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Opioid epidemic has increased rate of grandparents raising grandchildren; 21% live below poverty line

An increasing number of grandparents are raising their grandchildren, largely because many of the children's parents are addicted to heroin or prescription drugs, both increasing problems in rural areas, Teresa Wiltz reports for Stateline. In 2015, 2.9 million kids were living with their grandparents, up from 2.5 million in 2005.

"Child welfare officials say drug addiction, especially to opioids, is behind much of the rise in the number of grandparents raising their grandchildren, just as it was during the crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980s and ’90s," Wiltz writes. That has led to a growing number of children being neglected or abandoned and for caseworkers to turn to grandparents for help, largely because the foster care system is already overcrowded with children of addicts.

"Federal law requires that states consider placing children with relatives in order to receive foster care and adoption assistance," Wiltz writes. "And grandmothers and grandfathers often are the first—and best—choice when state and local caseworkers have to take a child out of a home and find someone else to take custody, said Angela Sausser, executive director of the Public Children Services Association of Ohio, a coalition of public child-safety agencies in the state."

Generations United, a group that works to improve the lives of youth and older adults, says that grandparents and other relatives raising children save taxpayers $4 billion each year by keeping the children out of the foster care system, Wiltz reports. But some of those grandparents might not be equipped to handle raising a child. Generations United says that 21 percent of grandparents caring for grandchildren live below the poverty line, 39 percent are over 60 and 26 percent have a disability. "And because many are not licensed in the system, they are not eligible for the same services and financial support as licensed foster parents." (Read more)

Written by Tim Mandell Posted at 11/02/2016 11:48:00 AM

Local medical center is one of only a few nationwide, to perform the newest non-surgical, reversible weight loss procedure

Louisa, KY – Approved by the FDA in June, Three Rivers Medical Center is the first hospital in Kentucky, and one of only a few nationwide, to perform the newest non-surgical, reversible weight loss procedure.

Dr. FrazierDr. FrazierThe procedure utilizes a tube to drain a portion of the stomach contents after every meal.

The staggering truth is that more than one-third of adults in America are obese and sometimes losing the weight is not just a matter of willpower, but can be influenced by many biological factors,” said Dr. Thomas Frazier, the gastroenterologist who performed the first procedure. ”Providing this type of non-surgical weight loss option can mean the difference for many individuals struggling with associated health issues and low quality of life.

The procedure enables patients to remove up to 30 percent of a meal from the stomach through a thin tube after eating so the body doesn’t absorb the calories, causing weight loss. During a 15-minute procedure under twilight sedation, a thin tube is placed in the stomach, connecting to a discreet button on the abdomen. Patients can remove up to 30 percent of a meal directly into the toilet using a smartphone-sized device. The device used in the procedures was approved by the FDA in June 2016.

Patients also must learn to eat more slowly and chew carefully to ensure digested material can fit through the tube, helping patients learn to eat smaller portion sizes. Once the patient achieves his or her desired weight loss, the tube can be removed, or left in place indefinitely if the patient chooses.

We are excited to be a pioneer in the state by offering people struggling with obesity a new, less invasive weight loss option compared to bariatric surgery,” said Greg Kiser, CEO of Three Rivers Medical Center.  

For more information on this new weight loss procedure, Please contact Three Rivers Gastroenterology at (606) 638-4656.

About Three Rivers Medical Center

Three Rivers Medical Center is your community healthcare provider; a 90-bed acute care facility accredited by The Joint Commission. We believe in the power of people to create great care. We provide essential hospital essential hospital services and are proud to house an accredited Chest Pain Center and a Sleep Disorders Center. And we work hard every day to be a place of healing, caring and connection for patients and families in the community we call home. 

Three Rivers Medical Center, Healing Begins Here

 

Singing for a Cure

 Nationally known recording star Larry Cordle at Huntingtons Disease benefit. Nationally known recording star Larry Cordle at Huntingtons Disease benefit.  Hammertowne's David Campbell performed at the benefit at the Louisa Community CenterHammertowne's David Campbell performed at the benefit at the Louisa Community Center

Carly Kirk, also performed for the Huntington's Disease benefit in LouisaCarly Kirk, also performed for the Huntington's Disease benefit in Louisa

What a beautiful fall evening for a Bluegrass concert. 

The Fourth Annual Huntington's Disease benefit was held on Saturday October 22, 2016 at the Louisa Senior Citizens Building for residents and families of Lawrence Co. who suffer from the devastating illness of Huntington's Chorea Disease. 

Lynette Miller  and Elaine Mabrey helped set up the benefit last week. Mrs. Miller's husband, Paul David Miller, has the disease.Lynette Miller and Elaine Mabrey helped set up the benefit last week. Mrs. Miller's husband, Paul David Miller, has the disease.  

Huntington's Disease is an inherited one that is a progressive brain disorder that causes uncontrollable movements, emotional problems, and loss of thinking ability (cognition).  Adult onset Huntington disease, the most common form of this disorder, usually appears in a person's thirties or forties and is not curable.  Several Lawrence County residents suffer from this horrible condition. The number of local families affected is unknown.

Shona Wilks Smith lost her husband Jeffrey Smith, to Huntington's Disease six years ago.Shona Wilks Smith lost her husband Jeffrey Smith, to Huntington's Disease six years ago.Shona Wilks Smith,  the event coordinator, stated, "I wanted to do something for the families and sufferers because when I was going through this with my husband, I  thought  my husband's family was the only one."  

"I wanted to do something to help other families know that they were not alone," she said.  Ms Smith lost her husband, Jeffrey Smith,  to this debilitating disease six years ago.

A gospel benefit was held in August 2016 now it was time for a Bluegrass night.

Several bluegrass entertainers came to support the event.  Hammertown's  David Campbell, Carly Kirk and Lawrence Co.'s own Larry Cordle graced the stage. 

The crowd enjoyed homemade food items and participated in raffles all to benefit the organization. 

Three Rivers Medical Center CEO Greg Kiser presents a plaque to Rose Kingston in recognition of her 40 years of service at TRMC.Three Rivers Medical Center CEO Greg Kiser presents a plaque to Rose Kingston in recognition of her 40 years of service at TRMC.

Will be legal in every other state starting Jan. 1

State Rep. Daniel Elliott, a Republican recently elected to the state House, has filed legislation that would allow physician assistants to prescribe controlled substances, something they can do in every other state beginning in January.

Elliott, R-Gravel Switch, says the bill would help relieve the doctor shortages in some rural areas of the state.

“If we can give these professionals the ability to care for sick people then I can’t see why we wouldn’t do that in a state that tends to be at the bottom of some categories of health,” Elliott told Insider Louisville’s Joe Sonka. “I don’t see the rationale in prohibiting very well educated and trained medical professionals from practicing medicine, and that’s what we’re saying they can’t do in Kentucky, to a certain extent.”

State Rep. Daniel Elliott (Photo Provided)State Rep. Daniel Elliott (Photo Provided)

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“Ben Swartz, the executive director for the Kentucky Academy of Physician Assistants, tells IL that this difference makes it harder to hire physician assistants, and changing the law would ‘bring parity in line with the two professions’ and ‘level the job market’ in Kentucky,” Sonka reports. “He adds that because Kentucky lags behind the rest of the country on this law, physician assistants in Kentucky often leave to find work in other states where they have full prescription authority, even though their training is more thorough than that of nurse practitioners.”

Swartz acknowledges that the General Assembly has been reluctant to give PAs prescription authority “due to the state’s problem of prescription painkillers being over-prescribed and leading to opioid addiction and overdoses,” Sonka writes. “However, he says this change would provide more accurate and responsible tracking of prescriptions by the state, as the supervising physicians’ prescriptions are often inflated when their assistant refers patients to them.”

Elliott won a special election in March to fill the seat vacated by state Auditor Mike Harmon. Republicans are in the minority in the House but appear to have a good chance of winning a majority in the Nov. 8 elections.

From Kentucky Health News