A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

CDC’s ‘Tips From Former Smokers’ campaign urges smoking cessation in Eastern Kentucky

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service Last week, Kentucky Public Health officials, community leaders and former smokers spoke to residents of Hazard as part of the Centers for Disease Control’s “Tips From Former Smokers” campaign. Amanda is a former smoker who has been traveling the country telling her story about how smoking affected the birth of her baby daughter. Amanda started smoking...

Hepatitis outbreak on the decline in Ky; 57 have died across the Commonwealth as result of the disease

The good news about hepatitis in Kentucky is that the number of hepatitis A cases is dropping. The bad news is that there are still as many cases each week as were once seen in a year’s time, and the state is by the far the leader in deaths from the liver disease. According to the state’s weekly report, the number of hepatitis A cases in Kentucky has dropped to around 20 per week for several...

Kentucky Hospital Association and state CHFS form coalition, launch statewide assault on opioids

The National Institute on Drug Abuse ranks Kentucky among the top 10 states with the highest opioid-related overdose deaths, and Kentucky’s hospitals are on the frontline in the fight to help the state recover. To assist the state’s hospitals in this battle, the Kentucky Hospital Association (KHA) is partnering with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services as part of the Kentucky Opioid Response...

National Mental Health Month: 20% of Americans struggle with mental illness or mental health issues

An estimated one in five, 20% of Americans, struggle with mental illness or other mental health issues. In conjunction with Mental Health Month, in May, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) is joining behavioral health organizations around the state and nation to increase public knowledge and spur action to boost mental health and general wellness. The Department for Behavioral Health,...

A historic grant: UK gets four-year $87 million grant to lead HEALing Communities project on opioids

By Kristi Willett University of Kentucky In the largest grant ever awarded to the University of Kentucky, researchers from UK’s Center on Drug and Alcohol Research (CDAR) and across campus — in partnership with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet (JPSC) — will lead a project as part of the HEALing Communities study. The four-year,...

Kentucky Harm Reduction Summit focuses on reducing negative consequences of illegal drug use

By Mark Hansel KyForward managing editor A crowd of more than 500 came from throughout the Commonwealth to Covington last week for the 2019 Kentucky Harm Reduction Summit. The list of speakers included Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) Secretary Adam Meier, Department for Public Health (DPH) Commissioner Jeff Howard and other public health representatives, harm reduction experts and response...

KY residents affected by national Salmonella outbreak, public advised to discard pre-cut melons

The Department for Public Health (DPH) announced today that 16 Kentuckians have tested positive with a strain of Salmonella Carrau that has been linked by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to pre-cut melon including cantaloupe, watermelon and honeydew. DPH is advising that the public should discard any pre-cut melon or fruit salads that contain pre-cut melon. Caito Foods from Indianapolis,...

A single mom and combat veteran, ‘scared to death’ about losing daughter, suing CHFS social workers

By Judy Clabes KyForward special editor Nikkie Holliday is an army brat who followed in the footsteps of two career military parents to spend 10 years in the Army, rising to Staff Sergeant. She spent 27 months in Iraq and Afghanistan, unafraid to serve her country in the most dangerous places. But she was “scared to death” the day a social worker threatened to take away her three-year-old daughter...

Governor’s Service Awards presented to 12 individuals, six groups from across Kentucky

Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton and Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Adam Meier honored 12 individuals and six groups from across Kentucky for their volunteer and service contributions at the 24th annual Governor’s Service Awards in Frankfort. “The men and women honored today personify the servant’s heart,” said Hampton. “We are blessed to have so many Kentuckians who generously...

State officials defend handling of hepatitis A outbreak in wake of additional warnings, legislators concerns

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News State Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Adam Meier called a news conference on March 1 to discuss the state’s hepatitis A outbreak and spent most of the time criticizing news-media coverage, mainly the Louisville Courier Journal’s investigation that revealed state health officials had rejected expert advice to mount a stronger response. Since...

Dare to Care Food Bank, CHFS celebrate first of monthly mobile food pantry visits in Louisville

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) and Dare to Care Food Bank on Thursday celebrated the first of what will be monthly mobile food pantry visits to Louisville’s L&N Building. Dare to Care will set up its mobile pantry in the L&N parking lot from 10 a.m. until noon on the fourth Thursday of each month. Meat, dairy, vegetables, and fruit are among the items provided. First...

New Department of Medicaid Services recommends increased regulation of Pharmacy Benefit Managers

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services Department for Medicaid Services (DMS) and Office of Health Data and Analytics has released a new report on the state’s pharmacy benefit program. “MEDICAID PHARMACY PRICING: Opening the Black Box”  looks at the impact and role of Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs), which serve as intermediaries between Medicaid Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) and pharmacies....

CHFS releases updated Medicaid budget predictions, Kentucky HEALTH timeline for 2019

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services has released updated guidance regarding the implementation of Kentucky HEALTH, which was re-approved in November by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The new information includes updated implementation milestones for various components of Kentucky HEALTH that will be phased-in during 2019. On April 1, Kentucky HEALTH will begin with many...

Delays announced to implementation of parts of Bevin administration’s Medicaid waiver

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Some parts of the Bevin administration’s implementation of the Medicaid waiver that was granted by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, are being delayed.   
The Cabinet for Health and Family Services on Thursday released updated guidance regarding Kentucky HEALTH, which was re-approved in November by CMS. 
Kentucky HEALTH, an acronym for...

Government shutdown delays lawsuit against Governor Matt Bevin’s Kentucky Health Plan

The partial shutdown of the federal government has slowed the lawsuit challenging Gov. Matt Bevin’s plan to revamp Kentucky’s Medicaid program with work requirements and premiums starting April 1. The judge handling the case in Washington, D.C., gave federal lawyers an extra week to file briefs, after denying their motion for an indefinite stay. The acronym in the name of the state’s...

State office of vital statistics warns of using unapproved vendors to get copies of documents

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The Cabinet for Health and Family Services is warning people who need copies of documents such as birth, marriage, divorce and death certificates about using third-party vendors who are not approved by the state. 
The start of the new year typically means an increase in the number of requests for those documents and, while Cabinet officials say obtaining them is easy,...

Chrysalis House opens new facility, expands capacity; joins with state and community partners

Chrysalis House has expanded its capacity from 46 beds to 62. A grand opening celebration was held at the new facility located at 1374 Bull Lea Rd., Lexington on Thursday, December 20. Unique to this venture is the state and community partnerships. The building is located on the grounds of Eastern State Hospital, made available through a lease facilitated by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services,...

State workers, county attorneys collect more than a thousand coats and hoodies for foster kids

Kentucky state employees and county attorneys have collected more than 1,000 coats and hoodies for children as part of a charity drive this holiday season. In a collection drive coordinated by staff at the Cabinet for Health and Family Services’ (CHFS) Division for Income Support (DIS) and the Kentucky County Attorneys Association (KCAA), 1,085 coats and hoodies were collected. The coats are for...

This is the last week to sign up for health insurance at Healthcare.gov; deadline is Saturday, Dec. 15

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News With just a few days left to enroll in a health insurance plan on Healthcare.gov, it’s time to sign up if you want federally subsidized coverage for 2019. Enrollment under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, ends Saturday, Dec. 15. If you need help with enrolling or simply have questions, there are more than 600...

Number of Ky. parents claiming religious exemption for children’s vaccinations jumps 59 percent

Kentucky Health News More Kentucky children are not being immunized “for medical and religious reasons,” Ashleigh Mills reports for Spectrum News. “Doctors worry the number could be growing because of misinformation circulating online.” In the last school year, parents of 442 sixth graders exempted them from vaccines. That was only 1.5 percent of the total, but an increase of...