A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

More Kentuckians are heading to Carolinas to offer aid in wake of flooding caused by Hurricane Florence

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today More Kentucky aid workers headed to the Carolinas to help recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Florence. Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief deployed on Sunday, said Director Coy Webb, and a mobile kitchen and shower unit were set up in Jacksonville, N.C., on Monday. The all-volunteer teams will be providing 25,000 meals daily, offering homeowners professional damage assessments...

First 72 On You awareness campaign focuses on preparing Kentucky families for disasters

The Kentucky Department for Public Health, within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, has launched the First 72 On You information campaign during September – National Preparedness Month — to increase emergency preparedness efforts for Kentuckians and their families. This week’s spotlight is on preparing families for disasters and emergencies. “Some disasters come with warning and...

Public health officials launch information campaign to increase disaster preparedness efforts

The Kentucky Department for Public Health, within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, is launching the First 72 On You information campaign during the month of September, which is National Preparedness Month. The goal of First 72 On You is to increase emergency preparedness efforts for Kentuckians and their families. A Facebook Live discussion on this important topic will be held on Wednesday...

New list provides resources for Kentuckians looking to quit smoking; low-cost NRT products available

Kentuckians who want to quit smoking have at least two dozen sources for free and low-cost nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products, such as patches, gums, lozenges and sprays, according to a list made available by the Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow and developed by the Kentucky Cancer Consortium and the Kentucky Department for Public Health. NRT products are medications that help reduce nicotine...

Kentucky implements new immunization requirements for students in upcoming school year

As students prepare to head back to school this month, the Kentucky Department for Public Health is reminding parents and caregivers to make sure children and teens are up-to-date on their vaccines. Kentucky’s vaccine requirements for school entry, which is modeled after Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, include new requirements for Hepatitis A and Meningococcal vaccines. “We encourage...

NKY Health Department launches hepatitis A prevention plan in wake of state’s declared outbreak

The Northern Kentucky Health Department (NKY Health) has initiated efforts to prevent the statewide spread of Hepatitis A from expanding to the region. Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection caused by a virus. Dr. Saddler When infected, the liver becomes inflamed or damaged and does not work properly. Although rare, death can occur from this infection. The Kentucky Department for Public...

State officials offer safety tips to stay healthy when enjoying Kentucky’s water ways this summer

With summer upon us, the Kentucky Division of Water (DOW) and the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) offer these safety tips to help Kentuckians enjoy the many rivers, lakes and creeks in which to boat, fish, swim, canoe or otherwise enjoy our abundant water resources. Despite many water quality improvements, there is the potential for human health risks in any body of water. By using common...

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...

Birth defects affect nearly 5000 babies in Kentucky a year; here are some simple steps to reduce risks

Each year an average of 4,900 Kentucky babies are born with a birth defect, often leading to health complications, disability or possibly death. Georgetown’s Mary Beth Long, who works with the state’s Spina Bifida Organization is a passionate advocate for the continued need for services, research and education to prevent birth defects. Her 9-year-old daughter, Abbie, was born with spina bifida,...

Learning about risks from radon and testing your home can protect your family’s health

As part of National Radon Action Month, the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services urges Kentuckians to learn more about the potential health effects of radon exposure and how to check your home for this potentially dangerous gas. To better acquaint Kentuckians with the dangers from exposure to radon, a short video clip, has been made available...

Department of Public Health reports flu activity across Kentucky now at epidemic levels

The Kentucky Department for Public Health now describes influenza activity in Kentucky as an epidemic. This season’s strain of the flu virus can be extremely serious, even deadly, not just for those in higher risk categories but to generally healthy Kentuckians as well. Kentucky is in its sixth consecutive week of widespread flu activity which is the highest level of flu activity and indicates increased...

DPH commissioner to discuss strategies to address opioid epidemic at national conference

Dr. Jeffrey D. Howard, Acting Commissioner at the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH), will represent the state during a national Opioid Policy session this weekend. Organized by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), The Opioid Policy Fellows roundtable will discuss opioid addiction and overdose issues. The session runs January 26-28 in New Orleans, Louisiana. “This event...

52 Weeks of Public Health: ‘Prevent to Protect’ during National Birth Defects Prevention Month

Every 4.5 minutes, a baby in the United States is born with a birth defect. While not all birth defects can be prevented, women can increase their chances of having a healthy baby by preventing infections before and during pregnancy. The Kentucky Department for Public Health is joining organizations nationwide during National Birth Defects Prevention Month in January to increase awareness about how...

Officials report state’s first pediatric flu deaths this season as reported cases remain widespread

The Kentucky Department for Public Health has recorded the state’s first pediatric deaths for the 2017-18 flu season. “Of the thirty-six flu-related deaths reported so far this season, two of those were children,” said the Acting Department for Public Health Commissioner Dr. Jeffrey D. Howard. “The average age of death of the other thirty-four people who died as a result of flu is 75 years...

Health officals urge vaccinations, hand washing as widespread flu activity being reported across region

Kentucky Department for Public Health officials are reporting “widespread” flu for the first time this flu season. Widespread activity is the highest level of flu activity, which indicates increased flu-like activity or flu outbreaks in at least half of the regions in the state. The traditional flu season lasts from October through May. Increased flu activity began earlier this season than usual...

52 Weeks of Public Health: Toy Safety Awareness Month sheds light on health risks of some toys

As part of the 52 Weeks of Public Health campaign, the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) is recognizing Toy Safety Awareness Month during this holiday season. Although toys are intended to be fun and enjoyable, there are some health risks associated with toys that are not made properly. Before you make a purchase, the Kentucky Department...

52 Weeks of Public Health: Encouraging Kyians to get flu shots during National Influenza Vaccination Week

Officials with the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) are encouraging Kentuckians to get a flu vaccination during National Influenza Vaccination Week, Dec. 3-9, to reduce the spread of illness this holiday season. “Getting a flu vaccine is an early holiday gift you can give to yourself and your family,” said Jeffrey Howard, M.D., acting commissioner of DPH. “During the holidays...

Department of Public Health reports outbreak of Hepatitis A as 31 cases reported throughout state

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) has declared an outbreak of acute hepatitis A with cases in multiple counties in Kentucky. In total, 31 cases of acute (rapid onset with symptoms of illness) Hepatitis A have been reported throughout Kentucky in 2017, a 50 percent increase above the average of 20 cases per year reported over the past 10 years. Twenty-two cases have been reported in...

52 Weeks of Public Health: Spreading awareness among Kentuckians about risks of lung cancer

As part of the 52 Weeks of Public Health Campaign, the Kentucky Department of Public Health within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services is raising awareness about lung cancer in Kentucky. Lung cancer impacts Kentuckians more than any other cancer. In Kentucky, both men and women have significantly higher rates of lung cancer than other states in the U.S. More Kentuckians have died from lung cancer...

52 Weeks of Public Health: Helping mothers deliver healthy babies during Prematurity Awareness Month

Premature birth is the leading cause of newborn death and childhood disability. As part of the 52 Weeks of Public Health Campaign, the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) is promoting preterm birth prevention as a part of Prematurity Awareness Month. In Kentucky, the preterm birth rate in 2015 for Kentucky babies was 10.8 percent, higher...