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Lawrence County Board of Health Adopts Resolution for Harm Reduction Syringe Exchange Program to Prevent Spread of Hepatitis C Virus

December 9, 2016

The Lawrence County Health Department is planning a Harm Reduction Syringe Exchange Program to prevent the further spread of Hepatitis C in the county. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Kentucky has the highest rate of Hepatitis C in the nation at 4.0 per every 100,000 people, nearly seven times the national average. Hepatitis C is primarily spread through the sharing of needles and equipment for injection drug use. Health Department Director Debbie Miller said that this became a concern for the health department because as a public health agency the health department is required to detect, prevent and control communicable diseases. 

The objectives of the program are to reduce transmission of infections spread by injection drug use by providing new, sterile needles in exchange for contaminated needles; to reduce the amount of contaminated needles improperly discarded in the community by providing sharps containers for proper disposal; and to act as an access point for individuals to obtain connections for treatment for substance abuse, health care, counseling and other services. Lawrence County Health Department Nursing Supervisor Shirley DeLong said, “A harm reduction program is a tool used to prevent the spread of disease that also provides an opportunity to educate participants and link them with other services such as testing, treatment and recovery.”

Lawrence County, along with 54 other Kentucky counties, was recently identified by the CDC as one of 220 U.S. counties vulnerable to the rapid spread of Hepatitis C and HIV among injecting drug users based on factors such as pharmacy sales of prescription painkillers, overdose deaths and rates of unemployment. “This was a call to action for the health department. Our ultimate goal is to prevent drug use and help people get into treatment, but we aren’t there yet. In the meantime, we must try to keep Lawrence County residents as safe as possible,” Miller said.

The Lawrence County Board of Health has adopted a resolution to develop and implement the program. The health department is still seeking approval from the Louisa City Council and the Lawrence County Fiscal Court in accordance with KRS 218A.500. There are currently 14 Harm Reduction Syringe Exchange Programs operating in Kentucky with an additional nine approved to open at a future date. 

For more information on Hepatitis C Virus, substance abuse and harm reduction, visit:

http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hcv/pdfs/factsheet-pwid.pdf

https://addiction.surgeongeneral.gov/system/files/fact-sheet-communities.pdf

http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/hiv-drug-use/infographic.html

Lawrence County Health Department is located at 1080 Meadowbrook Lane, Louisa, KY 41230. Visit our website at www.lawrencecountyhealthdepartment.com or find us on Facebook. 

Contact: Debbie Miller

606-638-4389

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Every year as the ball drops and a new year begins, millions of Americans promise themselves they are going to start leading healthier lives. But why not get a head start now, and save on your healthcare spending at the same time?

Now is the time to check to see if you’ve met your health insurance deductible. The deductible is the amount you are responsible for before your insurance company starts paying the bill. Most plans reset to $0 at the beginning of the calendar year.

Most insurance plans begin paying the majority, if not all, of healthcare expenses once you’ve met your deductible. If you have met that amount, or are close to reaching it, now is the time to maximize your health benefits by scheduling appointments, tests or procedures you may not have gotten around to this year. You could save a substantial amount of money, depending on what type of healthcare you need, if you obtain it before the end of the year. A few tests or procedures to consider include a colonoscopy, mammogram, inpatient or outpatient surgery, diagnostic testing and lab work. 

It is also important to remember if you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) through your employer, those funds do not roll over to the New Year. These types of accounts are based on a “use-it-or-lose-it” principle and if you have funds remaining in the account, the money is forfeited per Internal Revenue Service requirements.

On the contrary, if you have an individual Health Savings Account, those funds roll over and accumulate year to year if not spent.

The key to maximizing year-end cost savings is to schedule any appointments, testing or procedures to occur by December 31. It’s crucial to ensure any check-ups or procedures can be performed before the end of the year to be considered part of your 2016 coverage. When the New Year comes, so does a new deductible and FSA balance.

For more information on your deductible amount, please reach out to your insurance provider. For information on your healthcare options, contact your primary care physician or other specialty healthcare provider.

If you have any questions, please contact Lucrece Carter, Patient Access Director, at 606 638-7426 at Three Rivers Medical Center.

 

 

Kentucky rises to No. 3 in diabetes, increasing concern about removing dental and vision coverage from basic Medicaid

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2016
Kentucky rises to No. 3 in diabetes, increasing concern about removing dental and vision coverage from basic Medicaid
Gov. Matt Bevin's plan for Medicaid "would have a profound effect in a state with the nation's third-highest rate of diabetes," The Courier-Journal reports, because it would remove dental and vision care from the regular package of benefits.

Reporter Deborah Yetter cites a Louisville optometrist who often discovers diabetes during routine eye exams, and an Eastern Kentucky dentist who "is seeing many more patients thanks to Kentucky's 2014 expansion of Medicaid that added coverage for those he describes as the 'working poor'."

"Dr. Bill Collins, a dentist and president of the Kentucky Dental Association, sees many patients with diabetes, which can worsen oral health," Yetter writes. "Some patients are in such bad shape they must have all of their teeth extracted" because, he said, they have gone "so many years without care and without insurance." (MORE)

Employee of the Quarter

Danielle Doss Honored

TRMC Danielle Doss with TRMC head Greg KiserThree Rivers Medical Center honored Danielle Doss as Employee of the Quarter of the Second Quarter for 2016 during a Recognition Reception recently.  CEO Greg A. Kiser, MHA announced the deserving recipient for all she does in making a difference for the hospital.

Doss was acknowledged by management and her co-workers for exhibiting outstanding performances due to her strong commitment and contributions that she has made to the financial success of the hospital.  She was noted by her Department Manager Lucrece Carter that she deeply cares about the stability of the hospital and she puts forth the organization and others before herself.   Doss is the Revenue Cycle Specialist and has been with the hospital for over 22 years since September 15, 1994.   

Doss who resides in the Fort Gay area with her husband Mark is a recipient of a basket of goodies acknowledging her with this distinction, a floral tribute, a complimentary dinner for two and a monetary award as a token of appreciation for her exemplary service for this deserving recognition.  She is the mother of two children, Mark Allen and Sarah.

Judy Layne Retires

Judy Layne accepts a token of appreciation from CEO Greg Kiser upon her retirementA recognition reception was recently held at the hospital to honor the retirement of Judy Layne, announced CEO Greg A. Kiser, MHA.

Judy Layne was the Central Scheduler for the Admitting Department for over 15 years from June 04, 2001 to October 02, 2016. She was a stable force and seasoned employee who made significant contributions to enhance central scheduling services to our patients and staff of TRMC. She was instrumental in serving an important role to the successful operations and going the extra mile with the registration services of TRMC.

A host of employees and staff were on hand to recognize Judy Layne for her noteworthy contributions and to express their gratitude for their distinguished tenure with the hospital. CEO Greg Kiser presented the honored retiree with a beautiful plaque, rocking chair and gifts to commemorate her loyal and dedicated service to the hospital.

During the recognition event, numerous hospital employees, staff extended their appreciation and presented gifts of best wishes to Layne for a successful future. On behalf of the TRMC, special thanks to Layne for making the hospital a better place because of her individual contributions.