A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky Hospital Association awarded $250,000 to fund software that could thwart ‘ER hopping’

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News The Kentucky Hospital Association has been awarded a $250,000 grant to equip Kentucky’s emergency departments with software designed to help physicians have access to patient information from multiple sources in real time. The grant for the software, called EDie, came from Anthem Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Anthem Inc., a major health insurer. “Information...

Fourth of July brings outdoor fun, picnics — and opportunity for foodborne bacteria to thrive

The Fourth of July holiday offers opportunities for outdoor fun with family and friends. However, these warm weather events also present opportunities for foodborne bacteria to thrive. As food heats up in summer temperatures, bacteria multiply rapidly. To protect yourself, your family and friends from foodborne illness during warm-weather months, safe food handling when eating outdoors is critical. Remember...

Ky. Chamber urges employers to update policies, lobby for reduced penalties during opioid summit

The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce is calling on the state’s business community to update its drug and alcohol policies to bring more help to their employees who suffer from addiction, and keep working to get state legislators to downgrade criminal penalties for simple drug possession. At an “opioid summit” in Lexington June 24, the business lobby also announced that its Kentucky Chamber...

Kentucky health officials advise taking precautions to avoid ticks: Protect, check, remove and watch

With the arrival of warmer weather and tick season underway in Kentucky, officials with the Kentucky Department for Public Health are reminding people to take precautions against tick bites, which can transmit serious and potentially deadly illnesses. “Spring and early summer are peak times for tick bites, which coincide with people venturing outdoors in the warmer weather,” said Jeff D. Howard,...

Rural hospitals remain at risk of closure; Medicare won’t pay hospital rates for scaled-down services

Rural hospital closures are a growing trend, and federal policies don’t support a model that would include a scaled-back version of services. But that’s what many rural hospitals need to do in order to ensure their future, Mary Meehan reports for Ohio Valley ReSource, a public-radio partnership that covers Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia, especially their Appalachian areas. “The reality...

Shelley Shearer: It’s June and the season for Bridal Botox and teeth whitening for those weddings

The venue is selected, dresses purchased, bridal showers planned and now it’s time to rejuvenate the face and teeth at the dentist’s office. The dentist? Of course. Dentists’ advanced training in the oral and maxillofacial areas (the face from chin to forehead) makes them the ideal healthcare professionals to deliver Botox to brides-to-be. We already know that dentists are the go-to pros for...

Norton Healthcare, UofL School of Medicine, UofL Physicians sign letter of intent for new affiliation

The University of Louisville School of Medicine, UofL Physicians – Pediatrics and Norton Healthcare today announced they have signed a non-binding Letter of Intent (LOI) to create a new pediatric affiliation. The LOI allows the organizations to explore a more meaningful partnership as the organizations work toward a definitive agreement later this summer if approved by the UofL Board of Trustees. The...

Kentucky CHFS secures $5 million federal grant to continue TAYLRD program through 2024

Kentucky’s Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities has secured another $5 million federal grant to continue the successful TAYLRD program (Transition Age Youth Launching Realized Dreams) through March of 2024. TAYLRD allows Kentucky youth ages 16 to 25 to easily access high-quality, developmentally appropriate, youth-driven support services to help them achieve...

Kentucky 34th in overall well-being in Kids Count; best rank in health, worst in ‘family and community’

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News The 30th annual Kids Count Data Book on children’s well-being, released Monday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Kentucky Youth Advocates, ranks Kentucky 34th in the overall well-being of its children, where it has hovered since 2012. Nearly one in four Kentuckians are children. Kentucky’s highest rank, 25th, was in health. One of the state’s...

Weekend frozen meals for homebound seniors project earns GRADD national recognition

The Green River Area Development District (GRADD) accepted the 2019 Rural Achievement Award at the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) 53rd Annual Conference and Exhibition in Omaha, Nebraska, on June 11th. NARC’s Rural Achievement Awards recognizes excellence in programs and service of regional councils and metropolitan planning organizations. Owensboro Health Regional Hospital approached...

Six KY nursing homes are on a formerly unpublished list of 400 poor performers around the nation

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News The U.S. senators from Pennsylvania have released a report that includes the names of nearly 400 nursing homes with a “persistent record of poor care” that had not previously been publicly available. Of the six Kentucky facilities on the poor-performers list, only Twin Rivers Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Owensboro is getting additional oversight....

Study: Private insurance pays hospitals 241% more than Medicare; suggests shift to a Medicare model

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News As health-care costs continue to rise for both employers and employees, one group of researchers says private insurers should move away from how they pay for hospital services, which requires them to pay a percentage of billed charges, and start paying the way Medicare does, based on a fixed-price agreements that are transparent to all. The American Hospital...

Bluegrass Care Navigators offers new pediatric palliative care program called Bright Path

Bluegrass Care Navigators is offering a new service called Bright Path, a pediatric palliative care program serving central, northern and eastern Kentucky counties. Bright Path offers specialized medical care for infants, children, adolescents, and young adults who are living with a serious illness. The goal of Bright Path is to provide comfort to these children through symptom management and care...

Farm Dinner Theater created by UK nurse to remind farmers of safe practices has unexpected benefits

University of Kentucky nursing professor Deborah Reed has come up with a novel way to remind farmers about farm safety: dinner theater. At Farm Dinner Theater, farmers watch each other perform funny skits with a serious message. At a recent show at the Lincoln County Extension Office in Stanford, Thelma Blair asked her husband Jack if he remembered to wear ear plugs before working on his loud farm...

Improved health is community undertaking, according to six-year FHK initiative

If more Kentucky communities tackled their health issues as communities, the overall health of the state could be improved. That’s one lesson of a six-year program that the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky recently completed in seven counties. The “Investing in Kentucky’s Future” initiative focused on children. It “improved student eating habits, increased youth physical...

Commonwealth Fund’s state scorecard finds deaths from suicide, alcohol, drugs, are regional epidemic

KyForward staff Deaths from suicide, alcohol, and drugs have reached an all-time high, but affect states in different ways, according to the Commonwealth Fund’s just released 2019 Scorecard on State Health System Performance. “What we’re seeing is a regional epidemic when it comes to premature deaths from suicide, alcohol, and drugs,” said Dr. David Blumenthal, Commonwealth Fund President....

Daily Yonder: Eula Hall’s Mudd Creek Clinic: 40 years of helping the people of Floyd Co. with quality care

At 91, Eula Hall still goes to the Mud Creek Clinic, now the Eula Hall Health Center, each day to help care for patients in her rural Kentucky community. (Photo by Taylor Sisk/100 Days in Appalachia) By Taylor Sisk Special to KyForward Six of Eula Hall’s 10 full siblings lived into adulthood. Her family was among the more fortunate. Growing up in rural Appalachian Kentucky, Eula has witnessed poverty;...

AMA elects Louisville physician to preside over its policy-making body at annual meeting

Physicians and medical students gathered at the Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association (AMA) Saturday voted for Bruce A. Scott, M.D., an otolaryngologist from Louisville, Ky., as the new speaker of the AMA House of Delegates. Dr. Scott In this position, Dr. Scott will preside over 640 physicians and medical students who comprise the policy-making body of the nation’s largest physician...

Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky honors retired Whitesburg counselor, advocate Valerie Horn

Valerie Horn, a retired school counselor and advocate from Whitesburg who works to increase the access of low-income residents in Letcher County to healthier foods, is the latest Healthy Kentucky Policy Champion, the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky has announced. Horn chairs the Whitesburg/Letcher County Farmers Market, directs the Grow Appalachia Program at the Cowan Community Action Group, and...

Healthy Headlines: Intermittent fasting could help you lose weight, but there are pros and cons

More dieters are turning to fasting or more precisely, intermittent fasting, to help them lose weight. But does fasting work to help you shed those extra pounds? Brittany Diehl, MS, RDN, LD, Registered Dietitian at the St. Elizabeth Physicians Weight Management Center says, “There are pros and cons to every diet. Intermittent fasting works for many people and it can provide some additional health...