A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

First-ever felony criminal charges filed against distributor, execs for illegal distribution of opioids

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Ray Donovan, the Special Agent in Charge of the New York Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), announced Tuesday criminal charges against Rochester Drug Co-Operative, Inc. (“RDC”), one of the 10 largest pharmaceutical distributors in the United States. Berman Also charged were Laurence...

‘I Just Didn’t Know’: KY students share what they’ve learned about dangers of e-cigarettes for youth

A Kentucky peer education campaign is designed to debunk the false beliefs held by many adolescents and teens that using e-cigarettes is either harmless or at least healthier for them than smoking. The I Just Didn’t Know campaign, developed by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, includes public service announcements featuring Kentucky students sharing what they’ve learned about the...

Healthy Headlines: Learn CPR, it helped Karen Carr save husband Jeff’s life; he choose healthier lifestyle

St. Elizabeth Healthcare It should have been a quiet evening at home watching TV. “There was no warning, no nothing,” Karen Carr recalls of the December evening her husband’s heart stopped beating. Jeff Carr, a tall, lean construction worker at age 52, felt uncomfortable on the couch and decided to go upstairs to lie down. Karen, who followed him, describes, “He lay down and that was it. He...

Appalachian residents more likely to die from smoking-related diseases; how to decrease smoking

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News It’s well documented that people in Appalachia die sooner than other Americans, and are more likely to die from smoking-related diseases. It doesn’t have to stay that way; a new report offers a detailed list of strategies and policies proven to decrease smoking, the cause of many premature deaths. The report was created by Appalachian Regional...

CHI Saint Joseph Medical expanding health care services in Winchester; expected completion in 2020

Construction began earlier this year on a new medical office building in Winchester that will house offices for physicians from the CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group. NexCore Group is building the one-story, 24,693-square-foot facility that will help CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group continue expanding health care services into the growing central Kentucky market.   “We are excited to expand our services...

Kosair Charities’ Face It Movement brings together partners, leaders committed to ending child abuse

The Kosair Charities Face It® Movement brought together community partners and leaders committed to ending child abuse during a special luncheon this week, featuring keynote speaker Rachel Denhollander. Initiated in 2013, the movement was founded by Kosair Charities in response to the number of child abuse deaths in Kentucky. The luncheon, held at the Kentucky Science Center, serves as the culminating...

Feds indict 60, some doctors, in Appalachia (including KY) for illegal prescribing of pain pills

Feds indict 60 for illegal prescribing in Ohio, W.Va., Ky., Tenn. and Ala.; some doctors allegedly traded sex for drugs Sixty health professionals in five Appalachian states were charged Wednesday with “illegal prescribing of more than 32 million pain pills, including doctors who prosecutors said traded sex for prescriptions and a dentist who unnecessarily pulled teeth from patients to justify...

Kentucky Harm Reduction Summit focuses on reducing negative consequences of illegal drug use

By Mark Hansel KyForward managing editor A crowd of more than 500 came from throughout the Commonwealth to Covington last week for the 2019 Kentucky Harm Reduction Summit. The list of speakers included Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) Secretary Adam Meier, Department for Public Health (DPH) Commissioner Jeff Howard and other public health representatives, harm reduction experts and response...

KY residents affected by national Salmonella outbreak, public advised to discard pre-cut melons

The Department for Public Health (DPH) announced today that 16 Kentuckians have tested positive with a strain of Salmonella Carrau that has been linked by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to pre-cut melon including cantaloupe, watermelon and honeydew. DPH is advising that the public should discard any pre-cut melon or fruit salads that contain pre-cut melon. Caito Foods from Indianapolis,...

William Burton, 12, collapses on Grayson ball field; survives through family’s faith and Cinci Children’s

By Mark Maynard Kentucky Today Her oldest son was lifeless on a hospital gurney in the trauma room as doctors tried desperately to figure out how to save him. 
Amy Burton knew who was ultimately in charge. 
“It was chaos. So much was happening, and he was in bad shape. These medical professionals, who were fantastic and are great, had no idea what to do but Amy knew exactly,” said her pastor,...

CDC says ground beef probably caused E.coli outbreak but source unknown; KY has most cases

Kentucky Health News Investigation of people stricken by the recent outbreak of E. coli “suggests that ground beef is the source of this outbreak,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday. “At this time, no common supplier, distributor, or brand of ground beef has been identified.” The outbreak, centered in Kentucky, has sickened 109 people and sent 17...

CHI Saint Joseph Health Maternity Education Programs offer classes on childbirth, breastfeeding

Preparing for a new baby is exciting, but parents-to-be may feel overwhelmed with the idea of bringing a new life into the world. Obtaining the best available knowledge and hands-on practice is the most effective way to relieve stress surrounding childbirth and parenting a newborn. CHI Saint Joseph Health wants to make sure that all expecting and new mothers feel empowered and prepared for the exciting...

Mayor finds short-term solution to keep Community Paramedicine operating, needs long-term fix

Mayor Linda Gorton said Lexington will keep its community paramedicine program open through the end of the year to give the City time to develop community partnerships to help support the program long-term. “When I presented my proposed budget to the Urban County Council on Tuesday I thought we could not fit community paramedicine into our tight budget,” Gorton said. “But we’ve found a way...

Kentucky ophthalmologists urge eye protection for recreational and professional sports

New research shows that about 30,000 people in the U.S. go to emergency departments each year with sports-related eye injuries, a substantially higher estimate than previously reported. This April during Sports Eye Safety Month, the Kentucky Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons and the American Academy of Ophthalmology remind the public that the right protective eyewear is the best defense against...

Children’s Alliance partners with Anthem Medicaid to offer social workers free continuing education

In an effort to support Kentucky’s vulnerable children and families, Anthem is partnering with Children’s Alliance to offer its members free continuing education credits (CEUs) to enhance the clinical skills/support that clinicians need and value to provide quality service. “Due to the generous support of Anthem, we are excited to offer 200 clinicians with free online access to 81 trainings that...

Erin Calipari making a name for herself, as researcher on vulnerability of women to addiction and relapse

Erin Calipari is getting noticed, and no longer just because she’s the daughter of University of Kentucky coach John Calipari. As a researcher at Vanderbilt University, she has “dedicated herself to making groundbreaking discoveries about women’s vulnerability to drug cravings and the immune system’s role in the fight against the opioid crisis,” reports Jessica Bliss of...

Kentucky accounts for about half the cases in an odd, 5-state outbreak of E. coli; here are precautions

Kentucky has about half of the cases in an outbreak of infections from a strain of E. coli bacteria that has also sickened people in Ohio, Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the source of the 72 infections has not been identified. The CDC said Kentucky had 36 cases as of Friday, but the day before, the state Department for Public Health...

Louisville health department offers test strips to safeguard drug users against fentanyl exposure

As a way to protect drug users from deadly fentanyl, Louisville’s health department has started passing out test strips, Beth Warren reports for the Louisville Courier Journal. Fentanyl was initially added to heroin, but has increasingly been hidden in many other drugs, including methamphetamine and pills that are made to look like legal ones, Warren reports. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that...

Casey Foundation 10-year data snapshot shows KY making progress but still lags on foster care

Though the data show stagnant progress from 2007 to 2017, Kentucky has recently demonstrated its commitment to prioritizing family-based placements for children in foster care, according to “Keeping Kids in Families: Trends in U.S. Foster Care Placement,” a new data snapshot released today by the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT project. In 2017, Kentucky had 81 percent of children in...

Health advocates offer tips for getting reluctant local governments to approve syringe exchange programs

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Kentucky leads the nation in syringe exchanges for drug users, as a way to prevent the spread of disease, but local officials in some counties at risk of disease outbreaks from intravenous drug use have resisted pleas from experts to allow exchanges. At a public-health panel discussion at the University of Kentucky, advocates of the exchanges shared some advice...