A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Ky. health organizations launch ‘Wear It For Me’ campaign to raise awarenes of importance of masks

A Louisville man who just learned he has brain cancer. A Jessamine County teacher. A Glasgow family physician. A restaurant owner and a firefighter with a young child. All are wearing masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, and asking Kentuckians to do the same in a new campaign launched this week by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, the Kentucky Medical Association (KMA), and the Kentucky...

Annual health policy forum to focus on preventing youth substance abuse, suicide and risky behaviors

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky’s 20th annual Howard L. Bost Memorial Health Policy Forum will highlight policies and programs that reduce the chances of disease and unhealthy behaviors that often begin in childhood, including substance use, suicide and vaping. The forum, which typically draws 350 policymakers, health advocates and health care providers, will become a monthly webinar series...

Need More Acres Farm owners grow fresh, healthy food, tout food justice; eat more fruits, vegetables

By Maridith Yahl Special to KyForward Kentucky farmer Michelle Howell is passionate about providing fresh food to all, no matter their income. Recently, on a webinar hosted by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, Howell discussed how her farm, Need More Acres Farm in Scottsville, which she owns and operates with her husband Nathan, provides food justice. Michelle Howell (Photos provided) Howell’s...

Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky names five new members to Community Advisory Council

Five individuals from around Kentucky will serve as liaisons to the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky in their communities, following their appointments to the Foundation’s Community Advisory Council. Council members serve three-year renewable terms. The newly appointed members are: Rufus Friday Rufus M. Friday Rufus Friday is special assistant to the president of Kentucky’s Community and...

Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky names Maysville native Allison Adams to senior policy post

Longtime Maysville area public health official Allison Adams will join the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky as vice president for public policy on June 15. Adams has directed the Buffalo Trace District Health Department since 2008 and presided over the Kentucky Health Directors Association for the past four years. She began her public health career in 2000 as a health educator at the district department,...

KHIP: One in five Kentuckians delays health care because of cost; one in four skip prescriptions

The cost of health care and medication remained a problem for hundreds of thousands of Kentucky adults in 2019, according to the Kentucky Health Issues Poll. Although the percentage of Kentucky adults who delayed or skipped doctor visits or did not fill a prescription because of the cost has declined in the past decade, those most affected tend to have lower incomes and are more likely to have poorer...

Officials urge quick hospital, government action to limit deaths from COVID-19 in rural areas

A public-health professor and a surgeon at the University of Kentucky are sounding the alarm that the COVID-19 disease caused by the new coronavirus could devastate rural Kentucky, and they say rural citizens and hospitals need to be more careful. Ty Borders, the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky Endowed Chair in Rural Health Policy, and Sam C. Tyagi, an assistant professor of surgery, wrote a letter...

Two statewide health advocacy groups asks public to help prevent spread of highly contagious COVID-19

Two statewide health advocacy organizations are urging Kentuckians to take state public health experts’ advice seriously to help prevent the rapid spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the Commonwealth. The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky (FHKY) and the Kentucky Medical Association (KMA) say social distancing, frequent and thorough hand washing and staying home if you’re sick are especially...

KHIP: Nearly 8 in 10 Kentucky adults believe schools should help students access health services

Kentucky adults continue to support schools as a resource for helping families get health care services for their children, according to the Kentucky Health Issues Poll. Eight in 10 said schools should play a more active role in this effort, an opinion that has held steady over the last decade. KHIP, an annual telephone poll of Kentucky adults about health and health policy issues, is sponsored jointly...

Kentuckians urged to prevent coronavirus by same protocols as influenza; virus can spread rapidly

The Kentucky Medical Association (KMA), the Kentucky Foundation for Medical Care (KFMC) and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky are urging Kentuckians to practice known flu prevention protocols in light of Tuesday’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warning that the novel coronavirus is expected to spread within communities in the United States. “While novel coronavirus presents a low...

KHIP survey reveals vast majority of Kentucky adults favor medical marijuana legalization

Marijuana remains the most widely used illicit drug in the United States, with more than 22 million users each month nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Marijuana policies are being debated throughout the U.S. and in Kentucky. To help understand attitudes about marijuana in the commonwealth, the 2019 Kentucky Health Issues Poll asked Kentucky adults whether they...

Surveys examine family/friend drug use, addiction as a disease, access to substance use treatment

Communities throughout Kentucky and Ohio have mobilized to address substance use, enacting a variety of strategies to reduce opioid overdoses and connect people to treatment. To better measure the impact of this work and to understand attitudes around addiction and treatment, the 2019 Ohio Health Issues Poll and 2019 Kentucky Health Issues Poll asked several questions about substance use. KHIP and...

Smoke-free advocates rally in Frankfort for measures to decrease soaring youth use of e-cigarettes

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Kentucky’s Coalition for a Smoke-free Tomorrow rallied in Frankfort this week to call on state lawmakers to pass several measures aimed at decreasing electronic-cigarette use among the state’s youth, a phenomenon that continues to surge. Between 2017 and 2019, e-cigarette use more than quadrupled among the state’s middle-school students and...

Kentucky Health Issues Poll finds majority of adults in Commonwealth favor tax on e-cigarettes

Tobacco remains the single most preventable cause of disease and death among Kentuckians. However, the nature of tobacco use is changing, particularly with the rise of e-cigarettes. Commonly known as vapes, vape pens or hookahs, e-cigarettes use a battery and a heating element to deliver nicotine vapor to the user. To better understand the attitudes and opinions of Kentucky adults about e-cigarettes,...

Glasgow physician Brent Wright named 2020 Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky board chair

Dr. Brent Wright, a Glasgow family medicine physician, is the incoming board chair at the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. He began his term as chair on January 1. Dr. Brent Wright A lifelong Kentuckian, Dr. Wright is the associate dean for rural health innovation at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, where he collaborates with numerous parties both in and outside the university. Dr....

Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky names four new members to its Community Advisory Council

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky announced four new members of its Community Advisory Council, bringing the total membership to 52. In addition, Tim Marcum has been named chair of the Council for 2020, succeeding LeChrista Finn, DrPH, an assistant professor at Kentucky State University. Tim Marcum Tim Marcum, of Louisville, is assistant vice president of planning for Baptist Health. He previously...

Dr. Karen Krigger named Foundation Endowed Chair in Urban Health Policy at Louisville

Dr. Karen Krigger has been named the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky Endowed Chair for Urban Health Policy at the University of Louisville. She was recommended by Dr. Toni Ganzel, dean of the UofL School of Medicine. Krigger, M.D., MEd, FAAFP, AAHIVM(S), is the Director of Health Equity at the UofL School of Medicine’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and also a professor with the Department...

Kentucky Youth Advocates: Nearly one in five women in Kentucky smoked during pregnancy in 2018

Nearly one in five women in Kentucky smoked during pregnancy in 2018, according to the 2019 Kentucky KIDS COUNT County Data Book that was released by Kentucky Youth Advocates (KYA). While the statewide rate of smoking during pregnancy in 2018 was 18.7 percent, about the same as 2017, the number of counties with rates exceeding 30 percent rose from 22 to 24; Lee and Owsley counties continued to have...

Kentucky Health Issues Poll: Regional report finds health status and policy opinions vary across state

Adults living in the eastern and western regions of Kentucky are more likely to smoke and also to report poorer health than those living in Louisville, Lexington and Northern Kentucky. On the other hand, the lowest uninsured rate in the Commonwealth is found among residents living in the western counties. These are among the findings of regional reports for the Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP),...

Schuster wins top health policy advocacy award for more than 40 years of work in mental health field

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Sheila Schuster, who has spent more than four decades advocating for those with mental illness and other disabilities, and worked to increase access to health care across Kentucky, was named the first Gil Friedell Health Policy Champion to a standing ovation by an audience from all over Kentucky. The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky award was presented at the...