Health

The University of Louisville is receiving a $6.3 million dollar gift for efforts to help paralyzed people regain movement in their limbs. The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust is giving the money to support U of L’s Department of Neurological Surgery and the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center.

A new poll of Tennesseans shows a majority of those surveyed want either all or part of the federal health care law found unconstitutional. But the same survey showed most people were happy with certain provisions of the law. The survey was conducted this month by Vanderbilt University, and polled 1,000 Tennessee residents.

The annual seat belt enforcement campaign known as "Click it or Ticket" officially gets underway on May 21st.  Law enforcement officials hope to help save lives by cracking down on those who fail to use their seat belts. Law enforcement officials in Kentucky say about 58 percent of the people killed on the state's roadways in recent months weren't wearing seat belts at the time of their accidents. Transportation Cabinet Secretary Mike Hancock says the state "undoubtedly experiences far too many fatalities that could have been avoided with the simple use of a seat belt."

Kentucky drug enforcement officials have long complained that many of the illegally obtained pain pills that end up in the commonwealth come from Florida. Tuesday, the US Drug Enforcement Administration settled with a Florida company, Cardinal Health Inc., over alleged large-volume shipments of addictive pain pills in Florida.

Governor Steve Beshear has ordered that flags fly at half staff at all state office buildings in Kentucky today, in recognition of Peace Officers Memorial Day.  The flags will be at half staff from sunrise to sunset in the Commonwealth.

State officials have not yet given private Medicaid operators permission to do business in the Louisville area, but that hasn't stopped one company from trying to make inroads.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Law Enforcement Officials in Kentucky are making preparations for this year's "Click it or Ticket" campaign, which is scheduled to start on May 20th. Although seat belt use has increased in the Commonwealth in recent years, more than fifty percent of the people killed in traffic accidents in the state aren't wearing seat belts at the time of their accidents. Greg Dennison of the Office of Highway Safety and Captain Steve Stratton of the Logan County Sheriff's Department talk with WKU Public Radio.

Authorities have filed charges against a couple from London, Kentucky for leaving a baby in a hot car while the husband got a haircut. According to WKYT-TV, London Police arrested Robert Smallwood and his wife, Rachel and charged them with criminal abuse and wanton endangerment.

A new poll by a nonpartisan health organization suggests a majority of Kentuckians would support a statewide smoking ban. The Kentucky Health Issues Poll is conducted by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. And its 2011 poll, taken last fall and released this week, shows that 54 percent of Kentuckians would approve an indoor statewide smoking ban.

A key part of the Affordable Care Act will be implemented by executive order in Kentucky if the healthcare law is upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. Exchanges in which residents can purchase insurance are a major part of the law. Each state must have an exchange, and if states don't set them up, the federal government will.

A federal judge has ordered Eastern Kentucky’s largest healthcare provider and one of its major Medicaid operators to talk through their issues before appearing in court this week. Appalachian Regional Healthcare filed suit last month against CoventryCares, which is one of four private Medicaid operators in Kentucky. ARH says Coventry was late with reimbursement payments, and has refused to extend its contract past Friday.

A new poll shows Kentuckians are becoming increasingly aware of the commonwealth’s health issues and willing to act on them. The Kentucky Health Issues Poll is conducted annually by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. The latest poll for last year was just released this week and found many Kentuckians worry about childhood obesity and depression.

A Federal Appeals court has upheld the convictions of two former attorneys serving time for scamming clients out of more than $94 million  from a $200 million settlement over the diet drug known as fen-phen. The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that a trial judge did not err in the case of 61 year old William Gallion and 57 year old Shirley Cunningham, Jr.

The owner and breeder of a top contender in this Friday's Kentucky Oaks horse race is using the event to draw attention to breast cancer screenings. Anita Cauley is a member of Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear's Horses and Hope program, an effort that helps trackside workers obtain cancer screenings. One eye-catching way Cauley is raising awareness is by having the barn used by her filly "On Fire Baby" painted pink.

The fourth national "Take Back"initiative is collecting unwanted prescription medications today at State Police Posts across Kentucky. The Kentucky State Police and the Drug Enforcement Agency are working together on the effort, which is designed to help reduce prescription abuse .

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