A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

New House health committee chair Rep. Kim Moser: ‘Health care is too important to leave to chance’

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News The new chair of the state House Health and Family Services Committee has been a legislator for less than two years and two months, but says she’s uniquely qualified for the position because of her background in health care and her willingness to speak out about important issues. Rep. Kim Moser, a Republican from Taylor Mill, told Kentucky Health News...

Half of U.S. adults don’t know symptoms of heart attacks; Kentuckians have second highest risk

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News About 50 percent of American adults don’t know the five common symptoms of a heart attack, even though a heart attack happens about every 40 seconds in the U.S., according to a recent study. The five common symptoms of heart attack are pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back; feeling weak, lightheaded or faint; chest pain or discomfort; pain or discomfort...

Rise in teen use of e-cigarettes erases years of progress in curbing teen smoking

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Teens’ use of electronic cigarettes is overwhelmingly responsible for erasing years of progress in reducing teen tobacco use, according to the latest annual National Youth Tobacco Survey. The survey found that 4.9 million middle and high school students reported being current users of some type of tobacco product in 2018, a third again as many as the 3.6...

Dr. Don Saelinger: To fix healthcare system, get down to specific solutions to specific problems

Second of two parts The number of hospital admissions has decreased significantly over the last few years with many treatments and surgical procedures moving to the outpatient setting. Additionally, financial support that hospitals have traditionally received from the government for drugs (called 340B) and physician fee support (called OPPS) is about to dissipate. More, the Certificate of Need regulation...

Dr. Don Saelinger: American healthcare system is broken for patients and healthcare stakeholders

First of two parts Healthcare cost and quality are important concerns for Americans. The healthcare value issue was the major concern for voters in the midterm elections and is beginning to receive significant attention from politicians. Why is it broken; why does it cost so much; who should pay for it; why is the quality less than excellent; who can fix it; how can it be fixed; is it a political/government...

LFCHD warning residents after employee at Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken confirmed with Hep A

An employee at Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken, 321 E. Vine St., has been diagnosed with a confirmed case of hepatitis A. As a result, customers who ate at the restaurant from Jan. 23-Feb. 8, 2019, may have been exposed to the hepatitis A virus and are advised to get a hepatitis A vaccination. While it is relatively uncommon for restaurant customers to become infected with the hepatitis A virus...

Flu cases hit new high for the season in state’s latest report with two more deaths reported week of Feb. 2

The number of influenza cases confirmed in Kentucky hit the highest level of the season, by far, in the week ended Feb. 2, according to the latest surveillance report from the state Department for Public Health. The department’s laboratory confirmed 1,876 cases that week, for a total of 7,285 in the season. All 17 health regions of the state have confirmed cases, and only one region did not...

Sickweather.com warns of outbreak of strep throat in KY, which ranks 6th; get medical attention

Sickweather is currently observing an outbreak of Strep Throat reports throughout the U.S. The company reports that the Midwest and Southwest are the most active per capita for strep throat illnesses. Recommendations for those experiencing symptoms like fever or sore throat include seeking medical attention and requesting a rapid throat culture for diagnosis. Here are the Top 10 States by activity...

DPH continues to promote Hepatitis A vaccination; statewide outbreak continues, more deaths reported

People who are considered high risk for exposure to the Hepatitis A virus should get vaccinated as soon as possible to avoid contracting the virus and lessen the spread of the disease. High risk groups include individuals who use illicit drugs, close contacts of illicit drug users, and homeless people. The Department for Public Health (DPH) is making this recommendation as part of its efforts to respond...

KHIP: State mobilizing against complex issues around substance abuse disorders

Nearly a third of Kentucky adults (31%) reported that they have a friend or family member who has experienced problems in the past 12 months as a result of using drugs, according to data released from the 2018 Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP). The KHIP data is consistent with other statistics showing the prevalence of substance use disorders in the Commonwealth: Kentucky reported 1,566 overdose deaths...

Health department seeks nominations for Dr. Rice C. Leach Public Health Hero; deadline Feb. 28

It is time to nominate people for the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department’s Dr. Rice C. Leach Public Health Hero Award. The award, now in its 16th year, is for individuals who have demonstrated their dedication to improving the health of Lexington residents. Criteria for the selection of the award include:  Exemplary leadership and diligence in promoting public health;  Remarkable...

New Population Institute report finds Kentucky among states failing to prioritize reproductive health

By Mary Kuhlman Public News Service A new report demonstrates the divide between states that prioritize reproductive health and those that do not – and Kentucky is among of the latter. The Population Institute’s annual report card on reproductive health and rights gave 19 states, including the Commonwealth, a failing grade. The findings are not a surprise to Marcie Crim, executive director...

Kentucky Department for Public Health announces tickborne disease prevention poster contest

The Department for Public Health is inviting school-age children across the Commonwealth to create and submit original artwork for a chance to win cash prizes in a tickborne disease prevention poster contest sponsored by the Northern Kentucky Independent District Health Department. “I am excited to announce this poster contest spotlighting tickborne disease because this is a serious health problem...

House health panel’s new chair, Kim Moser, starts fast with bills to ban tobacco at schools and more

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News State Rep. Kim Moser plans a busy first meeting as chair of the House Health and Family Services Committee on Thursday, Feb. 7. She says she has the votes to approve bills to make schools tobacco-free, urge medical-marijuana research, and make it easier to get treatment for addiction. “Those are all issues that we continue to talk about and have taken a...

Dept. for Public Health warns of contaminated vaccinations supplied by KY’s Location Vaccination

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The Kentucky Department for Public Health is investigating infections from contaminated vaccinations from a Kentucky supplier, which have been reported in three states. 
According to the DPH, the infections are associated with vaccinations given by Location Vaccination at various businesses in Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana since Sept. 1, 2018.  The Mt. Sterling-based vaccine...

CHFS releases updated Medicaid budget predictions, Kentucky HEALTH timeline for 2019

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services has released updated guidance regarding the implementation of Kentucky HEALTH, which was re-approved in November by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The new information includes updated implementation milestones for various components of Kentucky HEALTH that will be phased-in during 2019. On April 1, Kentucky HEALTH will begin with many...

KHIP: Fewer Kentucky adults delayed health care due to cost after implementation of Affordable Care Act

Decisions about seeking health care are often influenced by costs. The individual needing care may be faced with a co-pay for an office visit, may have yet to meet his/her deductible, or may lack health insurance entirely. However, delaying medical care can negatively impact health outcomes. Thus, the 2018 Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP) asked Kentucky adults whether they or someone in their household...

American Lung Association report finds Kentucky must do more to prevent, reduce tobacco use

Tobacco use remains the nation’s leading cause of preventable death and disease, taking an estimated 480,000 lives every year. Kentucky’s tobacco prevention and cessation funding. *Source: the American Lung Association State of Tobacco Control report (click to enlarge). This year’s “State of Tobacco Control” report from the American Lung Association finds Kentucky earned nearly across-the-board...

Pertussis (whooping cough) case confirmed at another school; highly contagious respiratory illness

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department is notifying parents at Athens-Chilesburg Elementary of a confirmed case of pertussis, or whooping cough. This is the third confirmed case in Lexington in 2019; the earlier cases were at Tates Creek High School and Henry Clay High School.   Pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory illness spread by coughing and sneezing. It affects people of all...

Ambulances report fewer calls for drug overdoses as result of access to Narcan, and increased use of meth

Your local ambulances may be getting fewer calls for drug overdoses, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that your local drug problems are decreasing. The Anderson News found that OD ambulance calls in the Central Kentucky county fell 20 percent from 2017 to 2018, from 95 to 77 — but the county’s emergency director, Bart Powell, “said he and others in emergency management attribute...