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

In God We Trust - Established 2008


FRIDAY, APRIL 21, 2017

State licensing laws bar treatment of opioid addiction, especially in areas that lack doctors

State laws prevent nurse practitioners and physician assistants from using a federal license to prescribe potentially life-saving medicine for opioid addiction, Christine Vestal reports for Stateline. Earlier this month two federal agencies—Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Drug Enforcement Administration—"gave more than 700 nurse practitioners and physician assistants the authority to write prescriptions for the anti-addiction medication buprenorphine."

But 28 states "prohibit nurse practitioners from prescribing buprenorphine unless they are working in collaboration with a doctor who also has a federal license to prescribe it," Vestal writes. The problem is that half of all counties in the U.S., mainly in rural areas, "do not have a single physician with a license to prescribe buprenorphine." (Stateline map: Barriers for nurse practitioners to prescribe treatment for opioid addiction)

A law in Kentucky prohibits physician assistants from prescribing it. (buprenorphine)A law in Kentucky prohibits physician assistants from prescribing it. (buprenorphine)

Oklahoma, Tennessee and Wyoming have laws that "explicitly prohibit nurse practitioners from prescribing buprenorphine—one of three anti-addiction medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration—with or without a doctor’s supervision," Vestal notes. A law in Kentucky prohibits physician assistants from prescribing it.

In the 15 years since doctors have been allowed to prescribe buprenorphine, fewer than 39,000 have sought a license to do so, Vestal writes. Overall, there are "more than 222,000 nurse practitioners and about 109,000 physician assistants in the nation, and many of them offer primary health care in rural parts of the nation where the opioid crisis is most acute."

Written by Tim Mandell Posted at 4/21/2017 11:38:00 AM



52 Weeks of Health Campaign Spotlight: Zika Virus Protection and Prevention

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Apr. 19, 2017) - As part of the 52 Weeks of Public Health campaign, the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH), within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), is calling on homeowners to help control mosquitoes by eliminating standing water from containers that can collect rainwater where insects breed.

“Everyone needs to do their part to help reduce the mosquito population,” said Hiram Polk Jr., MD, DPH commissioner. “As we are out in the garden getting ready for the growing season or after a rain shower, spend a moment or two thinking about other potential breeding areas for mosquitoes. Walk around your yard once a week or after a rain shower to see if there are any containers holding water and drain them.”

Female mosquitoes need only a teaspoon of water in which to lay eggs; can become an adult mosquito in just seven days; and have a lifespan of about two weeks. Mosquitoes will lay eggs in almost anything such as a bottle cap, a candy wrapper, folds of a plastic tarp or downspout, discarded tires, children’s toys or the seat of a riding lawn mower. Mosquitoes lay eggs on the walls of water-filled containers and the eggs stick like glue and remain attached until they are scrubbed off. The eggs can survive when they dry out up to 8 months. Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover or throw out containers that can hold water.

Common household items that can be a home for mosquito larvae include buckets, garbage cans, tires, tarps, gutters and flexible downspout extensions, decks and porches, kiddie pools and pool covers, sand boxes, wagons and big plastic toys, planter saucers or planters without drainage holes, wheelbarrows, watering cans, bird baths, decorative ponds without fish and unscreened water barrels.

If you cannot eliminate or drain a breeding ground because it is too heavy to move, consider using a larvacide such as mosquito dunks containing a biological larvacide.

For more information about the mosquito proofing your yard to reduce mosquito populations, see this video featuring Dr. Anna Yaffee, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer, Kentucky Department for Public Health.

For further information visit the Health Alerts website at or the CDC website at Be sure to follow KYHealthAlerts on Twitter and DPH’s Zika mascot, Marty Mosquito, on Instagram, @martymosquito.

Throughout the planned 52 Weeks of Public Health promotion, DPH will spotlight a specific public health issue. Additional information about the campaign is available on the DPH website: and will be posted on the CHFS Facebook page: where Kentuckians are encouraged to like and share posts among their networks of friends.


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.”

Thank you
Hiram C. Polk, Jr. M.D.
Kentucky Department for Public Health



Spring into good health 3.282017Spring into good health 3.282017

Brought to you by:

Colon Cancer Prevention Project

Kentucky Cancer Program

Lawrence County Extension Service

Three Rivers Medical Center

Lawrence County Health Department

Kentucky Homeplace

The Lawrence County Health Action Team

And many more!