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Louisa-Lawrence Co, KY

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Lawrence County was one of first to join effort...

Smiling Schools tooth-varnish program expands to 10 more counties; now in 40


No doubt Pat Machir and Carolyn McGinn of the Lawrence County Health Dept. are "smiling" these days as a much needed dental health program in Kentucky is growing and gaining momentum.

Kentucky's Smiling Schools program is expanding to 10 more counties and will now provide its free preventive tooth varnishing treatments to children in 40 elementary schools, most in Appalachia, according to a state press release.

Gov. Steve Beshear and First Lady Jane Beshear, along with others, made the announcement at the Clark County Health Department on Sept. 22.

"Good dental health is a key component of good overall health,” the governor said, “Kentucky’s children deserve the best start in life, and the latest round of our Smiling Schools program will help even more children live up to their full potential in the classroom and beyond.”

Lawrence County dentists are advising and assisting in the program called "Smile Savers" featuring Mojo the mascot, which was one of the first programs of its kind in Kentucky. School visits and parental participation have been a big part of the local program.

Kentucky ranks 41st in annual dental visits; 45th in the percentage of children with untreated dental decay; and 47th in the percentage of adults 65 and older missing six or more teeth, according to the release.

Funding for the Smiling Schools program, which will now reach almost 18,000 students with the expansion, is provided by an $800,000 stream of funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Kentucky Oral Health Program.

The protective varnish treatments provided by the program are administered at the participating elementary schools by local health department nurses. Oral health educational materials are also provided to the parents of the children receiving treatment.

The 10 new counties joining the program are Clark, Edmonson, Green, Greenup, Johnson, Letcher, Lewis, Nicholas, Pike and Pulaski.

The counties already participating in the program are: Bath, Bell, Breathitt, Carter, Clay, Elliott, Estill, Fleming, Floyd, Hart, Jackson, Knox, Lawrence, Leslie, Lincoln, McCreary, Magoffin, Martin, Menifee, Metcalfe, Montgomery, Monroe, Morgan, Owsley, Powell, Robertson, Rockcastle, Rowan, Whitley and Wolfe.

Health Secretary Audrey Tayse Haynes said that the Smiling Schools program had reduced tooth decay and fillings by 20 percent, according to a study by the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry.

Posted by Melissa Patrick

Kentucky Health News is an independent news service of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, based in the School of Journalism and Telecommunications at the University of Kentucky, with support from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.



Dawn Jordan, RN, BSN has been promoted as the Director of Surgery Services, announced Gregory A. Kiser, MHA Chief Executive Officer.    

Jordan has a solid background in the nursing process that she has obtained through her previous experience and education.  She was previously as a Staff/Charge Nurse with the Surgery Services with Three Rivers Medical Center.     

Jordan has obtained her formal education in receiving a nursing degree from the Ashland Community and Technical College in 2004 and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from University of Phoenix in 2007.  

“I’m excited to pursue this opportunity with TRMC.  TRMC has impressed me with the outstanding Surgery Physicians and quality nursing staff that comprise the caring and family healthcare institution of this community says Jordan.”  

Jordan and her family reside in the Louisa area.  She and her husband Christopher L. Jordan are blessed with several children, Isabella, Spencer, Sophia and James. She enjoys in taking her children to school activities with her spare time.

Jordan is a welcome addition to the management team of Three Rivers Medical Center.


Cleve Jackson, RN, BSN has been promoted as the Director of Critical Care Services, announced Gregory A. Kiser, MHA Chief Executive Officer.  Jackson was born and raised in Louisa area and Lawrence County.    

Jackson has a solid background in the nursing process that he has obtained through her previous experience and education.  He began his employment at TRMC in May 2008 and was previously as a Staff/Charge Nurse with the Medical/Surgical Department, Critical Care Services, Home Care Services and Relief Supervision.     

Jackson has obtained his formal education in receiving a nursing degree from the Ashland Community and Technical College in 2008 and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from Morehead State University in 2010.  

“I’m excited to pursue this opportunity with TRMC and serve my hometown of Louisa.  We have a great hospital in the community comprised of outstanding physicians and an awesome staff of caring people, says Jackson.”  

Jackson and his family reside in the Louisa area.  He and his wife Barbie are blessed with two children, Michael and Andrea.  He and his family enjoy in their spare time church, bowling, swimming and supporting all of the Lawrence County sports teams.

Jackson is a welcome addition to the management team of Three Rivers Medical Center.

SEPTEMBER 14, 2015


Date: 09-17-2015

Ky. receives nearly $4M in CDC funding to help combat prescription drug overdose epidemic...

Kentucky Press News Service

FRANKFORT – Gov. Steve Beshear announced Thursday that Kentucky will receive nearly $4 million in federal funding over the next four years to combat the epidemic of prescription drug overdoses. 

The funding, to the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center (KIPRC), is part of a $20 million initiative, Prescription Drug Overdose: Prevention for States, launched by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Under the grant, KIPRC will receive $940,000 a year for the next four years. KIPRC is a partnership between the Kentucky Department for Public Health and the University of Kentucky’s College of Public Health that combines academic investigation with practical public health initiatives.

“This funding will give us further resources to continue diminishing the grip that prescription drug abuse and addiction has on Kentucky, and help us prevent overdose deaths related to prescription opioids,” Beshear said in a statement. 

Beshear worked with lawmakers to pass landmark prescription drug abuse legislation that took effect in 2012.

“House Bill 1 was a bipartisan effort designed to help us fight the epidemic of prescription drug abuse in Kentucky, and it’s doing exactly that,” Beshear said. “Since the law was enacted, not only have we seen a decline in doctor shopping and prescriptions for heavily abused medications, pill mills have closed and the provider community at large has become more educated and committed to using best practices for prescribing these commonly abused medications.”

Through the state’s partnership with UK’s College of Public Health, Beshear said these federal dollars will help Kentucky continue to educate the public on the dangers of drug use and abuse, and continue to commit appropriate resources to the strategies the state has taken to reduce the devastating toll of addiction on families and communities.

Through a competitive application process, Kentucky was selected along with Arizona, California, Illinois, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont and Wisconsin.

The Prevention for States program is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Opioid Initiative.

Individual state allocation is subject to the availability of funds, and will be used to advance prevention, including in these areas:

-Enhancing prescription drug monitoring programs.

-Putting prevention into action in communities nationwide and encouraging education of providers and patients about the risk of prescription drug overdose.

-Working with health systems, insurers and professional providers to help them make informed decisions about prescribing pain medication.

-Responding to new and emerging drug overdose issues through innovative projects, including developing new surveillance systems or communications campaigns.

States can also use the funding to:

-Better understand and respond to the increase in heroin overdose deaths.
-Investigate the connection between prescription opioid abuse and heroin use.

“The prescription drug overdose epidemic requires a multifaceted approach, and states are key partners in our efforts on the front lines to prevent overdose deaths,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. “With this funding, states can improve their ability to track the problem, work with insurers to help providers make informed prescribing decisions, and take action to combat this epidemic.”


Free colon cancer screening through KY Colon Cancer Screening Program  

The Kentucky Colon Cancer Screening Program (KCCSP) led by the Kentucky Department for Public Health and developed as a public/private partnership with the Kentucky Cancer Foundation will again be funding colon cancer screening in 14 health departments covering 47 counties throughout Kentucky during 2015-16.

The Lawrence County Health Department has received the grant for the FIVCO District. 

They will offer a free take-home FIT (Fecal Immunochemical Test) kit to all individuals who meet screening guidelines.  The FIT is a test to check for tiny amounts of blood which could detect a cancer or pre-cancer.  KCCSP trained patient navigators will guide patients through the process of being screened for colon cancer, either with a FIT take-home kit, or a colonoscopy if a patient is at high risk or their FIT is positive.  

Men and women who are age 50+ (age 45+ for African Americans) or at high risk for colon cancer should be screened.  To be eligible for this colon cancer screening one must be uninsured, low income, legal residents of Kentucky.

Preventive screenings are now covered through the Affordable Care Act with no out of pocket charges for those who are insured.   KCCSP navigators will also work with patients who inquire about colon cancer screening to link them to kynect, the Kentucky-run health benefit exchange, so that they can receive more information about their eligibility for private insurance or Medicaid.  

New this year is a statewide campaign by the Kentucky Cancer Program (KCP) called “Get the FIT Facts” which will provide information about the FIT option and colon cancer screening resources to health care providers throughout Kentucky.  KCP is part of the cancer control programs at the University of Kentucky/Markey Cancer Center and the University of Louisville/James Graham Brown Cancer Center.  They will be working with health departments to assist in educating the public about the importance of screening and the availability of the health departments’ colon cancer screening resources.

Thus far, more than 1,500 Kentuckians have been screened through the KCCSP, with 14 cancers detected.   Polyps have been detected in 179 patients and removed before they turned into cancer

The KCCSP has not only increased screening, but it’s affected the lives of many Kentuckians.  Visit to learn more about the stories of Kentuckians impacted through this life-saving program.

For more information about the Kentucky Colon Cancer Screening Program call (1-800-633-8100) or call the regional office of the Kentucky Cancer Program at 606-793-7006.