health

For most of her childhood, growing up in southeastern Pennsylvania, Kelly Zimmerman felt alone and anxious.

She despaired when her mother was depressed or working late shifts; when her parents fought nonstop; when her friends wanted to come over, and she felt too ashamed to let them see her home's buckling floor, the lack of running water.

Kelly tried to shut out those feelings, and when she was 18, a boyfriend offered her an opioid painkiller — Percocet.

Her anxiety dissolved, at least for a little while.

Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center

Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center in Grayson County has been designated as a Level IV trauma center. The hospital is one of only five trauma centers in Kentucky west of I-65.

A level IV trauma center has 24-hour physician coverage for the emergency department, extensively trained nursing and support staff, enhanced medical equipment, and a comprehensive emergency care program. Twin Lakes is in between Rough River Lake and Nolin lake. Kathleen Peck is the Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center trauma coordinator. Peck said they see more trauma victims in the summer months.

Becca Schimmel

Construction of the new University of Kentucky College of Medicine-Bowling Green campus will be completed in mid-September to welcome the inaugural class of 30 medical students.  

 

The Bowling Green facility is UK’s first four-year regional campus to open that will utilize the same curriculum as UK’s main campus in Lexington. Dean of the UK College of Medicine Robert DiPaola said building this regional campus will help address the shortage of healthcare workers in Kentucky and across the nation.

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A study by the United Health Foundation ranks Kentucky 48th in its annual report on senior citizens. That’s a slight improvement over the state’s ranking last year.

According to the study seniors in Kentucky are not excessively drinking and are doing a good job of managing their diabetes. But the report says there’s still a high prevalence of smoking and preventable hospital visits. Rhonda Randall is a senior medical advisor for the United Health Foundation. The report ranks Kentucky 11th for diabetes management.

Farm Bill Could Undo Part Of The Affordable Care Act

May 8, 2018

Although the GOP repeal-and-replace mantra seems to have quieted, some Republican lawmakers continue efforts to get around the sweeping federal health law's requirements.

Sometimes that happens in surprising places. Like the farm bill.

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A Hepatitis A outbreak growing in the Louisville area since last summer reached a new peak recently with a travel advisory from Indiana health officials. They told Hoosiers heading to Kentucky to get a Hep A vaccine.

Soon, Kentucky’s Acting Commissioner for Public Health Dr. Jeffrey Howard was pushing back.

“Let me say that it IS safe to travel to Kentucky, and it IS safe to attend the Kentucky Derby,” Howard said via the state’s official YouTube channel.


Planned Parenthood Sues Indiana Over New Abortion Rules

Apr 24, 2018
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Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky is suing Indiana officials over a new law that will require medical providers who treat women for complications arising from abortions to report detailed patient information to the state.

The federal lawsuit filed Monday by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana on Planned Parenthood’s behalf contends the reporting rules and a provision requiring annual inspections of abortion clinics are unconstitutional.

Lisa Gillespie

A federal judge in Kentucky has temporarily stalled the enforcement of a new abortion law being challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The legislation signed into law by Gov. Matt Bevin bans a common second trimester abortion procedure known as “dilation and evacuation.” The procedure was used in 537 of 3,312 abortions done in Kentucky in 2016, according to state statistics. During legislative debates, the bill’s supporters called the procedure “gruesome.”

Lisa Gillespie

Kentucky’s local health departments are facing massive increases in pension costs starting in July. And this, many of them say, could cause them to have to lay off employees, cut back or even close public health programs as a result.

“This is a watershed moment for public health, it’s a tipping point, where we need to assess how we do business and look at every aspect of operations in local health departments and what can we do differently,” said Scott Lockard, the director of the Kentucky River District Health Department, which covers several eastern Kentucky counties.


Updated at 8 p.m. ET

The federal agency that trains, tests and certifies the physicians who read X-rays and diagnose the deadly coal miners' disease black lung said today it was not consulted by Kentucky lawmakers in the 14 months they considered a new law that mostly limits diagnoses to pulmonologists working for coal companies.

Nicole Erwin

Billy Hobby’s days are largely filled by two things: church and pool.

“I play everyday, mostly,” Hobby said, sitting next to his wife, Barbara.

“Well, I enjoy watching him play,” Barbara Hobby said. “He’s got health problems, can’t go out of town and play all the time.”

Billy and Barbara were in Cadiz, Kentucky, about 20 miles from their home in Princeton so that the 86-year-old pool player could compete in a weekly tournament.


Creative Commons/Mike Mozart

Retail giant Walmart is in the early stages of talks to buy Louisville-based health insurer Humana, according to a report published Thursday evening in the Wall Street Journal.

The newspaper cites people familiar with the deal, the terms of which weren’t disclosed. But the move would be the latest in a trend of retail pharmacies acquiring health insurers; in December, CVS bought insurer Humana.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Rural medical clinics that are struggling to respond to an epidemic of a fatal lung disease plaguing coal miners received a 40 percent boost in federal funding with the passage of the omnibus spending bill last week.

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Though some Kentucky policies — like a religious expression law that went into effect last year — have been criticized as discriminatory, a new report finds ten state facilities earned top scores for being inclusive towards people identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ).

The report, released by the advocacy group Human Rights Campaign Foundation, asked 626 healthcare facilities whether they have explicit non-discrimination policies for LGBTQ people, training for LGBTQ patient care, options for people to self-identify and more.

Creative Commons

A new report shows Kentucky falling down a ranking of states with the best women’s and children’s health.

The America’s Health Rankings Health of Women and Children Report lists Kentucky at 42, down eight spots since 2016, when the report was last issued.

Dr. Deneen Vojta is a pediatrician and Executive Vice President of Enterprise Research and Development with United Health Group, which issued the report.

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