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Dr. Ralph Alvarado

Dr. Ralph Alvarado

Renee speaks with Dr. Ralph Alvarado (R-Winchester), the first Latino elected to the Kentucky General Assembly. Alvarado defeated state Sen. R.J. Palmer II for the 28th District Senate seat in November 2014. He has been a doctor in Winchester since 1998 and was president of Winchester Medical Associates until June 2013.
S10 E15 Length 28:01 Premiere: 1.2.15

Dr. Ralph Alvarado on the Role of Physician Legislator

As one of three medical doctors in the Kentucky General Assembly, Sen. Ralph Alvarado thinks the body would benefit from having more physician-legislators who are trained in objective thinking and problem solving.

The Winchester Republican talked about health-related issues before the state legislature this session with KET’s Renee Shaw on a recent edition of Connections. Alvarado was elected in November to represent the 28th Senate District, which comprises Clark and Montgomery counties as well as part of Fayette County.

Alvarado is a doctor and regional medical director with the KentuckyOne Medical Group. He defeated former Senate Minority Leader R. J. Palmer in a hotly contested rematch of a race between the two candidates in 2010. Alvarado says in addition to holding unpopular political views, Palmer wasn’t visible enough in the district. For his part, Alvarado pledges to have regular town hall meetings with his constituents to get their feedback and let them know what he’s doing in Frankfort.

Alvarado says he’s proud to be the first Latino in the Kentucky legislature. The son of an immigrant, Alvarado says the Hispanic population in the state will continue to grow. He says he encourages other immigrants to raise their children with high expectations for educational achievement and with the ability to speak both English and Spanish.

A Doctor’s Eye for Policy
Physicians have a much better sense of the weaknesses in the current health care system, according to Alvarado. He contends doctors of both political parties should take a greater role in the legislative process to prevent bad policy decisions from being made on their behalf.

He attributes his desire to run for office to the failure of state lawmakers to address medical tort reform. “Our physicians are frightened enough that they don’t feel comfortable using their own judgment for health care,” Alvarado says.

He supports legislation to create medical review panels to decide whether a malpractice complaint has sufficient merit to proceed to the courts. Alvarado says the current system only benefits trial lawyers while making it more difficult to attract good doctors to work in the state. He contends there are sufficient safeguards within medical licensing boards and among physicians’ insurance carriers to eliminate bad doctors from practicing.

Alvarado also says he would have no credibility as a doctor if he didn’t support a statewide smoking ban in public places. He says he favors personal liberties, but also realizes the role of tobacco use and second-hand smoke in many of Kentucky’s health problems. Alvarado also sees smoking as an economic development issue. He argues that companies will avoid locating here as long as the state has such high rates of cancer and chronic diseases.

Finally, the Republican says it’s time the state implemented charter school legislation, and he wants to see public school systems reduce the number of administrators in their districts.

A Cancer Fight at Home
Early in his 2014 election bid, Alvarado’s wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. He says the two of them decided Alvarado should continue his campaign even while she underwent surgery and chemotherapy to treat the cancer. Alvarado says breast cancer is a huge problem, affecting one in eight women, and he fears it may be linked to some environmental cause.

The doctor says the experience has strengthened his belief in mammograms and other exams for early detection. He acknowledges the costs of screening for some types of cancer are still expensive, but catching the disease early can help save lives. He also says he wishes Medicare used more tangible incentives to encourage people to adopt healthier lifestyles, such as the rewards that insurance companies give to people who lose weight or make dietary changes.

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Connections

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Each week, host Renee Shaw and a variety of interesting and engaging people - including business leaders, entertainers, authors, celebrities, and more - explore a broad array of topics impacting Kentucky and the world.

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Kellie Blair Hardt - S11 E5

Renee speaks with special education teacher Kellie Blair Hardt, who overcame homelessness, an absent mother, an alcoholic father and school expulsion to earn her GED. She received the National Education Association Foundation's 2013 Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence as one of the nation's top educators. Hardt is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in higher education at George Mason University. She was featured in KET's series "Dropping Back In".

  • Wednesday October 20, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
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Jacinda Townsend - S11 E6

Author Jacinda Townsend discusses her critically acclaimed novel, "Saint Monkey", a coming-of-age story set in 1950's Eastern Kentucky. The book won the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for historical fiction. Townsend is a former Hurston-Wright Award finalist and currently teaches creative writing at Indiana University.

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Dorothy Butler Gilliam - S11 E7

Renee speaks with journalist Dorothy Butler Gilliam, who was the first African-American female reporter at The Washington Post. She retired in 2003 after a 35-year career with the paper.

  • Friday October 22, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Devine Carama - S17 E7

Renee Shaw speaks with hip hop artist, community activist, and motivational speaker Devine Carama talks about his appointment as director of One Lexington, a program that mobilizes city government and community resources against violence and other topics.

  • Wednesday October 20, 2021 11:30 pm ET on KET
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Connections - S17 E8

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Allison Joseph - S11 E8

Allison Joseph is the author of six poetry books. She teaches at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, where she helped found {Crab Orchard Review}, a literary journal, and the Young Writers Workshop, a co-ed residential summer program for teen writers.

  • Monday October 25, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Ari Berman - S11 E9

Renee's guest is Ari Berman, a contributing writer for "The Nation" magazine and an Investigative Journalism Fellow at The Nation Institute. He has written extensively about American politics, civil rights and the intersection of money and politics. The title of his new book is "Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America".

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Miss Kentucky Clark Davis - S11 E10

Renee speaks with Miss Kentucky Clark Davis, a sophomore at the University of Kentucky majoring in vocal performance, with a minor in political science. Davis was diagnosed with dyslexia in elementary school. Her pageant platform is dyslexia awareness.

  • Wednesday October 27, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear - S11 E11

Renee speaks with Jane Beshear, former first lady of Kentucky, about her policy initiatives and programs during her time in the Governor's Mansion.

  • Thursday October 28, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Wayne Lewis - S11 E15

University of Kentucky professor Wayne Lewis, Ph.D., author of The Politics of Parent Choice in Public Education and the forthcoming, Black Choice, talks about charter school legislation in Kentucky and its effectiveness in other states in narrowing the achievement gap.

  • Friday October 29, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Connections - S17 E9

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Anthony Smith - S11 E16

Anthony Smith, CEO of Cities United, a national network of communities focused on eliminating violence related to African American males, talks about the violence-curbing initiatives he helped create in Louisville including the Right Turn program for teenagers 16 to 19 who have committed minor infractions that have landed them in the court system.

  • Monday November 1, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Andrew Brennen - S11 E17

Renee speaks with Andrew Brennen, national field director for Student Voice, a for-students-by-students nonprofit organization spearheading a social movement to integrate student voices into the global education conversation. He is also co-founder, director of the Student Voice Team at the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence.

  • Tuesday November 2, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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A Tribute to Georgia Davis Powers - S11 E18

In this special episode, Renee and her guests Raoul Cunningham, president of the Louisville NAACP, and State Sen. Gerald Neal celebrate the life and legacy of civil rights pioneer and former Kentucky Sen. Georgia Davis Powers, the first African-American and first woman elected to the Kentucky Senate. Powers died January 30, 2016 at the age of 92. The program features never-before-seen footage of an interview Renee conducted with Powers two years ago.

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Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention - S11 E24

Jill Seyfred, executive director of Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky, discusses efforts to increase awareness and prevention of child abuse in the state.

  • Thursday November 4, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes - S11 E25

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes talks about her legislative agenda and the new online voter registration portal.

  • Friday November 5, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Connections - S17 E10

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  • Sunday November 14, 2021 8:00 am ET on KETKY
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Crystal Wilkinson - S11 E26

Affrilachian poet and author Crystal Wilkinson talks about her first novel, "The Birds of Opulence", that tackles the issue of mental illness and the plight of the African American female experience in the South.

  • Monday November 8, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Dr. Erin Frazier - S11 E27

Renee's guest is Dr. Erin Frazier, a pediatrician with Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville. She also serves as medical director at Children's Hospital Foundation Office of Child Advocacy and chair of the Partnership to Eliminate Child Abuse. Dr. Frazier discusses coping techniques for parents that can prevent child abuse. She specializes in educating parents and caregivers about the dangers of shaking infants and strategies for dealing with persistent crying babies.

  • Tuesday November 9, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Gretchen Hunt - S11 E28

Renee's guest is Gretchen Hunt, who heads the Office of Victims Advocacy within the Office of the Kentucky Attorney General. She talks about recent legislative successes in protecting women from violent crime. Hunt was a leader in helping to advocate for passage of Kentucky's Human Trafficking Victims Rights Act.

  • Wednesday November 10, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Kishonna Gray - S11 E29

Renee's guest is Dr. Kishonna Gray, assistant professor in the School of Justice Studies at Eastern Kentucky University. She is also the founder and director of the Critical Gaming Lab housed in the School of Justice Studies. Dr. Gray also holds a joint position in Women & Gender Studies and is an affiliate faculty in the African/African-American Studies Program. Her research and teaching interests incorporate an intersecting focus on identity, culture, and new media.

  • Thursday November 11, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Oral Health Care In Kentucky - S11 E30

Renee and her guests Lacey McNary, a health policy consultant and principal of McNary and Associates and Dr. Laura Hancock Jones, a dentist working with the UK College of Dentistry Public Health Division's Western Kentucky Dental Outreach Program and chair of the Kentucky Oral Health Coalition, discuss the state of oral health in Kentucky. Part of KET's "Inside Oral Health Care" initiative, funded in part by a grant from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

  • Friday November 12, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Connections - S17 E11

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Jessie Laine Powell - S11 E31

Lexington-based national recording jazz artist Jessie Laine Powell performs and discusses her new album, "Fill the Void". Powell talks about how her teenage daughter inspired the song, "You're Okay."

  • Monday November 15, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Scott Hesseltine - S11 E32

Scott Hesseltine, vice president of addiction services at Seven Counties Services, discusses new models of treatment to help those with opioid abuse disorders recover. He also talks about a new facility that serves expectant mothers with addiction throughout their pregnancy with wraparound services to get them on the path to recovery. Part of KET's "Inside Opioid Addiction" initiative, funded in part by a grant from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

  • Tuesday November 16, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Dr. Lynne Saddler - S11 E33

Dr. Lynne Saddler, district director of health at the Northern Kentucky Health Department, talks about the heroin epidemic in Northern Kentucky. She discusses current community efforts and the impact of a syringe exchange program. Part of KET's "Inside Opioid Addiction" initiative, funded in part by a grant from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

  • Wednesday November 17, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Fayette County Veterans Treatment Court - S11 E34

Kathy Vasquez, veterans justice outreach specialist, and Elton Terry, recovery coordinator, with the Lexington VA Medical Center, talk about the Fayette County Veterans Treatment Court (FCVTC). The FCVTC program provides court-supervised treatment for veterans as an alternative to incarceration, services and treatments address substance abuse and/or mental health; connection to benefits; and help with housing, employment, and education. Part of KET's "Inside Opioid Addiction" initiative, funded in part by a grant from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

  • Thursday November 18, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Jason Merrick - S11 E35

Jason Merrick, director of inmate addiction services at the Kenton County Detention Center, discusses the inmate drug and alcohol treatment program he launched consisting of counseling sessions, time for inmates to pursue their GED certificates, and attend 12-step programs. Part of KET's "Inside Opioid Addiction" initiative, funded in part by a grant from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

  • Friday November 19, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Connections - S17 E13

  • Sunday November 21, 2021 12:00 pm ET on KET
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Connections - S17 E12

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Kellie Blair Hardt - S11 E5

  • Wednesday October 20, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
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Childhood Cancer - S11 E4

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The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia - Gerald Smith - S11 E3

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Devine Carama - S17 E7

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Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk - S11 E2

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Kinship Care - S10 E46

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Faith Politics - S10 E45

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JoAnne Wheeler Bland - S10 E44

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Andre Taylor - S10 E43

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Rufus Friday - S17 E6

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Aaron Thompson - S17 E5

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Infant Nutrition and Breastfeeding - S10 E42

  • Friday October 8, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
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Cathe Dykstra - Family Scholar House - S10 E41

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  • Thursday October 7, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday October 7, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday October 7, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday October 7, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday October 7, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Gigi Butler - Gigi's Cupcakes - S10 E39

  • Wednesday October 6, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday October 6, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday October 6, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday October 6, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Cathy Zion - Zion Publications LLC - S10 E38

  • Tuesday October 5, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday October 5, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday October 5, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday October 5, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Diabetes Epidemic - S10 E20

  • Friday October 1, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday October 1, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday October 1, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday October 1, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday October 1, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday October 1, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Susan and Morgan Guess - S10 E34

  • Thursday September 30, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday September 30, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday September 30, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday September 30, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday September 30, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday September 30, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Jay Williams - S10 E33

  • Wednesday September 29, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 29, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 29, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 29, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 29, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 29, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Pellom McDaniels - S10 E30

  • Tuesday September 28, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 28, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 28, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 28, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 28, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 28, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Kiley Lane Parker - S10 E29

  • Monday September 27, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 27, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday September 27, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 27, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday September 27, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 27, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Whitney Austin - Reducing Gun Violence - S17 E4

  • Sunday October 3, 2021 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday October 3, 2021 7:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday October 2, 2021 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday October 2, 2021 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 29, 2021 11:30 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday September 29, 2021 10:30 pm CT on KET
  • Wednesday September 29, 2021 6:00 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday September 29, 2021 5:00 pm CT on KET
  • Sunday September 26, 2021 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday September 26, 2021 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday September 26, 2021 12:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday September 26, 2021 11:00 am CT on KET

Kevin Chapman - S10 E28

  • Friday September 24, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 24, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday September 24, 2021 2:11 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 24, 2021 1:11 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday September 24, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 24, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Kendell Nash - ECHO - S10 E27

  • Thursday September 23, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday September 23, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday September 23, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday September 23, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Dorothy Edwards and Diane Fleet - S10 E26

  • Wednesday September 22, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 22, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 22, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 22, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Lois Combs Weinberg - S10 E25

  • Tuesday September 21, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 21, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 21, 2021 2:03 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 21, 2021 1:03 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 21, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 21, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Elaine Chao - S10 E23

  • Monday September 20, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 20, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday September 20, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 20, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday September 20, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 20, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Filmmaker Sarah Burns - S17 E3

  • Sunday September 26, 2021 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday September 26, 2021 7:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday September 25, 2021 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday September 25, 2021 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 22, 2021 6:00 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday September 22, 2021 5:00 pm CT on KET
  • Sunday September 19, 2021 6:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Sunday September 19, 2021 5:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday September 19, 2021 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday September 19, 2021 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday September 19, 2021 12:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday September 19, 2021 11:00 am CT on KET

Charlene Buckles and Dan Wu - S17 E2

  • Sunday September 19, 2021 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday September 19, 2021 7:00 am CT on KETKY
Top

Season 10 Episodes

Kinship Care

S10 E46 Length 29:16 Premiere Date 8.27.15

Faith and Politics

S10 E45 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 8.21.15

Transgender Activist Tells Her Story

S10 E44 Length 28:21 Premiere Date 8.13.15

Advice from Business Guru Andre Taylor

S10 E43 Length 28:06 Premiere Date 8.6.15

Infant Nutrition and Breastfeeding

S10 E42 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 7.30.15

Family Scholar House

S10 E41 Length 28:21 Premiere Date 7.23.15

Supporting Women Artists, Entrepreneurs

S10 E40 Length 28:06 Premiere Date 7.16.15

Gigi Butler and her Cupcake Success

S10 E39 Length 27:22 Premiere Date 7.9.15

Cathy Zion Talks Today's Women

S10 E38 Length 27:11 Premiere Date 7.2.15

Jay Williams and Youngstown

S10 E33 Length 27:31 Premiere Date 5.28.15

Get LIT Kentucky

S10 E32 Length 28:41 Premiere Date 5.21.15

Author Remembers the 'Prince of Jockeys'

S10 E30 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 5.7.15

Kiley Lane Parker Discusses New Film

S10 E29 Length 29:32 Premiere Date 4.30.15

Kevin Chapman Discusses Anxiety Disorders

S10 E28 Length 28:26 Premiere Date 4.23.15

Kendall Nash - ECHO

S10 E27 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 4.16.15

Dorothy Edwards and Diane Fleet

S10 E26 Length 28:00 Premiere Date 4.9.15

Lois Combs Weinberg

S10 E25 Length 27:44 Premiere Date 4.1.15

Elaine Chao

S10 E23 Length 28:41 Premiere Date 3.19.15

Raymond M. Burse

S10 E22 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 2.20.15

Dr. Jay Box

S10 E21 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 2.13.15

Diabetes Epidemic

S10 E20 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 3.26.15

Kentucky Lieutenant Governor Crit Luallen

S10 E19 Length 28:06 Premiere Date 2.6.15

State Senator Gerald Neal

S10 E18 Length 27:31 Premiere Date 1.23.15

Prichard Committee Student Voice Team

S10 E17 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 1.16.15

Mary Gwen Wheeler, 55,000 Degrees

S10 E16 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 1.9.15

Dr. Ralph Alvarado

S10 E15 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 1.2.15

Kentucky DPH Commissioner Dr. Stephanie Mayfield Gibson

S10 E14 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 12.19.14

Sister Helen Prejean

S10 E12 Length 28:00 Premiere Date 11.21.14

Veterans Treatment Court

S10 E11 Length 27:39 Premiere Date 11.18.14

Debbie Millman

S10 E10 Length 28:16 Premiere Date 11.11.14

Viral Infections

S10 E9 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 11.6.14

Bill Farmer

S10 E8 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 10.23.14

Diane Follingstad, Ph.D.

S10 E6 Length 28:11 Premiere Date 10.9.14

Kevin Chapman, Ph.D.

S10 E5 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 10.2.14

Dress for Success Lexington and God's Pantry Food Bank

S10 E4 Length 27:57 Premiere Date 9.29.14

Soreyda Benedit Begley and Chris Begley

S10 E3 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 9.22.14

Bloggers on Personal Development

S10 E2 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 9.13.14

Chris Rabb

S10 E1 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 9.10.14

Explore KET