Substance Treatment Outreach Program
Dr. Christine Weyman, Medical Director
Lake Cumberland District Health Department
What does a Syringe Exchange Program (SEP) do for you?
Have you seen dirty syringes on the street during your morning walk, or on the playground where your kids play; have you worried that a member of your family may infect you with Hepatitis C or HIV because they inject intravenously (IV) and may share syringes on occasion?
Drug addiction is a disease, a user will get his/ her fix even when there are no sterile syringes available. A SEP protects you, your children and the IV drug user from being infected by bloodborne diseases, thus reducing the spread of Hepatitis C and HIV.
Kentucky has the unfortunate distinction of having the highest rate of Hepatitis C in the nation. It is caused by a virus which is transmitted principally by sharing contaminated needles and syringes and results in chronic liver disease in 80% of those infected. Half of those infected are unaware that they are positive for the virus but non-the-less can continue to spread it via blood contaminated needles, razors and toothbrushes. There is no vaccine to prevent it and although treatment exists it is very expensive (around $85,000). HIV can also be spread through this route and similarly there is no vaccine and the lifelong treatment is even more expensive.
The best strategy is prevention through the use of sterile needles and syringes every time and disposal in appropriate containers so no one gets accidentally stuck and infected.
In March 2015 the Kentucky legislators passed SB 192 allowing health departments to establish SEPs; there are now more than 15 operating in various Kentucky counties. These programs have been in existence for more than 30 years in many US states and have been studied extensively and found to be:
1. effective in preventing Hepatitis C and HIV among IV drug users
2. cost effective
3. effective at reducing contaminated syringes in public places
4. effective in reducing accidental needle sticks by first responders and law enforcement
5. effective at increasing HIV and Hep C testing and referral for treatment
6. effective at increasing the number of individuals entering and completing drug treatment
7. effective resource for distribution of naloxone which prevents overdose deaths.
8. SEPs were not found to increase drug use or crime in areas where they operate.
Syringe Exchange is part of a Substance Treatment Outreach Program which not only reduces the risk of infection but also connects IV drug users to the health care system and treatment for their addiction.
For more information call 606-678-4761 or email Christine.Weyman@lcdhd.org.
For a list of counties with SEP go https://kyhrc.org/needle-exchange-program.
Jellico Community Hospital Welcomes New Interim Chief Financial Officer
“We’re pleased to welcome Farrell to Jellico as our newest executive team member,” said Kim Dowell, CEO, Jellico Community Hospital. “He has extensive leadership experience working with small rural health systems across the country to help them support and improve their financial stability. That financial understanding and background will certainly benefit us as we continue to serve the Jellico community,” she added.
Turner has provided corporate CFO support services to small rural hospital systems for the past 25 years. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business from the University of Alabama majoring in Accounting and Healthcare Management, and a Master of Science in Finance from the University of Houston at Clear Lake City. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and certified medical coder, earning Certified Professional Coder (CPC) certification.
Jellico Community Hospital is a 54-bed, nonprofit acute care facility located in Jellico, Tenn. The hospital has provided quality healthcare to the region since 1974. Our patients benefit from the latest medical technology along with comprehensive healthcare from highly skilled physicians, nurses and professional staff. Our dedication to quality means the high-level of care you might associate with a larger medical center is available to diagnose and treat your medical conditions close to home. For more information, please visit www.jellicohospital.com.
Community Hospital Corporation owns, manages and consults with hospitals through three distinct organizations – CHC Hospitals, CHC Consulting and CHC ContinueCARE, which share a common purpose to guide, support and enhance the mission of community hospitals and healthcare providers. Based in Plano, Texas, CHC provides the resources and experience community hospitals need to improve quality outcomes, patient satisfaction and financial performance. For more information about CHC, please visit www.communityhospitalcorp.com.
How to improve quality of life during cancer treatment
Fighting cancer is the biggest priority for people when they have been diagnosed with the disease. After the initial shock of diagnosis has worn off, patients can then take their first steps towards recovery.
Powerful chemotherapy drugs and radiation treatments can kill cancer cells and prevent them from spreading. Individuals may also need other medications to help mitigate the side effects of these treatments. At the end of the day, treating cancer can become a full-time job and one that can have a significant impact on the quality of life of the patient and his or her loved ones.
According to the Mayo Clinic, stress, pain and fatigue can severely diminish quality of life during and after cancer treatment. What’s more, family members caring for cancer patients also may experience diminished quality of life. Incorporating some strategies during and after treatment can help cancer patients and their caregivers maintain a high quality of life.
Exercise pays numerous dividends for cancer patients. Exercise may help keep cancer, particularly breast cancer, in remission. The American Cancer Society says physical activity has been linked to a 24 percent decrease in breast cancer coming back, and a 34 percent decrease in breast cancer deaths.
Exercise also can affect the following:
• control weight
• strength of bones
• lessening risk of blood clots
• reduction of nausea and fatigue
Stress reduction Cancer patients also can benefit from therapies that promote the reduction of stress and anxiety. The Mayo Clinic studied formal sessions that promoted physical therapy, coping strategies or addressing spiritual concerns, and deep breathing or guided imagery to reduce stress. Those who engaged in these therapies showed marked improvement at a critical time in care.
Exercise, talking about the cancer and reducing feelings of stress are important to maintaining quality of life during cancer treatment.
Did you know?
Men have a small amount of breast tissue, and that means they can be affected by breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, men’s breast tissue has ducts, but only few, if any, lobules. That’s because men do not have enough female hormones to promote the growth of breast cells. Breast cancer can be separated into several types based on what the cancer cells look like under the microscope. They can be in-situ, meaning non-invasive or pre-invasive. They also may be invasive types that have spread to the ducts in the breast tissue. Breast cancer is about 100 times less common among men than among women. Only about 2,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in men this year. But men who feel lumps or other anomalies in the area around the nipple should consult their physicians.