health

Building a community isn’t easy; people and ideas may be the brick and mortar, but what are the tools? Fortunately, KU has narrowed that down to a toolkit — a website with resources to teach skills that improve the health and wellbeing of society. 

Guests:

Danny Danko / Flickr -- Creative Commons

Organizers are closing in on their goal of collecting 2,300 signatures to get marijuana decriminalization on the November ballot in Kansas City. 

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws' Kansas City branch (NORML KC) has been gathering signatures since June.

Dan Margolies / Heartland Health Monitor

Since the Affordable Care Act took effect, Wyandotte County has seen the number of its uninsured fall from 26 percent to 18 percent, one of the biggest drops in the country.

But it’s one thing to boast of boosting the ranks of the insured, another to steer them through a complicated and, at times, bewildering health care system.

With a $1.9 million grant from the United Health Foundation, announced today by county officials at the offices of the Community Health Council of Wyandotte County, the county is now in a better position to do that.

Alyson Raletz / KCUR

Legendary KCUR and Kansas City radio reporter Dan Verbeck recently had a brush with death. With the help of his speedy arrival at the hospital, and the medical team's use of a technique called "therapeutic hypothermia," he was revived from a near fatal heart attack.

We hear Dan's story from his perspective, and then we hear from his doctor about the medical advances that allowed this to happen.

Guests:

Plenty of parents know the struggle of dealing with a toddler or teenager who hasn't slept well, but few realize their own habits could be affecting their child's rest. On today's program, we explore when it's time to worry about your kid's nighttime routine.

Guests:

  • Dr. Kevin Smith is a clinical psychologist who works in pediatric sleep medicine at Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics.
  • Dr. Natasha Burgert is pediatrician at Pediatric Associates Kansas City.

Kansas City is in the running for a $500,000 prize to make the metro healthier. We were selected due to the efforts of Aim4Peace, a group that seeks to proactively reduce violent crime through its guiding philosophy — violence is a disease that spreads and contracts just like sicknesses do.

Guests:

KIDS COUNT/aecf.org

Both Kansas and Missouri stayed in the middle tier of states in the new KIDS COUNT survey released Tuesday, but Kansas had the third-largest drop in child well-being ratings in the nation.

Overall, Kansas fell from 15th place last year to 19th.  Missouri slipped from 26th to 28th. 

Health scores improved for Missouri kids but slid 11 places for Kansas. 

Missouri came up three positions on economic well-being, Kansas held steady at No. 9.

While the call of a cool pool is strong during our hot Midwestern summers, staying safe in and around bodies of water is paramount. Swimming lessons for the kids is a big help, but a supervisor who knows how to respond in the event of a submersion injury could save a life.

Guests:

Some seniors in Kansas benefit from programs that allow them to stay in their homes. Now, with state budget cuts, waiting lists are cropping up for those services. This, despite the harsh reality that the state saves money, and lots of it, if seniors can remain in their own residences instead of a nursing home.

Guest:

  We explore the issues related to infertility: Why is there a stigma attached to it, and how some women — and men — are creating communities where they're safe to open up.

Guests:

 

Health officials say about 30 children in Saline County have elevated levels of lead in their blood.

Jason Tiller, director of the Saline County Health Department, says more cases could be discovered as public awareness of the health threat grows.

Is autism a culture, a disability ... or maybe both? We explore the community around autism, and if that “disability” is truly disabling.

Guests:

 

Miguel Calderon / courtesy University Daily Kansan

In July 2017, a Kansas law that permits concealed carry in state hospitals and universities takes effect. We explore the idea of safety in places of healing and learning.

Guests:

  • Reinheld Janzen, Professor Emerita of Art History at Washburn University
  • Miguel Calderon, recent KU graduate
Pat Hook

NPR, Harvard University and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation partnered to survey Americans last year about their perceptions of health care.

America's Health Rankings

Kansas parents do a better-than-average job at getting vaccinations for their young children but don’t fare as well once those children reach their teen years.

That’s according to a report from the United Health Foundation showing about 77 percent of Kansas children had received their recommended sequence of shots by age 3, placing the state in the top 10 for on-time vaccinations. Nationwide, about 72 percent of kids had finished their early vaccines on time. 

Creative Commons-Pixabay

A company looking to develop three fast-food chain restaurants in Kansas City, Kansas, hopes to tap a newly created economic development fund created recently by the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas.

Wyandotte County, of course, is the same area that consistently shows up at or near the bottom of surveys ranking health outcomes. Unified Government leaders have launched a variety of ambitious initiatives to reverse those metrics, so the question of whether they should help fund the fast-food proposal is of more than economic interest.

File photo

A “mega-bill” containing several provisions related to licensure of medical professionals survived a rules dispute to pass just before the Kansas Legislature adjourned early Monday morning.

Unless Gov. Sam Brownback vetoes the bill, the conference committee report combined in House Bill 2615 will require acupuncturists to be licensed, enter Kansas into a compact that will license physicians to practice across state lines and expand the authority of nurse midwives.

Health Care Cost Institute

Kansas City-area residents needing a knee replacement might find it worthwhile to drive to St. Louis.

That’s because the average price of the procedure in the KC area is $26,601. In the St. Louis area, it’s $23,114 – a $3,487 difference.

On the other hand, the average cost of an ultrasound in metro St. Louis is $375. That compares with $271 in metro Kansas City, a $74 difference.

United Health Foundation

More than a quarter of adult Kansans say they don’t have any of five major behavioral risk factors for chronic disease, but the picture isn’t so rosy for minorities, men or people with lower incomes.

A recent report from the United Health Foundation examined the percentage of adults with five unhealthy behaviors: smoking, excessive drinking, insufficient sleep, physical inactivity and obesity.

For those who suffer from food allergies, limiting certain foods can be a matter of life or death. Even though we’ve come a long way in understanding these allergies, more children are being diagnosed with them.

Guests:

  • Dr. Chitra Dinakar is a pediatric allergy & immunology physician at Children’s Mercy Hospital. She’s also a professor of pediatrics at the UMKC School of Medicine.
  • Dr. Natasha Burgert is with Pediatric Associates of Kansas City.

Martin Shkreli made headlines when his company raised the price of a decades-old drug more than 5000%.  That's an extreme example of the rising cost of prescription drugs.  We look at others and the reasons that many patients are unable to afford the medicines they need.

Guests:

University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute

Health is deteriorating in many rural counties while improving in many urban ones in Kansas and Missouri. But Kansas City’s innermost urban counties – Jackson and Wyandotte – continue to struggle, according to new annual county health rankings from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. Alex Smith spoke with University of Wisconsin-Madison researcher Kate Konkle, who was one of the report’s researchers.

Courtesy Bonyen Lee-Gilmore

The Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday about a controversial Texas law that imposes strict requirements on health clinics that provide abortions. The law requires doctors to have admitting privileges at local hospitals and meet ambulatory surgical standards.

The case is hugely consequential for abortion providers in Kansas and Missouri because both states have similarly restrictive laws.

A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that prevalence of human papillomavirus has been dropping since the vaccine was recommended a decade ago. Yet nationally in adolescents, four out of 10 girls and six out of 10 boys haven’t had it. 

Guests:

  • Dr. Barbara Pahud specializes in pediatric infectious diseases at Children’s Mercy Hospital.
  • Dr. Natasha Burgert is a physician with Pediatric Associates of Kansas City. 

 Kansas is seeking a renewal of the Medicaid waiver for its KanCare program. As the federal government decides whether to grant the waiver, we discuss  future ideas to streamline the program and how well it provides healthcare for the most vulnerable Kansans. 

Guests:

  • Tim Wood is director of the Community Developmental Disabilities Organization for Johnson County.
  • Kari Bruffett is the policy director for the Kansas Health Institute.
  • Dan Margolies is KCUR's Health Editor.

Since the 1950s, injuries have replaced infectious diseases as the biggest threat to children's health. Most of these injuries, however, are easily preventable. 

  • Dr. Dale Elizabeth Jarka is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at The Children’s Mercy Hospital.
Alex Smith / Heartland Health Monitor

At her home studio in Westwood, Kansas, yoga instructor Marilyn Pace leads a class of 5-to-8-year olds. With the help of songs, games and other kid-friendly teaching methods, she guides her small students through poses like the cobra, the triangle and the downward-facing dog.

Tatjana Alvegard takes her daughter, Kaya, to Pace’s classes regularly.

“I played sports when I was a kid, and I think it’s really important. It makes for a good, healthy adult if you learn discipline and you learn it’s good to take care of your body,” Alvegard says.

Alex Smith / Heartland Health Monitor

On a Sunday morning, New Bethel Church in Kansas City, Kansas, comes alive with the sounds of worship as a full gospel choir and band bring hundreds of congregants to their feet.

At the center of the action, guitarist Clarence Taylor sits with his eyes lowered, strumming angelic-sounding chords. Taylor has a sound that would put a lot of hot-shot guitarists to shame, but he doesn’t claim the talent for himself. He says it’s a divine gift.

“I don’t know the notes,” Taylor says. “I can just pick it up. Sometimes it amazes me.”

News about the Zika virus has been spreading alarm across the globe. The virus is of special concern because of a rare birth defect it’s believed to cause. The Centers For Disease Control is warning pregnant women not to travel to affected countries. 

Guests:

The investigation into the outbreak of the norovirus at New Theatre Restaurant has expanded. More than 390 people have reported illness after attending shows on January 17th. Sara Belfrey, of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment gives us the latest details. 

Pages