The military's recent effort to improve soldiers' mental health has reached Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
Some 400 mid-career soldiers at the base's one year professional training school recently heard from a panel of chaplains and behavioral health staff. Lieutenant Colonel Lanier Ward is in charge of academics and says the event marks a new addition to orientation at the school. Ward says he hopes this - along with other new initiatives - will reduce the stigma of asking for help.
Kansas City, Kan. – More people are turning to local sexual and domestic violence programs. KCUR's Elana Gordon reports.
The Kansas Coalition against Sexual and Domestic Violence says requests for services in both rural and metro parts of the state are at an all time high. Johnson County alone last year experienced a twenty percent increase in hotline calls and a ten percent rise in shelter requests.
There are major disparities in the health of Kansans, depending on their race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. That is according to a new report from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Harvard Researcher Dr. David Williams (pictured)led the study, and says racial differences in the rates of stroke, obesity, and infant mortality are particularly alarming.
Kansas City, KS – President Barack Obama signed a bill yesterday expanding the federal State Children's Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP. The move could mean more Kansas children have health insurance, but as KCUR's Elana Gordon reports, the state will have to find more money for its share.
About 40,000 Kansas children are enrolled in the state's health insurance program. State lawmakers approved legislation last year to expand coverage to an additional 8,000 children, as long as Congress agrees to help fund it.
Kansas City, MO – People with mental illnesses, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse issues can easily fall through the cracks in the health care and social services systems. That's according to a new study from the Mid America Regional Council, or MARC. KCUR's Elana Gordon reports.
Kansas City, MO – The economic stimulus package could have effects around the state, bringing in as much as one and half billion dollars to Missouri's Medicaid Program. KCUR's Elana Gordon reports.
The final version of a federal stimulus bill is not clear yet, but both the House and Senate are calling for a temporary increase in funding for Medicaid, the state-run health program for low-income families and people with disabilities.
Kansas City, MO – The flu season is officially underway in Missouri. KCUR's Elana Gordon reports.
The Missouri Department of Health has reported its first confirmed cases of influenza for the current flu season. The department's already received nearly 500 reports of flu from throughout the state, but the two recent ones in Eastern Missouri, mark the state's first cases confirmed by lab tests.
Topeka, KS – Opponents and supporters of a proposed statewide smoking ban are converging on the Kansas capitol this week.
The Senate Health and Welfare Committee is holding its first hearings of the 2009 session on a bill that would ban smoking throughout the state. Republican David Wysong of Mission Hills introduced the bill. He says with the state anticipating a billion dollar deficit, now's a good time to move forward on legislation that could significantly lower state health costs.
Kansas City, MO – The recession is bearing down on everything from factories to schools...even basic medical research. Across the country many research institutes have stopped hiring, but one of the biggest in Kansas City is still looking for help. The Stowers Institute boasts one of the largest medical research endowments in the country. That's helped a lot recently, but it doesn't mean the institute is immune from the national economy. KCUR's Elana Gordon reports.
Kansas City, MO – Smoking has plummeted in Kansas City Missouri, and so has the number of smoking-related deaths.
About a third of all adults living in the Kansas City region smoked cigarettes in 2001. By 2007, the number of smokers had fallen by 25 percent, according to a new report from the Kansas City Missouri Health Department. Dr. Rex Archer is the director there and told a city council committee yesterday the decline has saved many lives.
Kansas City, MO – Area Veterans hospitals are reporting that the number of hospital-acquired staph infections has sharply declined.
The V.A. Medical Center in Wichita says it's cut contagious staph, or MRSA, infections in half since March of 2007. That's when the hospital launched new MRSA prevention protocols. Peggy Hopkins coordinates those efforts and says the V.A. now screens patients for the potentially deadly bacteria when they're admitted, transferred, or discharged from the hospital.
Kansas City, KS – Kansas anti-smoking groups say the state needs to put more money into programs to stop smoking. KCUR's Elana Gordon reports.
180 million dollars. That's what Kansas gets from tobacco settlement money and cigarette taxes. One million of that goes towards programs to prevent smoking and help people quit. A recent study put Kansas 42nd in the nation in its funding for such programs. Mary Jane Hellebust is Director of Tobacco Free Kansas and says the state's not doing enough to lower the number of smokers.
Kansas City, MO – Half of the some 80 nursing homes in the Kansas City area are considered to be far below average. That's based on a new rating system that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid launched yesterday. KCUR's Elana Gordon reports.
Kansas City, KS – The largest city in the metropolitan area without a smoking ban has finally approved one. KCUR's Elana Gordon reports.
The Unified Board of Commissioners has approved a smoking ordinance for Kansas City, Kansas. Rev. Mark Holland is Commissioner of Wyandotte County's first District at Large. He says the new ordinance marks an important step in bringing KCK up to speed with the many other places that have already gone smoke-free. But he says many people are split on the issue.
Kansas City, MO – The federal government recently issued new exercise guidelines. Officials say that in some ways, they're easier to meet than prior guidelines. But for many Kansans and Missourians, several obstacles stand in the way of following them. KCUR's Elana Gordon reports.
Kansas City, MO – Services at the city's mental health court will soon be expanding. Kansas City is one of ten places in the nation to recently receive a $200,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. KCUR's Elana Gordon reports.
Kansas City, MO – Over half of the inmates at the city jail have been imprisoned there at least three times before. Local corrections and community leaders say that's in large part due to untreated mental illness and substance abuse. But a new program at the Municipal Correctional Institution, or MCI, aims to break that cycle. KCUR's Elana Gordon has more.
Kansas City, MO – A new exhibit called Dialog in the Dark is now open at Union Station. Organizers say it's unlike anything visitors have ever experienced before. That's even though there's really not that much to look at. KCUR's Elana Gordon reports.
Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.
Kansas City, MO – Leaders from regional hospitals, insurance companies, and other health care organizations are stepping up their efforts to improve the nation's health care system. KCUR's Elana Gordon reports.
Bill Bruning of the Mid-America Coalition on Health Care says area stakeholders share a general goal when it comes to health reform.
Bruning: There's no question - there must be basic health care coverage - and I don't think America at large disagrees with that as well.
Kansas City, MO – Breast Cancer is on the decline in Missouri. But while the gap is narrowing between African Americans and Whites for overall cancer diagnoses, the mortality rate for African Americans with breast cancer remains higher. That's according to new information from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. KCUR's Elana Gordon reports.
Kansas City, Mo. – Kansas City area backers of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama are touting his health insurance plan after the second-presidential debate donnybrook with the GOP's John McCain. In a park across from Hospital Hill and Childrens' Mercy Hospital, volunteers for Obama brought Lees Summit Surgeon Kelvin Walls to tell why he thinks his candidates plan will work. He believes more people will seek treatment sooner, thus preventing need for more critical care and ultimately, the heath care system will save money. In Wall's words,
Kansas City, MO – Flu clinics throughout the metro are now open. That's amid new national vaccine recommendations. KCUR's Elana Gordon reports.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now advising that anyone between six months and eighteen years of age get a flu shot. That's opposed to the previous recommendation that only kids up to the age of five get it.
Over at the Kansas City Health Department, the immunization clinic is already busy.
Kansas City, MO – The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services currently reports that one out of every three Missouri children is overweight. But area Head Start programs are now rolling out a new curriculum in order to address that. KCUR's Elana Gordon has more.
Kansas City, MO – Richard Gist is Principal Assistant to the Director of the Kansas City Missouri Fire Department. He developed the Citizen Assist Program, which is a joint project between the KCMO Fire Department and the Visiting Nurse Association.
It helps people who call 9-1-1 connect with various social and medical services, and Gist says it's the only program in the country to provide such services through referrals from a city's emergency response system.