Mary Meehan

kyfmc.org

Health officials are urging the community to get a hepatitis A vaccine.

Chris Pontus is an officer with the Massachusetts Nurses Association and she participated in last week’s Health Watch USA conference in Lexington.  

 

 

 

 

 

Health Officials Bracing For Tough Flu Season

Sep 17, 2018
Kentucky.com

Public health officials in Kentucky are preparing for what they expect to be a difficult flu season. 

Health officials make predictions on what will happen in Kentucky by watching the flu season in the southern hemisphere. Public Health Commissioner Dr. Jeffery Howard said it looks the commonwealth is in for a tough year.

Mary Meehan

Health officials are urging everyone in Fayette County to get vaccinated against Hepatitis A.

At a press conference Tuesday, Health Commissioner Dr. Kraig Humbaugh said Fayette County has only 9 cases confirmed so far, but that the vaccine has “an excellent track record” of preventing the spread of the disease.

Hep A Cases Continue To Spread Across Kentucky

Aug 28, 2018
By Mary Meehan

 

The number of cases of Hepatitis A is still rising with nearly 1,500 cases in the commonwealth. Close to 900 people have been hospitalized and 12 people have died.

In a typical year Kentucky has fewer than 20 cases of Hepatitis A.

According the state department of public health, the outbreak is also spreading geographically. Originally centered in Jefferson County, the infectious disease is now found in 84 Kentucky counties.

Anthony Scott Lockard/Kentucky River Health District

In a room at the Letcher County Health Department in Whitesburg, Kentucky, about 20 people are learning how to use naloxone, the opioid overdose reversal medication.

Among them is 18-year-old Morgan Hopkins. An aspiring therapist, Hopkins said she wants to be ready with naloxone if someone overdoses around her.

 

“You never know what you’re going to see,” she said. “If anything goes wrong, you have it, rather than you don’t have it.”

The American Cancer Society Action Network is pushing prevention to lower Kentucky's historically high rates of cancer. 

Pam Pilgrim is cancer survivor and a network volunteer in eastern Kentucky. She said that a report released Thursday showed that more than 25,000 Kentuckians are diagnosed with cancer each year. One way of shrinking that number is increasing the cigarette tax and creating a statewide smoking ordinance.

Jim Thacker is frustrated.

The spokesperson for the Madison County, Kentucky, Health Department said there is a real threat of a Hepatitis A outbreak at the detention center right down the road in Richmond.

Built to house about 240 inmates, it holds more than 400.  

“It’s like a petri dish, they are packed so close together,” he said.

Mary Meehan/Ohio Valley ReSource

The low rumble of industrial fans fills the Catholic Action Center in Lexington, a shelter that provides meals and other services for homeless people.

It’s mid-morning on a hot July day and dozens of people sit camped on couches in the entryway, or slouch at tables nearby. Despite the fans the air is stale from too many bodies too close together — ideal conditions for the spread of disease.

 

Syringe Exchanges Set To Open In Northern Kentucky

Jun 27, 2018
Mary Meehan

A mobile syringe exchange and treatment referral service will begin in Campbell and Kenton counties July 23.The mobile unit will be parked on the campuses of St. Elizabeth Healthcare in Newport and Covington. The Kentucky Fire Commission is providing a mobile command center to assist with the program.

Wikimedia Commons

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.

Mary Meehan

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams visited Florence, Kentucky today [Monday] to urge all Americans who are in contact with someone abusing opioids to learn how to administer the overdose drug, Naloxone.  

Mary Meehan

President Donald Trump says Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue will take the lead in handling current trade disputes with China. But Perdue, who is visiting Kentucky, is keeping his plan vague.

Perdue toured Lexington’s Keeneland racetrack followed by a gaggle of reporters. When asked whether crop insurance could be a way to help support farmers Perdue had this to say.

Mary Meehan/Ohio Valley ReSource

 

Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposed budget includes specific cuts impacting Eastern Kentucky University.

 

EKU President Michael Benson outlined key provisions a campus-wide email today. They include $4 million overall budget reduction and cuts of $200,000 to the Center for the Arts and $150,000 cut to Model Laboratory School.

 

Benson said plans are being made to mitigate the cuts. 

But on  Monday the EKU Board of Regents were told that slow enrollment, pension reform and state cuts will require $25 million budget reduction and include layoffs. 

EKU Faces Tough Choices, $25 Million In Cuts

Feb 26, 2018
EKU.EDU

Eastern Kentucky University is facing $25 million in cuts and, as the Board of Regents heard Monday, every reduction reflects a difficult decision.

Vice President David McFadden said a committee has been meeting with groups across campus to make strategic cuts to meet the goal.

“From the SGA to every college, we have been across campus to have a broad dialogue,” he said. 

McFadden said the cuts will be targeted and “across the board” and will include some loss of faculty and staff.

Mary Meehan

There is a fundamental disagreement over how radioactive waste at an Estill County landfill should be handled.  

Resident Mary Farmer spoke at Tuesday’s press conference at the Estill County Fair Grounds. She says Advanced Disposal knew it was placing citizens at risk by bringing the material into the county.  Farmer says the landfill operator should be responsible for taking it out.

Demolition Means Street Closures In Frankfort

Feb 8, 2018
Kentucky.com

As the long-awaited demolition of Capitol Plaza Complex begins, motorists will be facing some detours in Frankfort.  The changes begin Thursday.

During the first phase of demolition, Clinton Street will be closed between Wilkinson Boulevard and St. Clair Street. It will remained closed for five weeks. In addition to rerouting street traffic, several parking options will also be eliminated temporarily. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is working with the contractor to help drivers navigate the necessary street closures and detours.

UK Officials Outline Response To Meningitis Case

Jan 30, 2018
Kentucky.com

University of Kentucky officials said steps are being taken to contain the spread of meningitis.

Officials at a news conference Tuesday said a student is being treated for an apparent case of the sometimes fatal bacterial infection.

But, health officials are stressing that casual contact, such as sharing a class with the infected student, is not likely to lead to infection. Those with close contact to the student are receiving antibiotics as a precaution.

Mary Meehan

Health officials in Northern Kentucky are concerned about a “cluster” of HIV cases.

In 2017 there were 18 case of HIV connected with intravenous drug use in Kenton and Campbell counties. Dr. Lynne Saddler, of the Northern Kentucky Health Department, said at a press conference Tuesday that’s a significant leap over much lower numbers over the last decade. At the most those counties have had five cases each year since 2008.. And, she said, that cluster is reason for concern that there might be a larger problem on the horizon.

Mary Meehan

A small gaggle of reporters points their microphones at reproductive rights activist Marcie Crim as she bluntly decries  the shrinking access to abortion in the region. Crim stands just a few feet from the open door of the office of Governor Matt Bevin near the Capitol rotunda. Crim and Bevin may be physically close in in this situation, but they could not be further apart on the issue.They personify the opposing poles of the decades-old debate surrounding abortion.

Bevin has been vocally supportive of legislative restrictions on abortion access such as longer waiting periods.

Aaron Payne | Ohio Valley ReSource

Imagine living and working somewhere designed to fit a couple hundred people. Now picture that same space crammed with twice that number. Madison County, Kentucky, Jailer Doug Thomas doesn’t have to imagine it. He lives it.

“I’m doing all that I can with what I have to work with, which is not a lot,” he said. “Because we’re a 184 bed facility with almost 400 people.”