Kentucky Press News ServiceThose Kentucky residents who have serious mental illness may receive additional housing and state support after two state agencies have reached agreement on the need to increase such services.The state Cabinet for Health and Family Services and Kentucky Protection and Advocacy, which protects and promotes the rights of individuals with disabilities, announced Friday they have reached agreement that will provide additional services for eligible persons who have serious mental illness and who live in or are at risk of residing in a personal care home.P&A Director Marsha Hockensmith said in a news release that her agency has visited many personal care homes across that state over the last four years and the agreement represents a top priority for the agency.“P&A staff have met with and listened to the requests for assistance from personal care home residents and witnessed their isolation,” Hockensmith said. “Persons with mental illness represent some of the last to receive funding for comprehensive community services and supports in Kentucky. This agreement will afford choice in terms of living arrangement and service array to many persons with mental illness and represents a serious systemic change in Kentucky's treatment of individuals with mental illness. We applaud CHFS’s leadership under Secretary Haynes to address this matter and look forward to assuring that this agreement creates the necessary infrastructure to allow all persons with serious mental illness to successfully live in the community, as is their right.”It's estimated there are some 2,300 persons, most with serious mental illness, currently receiving the state supplement and residing in personal care homes.As noted in the agreement, “P&A and the Cabinet acknowledge that the relief . . . will not initially afford relief to all potential class members, but enter into this agreement in good faith based upon the Cabinet’s promises . . . that such supports and services will be expanded to include other individuals in a subsequent agreement.” “You don’t get help like this every day,” Donald Dyer, a long-time resident of Waynesburg Manor in Lincoln County and one of the potential named plaintiffs, said in the news release. “Many people don’t know we are out here sick and alone. Waynesburg Manor was not my home. I am happy and joyful I am leaving the personal care home and getting my own place.”The two agencies began negotiating in order to avoid possible litigation on behalf of individuals with serious mental illness. The agreement was based on the Americans with Disabilities Act, the news release said.
August 12, 2013
Researchers created a mathematical model that simulates how weight and body fat in children respond to changes in diet and physical activity. The model may offer new insights for addressing childhood obesity.
Young boys pulling on a rope in tug of war game.More than one-third of children and adolescents in the United States are overweight or obese. Excess weight at an early age can lead to lifelong health problems such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.Promoting weight loss in children, however, can be complicated. Because their bodies are growing, some weight gain is normal. Excess weight occurs when calories eaten are greater than the energy the body needs. However, growing evidence shows that the body’s metabolism can change as you alter your diet or exercise habits. Keeping track of these metabolic changes can be difficult, especially during childhood growth.A research team led by Dr. Kevin Hall of NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) previously developed a mathematical model that simulates weight changes in adults. In their new study, they set out to adapt the model to capture the unique characteristics of child metabolism. Such a model could be used to predict how well different weight loss approaches might work in children of different ages.The researchers used clinical data from 5- to 18-year-olds to create the model. To test its effectiveness, the team compared model predictions to actual changes in children that were measured in other clinical studies. As reported online on July 30, 2013, in Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, the researchers developed a model that accurately predicted observed changes in body fat and weight.Using the model, the scientists were able to identify major differences between obese adults and children. For example, a child under age 10 requires more than twice as many calories as an adult to gain excess weight.The model suggests that the adolescent growth spurts of obese boys might be harnessed to “outgrow” obesity. By successfully maintaining weight from ages 11 to 16, simulated boys lost their excess body fat. However, the effect wasn’t as pronounced in simulated obese girls, suggesting that obese girls would likely need to lose weight to normalize their body fat during this period.“Obese children are much more likely to become obese adults, which makes achieving or maintaining a healthy weight early in life vitally important,” says NIDDK Director Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers. “This study suggests that we may need to approach weight management and obesity prevention differently in youth than in adults.”“Our model, which takes growth into consideration, helps quantify realistic goals for weight management in children and adolescents,” Hall says.Looking forward, researchers are exploring options to develop a user-friendly online tool for health professionals and others. Parents should work with a health care provider before beginning any weight-loss program for an overweight or obese child.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 31, 2013) – The 2013 World Breastfeeding Week will be celebrated Aug. 1-7 with health officials working to promote the importance of supporting breastfeeding families, the Kentucky Department for Public Health announced today. This message extends to fathers, family members, friends, employers and other key individuals who can play a role in the effort to build a supportive network for breastfeeding mothers.
The 2013 World Breastfeeding Theme, “Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers,” was selected as a way to help more women choose breastfeeding and continue to exclusively breastfeed for the clinically recommended guideline of six months.
“Breastfeeding is an opportunity for mom and baby to bond, connect, and relax,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. Stephanie Mayfield. “In addition to physical health benefits, we encourage mothers to breastfeed because of its helpful and healing benefits for families. We need support from relatives, employers and the community to make sure mothers are achieving their breastfeeding goals.”
Breastfeeding is widely regarded as the healthiest choice for infants and the practice is supported by public health professionals, health care providers and advocates around the world. Many women, however, struggle to meet the standards recommended for optimum breastfeeding. For example, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. After that, solid foods are added to the baby’s feeding schedule, but continued breastfeeding is recommended for at least 12 months.
“Even the most committed mothers can struggle to successfully breastfeed when they don’t have the kind of support system they need at home, at the workplace and in the community,” said Fran Hawkins, director of the Kentucky Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC). “If we want to send the message that breastfeeding is important and improve our breastfeeding rates, we need to support mothers who choose to breastfeed.”
Currently, Kentucky’s breastfeeding rates are 59.4 percent, comparatively lower than other states. DPH is engaged in a number of activities aimed at increasing the state’s breastfeeding rates and improving maternal and child health standards.Supporting Families
In 2011, Kentucky WIC and the University of Louisville (UofL) Hospital Center for Women and Infants began working together to help more families utilize Kangaroo Care – the practice of using skin-to-skin contact immediately following birth – to promote breastfeeding rates. Kangaroo Care support is provided in birthing hospitals around the state.
In addition, WIC participates in a Breastfeeding Peer Counseling Program operated through the local health departments. A Breastfeeding Peer Counselor is a current or former WIC participant with personal breastfeeding experience. The breastfeeding peer counselor program provides one-on-one counseling, information and round-the-clock guidance for mothers new to breastfeeding.
The United States Department of Agriculture funds the program through a federal grant. It’s available to participants of the WIC Program in agencies with the peer counselor program.
DPH also works to promote breastfeeding through various educational channels, providing support to local health departments, tracking statewide breastfeeding rates, distributing regular breastfeeding educational materials and messaging, and encouraging breastfeeding to mothers enrolled in various public health supported programs and services.Working With Hospitals
In 2012, DPH reported 100 percent of Kentucky’s birthing hospitals had been trained in “Kangaroo Care” practices.
After receiving a grant from Passport, UofL trained their hospital staff members in Kangaroo Care. As a part of the program, UofL staff developed a “Jumping into Kangaroo Care Toolkit” for use at other facilities. After the success of the initial trainings, the WIC program partnered with UofL to complete a series of statewide trainings for the remaining birthing hospitals in Kentucky.
The trainings also included instruction on how to use the Kangaroo Care toolkit and breastfeeding data collection. Kangaroo Care Champions, nurses who’ve participated in the program at UofL, helped run the trainings and worked individually with hospital staff.Working With Employers
DPH has participated in programs, such as the Business Case for Breastfeeding, that have assisted businesses with the implementation of breastfeeding-friendly policies.
“Even with support at home, continuing breastfeeding after returning to work is a tremendous challenge,” said Hawkins. “We work to help employers understand that and provide work environments conducive to helping moms continue to breastfeed.”
Four steps are encouraged to make work environments more breastfeeding friendly: support from managers and coworkers; flexible time to express milk (around 10 to 15 minutes three times per day); education for employees about how to combine breastfeeding and work; and a designated space to breastfeed or express milk in privacy.
Public health officials stress that continuing breastfeeding after returning to work is often necessary to meet the recommendations for optimal infant nutrition. Meanwhile, families, health professionals, governments, employers and communities must support breastfeeding mothers for the mother to have a successful breastfeeding experience.
“When breastfeeding mothers have little support, they are more likely to stop breastfeeding before they reach their goals,” said Marlene Goodlett, breastfeeding promotion coordinator for Kentucky public health.
Goodlett stressed the call for support extends to the general public. She said one barrier can be breastfeeding in public
Kentucky law protects women who wish to breastfeed their babies in public. This law permits a mother to breastfeed her baby or express breast milk in any public or private location. This measure also requires that breastfeeding not be considered an act of public indecency or indecent exposure.“Luckily, attitudes have changed a lot regarding breastfeeding in public, but many are unaware that Kentucky law protects mothers from being asked to feed their babies in private or threatened with public indecency,” said Goodlett. “It’s very important that all mothers are familiar with this law and understand their rights.”
For more information, contact Goodlett at (502) 564-3827 ext. 3612 or email@example.com. Additional Information on breastfeeding can be found at www.chfs.ky.gov/dph/ach/ns/breastfeeding.htm.
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