A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Baptist Health offers tips to help Kentuckians avoid serious respiratory illnesses, including flu

While the new strain of coronavirus that originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan is making headlines, there are many serious respiratory illnesses to watch for right here at home including flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and pneumonia. Symptoms of these illnesses, such as a cough, runny nose, and fever, might start out as mild, but in the very young, older adults, or people with weakened immune...

Keep kids safe around home fireplaces; prevent accidental burns with these safety tips

By Sherri Hannan University of Kentucky Healthcare Fire can be friend or foe. We often think about fire as it relates to warmth thereby making it our friend during those long winter months. As the cold temperatures arrive, fire used to heat our homes may be a daily occurrence. When we use fire as heat source, we have to mindful of how dangerous it can be and take the appropriate actions to keep everyone...

Region’s first potential cases of coronavirus reported at Miami University: CDC says risk remains low

KyForward staff Miami University Student Health Services have notified the Butler County General Health District (BCGHD) in Ohio of two possible cases of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Both possible cases had recently traveled and returned from China. Both possible cases are not severely ill and currently in isolation to keep the illness from spreading. Samples were sent to the Centers for Disease...

Dr. Steven Stack named commissioner of Department for Public Health; begins appointment Feb. 10

Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) Acting Secretary Eric Friedlander has announced Dr. Steven Stack as the agency’s new commissioner of the Department for Public Health (DPH). Stack will begin his appointment on Feb. 10. Gov. Andy Beshear said Stack shares his commitment to making better health care and health education available to Kentuckians in every part of the state. “Health...

Properly working home-heating devices, carbon monoxide detectors can save lives

With recent temperatures below freezing, the Department for Public Health (DPH), within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), wants to remind residents to take action to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning (CO). “Carbon monoxide poisonings are more likely during colder weather, so it is very important that Kentucky residents make sure their heating sources and carbon monoxide detectors...

Rep. Kim Moser’s bill for mental-health first aid training program passed unanimously by House

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News A bill to create a training program for mental-health first aid has unanimously passed the state House and is in the Senate. House Bill 153, sponsored by Rep. Kim Moser, R-Taylor Mill, would train people in how to best address the needs of someone experiencing a mental-health or substance-use crisis. “The Mental Health First Aid Act will put this evidence-based...

Healthy Headlines: Truck driver, farmer learns valuable lessons in heart health, shares his story

St. Elizabeth Healthcare With a long history of driving a dump truck and farming on the side, Mike Adams knows the meaning of hard work. That’s why he became worried at age 46 when he was too weak to change a tire on his truck – something his 12-year-old son did with no problem. Adams Adams hadn’t seen a doctor in years, but he walked into a local clinic and discovered his blood pressure was...

UK provides update on $15 million KeY Treat study aimed at eradicating hepatitis C in Perry County

By Allison Perry University of Kentucky On Wednesday, University of Kentucky officials provided updates on the recently launched Kentucky Viral Hepatitis Treatment Project (KeY Treat), a three-year, $15 million study co-funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) with the ultimate goal of eradicating the hepatitis C virus (HCV) in Perry County. Led by UK...

Trudy Lieberman: Low-value tests are costly, can lead to harm; limit medical costs by avoiding them

We know too well the cost of American health care keeps rising as far as the eye can see. In 1995 health care accounted for 13.4 percent of GDP; in 2018 it consumed 17.7 percent. It is projected to rise even more. Despite all the talk about how patients should become wise consumers of medical care, they can’t really do much to stop the big hospital systems, big physician groups, or powerful drug...

Flu cases dip in new year, but still much higher than last season; 21 deaths from flu confirmed in Ky.

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Influenza has killed 21 people in Kentucky this season, two under the age of 18, according to the state Department for Public Health. The latest weekly report shows that the flu activity in the state has dropped a bit in the first two weeks of the year, compared to the last two weeks of 2019, when the state was reporting more than 2,000 new cases each week. In...

Shelley Shearer: Oral cancer may be more common than you think; self-check and consult your dentist

There are nearly 50,000 new cases of oral cancer in the United States each year, accounting for three percent of all cancer diagnoses. Most are discovered in a dental office. Oral cancer is caused by the uncontrolled growth and reproduction of cells in some regions of the mouth. It can occur inside the cheeks, under the middle and front of the tongue, or on the tissue lining of the mouth or gum. That’s...

Whayne Herriford: Establishing and maintaining boundaries in relationships is key to mental health

For many of my clients, one of the sources of both depression and anxiety is their ability to establish and maintain boundaries with other people. In therapy, boundaries are the limits or rules we set for ourselves and others in relationships. It’s based on our understanding of what we want or need in our lives and how we are willing to allow people to help us fulfill them. Boundaries often are...

Baptist Health Lexington nurses honored during DAISY Nurse Leader Awards ceremony

Two longtime nurse leaders at Baptist Health Lexington were honored for outstanding service at a DAISY Award ceremony on Tuesday, Jan. 14 at the hospital. Karen Hill, left; and Lindsay Bowles, right; present the DAISY Nurse Leader Award to Laura Dicks during a ceremony on Tuesday, Jan. 14 at Baptist Health Lexington. (Photo from Baptist Health) Laura Dicks, BSN, RN, MBA, HPNA, Director of the Palliative...

Smoke-free advocates rally in Frankfort for measures to decrease soaring youth use of e-cigarettes

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Kentucky’s Coalition for a Smoke-free Tomorrow rallied in Frankfort this week to call on state lawmakers to pass several measures aimed at decreasing electronic-cigarette use among the state’s youth, a phenomenon that continues to surge. Between 2017 and 2019, e-cigarette use more than quadrupled among the state’s middle-school students and...

Kentucky Health Issues Poll finds majority of adults in Commonwealth favor tax on e-cigarettes

Tobacco remains the single most preventable cause of disease and death among Kentuckians. However, the nature of tobacco use is changing, particularly with the rise of e-cigarettes. Commonly known as vapes, vape pens or hookahs, e-cigarettes use a battery and a heating element to deliver nicotine vapor to the user. To better understand the attitudes and opinions of Kentucky adults about e-cigarettes,...

Kentucky’s nurses are influencing policy and public health in the “Year of the Nurse”

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service The World Health Organization has declared 2020 the “Year of the Nurse” in celebration of Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday. Nightingale is considered the founder of modern nursing. In Kentucky, nurses are expanding their roles in communities. Executive Director of the Kentucky Nurses Association Delanor Manson said the state would benefit...

Age to buy tobacco is 21 thanks to federal legislation; state law pending, health advocates are pleased

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News The minimum age to buy tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, is now 21. Legislation to raise the age from 18 passed Congress as part of the year-end spending bill and was signed into law by President Trump Dec. 20. The “Tobacco 21” legislation, co-sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., gave...

Transportation problems, lack of confidentiality among barriers to accessing rural syringe exchanges

By Heather Chapman Kentucky Health News Rural residents who inject drugs say they are less likely to access syringe exchange programs because of transportation problems, inability to get to the service at times it’s open, and concerns about stigma, lack of confidentiality and law enforcement. So says a newly published study examining barriers that can prevent people who inject drugs (PWIDs) from...

Kentucky Health Collaborative joins forces against lung cancer to diagnose more cases, earlier

By Andrea Slone University of Kentucky Kentucky Health Collaborative (KHC) Members are joining forces to bridge the gap between high-quality health care providers and services and the poor health outcomes of Kentuckians. As a part of KHC’s mission to improve the quality of health in Kentucky, the KHC Executive Committee has prioritized the need to reduce lung cancer mortality as the KHC’s first...

Department for Public Health promotes free text service to help young Kentuckians quit vaping

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH), within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), encourages teens and young adults who want to quit vaping to get free help from This Is Quitting, a nationwide texting service. CHFS and DPH officials say cessation services such as This Is Quitting are critical for young people and emphasized that many will be impacted by the recent federal law...