A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Louisville-based nonprofit Hope Scarves provides support for patients at UK Markey Cancer Center

By Allison Perry and Laura Ross University of Kentucky Scarves and stories of hope are easing the paths of cancer patients at the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center. Hope Scarves, an international nonprofit based in Louisville, is partnering with UK Markey Cancer Center to provide a little hope and sunshine for patients facing cancer. UK Markey Cancer Center is the first Lexington-area cancer...

Judge orders state to keep Anthem in Medicaid, cites role of former Beshear aide in bidding process

A Frankfort judge ordered the state Friday to keep Anthem Inc. as one of its managers of Medicaid, an $8 billion program that pays for health care for one of every three Kentuckians. Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd’s order “comes just days before the state is set to begin enrolling people in Medicaid health plans for 2021 on Nov. 2, and as the state is facing record enrollment of...

As COVID-19 grows more dangerous, ‘pandemic fatigue’ makes some take risks; here are tips to cope

As coronavirus cases surge across the country with no end in sight, many of us are experiencing “pandemic fatigue” and are heading into the fall with “an odd mix of resignation and heedlessness,” the New York Times reports. “In sharp contrast to the spring, the rituals of hope and unity that helped people endure the first surge of the virus have given way to exhaustion...

Kentucky Society of Clinical Oncology inducts four oncologists into Class of 2020 Hall of Fame

The Kentucky Society of Clinical Oncology (KYSCO) has inducted Kentucky oncologists Dr. Lowell Anthony, Dr. Donald Miller, Dr. Don Stevens and Dr. Roger Herzig into the KYSCO’s Class of 2020 Hall of Fame for their outstanding medical achievements and dedication to quality patient care. Dr. Lowell Anthony, M.D., FACP Dr. Anthony serves as the Division Chief of Medical Oncology and Professor of Internal...

White House reports 70 percent of Kentucky counties at moderate or high level of virus spread

By Melissa Patrick
 Kentucky Health News The latest report from the White House Coronavirus Task Force again has Kentucky in the task force’s worst danger zone for number of cases, with 12 more counties being put in that zone than the previous week. “Kentucky is in the red zone for cases, indicating 101 or more new cases per 100,000 population last week, with the 21st highest rate...

State issues plan for distributing COVID-19 vaccine; Anderson County residents hesitant

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News The Kentucky Department for Public Health has issued its draft plan for distributing a COVID-19 vaccine, when it becomes available, that addresses everything from who can get it first to how it must be stored. It also recognizes that “a portion of the U.S. population may hesitate to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.” To address this hesitancy, the plan...

Answers from the doctors: This is not the year to risk it — get a flu shot, which is especially important now

By Monalisa Taylor, Lewis Hargett and Heidi Margulis Special to KyForward This is not the year to risk it. Get a flu shot. As physicians, we now end each patient visit like this: “I am encouraging all of my patients to get the flu shot this year. With both the flu and the coronavirus going around, it will be a difficult season. Having more than one virus increases your risk of going to the hospital....

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day set for Oct. 24; disposal locations available across Kentucky

State Office of Drug Control Policy map, last updated Aug. 27, 2020 National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is Oct. 24. Special locations will be open in most states to make it easy and safe for people to dispose of their expired or unwanted medications, to keep them from falling into the wrong hands or being flushed into sewer systems, where they could cause unwanted effects. Most locations will...

Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky’s new Coalition for Healthy Children issues call for new members

The Kentucky Coalition for Healthy Children, created to advocate for school-based policies and programs to improve the health of the state’s children and their families, has launched a membership drive. There is no cost for organizations to join the coalition, which works collaboratively on policies and programs in the school setting – just a commitment to support its vision. “Ensuring...

Shelley Shearer: Avoiding cavities and COVID-19 this Halloween — here are 15 tips for trick-or-treaters

It’s been an unusual year. While we are all weary of the restrictions due to COVID-19, we still need to enter the holiday season with caution. If your community allows door-to-door trick or treating, here are 15 quick tips for maintaining children’s teeth and health. 1. Agree on a Plan To be safe, kids must agree to trick-or-treating with a small group of siblings or friends, stay at least six...

Study: Nutrition education for low-income people in eight Southeast states results in healthier diets

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News A little education goes a long way when it comes to helping people with limited budgets eat healthier and not run out of food before the end of the month. So says a study by the Public Health Institute’s Center for Wellness and Nutrition, published in the Journal of Nutritional Science. It found that residents with low incomes in eight Southeastern states,...

UK nursing researcher awarded $2.5 million to address health issues in rural Kentucky

By Hilary Brown University of Kentucky Kentucky is known for basketball, bluegrass music and bourbon. It ranks #12 in the country for natural beauty and is known all over the world for thoroughbred racehorses. But Kentucky also ranks highly among things it would rather not be known for, including high rates of obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Gia Mudd-Martin, Ph.D., a researcher in the University...

New report indicates number of uninsured children in Kentucky is increasing at an alarming rate

An estimated 45,000 Kentucky children were uninsured last year, a number that has increased about 29% since 2016, according to a new report released by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families. Kentucky’s experience is part of a national trend that left an estimated 726,000 more children without health coverage nationwide since our country achieved a historic low number of uninsured...

Moved by the plight of a young Louisville heart patient, Las Vegas retiree pays his medical bill

Even with insurance, Matthew Fentress faced a medical bill of more than $10,000 after a heart operation. A cook at a senior living community in Kentucky, he figured he could never pay what he owed — until a stranger who lives 2,000 miles away stepped in to help. “The system still failed me,” said Fentress, 31. “It was humanity that stepped up.” Karen Fritz, a retired college professor in...

Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky names two new members to Community Advisory Council

The diversity director at Maysville Community and Technical College and a Bowling Green communications professional have been named as members of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky’s Community Advisory Council. Council members serve three-year renewable terms as liaisons to the Foundation in their communities. The newly appointed members are: Millicent Harding-Thomas •Millicent Harding-Thomas...

Foundation for a Healthy Ky. webinar to feature solutions to promoting nutrition, physical activity

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky will host a free webinar on Friday, November 13, to share a creative solution developed by the community of Whitesburg to promote good nutrition and physical activity, while also supporting their local agriculture community. The webinar is part of the Foundation’s Health for a Change capacity-building training series, created to support nonprofit leaders...

KCDHH raising awareness of risks of hearing loss during National Protect Your Hearing Month

During this year’s National Protect Your Hearing Month — observed each October — learn how to protect yourself and your loved ones from noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) and help the Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (KCDHH) spread the word to others. “Noise-induced hearing loss is preventable, so please take a few minutes to learn about the dangers of loud noises to your...

Reconnected portal kynect to help Kentuckians prepare for state-based benefits exchange in 2022

Gov. Andy Beshear on Monday announced the state has reconnected Kynect in order to provide easier access to health coverage and other benefits. Beshear said the new kynect offers expanded benefits, enhanced usability, a new mobile-friendly format and helps to ready the commonwealth for the return of the state-based exchange, scheduled for enrollment in 2021 to begin the exchange in January 2022....

More than a third of Kentuckians on Medicaid after lost jobs, streamlined enrollment due to pandemic

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Kentucky has added more than 250,000 people to its Medicaid rolls since the coronavirus pandemic came to the state in early March, bringing the percentage of Kentuckians on the federal-state health plan up to 36 percent. “As of today, more than 1.6 million people have enrolled in Medicaid,” Health Secretary Eric Friedlander said at Gov. Andy Beshear’s...

Inspired by her son’s care while at Kentucky Children’s Hospital, nurse embarks on new path

By Hilary Brown University of Kentucky When your child is in the hospital, it can be a harrowing, life-changing experience. You learn not to take the days for granted and your child’s care team becomes family. For Jennifer Brinegar, the doctors, nurses and staff at Kentucky Children’s Hospital had such an impact on her that she changed career paths and now works with them to care for other people’s...