Sen. Ralph Alvarado awarded Lexington Medical Society’s Jack Trevey Award for Community Service

Senator Ralph A. Alvarado, M.D., was awarded the Lexington Medical Society’s highest physician honor earlier this month at their dinner meeting at the Hilary J. Boone Center. The Jack Trevey Award for Community Service recognizes a Lexington Medical Society member who performs outstanding service by direct involvement in the community beyond their role as a physician. Robert P. Granacher, Jr.,...

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,...

Robert Couch: Physicians must help lead Kentucky out of opioid crisis, and not just during office hours

Constricted pupils, slowed breathing, blue lips and skin. Health care providers in Kentucky have become all too familiar with these telltale signs of a drug overdose. It’s not a pleasant sight, and last year alone, opioid overdoses caused the deaths of more than 1,400 Kentuckians. During my 34 years as an emergency physician, I have never witnessed a public health issue as dire as the state’s current...

Ashland ophthalmologist Oakley named new president of Kentucky Medical Association

Dr. Maurice Oakley, an ophthalmologist from Ashland, is the new president of the Kentucky Medical Association, an organization with over 7,000 members. Oakley will focus on “breaking down barriers to good health and active involvement from physicians in doing so,” with an emphasis on the opioid issues plaguing the state, says the news release. “There are so many barriers within our medical...

Nurse practitioners ease doctor shortage, but won’t get more authority to prescribe narcotics

They’re not doctors, but they do a lot of the same things, probably most things most patients need. They’re nurse practitioners, officially known as advanced practice registered nurses, or APRNs. Kentucky has 5,400 of them, and they are helping ease the state’s shortage of doctors, reports Darla Carter of The Courier-Journal. “Since the expansion of the Affordable Care Act, there’s...

Commentary: Tort reform will improve access to health care while also lowering costs

By Dr. Robert Couch Special to KyForward It happens every day in Kentucky’s health care system. You are sick and want to see a physician, but there is a long wait—sometimes days, weeks or even months. Instead of waiting, perhaps you go to the emergency room, where costs are significantly higher and large crowds often await treatment. Once treatment is received, you may be told additional tests...

Ethics Reporter: Lobbying spending hits all-time high during first eight months of 2014

Special to KyForward   Businesses and organizations lobbying the Kentucky General Assembly spent a record $13.6 million during the first eight months of 2014. Compared to the previous record of $13.2 million spent in the same period in 2012, lobbying interests are on track to set a new yearly spending record in Kentucky by topping the 2012 total of $17.8 million.   If, as expected, year-end...

Ethics Reporter: As odd-numbered years go, 2013 saw record spending on Ky. lobbying

Special to KyForward   According to recently filed reports, businesses, organizations and legislative agents spent $16.4 million on Kentucky lobbying in 2013, a record amount for an odd-numbered year in which the legislative session lasts just 30 days.   The total is eight percent higher than the $15.1 million spent in the last odd-numbered year, and just $1.4 million less than the spending...