A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

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...

Quitting smoking is #1 resolution, losing weight is next (if you do first, you probably can’t do second)

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Of the 44 percent of American adults who said they would make a New Year’s resolution this year, 12 percent said they plan to quit smoking and 10 percent said they plan to lose weight, according to a Marist College poll. Since Kentucky has the nation’s second-highest smoking rate, 24.6 percent, and the seventh-highest obesity rate, 34.3 percent, both...

StE Physicians weight management surgical program earns re-accreditation as comprehensive center

St. Elizabeth Physicians Weight Management Center Surgical Program has achieved three-year re-accreditation as a comprehensive center under the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP®), a joint program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). Dr. Ryan Moon Surveyors were highly complimentary...

Legal Aid of the Bluegrass is ready to help you during Medicare Advantage open enrollment period

Each year, between January 1 and March 31 is the Medicare Advantage open enrollment period, says Legal Aid of the Bluegrass’ State Health Insurance Assistance Program. During this time of the year, current Medicare Advantage plan members can leave their plan and return to Original Medicare as well as enroll in a Part D prescription drug plan to supplement their Original Medicare. Beginning...

Flu activity rises in Kentucky to widespread levels; get a shot, stay away from others, see a doctor

The Department for Public Health (DPH), within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), now reports “widespread” flu activity in Kentucky for the first time this flu season. Widespread is the highest level of flu activity, which indicates increased flu cases or flu outbreaks in at least half of the Commonwealth’s regions. “We strongly encourage anyone who hasn’t received a flu vaccine,...

State office of vital statistics warns of using unapproved vendors to get copies of documents

Kentucky Today The Cabinet for Health and Family Services is warning people who need copies of documents such as birth, marriage, divorce and death certificates about using third-party vendors who are not approved by the state. 
The start of the new year typically means an increase in the number of requests for those documents and, while Cabinet officials say obtaining them is easy, it is important...

Early detection critical to treating glaucoma, a major cause of vision loss; get an exam

Glaucoma is a major cause of vision loss worldwide. It affects more than 3 million people in the United States – nearly half of whom are unaware they have the disease. During Glaucoma Awareness Month in January, the Kentucky Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons joins the American Academy of Ophthalmology in reminding the public that early detection and treatment can help protect your sight. Glaucoma...

Attorney General Andy Beshear says Texas judge’s ACA ruling stayed pending appeal

Attorney General Andy Beshear announced Monday that the U.S. District Judge in Texas who declared the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional has stayed his order, pending an appeal of the ruling to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. 
When the judge announced his ruling earlier this month, Beshear said Kentuckians would be harmed by the decision in 10 ways: Andy Beshear 
–...

More children in state and nation lack health insurance; Kentucky’s uninsured rate rose in 2017

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News For the first time in nearly a decade, the number of uninsured children in the United States and Kentucky increased, according to a report from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. From 2016 to 2017, the number of uninsured U.S. children rose by 276,000, to nearly 4 million. About 5 percent of the nation’s children were uninsured in 2017, up from...

AAA: Reminding partygoers to celebrate New Year’s responsibly — do not drive or walk impaired

As Kentucky residents prepare to ring in the New Year, AAA is reminding partygoers to celebrate responsibly and not drive or walk impaired this New Year’s holiday. With 10,875 (NHTSA) people having died in drunk driving crashes in 2017 nationwide, New Year’s Day consistently ranks among the year’s deadliest days for alcohol-related traffic fatalities. “According to the Kentucky State Patrol,...

Support for Health Care Law remains steady in Kentucky; attitudes vary by political affiliation

More Kentucky adults have positive opinions about the Affordable Care Act than negative, according to the 2018 Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP). The survey, sponsored by Interact for Health and Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, found that 4 in 10 Kentucky adults (44%) view the law favorably, compared with more than 3 in 10 (33%) who said they view the legislation unfavorably. An additional 2 in...

Healthy Headlines: Coping with stress, depression with simple tips on maintaining the holiday spirit

St. Elizabeth Healthcare You aren’t alone if the first things you think of around the holidays are stress and depression. But you don’t have to suffer through the holidays — learn to love them again with some simple tips on getting into the holiday spirit. “You can learn to enjoy the holidays and not just endure them,” says Perry Bohanon, APRN who specialize in adult mental health at St....

KY Youth Advocates, Foundation for Health KY warn of surge in teen e-cigarette usage; it isn’t safe

A new infographic from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and Kentucky Youth Advocates highlights the surge in e-cigarette usage among teens seen across the Commonwealth and the nation. While youth cigarette smoking in Kentucky has steadily declined, the growing popularity of e-cigarettes, known as vapes and Juuls, is putting a new generation of teens at risk of nicotine addiction. “Kentucky...

Cincinnati Museum Center adds kid-friendly, heathy dining option, Bean Sprouts, at Children’s Museum

The Bean Sprouts café opens today at Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC), a new kid-friendly, healthy dining option. Bean Sprouts, a nationally-recognized concept where kids and families participate in a playful eating experience, is located just outside the Duke Energy Children’s Museum. Bean Sprouts features good and good-for-you dining options, helping to fuel healthy bodies as children and families...

KY drops three spots in America’s Health Rankings; big drops in vaccinations follow state rule change

By Melissa Patrick and Al Cross Kentucky Health News Kentucky dropped three spots in the latest America’s Health Rankings, to 45th from 42nd last year. It marked the third straight year that the state showed a significant increase in the number of years of potential life lost, a broad measure of overall health and life expectancy. Many figures in the report are based on the Behavioral Risk Factor...