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A Trusted Source for Good Health

Making a Difference

A Trusted Source for Good Health

A few months ago, the Kentucky Medical Association received some promising health news.

The Commonwealth — long one of the nation’s poorest-performing states on health benchmarks such as obesity, diabetes and respiratory disease – had made a big jump in the number of its residents seeking lung health screenings, lifting Kentucky to where it now ranks second in the nation.

Pat Padgett seated in a chair smiling

The news, said Pat Padgett, CEO of the Kentucky Medical Association, offered encouraging evidence that public health initiatives aimed at getting quality information into the hands of Kentuckians could have a sizeable impact on improving their health habits and quality of life.

And a lot of the success of Kentucky’s improved ranking, Padgett said, could be credited to KET, which had produced Fighting to Breathe: Lung Disease in Kentucky, a three-part health series from 2022 that sought to raise awareness on lung health issues, such as cancer screenings, radon testing and mitigation, and smoking and vaping prevention.

“KET played an extraordinary role in getting that message out to the people of the Commonwealth,” Padgett said. “The greatest challenge in getting information out to the public is that there are so many different outlets that people use for information. But thankfully we have KET, which I think is one of the best resources Kentuckians have for learning how they can maintain and improve their health.”

Thankfully we have KET, which I think is one of the best resources that Kentuckians have for learning how they can maintain and improve their health.

Pat Padgett, CEO of the Kentucky Medical Association

Everybody in Kentucky, he added, has access to KET, both over the airwaves and online. And having a trusted source for health information, he said, is key for communities to address some of the larger health issues that might hinder a region’s quality of life.

As an example, he pointed to the strides Kentucky has made in reducing its number of smokers.

“We as a state have come a long way,” Padgett said. “We still have too many smokers, but far fewer people today smoke than they did 30 years ago. And I think that’s because of the work of organizations like KET who have put in a lot of time and effort to educate people about making health choices today that will have a great impact on your health tomorrow.”

KET’s health-related programming, such as Kentucky Health and KET Forums, runs the gamut, covering a wide variety of healthcare issues facing Kentuckians and provides the latest information on advancements in treatment and science, which in turn help people make more informed decisions, he said.

“Many of the health conditions that Kentucky unfortunately is a leader in, such as obesity, smoking and others, are largely attributable to lifestyle,” he said. “But whether you’re in your 20s, 50s or 60s, you can make lifestyle choices that really impact whether you will age well. And KET does a great job of providing the resources that tell people it’s never too late. You can make the changes that will help you enjoy the aging process.”