Registration opens for 2018 Brightside & Passport Health Plan Spring Community-Wide Cleanup

Registration for the 2018 Brightside & Passport Health Plan Spring Community-Wide Cleanup – scheduled for Saturday, April 14, all around the Greater Louisville area – has officially opened.

Last year’s Spring Community-Wide Cleanup saw over 17,500 volunteers clean up our city, and this year we want to shatter that number! Teams can register by calling (502) 574-2613 or by clicking here. Any group that is interested in taking part should register by the end of March to ensure that they get all of the information and supplies needed.

The event is a great service opportunity for boy/girl scouts, sports teams, faith groups and community organizations – it could even be a corporate team bonding opportunity!

Cleanups are an integral part of Brightside’s mission and without the help of volunteer groups, and many other volunteers throughout the year, Brightside could not achieve its goal of a cleaner, greener Louisville.

Neighborhoods can hold their own cleanups at any point throughout the year – Brightside can provide gloves and bags for each Neighborhood Cleanup and works with Solid Waste Management to have the collected litter bags picked up.

For more information, please click here.


Louisville Grows Brings Healthy-Eating Practices to Residents All Over Region

Insider Louisville LogoThe phrase “eat your vegetables” can refer to any responsible choice you make, whether in work, school, or life. Taken literally, it’s good advice when it comes to your diet.

Healthy eating can mean different things to different people, but almost everyone is making a conscious effort to improve their health by paying attention to what they put in their mouths. And vegetables are among the healthiest items anyone can choose.

Ked Stanfield, executive director of Louisville Grows, organizes programs and activities to encourage a healthy diet at the organization’s headquarters in the Portland neighborhood of West Louisville.

“Something that’s missing from a lot of American diets are vegetables,” he says in a Passport-sponsored article on Insider Louisville.  “Vegetables have a lot of nutrients and they don’t have a lot of calories. Those micro- and macro-nutrients that are found in vegetables are things that we lack in our diet.”

To learn more about this, please click here.


Passport Offers Providers Two chances for Buprenorphine Waiver Trainings

Passport Health Plan is inviting providers in the network to attend an upcoming buprenorphine waiver training sessions from the Kentucky Opioid Response Effort.

The American Society of Addiction Management (ASAM) Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder Course covers all medications and treatments for opioid use disorder, and provides the required education needed to obtain the waiver to prescribe buprenorphine.

Two 8-hour classes – combining 4 hours of online learning followed by 4 hours of live learning – will be offered:

  • In Lexington on Saturday, February 24, from 9 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at the Board Room, Building #2, 1351 Newtown Pike, Lexington, KY 40511. To register for this event, please click here.
  • In Hazard on Saturday, March 10, from 9 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at the ARH Regional Medical Center, Joe Craft Tower Conference Room, 100 Medical Center Drive, Hazard, KY 41701. To register for this event, please click here.

If you have any questions about these trainings, you may email or call (301) 656-3920.


Meet the Honorees for the 2018 Commitment to Compassion Event

Compassionate LouisvilleAt the third annual Commitment to Compassion luncheon Commitment to Compassion luncheon, set for Feb. 28 at the Muhammad Ali Center in Downtown Louisville, seven individuals who have demonstrated a personal commitment of compassion in the health care field will be honored.

Created by Passport Health Plan and the Healthcare Constellation of Compassionate Louisville, and supported by Insider Louisville, the annual luncheon continues to grow and put a spotlight on the countless compassionate caregivers in our community.

This year’s honorees are:

  • Guy Harvey of Norton Children’s Hospital
  • Heather Renee Hibbard of the Brown Cancer Center
  • Mary Lynn Spalding of Christian Care Communities
  • Sheila Carter of Heartsong Memory Care
  • Zella Fraze of Gilda’s Club
  • Dr. Michael Imburgia of the Have a Heart Clinic
  • Robin Goodman of Family Health Centers

To register for this year’s event, please click here. For more information about this program, please click here.


Public Health Department Says More Than 100 People Have Died During the Current Flu Epidemic

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH), within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), says that the state just topped 100 flu-related deaths from the flu epidemic, with at least four of those being pediatric cases.

“Tragically, the influenza virus has claimed the lives of 100 Kentuckians so far this season,” said Dr. Jeffrey D. Howard, Acting DPH commissioner. “During this time of widespread flu activity, we want to remind people to avoid contact with others if you have influenza or an influenza-like illness.  If you are sick, seek care from your healthcare provider early. Lastly, take appropriate measures to protect yourself such as washing your hands with soap and water.”

This season’s H3N2 strain of the flu virus can be extremely serious, even deadly, not just for those in higher risk categories but to generally healthy Kentuckians as well.

For more information, please click here. Also, Kentucky reports weekly to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s national flu surveillance system. That report is online and is updated each Friday before noon.


Indiana Gets Federal Approval to Add Work Requirements to Medicaid Program

Following in the footsteps of the Kentucky HEALTH waiver – which was approved in January by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to offer Kentucky Medicaid members the ability to customize a path based on individual needs that will lead to better health, engagement in their communities, improved employability, and success through long-term independence – Indiana recently received federal approval to add a work requirement for adult Medicaid recipients who gained coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Indiana’s Medicaid expansion began in February 2015, providing coverage to 240,000 people who were previously uninsured. The federal approval extends the program, known as the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP), through 2020, according to an article from Kaiser Health News.

Included in this new plan is a “lockout” provision that could lead to tens of thousands of enrollees losing coverage if they fail to submit in a timely manner their paperwork showing they still qualify for the program.

Like Kentucky, Indiana’s Medicaid waiver’s work requirements, which mandate adult enrollees to work an average of 20 hours a month, go into effect in 2019.


Kentucky Health Officials Say that Flu Activity is an ‘Epidemic’ Around the State

The Kentucky Department for Public Health, within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), is now saying that influenza activity in Kentucky is an “epidemic,” meaning that this season’s strain of the flu virus can be extremely serious, even deadly, not just for those in higher risk categories but to generally healthy Kentuckians as well.

Kentucky is in its sixth consecutive week of widespread flu activity which is the highest level of flu activity and indicates increased flu-like activity or flu outbreaks in at least half of the regions in the state, according to a news release.

“Widespread influenza activity means that Kentuckians are likely to encounter one or more persons shedding influenza virus at work, at school, while shopping, while traveling, at athletic or entertainment events, and in places of worship,” said the Acting Department for Public Health Commissioner Dr. Jeffrey D. Howard. “A person who will develop influenza illness actually can transmit the virus to other persons beginning one day before their illness begins.”

Health officials are inviting the public to participate in a Facebook Live discussion about the flu on the CHFS Facebook page ( at 6 p.m. Eastern, 5 p.m. Central on Thursday, January 25. People can submit flu-related questions beforehand to or post their question in the comments section during the event.

For more information, including tips to help prevent the spread of the flu, please click here.


Physical Activity is Especially Important During the Cold Winter Months

Insider Louisville LogoIt’s cold outside. The streets might be covered in ice. There’s a good movie on TV, and plenty of food in the fridge. So why would anyone want to go out and get some exercise?

That’s the dilemma many of us face in the winter months, and some of us have the extra pounds to show for it. In terms of our overall physical and mental health, getting moving is the antidote to the winter blahs. Even a little bit of exercise can make a big difference in our outlook on life.

“Activity is the new wonder drug,” Steve Tarver, CEO of the YMCA of Greater Louisville, says in a Passport-sponsored article on Insider Louisville. “Physical activity is important all year long, but in particular during the winter when we’re indoors more, things move a little more slowly. That can infringe on our physical health, but also on our mental and social health as well.”

To hear more from Steve, please click here.


You Could Be a Work of Art and Become a Part of Passport Health Plan’s Photo Mosaic

Passport is preparing to break ground on our new Health and Well-Being Campus in West Louisville on March 14, and we want you to be part of the big event – literally!

Here’s How: First, use your phone to take a selfie. Then, post it to Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #FacesOfPassport. These photos will then be used to create a giant mosaic that celebrates Passport’s mission: to improve the health and quality of life of our members. The final mosaic will be unveiled at Passport’s groundbreaking celebration on March 14, and – thanks to the generous support of the Passport Foundation – it will be installed as a lasting piece of art in Passport’s future headquarters.

Don’t wait, though! Post your selfie by Friday, February 16, and you’ll have a chance to be part of this lasting tribute to the groundbreaking change Passport is bringing to the people of Kentucky. For more information, please click here.

Important Note: Please understand that by posting your selfie, it becomes a publicly available image that Passport has the right to obtain and use for commercial, promotional, educational and other purposes. Although not every photo is guaranteed to be part of the final mosaic, you can increase your chances by posting multiple selfies.


Commitment to Compassion Luncheon to Honor 7 who Make a Difference in Healthcare

Compassionate LouisvilleTechnical competency is imperative in the healthcare industry. But just as important are the people who can demonstrate the virtues of compassion.

Healthcare professionals who go above and beyond their job duties to extend kindness and compassion to their patients, their colleagues and the broader community usually do so under the radar. That is, they don’t do it for the attention.

But that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve the attention. We want to celebrate compassion and formally recognize and celebrate the dedicated folks in the healthcare community who demonstrate compassion on a day-to-day and person-by-person basis. We do this with the Commitment to Compassion luncheon.

Created by Passport Health Plan and the Healthcare Constellation of Compassionate Louisville three years ago, and supported by Insider Louisville, the annual luncheon continues to grow and put a spotlight on the countless compassionate caregivers in our community.

For more information or to RSVP for this year’s event on February 28, please click here.