A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

New report on Health Disparities in Commonwealth shows race, ethnicity issues facing Kentucky

Multiracial and black Kentuckians tend to report higher rates of smoking, obesity, asthma and poor mental health than their white counterparts, according to a new report released today by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. The report also found that black and Hispanic Kentuckians are less likely to have health insurance than white Kentuckians. Despite their lower insurance access, Hispanic Kentuckians...

Bevin’s Medicaid proposal remains largely unchanged from June draft, approval uncertain

By Melissa Patrick and Al Cross Kentucky Health News Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration formally submitted its revised Medicaid plan to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell Aug. 24, leaving largely unchanged provisions that Burwell has said will not be approved. At stake is coverage for about 430,000 people who are covered by the 2014 expansion of Medicaid under federal health reform...

Commentary: Some issues addressed in revised Medicaid waiver, but concerns remain

By Susan Zepeda Special to KyForward The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky is closely reviewing the revised HEALTH Medicaid waiver proposal and evaluating it through the lens of our original comments. The proposed changes could have a substantial impact on low-income Kentuckians, providers, and the state as a whole. On a first reading of the proposal, we find that some of the concerns expressed in...

Zepeda, Rider, Hammons to be recognized for service during Kentucky Summit on Philanthropy

Susan Zepeda of Louisville, Al Rider of Elizabethtown and Mike Hammons of Northern Kentucky will be recognized for extraordinary service at the eighth annual Kentucky Summit on Philanthropy next week in Lexington. They will be presented with the prestigious Commonwealth Award during the Summit’s luncheon program on Sept. 1. The Summit convenes at the Griffin Gate Marriott on Aug. 31 and Sept....

Statewide Summit on Philanthropy to feature keynoter Cleveland Fed president Loretta Mester

Loretta Mester, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, will be keynote speaker for the eighth annual Kentucky Summit on Philanthropy, set for Aug. 30-Sept. 1 at the Marriott Griffin Gate in Lexington. The theme of this year’s conference is “Economic Transition: Leading Through Philanthropy.” To register, click here. Options are available to attend just the luncheon...

Hispanic, low-income, working Kentuckians more likely to be without insurance, according to report

The 300,000 Kentuckians still without health insurance at the end of 2015 were more likely than their insured counterparts to be young adults, of Hispanic or Latino heritage, and working yet earning low incomes. In addition, the latest report on the impact of the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion in Kentucky, released Tuesday by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, showed that these remaining...

Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky voices concerns about new Medicaid plan to legislative panel

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News At a legislative committee meeting this week, health advocates urged the administration of Gov. Matt Bevin to make sure the final plan is evidence-based and that they fully understand the people it will affect. Administration officials said changes are needed because the 2014 expansion of the program isn’t sustainable. “We are asking, as in any well-designed...

Former Congressman Ben Chandler named president and CEO of Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky Board of Directors unanimously selected Ben Chandler as the new president and CEO of the Foundation, effective in September. Chandler is currently the Executive Director of the Kentucky Humanities Council but is most notably recognized for his work as Kentucky U.S. Congressman from the 6th Congressional District from 2004-2013.  In addition, Chandler served as...

Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky invested $3.1 million last year for health philanthropy efforts

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky invested more than $3.1 million in 2015 to address the unmet health care needs of Kentuckians through work on responsive health policy, funding research, grantmaking and gatherings of health policy leaders and advocates, according to the Foundation’s annual report released Thursday. Since it was founded in 2001, the Foundation has awarded nearly $25.5 million...

Report shows Kentuckians increasingly covered by health plans with high deductibles

Six times as many Kentucky workers were enrolled in high-deductible health insurance plans in 2014 as in 2006, reflecting a national trend, says a report for the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. As a result, the average amount they had to pay before their insurance kicked in more than doubled, from $1,178 in 2006 to $2,738 in 2014. Most of the 93,666 people enrolled in the Kynect health-insurance...

Survey shows Kentucky remains ranked in bottom third of states for children’s well-being

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News If Kentucky’s future lies in the well-being of its children, there’s reason to worry, because a recent report shows that Kentucky consistently remains in the bottom one-third of states for this measure. The 2016 Kids Count report ranks Kentucky 35th in the overall well-being of its children, down from 34th last year. The state showed a significant...

Commentary: Comprehensive smoke-free laws provide protection for all Kentuckians

By Susan Zepeda Special to KyForward For decades, we have known that tobacco is a threat to our health. Over time, we have learned just how harmful tobacco is and the cost it exacts on our health, our quality of life, and our economy. Fortunately, we have also learned effective ways to prevent harm from tobacco and to protect whole communities from secondhand smoke. Tobacco is the single most preventable...

Kentucky shows improvement in Kids Count report, but poverty a ‘persistent challenge’

    By Melissa Patrick Special to KyForward   Kentucky ranks 34th in the nation for overall child well-being, showing the most improvement in health and a significant decrease in teen births in recent years, according to the Kids Count report, released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Kentucky Youth Advocates.   The annual report offers a state-by-state assessment that measures...

Too fat to fight? Generals say too many young adults unfit to serve, blame school junk food

  By Melissa Patrick Special to KyForward   A new report from the Department of Defense found that 73 percent of young adults in Kentucky aren’t qualified to serve in the military, mostly because they are overweight. That is the eighth highest ineligibility rate in the nation.   Nearly one-third of all Americans ages 17 to 24 are too overweight for military service.   “Too...

A fourth of Kentucky adults say they have tried e-cigarettes, Health Issues Poll finds

  Kentucky Health News   More than four in 10 Kentucky adults under age 30 have tried electronic cigarettes, and the older and better off economically Kentuckians are, the less likely they are to have tried them. Overall, one-fourth of Kentucky adults and 60 percent of current smokers have tried the devices.   Those are major findings of the latest Kentucky Health Issues Poll, which...

Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky investsin future of seven rural, urban communities

  The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky has chosen Fitness for Life Around Grant County as one of seven rural and urban communities funded by the new Investing in Kentucky’s Future initiative.   This five-year, $3 million program seeks to test innovative ways to reduce risks of chronic disease for today’s school-aged children as they grow into adults.   “The health of our next...

Decision to expand health coverage ensures 308,000 more Kentuckians have access

Calling it “the single-most important decision in our lifetime for improving the health of Kentuckians,” Gov. Steve Beshear today announced the inclusion of 308,000 more Kentuckians in the federal Medicaid health insurance program. The expansion, together with the creation of the Health Benefit Exchange, will ensure that every Kentuckian will have access to affordable health insurance.   The...