A doctor at a Paintsville pain clinic conspired to illegally distribute drugs by writing prescriptions without a real medical need to do so, a federal grand jury has charged. Richard W. Albert saw dozens of patients a day, issuing them prescriptions for pain pills and other narcotics with little or no examination at times, an investigator said in a court document.
The last American space shuttle mission launched Friday, and the head of the Kentucky Space organization says the end of the program could mark the beginning of a new period of innovation. Without the shuttle program, organizations like Kentucky Space that send research projects into orbit will have to find other vessels to carry the cargo. That means foreign, unmanned and privately-operated craft.
Two years ago, Hayley Cunningham lost her cousin to a deadly game she'd never heard of. Her cousin was found dead in his bedroom after accidentally choking himself, the result of an increasingly fatal practice gaining popularity among middle-school students known as the "choking game." It involves near-strangulation that provides a brief floaty feeling and fainting. After grieving her cousin's death, Cunningham decided she wanted to educate others and maybe save a life.
Kentucky has risen to sixth in nationwide obesity rankings, according to a report released Thursday by Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Now 31.5 percent of Kentucky adults are obese, up from 30.5 percent last year. Twelve states now have obesity rates above 30 percent – four years ago, only one state was above 30 percent. The obesity rankings for Kentucky kids are even worse – third in the nation at 21 percent of children ages 10 to 17.
Robert George's body has been in the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital's morgue for more than three months, and UK officials say they can't get anyone to claim it.The Fayette County coroner's office has refused to take the body. So has the coroner's office in Pulaski County, where George apparently lived. Relatives who have been contacted by UK also have not stepped forward to claim George's remains.
Come this fall, a large percentage of Kentucky's Medicaid patients will enter a managed care program. Governor Steve Beshear hails the change as a major cost saver that ensures quality care The Governor says the statewide expansion of Medicaid managed care will save taxpayers more than a billion dollars over three years. Beshear announced the state has awarded three contracts to firms which will manage the care given thousands of Medicaid recipients.
Visually impaired Kentuckians face obvious obstacles. Adding to the potential problems is access to technology and transportation. Cora McNabb of the state Office for the Blind says they’re likely to re-appear on the next needs assessment.
The Lexington Public Library is taking steps to eradicate bedbugs from the Central Library on East Main Street, but officials say it remains a safe place for patrons. Two bedbugs were found in recent days in the library, which has as many as half a million visitors each year, said spokesman Doug Tattersall. "We're still busy, and people need to know they are safe here," he said. A pair of bedbug-sniffing dogs from a pest control company in Evansville, Ind., found evidence of bedbugs Wednesday in "isolated pieces of furniture" on the first, third and fourth floors of the library, and in some staff areas, Tattersall said. Furniture identified by the dogs was "immediately removed," he said.
Anytime they're talking about your town on the Colbert Report, 9 times out of 10 it's not for a good reason. Wednesday evening, the host cited a new study by Men's Health Magazine declaring Lexington, Kentucky as the most sedentary city in the United States. Men's Health deputy editor Matt Marion says numerous factors were considered.
FRANKFORT – Kentuckians have an opportunity to check if their public water system is in compliance with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. The Division of Water has prepared its annual compliance report that summarizes violations incurred by public water systems across the state. The federal Environmental Protection Agency will summarize and evaluate all state reports in a national report that also must make recommendations concerning the resources needed to improve compliance with the federal act.
Apples are squarely in the cross-hairs of a recent report released by the Environmental Working Group. The fruit has been targeted as the “most dirty” on the EWG’s “Dirty Dozen” list of fruits and vegetables that it says are the most tainted by pesticides. Scott County fruit growers consider the data suspect, however, and adamantly defend their product.
Hopkins, Christian and McLean counties tied for the Kentucky county with the highest percentage of HIV testing. Information from www.kyhealthfacts.org states the three counties have tested 45 percent of adults under the age of 65. Hopkins County Health Department Nursing Director Denise Baldwin attributes this to a combination of good medical facilities, efforts of doctors in preventing infection from mother to unborn child and having information on HIV widely available.
The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration has released new Internet tools to help miners better understand their rights and responsibilities. According to the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, miners can’t be discriminated against for raising concerns about workplace safety or requesting MSHA inspections.
The authors of a new study are calling for major changes in hospital residency programs. An article published in the latest online journal Nature and Science of Sleep says resident fatigue, overwork and lack of supervision lead to serious, preventable medical errors. One recommendation is that all medical residents should work no more than 16 hours without sleep. The recommendations are not new but critics say they haven’t been implemented. But change is not easy, according Dr. Kevin Kavanaugh of Somerset. The longtime proponent of healthcare reform says any changes must be made carefully.
How many 50-year-old fathers take their 13-year-old sons with them on a cross country trip in an experimental electric hybrid bicycle? At least one. Pierce Hoover and his son, Nash, are making the trip from the East Coast to Oregon, showing off their homemade electrically assisted bicycle. They spent the weekend in Danville.
Several agencies across Kentucky are again offering free HIV testing at various sites over the next week to coincide with National HIV Testing Day on June 27. Kentucky HIV prevention coordinator Dennis Wheatley says despite the development of a simple test and public outreach efforts, many people with HIV don’t know they’re infected. “If you took everyone who was HIV positive and kind of lumped them together, 25-percent of that population wouldn’t actually know their status because they’re not being tested,” he said.
About a month ago, Jeannie and Doug Naselroad of Cole Road began raising chickens for eggs in their backyard. On Tuesday, eight tetra tints (referred to as Easter chickens for their pastel eggs) played a “game of football,” as Jeannie calls it, chasing each other for a bug inside their version of a football field — a homemade green chicken tractor.
Surrounded by urine specimens, chemicals and lab equipment, Martha Martinez works out of a small room in a Cave City doctor’s office to help health care providers sort through the people who truly need narcotic pain and other medications and the people who are simply looking for the next high. Martinez, who works for Russell Springs-based Nexus Labs, rents space from Dr. Todd Williams, a Nexus devotee since September.
The beach at Lake Barkley State Resort Park continues to be closed because of the presence of too much e. coli bacteria in the water, said Park Manager John Jordan. As required by health codes, the Health Department checks the water for bacteria every Wednesday, with the results published every Friday, and last week they found at least 240 percent of the threshold to close the beaches, Jordan said.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky questions a proposed hospital merger announced this week. The partnership involves University of Louisville Hospital, Jewish Hospital and Lexington’s Saint Joseph Health System. Catholic Health Initiatives is giving $320 million to support the new network. A Health Initiative spokesman says the system will not provide reproductive health services that are inconsistent with the church’s ethical and religious directives.