A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

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...

Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow to host conference on health impact of popular Juul devices

Concerned that the escalation of Juul and other e-cigarette use will undermine progress in reducing tobacco-related disease in Kentucky, the Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow will host a half-day conference in Louisville on Monday, December 10, to explore the latest evidence about the health impact of these devices. In addition, the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and Kentucky Youth Advocates will...

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...

Statewide campaign urges ‘Focus on Flu’ in advance of statewide flu shot day September 26

“Focus on Flu” is a statewide campaign launched in Frankfort Thursday to prevent another epidemic-level flu season like the one last year that hit every region of the state, infected 10,500 Kentuckians and led to the deaths of 325 people, including five children. The campaign urges Kentuckians to get their flu shots on Kentucky Flu Shot Day, which is September 26, or at least by the end of October,...

New state health commissioner Jeffrey Howard’s sincerity, passion ‘a breath of fresh air’ for Kentucky

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Kentucky’s recently installed health commissioner is a 30-year-old doctor, two years short of being a surgeon, a goal he still plans to achieve. But right now he’s in charge of public health in a state with huge health issues, and local health departments with big financial issues. Dr. Jeffrey Howard is still learning. He will graduate from Harvard...

Whitesburg primary care physician Dr. Van Breeding named Healthy Kentucky Policy Champion

Whitesburg primary care physician Van S. Breeding has been named a Healthy Kentucky Policy Champion by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky for his leadership in fighting the substance use crisis in Letcher, Harlan, Perry, Owsley and Bell counties. The award recognizes individuals and organizations working to improve the health of Kentuckians through policy change. Dr. Van Breeding was named Healthy...