Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Pyle: Board of health must shift focus to community health

By Nick Tabor, New Era Senior Staff Writer
The Christian County Board of Health needs to spend less time on the health department’s budget and more time addressing big questions of community health, said Health Department Director Mark Pyle.
Pyle announced this opinion in a presentation Monday night that closed the board’s quarterly meeting.
For the board members, this will mean informing themselves better about the community’s health needs beyond the department’s doors, he said. He plans to discuss this in more specific terms at the next meeting Nov. 19.
“How many of you, when you signed up for the board of health, thought that the only thing that you would do when you came to a board meeting would be talk about money?” he asked the board. No hands went up. “If you haven’t noticed, the past four years, we haven’t talked about a lot of health issues. That’s going to change.”

Local nurses urge mothers to breastfeed their children

By Nick Tabor, New Era Senior Staff Writer
When local nurses rave about the advantages of breastfeeding over infant formula, they sound like they could go on endlessly.
Breast milk passes along antibodies from mother to child, said Jennifer Boone, the certified lactation counselor at the Christian County Health Department. It decreases risks of cancer. It nurtures the brain. It improves night vision, said Jennifer Rush, a lactation counselor at Jennie Stuart Medical Center.
“What else would help with night vision?” Rush said.
Nevertheless, in the most recent data available, from 2007 to 2009, only 38 percent of newborns in Christian County were breastfed, the University of Louisville reports.

Pennyroyal Center taking over rehab

By Nick Tabor, New Era Senior Staff Writer
Psychiatrists often see the same drugs paired with certain mental illnesses: patients with severe depression using cocaine, those with panic disorder becoming alcoholics, those with schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder combining narcotics, Psychology Today magazine reports.
The drug addiction can result from the mental illness. For instance, someone with bipolar disorder might smoke marijuana heavily to even out moods.
It’s a way of quelling the symptoms — “self-medicating.”
Tim Golden, spokesman for the Pennyroyal Mental Health Center, said rehab programs typically focus on the addiction alone.
“But if you don’t treat the mental side as well, then you have the recipe for another relapse,” Golden said.
To reverse this trend, this month the Pennyroyal Center took over the rehab program at Western State Hospital. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

JSMC works to address community expectations

CEO of Jennie Stuart Medical Center Eric Lee recently met with New Era Publisher Taylor W. Hayes, Editor Eli Pace and Opinion Editor Jennifer P. Brown to answer questions about the hospital and changes in health care. The interview lasted more than an hour, and in this, the second of a two-part series, the questions are primarily about the hospital and the hospital’s role in the community.
Pace: How is a community hospital fundamentally different from a university or for-profit hospital?
Lee: The biggest difference is at the board level. In a community hospital, like Jennie Stuart Medical Center, you have a strong board who is very committed to keeping its health care, the impact of that health care and the decisions about that health care, and what is available, local. Having local control and the ability of this community to self-determine where we want our health care to go, that is the single biggest advantage we have.