A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Healthy Headlines: Fashion over function? Consider the lasting damage of those high heels to your feet

St. Elizabeth Healthcare Many women prefer fashion over function. You squeeze your feet into your three-inch stilettos to look great in your little black dress. Or wear pumps to work every day to look more polished in your suit. But have you stopped to consider you could be doing lasting damage to your feet? Dr. James Morrow and Dr. Bill Shamsi, Podiatrists with St. Elizabeth Physicians, agree that...

Shelley Shearer: This Halloween, start a trend and provide out-of-the-box ideas for non-sugar treats

Soon it will be time for little Zombies, Captain America’s and a Mary Poppins or two to run from house to house eagerly awaiting Halloween treats. Since they are inevitably going to haul in a ton of chocolate and sticky candy, why not start a trend and provide some out-of-the box ideas for non-sugar treats and experiences that will position you as the cool house on the block? While the little goblins...

Louisville psychiatrist pens new book that looks at why people struggle with interpersonal relationships

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News In a world inundated with interpersonal conflicts, a Kentucky psychiatrist has written a groundbreaking new book that explains what lies at the root of these conflicts and offers a way to resolve them. “It’s a book that talks about why the things that go wrong in our relationships go wrong, and why we live on automatic pilot and do things that we...

Kentucky Health Cabinet takes steps to address lack of adequate ambulance service in several counties

Citing a research report released by Pegasus Institute in July, the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services has issued an emergency administrative regulation to meet a public health crisis in counties without adequate ambulance service. The Cabinet pointed to the Louisville-based think tank’s white paper which found that several larger Kentucky counties have only one Class I ambulance provider...

Trudy Lieberman: Medicare Advantage may not be an advantage for you, look beyond premium costs alone

Making decisions about Medicare coverage has never been easy. Over the years the task has become more complicated as Congress has moved to privatize the system. Open enrollment, the time for evaluating your coverage and making changes if you can, opens Oct. 15 and runs through Dec. 7 this year. This is the first of two columns that address decisions people about to become eligible for Medicare and...

Officials reminding Kentuckians of importance of flu shots as Fayette Co. records first flu-related death

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky remains in the midst of its worst Hepatitis A outbreak in years, but now the flu has claimed its first victim of the season. The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department confirmed on Monday their first death due to the flu. Take the flu vaccine is being recommended. The first death of in Kentucky this flu season was reported in Lexington. (Fayette County Health...

Franklin County records 22nd case of Hepatitis A; fast food restaurant closes voluntarily for cleaning

Kentucky Health News A Frankfort fast-food restaurant closed for cleanup after one of its employees was found to have the liver disease hepatitis A, usually caused by ingestion of fecal material. “The risk of infection from this food-service worker is very low due to hand-hygiene requirements at Hardee’s and all eating establishments,” Franklin County Health Department Director Judy Mattingly...

Coalition for Smoke-Free Tomorrow to push for state law to ban e-cigarettes from all schools activities

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Concerned that historic declines in youth tobacco use will be undermined by the “exploding popularity” of Juul and other e-cigarettes, Kentucky’s Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow says it will lobby for a state law making all schools in the state 100 percent tobacco-free in the upcoming year. “We’re suddenly seeing epidemic levels...

As Halloween approaches, KAEPS reminding Kentuckians of risks of costume contact lenses

Scary-looking costume contact lenses may elevate your Halloween’s fright factor, but wearing them without a prescription could result in something far more terrifying – blindness. The Kentucky Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons joins the American Academy of Ophthalmology in ensuring the public understands the risks of wearing over-the-counter contact lenses. It is illegal to sell non-prescription...

FDA targeting cheap knockoffs of popular Juul e-cigarettes in latest effort to curb vaping among teens

Kentucky Health News Cheap knock-offs of the Juul electronic cigarettes popular with teens have been showing up in stores and online, “despite a U.S. Food and Drug Administration rule banning the sale of new e-cigarette products after August 2016 without regulatory approval,” Chris Kirkham reports for Reuters. A used package of Juul cartridges, found on aFrankfort sidewalk. (Photo by Al...

Lexington-Fayette County Health Department to host free flu shot clinic Oct. 11 at Newtown Pike office

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department is once again offering the chance to fight the flu for free. The department’s annual free flu shot event will be held 12-6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11, at the health department’s main location, 650 Newtown Pike. “An annual flu shot is the best way to fight the flu each fall and winter,” LFCHD spokesman Kevin Hall said. “The special clinic lets us...

University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown studies show connection between diet, cognitive function

By Laura Wright University of Kentucky We’ve all experienced a “gut feeling” — when we know deep down inside that something is true. That phenomenon and others, aptly describe what scientists have now demonstrated: that the gut and the brain are more closely connected than we once thought, and in fact the health of one can affect the other. Dr. Ai-Ling Lin (L) has recently published...

Health Policy Forum: Medical marijuana has some health benefits, but there are adverse risks

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Research shows conclusively that medical marijuana has some health benefits, but also comes with some adverse risks that would likely be exacerbated by the increasing potency of the plants, and some think a medical marijuana law in Kentucky would be a “Trojan horse” for recreational use. Meanwhile, teen vaping of high-potency marijuana products is...

Local health department will provide flu shots starting October 1 at Newtown Pike clinic

Anyone wanting to get an early start fighting the flu can do so at the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department starting Monday, Oct. 1. The health department will offer flu shots 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Thursday at its Public Health Clinic at 650 Newtown Pike. No appointment is necessary, and the cost for a flu shot is $30. A high-dose vaccine is available for $49 for ages 65 and older. Medicaid/Medicare,...

New report shows Medicaid expansion has had significant impact in Ky., especially in rural areas

By Mary Kuhlman Public News Service New research illustrates the significant impact Medicaid expansion is having in Kentucky, especially in rural areas. Among states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, according to the findings, uninsured rates for low-income adults living in rural areas and small towns fell more than three times more than in non-expansion states. As early adopter...

Lexington gets $2 million federal grant to fight opioid abuse; to be used for naloxone kits

Lexington has funds for additional weapons to use in the war on opioid abuse thanks to a $2 million federal grant. “This is a public health emergency and we’ve worked hard to put programs in place that our citizens need,” Mayor Jim Gray said. “This grant will help us build on those programs.” The grant, which stretches over four years, will largely be used for naloxone kits to be distributed...

Kentucky Retirement Systems members making improvements in their health, save costs for system

Kentucky Retirement Systems (KRS) members’ dedication to improving their health is also improving the health of the Systems’ Insurance Trust Funds. Through the efforts of a partnership with Humana, the Systems’ Medicare Plan administrator, healthcare costs have moderated and the quality of care has increased for KRS members. Cost efficiencies realized by these improvements are being shared...

Shelley Shearer: Consider all your options for accidental front tooth loss when accidents happen

Accidents happen. You fall face down and demolish a tooth. Standing a little too close to your slugger boyfriend at the batter’s box results in an accidental baseball bat to the face. Then there’s that golf cart that swerves too quickly around a corner and meets you head on. So you’ve lost a front tooth. Or more. Don’t fret. Dentists have you covered. But you do need to know what to do before...

Women encouraged to learn cancer risk factors as Breast Cancer Awareness Month approaches

Breast cancer affects about 1 in 8 women and 1 in 1,000 men in the United States during the course of their lifetime, and is the second-leading cause of cancer death in women, according to the National Cancer Institute. While breast cancer is most often found in women who are age 50 and older, the disease can also affect younger women. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that about...

Experts to take an even deeper look at Kentucky’s opioid crises at September 24 forum in Lexington

By Mary Kuhlman Public News Service As health, business and community leaders in Kentucky continue their work to combat the opioid epidemic, they’ll take an even deeper dive into the problem at an upcoming event. In recent years, the state has limited painkiller prescriptions and joined a lawsuit against drug companies. Despite these efforts, drug overdose deaths in Kentucky have jumped about...