A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

New program encourages community to create inclusive environment for seniors with sensory loss

Approximately 83 percent of older adults in the United States are living with at least one diminished sense, according to a new survey by Home Instead, Inc. While a sensory loss is remarkably common, the world is not designed to accommodate those living with challenges such as impaired vision, hearing and mobility. This harsh reality is no more apparent than on the demographic with the highest rate...

New influenza cases in Kentucky dropped slightly in last week of February; vaccine remains best defense

In the last week of February, Kentucky reported fewer new cases of influenza and fewer deaths from it than it did the week before. The latest weekly report from the state Department for Public Health shows that in the week ending Feb. 29, Kentucky counted 1,591 new cases, down from 1,943 new cases the previous week. Five flu deaths were reported in the state, down from 14 the previous week and 16...

Mitch McConnell announces Kentucky will receive at least $7 million to help fight new coronavirus

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Friday that Kentucky will receive at least $7 million to help fight the new coronavirus, labeled COVID-19. The funding, included in the supplemental appropriations bill, was signed into law by President Trump, will be provided to state officials who will determine how the resources will be distributed. Each state will receive no less than $4 million. The...

KHIP: More than half of Ky. adults have firearms in their home; many are loaded and/or unlocked

As death rates related to firearms increase around the country, and gun control is debated by local, state and federal policymakers, it can be helpful to understand current firearm ownership and storage. The 2019 Kentucky Health Issues Poll asked Kentucky adults about the presence of firearms in or around households, whether the weapons are stored in a locked location, and whether firearms are kept...

Beshear urges all employers to allow paid sick leave in effort to prevent spread of coronavirus

Gov. Andy Beshear wants Kentucky employers who don’t allow paid sick leave to change that policy, to prevent spread of the coronavirus. “We have got to make sure that people stay home when they’re feeling sick until we move past this,” Beshear told journalists, adding that it is only a matter of time before Kentucky sees a case of Covid-19. Governor Andy Beshear “I would encourage all...

Governor Andy Beshear says state officials staying updated on latest coronavirus developments

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Gov. Andy Beshear told reporters Tuesday the state is staying on top of the coronavirus situation and remains in close contact with federal officials on the outbreak. Beshear says that included a Monday conference call with virtually every other governor, Vice-President Mike Pence, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, the CDC and many others. Gov. Andy Beshear...

Eye Health: Protect your eyes from too much screen time; here are tips to avoid strain from the experts

A recent study found that the average office worker spends 1,700 hours per year in front of a computer screen. And that doesn’t include our addiction to phones and other digital devices. All this screen time has led to an increase in complaints of eye strain, dry eye, headaches and insomnia. During Workplace Eye Wellness Month in March, the Kentucky Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons and...

Risk of Americans getting new coronavirus remains low, but top expert cautions this is evolving situation

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Kentucky health officials have been monitoring more than 100 people for the novel coronavirus, all of whom agreed to voluntary isolation after recent travel to mainland China, but as of Sunday there had been no confirmed cases in Kentucky. The state has tested one person for the virus, and that test came back negative, Gov. Andy Beshear said at a Feb. 27 press...

State is prepared on coronavirus, says governor; immediate risk to Kyians is low, but take precautions

Staff report There have no confirmed cases in Kentucky of coronavirus, known as COVID-19, and efforts are underway to keep it that way. “I want to reassure everyone that your state government, your local health departments, everyone, is prepared and is ready to address this issue head-on,” Beshear said this week. Beshear said public health officials have been contacting and monitoring anyone who...

Bill to help people with addictions get medication-assisted treatments moves on to full House

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News A bill to help people with opioid and alcohol addictions to get prescription drugs to treat their substance-use disorders — the recognized standard of drug treatment — passed unanimously out of committee Thursday and now heads to the full House. House Bill 389, sponsored by Rep. Kim Moser, R-Taylor Mill, would ban the requirement of “prior authorization”...

KHIP: Nearly 8 in 10 Kentucky adults believe schools should help students access health services

Kentucky adults continue to support schools as a resource for helping families get health care services for their children, according to the Kentucky Health Issues Poll. Eight in 10 said schools should play a more active role in this effort, an opinion that has held steady over the last decade. KHIP, an annual telephone poll of Kentucky adults about health and health policy issues, is sponsored jointly...

Senate Bill 90 would let health professionals refuse treatment that violates their conscience

A bill to allow health-care professionals to refuse to provide treatment that violates their conscience is nearing a floor vote in the state Senate. Senate Bill 90, sponsored by Sen. Stephen Meredith, R-Leitchfield, would also exempt providers from liability for exercising their rights and allow individuals to sue if they have been injured through disciplinary action, such as being fired or demoted...

Kentuckians urged to prevent coronavirus by same protocols as influenza; virus can spread rapidly

The Kentucky Medical Association (KMA), the Kentucky Foundation for Medical Care (KFMC) and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky are urging Kentuckians to practice known flu prevention protocols in light of Tuesday’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warning that the novel coronavirus is expected to spread within communities in the United States. “While novel coronavirus presents a low...

Number of new flu cases in Kentucky drops slightly; 66 adults have died from flu complications this year

The number of new cases of influenza dropped slightly in Kentucky during the second week of February, but 16 more adults in the state were reported to have died from the flu. So far, 66 Kentuckians have died from it this season, four under the age of 18, according to the state Department for Public Health. The latest weekly report shows that in the week ending Feb. 15, Kentucky counted 1,854 new cases,...

Children need 14 doctor visits before age 6, but many preschoolers are uninsured, especially in Kentucky

In 2018, the number of Kentucky pre-schoolers without health insurance was about half again as large as the number had been in 2016, and that was one of the largest increases in the country over that time. Researchers at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., found that 4 percent of Kentucky children under 6 lacked insurance in 2018. In 2016, it was 2.7%. In percentage points, Kentucky’s...

Baptist Health La Grange begins $5.8 million expansion, renovation of Emergency Department

Baptist Health La Grange is embarking on an expansion and renovation project with patient, staff and physician satisfaction at the heart of the plan. The $5.8 million investment will focus on renovating and expanding the Emergency Department (ED) to meet the following goals: • Increase capacity and maximize patient throughput • Enhance the overall patient experience • Improve the workflow,...

Baptist Health Lexington expands facilities with opening of cardiology space at Nicholasville Road

Baptist Health Lexington has expanded its facilities to diagnose, treat and prevent heart disease with the opening of its new cardiology space at its Nicholasville Road campus. The previous office included 20 rooms in around 16,000 square feet of space. The new space, located on the fourth floor of the 1720 building features 33 exam rooms with close to 27,000 square feet. A unique aspect of the workspace...

KET to air ‘Undiagnosed: The Diabetes Epidemic’ and panel discussion about the disease Feb. 24

Nearly half of Kentucky adults have diabetes or pre-diabetes — and many of them don’t know they have it. To shine a light on this issue, Kentucky Educational Television is airing “Undiagnosed: The Diabetes Epidemic,” a documentary that looks at the rising rates of diabetes and pre-diabetes in Kentucky, with a focus on what Kentuckians across the state are doing to reduce those...

Shani Bardach: When should you worry about your memory? When is forgetfulness an indicator?

Have you ever been ready to head out the door but can’t seem to remember where you put your keys? Or have you been standing in the grocery store trying to remember what else you need? Most people have had their own bouts of forgetfulness. When is this forgetfulness a concern or an indicator of something else going on? According to the Alzheimer’s Association, memory loss is one of the first signs...

Keeneland, UK HealthCare launch Kids Club to provide health education to wider audience

Keeneland and UK HealthCare have kicked off the Kids Club aspect of their new multiyear partnership announced last fall – now formally recognized as the Keeneland Kids Club in Partnership with UK HealthCare Kentucky Children’s Hospital – with the goal of providing health education to a wider audience. Established in 2012, the Keeneland Kids Club is the official Kids Club for Keeneland fans 12...