Health

KCUR's health team focuses on health issues and their impact in Missouri and Kansas. Working with journalists at other public media stations and news outlets, reporters Dan Margolies and Alex Smith strive to bring listeners and readers timely, accurate and comprehensive coverage of a topic that leaves no one untouched.

If the baby isn't sleeping, it's likely you aren't either. Today, we learn how your own habits can affect your child's nighttime routine. Then, how symptoms and treatment of headaches can differ between kids and adults. 

America's Health Rankings/United Health Foundation

Kansas was the only state where the obesity rate went up significantly in 2015, according to an annual report, and state officials are trying to figure out why and how to reverse the trend.

The state also lagged on vaccination rates and remained stuck in the middle on overall health, according to the America’s Health Rankings Report, which was released Thursday.

Adam Piotrowski / Flickr--CC

Donations to the Community Blood Center of Greater Kansas City always drop off around the holidays, but lower-than-expected collections last month have led to a shortage.

“We try to collect more blood in anticipation of those days off, and we usually do OK,” says Executive Director David Graham. “But we had more of a challenge this year than normal. November is traditionally a strong month of blood collections for us, and it wasn’t quite as strong this year.”

It's been three weeks since the election, and public reactions are still hot. Today, Kansas City's own David Von Drehle, editor-at-large for Time magazine, treads the political aftermath.

Megan Wingerter / Heartland Health Monitor

It isn’t far from the gleaming bank buildings and high-end hotels to the rent-to-own stores and corner shops that stock more chips than fruit.

A visitor getting off the highway in downtown Kansas City, Kansas, would pass by a Hilton Garden Inn and several high-rise buildings bearing the names of financial companies.

Listen to Jerry Jones, executive director of the Community Health Council of Wyandotte County, talk about the Kirwan report

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

First, a recollection of the Chief's overtime victory over the Broncos Sunday night. Then, a look at an agency that settled a case last month involving charges of illegal kickback payments, but is still doing business with the state of Kansas. Finally, Author Candice Millard recounts the adventures of a young Winston Churchill as detailed in her latest book.

American Psychological Association

On November 8, Missouri voters will decide on Constitutional Amendment 2. If passed, it would limit campaign contributions and, proponents say, the political sway of big-money donors. Also, if you think you're the only one getting stressed out by the presidential election, think again.

The history of brewing beer in KC, then a look at healthcare in KC's music community.

Guests:

Paul Andrews

When Emmaline Twist debuted earlier this year, the self-described "post-punk shoegaze" quartet was embraced by area indie-rock tastemakers. The seasoned members of Emmaline Twist were previously in bands including the Latenight Callers, Onward Crispin Glover and the Silver Maggies.

3 reasons we're listening to Emmaline Twist this week:

A handler and a hog compete for the blue ribbon at the 2013 Colorado State Fair.
file: Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

Showing livestock at the county fair can be a great source of pride for a youngster in farm country. It can also be a source of a novel flu virus capable of starting a pandemic.

According to new findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 18 people – 16 of them children – tested positive for strains of influenza never before seen in humans after attending agricultural fairs in Ohio and Michigan in August of this year.

Late October is a time for matchups, showdowns and playoffs of all sports. We continue our series on childhood development with some tips for keeping your kid-athletes in the game by avoiding repetitive motion stress and burn-out. Also, Bill Brownlee introduces Berwanger in this week's Local Listen.

First, the Ethics Professors decide whether complaining about politics without casting a vote is something to feel guilty about, and discuss the morals of disclosing Donald Trump's old tax returns without his permission. Finally, Brian McTavish gives us a rundown of the latest Weekend To-Do List.

We're used to mosquito bites here in the Midwest, but if you've found yourself intensely scratching a single, long-lasting bite for weeks, you've probably been bitten by the oak mite. The science behind these pesky critters that have made Kansas City their home, plus, another peek into nature with a writer who sowed his ideas in his gardens.

Guests:

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

It may sound strange, but people with Parkinson’s disease are stepping into boxing rings to help combat their symptoms. They aren’t throwing uppercuts for a shot at a title, but experts say they are winning an improved quality of life, and so are their families.

Perhaps the most famous person to have the disease was former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali. Dr. Stanley Fischer told Up To Date host Steve Kraske that the ultimate cause of Parkinson's is probably a combination of "bad genes, bad luck and wear and tear."

Meet the young woman who runs a boxing program just for people with Parkinson's and the neurologist who explains how specific boxing movements can improve the quality of life for those with the disease.

Guests: 

Water is life — you drink it, cook with it and even shower in it — but unregulated runoff from farms and business can pose a threat to keeping it clean. A new series from Harvest Public Media, based at KCUR, looks at the conditions of water in Kansas City and throughout the Midwest.

Guests:

When children get headaches, it can be difficult for them  to understand or express what's bothering them. It can be equally challenging as a parent to decide on the appropriate action to take.

Guests:

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.

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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

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