A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky 2019 health policy forum to focus on medical marijuana legalization

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky’s 2019 statewide health policy forum will focus on public health considerations associated with legalizing medical marijuana. Former Colorado “marijuana czar” Andrew Freedman will keynote the forum, sharing the impact of legalizing marijuana on a variety of public health measures in that state. Other speakers will focus on the impact of loosening...

‘I Just Didn’t Know’: KY students share what they’ve learned about dangers of e-cigarettes for youth

A Kentucky peer education campaign is designed to debunk the false beliefs held by many adolescents and teens that using e-cigarettes is either harmless or at least healthier for them than smoking. The I Just Didn’t Know campaign, developed by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, includes public service announcements featuring Kentucky students sharing what they’ve learned about the...

Sen. McConnell aims to sponsor legislation making 21 the legal age to buy tobacco products in all states

By Al Cross and Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that he would sponsor legislation to make 21 the legal age to buy tobacco products in every state – a change that 12 states have recently adopted, but one that failed to pass the Kentucky legislature this year. McConnell said at a Louisville news conference that his move was prompted by the epidemic...

Governor signs into law ban on use of tobacco in all Kentucky public schools and events, effective July 1

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Gov. Matt Bevin has signed into law to ban the use of tobacco products in all Kentucky public schools and events, a policy that has taken several years to pass. It will take effect July 1, 2020. Kim Moser “It’s not only going to help kids become less addicted in the future and improve overall health, but I think it will actually improve the light...

Foundation for a Healthy Ky. updating directory of health coalitions; submission deadline April 15

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky is updating its directory of local health coalitions and is asking groups that work to improve health in their communities to provide their contact information online by April 15 if they want to be included. The Kentucky Health Coalitions Directory provides a way to “grow and strengthen health coalitions in the Commonwealth” and includes any group...

KHIP: Kentucky adults familiar with needle exchange programs more likely to support them; almost half do

As leaders in Kentucky continue to implement strategies to reduce the harm of injection drug use, needle exchange programs are becoming more common throughout the Commonwealth. Data from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services show that more than 50 such programs are currently operating in the state. To better understand public opinion about these programs, which are also commonly called...

Chandler Medical Center surgeon Matthew Bush named Foundation for a Healthy Ky. Endowed Chair

Matthew Bush, a Chandler Medical Center head and neck surgeon, has been named the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky Endowed Chair for Rural Health Policy at the University of Kentucky (UK). Dr. Bush’s research involves increasing access to specialty health care for vulnerable populations. The Foundation’s endowed chair positions were established in 2001, at the Foundation’s inception....

KHIP: State mobilizing against complex issues around substance abuse disorders

Nearly a third of Kentucky adults (31%) reported that they have a friend or family member who has experienced problems in the past 12 months as a result of using drugs, according to data released from the 2018 Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP). The KHIP data is consistent with other statistics showing the prevalence of substance use disorders in the Commonwealth: Kentucky reported 1,566 overdose deaths...

KHIP: Fewer Kentucky adults delayed health care due to cost after implementation of Affordable Care Act

Decisions about seeking health care are often influenced by costs. The individual needing care may be faced with a co-pay for an office visit, may have yet to meet his/her deductible, or may lack health insurance entirely. However, delaying medical care can negatively impact health outcomes. Thus, the 2018 Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP) asked Kentucky adults whether they or someone in their household...

KHIP: Nearly 90 percent of Kentuckians report having health coverage, but some still worry about losing it

Health care is an issue that’s at the front of mind for many policymakers, businesses and families in Kentucky. As health policy decisions are debated, it is helpful to understand how residents of the Commonwealth pay for health care. Thus, the 2018 Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP) asked Kentucky adults about their health insurance coverage. KHIP, which is sponsored by Interact for Health and Foundation...

Advocates hoping this is the year lawmakers move to throw tobacco and e-cigarettes out of Ky. schools

At a Jan. 22 rally in the state Capitol, students, educators and health advocates asked Kentucky lawmakers to pass a law to make all schools in the state 100 percent free of tobacco and electronic cigarettes. Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates, said passing such a law should be a “no-brainer” for state elected officials who are committed to kids. “Many issues...

KHIP: Majority Kentucky adults remain in favor of both smoke-free and tobacco 21 laws

A majority of Kentucky adults continue to favor both adopting a statewide smoke-free law and changing current law to raise the legal age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21 years, according to the latest Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP) report. Majority support for the laws is found across all political parties and has held steady in recent years, the report found. (Click for larger image) KHIP is...

KHIP: 39 percent of Kentucky smokers cut back after cigarette tax increase took effect in July

Half of Kentucky’s adult smokers say they smoked fewer cigarettes, or that they considered or tried to quit smoking, following the cigarette excise tax increase that went into effect July 1, 2018. “The cigarette tax increase is changing thinking and behavior about smoking in Kentucky,” said Ben Chandler, president and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, which released a...

Owensboro resident Marianne Smith Edge appointed to Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky board

Marianne Smith Edge, a food and nutrition expert from Owensboro, has been named to the board of directors of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. Edge is a registered dietitian and founder of The AgriNutrition Edge, a food and agriculture communications consulting firm. Edge is the first Owensboro resident since 2006 to serve on the board of the Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that...

Support for Health Care Law remains steady in Kentucky; attitudes vary by political affiliation

More Kentucky adults have positive opinions about the Affordable Care Act than negative, according to the 2018 Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP). The survey, sponsored by Interact for Health and Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, found that 4 in 10 Kentucky adults (44%) view the law favorably, compared with more than 3 in 10 (33%) who said they view the legislation unfavorably. An additional 2 in...

KY Youth Advocates, Foundation for Healthy KY warn of surge in teen e-cigarette usage; it’s not safe

A new infographic from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and Kentucky Youth Advocates highlights the surge in e-cigarette usage among teens seen across the Commonwealth and the nation. While youth cigarette smoking in Kentucky has steadily declined, the growing popularity of e-cigarettes, known as vapes and Juuls, is putting a new generation of teens at risk of nicotine addiction. “Kentucky...

New Infographic outlines the dangers of electronic cigarettes, with focus on epidemic of teen usage

A two-page infographic from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and Kentucky Youth Advocates aims to fight the surge in use of electronic cigarette usage among Kentucky teenagers. “While youth cigarette smoking in Kentucky has steadily declined, the growing popularity of e-cigarettes, known as vapes and Juuls, is putting a new generation of teens at risk of nicotine addiction,” the foundation...

Friedell Committee, Foundation for a Healthy Ky. unite to strengthen state, local policy advocacy

Two statewide health promotion organizations today announced that they have joined forces to strengthen advocacy for state and local policies for improving health in Kentucky. In announcing the unification, the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and the Friedell Committee for Health System Transformation emphasized the organizations’ congruent missions and committed volunteers, and the value of...

Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky reacts to CDC finding historically low smoking rates among adults

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday reported that the cigarette smoking rates for adults in the United States in 2017 reached a historic low of 14 percent or 34 million adults. This is a 67 percent decline since 1965 when the adult cigarette smoking rate was 42 percent. The rate for young adults, ages 18 to 24, was 10 percent, down from 13 percent in 2016. Following is...

New initiative aims to change the trajectory for children exposed to adverse childhood experiences

By Mary Kuhlman Public News Service Children exposed to traumatizing events can suffer physically and emotionally as they grow. And a special initiative in Kentucky is working to help change the trajectory for these youth. Adverse childhood experiences, also known as “ACEs,” include witnessing violence or domestic abuse, the death of a parent, and poverty. Dr. David Finke is co-chair of...