A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

From the Frontline: Dr. Douglas Flora says ‘solidarity is key.’ Can we make the right choices? Yes, we can.

By Douglas B. Flora, MD, LSSB Executive Medical Director, Oncology Services St. Elizabeth Healthcare By now we are all aware of the challenge ahead with the arrival of COVID-19 in our region. As I write this, the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center is reporting more than 61,000 confirmed cases in the United States. The Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati region is now appropriately bracing...

Healthy Headlines: What is a sick person to do? It’s cold and flu season and you have a cough?

St. Elizabeth Healthcare Each year – especially during cold and flu season – millions of people head to the doctor to address their bothersome cough symptoms. We’ve all been there – the sore, scratchy throat, the dry tickle that keeps you awake half the night and the congested cough that makes everyone nearby want to take cover. What’s a sick person to do? Dr. Drew Byers, Primary Care Physician...

Healthy Headlines: Truck driver, farmer learns valuable lessons in heart health, shares his story

St. Elizabeth Healthcare With a long history of driving a dump truck and farming on the side, Mike Adams knows the meaning of hard work. That’s why he became worried at age 46 when he was too weak to change a tire on his truck – something his 12-year-old son did with no problem. Adams Adams hadn’t seen a doctor in years, but he walked into a local clinic and discovered his blood pressure was...

Healthy Headlines: Cold Weather and Hand Pain: What You Need to Know

Did you know that your hands are directly affected by the cold? As the tri-state community settles in for another Midwestern winter, the St. Elizabeth Hand Therapy team reminds you to stay in tune with your body’s needs during chilly weather. Hand pain, swelling and stiffness are common culprits in the winter – but luckily, specialized hand care is available. “The St. Elizabeth Hand Therapy...

Healthy Headlines: Breast cancer genetic testing: What you need to know to make an informed decision

At St. Elizabeth Healthcare, we know that a breast cancer diagnosis can be shocking and overwhelming. We offer comprehensive care from the moment of your breast cancer diagnosis through your surgery, treatments, recovery and beyond. Our breast cancer care protocol has recently expanded to include meeting with a genetic counselor shortly after your diagnosis. New guidelines recommend multi-gene panel...

Healthy Headlines: Flu season is upon us, best time to get vaccinated is before the end of October

The leaves turning colors, a crispness in the air, pumpkins appearing on every corner – it must be fall. Along with pulling out the jackets and autumn décor, it’s important to also take protective steps for your health by getting your annual flu shot. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu vaccines are created to match viruses that have been circulating through the population....

Healthy Headlines: To improve your long-term health, how many steps a day do you really need?

St. Elizabeth Healthcare Everyone likes a number to work towards to help track their health and wellness goals — an apple a day, eight glasses of water, 2,000 calories, eight hours of sleep. And of course, you have your Fitbit or your wearable device to track that magic number of 10,000 steps a day. But do you need that many steps?
 A recent study by a Harvard University professor tested the...

Healthy Headlines: Vaping, JUULing, e-Cigarettes — by any name they pose a real danger to children

e-Cigarettes have been around since 2006, and by that name most people assume there is nicotine in the product. They are also easy to spot when people use them—they look like a fake cigarette or pipe and produce a noticeable cloud of vapor. Which is why the term vaping is used to describe them. JUULing is a newer form of e-Cigarettes that came on the market in 2017. JUUL is popular among middle...

Six Kentucky hospitals named among nation’s ‘Best Regional Hospitals’ by U.S. News & World Report

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Six Kentucky hospitals have been named among the nation’s “Best Regional Hospitals” in the annual rankings by U.S. News & World Report magazine. They are, in order, the University of Kentucky hospital, St. Elizabeth Healthcare Edgewood-Covington Hospitals, and in a tie for third, Baptist Health Lexington, Baptist Health Louisville, Norton...

Healthy Headlines: Pregnant? You need a basic knowledge of foods to eat (or avoid) for healthy baby

We all know about pregnancy cravings like pickles and ice cream in the middle of the night. But if you’re pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, it’s important to have a base knowledge of foods to eat and avoid during pregnancy. Pickles and ice cream are fine – in moderation! “I like to advise my pregnant patients to eat whole foods and minimize eating anything processed,” says Dr....

Healthy Headlines: Some things to know about chest pains and calling 911 — every moment counts

St. Elizabeth Healthcare It’s the moment of truth: your chest hurts and you’re having a hard time catching your breath. Your loved one wants to call 911 but you’re not so sure – it could just be indigestion or something minor. You decide to have your loved one drive you over to the ER. After all, 911 is for emergencies – and surely your chest pain isn’t an actual emergency, right? Wrong....

Healthy Headlines: Protect your eyes from harmful impact of the sun this summer; block UV light

St. Elizabeth Healthcare During the summer, the temperatures increase and we all become very aware of the sun’s impact on our life. We vigilantly put on sunscreen to protect our skin, but have you thought about the sun’s impact on your eyes?  
 The sun emits radiation in the form of ultraviolet (UV) light. Although UV rays make up a small portion of the sun’s rays, they damage your skin cells...

Larger Kentucky hospitals’ average grades for patient safety declined; overall national ranking about same

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News A nonprofit group that rates hospitals has released its latest grades for keeping patients safe, giving Cs to most of the 51 Kentucky hospitals it rated. Their average grade was worse than the spring 2018 ratings, but Kentucky’s overall ranking among the states, based on the percentage of hospitals with A grades, improved one spot, to 33rd, from the spring...

UK takes its ‘Kentucky Can’ campaign on road, celebrating its $2.1B fundraising goal in Cincinnati

By Jay Blanton University of Kentucky The Roebling Bridge between Northern Kentucky and downtown Cincinnati was under construction in 1865 when the University of Kentucky was opening its doors for the first time. When the Roebling opened, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world and was designed to power a regional economy. That is the same idea that undergirded the founding of the University...

Healthy Headlines: Fashion over function? Consider the lasting damage of those high heels to your feet

St. Elizabeth Healthcare Many women prefer fashion over function. You squeeze your feet into your three-inch stilettos to look great in your little black dress. Or wear pumps to work every day to look more polished in your suit. But have you stopped to consider you could be doing lasting damage to your feet? Dr. James Morrow and Dr. Bill Shamsi, Podiatrists with St. Elizabeth Physicians, agree that...

Healthy Headlines: High cholesterol increases health risks, can often be managed with diet, exercise

You’ve got high cholesterol. Now what? What’s the best option to lower it? According to the Center for Disease Control, more than 102 million American adults have total cholesterol above healthy levels. This statistic should be concerning, especially if you have other risk factors for heart disease including obesity, type 2 diabetes, family history of heart disease or you use tobacco. Your healthcare...

Healthy Headlines: Don’t just sit in front of the TV for those fall shows — eat healthy and move around

St. Elizabeth Healthcare When you think of the fall season, you may think of the beautiful changing leaves or the cool, crisp air. But if you are like thousands of other people, you are thinking “This is Us,”, “Big Bang Theory,” and “Empire.” As you begin to plan your time sitting in front of the tube watching your favorite TV series and the fall premiere, don’t let your diet suffer. Rachel...

SmartHealth: Summer hit without much warning this year, so staying hydrated is more critical than ever

By Nathan Skaggs St. Elizabeth Healthcare This year in the Tri-State area, it feels like we skipped spring and went straight to summer. Without a gradual warmup for our bodies to get used to, it’s more important than ever to focus on staying hydrated as the temperature continues to climb. Whether you are training for a marathon, playing a round of golf or sitting by the pool, it’s also important...

Marshall County’s Bluegrass VR wins second Lieutenant Governor’s Entrepreneurship Challenge

Bluegrass VR from Marshall County High School won the top prize at the Lieutenant Governor’s Entrepreneurship Challenge (LGEC) 2nd annual competition finals, hosted April 28at the University of Kentucky’s Gatton School of Business. Advised by Lisa Devillez, Bluegrass VR team members Claire Harmon and Daniel Sills each won $25,000 in scholarship funds to be used at any in state post-secondary...

Smart Health: On the sweet side, local honey does have a lot of benefits, but there are some cautions

By Kristen Mees St. Elizabeth Healthcare Every spring and summer, you’ll likely see suggestions in the news to use local honey to boost immunity and decrease seasonal allergies. But is there any truth to it? The sweet side of local honey 
The short answer: local honey does have a lot of benefits. “Some research has shown that local honey can be a good source of vitamins and minerals, amino acids...