A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

St. Elizabeth Healthcare & Reds Community Fund donate $22K of athletic equipment to 11 NKY schools

Twenty-two baseball and softball teams from 11 Northern Kentucky high schools received $22,500 worth of baseball and softball equipment earlier today at the Griffin Elite Sports and Wellness complex, thanks to St. Elizabeth Healthcare and the Cincinnati Reds. Cincinnati Reds pitcher Sal Romano speaks during a presentation to celebrate the awarding of baseball and softball equipment to 11 Northern Kentucky...

Ohio medical marijuana program launches with opening of CY+ dispensary in Wintersville

As Kentucky lawmakers consider legislation that might someday allow for the use of medical marijuana in the Commonwealth, the first facility to dispense it opened in Ohio Wednesday. Chicago-based Cresco Labs announced Wednesday that its CY+ Dispensary (pronounced see-why-plus) welcomed patients and conducted the first legal sale of medical marijuana in Ohio today under the state’s new medical marijuana...

National Safety Council data shows opioid overdoses now pose greater risk of death than car accidents

By Mary Kuhlman Public News Service The opioid epidemic is hitting closer to home than some Kentuckians might realize. According to the National Safety Council, the odds of dying from an opioid overdose are, for the first time, greater than the odds of dying in a car accident. The odds of dying from an opioid overdose are 1-in-96, compared with 1-in-103 for motor vehicle deaths. Manager of Statistics...

Flu numbers jumped 65% in first week of year, half are children; months left of flu season, get your shot

By Al Cross Kentucky Health News The number of influenza cases confirmed in Kentucky rose by 65 percent in the first week of 2019, adding nearly 1,000 cases for a total of 2,408 in the current flu season, according to the latest weekly surveillance report from the state Department for Public Health. The department reported the first flu outbreak in a long-term-care facility, and for the first time...

Child Trends: A parent’s health is stronger indicator of a child’s heath than any other factor

Recent research by Child Trends found that a parent’s health was more strongly associated with his or her child’s health than many other socioeconomic or demographic factors, including family income, family structure, parents’ level of education, and the child’s sex, age, or race. Data for this research were sourced from a large national survey of parents or other adult guardians who reported...

Partial government shutdown prompts early release of Kentucky assistance food benefits

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) is giving an update to food benefits recipients because of the partial federal government shutdown and its effect on assistance distribution. Tuesday, Jan. 15, is the deadline for completion of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) cases for early issuance. Applicants who are approved after Jan. 15 and before Jan. 30 will receive...

Poll shows tax increase (and not resolutions) influences smoking behavior in Kentucky

While many Kentuckians may have resolved to quit smoking in 2019, data released today show that legislation passed last summer may increase their success. On July 1 2018, the Kentucky excise tax on cigarettes increased by 50 cents per pack. According to the 2018 Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP) this increase caused half of smokers in Kentucky to react in some way. Nearly 4 in 10 (39%) adult smokers...

Florence LiveWell’s citizen scientists monitor air quality in public places, urge no-smoking policies

An indoor air quality study released by a group of “citizen scientists” from the Florence LiveWell Coalition shows that workers and patrons of public establishments that allow smoking are being exposed to chemicals in secondhand smoke at levels considered unsafe by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) outdoor air quality standard.   Citizen science is the involvement of the public in the...

Report ranks Kentucky fifth in efforts to serve those with intellectual and developmental disabilities 

Kentucky has made significant strides to improve policies that help individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities lead more independent and productive lives, according to a just-released report. The evaluation propels the Commonwealth from 40th in 2007, to fifth in state rankings this year, one of the most significant climbs in the nation. The report was compiled by the ANCOR Foundation...

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...