A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

UK College of Ag now home to new national center studying economic impacts of rural health care

By Carol Lea Spence University of Kentucky The newly formed Center for Economic Analysis for Rural Health has found a home in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. Alison Davis, agricultural economics professor and director of the college’s Community Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky, will lead the national center. The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy...

Kentucky Poison Control Center launches new 24/7 hotline to help combat state’s opioid crisis

Kentucky has a new resource to battle the Commonwealth’s opioid epidemic. The Kentucky Poison Control Center of Norton Children’s Hospital has launched a 24/7 support hotline for health care providers, patients and first responders on opioid-related issues. The Kentucky Opioid Assistance & Resource (OAR) Hotline — (800) 854-6813 — is staffed by toxicology-certified nurses and pharmacists...

Opioid crisis, human trafficking among top legislative session priorities for Attorney General Andy Beshear

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Attorney General Andy Beshear unveiled his legislative wish list for the 2019 General Assembly on Wednesday. During a Frankfort press conference, Beshear was joined by lawmakers who are sponsoring the bills, which deal with such issues as the opioid crisis, human trafficking and rate hike relief for utility customers. Beshear says his top priority is to gain bipartisan support...

Life expectancy rises around globe as increased suicide, opioid crisis contribute to decrease in U.S.

By Mary Kuhlman Public News Service It’s no longer a secret that Americans are dying at an alarming rate from a nationwide opioid crisis and increased suicide rate, and those factors also are contributing to reduction in life expectancy. Late last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported a sustained, three-year drop in life expectancy not seen since 1918, when it was...

Department of Justice grant to provide $3.7 million to combat the opioid crisis crippling Eastern Kentucky

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The U S. Department of Justice has earmarked more than $3.7 million in federal grants to combat the opioid crisis in eastern Kentucky. 
The DOJ awards, which will go to six agencies involved in the fight, are part of $320 million in nationwide grants, which coincide with October being observed as National Substance Abuse Prevention Month. 
”President Trump has...

U.S. Department of Justice takes aim at Eastern Kentucky opioid crisis with new initiative

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Eastern Kentucky is one of 10 regions nationwide that will be part of a new initiative announced by the U.S. Department of Justice to combat the opioid crisis. Operation Synthetic Opioid Surge seeks to reduce the supply of deadly synthetic opioids in high-impact areas and to identify wholesale distribution networks and international and domestic suppliers, according to U....

Jessica Estes: As we celebrate National Nurses Week, It’s time to tell the truth about the opioid crisis

May 6-12 is National Nurses Week, and as we celebrate the numerous accomplishments of Kentucky nurses, it’s also time to acknowledge their commitment to quality care. Education plays a key role in the delivery of excellent care that nurses provide to patients. Let’s take a moment to understand the facts in the opioid crisis versus the myths. As political rhetoric, grandstanding and baseless claims...

McConnell announces bill focused on combating opioid epidemic among nation’s workforce

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced another piece of legislation on Tuesday to help combat the opioid crisis in Kentucky and the rest of the country. “Today I am proud to announce legislation to address this crisis’ devastating effects on the American worker and the American workforce,” McConnell said. “Stable employment is not just a path to...

Dorsey Ridley: Opioid crisis affecting every aspect of life in Kentucky… and more needs to be done

When the clock strikes midnight tonight, four more Kentuckians will have died of a drug overdose.   That’s how the veteran law enforcement official tasked with coordinating the state’s response to the heroin epidemic describes the seriousness of the situation. While the headlines about the crisis have focused on Northern Kentucky, Appalachia and the big cities, don’t be fooled into thinking...

SOAR hosting substance-abuse disorder educational and policy event at Pikeville on Oct. 3

Shaping Our Appalachian Region’s Healthy Communities program and the University of Pikeville will host a substance-use disorder education event Tuesday, Oct. 3 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the university’s Kentucky College of Optometry (Health Professionals Education Building). The meeting is for “health professionals and stakeholders who share the vision of reducing the scope and impact...

Pair of legislative panels hear sobering accounts of impact of opioid crisis in Kentucky

At one Kentucky hospital, people are actually bringing in heroin and shooting up with patients. That’s one example of the “very desperate situation” the opioid-abuse crisis has created, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President Dave Adkisson said while testifying before a panel of state legislators Wednesday in the Capitol Annex. He was among more than 25 people from across the country who testified...

Kentucky joins national movement seeking solution for opioid crisis through insurance companies

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The Attorneys General of Kentucky and West Virginia joined together on Monday to call on health insurance companies to help find workable solutions for the opioid crisis. Democrat Andy Beshear and Republican Patrick Morrisey appeared at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, to announce that they and 36 other state attorneys general want the insurers to promote...

Beshear announces plans to pursue litigation against ‘contributors’ to state’s opioid crisis

Attorney General Andy Beshear is taking another step in the fight against what he believes is the single greatest threat to Kentucky – the state’s drug epidemic. Beshear announced that his office intends to file multiple lawsuits against drug manufacturers, distributors and retailers where there is evidence that they contributed to the opioid epidemic by illegally marketing and selling opioids...

Beshear joins multistate coalition investigating role of drugmakers in ongoing opioid crisis

Attorney General Andy Beshear announced he is working with attorneys general from across the country to investigate whether drug manufacturers contributed to the opioid epidemic by illegally marketing and selling opioids. Beshear said the bipartisan coalition is working to address the national opioid crisis and is using its investigative tools, including subpoenas for documents and testimony. Nationwide...

Beshear joins West Virginia, Ohio attorneys general in tri-state effort to fight against opioid crisis

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear joined West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine Thursday to host a summit aimed at fighting back against the Tri-State region’s opioid crisis. The “Taking Back Our Communities: Combating the Opiate Epidemic” meeting was held at the New Life Church in Huntington, and brought together citizens, law enforcement,...