Friday, December 19, 2014

Parental Coaching Program Seeks Stable Funding

When parents of young children struggle, the effects can have lifelong impacts on the child. That's the premise behind home visiting programs for families, which depend on funding through the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program.

The funding is set to expire in March, unless Congress takes action. A coalition of 750 organizations and elected leaders has sent a letter asking that the program continue as it has for decades.

Karen Howard at First Focus Campaign for Children explains the home visiting idea began about 40 years ago and research has shown that voluntary home visits, usually conducted by nurses or social workers, can prevent serious problems and learning deficits.

Howard says, "It is a real effective strategy for, particularly low-income families and women, building up their knowledge base and their self-esteem so that they can be capable parents."

There's also a pay-off. Howard points to a RAND Corporation report that found home visiting programs saved up to around six dollars for every dollar invested.

Ceremonial Signing for House Bill 2

        A Ceremonial Bill Signing for House Bill 2 was held at UPIKE on Thursday.

        House Bill 2 is an act relating to increasing bachelor’s degree attainment at postsecondary education institutions located in coal-producing counties.

        The Kentucky Coal County College Completion Program is a scholarship that will generate $2 million a year for two years, to help those trying to get an education in coal severed counties.

         Special guest speakers for the event were: Dr. James Hurley of UPIKE, Governor Steve Beshear, Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo and former governor Paul Patton.

Dental Scam

Authorities are looking for a dentist who is accused of allegedly scamming patients.

Dentist Kurt Childress is accused of not delivering dentures to patients who have already paid either partial or in full payments.

The alleged scam occurred at Quality Dentures in Elkhorn City.

Police say according to information they have gathered Childress apparently has left the state. 
Authorities also say they believe Childress has done this before.

Authorities say when located. Childress will face theft by deception charges.

If you have been a victim, you are asked to call the Elkhorn City Police at 606-424-1828.

Portion of New U.S. 460 Opens

Leaders from Eastern Kentucky and across the state Thursday celebrated the opening of a road in Pike County that could pave the way for economic expansion.

The first half of the new U.S. 460 is now open and transportation officials are hoping the improved highway not only helps with the flow of traffic, but steers new jobs to the area.

The new stretch of highway runs from U.S. 23 south of Pikeville to Marrowbone.

The ceremony to open the highway at Shelby Valley High School drew hundreds of people, including Governor Steve Beshear, who thinks it's a boost for all of Eastern Kentucky.

The highway is named after Pike County natives Jacob Brandon Rowe and Gary Brent Coleman, who served in the military and died while fighting in the Middle East.

Crews have completed eight miles of the road project. They expect to have the other roughly eight miles finished by 2020.

The cost for the entire project is expected to exceed $700 million. The state only paid for 20 percent of that with the rest of the funding coming from the federal government.

Conway calls for stiffer heroin penalties

Kentucky's top prosecutor joined other law enforcement officials on Thursday to call for higher penalties for heroin dealers and better treatment options for overdose victims.

Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway, who is running for governor in 2015, made the announcement a few weeks before state lawmakers return to Frankfort for the 2015 legislative session. Earlier this year, lawmakers were unable to pass a heroin bill despite widespread support from both political parties.

Conway said any heroin legislation in 2015 should allow first responders to give Naloxone to overdose victims without fear of civil liability. He also called for a Good Samaritan law that could allow people to avoid drug possession charges if they call for help during an overdose.

Kentucky's heroin overdose deaths increased 60 percent in 2013.

Health insurer receives $65 million federal loan

(AP) - A Kentucky nonprofit that is one of the largest insurance providers on the state's health exchange received a $65 million federal loan last month to keep it afloat just days before the second open enrollment period began.
The Kentucky Health Cooperative received the loan from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Nov. 10. The loan drew sharp criticism from Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, who said it raises serious questions about the stability of the program.
CEO Janie Miller said the cooperative needed the money because it enrolled twice as many people as it had predicted when the company started last year. The company has 15 years to repay the loan, with interest, to the federal government.
More than 9,200 people have purchased a private health insurance plan on the state exchange since Nov. 15.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

PMC 90th Anniversary

Yesterday the Pikeville Medical Center celebrated its 90th anniversary. Opening in 1924 the hospital started seeing patients with 11 doctors compared to the now over 300 doctors employed at PMC. 

Walter E May, President and CEO of Pikeville Medical Center said the near future of PMC holds a new cafeteria on the 11th floor of the hospital, and addition of one elevator on all of the hospital floors, and an uninterrupted power supply for the hospitals IT department.