Health

Health
5:21 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Child Well-Being Rankings Put Missouri In Middle, Kansas In Top Third

Kansas ranked 15th nationwide in the latest Kids Count assessment by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Missouri ranked 29th.
Credit Ian D. Keating / Flickr -- Creative Commons

 

The Annie E. Casey Foundation, a child advocacy group, released its annual Kids Count report on Tuesday, and Kansas ranked 15th overall and Missouri 29th. The report assesses overall child well-being based on four broad categories: economic well-being, education, health, and family and community.

Both Kansas and Missouri saw their indicators for education and health improve while their indicators for economic well-being and family and community mostly worsened.

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Health
3:41 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Ruling Could Make Health Insurance Unaffordable For Thousands Of Kansas, Missouri Consumers

Thousands of Missourians and Kansans could lose their health insurance subsidies if a federal appeals court ruling is allowed to stand.
Credit David Goehring / Flickr -- Creative Commons

 

Conflicting federal court rulings are raising questions about whether consumers in Kansas and Missouri will continue to be eligible for subsidies when purchasing private health insurance through the federal insurance exchange.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said Tuesday that only consumers purchasing coverage through state-operated marketplaces are eligible for federal tax credits.

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Health
9:22 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Hub Key To Sustaining Local Food Movement In Northeast Kansas

Scott Thellman shares information about produce from Juniper Hill Farms during a visit to the Community Mercantile in Lawrence. Thellman and his staff grow organic vegetables and and hay, alfalfa and other grains at the farm north of Lawrence.
Credit Juniper Hill Farms

The now well-established local food movement in and around the university community of Lawrence is in danger of stalling unless a concerted effort is made to expand its reach beyond an already committed group of consumers and build more demand for locally grown or produced fruits, vegetables and meats.

RELATED: Local Food Movement Thriving On The High Plains Of Kansas 

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Health
8:54 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Local Food Movement Thriving On The High Plains Of Kansas

From left, Leon Atwell, Chris Schmidt, Chris Sramek and Jolene and Angela Singhateh of the High Plains Food Coop plan a delivery route from Becky’s Bierocks in St. Francis to a distribution site in Denver. The coop, which began taking orders in spring 2008, has seen a steady increase in sales and customers and the number of farmers in western Kansas and eastern Colorado who are members.
Credit High Plains Food Coop

 

Thanks to early interest shown by chefs and small-scale area farmers, Douglas County, home of the University of Kansas, developed into one of the pioneer locations for the U.S. local food movement, which has been steadily gaining in popularity over the past 15 to 20 years.

Interest in local food is now so entrenched there that a recent consultant’s report concluded that the movement was at risk of stalling as it has become “relatively mature” with “well-established demand across a fairly broad spectrum of markets.”

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Health
7:08 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

KU Docs Say Proposed Cure For Transplant Waits Would Make Local Patients Sicker

Dr. Timothy Schmitt, left, and Dr. Sean Kumer perform a liver transplant at KU Hospital.
Credit University of Kansas Hospital

When Steve Jobs needed a liver transplant in 2009, the Apple CEO left California and went to Memphis, Tenn. While his home state has some of the longest waiting lists in the country for donated livers, Tennessee has some of the shortest.

Many health advocates point to Jobs’ story as an example of the harsh disparities faced by those who need new livers in different parts of the country.

Plans are in the works to fix those disparities, but some Kansas City doctors worry about what a shake-up would mean for local hospitals and patients.

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Health
3:35 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Firing Up Urban Teens About Med School

Cito Vickers, a junior at East High School in Kansas City, Mo., practiced his bedside manner with a patient simulator during KCUMB's Med Student for a Day program.
Credit Todd Feeback / Hale Center for Journalism at KCPT

Shannon North can preach her heart out that her students' aspirations are achievable and that advanced education is attainable.

And she does just that, as the college and career facilitator at Hogan Preparatory Academy in Kansas City, Mo. The charter school, at 1221 E. Meyer Blvd., has a student population where virtually all the attendees come from families with incomes low enough to qualify them for a free or reduced-price lunch.

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Health
9:28 am
Mon July 21, 2014

White House Study: Kansas Losing Money, Jobs Without Medicaid Expansion

This map from the White House Council of Economic Advisors shows which states have expanded Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act.
Credit Council of Economic Advisors / Executive Office of the President of the United States

A study released earlier this month by the White House Council of Economic Advisers says the decision not to expand Medicaid is costing Kansas millions of dollars and thousands of jobs.

According to the study, Kansas is passing up $820 million over the next three years by choosing not to expand Medicaid eligibility. The federal government would pay for nearly all of the cost of the expansion, which would add as many as 100,000 Kansans to the state’s Medicaid rolls.

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Infant Mortality
4:34 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Infant Mortality In Black Community Down But Still High

Dr. O'Conner of the UMKC school of nursing and Dr. Cai of the Kansas City Health Department answer questions about infant mortality rates in Kansas City.
Credit Anne Biswell / Mother & Child Health Coalition

Although the fetal and infant mortality rate in the Kansas City metropolitan area's black community is about double that of the white population, it has dropped dramatically since 2008.

That was the news delivered on Friday at a community forum on infant deaths in Kansas City hosted by the Mother & Child Health Coalition. The forum, at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center, was attended by dozens of nurses, doctors and public health workers.

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Health
8:32 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Merriam First City In Midwest To Adopt New Wheelchair-Accessible Icon

Merriam will change its wheelchair-accessible signs from the International Symbol of Access, on the left, to the Accessible Icon Project's symbol on the right.
Credit Wikipedia, Accessible Icon Project

Merriam has become the first city in the Midwest to adopt a more contemporary version of the wheelchair-accessible icon. At a town hall meeting Monday night, the city council voted unanimously to replace the old icon, which has been in use since 1968.

“I have to give the city council credit for that because they believed in that and they wanted to welcome disabled people into the community," says Al Frisby, the councilman who proposed the change after a friend, Finn Bullers, called the new icon to his attention.

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Health
2:33 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Missouri Becomes Third State To Enact 'Right To Try' Drug Law

Credit Steve Smith / Flickr--CC

Missouri residents who have exhausted conventional disease cures will have access to experimental drugs under legislation signed on Monday by Gov. Jay Nixon.

The so-called Right to Try legislation gives patients and their doctors the ability to procure drugs that have yet to gain approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration if the pharmaceutical manufacturer agrees to provide the product.

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Health
9:59 am
Tue July 15, 2014

WIC Program Stresses Benefits Of Breastfeeding

Nearly half the babies born in Kansas are enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutritional Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), a long-standing federal initiative aimed at making sure low- and modest-income families have access to healthy foods.

“We serve about 49 percent of the babies born in the state,” says Martha Hagen, an administrator at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. “But we also have pregnant women, women who are six months postpartum and children under age 5.”

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Health
9:53 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Wesley Medical Center Seeks 'Baby-Friendly' Designation

In Kansas, no other hospital has done more to help and encourage new mothers to breastfeed their babies than Wesley Medical Center in Wichita.

It’s the only hospital in the state that’s in the final phase of a four-phase process for being designated a Baby-Friendly Facility by the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, a project of the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund.

RELATED: Advocates, Hospitals Unite To Raise Kansas Breastfeeding Rate

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Health
7:31 am
Tue July 15, 2014

US News & World Report Ranks KU Hospital In 12 Specialties

Good news for the University of Kansas Hospital: For the fifth year in a row, U.S. News & World Report has named it “The Best Hospital in Kansas City” and for the third year in a row “The Best Hospital in Kansas.”

Even better news for the hospital: For the first time, KU was listed in all 12 adult specialties pegged to mortality rates, reputation, safety and other factors.

“I’m not from Kansas, but I’m so proud to be here,” says KU Hospital President and CEO Bob Page. “I’m on cloud nine.”

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Measles
6:07 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Four More Cases of Measles Confirmed in Wichita Area

Four new cases of measles have been confirmed in Sedgwick County, Kan.
Credit Zaldylmg / Flickr -- Creative Commons

Four more cases of measles in Sedgwick County, Kan., were reported over the weekend, bringing the number of confirmed cases in the area to six people: four adults, two of whom were not vaccinated, and two infants who were too young to be vaccinated.

The new cases bring the total number of confirmed cases in Kansas this year to nine. 

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Health
5:32 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Advocates, Hospitals Unite To Raise Kansas Breastfeeding Rate

Lori Peltier, a nurse at Stormont-Vail HealthCare, offers breastfeeding advice to parents of newborns, like Amanda Stice, left, with her 1-week-old daughter Rory. Stormont-Vail and other Kansas hospitals are working to adopt five principles that have been found to increase breastfeeding rates.
Credit Susie Fagan / KHI News Service

Across Kansas, breastfeeding advocates are encouraging hospitals to revamp how they handle moms, babies and visitors after childbirth.

Dozens of studies have shown that breastfed babies grow up healthier than those reared on formula or cow’s milk. Breastfed babies’ immune systems are stronger. They have fewer allergies, fewer ear infections and less diarrhea. Their incidents of asthma, Type 2 diabetes, obesity and sudden infant death syndrome are significantly reduced.

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Health
8:12 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Kansas Health Officials Hope To Contain Measles Outbreak

State and local health officials are trying to contain a measles outbreak that started in May in the Kansas City area, and has since spread to Wichita.

Six of those are in the Wichita area. The four newest cases are all linked to Sal's Japanese Steakhouse, in Wichita. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment says an employee of the restaurant was connected to the outbreak in Kansas City. Two other employees also became infected later.

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Health
3:20 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Kansas Official: No Backlog In Processing Of Medicaid Applications

A Kansas state official insists there’s no backlog of Medicaid applications in the state, saying federal concerns have more to do with state and government computer systems not sharing information with each other.

Sara Belfry, a spokesperson for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, said all of the state’s Medicaid applications are being processed within the 45-day period that’s allowed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

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Health
4:09 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Hundreds Learn Mental Health First Aid At City-Wide Training Events

Warren and Eyvette Carter follow mental health first-aid lessons taught by Cadi Sanchez.
Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

At the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center on Thursday afternoon, Eyvette Carter struggled to carry on a basic conversation with her husband, Warren.

She was distracted in no small part by Karl Chaney whispering in her ear.

“Don’t trust him. Is he looking at you? Why would he want to talk to you?” Chaney said.

The group was taking part in an auditory hallucination simulation, designed to demonstrate the experience of a psychotic episode.

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Health
3:42 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Missouri Creates Unique Medical Classification: Assistant Physician

Assistant physicians will be allowed to practice primary care in rural and underserved parts of Missouri.
Credit Adrian Clark / Flickr--CC

 

Missouri now boasts a new category of medical licensee: assistant physicians.

Despite strong opposition from some healthcare groups, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon on Thursday signed into law a measure that would allow medical school graduates who have not completed residencies – or even obtained medical licenses — to practice medicine.

Nixon, however, issued signing statements warning of the need for additional safeguards to ensure that patients are not placed in jeopardy.

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Health
2:40 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Dental Funds For The Poor Caught In Missouri Budget Battle

Medical experts, including professionals at the Mayo Clinic, argue that good oral health goes beyond caring for teeth and gums.
Credit Byrle Gross

Roughly $18 million that would restore basic dental benefits for hundreds of thousands of low-income Missouri adults is in limbo because of a sweeping budget action by Gov. Jay Nixon.

Acting under what he termed his constitutional duty to balance the state budget, Nixon late last month restricted or vetoed approximately $1.1 billion in spending for the fiscal year that began July 1.

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Health
2:22 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Feds Demand Medicaid Backlog Fixes In Kansas

Kaiser Health News 

Tired of waiting for states to reduce their backlogs of Medicaid applications, the Obama administration has given Kansas and five other states until Monday to submit plans to resolve issues that have prevented more than 1 million low-income or disabled people from getting health coverage.

Besides Kansas, the targeted states are Alaska, California, Michigan, Missouri and Tennessee.

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Up To Date
6:00 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Delirium Tremens Changed Views On 19th Century Alcoholism

Imagine watching a group of men mutilate the body of your mother.  This is what poet Edgar Allan Poe experienced as a hallucination brought on by alcohol-induced delirium tremens, DT’s.  On this edition of Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with historian Matthew Osborn to discover how this condition, first described in 1813, was the catalyst for changing how the medical profession diagnosed and treated the problems of alcohol abuse.

Guest:

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Health
10:41 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Brady Group Sues Over Kansas Law Voiding Federal Gun Rules

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence is challenging a Kansas law, titled the “Second Amendment Protection Act,” which exempts all guns manufactured in Kansas that haven’t left the state from federal gun control laws.
Credit Wikipedia -- CC

A national gun control group on Wednesday challenged the constitutionality of a Kansas law that nullifies federal gun laws in the state.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Kansas City, Kan., The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence alleges the law’s provisions are “unconstitutional on their face under long-standing, fundamental legal principles.”

“Neither the Kansas legislature, nor any state legislature, is empowered to declare federal law ‘invalid,’ or to criminalize the enforcement of federal law,” the complaint asserts.

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Central Standard
11:23 am
Tue July 8, 2014

The Strengths And Weaknesses Of Sibling Relationships

Kids can be really loving, but they can also fight like cats and dogs.
Credit Ken Wilcox / Flickr, Creative Commons

The bonds and battles between siblings are unique and long-lasting. For some people, their brother or sister is the most treasured person in their life; others can't spend an hour in the same room together. On Monday's Central Standard, we discuss the psychology of these lifelong relationships. 

Guest:

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Health
11:18 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Some Veterans May Lose Needed Health Care If VA Pilot Program In Kansas Ends

Hugh Steadman, a World War II veteran who lives in Great Bend, Kan., used to have to drive two hours to the Veterans Affairs medical center in Wichita, pictured here. That commute shortened to 10 minutes when a pilot program paid for him to see a doctor in Great Bend.
Credit Wikimedia -- CC

 

A pilot program in Kansas allowing veterans who live far from Veterans Affairs hospitals to get care from local doctors may end, threatening veterans like Hugh Steadman with the cutoff of needed medical care.

Steadman, who flew combat missions over Germany as a bombardier during World War II, lives in Great Bend. He used to have to drive two hours to the VA medical center in Wichita, a trip that was getting more difficult for him to make.

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Up To Date
5:07 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Baby Boomers Hold The Highest Rate Of Suicide, Especially in Kansas

Trends in Suicide Rates* Among Persons Ages 25–64 Years, Both Sexes, by Age Group, United States, 1991–2009
Credit Centers for Disease Control

There are 76 million Americans who were born between the mid-40s and the mid-60s. The Baby Boomers have much of the wealth, much of the power, much of the responsibility in our nation today. But, they also now have the highest suicide rate among all age groups. Guest host Brian Ellison talks with Kansas City Star reporter Rick Montgomery about this alarming statistic and how the rate in Kansas has skyrocketed in the last few years.

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Health
3:48 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Rural Kansas Hospital Bolsters Recruitment By Enticing 'Missionary' Doctors

Kearny County Hospital CEO Benjamin Anderson has been to Zomba, Zimbabwe five times in the past four years doing medical mission work. He is pictured here with one of the children from the village.
Credit Tim Walter

Although 25 percent of Americans still live in rural areas, only 10 percent of doctors do, according to the National Rural Health Association, and finding physicians and other medical professionals willing to work in the hinterlands remains a serious, growing problem in Kansas and other parts of the United States.

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Health
3:27 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

KU Medical Center Tests Promising Alzheimer's Drug As Part Of Trial

Dr. Jeffrey Burns uses a PET scan to screen patients for an international drug trial.
Credit Stefani Fontana / KCUR

It’s a form of dementia that afflicts as many as 5.2 million people in the United States. It has no cure.

And as the population ages, the number of people afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease is expected to quadruple over the next 35 years, according to a study from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

That means that by 2050, 1 in 85 people will be living with the disease.

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Health
3:50 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Two Cases Of Rare Chikungunya Virus Diagnosed In Kansas

Two adults in Sedgwick County, Kan., in the south-central part of the state, have been diagnosed with a rare virus after returning from separate trips to the Caribbean.

The mosquito-borne chikungunya virus can result in joint pain and weakness that may last for years, but Kansas health officials say local transmission is highly unlikely.

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Health
5:01 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Medical Groups Clash Over Missouri Bill Creating New Class of Health Provider

Missouri legislators have approved a plan creating a new class of health provider to address the shortage of physicians in rural areas.
Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

Over a fifth of Missourians, especially those who live in rural areas, don't have adequate access to doctors, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Now the state Legislature has approved a plan to address the problem by creating a new kind of health occupation.

The first such plan in the country, it has pitted health providers against one another amid concerns about its effect on the health of patients and the dilution of professional standards.

Medically underserved

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