NewsCovering Kentucky


Cabinet For Health And Family Services Defends Hepatitis A Response

Posted at 1:36 PM, Mar 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-01 18:27:23-05

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) – The Cabinet for Health and Family Services issued a scathing response to an article written by the Louisville Courier Journal criticizing the state’s hepatitis A response.

In an article released last week, the Courier Journal documented what was reported to be a series of missteps as cases started to multiply in Louisville. The disease was harder to control, the newspaper alleged, in areas of rural Eastern Kentucky due to budget restraints.

The paper also alleged that urgent pleas from Dr. Robert Brawley were ignored and that Commissioner Dr. Jeffrey Howard stuck to a $3 million state response.

Friday, in Frankfort, what was initially reported to be a press briefing on the hepatitis A outbreak turned into the CHFS scolding the media, specifically the Courier Journal, for its coverage on the hepatitis A outbreak.

In a handout, Howard wrote, “The authors, in several of these articles, state that I ‘stuck to a $3 million budget.’ However this is not true, and I explicitly stated as much to the authors multiple times, yet they continued to publish this untruth. DPH never set a budget for dealing with the hepatitis A outbreak. Rather, I was provided an estimated budget of $3 million by my team or nurses, epidemiologists, physicians, and Ph. D scientists who guided the department’s side of the outbreak response.”

The disease has claimed 43 lives in the Commonwealth.


LEX 18 reached out to the Courier Journal for comment.

“Our coverage of this public health crisis has been fair, has been comprehensive, and most importantly, has been accurate. We stand by our stories,” said  Richard Green, Courier Journal Editor

CHFS says they support a legislative resolution calling for an examination of the public health response to Kentucky’s hepatitis A outbreak.