A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

AARP urging Congress to address COVID-19 spread in nursing homes, provide testing, PPE, more staff

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service AARP is urging Congress to take action to slow the spread of the coronavirus and help protect the lives of nursing home residents by boosting access to personal protective equipment, testing and nursing staff. According to data from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, more than 500 nursing home residents so far have tested positive and more than...

Recent graduates of Morehead State social work program providing vital services for child welfare

Several graduates of Morehead State University’s social work program have joined the workforce providing vital services for the children of Kentucky and have earned a valuable certification. The Public Child Welfare Certification Program (PCWCP) was implemented by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services and undergraduate social work programs to better serve the children and families in...

Marta Miranda-Straub named DCBS Commissioner; spent past 40 years as social worker, activist

Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Eric Friedlander has announced Marta Miranda-Straub as the new Commissioner of the Cabinet’s Department for Community Based Services. Miranda-Straub will begin her appointment on July 1. Gov. Andy Beshear said Miranda-Straub’s 40 years of experience in organizational and clinical social work practice and her passion to serve are just part...

Kentucky students eligible for new emergency food benefits; families can apply for federal assistance

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) and the Kentucky Department of Education are partnering to provide food assistance to families who have lost access to free or reduced-price school meals during the novel coronavirus emergency. Beginning May 23, Kentucky families with students who normally receive free or reduced-price meals at...

Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services announces Shambra Mulder as new Ombudsman

Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) Acting Secretary Eric Friedlander has announced Shambra L. Mulder, Ph.D., as the agency’s new Ombudsman. Mulder began her appointment on Feb. 13. Governor Andy Beshear said Mulder shares his commitment to ensure that those receiving CHFS services are treated fairly. “Kentuckians deserve to be treated with respect and dignity when we provide...

Dr. Steven Stack named commissioner of Department for Public Health; begins appointment Feb. 10

Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) Acting Secretary Eric Friedlander has announced Dr. Steven Stack as the agency’s new commissioner of the Department for Public Health (DPH). Stack will begin his appointment on Feb. 10. Gov. Andy Beshear said Stack shares his commitment to making better health care and health education available to Kentuckians in every part of the state. “Health...

Nominations open for 25th Governor’s Service Awards honoring Kentuckians who serve others

If you know an extraordinary Kentuckian or group who works diligently to improve the lives of others, now is the time to nominate them for one of the 2020 Governor’s Service Awards. To honor individuals and groups and highlight the impact of volunteerism and service, Serve Kentucky, an agency of the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, is now accepting nominations for the awards. “Kentucky...

CHFS, Kentucky Department of Education partner on framework to improve student care and wellbeing

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) and the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) are collaborating on a framework to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of Kentucky’s youth, called Kentucky CARES. Kentucky CARES is a grassroots prevention campaign aimed at addressing the risk and protective factors associated with multiple forms of youth violence in schools, homes and...

Federal grant of up to $12 million will provide behavioral health services to Kentucky children

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) has received a four-year federal grant of up to $3 million per year to support the behavioral and social health of youth through comprehensive services and community partnerships. The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) has awarded CHFS the grant for its System of Care (SOC) with the goal to improve behavioral...

Lexington’s Family Care Center celebrates 30th anniversary, still blazing innovative trail of work

A facility that was considered ground-breaking when it opened in 1989 is still blazing an innovative trail today as it celebrates its 30th anniversary of work with parents and young children. “The Family Care Center helps families with young children achieve greater stability and resilience. One of its priorities is working with young parents who may not be quite ready to be parents,” Mayor Linda...

National leaders, UK officials launch HEALing Communities Study to stem tide of opioid deaths

Flanked by national leaders in the fight to reduce deaths from opioid use – including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar – the University of Kentucky Monday officially launched the HEALing (Helping End Addiction Long-term) Communities Study – Kentucky. “Today’s launch symbolizes – in the most powerful and compelling way possible –...

Citizen Foster Care Review Boards in 22 Kentucky counties seeking volunteers to review cases

Citizen Foster Care Review Boards in 22 Kentucky counties are seeking volunteers to make a difference in the lives of local children in foster care and other out-of-home care. The boards need volunteers to review cases of children placed in care because of dependency, neglect or abuse, to ensure they are placed in safe, permanent homes as quickly as possible. The counties in need of volunteers are...

CHFS, KDE leaders visit Dayspring Health Clinic, a possible beneficiary of proposed Medicaid plan

Kentucky is optimistic that phased-in implementation of expanded school health services will be possible during the 2019-20 school year, through a Medicaid state amendment known as “Free Care.” Leaders from the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) and the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) traveled to Williamsburg Independent School District (WISD) on Wednesday. The visit...

Kentucky receives $9 million federal grant to increase awareness of mental health services in schools

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) announced May 9 the award of a $9 million federal grant to increase awareness of mental health issues among Kentucky students across the state and in three pilot school districts. KDE and the Kentucky Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities, which is in CHFS, will receive the Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education...

As school nurse programs are threatened, medicaid money made available for physical, behavioral health

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Many of Kentucky’s school districts have long struggled to pay for school nurses, let alone professionals in behavioral health care. And now some health departments may no longer be able to provide nurses because they will have to pay more into their employees’ pension system. Deputy Secretary Kristi Putnam (Photo from KHN) But schools are about to...

Federal judge’s ruling blocking Medicaid work requirements leaves many confused about eligibility

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service The Kentucky HEALTH program, which would have required Medicaid recipients to work or volunteer in order to get health coverage, will not begin this week. A federal judge recently blocked implementation of the program, originally slated to go into effect Mon., Apr. 1. And yet, many Commonwealth residents remain confused about their eligibility. The state says Medicaid...

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...

Franklin County Circuit Court delays hearing in Passport Health Plan rate case; now set for March 5

A Franklin County Circuit Court judge, at the request of the state’s attorneys, has delayed the initial hearing in a lawsuit Passport Health Plan filed against the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Originally scheduled for Tuesday, the hearing will now take place March 5. Passport filed suit on Feb. 15 after months of discussions with leaders at the Cabinet and its Department for...

Passport halts construction on West Louisville HQ; nonprofit health plan seeking critical rate relief

Passport Health Plan is delaying construction on its new headquarters building at 18th and Broadway while the organization attempts to resolve a dispute with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health & Family Services. Passport is seeking immediate relief from a reduction in reimbursement rates that disproportionately impacts Medicaid beneficiaries in the Louisville area – where the majority of Passport’s...

Judge Bertlesman denies ‘qualified immunity’ to social workers in Holly and David Schulker’s lawsuit

By Judy Clabes KyForward publisher U.S. District Senior Judge William O. Bertelsman issued a rare ruling in a Covington lawsuit when he denied “qualified immunity” for two social workers employed by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. “Qualified immunity” is rarely – if ever – set aside for social workers in Kentucky, growing as it does from “sovereign immunity” of...