A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

William Hacker: Cigarette tax is good health policy, especially for Kentucky babies and youth

23,200 more Kentucky youth who become smoke-free adults. Nearly 1,200 healthier newborns every year. $1 billion in long-term health care cost savings. Isn’t that worth a dollar more? Health advocates are calling for a $1 per pack increase in Kentucky’s state tax on cigarettes because it will reduce tobacco use, particularly among youth and pregnant women. Less smoking means healthier babies and...

Appalachian Health Hack-a-thon discusses creative solutions on obesity, diabetes, substance abuse

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News In just three days’ time, 160 people came up with 19 innovative solutions to three of Appalachian Kentucky’s most challenging health issues – diabetes, obesity and substance abuse – at the first-ever Massachusetts Institute of Technology Appalachian Health Hack-a-thon in Somerset Oct. 6-8. The 19 teams, including six led by high-school students,...

New SOAR health chair wants to tackle issues that have ‘broadest reach, greatest impact’

  By Melissa Patrick Special to KyForward   Dr. William Hacker, a former state health commissioner, is the new chair of the Community Health Advisory Council for Shaping Our Appalachian Region, a nonprofit organization created last year by Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear and Republican U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers of the 5th District to improve Appalachian Kentucky’s economy.   So,...

Women leading Kentucky health: Top doctor sees stars aligned for state to get healthier

This is the third in a series of stories about four high-ranking female state officials who have guided the state’s embrace of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.   By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News   “The stars have aligned” and Kentucky has at last “created an infrastructure” to make the state healthier, says Dr. Stephanie Mayfield Gibson, commissioner of...