WKYT - Perry - Headlines

State leaders combat low well-being score through several initiatives

By: Michelle Heron Email
By: Michelle Heron Email

PERRY COUTNY, Ky. (WYMT) A new report shows Kentucky is one of the worst states for well-being in the nation.

The survey, by Gallup Organization and Healthways, ranked the bluegrass 49th in the perception of well-being.

Governor Steve Beshear and other state leaders have been working to tackle these numbers head on. In just a few short months, they’ve rolled out initiatives to help improve areas where Kentuckians suffer most.

The survey looks at emotional and physical health, behavior that affects health, job satisfaction, access to basic needs and outlook on life for Kentuckians.

For years, the state has struggled in these areas, especially in the eastern region.

But now, Governor Beshear and other state leaders are tackling these numbers head on.

With the coal industry dwindling, many agree the region needs a new strategy to help local economies in the mountains.

The Governor and Representative Hal Rogers announced the Shaping Our Appalachian Region imitative in December to find ways to expand and diversify an economy that’s depended on coal for decades.

Another initiative spearheaded by the Governor coined ‘kyhealthnow’ in February unites state government cabinets along with public and private groups to improve the overall health of Kentuckians within the next five years.

The goal is to cut smoking and obesity rates, reduce the number of people without health insurance as well as the number of kids with untreated dental problems and cut down on the number of deaths from cancer, cardiovascular disease and drug overdoses.

Progress is already being seen through kynect with about 400,000 people in the state now covered through the health insurance exchange set up under the Affordable Care Act.

Kentucky has ranked 49th each year, except for 2008 (when the index began) when it was ranked 48th.

To view the full report or for more information about SOAR, kyhealthnow or kynect, click the attached links.

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