Louisville pulled together for COVID protection but not for young Black men being murdered

By |2023-02-28T00:40:54-05:00February 27th, 2023|COVID-19|

For a week I have been reflecting on my church sermon from this past Sunday. The story has stuck with me as I have navigated personal changes and challenges as well as the challenges of loved ones.The sermon was on Deuteronomy 34, speaking about the death of Moses and how there was a time to grieve, and then time to work in the spirit of what he had passed on to Joshua.Now, in this same week, I went to the Greater Louisville Project release of their Safer City By Design Report which did an in depth (and staggering) review of Louisville in comparison to its peer cities in the area of youth violence.Read, learn and then take actionThis is not my report, and I hope all due respect is given to those within GLP who worked hard to compile this data and then distill it down to a palatable format so that we can discern the magnitude of what they studied. I hope everyone goes to look at the work they did, and I further hope you are then moved to action.While I won’t go into all of the data, there were parts that really hit me and are worth highlighting. The fact that since the pandemic began 1 out of 294 Louisville residents died from COVID-19, and in 2021, 1 out of every 252 young Black men in Louisville were murdered—well that one hurt. A lot. As we socially distanced and masked up, what did we do to protect young Black men from the even larger pandemic they were facing?More:Juvenile justice bill to reopen Louisville detention center clears House committeeThe data represents our murdered neighbors, not just numbersThe report went on to show that of the 60 young people killed, 55 of the 60 were Black with 48 being young Black men. As birthdays pile on, I don’t think I fit into this demo any longer, but I surely identify with it. We all should. Because these are our neighbors, these are our friends and family.These are not numbers. It is hard to conceptualize just how bleak this feels from our perspective but let me say this—it’s terrifying. Remember when we closed public spaces and completely modified the way of life for millions to slow the spread? How do we slow this spread because, to be completely honest, I’m scared. Apathy is easier when it seems the system wants you to fail. To drive home that point, Louisville also ranked the worst among its peers for Black disconnected youth, the CDC term for those not working and not in school.The report's release felt grim. It stung. For a lot of us, however, it was nothing new. It was just a recitation of what we have been seeing and saying for years. But for many in the room, it was a shock, and it was painful.For Subscribers:By the numbers: Who are the Kentucky kids in juvenile detention and how did they get there?We can mourn but we must also take actionNow, this is where the sermon kept playing in my mind. I view this report as a catalyst, much like the death of Moses. Yes, we mourn it. And after we mourn, we get to work and address the issues highlighted in this report.GLP (and seriously thank all of them) did the legwork to identify key issues and explained in significant detail the intricacies of the problems. Now we need to galvanize leaders to take that and run with it.So many people feel they are helpless in this fight, but you aren’t. I promise you. It only takes one person to start an initiative and when someone else joins it becomes a movement. The marching orders are there, and there are plenty of people on the ground who can help connect those with resources and the will to help with the needs they see as vital. It just takes the doing-it part.My hope is that people take these data points and the stories behind them and get to know the communities impacted. Not just the numbers on a page, but the faces and families they can represent. It is a great starting point to have the information and the feelings they evoke—but the best churches don’t just preach a good word and send you home, they preach a good word and commit good works within the communities they serve. Then, and only then, are the churches ingrained into the fiber of the community.This report (seriously go read it) highlighted the worst of us, but not the whole of us. It was a sad day for the city in its release, but now is the time to move past mourning and towards a better tomorrow.Terrance Sullivan is the former Executive Director of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights (KCHR). KCHR is the state agency charged with enforcing the Kentucky Civil Rights Act. He is employed by the US House of Representatives. Terrance is also a member of The Courier Journal's Advisory Board.

Classic Downtown Louisville restaurant closes – Boulder Daily Camera

By |2023-02-24T23:25:30-05:00February 24th, 2023|COVID-19|

Old Town Louisville’s skyline will change as the sign for The Empire Lounge and Restaurant comes down after nearly 15 years in business.The Empire announced on social media that the restaurant will close and its last day would be Saturday. Jim Cohen and his daughter, Lexi Scott, opened The Empire in 2008, and Jeff Osaka became a partial owner in 2019 with Ken Wolf. Osaka stepped away from the business partnership in late 2022, and a local chef was going to partner with Wolf. However, Osaka said that “the cards were already dealt against them” as keeping the restaurant running was tough. The Empire Lounge, which opened its doors in Downtown Louisville in 2008, is closing on Saturday. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer) “I was only in charge for a few years, but The Empire has a soft spot in my heart. You know, I love Louisville,” Osaka said. The Empire served “elevated American classics,” according to front of house manager Emma Hempen, who has been working at the restaurant for more than a year. Hempen said that The Empire is like eating at a nice American diner in New York during the 1980s. The restaurant had American classics, from a steak and frites meal to a traditional Coloradan Coors Light beer. Osaka described the restaurant as “Americana” and the go-to place for many Louisville residents. Osaka said that he has been receiving many messages from Louisville residents saying that they will miss The Empire. He said that The Empire hosted many graduation parties, bridal showers and other celebrations and the restaurant will live on in those happy memories. He added that he has even received messages from people who no longer live in the area, thanking the restaurant for their happy moments and saying goodbye. Hempen said that since the closure announcement, many residents have been coming in to get their last moment in the restaurant. She also said that the approximately 25 staff members are keeping their heads up despite the closure. “We’re in a place where we are sad, but really proud of the work that we did,” Hempen said. Hempen said that she watched the restaurant go “from a very dark place to a brighter place,” through surviving pandemic lockdowns and a temporary closure due to the Marshall Fire. Osaka said that maintaining the restaurant became difficult after the two events. Hempen said that despite the restaurants best efforts, business became unpredictable during the COVID-19 pandemic. Osaka said that the restaurant had to close for a few months because of the pandemic but slowly reopened following city-mandated, social-distancing restrictions. He said that business was good once restrictions were being lifted slowly and 2021 was a good year. However, The Empire had to close for almost two weeks due to the Marshall Fire. Osaka said that any business that had to use water had to close as the city had to make sure the water was not contaminated after the fire. Osaka said that the restaurant still had a lot of food in the restaurant during that closure and did not want it to go to waste, so the restaurant had a soup kitchen. The Empire gave out soups, stews and bread for fire survivors and the community. He said that while the closure hurt the restaurant, The Empire staff were happy to help the community. Osaka said that the restaurant being dealt those blows took its toll. He also said that The Empire is one of the largest restaurant’s in Louisville at 5,000 square feet with a huge basement as well. He said that the big space meant a lot of moving parts. Hempen said that recently there was a silent disco dance party at The Empire that she really enjoyed. She said that the party gave staff headphones to join in on the silent disco. She said that the staff was able to get together and dance their hearts out one last time. “Anytime, that we as the staff, were able to spend time with each other was super, super special,” Hempen said. Osaka said that Saturday evening, he will thank all the staff for their hard work and turn off the lights one last time at The Empire Lounge and Restaurant.

Catholic fish fries across Louisville are critical to the church and community – wdrb.com

By |2023-02-24T19:23:20-05:00February 24th, 2023|COVID-19|

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- On the first Friday of Lent, the smell of fried fish and hush puppies filled cafeterias and gymnasiums of Catholic parishes across Louisville.Fish is served on Fridays during Lent, the Christian season of repentance, and many churches embrace the fish fries to help raise money to support their missions."After a fish fry, we typically will make over $40,000," said Mary Beth Porter, chairperson of the Holy Family fish fry.Many parishes rely on their popular fish fries to fund a large portion of the budget. It helps keep the church and its services operating, leaders said. The COVID-19 pandemic, which canceled the tradition for at least a year, proved to be a setback for the next years when the fish cooking resumed.This year, it feels like everything is the way it used to be."We rely on the funds that this generates in order to meet our budget every year," said Rev. Mike Tobin at St. Rita. "That's why we were so eager to return after COVID to having not only dinner, but lunch, because that's a moneymaker: the lunch."The fish fries are a massive production. It takes hundreds of volunteers to pump out the meals for anyone who wants to eat.Why do they volunteer? One word: community."What's special about our fish fry is community," Porter said. "People like to come here and catch up with old friends that they haven't seen since last fish fry.""The fish is great, but it's a sense of they're supporting a parish community," Tobin added.Following several years that saw Catholic fish fries across the city depleted or restricted, things have finally come back, and so have the crowds.The Lenten .esson is less about the fish and more about the people."Things have rebounded," Tobin said. "People are so hungry for community."Fish fries continue through the month of March. To find a guide to Louisville-area churches' Lenten fish fries, click here. Related Stories:Copyright 2023 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.

Softball Gloves & Mitts Market In-Depth Analysis | Louisville Slugger, VINCI, Marucci

By |2023-02-23T05:23:10-05:00February 22nd, 2023|COVID-19|

Softball Gloves & Mitts Market research report including customer preference analysis, market dynamics (drivers, restraints, opportunities) segmentations like Types, Applications, Regions (United States, Europe, China, Japan, India, Southeast Asia, Latin America, Middle East and Africa) and Manufactures. “Final Report will add the analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on this industry.” Global “Softball Gloves & Mitts Market” 2022-2030 research report focuses on the product overview, scope, market upstream and downstream analysis, players profiles, market landscape by player, sales, revenue, price trend, market forecast, market drivers analysis, restraints and challenges, opportunities analysis, size, segmentations (mainly covering product type, application, and geography), competitor landscape, recent status, and development trends. Furthermore, the report provides strategies for companies to overcome threats posed by COVID-19 containing 150 numbers of pages, tables, figures and charts. Get a Sample PDF of the Report – marketreports.info/sample/54995/Softball-Gloves-&-Mitts Market Analysis and Insights: Global Softball Gloves & Mitts Market The Softball Gloves & Mitts market has witnessed a growth from xx USD million to xx USD million from 2014 to 2022. With a CAGR of xx%, this market is estimated to reach xx USD million in 2030. The major players covered in the Softball Gloves & Mitts market report are:Louisville Slugger, VINCI, Marucci, Nike, Easton, Wilson, Midwest, Franklin, Akadema, Steelo, Nokona, Adidas, Mizuno, Rawlings Get a Sample Copy of the Softball Gloves & Mitts Market Report 2022 : marketreports.info/sample/54995/Softball-Gloves-&-Mitts Most important types of Softball Gloves & Mitts products covered in this report are:Right HandLeft HandMost widely used downstream fields of Softball Gloves & Mitts market covered in this report are:Adults (Ages 13+)Children (Ages 7-12)T-Ball (Ages 4-6) Major Regions or countries covered in this report: United StatesEuropeChinaJapanIndiaSoutheast AsiaLatin AmericaMiddle East and AfricaOthersYears considered for this report: Historical Years: 2014-2021Base Year: 2021Estimated Year: 2022Forecast Period: 2022-2030 The Study Objectives of this report are: To analysis the worldwide Softball Gloves & Mitts market size by product types, applications and regions.To comprehend the design of Softball Gloves & Mitts market by recognizing its different sub-fragments.To study Softball Gloves & Mitts by individual manufactures growth, future trends.To study Product Overview and Scope of Softball Gloves & Mitts market segment, Revenue Sales Status and OutlookTo study Manufacturing Cost Structure of Softball Gloves & Mitts marketTo understand market Upstream and Downstream analysisTo understand Market Competitive Situation and TrendsTo understand market Drivers, Restraints, Opportunities, Challenges faced by Softball Gloves & Mitts marketTo analysis new product and new technology releaseAnalysis of Industry Development Trends under COVID-19 Outbreak Purchase this Report – marketreports.info/checkout?buynow=54995/Softball-Gloves-&-Mitts About Us: Marketreports.info is the Credible Source for Gaining the Market Reports that will provide you with the Lead Your Business Needs. The market is changing rapidly with the ongoing expansion of the industry. Advancement in technology has provided today’s businesses with multifaceted advantages resulting in daily economic shifts. Thus, it is very important for a company to comprehend the patterns of the market movements in order to strategize better. An efficient strategy offers the companies a head start in planning and an edge over the competitors. Contact Us Market Reports Phone (UK): +44 141 628 5998 Email: sales@marketreports.info Web: https://www.marketreports.info

Bluegrass State blues: Louisville, UK putting state of Kentucky through rare down season in …

By |2023-02-18T21:31:19-05:00February 18th, 2023|COVID-19|

Getty Images / USATSI Kentucky is one of the most-populated states in the country without a team in one of the nation's four major professional sports leagues. But what the Bluegrass State lacks in terms of MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL visibility it makes up for with some of the nation's best college basketball. Well, historically anyway. As Kentucky and Louisville -- winners of 11 combined NCAA Tournaments -- each limp through another substandard season, an unprecedentedly long drought of college basketball success is coming into focus for a basketball-crazed state. Both schools spent time at No. 1 in the 2019-20 season and were destined for favorable NCAA Tournament seedings before the season's cancellation amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, it's been rough for both. Barring a miraculous run through the ACC Tournament, Louisville is destined to miss its third straight NCAA Tournament, and this will mark five straight tournaments in which the Cardinals have not won a game. By the time the 2024 NCAA Tournament rolls around, seven years will have elapsed since Louisville won a game in the Big Dance. Louisville has been among the worst teams in Division I in Kenny Payne's first season. Getty Images Things aren't much better at Kentucky, as the Wildcats claw for a spot in this year's 68-team field. If UK fails to make the tournament or makes it and fails to advance, this will mark three straight NCAA Tournaments without advancement for UK.  Even proud programs like Murray State and Western Kentucky are having only average seasons compared to their historical standards. The Hilltoppers are below .500 in Conference USA play while Murray State is loitering in the middle of the Missouri Valley Conference during its first season in the league. At this rate, someone from the group of Eastern Kentucky (ASUN), Morehead State (Ohio Valley) and Northern Kentucky (Horizon) will be the state of Kentucky's best hope for NCAA Tournament representation if the Wildcats don't finish strong. State of despair How Division I teams in Kentucky have fared this season. TeamOverallConferenceNET rankingsKentucky17-98-5 SEC (T-4th)39Eastern Kentucky18-1011-4 ASUN (3rd)166Western Kentucky14-126-9 C-USA (T7th)173Northern Kentucky16-1111-5 Horizon (T3rd)198Murray State14-13 9-8 MVC (7th)212Morehead State17-1010-4 OVC (1st)234 Bellarmine12-167-8 ASUN (T-7th)261Louisville3-231-14 ACC (15th)324The state's proud basketball scene has been through droughts in the past and has always bounced back.  Here is a ranking of the worst collective seasons of Kentucky basketball history since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985. 1. 2020-21: UK's disaster season NCAA Tournament teams: 1 (Morehead State lost in first round) It wasn't quite as bad as what Louisville has gone through this season, but Kentucky's 2020-21 campaign was one of the worst by winning percentage in nearly a century for UK. The Wildcats finished 9-16 after starting at No. 10 in the AP Top 25 as a team full of newcomers struggled to gel coming out of the COIVD-19 pandemic. Kentucky started 1-6 and never recovered. Louisville finished 13-7 but narrowly missed the NCAA Tournament in coach Chris Mack's second season. At one point, Louisville was 9-1 and ranked No. 16 nationally, but the Cardinals wound up as one of the last cuts from the final bracket. Aside from 1991, the 2021 season marks the only year in the modern era of the NCAA Tournament that both Kentucky and Louisville missed the field. The 2021-22 season also marked a rare down year for Murray State as the Racers finished 13-13 following the departure of superstar Ja Morant. WKU, EKU and NKU each finished above .500 but Morehead State was the only team from the state to make the Big Dance as the No. 14 seed Eagles fell in the first round. 2. 1986-87: Louisville misses dance, Cats struggleNCAA Tournament teams: 2 (Kentucky lost in first round, Western Kentucky lost in second round) One season after winning the 1986 national title with a team that featured Milt Wagner, who is the grandfather of current five-star Kentucky commitment DJ Wagner, Louisville missed the Big Dance. The Cardinals finished 18-14 in 1987 while Kentucky was bounced in the first round by Ohio State as a No. 8 seed. The Wildcats had finished 32-4 and reached the Elite Eight in 1986 during coach Eddie Sutton's first season but lost stars Winston Bennett and Kenny Walker from that team and struggled to replace their production. Similarly, the Cardinals could not recover from the departures of key players like Wagner, Billy Thompson and Jeff Hall. Current Louisville coach Kenny Payne was a freshman and role player on the 1986 title team and played mostly off the bench for the disappointing 1987 team. Ultimately, he became a starter in his final two seasons and helped lead the Cardinals back to national prominence in 1988 and 1989.  The best team in Kentucky during the 1986-87 season turned out to be Western Kentucky. Though the Hilltoppers lost 60-58 to Louisville during non conference play, they went on to reach the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a final record of 29-9 under first-year coach Murray Arnold. 3. 2021-22: Murray State sets the paceNCAA Tournament teams: 2 (Kentucky lost in first round, Murray State lost in second round) Louisville fired Chris Mack after following a 6-8 start and messy offseason extortion scandal involving former assistant Dino Gaudio. The Cardinals proceeded to finish 13-19 for the program's worst winning percentage since 1998 — until this season. Kentucky, on the other hand, put the misery of the 2020-21 season behind it as West Virginia transfer Oscar Tshiebwe burst onto the scene alongside star freshman guard TyTY Washington and Georgia transfer Sahvir Wheeler. UK spent the entire season in the top 20 and never lost consecutive games…….until it mattered most.  The Wildcats bowed out of the SEC Tournament with a semifinal loss to Tennessee and then suffered a historic loss to No. 15 seed Saint Peter's in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The stunning ending negated the joy of a great regular season for the Wildcats. Thankfully for the state of Kentucky, Murray State enjoyed a banner year, finishing 31-3 after reaching the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Bellarmine, Morehead State and Northern Kentucky didn't make the tournament but were 20-win teams, and Bellarmine would have made it if not for the NCAA-mandated waiting period for programs transitioning to Division I. 4. 1990-91: Cats on probationNCAA Tournament teams: 1 (Murray State lost in first round) Kentucky finished 22-6 (14-4 SEC) in Rick Pitino's second season as coach but was unable to participate in the NCAA Tournament because of violations committed during Eddie Sutton's coaching tenure. Meanwhile, Louisville struggled to a 14-16 mark in the program's first losing season under legendary coach Denny Crum. Western Kentucky finished just 14-14, leaving Murray State as the only team from the state to reach the NCAA Tournament. The Racers finished 24-9 and earned a No. 13 seed before falling to Alabama in the first round.  Better days returned the following season as the Cardinals made the NCAA Tournament in 1992. Kentucky returned to postseason eligibility with a bang, finishing 29-7 with a 104-103 overtime loss to Duke in the Elite Eight. 5. 2022-23: UL sinks, jury out on UKNCAA Tournament teams: TBD The ship has sailed on Louisville, which fell to 3-23 with a loss to Virginia on Wednesday night. This will be the program's worst season since it combined to go 4-42 from 1939 to 1941. The Cardinals have simply been non-competitive in Kenny Payne's first season as coach, and the struggles are only exacerbated by the program's recent run of misfortune. Louisville fans haven't tasted substantive success in a while, and there has been little indication that patience with a new regime will be rewarded anytime soon. As for Kentucky, the Wildcats have a chance to flip this season's narrative on its head. After a gritty road win at Mississippi State on Wednesday, UK is 18-8 and finally has a second Quad 1 victory. The Wildcats are still a bubble team, but a strong finish and a few NCAA Tournament wins will forgive a multitude of sins. However, if things go the opposite direction, UK will be staring down a daunting reality. Without an NCAA Tournament victory this season, five years will have elapsed between Big Dance wins for the program by the time the event rolls around again in 2024. With a poor finish from Kentucky, this season could go down among the worst in state history. But the ball is in the Wildcats' court as they prepare to host No. 10 Tennessee on Saturday in another huge game.

Louisville metro council member under review for potential violation of ethics code – WLKY

By |2023-02-18T21:31:20-05:00February 18th, 2023|COVID-19|


Louisville Metro Council seeks ethics opinion on Anthony Piagentini – Courier-Journal

By |2023-02-16T20:23:52-05:00February 16th, 2023|COVID-19, Election 2020|

Louisville Metro Council voted Thursday to ask the city's Ethics Commission to examine whether member Anthony Piagentini violated its code by initially sponsoring a measure to allot $40 million in COVID-19 relief funds to a health care coalition and then landing a consulting job with the group behind the project.Piagentini, R-19th District, said he also requested an opinion on his conduct from the commission this week."This resolution was aligned with what I have asked for from the Ethics Commission," he told The Courier Journal. "I am happy to and will comply with the process in every possible way."Thursday's emergency resolution came after the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting published a story Wednesday saying Piagentini started consulting for the Louisville Healthcare CEO Council — which pushed for the health care innovation project — a day after Metro Council approved the $40 million allocation.He noted he had withdrawn his sponsorship and then abstained from the December vote to approve directing $40 million in American Rescue Plan funds to supporting a "Healthcare Workforce Innovation Coalition."The resolution, sponsored by Councilwoman Cindi Fowler, D-14th, and council President Markus Winkler, D-17th, asks the "commission to review this situation as expeditiously as possible."Piagentini, who has worked in health care and real estate, including the last seven years as senior director of provider relations for WellCare of Kentucky, abstained from Thursday's vote.By the numbers:Who are the Kentucky kids in juvenile detention and how did they get there?Tammy York Day, president of the Louisville Healthcare CEO Council, or CEOc, which several health care executives formed in 2017 to lobby for their industry, told the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting she did not view Piagentini having any conflict of interest because he did not consult on the ARP-funded project and his consulting work is focused on state government affairs.Can Metro Council members remove their peers from office?Council rules state members can remove their colleagues from office over "misconduct, incapacity, or willful neglect in the performance of the official duties."At least five Metro Council members must swear under oath a colleague has engaged in that behavior to initiate removal proceedings, and a two-thirds majority of the 26-member council must vote to oust a member.Any members removed from council can appeal the decision in Jefferson Circuit Court.The last time a member was removed was in 2017 when Democrat Dan Johnson was accused of sexual harassment.What is the Louisville Healthcare Workforce Innovation Coalition?Kentucky basketball...and politics:Citing Coach John Calipari, legislator wants to ban lifetime contractsThe three priorities of the Louisville Healthcare Workforce Innovation Coalition are to:Create a strategy that "increases and diversifies the healthcare talent pipeline for jobs at all levels by mitigating barriers to training and employment";Increase "the region's capacity of workforce innovation for a stronger and more equitable health economy"; andSupport the initiative "via the development of a state-of-the art tech and learning center in Russell Station that prioritizes hiring current Russell residents at all levels."Reach Billy Kobin at bkobin@courierjournal.com

Art therapy helping young Louisville hospital patients diagnosed with an eating disorder find …

By |2023-02-16T19:25:35-05:00February 16th, 2023|COVID-19|

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Art and medicine come together in a therapy to help young patients who have been hospitalized after being diagnosed with an eating disorder.Norton Children's Hospital has some of that art on display in a special exhibition called "What's Eating Me?" Art therapy is being used to help young eating disorder patients at Norton Children's Hospital in Louisville, Ky. The art is now part of an exhibition. (WDRB Image) Feb. 16, 2023 Over the past two years, the hospital has treated more patients with eating disorders of all types. In the past six years, the hospital has treated more than 350 patients for anorexia, bulimia and other eating disorders.The vast majority of the patients — nearly 84% — are females between the ages of 13 and 17. But at least one doctor said she's treated a patient as young as 8 years old for an eating disorder at Norton Children's Hospital. "You can't blame a child for having this type of illness, and I think that's a very common misconception among the general public, that a child that has an eating disorder is somehow choosing this," said Dr. Andrea Krause with Norton Children's Hospital. "When, really, it's an illness that's affecting them. And really, they suffer from it."Krause serves as the clinical program lead for the eating disorder program."Each child is unique, and it can be a lot to try and identify what might motivate a child here to get better," she said.Through this art exhibit, doctors, patients and the community can better understand how patients view their eating disorder."It lets us know where this person is in relationship with this eating disorder," said Elizabeth Martin, an expressive art therapist who worked with patients on this project. "Do they see it as their best friend that rewards them and benefits them and builds them up? If that's the case, then we need to find something else that rewards them and benefits them and not the eating disorder."Martin said while some of the clay creations look friendly, others do not."If we see it more as a horrific creature, it lets us know they see the seriousness of this and the harm," Martin said. "So it might be actually easier for them to fight in some way, because they do see the harm in it and don't want that. When the eating disorder creature looks like a best friend, that can even be harder sometimes, because they don't want to let it go."According to Norton Children's Hospital, during the COVID-19 pandemic, fear of the virus and the isolation complicated these issues for kids and teens. "The pandemic brought social isolation, and this is definitely an illness that thrives in the setting of isolation," Krause said.Krause said she also believes social media has played a role. "These children were comparing themselves to people that weren't real and that became their reality," Martin said.  Art therapy is being used to help young eating disorder patients at Norton Children's Hospital in Louisville, Ky. The art is now part of an exhibition. (WDRB Image) Feb. 16, 2023 Norton Children's Hospital is utilizing expressive art therapy to reach these patients. By using a variety of art materials, patients explore who they are and express their emotions. "The art gives them a voice," Martin said. "It gives them a way to express themselves and it gives them a way to find themselves by separating."Eating disorders affect at least 9% of people worldwide. They will affect nearly 30 million Americans in their lifetimes and cause about 10,000 U.S. deaths each year, according to data cited by the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders.According to Norton Children's Hospital, here is the data on eating disorder cases from the past several years:2017: 39 cases, 33 unique patients2018: 37 cases, 32 unique patients2019: 49 cases, 41 unique patients2020: 75 cases, 60 unique patients2021: 117 cases, 103 unique patients2022: 136 cases, 117 unique patientsTotal: 453 cases, 356 patientsAt this point, data for 2023 is trending in the same upward direction. "I wouldn't be surprised, just with how the numbers have steadily increased each year, if, unfortunately, we hit some higher numbers this year as well, although, I, of course, hope not," said Kayla LaRosa, a pediatric psychologist at Norton Children's.Krause said there is hope for patients to overcome eating disorders, but she's also pushing for more resources to be available in Kentucky. She said patients at Norton Children's come from across the region. "Kentucky is, unfortunately, unique in the sense that we do not have a free-standing residential care program for eating disorders in the entire state," Krause said. "We have some outpatient centers and even a couple of partial hospitalization programs in the city here. But when you're talking about the whole state of Kentucky, there is a huge lack of resources there, especially when you're talking about more rural places in the state." She said early intervention is key. The art exhibit will remain on display inside the Noltemeyer Excellence in Education Center in the lobby of Norton Children's Hospital until late-February. For information on eating disorders from Norton Children's Hospital, click here.Copyright 2023 WDRB Media. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All Rights Reserved.

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