Kentucky has long had the dubious distinction of being among the national leaders in cancer diagnoses, smoking rates, diabetes, heart disease and a host of other maladies.
Gov. Steve Beshear declared that Kentucky will significantly reduce incidence and deaths from these diseases and habits through a new, aggressive and wide-ranging initiative, called “kyhealthnow,” that builds on Kentucky’s successful implementation of health care reform. kyhealthnow will use multiple strategies over the next several years to improve the state’s collective health.
By setting specific, five-year goals, Kentucky not only holds state health agencies accountable for measurable success, but also challenges local governments, businesses, schools, nonprofits and individuals to take meaningful steps toward improving health in their communities.
kyhealthnow targets seven major health goals to be met within five years, by 2019:
· Health insurance - Reduce Kentucky’s rate of uninsured individuals to less than 5 percent
· Smoking - Reduce Kentucky’s smoking rate by 10 percent
· Obesity - Reduce the rate of obesity among Kentuckians by 10 percent
· Cancer - Reduce Kentucky cancer deaths by 10 percent
· Cardiovascular Disease - Reduce cardiovascular deaths by 10 percent
· Dental Decay - Reduce the percentage of children with untreated dental decay by 25 percent, and increase adult dental visits by 10 percent
· Drug Addiction – Reduce deaths from drug overdose by 25 percent, and reduce the average number of poor mental health days of Kentuckians by 25 percent.
Information about kyhealthnow, Kentucky’s health statistics, the kyhealthnow working group and more can be found at http://kyhealthnow.ky.gov, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.