A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

As prices continue to skyrocket, more and more diabetics in Kentucky can’t afford cost of insulin

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service The cost of insulin is skyrocketing, and health-care advocates want Kentucky lawmakers to take action to stop it. According to the American Diabetes Association, the list price of insulin has jumped by 64% since 2014. In August, Louisville resident Angie Summers told the state’s Interim Joint Committee on Banking and Insurance that she’s had to self-ration...

Healthy Headlines: A simple screening saved Linda Schwartz’ life; regular visits to her doctor mattered

St. Elizabeth Healthcare At 74 years old, Linda Schwartz believes staying healthy should be a top priority. She also understands that to achieve that, she must maintain a good relationship with her doctors and have regular health screenings. “I am on a statin to help lower my cholesterol and hopefully reduce my risk of heart disease,” says Linda. “But, when I was at a regular visit with my cardiologist,...

Former UK star Rex Chapman teams up for National Recovery Month event in Paintsville Sept. 21

Kentucky Health News Every September, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration sponsors National Recovery Month to increase awareness and understanding of substance-use and mental disorders and to celebrate the people who recover. “This observance celebrates the millions of Americans who are in recovery from mental and substance-use disorders, reminding us that treatment...

It’s Healthy Aging Month, a good time to think about your eye health and getting a regular exam

According to a national survey released by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, nearly two out of three American adults report having eye or vision problems. A significant percentage of them, however, fail to seek medical attention in the form of regular, sight-saving eye exams.  In observance of Healthy Aging Month in September, the Kentucky Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons joins the American...

State begins tracking possible cases of severe pulmonary disease linked to vaping

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) is working closely with health care providers, local health departments, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to gather information and investigate severe pulmonary disease related to e-cigarette product use or vaping, primarily among adolescents and young adults. “While there have no reported...

Kentucky Teacher: Taking on electronic cigarettes, students are joining forces to stop the epidemic

• Electronic cigarette use doubled or nearly doubled in 6th-, 8th-, 10th- and 12th-grade students in 2018. • A group of students in Johnson County are looking to take on this epidemic and have proposed legislation to counter the rising number of teens that have taken up vaping. Students at Knox Central High School (Knox County) work on their ILPs Oct. 29, 2010. (Photo by Amy Wallot) By Jacob...

Healthy Headlines: Why are younger adults dying of heart failure? Prevention is the key

St. Elizabeth Healthcare Heart failure, also known as congestive heart failure, was always thought to be a disease of the old and sick. But a recent report published by the medical journal from the American College of Cardiology says heart failure is rising in people under 65 years of age. The study shows that death rates are increasing for adults between 35 and 64 years old. The rates are even higher...

CHFS names Angela Tackett Dearinger commissioner for Kentucky’s Department for Public Health

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services has named Dr. Angela Tackett Dearinger as the new commissioner of Kentucky’s Department for Public Health (DPH). Dr. Angela Tackett Dearinger Dr. Dearinger is board certified in Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Public Health and General Preventive Medicine. She is an associate professor at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. In her most recent professional...

Vaping is LiveWell Florence battlefront; concerns over health risks, addiction, spur effort

By Patrick Moynahan Rotary Club of Florence The latest battlefront for opponents of tobacco use in Northern Kentucky is vaping. Price LiveWell Florence, a community health coalition, has begun to target e-cigarettes, electronic devices that vaporize a liquid mixture for the user to inhale. Many of the mixtures contain nicotine, some in higher amounts that tobacco cigarettes, according to the American...

Youths using e-cigs more likely to try marijuana; connection increased with refillable e-cig pods

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The first death attributed to vaping occurred on Friday in Illinois. A man between 17-38 years old had been hospitalized after falling ill following vaping. He had contracted a serious lung disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 149 people nationwide had contracted a severe respiratory illness after vaping. Doctors said the illnesses resemble an...

Court of Appeals denies Christ Hospital’s motion to reverse Circuit Court’s ruling on Drawbridge site CON

By Mark Hansel NKyTribune managing editor The Kentucky Court of Appeals ruled against The Christ Hospital’s request to overturn the Franklin Circuit Court’s denial of its Certificate of Need (CON) application. The Drawbrige development site In a 17-page decision released Friday, the Court of Appeals provided a detailed explanation of its ruling that, in a nutshell, stated that the Franklin Circuit...

Healthy Headlines: 10,000 steps a day not as important as incorporating walking into good health regiment

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. Dr. Reichard 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...

Medicaid changes will allow Kentucky’s local school districts to expand behavioral health services

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service Local school districts will soon be able to hire more licensed psychologists, counselors and other behavioral health professionals, thanks to upcoming Medicaid changes that will allow schools to use federal dollars.  

Kristi Putnam, deputy secretary of the state’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services, says schools will be able to offer more supports...

Northern Kentucky University awarded $1.8 million in federal grants to address the opioid epidemic

Northern Kentucky University has received $1.8 million dollars from the U.S. Department of Health and Humans Services (HHS) to combat the opioid crisis.  HHS’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded the funds to establish and expand access to integrated substance use disorder and mental health services. NKU, along with collaborators from across Northern Kentucky, received more...

Shelley Shearer: Tips for parents on creative back-to-school dental routines (and pack healthy lunches)

Routine. That’s the key to a successful start of the school year. While you establish set schedules for bedtime, homework and electronic device time, don’t forget to enforce dental routines. Here’s an easy guide for every parent. Establish Daily Dental Rituals Set times for tooth-brushing and flossing. Remember when your little one went through infant sleep training? You created rituals so that...