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Report Links Housing To Health

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A new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation confirms the significant health challenges in the Ohio Valley, including premature deaths. It also lays out the often overlooked connection between health and housing. The report presents a county-by-county breakdown of health outcomes and reveals significant gaps between the healthiest counties and the least healthy counties…. Read More

Serving Survivors: In Rural States, Telemedicine Brings Treatment For Sexual Abuse

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Gillette, Wyoming, isn’t the kind of place you just happen to come across. “It’s about a four hour drive through vast, unimpacted, wide, sweeping plains,” said Matt Gray, a professor at University of Wyoming in Laramie, explaining the trek from his office to his clients. Plains, he said, “and lots and lots of antelope.” For… Read More

Health Experts Say Poor Practice By Company Likely Source Of Vaccination Infections

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Infectious disease experts say poor practices in vaccine delivery are the likely cause of infections reported by some people who received vaccine shots at their places of employment in the Ohio Valley. Kentucky health officials are investigating a link between the infections and a private Kentucky company hired to deliver vaccinations in the workplace. Location… Read More

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Sensitive Santa: A Kinder, Gentler Kringle For Kids With Special Needs

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I’m not usually one to name-drop but my brother Pat Meehan is Santa Claus. A real, professional Santa. Sitting in his home office fresh from work, he’s wearing black suspenders and a red T-shirt. There at least six other Santa outfits in his closet including beach Santa. His thick, white beard (yes, a real one)… Read More

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“A Failure Of Public Health.” Sexually Transmitted Diseases Rise As Health Budgets Fall

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Health officials are tracking record-breaking rates of sexually transmitted disease, including a resurgence of some infections which had been considered rare, such as gonorrhea and syphilis. These STDs are on the rise amid cuts to public health budgets dedicated to testing, prevention, and public outreach. In the Ohio Valley, for example, a review of state and… Read More

Healthy Debate: Ohio Valley Health Concerns Driving Competitive Midterm Races

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The political ads in the Ohio Valley are playing on what seems like a constant loop. That’s not unusual for election season. But what is unusual this year is how many ads focus on health care. Consider this one from Kentucky Republican Andy Barr, who’s facing a tough challenge in the 6th Congressional District from Democrat Amy McGrath…. Read More

Infection And Inequality: How The Income Gap Fuels Ohio Valley’s Hep A Outbreak

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Jim Thacker is frustrated. The spokesperson for the Madison County, Kentucky, Health Department said there is a real threat of a Hepatitis A outbreak at the detention center right down the road in Richmond. Built to house about 240 inmates, it holds more than 400. “It’s like a petri dish, they are packed so close together,” he… Read More

Battling An Outbreak: Businesses And Health Officials Respond As Ohio Valley’s Hep A Cases Climb

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The low rumble of industrial fans fills the Catholic Action Center in Lexington, a shelter that provides meals and other services for homeless people. It’s mid-morning on a hot July day and dozens of people sit camped on couches in the entryway, or slouch at tables nearby. Despite the fans the air is stale from too many… Read More

Regional Hep A Outbreak Linked To Ohio Valley Addiction Crisis

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A Hepatitis A outbreak growing in the Louisville area since last summer reached a new peak recently with a travel advisory from Indiana health officials. They told Hoosiers heading to Kentucky to get a Hep A vaccine. Soon, Kentucky’s Acting Commissioner for Public Health Dr. Jeffrey Howard was pushing back. “Let me say that it IS safe… Read More