A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

UK College of Pharmacy graduate Dennis Bashaw embraces tradition of unscripted opportunities

By Grace Colville and Ja’Nae Clapp University of Kentucky The University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy (UKCOP) has developed a stellar reputation for molding the future minds of pharmaceutical medicine. But what happens to those who don’t go on to become practicing pharmacists in the traditional sense? Dennis Bashaw, a 1986 UKCOP graduate, broke the mold and demonstrated just how a professional...

Ky. health organizations launch ‘Wear It For Me’ campaign to raise awarenes of importance of masks

A Louisville man who just learned he has brain cancer. A Jessamine County teacher. A Glasgow family physician. A restaurant owner and a firefighter with a young child. All are wearing masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, and asking Kentuckians to do the same in a new campaign launched this week by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, the Kentucky Medical Association (KMA), and the Kentucky...

McConnell faces flak from boths sides as GOP relief plan provides less for hospitals, none for Medicaid

Senate Republicans’ latest covid-19 relief proposal “sets up new fights over health funding even as the pandemic continues to overwhelm the country,” report Dan Diamond and Adam Cancryn of Politico. Mitch McConnell “There’s more hospital bailout cash, but it’s well short of demands. Senate Republicans are pitching a $25 billion boost to a hospital bailout fund, bringing...

‘Alone, but not lonely’ – Patient receives new liver at UK’s Transplant Center during pandemic

By Hilary Brown University of Kentucky Major surgeries and extended hospital stays are harrowing enough under normal circumstances. Factor in the stress and uncertainty of a global pandemic and the resulting restrictions on hospital visitation policies, and you can get an idea what Diana Lindsey faced back in April when she received a liver transplant at UK HealthCare’s Transplant Center. Six years...

Pandemic depressing vaccination rates, but it’s safe to take our kids to health-care providers

By Lisa Gillespie Kentucky Health News Not as many Kentucky children are getting critical vaccinations as they did previous years, tracking a nationwide trend of parents staying away from health-care centers to avoid the coronavirus. Last April, 27,906 Kentucky 1-year-olds were vaccinated for diseases such as Hepatitis B, influenza, polio and measles/mumps/rubella. But only 17,463 1-year-olds were...

State of Babies Yearbook: Study shows disparities that hurt rural children’s health

The Rural Blog Though rural living offers some benefits to health, such as increased community cohesion, many of the approximately 1 million infants and toddlers living in the rural U.S. face challenges that can hurt their health and stymie their development, Jessie Laurore, Gayane Baziyants, and Sarah Daily report for Child Trends. The brief relies on national- and state-level data compiled by...

Kentucky Health News: A round-up of COVID-19 news — cases, trends, the surge, masks, stimulus bill and more

From Kentucky Health News, a round-up of COVID-19 news: • Counties with more than five new cases on Friday were Jefferson, 206; Fayette, 76; Warren, 41; Kenton, 27; Boone, 26; Bell, 23; Harlan, 17; Bullitt, 16; Barren, Hardin McCracken and Scott, 15 each; Laurel, 14;  Campbell, Henderson and Shelby, 12 each; Jessamine, 11; Knox, 10 1.25 Pike, 9; Ohio and Oldham, 8; Perry Pulaski and Whitley, 7...

Beshear reports 797 new COVID-19 cases on Friday; new steps coming if numbers don’t decrease

Gov. Andy Beshear reported the second-highest daily total (797) of new cases of the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) in Kentucky on Friday. That number includes 19 new cases from children under 5. “Today we are reporting what I believe is the second-highest number of new cases we have had since our first case on March 6, with 797 new cases of COVID-19. That brings our total number of cases to 29,931....

Annual health policy forum to focus on preventing youth substance abuse, suicide and risky behaviors

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky’s 20th annual Howard L. Bost Memorial Health Policy Forum will highlight policies and programs that reduce the chances of disease and unhealthy behaviors that often begin in childhood, including substance use, suicide and vaping. The forum, which typically draws 350 policymakers, health advocates and health care providers, will become a monthly webinar series...

UK Healthcare discovers 26 false positive COVID-19 test results due to flaw in testing software

UK HealthCare has identified 26 COVID-19 test results that were incorrectly shown as positive due to a software flaw in one of the testing platforms. Here is what happened and how UK HealthCare has responded in the best interest of patients: • On July 16, University of Kentucky laboratory scientists were inspecting and reviewing raw data from the Massachusetts-based Thermo Fisher testing platform...

Report says Kentucky should tighten limits on gatherings, close bars where positive tests are up

A report prepared for the White House Coronavirus Task Force recommended that Gov. Andy Beshear should close bars in all counties with rising percentages of positive tests for the coronavirus, limit social gatherings to no more than 10 people, decrease indoor restaurant capacity to 25 percent and “increase outdoor dining opportunities.” The recommendations were in a previously unpublicized...

UK campus earns gold designation from American College of Sports Medicine for health initiatives

By Beth Goins, Ryan Girves, and Meg Mills University of Kentucky Concrete walking paths meander through the University of Kentucky landscape, while bike racks dot the architecture of building fronts. Passing through campus, one might see people zooming along on skateboards, rollerblades or bikes, or jogging past pedestrians. At the impressive new student center, tall windows in one section reveal a...

Passport Health Plan, which lost Medicaid contract, selling key assets to new manager Molina Health

By Lisa Gillespie Kentucky Health News Molina Health, in line to be one of Kentucky’s newest Medicaid managers, will be the successor to Kentucky’s oldest one, Passport Health Plan. Louisville-based Passport recently lost out on bidding to stay in the state’s Medicaid business, but its name, brand and networks of doctors won’t disappear after all. Last year Passport lost out in Medicaid contract...

Rural-health lobby asks McConnell to make critical-access status easier for nine Kentucky hospitals

Rural hospitals will be on the mind of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as he works on the next coronavirus relief bill, he said this week. McConnell didn’t commit to supporting a specific proposal of the National Rural Health Association, making it easier for struggling rural hospitals to qualify as critical-access hospitals, a designation that gets them extra reimbursements from Medicare...

VOA receives $2.6M federal grant to help pregnant and postpartum women in Southeastern Kentucky

Volunteers of America Mid-States received a $2.6 million federal grant, one of three in the nation, for treatment and recovery services for pregnant and postpartum women and their children in Southeastern Kentucky. VOA says it and the University of Kentucky’s Human Development Institute will use the money “to serve an estimated 1,250 individuals and their families over a five-year period,”...

In fight to keep Medicaid contract, Anthem alleges Molina Health had unfair edge in Beshear transition

By Lisa Gillespie Kentucky Health News Insurance company Molina Health had an unfair advantage in winning a state Medicaid contract, claims rival insurer Anthem, which was a loser in the bidding. Anthem claims California-based Molina hired a former employee of Gov. Andy Beshear who was privy to key documents that other bidders couldn’t see. Anthem says that’s just one reason the state should withdraw...

Baptist Health Urgent Care locations make sports physicals for athletes easy, cost-friendly

The upcoming school year will have a different look with new rules in place for COVID-19. But among the familiar activities will be school sports. And one of the most important steps for the ongoing health of a student-athlete is a sports physical which is required by most schools. In its guidelines for the upcoming school year, the Kentucky High School Athletic Association says that students will...

As you spend more time outdoors with summer in full swing, remember the ticks; they’re a big problem

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News As outdoor venues in Kentucky have opened up after months of being closed due to the coronavirus, more Kentuckians than ever are heading outdoors. And picking up ticks. Experts caution that it’s important to take precautions through September, when ticks are still active, and to learn how to remove them properly to decrease the risk of tick-borne disease. Jonathan...

University of Kentucky Healthcare names Dr. Jay Grider its first chief physician executive

Dr. Jay Grider has been named chief physician executive (CPE) for UK HealthCare. His appointment, announced by University of Kentucky Vice President for Health Affairs Dr. Mark Newman, becomes effective immediately. Grider has served as the interim CPE since the role was created in September 2019. In this executive leadership position, he will be responsible for the overall strategic direction of physician...

Beshear says Kentucky no longer in plateau on COVID-19 — 452 new cases, 2 deaths; take it seriously

Gov. Andy Beshear sounded the alarm — 453 new COVID cases and two deaths. Kentucky is no longer in a plateau. “We have another day of really high numbers of COVID-19 cases,” said Beshear. “This is another day where it shows that we are no longer in a plateau but cases are increasing. We must act now.” As of Saturday afternoon, Beshear said there were at least 19,121 coronavirus cases in Kentucky...