A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

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...

Statewide campaign urges ‘Focus on Flu’ in advance of statewide flu shot day September 26

“Focus on Flu” is a statewide campaign launched in Frankfort Thursday to prevent another epidemic-level flu season like the one last year that hit every region of the state, infected 10,500 Kentuckians and led to the deaths of 325 people, including five children. The campaign urges Kentuckians to get their flu shots on Kentucky Flu Shot Day, which is September 26, or at least by the end of October,...

Healthy Headlines: High cholesterol increases health risks, can often be managed with diet, exercise

You’ve got high cholesterol. Now what? What’s the best option to lower it? According to the Center for Disease Control, more than 102 million American adults have total cholesterol above healthy levels. This statistic should be concerning, especially if you have other risk factors for heart disease including obesity, type 2 diabetes, family history of heart disease or you use tobacco. Your healthcare...

Baptist Health Walk to Remember to support Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

It is a “club” that no one would choose to join, yet there is comfort in knowing that you aren’t the only members. Those who belong experience a type of grief that is often misunderstood, under-supported and silenced. A Walk to Remember, scheduled at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14 at the Lexington Cemetery, 833 W. Main Street, acknowledges members of this group, those who have lost a baby due to...

Baptist Health Lexington series for women addresses fears, uncertainties of cancer diagnosis

A cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming. The Empowerment Series for Women with Cancer is designed to help free women diagnosed with cancer from stress and fear as much as possible and provide answers to many of their questions. This free series of programs, sponsored by Baptist Health Lexington, gets underway on Oct. 9 at 6 p.m. at Central Baptist Church, 110 Wilson Downing Road in Lexington. The series...

New report shows uninsured rate leveled out four years into Affordable Care Act, and probably rose

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News In the fourth full year since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was implemented, the percentage of Kentuckians without health insurance remained about the same, and probably increased. 2017 was the first year the percentage hasn’t dropped since the program’s inception in 2014, according to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau, with...

New report shows obesity is still major crisis; Ky. ranks eighth among states with highest obesity rates

By Mary Kuhlman Public News Service Obesity is a crisis that continues to plague Kentucky and the rest of the country, according to data released this week. An annual report by the health policy group Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shows the Commonwealth is ranked eighth nationally among state for the highest obesity rate, with 1-in-3 adults considered obese....

UK HealthCare recognized for promoting organ donation registries in a national campaign

UK HealthCare was among a select group of hospital systems nationwide recognized for promoting enrollment in state organ donor registries in a national campaign sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The campaign has added more than 443,000 donor enrollments to state registries nationwide. UK HealthCare and KODA celebrating...

New state health commissioner Jeffrey Howard’s sincerity, passion ‘a breath of fresh air’ for Kentucky

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Kentucky’s recently installed health commissioner is a 30-year-old doctor, two years short of being a surgeon, a goal he still plans to achieve. But right now he’s in charge of public health in a state with huge health issues, and local health departments with big financial issues. Dr. Jeffrey Howard is still learning. He will graduate from Harvard...

Officials drawing attention to magnitude of state’s suicide problem during Suicide Prevention Week

By Mary Kuhlman Public News Service The data on suicide in Kentucky is staggering, with one person taking his or her own life every 11 hours. And state health officials are among those elevating the magnitude of the problem during Suicide Prevention Week, September 9-15. State Suicide Prevention Coordinator Tammy Barrett said all Kentuckians should understand that suicide is preventable, and people...

Healthy Headlines: Don’t just sit in front of the TV for those fall shows — eat healthy and move around

St. Elizabeth Healthcare When you think of the fall season, you may think of the beautiful changing leaves or the cool, crisp air. But if you are like thousands of other people, you are thinking “This is Us,”, “Big Bang Theory,” and “Empire.” As you begin to plan your time sitting in front of the tube watching your favorite TV series and the fall premiere, don’t let your diet suffer. Rachel...

Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust for Life teams with Organ Donor Affiliates for Legacy of Life 5K/Walk

The Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust for Life and Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA), in partnership with University of Louisville Hospital, will host its 9th Annual Legacy of Life Run/Walk in Louisville’s Iroquois Park on Sept. 15. All proceeds from the event will go to the Circuit Clerk’s Trust For Life/KODA’s patient assistance fund, as well as U of L Hospital’s Donor Family...

Norton Heart and Vascular Institute purchases lifesaving equipment for patients with heart failure

Norton Healthcare is the first hospital system in the region to invest in the Remote Dielectric Sensing system. This equipment will add to the care available for patients in the community with heart failure — a common heart condition that can be deadly. The device uses medical radar technology in a wearable vest system, allowing direct and actionable lung fluid measurement. Care providers can immediately...

Healthy Aging Month: Time to think about eye exams and maintaining health eyes and vision

According to a national survey released by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, nearly two out of three American adults report having eye or vision problems. A significant percentage of them, however, fail to seek medical attention in the form of regular, sight-saving eye exams. In observance of Healthy Aging Month in September, the Kentucky Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons joins the American...

New report shows obesity rates on the rise among Kentucky teens, improving for younger kids

A new report shows fewer young Kentuckians are obese, but the opposite is true for local adolescents. According to latest State of Obesity Report, more than 20 percent of Kentucky teens are obese, the third-worst rate in the country. That number has grown from just more than 18 percent a year ago. Meanwhile, obesity rates for younger kids are improving. Roughly 13 percent of Kentucky children ages...

Centers for Disease Control study shows state has high rate of addicted mothers — and it’s rising

By Melissa Patrick and Al Cross Kentucky Health News Kentucky has had a very high rate of opioid-use disorder among women delivering babies in hospitals, according to a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Kentucky, 19.3 mothers out of every 1,000 who gave birth in a hospital in 2014 had an opioid-use disorder. Among the 30 states studied, only two were ahead of Kentucky:...

Public Health tobacco program launches second phase of Quit Now Kentucky information campaign

Quitting tobacco isn’t easy – but Kentuckians don’t have to do it alone thanks to services like the state’s free tobacco quit line, 1-800-QUIT NOW. That is the message behind the Department for Public Health’s (DPH) new public information campaign. It features broadcast, print, and digital advertisements, along with targeted outreach to medical providers and community engagement initiatives...