The area's leading online source for news!
Louisa-Lawrence Co, KY

In God We Trust - Established 2008


OCTOBER 9, 2015

Preparedness has a New Champion

Debbie Miller, Lawrence County Health Department Director, presenting Shirley DeLong, left, RN with 2015 Preparedness Award

Shirley DeLong, RN is the River Run Regional Medical Reserve Corps winner of the Be Ready Preparedness Challenge for 2015.

The challenge was part of our September preparedness month activities. Each MRC volunteer was asked to speak to, and collect signatures from, non MRC members who would pledge to make a home readiness kit.

Shirley obtained 60 signatures and brought in five potential new members to our MRC community. Shirley DeLong has been an active member of our unit since its founding in 2005. In addition to her work as the Nurse Supervisor at the Lawrence County Health Department, Shirley DeLong has volunteered her time as medical mission’s worker in Latin America and with numerous other local charities. Her energy is electric and her attitude towards helping others stellar.

When asked once why she did so much for others, her reply was straight to the point, “We should think about helping others as naturally as we do eating and sleeping. It’s what keeps us human.” 

Shirley’s humanity certainly shines bright and we are proud to have her as a member of our River Run Regional Medical Reserve Corps family and as the Nurse Supervisor at the Lawrence County Health Department.

OCTOBER 5, 2015

Smile Savers Dental Program Begins Second Year in Lawrence and Martin Counties

Rhonda Collins, Dental Hygienist providing preventive dental care with Maddy Ann Wellman, Mrs. Pack 3rd grade class, at Louisa East Elementary School.

Lawrence County Health Department begins their second school year of the Smile Savers Dental Hygiene Program.

The program is funded through a grant from the Kentucky Department for Public Health that aims to increase access and improve oral health standards in communities across the state.

Smile Savers provides preventive dental hygiene services for students preschool through 12 grade in both Lawrence and Martin County schools. The funding allows for a dental hygienist and assistant, portable dental equipment, dental supplies, a transport vehicle and transportation costs. 

The Smile Savers Team includes Rhonda Collins, Public Health Registered Dental Hygienist and Jessie Wellman, Certified Dental Assistant.

Rhonda graduated in 1998 from Prestonsburg Community College and has worked as a Dental Hygienist for 16 years. Jessie is originally from Lexington and has lived in Louisa for 10 years. Jessie graduated from The Lexington Academy of Dental Assisting in 2005.

“Jessie and I are thrilled to help protect the smiles of so many children and assist in the prevention of tooth decay, one of the most common preventable diseases in children,” said Ms. Collins.

Last school year, the Smile Savers Dental Hygiene Team got started in March 2015 and in just two months provided preventive dental services for 240 children.

“We are so pleased to provide preventive dental services for our students and this year our two devoted professionals will see even more children in both Martin and Lawrence Counties,” said Debbie Miller, Lawrence County Health Department Director. “Our Health Department also participants in the Kentucky Smiling School Oral Health Project which provides additional resources for fluoride varnishing for students first through fifth grade,” said Ms. Miller.    

The Smile Savers Program provides oral assessments, cleanings, fluoride varnish, and sealant placement on permanent molars. The program also provides counseling on nutrition, tobacco prevention and cessation and trauma prevention as well as education for personal oral health care.

Both of these preventive dental services, Smiling Schools and Smile Savers, are provided at no cost to parents.

Fluoride varnish is a protective coating applied on the teeth to help prevent new cavities and can help stop cavities that have already started. Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings that are painted on the chewing surface of the back teeth and also reduce childhood tooth decay. 

Good oral health is vital for success in school and all aspects of life. The goal of the Smile Savers Program is for each and every student to be comfortable and excited to visit a dentist on a regular basis for lifelong dental care. In addition to the Lawrence and Martin County School Systems, the team will be working in conjunction with local and area dentists to achieve this goal. 

Rhonda and Jessie are very excited to work with the students, schools and the community… Saving Smiles, One Child at a Time! 


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.


Medicare Wellness Exams at TRMC


Have you reached the point in life where you have more time for the activities you enjoy?  Make these years your best by taking care of your health to promote better energy, vitality and longevity. 

Your annual exam – a valuable benefit of your Medicare coverage – can help maintain good health or manage any chronic conditions.  The exam is 100 percent covered by Medicare Part B for established Medicare participants.  Medicare will pay for one annual physical for all Medicare beneficiaries who are no longer within the 12 months of their effective date of Medicare coverage, and who haven’t’ received an initial exam for new Medicare enrollees or an annual wellness exam within the past 12 months.  

What’s Included?


Your annual Medicare wellness exam focuses on either establishing or updating your medical or family history, monitoring your current health and early detection and diagnosis of any chronic medical conditions.  Services include:

* Blood pressure check

* Body mass index (BMI)

* Home safety and fall prevention screening

* Immunizations, as needed

* Mental health screening

* Personalized health advice

* Preventive screening or tests (cardiac, diabetes, cancer screenings), as needed

* Referrals for health education or preventive counseling services or programs

* Vision, height and weight checks

You’ll receive information about preventative health benefits available to your through Medicare, such as a checklist of recommended health screenings and health services.  Your health care provider may also talk with you about future health care needs, such as advance directives.  

Other Exams and Services

Based on the results of your annual wellness visit, there are many preventive health services that may be recommended for you.  Some of these services may require a coinsurance or copayment and/or deductible.  For more information about these preventive health services and how these benefits apply to you, visit

To schedule your FREE annual wellness exam, you can call:

Three Rivers Family Practice – Riverview: 606-638-1100

Three Rivers Immediate Care: 606-638-7400

Three Rivers Family Practice – Inez: 606-298-2660

Three Rivers Family Practice – Crum: 304-393-6901


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.