Health

Nashville, TN – The Drug Enforcement Agency in Nashville says several factors could lead to an increase in heroin abuse in the region. Agent Mike Stanfill tells WKU Public Radio high school and college aged white men are increasingly smoking and snorting the drug because they think it's safer than injecting it with a needle. Another reason is the increasing cost of prescription pain pills is driving some addicts to cheaper ways to get high. Kevin Willis has more.

Bowling Green, KY – Twice a year, four inspectors from the Warren County Health Department inspect the more than 1,300 food establishments in Warren County making sure they're clean and safe for the public. Joe Corcoran went behind the scenes on a recent surprise inspection to find out what goes into their reports.

Bowling Green, Ky – America is remembering the life of former First Lady Betty Ford, who passed away Friday at the age of 93. A Glasgow surgeon has a unique connection to Mrs. Ford. Dr. William Thistlethwaite of TJ Sampson Hospital is the son of James Thistlethwaite, who diagnosed Mrs. Ford's breast cancer and assisted in her subsequent surgery. William spoke to WKU Public Radio about his father's role in helping Mrs. Ford, and the impact of her advocacy on behalf of women's health issues.

Louisville, Ky – Kentucky is home to one of a handful of doctors who is using aggressive, interventional treatments to help advanced stroke patients. Doctor Alex Abou-Chebl, a professor of neurology at the University of Louisville, is pushing beyond what is considered the "standard of care" for victims of stroke. In this report, we hear from the doctor and Andrew Fisher, a patient who was saved when Abou-Chebl placed tiny balloons and stents in Fisher's brain.

Picture courtesy of butterfliesformaddie.com

Glasgow, Ky – Donna and Tony Morgan of Barren County have been on a mission ever since tragedy struck their family in 2005. That's the year their 6 year old daughter, Maddie, died suddenly of Pulmonary Veno Occlusive Disease, or "PVOD". Since then, the Morgans have set out to educate the public--and just as importantly, the medical community--about the rare disease. Kevin Willis reports from Glasgow about the Butterflies for Maddie Foundation.

Louisville, Ky – Raising a child with severe autism requires the strength and combined efforts of every family member. That's a key message author Mark Osteen brought to Kentucky. Osteen spoke in Louisville about his book "One of Us: A Family's Life with Autism." His visit was sponsored by the Kentucky Autism Training Center at the University of Louisville. Osteen implores parents not to blame themselves for their child's condition. Kevin Willis has our story.

Nashville, TN – David Penson is a man who spends a lot of time thinking about the health of the country. The Professor of Urologic Surgery at Vanderbilt University in Nashville served as co-chair of the advisory panel that authored the recent "Tennessee Men's Health Report Card." Dr. Penson said he was amazed to see in how many instances poor personal choices lead to nationwide health problems. He spoke to WKU Public Radio's Kevin Willis.

Louisville, Ky – Kentucky's lung cancer death rate is 45% higher than the national average. Dr. Victor VanBurkle wants Kentuckians to understand the impact tobacco-related cancers are having on the state. He's a surgeon with the James Graham Brown Cancer Center in Louisville. He says while cancer treatments have come a long way in recent years, the lung cancer death rate is essentially flat. That's because when most patients discover they have the disease, it's too late to save them.

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