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Have you eaten at a restaurant lately? Did you brush your teeth this morning? If so, the Department for Public Health (DPH) has touched your life. DPH doesn’t only inspect the conditions of restaurants you visit, but also worked to make Kentucky the first state to add fluoride to your water to help protect your teeth.
As a component of Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, DPH is dedicated to promoting healthier communities through prevention, promotion and protection. As Commissioner, I am responsible for overseeing approximately 500 dedicated professionals who are committed to your health and well-being, as well as the various health services and programs they implement throughout the Commonwealth. Our office works closely with local health departments in all 120 Kentucky counties to ensure that they have the resources and tools to meet their communities’ needs.
Over the past year, Kentucky’s heroin epidemic has been our top priority, and is a crisis unlike any we have ever faced in public health. To address this tragic epidemic, DPH has focused on establishing and expanding preventive programs beginning with early childhood education (K-3) stressing the negative consequences of alcohol, drug, and tobacco use and educating our children about the positive outcomes associated with good nutrition and exercise. We have also launched a mobile pharmacy traveling statewide dispensing Narcan, an overdose antidote, and testing Kentuckians for Hepatitis C and HIV, both of which are increasing challenges in our communities largely due to drug addiction.
Serious chronic illnesses including breast, colorectal, and lung cancers continue to be a major focus of DPH along with the prevention and self-management of diabetes. Other problems we face in public health relate to the long-term consequences of smoking and its link to emphysema and breathing disorders, among many other health problems. DPH offers a variety of programs and services at little to no cost to the public to help ensure all Kentuckians have access to health resources in their community.
We are excited to launch this year’s National Public Health Week in the Commonwealth. Our Public Health workers are incredibly dedicated, committed, and talented, and we are glad to highlight their efforts to promote the health and well-being of their communities. We look forward to kicking off the 52 Weeks of Public Health, a weekly awareness campaign highlighting the benefits of public health, designed to help Kentuckians accomplish our goal of being the “healthiest nation in a generation.”
Hiram C. Polk, Jr. M.D.
Kentucky Department for Public Health
Colon Cancer Prevention Project
Kentucky Cancer Program
Lawrence County Extension Service
Three Rivers Medical Center
Lawrence County Health Department
The Lawrence County Health Action Team
And many more!
A Louisville company has been chosen to market a new drug just approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat Parkinson’s disease.
US Worldwide Meds, a specialty pharmaceutical company, will market Xadago, the first drug given clearance in a decade for sufferers of the neurological disorder that causes tremors and difficulties with movements.
With the aging of baby boomers in the U.S. and abroad, neurological diseases such as dementia and Parkinson’s are expected to afflict more people in coming decades. Roughly 50,000 people are diagnosed in the U.S. with the disease, and about 1 million Americans have Parkinson’s. It affects about 10 million worldwide.
The FDA reported that tremors and other symptoms of the disease worsen over time, but the standard treatment, levodopa, has been shown to diminish in effectiveness. Xadago is an add-on treatment that is intended for use when a person’s regular medicines aren’t working well. The pill was tested in two six-month studies with about 1,200 patients taking levodopa.
Adding Xadago to levodopa reduced involuntary muscle movement and patients who took the new drug also had better control of movement compared to groups that took levodopa and “dummy” pills, the FDA said.
Milan, Italy-based Newron Pharmaceuticals, which has a U.S. subsidiary in Morristown, New Jersey, developed Xadago.
Newron’s partner is US Worldwide Meds LLC, at 4441 Springdale Road in eastern Louisville. Company officials told the Associated Press that the drug’s list price without insurance will be $670 for a 30-day supply of either the 50- or 100-milligram dose.
Side effects can include falls, involuntary movement, nausea and insomnia. People with severe liver problems or those taking opioid painkillers and some antidepressants, the FDA said.
“We are thrilled by the FDA’s approval of Xadago and are excited to have a key role in the introduction of a new medicine for Parkinson’s disease. We will now accelerate our U.S. launch preparations to get Xadago to Parkinson’s patients in need of new treatment options,” P. Breckinridge “Breck” Jones, the company’s chief executive and founder, said in a release by Business Wire.
By Grace Schneider
Currently, 69,000 Kentuckians have Alzheimer’s disease. While this disease affects memory, it also destroys brain cells that are responsible for tasks that allow individuals to remain independent. Confusion, misperception, poor judgment, and paranoia can become apparent as the disease progresses. Alzheimer’s disease can last anywhere from three to twenty years and is fatal. Caregivers must step in to assist in caring for their loved ones, and this care includes legal and financial decisions. What rights do caregivers have? Who can make health care decisions for the person with the disease?
In 2016 an estimated 18.1 billion hours of unpaid care was provided to people with Alzheimer’s and related dementias. However, caregiving costs more than a caregiver’s time. In 2016, the financial costs to all payers for the care of people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias in the United States was estimated to be $236 billion. It is estimated that family caregivers spend more than $5000 a year caring for someone with Alzheimer’s. For some families that means missing a vacation, but for others it may mean missing a meal. Families often do not know how to begin planning for the costs associated with caring for a person with dementia.
On Tuesday, April 11, 2017 the Alzheimer’s Association will provide a Legal and Financial workshop that will give valuable information to families and individuals dealing with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Issues such as powers of attorney, guardianship, and handling the finances and property of a person with dementia will be discussed as well as some assistance programs you may benefit from. Attorney, Kristie Goff, from Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Kentucky will be our speaker.
The program will be held from 11:00am-12:00pm at the Lawrence County Extension Office, Louisa, KY. Registration is required. Please contact 1-800-272-3900.
(program is free of charge)
About the Alzheimer’s Association
The Alzheimer’s Association is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. It is the largest nonprofit funder of Alzheimer’s research. The Association’s mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Its vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. Visit www.alz.org or call 800.272.3900.
April L. Stauffer, MS
Community Outreach Coordinator
859-266-5283, Ext. 8179
24-Hour Helpline 800-272-3900