Tackling the skyrocketing problem of heroin is still on the front burner for Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and area lawmakers.
A study released in November said drug overdose deaths have quadrupled in Kentucky since 1999 and now the number is higher than all other states except for West Virginia and New Mexico. Northern Kentucky is seeing more emergency room visits from overdoses and more people dying from overdoses.
Oxford's McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital says it's exploring affiliation options with Mercy Health.
The hospital's Board of Directors voted Thursday to move forward with the process. It had been considering affiliation options since October 2012. The Board says it will enter exclusive discussions with Mercy leaders to craft the partnership. The process is projected to take six to eight months.