A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Dr. Patricia Purcell named new medical director for Office for Children with Special Health Care Needs

The Office for Children with Special Health Care Needs has named Dr. Patricia Purcell, M.D., M.B.A., F.A.A.P. as its new medical director. Purcell is board certified in Pediatrics. She serves as an associate professor at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, where she participates in teaching residents and medical students. In her most recent professional role she provided general pediatric...

Kentucky receives approval to provide increased access to Medicaid health services for students

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) has received final approval for a Medicaid state plan amendment that will expand health services in schools. The change to Medicaid will be phased in during the current school year, and approval for direct services reimbursements to school districts is retroactive to Aug. 1. “Approval of this amendment is a game-changer,” said CHFS Secretary Adam...

Kentuckians should prepare to ‘fall back’ by checking home carbon monoxide detectors

Now that Kentuckians have turned back the clocks, and with temperatures falling, officials are reminding residents to take action to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. “To prepare for colder weather, Kentuckians should make sure their heat sources and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order,” said Dr. Angela Dearinger, Commissioner for Kentucky’s Department for Public Health.   On...

Inaugural Kentucky Senior Hunger Summit looks to find solutions to senior food insecurity

The Commonwealth of Kentucky’s Department for Aging and Independent Living (DAIL) held its inaugural Kentucky Senior Hunger Summit on last week in Frankfort. The event connected community partners in finding real solutions to issues surrounding senior food insecurity. “There is no reason anyone in our state should go hungry. Whether it’s a child or an older adult or anywhere between. We have...

Kentucky Perinatal Quality Collaborative launched Tuesday during convening at Churchill Downs

The Kentucky Perinatal Quality Collaborative (KyPQC) launched Tuesday during a convening at Churchill Downs in Louisville. The launch brought together healthcare professionals and other stakeholders dedicated to decreasing the maternal mortality rate, decreasing rates of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), and improving maternal and infant health outcomes in the commonwealth amidst the opioid crisis...

CHFS networking event ‘Helping Us Build’ an effort to increase collaboration in harm reduction services

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) held a networking event, “Helping Us Build,” at the Kentucky History Center this week. It was an effort to increase collaboration and efficiency in the delivery of harm reduction services. “We needed to find how could we collaborate further and find additional synergy between all the good work that is being done,” explained Dr. Connie White,...

CHFS holds Kentucky Fatherhood Summit; Bevin says fathers’ presence in children’s lives matters

Governor Matt Bevin joined the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) on Friday for the Kentucky Fatherhood Summit. The summit explored the best methods of outreach to fathers for the purpose of leveraging their individual experiences and abilities for the betterment of children, families, communities and the Commonwealth. “There is an undeniable correlation between the presence of fathers...

State health officials encourage flu vaccinations; DPH reports 154 confirmed flu cases since Aug. 4

The Department for Public Health (DPH), within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), is encouraging Kentuckians to get vaccinated against the flu, as the official flu season begins Sept. 29 and runs through May 16, 2020. DPH officials are reporting 154 laboratory-confirmed flu cases in regions across the state since Aug. 4. “Getting the flu can be debilitating and sometimes life-threatening,”...

Kentucky project aims to bring families together at dinner table by promoting bonding, communication

Kentucky behavioral health experts are working to expand a program designed to bring families together at the dinner table, promoting bonding and communication to improve family relationships. The Dinner Table Project was created by Four Rivers Behavioral Health Regional Prevention Center in 2015, building on research showing families that have dinner together are closer, and function better as a family...

Be prepared, not scared: September is National Preparedness Month for emergency planning

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) is reminding the public that households, businesses and communities can increase their preparedness by following this year’s theme of Prepared, Not Scared. Be Ready for Disasters during September – National Preparedness Month (NPM). This nationwide effort is organized each year by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to encourage citizens to prepare...

UK physician Dr. Angela Tackett Dearinger appointed commissioner of KY Department for Public Health

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News The state Cabinet for Health and Family Services has named Dr. Angela Tackett Dearinger commissioner of its Department for Public Health. Dearinger, 43, is board-certified in internal medicine, pediatrics, public health and general preventive medicine. She is an associate professor at the University of Kentucky and is its College of Medicine’s assistant...

Medicaid changes will allow Kentucky’s local school districts to expand behavioral health services

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service Local school districts will soon be able to hire more licensed psychologists, counselors and other behavioral health professionals, thanks to upcoming Medicaid changes that will allow schools to use federal dollars. Kristi Putnam, deputy secretary of the state’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services, says schools will be able to offer more supports to help...

CHFS unveils new health information exchange, moving to platform with enhanced functionality

The Kentucky Health Information Exchange (KHIE) has moved to a new platform with enhanced functionality and features for health providers across the Commonwealth. The updated system was unveiled at the 2019 eHealth Summit in Lexington. KHIE is administered by the Division of Health Information, within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS). The secure, statewide network allows providers...

Amye Bensenhaver: ‘Sunshine is a disinfectant’ and the law; reporter Yetter tells stories of child deaths

In 2016, the Kentucky Court of Appeals issued a scathing opinion to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services in an open records dispute involving access to child fatality or near fatality records maintained by the Cabinet. Reporter Debby Yetter’s devastating analysis of where Kentucky is today — three years after the court condemned the culture of secrecy in the Cabinet and nine years after the...

CHFS launches new Medicaid program to help members obtain commercial insurance

In line with its commitment to support improved health outcomes for Kentuckians, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) has launched a new Medicaid program. The Kentucky Integrated Health Insurance Premium Payment (KI-HIPP) program helps eligible Medicaid members cover the cost of an employer-sponsored health insurance plan. Kentuckians qualify for KI-HIPP if they or a member of their...

Deep study finds only 36% affected by Ky’s proposed Medicaid work rule aren’t meeting them already

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Gov. Matt Bevin says “hundreds of thousands” of able-bodied adult Kentuckians on Medicaid should be working but choose not to. But when his new Medicaid “community engagement” rules were set to kick in last July, only about 48,000 people on the program were short of meeting the requirements, according to a study of Medicaid records and...

After more than 600 public comments, CHFS updates proposed tattoo administrative regulations

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services has filed an updated proposed administrative regulation, outlining requirements for tattoo studios in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. In the process of drafting the regulation, the Cabinet received more than 600 public comments. This input helped to inform the decision-making process and ensure the regulation was appropriate for modern industry standards. After...

DHP reminds Kentuckians to reduce potential rabies exposure by avoiding contact with bats, wild animals

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH), along with local health departments across the state, is reminding the public about the potential for rabies exposure from contact with bats and other wildlife. “Bats become active during this time of year and that increases the possibility of exposure to rabies, which is a dangerous and life-threatening condition if contracted,” said Kelly Giesbrecht,...

Kentucky chosen to participate in National Governors Association’s multi-state convening in Minnesota

The Commonwealth of Kentucky was chosen to participate in the National Governors Association’s multi-state convening, entitled Child Health, Wellbeing, and Safety in School and Communities, this week in St. Paul, Minnesota. Gov. Matt Bevin selected a cross-agency core team to attend the convening, including members of Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Adam Meier“CHFS...

Jason Dunn: Kentucky knows SNAP work reporting requirement isn’t working, and here’s why

Food assistance through the SNAP program has been getting harder for some low-income Kentuckians to access during the past year because of new work reporting requirements. Thousands of families have lost benefits as a result. As changes to the SNAP program started taking effect over the last year, we have maintained that mandatory work reporting requirements create bureaucratic hurdles and deny people...