentucky experts seek solutions at Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit in Atlanta

Few states have been harder hit by the opioid epidemic than Kentucky. Countless lives have been lost, families have been broken and communities have been ravaged. That’s why University of Kentucky physicians, researchers and academic and administrative leaders joined nearly 3,000 experts from all 50 states at the annual Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit this week in Atlanta, Georgia. Physicians, Researchers...

Cigarette tax hike of 50 cents per pack is largest ever in Ky. but will do little to cut smoking, advocates say

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News As part of a larger tax bill, the Kentucky General Assembly voted April 2 to increase the state’s cigarette tax by 50 cents, to $1.10 per pack. That fell short of the $1 increase wanted by health advocates, who bemoaned “a missed opportunity” to improve the health of Kentuckians. And in the final hours, legislative leaders dropped a plan to...

‘FindHelpNowKY’ is new tool in fight against addiction; get real-time treatment options info

Since its launch in early 2018, Kentucky’s innovative new tool in the fight against addiction,FindHelpNowKY.org, has served critical, real-time information on available treatment options to more than 4,700 Kentuckians since the start of the year. The website — which tracks current openings for 162 providers and 392 facilities across the state — has also seen more than 7,300 total visitor...