Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky (Louisville)
Kentuckians who are familiar with needle exchange programs are more likely to favor them, according to the latest Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP), an annual poll of Kentucky adults about health issues, funded jointly by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and Interact for Health. Fifty-six percent of Kentucky adults are familiar with needle exchange programs, also known as syringe exchange programs. Forty-nine percent favor the programs, while 43 percent oppose them and eight percent say they are not sure.
Income levels did not affect opinions about needle exchanges—but age did: adults older than 64 were less likely to approve of them.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified 54 Kentucky counties as vulnerable to rapid dissemination of HIV and hepatitis C infection because of intravenous drug use. The foundation's annual Howard L. Bost Memorial Health Policy Forum will focus on Kentucky's substance use crisis and the solutions and strategies communities and the state can employ to counteract it.
A copy of the KHIP is available here.
Contact: Bonnie J. Hackbarth
Mat-Su Health Foundation (Wasilla, AK)
The Mat-Su Health Foundation (MSHF) has released the third and final report of its Behavioral Health Environmental Scan. The new report focuses on prevention of child maltreatment. It offers 17 recommendations to help reach the goal that all Mat-Su children should be well cared for and safe.
The report focuses on five evidence-based protective factors that are key to the development of a system that keeps children safe and well cared-for. Among the recommendations are the following: creating a community where it is easy for all parents to build supportive relationships with other parents, seniors, and other residents; promoting affordable, high quality child care, afterschool care, and home-visiting programs; supporting the development of parenting classes; filling the gaps in the behavioral health system and increasing access to information and existing programs through a central resource center; promoting integrated physical and mental health care; supporting universal access to early learning and preschool programs; and promoting social emotional learning for all Mat-Su children. The entire community has a role in this system, including employers, churches, schools, medical providers, and individuals, and the entire community benefits as well.
The Mat-Su Health Foundation and its community partners are currently evaluating the report’s 17 recommendations to determine next steps to implementation.
Contact: Robin Minard
New York State Health Foundation (New York)
A new NYSHealth-funded report by the Manhattan Institute finds that user-generated ratings of hospitals in New York State do align with more objective quality measures and that Yelp star ratings can be a valid proxy, providing free, accurate, and easy-to-understand quality indicators for hospital care. Although Yelp should not be used as a sole predictor of hospital quality, the report finds Yelp can present patients with an opportunity for navigating the health care system more easily. It also recommends that policymakers explore simple reforms to make social media reviews on hospital quality more readily available to patients to help them in their decisionmaking.