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Louisa-Lawrence Co, KY

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May 9th, 2017 

As part of the 52 Weeks of Public Health campaign, the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH), within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), is promoting the impact of oral health on communities across the state.

“Lawrence County Health Department recognizes the importance of dental care,” Director Debbie Miller said. “We were so fortunate that the Kentucky Department for Public Health funded our Smile Savers Dental Hygiene Program in 2014 so that we are able to provide preventive services for Lawrence County students.”

DPH currently is working to update its Strategic Oral Health Plan for the first time in over a decade. As part of this work, the DPH Oral Health Program will gather stakeholders and other interested parties on May 31 and June 1 at the Downtown Lexington Hilton to assist in updating the plan to reflect new ideas and opportunities that will result in the improvement of oral health for all Kentuckians.

“The final product is one for everyone to use, not just government programs or dentists,” explained Julie Watts McKee, a dentist and Kentucky’s State Dental Director. “It is a handbook for anyone that is interested in healthier mouths. We hope that schools, universities, health plans and individuals will see something they can act on.”

“I will be attending the meeting in Lexington to update the Oral Health Strategic Plan,” Lawrence Co.’s Miller said today. “I am excited to collaborate with others across the state - to share what we’ve been doing in Lawrence County as well as learn new ideas to further improve dental health for Lawrence County residents.”

With the help of a professional facilitator, the meeting’s attendees will decide what aspects of dental care and dental health should be priorities for Kentucky.

While invitations have been sent out to targeted groups, such as dentists, hygienists, educators and policy makers, the general public is strongly encouraged to participate in the event and the process. The success of the plan depends on the inclusion of the consumer of services that affect dental health.

Anyone interested in contributing to the update of the plan should register for the Stakeholder’s meeting by clicking here.

There is no cost to attend this event and some meals are included, but registration is mandatory in order to plan for the attendees. The Kentucky Oral Health Program has limited financial support for consumers and parents of minor children who would like to participate. If interested in learning more about this, please call Bill Bishop at (502) 564-2154, extension 4423.

Throughout the planned 52 Weeks of Public Health promotion, DPH will spotlight a specific public health issue. Additional information about the campaign is available on the DPH website and is posted on the CHFS Facebook page where Kentuckians are encouraged to like and share posts among their networks of friends.

From Cabinet for Health and Family Services Communications


NIH discovery in mice could lead to new class of medications to fight mid-life obesity

Study shows that there is a genetic program driven by an overactive enzyme that promotes weight gain and loss of exercise capacity at mid-lifeStudy shows that there is a genetic program driven by an overactive enzyme that promotes weight gain and loss of exercise capacity at mid-life

A team of scientists led by researchers from the National Institutes of Health has identified an enzyme that could help in the continuous battle against mid-life obesity and fitness loss. The discovery in mice could upend current notions about why people gain weight as they age, and could one day lead to more effective weight-loss medications.

“Our society attributes the weight gain and lack of exercise at mid-life (approximately 30-60 years) primarily to poor lifestyle choices and lack of will power, but this study shows that there is a genetic program driven by an overactive enzyme that promotes weight gain and loss of exercise capacity at mid-life,” said lead study author Jay H. Chung, Ph.D., M.D., head of the Laboratory of Obesity and Aging Research at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of NIH.

Chung and his team used mice to test the potentially key role this enzyme plays in obesity and exercise capacity. They administered an inhibitor that blocked the enzyme in one group being fed high-fat foods, but withheld it in another. The result was a 40 percent decrease in weight gain in the group that received the inhibitor.

The study, the first to link the increased activity of this enzyme to aging and obesity, appears in the current issue of Cell Metabolism. Its findings could have ramifications for several chronic illnesses. With lower rates of obesity, the researchers say, rates of heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases that tend to increase with age, including cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, could fall as well.

Researchers have known for years that losing weight and maintaining the capacity to exercise tend to get harder beginning between ages 30 to 40 — the start of midlife. Scientists have developed new therapies for obesity, including fat-fighting pills. However, many of those therapies have failed because of a lack of understanding about the biological changes that cause middle-aged people to gain weight, particularly around their abdomen.

Chung, an endocrinologist, was always puzzled by the aging-weight gain paradox. An average adult in America gains 30 pounds from age 20 to 50, even though food intake usually decreases during this period. The aim of the current study was to better understand this mid-life weight gain and lowered exercise capacity.

Chung and his associates searched for biochemical changes that occurred in middle-aged animals (human equivalent of 45 years). They found that an enzyme called DNA-dependent protein kinase, or DNA-PK, increases in activity with age. Further work showed that DNA-PK promotes conversion of nutrients to fat and decreases the number of mitochondria, tiny organelles in the cells that turn fat into energy to fuel the body.

Mitochondria can be found in abundance among young people, but the numbers drop considerably in older people. Researchers know that decreased mitochondria can promote obesity as well as loss of exercise capacity.

Chung and his associates theorized that reducing DNA-PK activity may decrease fat accumulation and increase mitochondria number as well as promote fat burning. The researchers tested their theory by orally administering a drug that inhibits DNA-PK and found that, in addition to preventing weight gain in the mice, the inhibitor drug boosted mitochondrial content in skeletal muscle, increased aerobic fitness in obese and middle aged mice, and reduced the incidence of obesity and type-2 diabetes..

“Our studies indicate that DNA-PK is one of the drivers of the metabolic and fitness decline that occurs during aging, which makes staying lean and physically fit difficult and increases susceptibility to metabolic diseases like diabetes,” Chung said. “The identification of this new mechanism is very important for improving public health.”.

“The study opens the door to the development of a new type of weight-loss medication that could work by inhibiting DNA-PK activity,” Chung said. However, he notes that DNA-PK inhibitors have yet to be tested this way in humans.

In the meantime, the researchers say, middle-aged people who are fighting obesity should not abandon common practices of reducing calorie intake and boosting exercise, even if it takes a while to see results.

This study was supported by the Intramural Research Program of NHLBI, part of NIH.



Date: 04-28-2017

Unused prescription drug disposal scheduled for Saturday

FRANKFORT - The Kentucky State Police is teaming up with the Drug Enforcement Agency to encourage citizens to remove potentially dangerous medicines from their homes and dispose of them safely as part of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday.

“Prescription medications play an important role in the health of millions of Americans,” KSP Commissioner Rick Sanders said in a statement. “However, leftover or expired drugs can be harmful in a variety of ways.”

Old or out-of-date medications can degrade and lose their effectiveness, Sanders said. They can also pose environmental pollution to water supplies if disposed of improperly.

“Unused medicines in homes can also be accidently ingested by children, stolen, misused and abused,” he warns.

Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are at alarming levels. According to the DEA, the majority of prescription drug abusers report that they get their drugs from friends and family including the home medicine cabinet.

“Cleaning out old prescription drugs from medicine cabinets, kitchen drawers and beside tables can help reduce the diversion, misuse and abuse of these substances, including opioid painkillers,” Sanders said.

“Check your medications for expiration dates regularly and dispose of them properly,” he advised. “When in doubt, throw it out.”

During last year’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, citizens across the U.S. disposed of 447 tons of unneeded medications. Statewide, Kentucky had 50 collection sites totaling 9,752 pounds in 2016. KSP collected 946 pounds at 16 post area locations.

KSP has established 16 locations throughout Kentucky to serve as collection points for the safe, convenient and responsible disposal of unused or expired prescription drugs

KSP spokesperson Trooper. Josh Brashears advised that the program is designed to be easy for citizens and offered the following tips for those interested in participating:

● Participants may dispose of medication in its original container or by removing the medication from its container and disposing of it directly into the disposal box located at the drop off location. 

● All solid dosage pharmaceutical products and liquids in consumer containers will be accepted. Liquid products, such as cough syrup, should remain sealed in original containers. The depositor should ensure that the cap is tightly sealed to prevent leakage.

● Intravenous solutions, injectables and syringes will not be accepted due to potential hazard posed by blood-borne pathogens. 

● Illicit substances such as marijuana or methamphetamine are not a part of this initiative and should not be placed in collection containers.

For more information about the ‘Take Back’ program, contact KSP at 502-782-1780 or visit the DEA website at

The program's drop-off locations are:

8366 State Route 45 North
Hickory, KY 42051
Phone: (270) 856-3721

1000 Western KY Parkway
Nortonville, KY 42442
Phone: (270) 676-3313

3119 Nashville Rd
Bowling Green, KY 42102
Phone: (270) 782-2010

1055 North Mulberry
Elizabethtown, KY 42701
Phone: (270) 766-5078

160 Citation Lane
Campbellsburg, KY 40011
Phone: (502) 532-6363

4265 US 25 North
Dry Ridge, KY 41035
Phone: (859) 428-1212

699 Eastern Bypass
Richmond, KY 40475
Phone: (859) 623-2404

Morehead Police Dept.
105 East Main St.
Morehead, KY 40351

3499 North Mayo Trail
Pikeville, KY 41501
Phone: (606) 433-7711

3319 US 421 South
Harlan, KY 40831
Phone: (606) 573-3131

Laurel Co Health Dept
525 Whitley St.
London, KY 40741
Phone: (606) 878-6622

1250 Louisville Road
Frankfort, KY 40601
Phone: (502) 227-2221

100 Justice Drive
Hazard, KY 41701
Phone: (606) 435-6069

5975 State Route 60
Ashland, KY 41101
Phone: (606) 928-6421

1118 Jamestown St
Columbia, KY 42728
Phone: (270) 384-4796

8298 Keach Drive
Henderson, KY 42420
Phone: (270) 826-3312

Dr. Kurt Jaenicke is new TRMC gynecologist

Dr. JaenickeDr. Jaenicke

FRIDAY, APRIL 21, 2017

State licensing laws bar treatment of opioid addiction, especially in areas that lack doctors

State laws prevent nurse practitioners and physician assistants from using a federal license to prescribe potentially life-saving medicine for opioid addiction, Christine Vestal reports for Stateline. Earlier this month two federal agencies—Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Drug Enforcement Administration—"gave more than 700 nurse practitioners and physician assistants the authority to write prescriptions for the anti-addiction medication buprenorphine."

But 28 states "prohibit nurse practitioners from prescribing buprenorphine unless they are working in collaboration with a doctor who also has a federal license to prescribe it," Vestal writes. The problem is that half of all counties in the U.S., mainly in rural areas, "do not have a single physician with a license to prescribe buprenorphine." (Stateline map: Barriers for nurse practitioners to prescribe treatment for opioid addiction)

A law in Kentucky prohibits physician assistants from prescribing it. (buprenorphine)A law in Kentucky prohibits physician assistants from prescribing it. (buprenorphine)

Oklahoma, Tennessee and Wyoming have laws that "explicitly prohibit nurse practitioners from prescribing buprenorphine—one of three anti-addiction medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration—with or without a doctor’s supervision," Vestal notes. A law in Kentucky prohibits physician assistants from prescribing it.

In the 15 years since doctors have been allowed to prescribe buprenorphine, fewer than 39,000 have sought a license to do so, Vestal writes. Overall, there are "more than 222,000 nurse practitioners and about 109,000 physician assistants in the nation, and many of them offer primary health care in rural parts of the nation where the opioid crisis is most acute."

Written by Tim Mandell Posted at 4/21/2017 11:38:00 AM