A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Lexington physician Dr. Dale Toney becomes KMA president; has practiced medicine for 30 years

Dale Toney, M.D., a Lexington internist, became the 170th president of the Kentucky Medical Association (KMA) over the weekend during the organization’s annual meeting, which was held virtually for the first time in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. KMA members also elected three other officers during the 2020 meeting. Neal Moser, M.D., of Crestview Hills was elected president-elect, Michael Kuduk,...

Kentucky’s childhood immunization rates have plummeted during the coronavirus pandemic

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service There’s been a sharp decline in vaccination rates among Kentucky children since the onset of the coronavirus. And health experts say they are concerned about the confluence of COVID-19, flu season and the potential for other infectious-disease outbreaks. The state’s Department of Medicaid Services reports among Medicaid recipients, from March through...

New campaign designed to counter sharp decline in vaccination rate launched across Kentucky

A new campaign designed to counter the sharp decline in vaccination rates among Kentucky children launched Thursday across the state. Raise Your Guard, KY urges Kentuckians to contact their physicians to get themselves and their families back on track with scheduled immunizations to prevent dozens of life-threatening diseases and illnesses. The month-long, multimedia campaign also reminds residents...

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...

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...

Risk of Americans getting new coronavirus remains low, but top expert cautions this is evolving situation

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Kentucky health officials have been monitoring more than 100 people for the novel coronavirus, all of whom agreed to voluntary isolation after recent travel to mainland China, but as of Sunday there had been no confirmed cases in Kentucky. The state has tested one person for the virus, and that test came back negative, Gov. Andy Beshear said at a Feb. 27 press...

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...

‘Too much death and despair: State, national medical associations behind bill to battle opioid epidemic

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Legislation aimed at helping combat Kentucky’s opioid crisis has won the backing of both the Kentucky Medical Association and the American Medical Association. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Kimberly Poore Moser, R-Taylor Mill, would ban private insurers and the Medicaid system from conducting prospective or concurrent reviews of any prescription drug used in the treatment...

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....

Only 8.7% of Kentucky’s school districts are not tobacco-free; foundation expects them to be soon

Kentucky Health News Only 15 of Kentucky’s 172 school districts, or 8.7 percent, have not passed a tobacco-free policy to match a state law that will take effect July 1, 2020, according to the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, which says it expects nearly all of districts to enact the policy before they have to. The law, for which the foundation campaigned, will ban use of all tobacco products,...

Glasgow family physician R. Brent Wright named newest president of Kentucky Medical Association

R. Brent Wright, M.D., MMM, a Glasgow family medicine physician, was installed as the 169th President of the Kentucky Medical Association (KMA) on Sept. 21 during the organization’s Annual Meeting in Louisville. KMA members also elected four other officers during the 2019 Annual Meeting. Robert Couch, M.D., of Louisville, was elected president-elect, Dale E. Toney, M.D., of Lexington was elected...

AMA elects Louisville physician to preside over its policy-making body at annual meeting

Physicians and medical students gathered at the Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association (AMA) Saturday voted for Bruce A. Scott, M.D., an otolaryngologist from Louisville, Ky., as the new speaker of the AMA House of Delegates. Dr. Scott In this position, Dr. Scott will preside over 640 physicians and medical students who comprise the policy-making body of the nation’s largest physician...

New KHIP poll shows majority of Kentuckians have gotten a flu shot; have you had one yet?

If you haven’t gotten a flu shot in the last 12 months, you’re in the minority in Kentucky. What’s more, you’re putting both yourself and those around you at risk for serious flu complications. According to a Kentucky Health Issues Poll report released today, 54 percent of Kentucky adults got a flu vaccine in the past 12 months. The majority of those who didn’t get a...

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,...

Danesh Mazloomdoost: Patients deserve further research on affects of cannabis-based medication

As a physician specializing in pain and regenerative medicine, I see pain on the front lines and understand how debilitating it can be. I read and recognize the potential value of specific parts of cannabis, however, marijuana as a whole is a different story. We need to distinguish between whole marijuana and hemp-derived cannabinoids, the latter of which are already legal and marketed. Studies show...

Hosparus Health announces Dr. Bethany Cox Snider as new vice president and chief medical officer

Hosparus Health has named Bethany Cox Snider, M.D., as its new vice president and chief medical officer. She succeeds Jim Gaffney, M.D., who will retire March 30. Dr. Snider is board certified in both internal medicine and hospice and palliative medicine. Dr. Snider joined Hosparus Health in 2013 and has served as senior medical director. In that role, she has led the growth of the nonprofit provider’s...

Patrick Padgett: Patients shouldn’t have to pay for Anthem’s poor business decisions

Even though physicians, hospitals, nurses and other medical providers give care to people every day, they have very little control over how that care is delivered.  That control, unfortunately, rests with health insurers.  Their policies dictate not only what is covered, but how care is delivered, and it says a great deal about what insurers really value. Policymakers are sometimes forced to step...

Sen. Ralph Alvarado awarded Lexington Medical Society’s Jack Trevey Award for Community Service

Senator Ralph A. Alvarado, M.D., was awarded the Lexington Medical Society’s highest physician honor earlier this month at their dinner meeting at the Hilary J. Boone Center. The Jack Trevey Award for Community Service recognizes a Lexington Medical Society member who performs outstanding service by direct involvement in the community beyond their role as a physician. Robert P. Granacher, Jr.,...

Patient Advocates work to educate Kentuckians on tobacco cessation during “Kick It, Kentucky!” week

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) and 26 other leading health organizations are offering support to those Kentuckians looking to quit tobacco as part of the first-ever Kick It, Kentucky! week. ACS CAN and a broad coalition of advocacy organizations and health systems from around the state, including the American Lung Association, Baptist Health, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids,...

Robert Couch: Physicians must help lead Kentucky out of opioid crisis, and not just during office hours

Constricted pupils, slowed breathing, blue lips and skin. Health care providers in Kentucky have become all too familiar with these telltale signs of a drug overdose. It’s not a pleasant sight, and last year alone, opioid overdoses caused the deaths of more than 1,400 Kentuckians. During my 34 years as an emergency physician, I have never witnessed a public health issue as dire as the state’s current...