A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Health policy forum to provide update on Kentucky’s substance abuse epidemic, discuss solutions

An update on solutions to Kentucky’s substance use epidemic is the topic for the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky’s annual health policy forum, to be held from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Monday, September 24, at the Marriott Griffin Gate in Lexington. Speakers at the Howard L. Bost Memorial Health Policy Forum will share strategies to address the crisis, including responses to rising infectious...

Baptist Health Paducah cardiologist Pat Withrow named Healthy Kentucky Policy Champion

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky has named cardiologist Dr. Pat Withrow of Paducah a Healthy Kentucky Policy Champion. Withrow is the director of outreach for Baptist Health Paducah and the governor-elect of the Kentucky Chapter of the American College of Cardiology. “He is known locally and statewide for his advocacy of improved health. I know firsthand he is a health champion for our area,”...

Kentucky Health Issues Poll: 80 percent of Ky. adults favor court-mandated treatment for drug offenders

Eight out of 10 Kentucky adults favor court-mandated treatment programs for individuals with first or second drug offenses, according to the latest Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP). Among polled adults, those with more education were more likely to report support of treatment programs, which can be ordered in place of or in addition to incarceration. KHIP, an annual opinion poll of Kentucky adults,...

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...

Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky elects Montgomery, Wright as board officers

Healthcare Executive Allen K. Montgomery, Jr., J.D., of Louisville has been elected vice chair of the board for the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. Montgomery also was named chair of the Board’s strategic planning and evaluation committee. Additional newly elected Board officers are Brent Wright, M.D., of Glasgow, as treasurer and Vivian Lasley-Bibbs, MPH, of Lexington as Secretary. Montgomery,...

Passport Health CEO Mark Carter named chairman of the board of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky

Mark Carter, CEO of Passport Health Plan, has been named chair of the board of directors of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, effective immediately. Carter has been a member of the Foundation’s board for 12 years, from 2003 to 2010, and again since 2013. He also has served on the board’s executive committee and as chair of the finance and investment committee. Mark Carter “This...

Kentucky Health Issues Poll: Most Kentuckians say childhood obesity is a serious problem

More than 90 percent of Kentucky adults say childhood obesity is a problem in the Commonwealth, with 56 percent characterizing it as a serious problem, according to the latest report from the Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP). Only 6 percent say childhood obesity is not a problem. Thirty-four percent of Kentucky children ages 10 to 17 are overweight or obese, according to the Data Resource Center...

Only 54 percent of Ky. high schools have full-time nurse; poll shows support for one in every school

Barely half of Kentucky’s high schools have a full-time registered nurse, according to the School Health Profiles compiled by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC says 45 percent of Kentucky high schools had a part-time registered nurse, while 29 percent had a school-based health center. The latest Kentucky Health Issues Poll found that Kentucky adults “overwhelmingly...

Coalition for Smoke-Free Tomorrow says $1 tax will actually reduce impact of smoking on health

A Coalition of more than 150 organizations is calling on the Kentucky legislature to help reduce smoking rates among low-income and other vulnerable populations by raising the excise tax on cigarettes by at least $1 per pack. The Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow says an increase of at least $1 is necessary to reduce the impact of smoking on Kentuckians’ health and the economy; much less,...

Lobbying spending reaches record high $2.6 million in first half of Kentucky legislative session

Immediately following a year of record lobbying spending, Kentucky businesses and organizations spent an all-time high of $2.6 million on lobbying in the first portion of the 2018 General Assembly session. After spending $20.8 million in 2017, 684 employers and 596 lobbyists started 2018 by spending 20 percent more than they spent in the same period at the beginning of last year’s session. The top...

Lobbying on cigarette tax ramps up with foundation ads and tobacco firms use of farmers, retailers

By Al Cross Kentucky Health News If activity by lobbying interests is any indication, the idea of raising the state cigarette tax $1 a pack is an active idea among members of the Kentucky General Assembly. The main group advocating the tax increase, the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, reported spending more than any other lobby during the first month of the session. Its total of $100,240 was not...

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...