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Statewide Smoke-free Legislation Passes House Health and Welfare Committee;



House Bill 173 (HB 173), a bill that would make all of Kentucky’s indoor workplaces and public places smoke-free, has cleared its first legislative hurdle. With 10 votes in favor and 3members voting no, the House Health and Welfare Committee overwhelmingly passed the bill today and will be sent to the full House for consideration.

“Passing for the fourth time in this House committee, and with a companion bill in the Senate, we expect a comprehensive, statewide law to pass this year,” said bill sponsor Representative Susan Westrom (D-Lexington). “For more than 50 years, legislators and the public have been educated and warned about the dangers of tobacco-use. The time has come to make all Kentucky workplaces and public places smoke-free.” Westrom stated that Kentucky’s smoking rates are the highest in the country, and since many people in the Commonwealth don’t live in smoke-free communities, they are exposed to dangerous secondhand smoke on a daily basis. “All Kentuckians have the right to breathe clean air. People should not have to risk their health to earn a paycheck,” added Westrom.

Representative Julie Adams (R-Louisville), the bill’s lead co-sponsor, said. “We can’t afford to continue allowing smoking in the workplace. It hurts productivity, increases health care costs and makes us less attractive to new business,” she said. Adams championed a local smoke-free law as a member of the Louisville Metro Council which is among 22 other Kentucky communities that have already gained the benefits from placing smoke-free policies.

With the passage of HB 173, Kentucky will join 24 other states and 22 Kentucky communities in making all workplaces, including restaurants and bars, smoke-free.

A recent poll shows that 65 percent of registered voters support comprehensive, statewide smoke- free legislation. Support is strong across political parties and regions of the state. More than 300 of those supporters will gather in Frankfort next Wednesday, February 12 to encourage their elected officials to pass HB 173 and SB 117 (filed by Senator Julie Denton (R-Louisville) earlier this week.).

The Smoke-Free Kentucky coalition includes thousands of individuals and over 300 businesses, community groups and health organizations working to protect everyone's right to breathe clean indoor air by passing a strong, statewide smoke-free law. For more information, please visit or

40 year anniversary

Lawrence County Health Department wishes WIC (the Special Supplemental Nutritional Program for Women, Infants and Children) a Happy 40th Anniversary.  We congratulate all the dedicated staff who provide nutrition education and nutritious foods to WIC participants.  WIC helps ensure healthy pregnancies and a great start to life for infants and young children.  The Lawrence County Health Department is fully committed to the WIC program and the participants.


The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) is a national public health nutrition program under the USDA providing nutrition education, nutritious foods, breastfeeding support, and healthcare referrals for income-eligible women who are pregnant or post-partum, infants, and children up to age 5.  WIC clinics provide:

Nutrition education
Breastfeeding promotion & support
Healthy foods
Screenings and referrals for healthcare and social services


WIC is for low-income pregnant and post-partum women, infants, and children up to age 5 who are at nutritional risk.

Low-income: Applicants must have income at or below 185 percent of the U.S. Poverty Income Guidelines, or be enrolled in TANF, SNAP, or Medicaid.

Nutrition risk: Applicants are screened by health professionals for 1) Medically-based risks such as anemia, underweight, smoking, maternal age, history of pregnancy complications, or poor pregnancy outcomes and 2) diet-based risks such as not consuming the U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommended amount of protein or iron in their diet.


WIC provides certain healthy foods to supplement the dietary needs of participants to ensure good health and development. See a list of WIC Foods, allowable alternatives, and the key nutrients they provide.


WIC is a public health nutrition program under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). It is a domestic discretionary program funded annually through the U.S. Senate and House Appropriations Committee. The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) drafts WIC’s annual budget proposal for the Federal fiscal year (Oct 1-Sept 30). Through the funding process Congress determines the level of funding that the Program will receive each year. Once the appropriation passes Congress and is signed into law, grants are provided to each state, and administered at the local level by county and city health centers, or private nonprofits.


Numerous studies show that WIC is effective and helps:

  • Reduce premature births
  • Reduce low and very low birth-weight babies
  • Reduce fetal and infant deaths
  • Reduce the incidence of low-iron anemia
  • Increase access to prenatal care earlier in pregnancy
  • Increase pregnant women’s consumption of key nutrients such as iron, protein, calcium, and Vitamins A and C
  • Increase immunization rates
  • Improve diet quality
  • Increase access to regular health care



  • 1972: WIC was piloted as a supplemental food program aimed at improving the health of pregnant mothers, infants and children in response to growing concern over malnutrition among many low income mothers and young children.
  • 1974: The first WIC site opened in Pineville, Kentucky in January.
  • 1974: WIC was operating in 45 States.
  • 1975: WIC was established as a permanent Program by legislation.
  • 1975: Eligibility was extended to non-breastfeeding women (up to 6 months postpartum) and children up to age 5. WIC had initially provided supplemental foods to children up to age 4 and to breast-feeding postpartum mothers.
  • 1978: Legislation introduced new elements into the Program:
  • Nutrition education must be provided.
  • The supplemental foods should contain nutrients found lacking in the target population, and have relatively low levels of fat, sugar, and salt.
  • States needed to coordinate referrals to social services including immunization, alcohol and drug abuse prevention, child abuse counseling, and family planning.
  • 1992: WIC introduced an enhanced food package for exclusively breastfeeding mothers to further promote breastfeeding.
  • 1997: USDA implemented Loving Support Makes Breastfeeding Work campaign to increase breastfeeding rates among WIC mothers and improve public support of breastfeeding.
  • 2004: The Breastfeeding Peer Counselor initiative was launched: Women with breastfeeding experience and training (often past WIC participants) became counselors to support other women learning to breastfeed.
  • 2009: Based on Institute of Medicine recommendations, USDA introduced a new food package with foods consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for American and established dietary recommendations for infants and children over two years of age. Fruits, vegetables, and culturally sensitive substitutes for WIC foods are now part of the WIC food package. In addition, mothers who exclusively breastfeed receive more healthy foods with the enhanced WIC food package for exclusively breastfeeding mothers.


To learn more about WIC or to schedule an appointment, call the Lawrence County Health Department at 606-638-4389.

Daniel Brody, DMD, receives NATIONAL RECOGNITION

Valley Health – Fort Gay Family Dentist Receives Indispensable Man Award from NNOHA


Fort Gay, W.Va. – Valley Health is pleased to announce that one of its practitioners, Daniel Brody, DMD, received the Indispensable Man Award from the National Network for Oral Health Access (NNOHA) Board of Directors at the 2013 National Primary Oral Health Conference, recently held in Denver, Colo.

The conference, which had more than 600 attendees, was sponsored by NNOHA, a national organization whose mission it is to improve the oral health of underserved populations and contribute to overall health through leadership, advocacy and support to oral health providers in safety-net systems.

Dr. Brody was honored for the “talent, dedication, wisdom, guidance, and friendship we cannot imagine doing without, and without which we cannot imagine the successes we have achieved,” said NNOHA President, Wayne W. Cottam, DMD, MS, Associate Dean for Community Partnerships for the Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health at Still University of Health Sciences.
Dr. Brody has been a member of NNOHA for 18 years and has served on the organization’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee. He is also slated to chair the 2014 National Primary Oral Health Conference.
Dr. Brody is an actively-practicing family dentist, who has been instrumental in developing the Oral Health Program at Valley Health during his 29-year tenure, through which he has served in many capacities. He provides comprehensive family dentistry services to both children and adults at Valley Health - Fort Gay.

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Valley Health Systems, Inc. has been a leader in quality healthcare since 1975. Providing primary and preventative care to southern West Virginia and southeastern Ohio through the more than 30 health centers and public health programs it operates across the region, Valley Health’s medical experts provide care in family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, women’s health, behavioral health and dentistry. Valley Health also operates a full-service pharmacy and specializes in programs including Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition services, school-based health centers and programs for the homeless. Valley Health serves nearly 70,000 patients each year while maintaining its mission of providing quality health care to all individuals with an emphasis on reaching those who are underserved. 

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