Radon is a gas that you cannot smell, taste or see. It forms naturally when uranium, radium and thorium break down in rocks, soil and groundwater. People can be exposed to radon primarily from breathing radon in air that comes in through cracks and gaps in homes and other buildings. Radon can cause lung cancer through prolonged exposure. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, behind smoking, and the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, causing between 15,000 and 22,000 lung cancer deaths each year.
The entire state of Kentucky is at high risk for radon exposure with about 40 percent of homes estimated to have unsafe levels. The only way to know if radon exists at dangerous levels in your home is to test for it.
“People can’t see or smell radon so they may not know that it can exist at dangerous levels in their homes and be exposing them to deadly health effects,” said Dr. Sarah Moyer, director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness and the city’s chief health strategist. “We encourage people to take advantage of the free test kits to test their homes for radon.”
The lung cancer risk factors of tobacco smoke and radon are related. More radon-related lung cancers occur in individuals with a history of exposure to tobacco smoke. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high.
Lung cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States, with the highest mortality rate of any cancer. Kentucky has the highest incidence rate of lung cancer in the nation with a rate of 93.4 per 100,000 compared to the national average of 59.4. According to the recently released 2017 Health Equity Report, cancer is the leading cause of death in Louisville.
The death rate from lung cancer in Kentucky is 69.5 per 100,000 compared to the national average of 43.4. In Louisville our lung cancer incidence and mortality rates are also well above the national average. According to the Kentucky Cancer Registry the incidence rate of lung cancer in Louisville is 94.8 per 100,000 compared to 59.4 nationally. The death rate is 61.7 compared to 43.4 nationally.
Here are a few tips to help prevent radon in your home:
Mitigation costs generally range from $1,200 to $2,500 depending on the size and foundation of the home. Consult the Kentucky Association of Radon Professionals or the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists National Radon Proficiency Program to locate approved contractors near you.
Neighborhood Place partners provide several opportunities to benefit your health including a Healthy Living Club, an educational baby shower, a Freedom from Smoking Class and much more. To learn more about these offerings, please refer to the list below.
Feb 4, 11 and 21, Passport Health Care Community Engagement at two locations
Passport members are invited to join representatives from Passport Health Care for one-on-one consultations to discuss plan benefits and options. This is a great opportunity as Passport aims to raise awareness and educate the community about the Passport Health Plan mission. Passport members will receive a $10 retail gift card for attending.
Feb. 7, The Center for Women and Families Outreach at First Neighborhood Place, 1- 5 p.m.
Located at 1503 Rangeland Rd (door #24) side of Thomas Jefferson Middle School. For more information, contact Nayelyi Sanchez, Domestic Violence Advocate at (502) 581-7270. Staff with the Center for Women and Families will be on-hand to give an overview of their services which include trauma-informed advocacy and support for qualified families and individuals with supportive services; emergency shelter; sexual assault services; housing; children’s services and more.
Feb 7, Sodexo Hiring Opportunities at First Neighborhood Place, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Located at 1503 Rangeland Road (T.J. Middle School in the W.D. Bruce Building – door #24). Call 313-4700 for more information. Sodexo, a food-service agency, will provide on-the-spot interviews for positions with Jewish Hospital, Our Lady of Peace and University of Louisville Hospital. Bring your resume and be prepared for an interview. This is one of Sodexo’s busiest hiring seasons. Stop by if you are looking for employment that can lead to a full-time or part-time position.
Feb. 12, Free Energy Management Workshops at First Neighborhood Place, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Located at 1503 Rangeland Rd. Call 313-4728 or 313-4700 for reservations. Project Warm’s free workshops help families take control of their energy usage and learn “do-it-yourself” energy-saving tips. Free supplies will be distributed at the end of the workshop such as clear plastic/tape for windows, caulk to seal openings around windows and sealing foam. Reservations needed to reserve materials
Feb. 12, 19 and 26, Healthy Living Club at South Jefferson Neighborhood Place, 1 – 2 p.m.
Located at 1000 Neighborhood Place. Call 363-1483 for more information. Classes are open to anyone interested in gaining more knowledge to live a better and more fulfilling life. This month’s workshops beginning Feb. 12th are focused on finances including these topics: “Banking”, “How to Use Credit”, “Scams You May Encounter”, and “Financial Abuse- Are You A Victim”. Guest Speakers are Joseph Cecil with Bank on Louisville and Sandra Pace with the U.S. Armed Forces.
Feb. 14 and 20, A Healthy Journey for Two Educational Baby Shower at two locations
For more information, contact Mendy Mason at 502-341-5400. A Healthy Journey for Two is an educational baby shower open to any expectant mothers. The class will include a range of information and resources, as well as free baby items, gift cards, prizes, and snacks. Hosted by Seven Counties and KIDSNow. Fathers are welcome but must be registered.
Wednesdays, beginning Feb. 20, Freedom from Smoking Class at South Jefferson Neighborhood Place, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Located at 1000 Neighborhood Place. Call 772-8588 for more information or to sign up for the class. This seven-week program features a step-by-step plan for quitting smoking and each session is designed to help smokers gain control over the behavior. Participants are eligible to receive some free nicotine patches for attending the classes.
The week of January 20 – 26 yielded the highest number of confirmed cases reported in one week for this flu season:
Read our Influenza Activity Data Brief here: https://louisvilleky.gov/government/health-wellness/louisville-flu-activity
Best protections against getting the flu are to get the flu shot and wash your hands often with warm water and soap. If you do get the flu, see your doctor, take all prescribed medications, and stay home to avoid spreading the flu to others. More info on flu at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/consumer/prevention.htm
Data from a pilot project that linked Louisville Metro Government employees with produce grown by a local farm indicate that the participating employees increased their vegetable consumption by an average of two servings per day.
Forty-one employees from three Metro Government departments — Youth Detention Services, Resilience and Community Services and Public Health and Wellness — participated in the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) as an Employee Benefit initiative. At the outset of the initiative, employees paid up-front for future deliveries of vegetables from Rootbound Farm in Crestwood. The up-front payment schedule was designed to provide financial stability for local farming while promoting commitment to the project among employees.
A full share was $649.00 and a small share was $462.00. This was discounted by $200 for each participant by employer contributions. Each participant received weekly deliveries of organic vegetables for 22 weeks.
Researchers from University of Kentucky’s Department of Agricultural Economics found that the 27 participating employees who returned surveys reported that they increased their vegetable consumption by two servings per day, from an average of 4.2 to 6.3 servings per day. This put them within the CDC and USDA recommended range of 5 to 7 servings per day. Respondents also reported eating less processed foods, gaining cooking and food storage skills, feeling healthier and having greater confidence in talking to their co-workers about food and nutrition.
“The results of the initiative were very gratifying,” said Dr. Sarah Moyer, director of the Department of Public Health and Wellness and the city’s chief health strategist. “We expect our employees to set an example by practicing healthy eating. The Community Supported Agriculture gave them a chance to do that while supporting local agriculture. We hope to replicate and expand this initiative next year.”
Bree Pearsall, co-owner of Rootbound Farm, said: “We were very happy to have Louisville Metro Government participating in the CSA Program. Their participation helps provide financial stability for local family farms. But even more important, the Community Supported Agriculture initiative is growing more than fruits and vegetables, it’s growing community and trust between consumers and farmers.”
The Community Supported Agriculture as an Employee Benefit initiative is a partnership of the Kentucky Farm Share Coalition, the Organic Association of Kentucky, the University of Kentucky Department of Agricultural Economics and the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness.
Employers interested in weekly produce deliveries to their workplace can learn more about CSAs as an employee benefit at kyfarmshare.org.
Councilwoman Madonna Flood (D-24) is encouraging everyone in the community to take advantage of a special drug toss, medication disposal event coming up this Saturday, December 8th.
“As a community, we continue to deal with many cases of accidental overdoses and sometimes those are caused by medications no longer needed that someone comes across in the home,” says Flood. “This event is a safe way to dispose of prescription drugs that are no longer needed.”
The drug toss event is set for the Central Government Center, 7201 Outer Loop from 9:00am to 1:00pm. It is hosted by the officers of the Louisville Metro Police 7th Division.
It is a safe, fast way to dispose unused medications. These events are designed to prevent unintentional and accidental poisoning and potential fatal overdoses. Just drive up and hand the medication to an officer, then be on your way.
Proper disposal by the LMPD helps protect the environment by keeping medications reside from leaking into waterways and threatening wildlife and drinking water.
“So before you got out to do your holiday shopping this Saturday, grab any outdated or no longer used medications and stop by the Central Government Center,” says Flood. “Your actions could keep a loved one safe.”
For more information about the event, call Councilwoman Flood’s office at 574-1124.
Neighborhood Place joins with community partners to host the Park DuValle Holiday Festival on Dec. 1 featuring visits with Santa and a holiday concert, and a Kwanzaa Reception on Dec. 28 at Ujima Neighborhood Place. Several other valuable services and classes will take place in December including a home energy-saving workshop, a Women’s Empowerment Information Session, TARC Smart Card registration and low internet sign-ups. To learn more about these offerings, please refer to the list below.
Dec. 1, Third Annual Park DuValle Holiday Festival, 1 – 6 p.m.
Celebrate the holiday season in the Park DuValle area with a celebration of drums and snowball fight at 1 p.m. at Southwick Community Center; visits with Santa at 2 p.m. at the Dr. William Weathers Senior Building; and Holiday Bingo, the Christmas cookie factory and face painting at Ujima Neighborhood Place 3610 Bohne Ave. at 3:30 p.m. A holiday reception begins at 5 p.m. and at 6 p.m. a holiday concert and tree lighting will take place at the Villages of DuValle club house at 1804 Russell Lee Dr.
Dec. 4, Car Seat Safety Check at Ujima Neighborhood Place, 9 – 11 a.m.
Located at 3610 Bohne Ave. Call Norton Children’s Hospital at 629-7358 to make an appointment. Learn how to install your child’s car seat or booster seat. Find out if it’s time for a change. Car seat-fitting by appointment only.
Dec. 5, WeCare Energy Efficiency Overview at Cane Run Neighborhood Place, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Located at 3410 Lees Lane. Call 1-800-356-5467 for more information. Representatives from the WeCare Program at LG&E will be on hand to talk with interested persons about energy efficiency, energy usage and tips to reduce utility bills.WeCare staff can also help determine if households are eligible for a variety of free services including air duct sealing and insulation, attic and wall insulation, programmable thermostats and much more.
Dec. 5, 11, 13 and 20, A Healthy Journey for Two Educational Baby Shower at multiple locations
A Healthy Journey for Two is an educational baby shower open to any expectant mothers. Contact Mendy Mason at 502-341-5400 to register and for more information. The class will include a range of information and resources, as well as free baby items, gift cards, prizes, and snacks. Hosted by Centerstone and KIDSNow. Fathers are welcome but must be registered.
Dec 6, 10 and 17, Sodexo Hiring Opportunities at three locations
Sodexo, a food-service agency, will provide on-the-spot interviews for positions with Jewish Hospital, Our Lady of Peace and University of Louisville Hospital. Bring your resume and be prepared for an interview. This is one of Sodexo’s busiest hiring seasons. Stop by if you are looking for employment that can lead to a full-time or part-time position.
Dec. 6 and 7, TARC Smart Card Registration at Neighborhood Place at two locations
For more information call 585-1234. TARC Mobile Unit will be on site to register individuals for the new smart card. As of Jan. 7, 2019, paper tickets will no longer be used on a TARC bus. Customers can get a jump start in acquiring a smart card that will be required to ride the bus. Customers will be allowed to put a value on new smart cards and seniors will be able to get smart cards with a photo I.D. verifying age.
Mondays through Thursdays, YMCA’s “Caring and Learning with Me” program at Thomas Jefferson Middle School, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Located at 1503 Rangeland Rd., side of Thomas Jefferson Middle School. Call Keyonna Humphrey at 974-8457 for more information and to register. This free program provides a wonderful learning environment for children ages 3-5 years old and their caregivers focusing on play and exploration. The adult caregiver is required to attend with the child/ren. Younger children ages newborn to two years old are also welcome. Sponsored by the YMCA with support from First Neighborhood Place.
Dec. 10, Bridges of Hope Women’s Empowerment Group Information Session, 5 – 6 p.m.
Located at 1411 Algonquin Parkway. Call 634-6050 for more information. This one-hour information session will give prospective participants a synopsis of an upcoming Women’s Empowerment Group and its format. Learn more about this 10-week program designed to develop the skills and confidence necessary to help uplift, empower, build support, and establish healthy relationships. The topics of focus are relationships, parenting, mental and physical health, employment, education, and self-care.
Dec. 10, 12, 17, Passport Health Care Community Engagement at two locations
Call (502) 212-6677 for more information and to RSVP. Passport Members are invited to join with representatives from Passport Health Care for one-on-one consultations to discuss plan benefits and options. This is a great opportunity as Passport aims to raise awareness and educate the community about the Passport Health Plan mission. Passport members will receive a $10 retail gift card for attending.
Dec. 11, Project Warm Energy Management Workshop at Ujima Neighborhood Place, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Located at 3610 Bohne Ave. Call 313-4635 to register. Learn how to make your home warmer and more comfortable this winter. Project Warm’s energy management workshop will show you how to hang clear, interior window covers and more. Receive free supplies after attending the workshop. Supplies are available to all registered participants
Dec. 11, Foster Parent Recruitment Meeting at First Neighborhood Place, 6 – 8 p.m.
Located at 1503 Rangeland Rd., side of Thomas Jefferson Middle School. Call 595-5437 (KIDS) for more information. Detailed information will be provided on the requirements and process of how to become a foster or adoptive parent. Information such as an explanation of foster care, special needs adoption, and information on foster parent training classes will be provided. Sponsored by Kentucky Foster Care and the Special Needs Adoption Program.
Dec. 12, 17 and 20, Low Cost Internet Registration at three locations
Learn about and receive help signing up for low-cost internet plans in our community for qualifying households. Sponsored by Louisville Metro’s Digital Inclusion team.
Dec. 20, Free Blood Pressure Screenings at Ujima Neighborhood Place, 3 – 5 p.m.
Located at 3610 Bohne Ave. Call 313-4635 for more information. Louisville Metro Health and Wellness health educators will provide free blood pressure screenings and health information.
Dec. 28, Kwanzaa Reception at Ujima Neighborhood Place, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Located at 3610 Bohne Ave. Call 313-4635 for more information. In honor of Ujima, the third principle of Kwanzaa meaning collective work and responsibility, community members are invited to gather for networking opportunities and to explore ideas for community collaborations.
The Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness is reminding residents to get immunized against hepatitis A and the flu.
“While we have seen some encouraging trends in Louisville with the number of new hepatitis A cases falling over the past six months, the hepatitis outbreak isn’t over yet,” said Dr. Sarah Moyer, director of the Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness and the city’s chief heath strategist. “In other areas of the state, new cases have grown quickly. In fact, nearly 80% of Kentucky counties have a hepatitis A outbreak. If you haven’t already done so, please get immunized against hepatitis A, especially considering all the travelling people do during the Thanksgiving holidays. Protect yourself and your family. Get immunized!”
“Also, please get a flu shot’” said Dr. Moyer. “Last year 49 people in Louisville died of the flu and its complications. So, when you’re out getting your hep A shot, get a flu shot as well.”
As the hepatitis A outbreak continues to spread throughout Kentucky and the surrounding region, new cases per day in Louisville fell for the sixth month in a row. New cases in Louisville have fallen from more than four per day in April to less than one per day in October. October’s new case per day rate of 0.58 was close to the same (0.39) as what it was in October 2017, before the outbreak was declared.
As of November 3, Kentucky had 2,545 hepatitis A cases and 17 deaths spread out over ninety-four counties. By comparison, Louisville had 634 cases (as of November 13) and five deaths. While Louisville once had the overwhelming majority of Kentucky’s hepatitis A cases, it now has less than 25% of the state’s cases.
More than 83,000 hepatitis A immunizations have been given across Louisville since the outbreak was declared, nearly 21,000 by Public Health and Wellness alone. The CDC has called Louisville’s response to the outbreak “the gold standard” for other cities to emulate.
Hepatitis A immunizations are widely available at local pharmacies and health care providers. The cost is covered by most insurance plans. People should check with their health insurance provider on where the insurer prefers that they go to get the vaccine and what, if any, cost might be associated with it.
For information on where to obtain the hepatitis A vaccine for those insured or uninsured, CLICK HERE.