A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Smoke-Free Tomorrow coalition holds rally (Moser, Raque Adams take part) aims to stop teen smoking

Amid signs that e-cigarette use, or “vaping,” has increased during the pandemic among some Kentucky teens, health advocates from across the Commonwealth urged legislators this morning to give local communities more tools to combat youth tobacco use. At a virtual rally hosted by the Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow, the advocates said adding those tools means restoring local tobacco control...

Vivian Lasley-Bibbs elected chair of Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky’s Board of Directors

Vivian Lasley-Bibbs, director of the Kentucky Department for Public Health Office of Health Equity (OHE), has been elected 2021 chair of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky’s Board of Directors. Vivian Lasley-Bibbs Lasley-Bibbs has more than 25 years of public health experience. At OHE, she works to increase awareness of health disparities, enhance patient-provider communication, improve cultural...

Ben Chandler: State’s poor health rankings are caution flag; don’t let virus keep you from doctor

A new state-by-state comparison of the nation’s health ranks Kentucky near the bottom in a variety of significant categories. Though the 2020 America’s Health Rankings Annual Report from the United Health Foundation may underscore Kentucky’s longstanding position as a state with serious health challenges, this year’s rankings also provide a great service by raising a caution flag related to...

Commentary: Kentucky’s fight against drug addiction must include help from criminal justice system

By Tim Robinson and Ben Chandler Special to KyForward At a moment when many people are finding it difficult to see eye-to-eye with their fellow Kentuckians, there’s one thing we all can agree on: we must keep fighting to end addiction in the commonwealth. This is a public health crisis that has only worsened due to the challenges of the last eight months, with substance use and overdose deaths trending...

Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky’s new Coalition for Healthy Children issues call for new members

The Kentucky Coalition for Healthy Children, created to advocate for school-based policies and programs to improve the health of the state’s children and their families, has launched a membership drive. There is no cost for organizations to join the coalition, which works collaboratively on policies and programs in the school setting – just a commitment to support its vision. “Ensuring...

Commentary: Raise Your Guard, Kentucky! Time to return to your preventive medical care


By Dale Toney, M.D., Jeff Reynolds, M.D., and Ben Chandler   In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kentuckians flattened the curve by staying home as much as possible. While that action was necessary and saved lives, it also led to a large number of people putting off important medical care. Now that it can be done safely, it’s time we all return to the preventive medical care that will...

Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky names Maysville native Allison Adams to senior policy post

Longtime Maysville area public health official Allison Adams will join the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky as vice president for public policy on June 15. Adams has directed the Buffalo Trace District Health Department since 2008 and presided over the Kentucky Health Directors Association for the past four years. She began her public health career in 2000 as a health educator at the district department,...

Board of Elections adopts emergency administrative regulation to allow absentee voting by mail

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The State Board of Elections on Friday unanimously adopted an emergency administrative regulation that will allow Kentucky’s primary election to be conducted largely by absentee ballot due to the coronavirus pandemic. In March, Gov. Andy Beshear, upon the recommendation of Secretary of State Michael Adams, issued an executive order moving the primary from May 19 to June...

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...

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 Youth Advocates: Nearly one in five women in Kentucky smoked during pregnancy in 2018

Nearly one in five women in Kentucky smoked during pregnancy in 2018, according to the 2019 Kentucky KIDS COUNT County Data Book that was released by Kentucky Youth Advocates (KYA). While the statewide rate of smoking during pregnancy in 2018 was 18.7 percent, about the same as 2017, the number of counties with rates exceeding 30 percent rose from 22 to 24; Lee and Owsley counties continued to have...

Sellout crowd at Kentucky forum hears there’s no scientific literature to back medical cannabis

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News The health benefits of medical marijuana haven’t been proven and more research is needed, according to a leading researcher on the topic, but that hasn’t stopped 33 states from approving it. It’s still to be determined what will influence Kentucky lawmakers as they again consider passing such a law. In the last legislative session, Kentucky...

Allen County Health Department nurse supervisor Carolyn Richey named latest Health Policy Champion

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky has named Carolyn Richey, a nurse supervisor with the Allen County Health Department who has worked to increase access to healthy foods for youth, as the latest Healthy Kentucky Policy Champion. Carolyn Richey receives the Healthy Kentucky Policy Champion award from Ben Chandler, CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. (Photo by Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky) Richey,...

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...

Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky applauds Murray City Council’s passage of smoke free policy

The Murray City Council has passed, by an 8-2 vote, a comprehensive smoke-free policy to protect residents and visitors from exposure to dangerous secondhand smoke. “Heartfelt congratulations to Mayor Jack Rose,” said Ben Chandler, President and CEO of the Foundation For a Healthy Kentucky. “When Charlie Ross and I met with Mayor Rose back in April to talk about the health benefits...

Kentucky Health Issues Poll: One in four Kentucky adults concerned about losing health insurance

Click for larger image Twenty-four percent of Kentucky adults ages 18-64 are concerned they may lose their health coverage, according to the latest Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP). Due in part to Medicaid expansion, public insurance coverage has increased from 29 percent in 2016 to 35 percent in 2017, but 15 percent of Kentucky adults have no health coverage and an additional 6 percent currently...

Poll shows voters support increase in Kentucky’s cigarette tax to support healthcare, budget shortfall

A new poll shows a majority of Kentucky voters support raising the state’s cigarette tax by $1 a pack to address healthcare and state budget issues, regardless of party affiliation. The poll, conducted in mid-December by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research, Inc., found that 69 percent of registered voters support a $1 cigarette tax increase. Overall support increased to 73 percent when respondents...

Ben Chandler: Coalition for Smoke-Free Tomorrow urges win-win-win on increase in cigarette tax

$1 More For a Healthier Generation Recently, a coalition of more than 100 health care, business, education, and health advocacy groups comprising the Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow called on the Kentucky legislature to raise the state tax on cigarettes by $1 per pack, with parallel increases in taxes on other tobacco products. A Win for Health This $1 increase would keep 23,200 of today’s youth...

Coalition for a Smoke-Free Kentucky releases Infographic illustrating high cost of smoking

Kentucky spends $1.92 billion every year on health care costs related to smoking, according to a new infographic released by the Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow. The infographic makes the case for raising the state’s current tax on cigarettes by at least $1 per pack, which would raise $266.2 million a year in revenue that the Commonwealth could use for health care, pensions or other needs. Created...

Tobacco’s Toll: New push aims to curb the other addiction problem in country’s sickest states

By Mary Meehan Special to KyForward Hundreds of kids scurrying to buses are oblivious to a sign above them declaring Bourbon County High School “100 percent Tobacco Free.” But upstairs in the library, sophomore and anti-smoking advocate Jacob Steward unfurls a six-foot scroll with earth-toned papers trapped between clear sheets of laminate. He begins reading the anti-smoking slogans he’ll post...