A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Weekend frozen meals for homebound seniors project earns GRADD national recognition

The Green River Area Development District (GRADD) accepted the 2019 Rural Achievement Award at the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) 53rd Annual Conference and Exhibition in Omaha, Nebraska, on June 11th. NARC’s Rural Achievement Awards recognizes excellence in programs and service of regional councils and metropolitan planning organizations. Owensboro Health Regional Hospital approached...

Six KY nursing homes are on a formerly unpublished list of 400 poor performers around the nation

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News The U.S. senators from Pennsylvania have released a report that includes the names of nearly 400 nursing homes with a “persistent record of poor care” that had not previously been publicly available. Of the six Kentucky facilities on the poor-performers list, only Twin Rivers Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Owensboro is getting additional oversight....

Study: Private insurance pays hospitals 241% more than Medicare; suggests shift to a Medicare model

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News As health-care costs continue to rise for both employers and employees, one group of researchers says private insurers should move away from how they pay for hospital services, which requires them to pay a percentage of billed charges, and start paying the way Medicare does, based on a fixed-price agreements that are transparent to all. The American Hospital...

Bluegrass Care Navigators offers new pediatric palliative care program called Bright Path

Bluegrass Care Navigators is offering a new service called Bright Path, a pediatric palliative care program serving central, northern and eastern Kentucky counties. Bright Path offers specialized medical care for infants, children, adolescents, and young adults who are living with a serious illness. The goal of Bright Path is to provide comfort to these children through symptom management and care...

Farm Dinner Theater created by UK nurse to remind farmers of safe practices has unexpected benefits

University of Kentucky nursing professor Deborah Reed has come up with a novel way to remind farmers about farm safety: dinner theater. At Farm Dinner Theater, farmers watch each other perform funny skits with a serious message. At a recent show at the Lincoln County Extension Office in Stanford, Thelma Blair asked her husband Jack if he remembered to wear ear plugs before working on his loud farm...

Improved health is community undertaking, according to six-year FHK initiative

If more Kentucky communities tackled their health issues as communities, the overall health of the state could be improved. That’s one lesson of a six-year program that the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky recently completed in seven counties. The “Investing in Kentucky’s Future” initiative focused on children. It “improved student eating habits, increased youth physical...

Commonwealth Fund’s state scorecard finds deaths from suicide, alcohol, drugs, are regional epidemic

KyForward staff Deaths from suicide, alcohol, and drugs have reached an all-time high, but affect states in different ways, according to the Commonwealth Fund’s just released 2019 Scorecard on State Health System Performance. “What we’re seeing is a regional epidemic when it comes to premature deaths from suicide, alcohol, and drugs,” said Dr. David Blumenthal, Commonwealth Fund President....

Daily Yonder: Eula Hall’s Mudd Creek Clinic: 40 years of helping the people of Floyd Co. with quality care

At 91, Eula Hall still goes to the Mud Creek Clinic, now the Eula Hall Health Center, each day to help care for patients in her rural Kentucky community. (Photo by Taylor Sisk/100 Days in Appalachia) By Taylor Sisk Special to KyForward Six of Eula Hall’s 10 full siblings lived into adulthood. Her family was among the more fortunate. Growing up in rural Appalachian Kentucky, Eula has witnessed poverty;...

AMA elects Louisville physician to preside over its policy-making body at annual meeting

Physicians and medical students gathered at the Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association (AMA) Saturday voted for Bruce A. Scott, M.D., an otolaryngologist from Louisville, Ky., as the new speaker of the AMA House of Delegates. Dr. Scott In this position, Dr. Scott will preside over 640 physicians and medical students who comprise the policy-making body of the nation’s largest physician...

Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky honors retired Whitesburg counselor, advocate Valerie Horn

Valerie Horn, a retired school counselor and advocate from Whitesburg who works to increase the access of low-income residents in Letcher County to healthier foods, is the latest Healthy Kentucky Policy Champion, the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky has announced. Horn chairs the Whitesburg/Letcher County Farmers Market, directs the Grow Appalachia Program at the Cowan Community Action Group, and...

Healthy Headlines: Intermittent fasting could help you lose weight, but there are pros and cons

More dieters are turning to fasting or more precisely, intermittent fasting, to help them lose weight. But does fasting work to help you shed those extra pounds? Brittany Diehl, MS, RDN, LD, Registered Dietitian at the St. Elizabeth Physicians Weight Management Center says, “There are pros and cons to every diet. Intermittent fasting works for many people and it can provide some additional health...

New watchdog organization report ranks majority of Kentucky’s hospitals as average for patient safety

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service A new report ranks most Kentucky hospitals average for patient safety. Published by the watchdog organization Leapfrog, the report ranks hospitals by letter grade. An estimated 160,000 lives are lost every year from preventable medical errors in hospitals. (Photo from Adobe Stock, via PNS) Out of 52 hospitals, 25 received a C grade for the incidence of infections,...

Norton Healthcare named one of top places to work by health care publication Becker’s Healthcare

Becker’s Healthcare, a leading national health care publication, has named Norton Healthcare to its list of 150 Top Places to Work in Healthcare 2019. Norton Healthcare is the only health care provider in Kentucky to be named to the list. To be selected for this list, an organization must have a culture that promotes diversity, engagement and professional growth in addition to offering “above...

Rural Blog: Research links depression and suicide to chronic disease, especially for rural seniors

Research increasingly links depression and suicide to chronic disease, especially among seniors in rural U.S. “Rural America has some of the highest rates of chronic disease in the nation – the more remote a community, the more heart disease, cancer and diabetes. And there’s a side effect from having a chronic condition many people don’t think about – depression, anxiety and even suicide,”...

Most women with heart disease just don’t get enough exercise; it’s the #1 killer of women in the U.S.

More than half of women in the United States with heart disease aren’t getting enough physical activity, and that number has increased over the past decade, a study says. In Kentucky, 4.9% of women reported they had been told by a health care provider that they had heart disease, compared to 3.2% of women nationwide, according to America’s Health Rankings. “Physical activity is a known,...

Ky. schools lack immunization records for thousands of students, prompting concerns among officials

A Louisville Courier Journal analysis has found that as of March, the Jefferson County Public Schools had no record of whether 4,300 students had received their shots for measles, mumps and rubella, despite a law that requires students to hand in those documents within two weeks of enrollment. That’s a story that can be told in school districts across the state. According to the state Department...

Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky announces grant to help youth dealing with childhood trauma

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky last week announced a grant of up to $200,000 through 2020 to begin a rural program in Russell County and nine surrounding counties to help children and youth dealing with violence, addiction and other trauma known as ACEs – Adverse Childhood Experiences. The Foundation awarded the grant to the Louisville-based Bounce Coalition, which will work with Russell...

Healthy Headlines: Some tips to put your best foot forward this summer — and to keep your feet healthy

Spring is here—put away your fuzzy socks and boots for the season. Now we are ready for outdoor activities, fun in the sun and open-toed shoes. Don’t you want your feet to look and feel their best in the summer, as you head to the beach, pool and backyard barbeques? Darren Di Iulio, DPM, a Podiatrist with St. Elizabeth Physicians offers some tips on how to put your best foot forward this summer: 1....

Here’s a new tool to track ongoing changes to state’s Medicaid program, includes county enrollment data

Kentucky has a new website that shows an up-to-date timeline of all the changes in the state’s Medicaid program since 2014; provides links to Medicaid resources such as contracts, court documents, state notices and research; and provides a place for people to share stories about how changes to the program have affected them or their loved ones. It also provides Kentucky-specific Medicaid data,...

Shelley Shearer: Misaligned jaw causes overbites, underbites, conditions that your dentist can treat

In our society, someone with protruding teeth or enlarged jaw is often taunted by their peers. When the upper and lower teeth don’t meet comfortably, the cause is usually a misaligned jaw. Dentists often see overbites, when the upper teeth protrude, and underbites when the lower teeth sit in front of the upper teeth. While some bite problems are harmless, others can cause discomfort, pain and damage...