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...

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 poll shows support for state cigarette tax of $1 pack for addressing budget shortfall, health benefits

A new poll shows a significant majority of Kentucky voters of all party affiliations support raising the state’s cigarette tax by $1 a pack as a smart solution to addressing the state’s budget shortfall and other revenue needs, while saving lives and health care dollars. The poll, conducted in mid-December by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research, Inc., found that 69 percent of registered voters...

Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky marks significant increase in funding to curb tobacco use in 2017

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky invested more than $361,000 on work to reduce both tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke in 2017. This commitment represented a significant expansion of the Foundation’s annual budget focused on tobacco-use reduction over past years. Even so, the Foundation continued several research projects as well as its support of grantees working on a variety...

Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky names Bonnie Hackbarth as VP of External Affairs

Bonnie Hackbarth Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky President and CEO Ben Chandler has named Bonnie J. Hackbarth Vice President, External Affairs, effective immediately. Hackbarth formerly was Communications Director at the Foundation. Her new title reflects her broadened role at the Foundation in the past year, which includes communications, government relations, and building and coordinating a statewide...

Kentucky moves up slightly in America’s Health Rankings, but there’s little reason to celebrate

Kentucky moved up three notches in the latest America’s Health Rankings, from 45th to 42nd, but its improvement stemmed mainly from gains in the factors that determine health, not the actual health outcomes. The state was 39th in health determinants (clinical care, policy, community and environment) but 46th in outcomes, such as the death rate from cancer, which is the nation’s worst. That...

Report finds Kentucky spends just 4.6 percent of 1998 settlement funds on tobacco prevention

“Broken Promises to Our Children: A State-by-State Look at the 1998 Tobacco Settlement 19 Years Later,” released Tuesday, finds that states continue to spend only a small percentage of the revenues from the 1998 settlement and tobacco taxes to reduce tobacco use. According to the authors, no state currently funds tobacco prevention and cessation programs at the CDC-recommended level. Kentucky...

School Boards Association says it will support any legislation to make all schools in state tobacco-free

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Usually opposed to statewide mandates on schools, the Kentucky School Boards Association says it will support any legislation that proposes a statewide tobacco-free school law in the 2018 legislative session, because the majority of its members support such a law. “We really try to protect local decision-making on these things,” Eric Kennedy, director...

Ky’s children improved on several health measures in last year, but many counties remain far behind

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News More Kentucky children than ever have health insurance, fewer Kentucky teens are getting pregnant, fewer mothers are smoking during pregnancy, and the state has fewer low-birthweight babies – but that’s not the case in every county, according to the annual Kentucky Kids Count report. The report, released Nov. 15 by Kentucky Youth Advocates, is part of...

Casey County student smoke-free group receives first Healthy Kentucky Policy Champion award

A group of 19 Casey County High School Students are the first recipients of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky’s new Healthy Kentucky Policy Champion award for their work to change the smoking culture on their school campus. The Casey Youth Coalition’s (CYC) campaign has helped reduce smoking, leading to a 10 percent decrease in 30-day tobacco use among 10th graders in 2016, for example....

Tobacco’s Toll: New push aims to curb the other addiction problem in country’s sickest states

By Mary Meehan Special to KyForward Hundreds of kids scurrying to buses are oblivious to a sign above them declaring Bourbon County High School “100 percent Tobacco Free.” But upstairs in the library, sophomore and anti-smoking advocate Jacob Steward unfurls a six-foot scroll with earth-toned papers trapped between clear sheets of laminate. He begins reading the anti-smoking slogans he’ll post...

New award to recognize champions behind laws, policies to improve Kentucky’s health

Do you know someone who is a tireless advocate for health policy changes in your community or in Kentucky? A new award announced by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky will recognize individuals and organizations from every corner of the Commonwealth working to enact local or state policies or laws that improve health. The Foundation will present up to two Healthy Kentucky Policy Champion awards...

Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky favors taxes on sugary drinks to fight obesity, higher cigarette levy

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky has taken a tougher stance toward tobacco, advocating a $1-a-pack increase in the state cigarette tax as a way to reduce smoking and its health-care costs. Now its CEO says the foundation also favors taxes on sugary drinks as a way to fight obesity, another bad health statistic in which Kentucky is a national leader. “We think sugar taxes are a good way...

Patient Advocates work to educate Kentuckians on tobacco cessation during “Kick It, Kentucky!” week

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) and 26 other leading health organizations are offering support to those Kentuckians looking to quit tobacco as part of the first-ever Kick It, Kentucky! week. ACS CAN and a broad coalition of advocacy organizations and health systems from around the state, including the American Lung Association, Baptist Health, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids,...

Dreamland author says opioid epidemic leads to discussion of addiction, first step to finding solutions

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Since Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic was published in 2015, the author says the nation has seen both positive and negative changes in the epidemic that is sweeping Kentucky and other states. “The negative changes are pretty dramatic,” Sam Quinones said in a telephone interview with Kentucky Health News. “The number...

Most Lexington adults physically active, but not getting enough fruits and vegetables, poll shows

About eight in 10 adults in the Greater Lexington area are physically active, which puts them on par with state average, but only 24 percent eat the recommended amount of both fruits and vegetables, according to a Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP) special report on the region. KHIP is funded jointly by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and Cincinnati-based Interact for Health. The findings have...

Appalachian region endures dramatic health challenges compared with nation, research shows

Health Disparities in Appalachia, a new report issued Thursday by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, documents dramatic disparities in health outcomes and other health-related factors in the Appalachian Region when compared with the nation as a whole, as well as substantial variations in health throughout...

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...

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...