Health

Up to Date
6:00 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Vitamins: Helpful or Hurtful?

Steve Kraske talks with Dr. Jeannie Drisko about what vitamins are best for you.
Credit colindunn/flickr-CC

Bright labels make bold claims, "70 percent of your daily calcium" and "your daily dose of fruit and vegetables!" but how beneficial are these nutrient-packed pills to your overall health?

On Tuesday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with Dr. Jeannie Drisko about the pros and cons of vitamins to learn which ones to keep on the shelf and which ones to toss out.  Arwen Zigmond-McBroom, a supplement specialist at Nature's Own Health Food, also weighs in on the latest vitamin trends.

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Health
4:49 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Ford-UAW Test Could Affect KC Worker Health Care

Credit Dan Verbeck / KCUR

Ford Motor and the United Auto Workers Union today rolled out a pilot health care program that might ultimately affect  workers at the Kansas City Claycomo Assembly Plant.

The program would help the chronically ill and was also expected to reduce health care costs.

Ford, the union and the union’s retiree health care trust revealed the program at the company’s Dearborn, Michigan headquarters.

If it works in Michigan, Ford’s head of labor affairs Marty Mulloy said it could be used in places like Kansas City or Louisville, which have larger numbers of retirees. 

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Health
11:48 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Mark Bittman Visits KC, Offers Alternatives To 'Big Food'

Popular food writer Mark Bittman took the pulpit at the Unity Temple in Kansas City Thursday night, preaching his gospel of progressive food policy and offering denunciations of what he calls “Big Food.”

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Health
11:38 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Children's Center Announces $2.3M Grant To Expand Trauma Programs

Credit PraveenbenK / Flickr--CC

The Crittenton Children’s Center Friday announced it was receiving a major grant to help preschool-aged children cope with trauma.

In front of a crowd of around 200 health professionals at the Kaufmann Foundation, Crittenton CEO Janine Hron said that the Center will be able to expand its Head Start – Trauma Smart program thanks to a $2.3 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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Health
8:09 am
Tue June 18, 2013

Springfield Hospital Uses Leeches To Treat Patients

Mercy Springfield Hospital occasionally uses leeches to treat patients.
Credit OaklyOriginals/Flickr--CC

A medical procedure that goes back thousands of years is enjoying a resurgence: leeching. The segmented worms are used primarily in microsurgeries like limb reattachments and plastic surgery.

At the Mercy Springfield pharmacy in Springfield, MO leeches are kept in a jar in a refrigerator.

Leeches are classified as medical devices by the US Food and Drug Administration and about 20 medical grade leeches that are kept in case they’re needed, which is usually once or twice a year.

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Health
8:22 am
Mon June 17, 2013

UMKC Starts Physician Assistant Degree Program

The UMKC School of Medicine will start accepting applications for a new physician assistant master's degree program. This follows the governor recently signing a bill that would allow physician assistants to operate more independently.

Under the law signed by Gov. Jay Nixon last month, physician assistants in Missouri will only need to be supervised by a physician four hours for every 14 days on the job. Previously, they needed to be supervised two thirds of their time.

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Health
7:54 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Supreme Court Says Human Genes Can't Be Patented

An illustration of the human genome.
Credit Wikimedia -- Creative Commons

The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that segments of naturally-occurring human genes cannot be patented. The ruling may change the focus of genomic research, but it won't stop it.

Professor Andrew Torrance specializes in biotechnology patent law at the University of Kansas. He says the ruling falls hardest on companies that have invested billions of dollars, hoping to profit from patents on human gene fragments like those that help reveal a person’s risk for breast cancer.

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Health
8:21 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Medicare Summary Notices Redesigned To Fight Fraud

The Medicare Summary Notice senior citizens receive every month has been redesigned. The changes are meant to make it easier to spot fraudulent claims.

As part of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, the federal government has devoted new resources to rooting out fraud, waste, and abuse in the Medicare program. The notice beneficiaries receive each month to explain their claims is being upgraded to make it easier to spot claims for services they never received.

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Health
8:03 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Branson Hospital Uses Maggots To Heal Wounds, Reattach Limbs

Maggots in a container at the London Zoo in London, UK.
Credit Wikimedia -- Creative Commons

Maggots, a method that some might consider old-fashioned, are being used to treat wounds that won’t heal, in plastic surgery and in limb reattachments at a hospital in Branson.

Liliane Sparks of Hollister has health problems that prevent her from using a hyperbaric chamber to help heal her wounds. But without the proper treatment of the deep wounds on her feet, she faced amputation. Her doctor, Bob Dorsey at CoxHealth in Branson, suggested maggot debridement therapy.

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Up To Date
5:07 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Epilogue: Walking Kansas For Stroke Awareness

Sandy and Michael Billinger walked across Kansas in May to raise awareness of stroke.
Credit www.facebook.com/pages/Walk-Across-Kansas/

When we first talked with Sandy Billinger and her son Michael, they were preparing to trek the length of Kansas for a cause.  Today we check back in with the backpacking duo for a recap of their journey.

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Health
7:39 am
Tue June 11, 2013

KU Doctors Use Superglue To Stop Infant Brain Aneurysm

Doctors at the University of Kansas Hospital expect a three-week-old girl to make a full recovery after they closed an aneurysm in her brain, using super glue. 

Jared and Gina Julian knew there was something wrong with their three-week-old daughter.  Her mother says little Ashlyn began screaming and showing other symptoms.

“She was very stiff, then very rag-doll limp, and then kind of not super responsive,” says Gina Julian. “And later that night, she again projectiled, at which point in time we just were, she’s going back to the hospital.”

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Health
3:24 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

KC Company Leads Technology Shift In Health Care

Cerner's headquarters are based in North Kansas City. The multi-billion dollar company started here three decades ago.
Credit Elana Gordon / KCUR

The U.S. health system is undergoing a major technological shift right now. Some equate it to finally catching up to where the banking and airline industries have been for years.

It’s no small change, either.

Think about it, moving all those doctors’ notes into the digital realm, and then figuring out how use that data to make better health care decisions.

At the center of this shift is a company based in Kansas City called Cerner. Founded in 1979, Cerner has become one of the nation’s biggest players in health technology.

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Up to Date
6:00 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Balancing Life With Yoga

Breathing correctly is an important part of yoga, according to Max Strom.
Credit Lyn Tally/Flickr-CC

Breathe in, breathe out. It's a common exercise in yoga, and one yoga master is trying to spread the word.

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Health
3:27 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Kan. Lawmakers Approve Disabilities Plan, Despite Pushback

While the legislative session in Kansas has ended, many advocates for Kansans with intellectual and developmental disabilities are now worried about how the approved budget will affect services for some of the state’s most vulnerable residents.

Advocates like Tom Laing, with the service organization InterHab, fought against a proposed plan that would move non medical services, like adult day care, into a new Medicaid managed care program called KanCare.

In the final moments of the legislative session, lawmakers moved forward with that plan.

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Up to Date
12:00 pm
Sun June 2, 2013

Getting Comfort From Animals

Some young girls interact with a comfort dog from Lutheran Church Charities after the tornado in Moore, Okla.
Credit Lutheran Church Charities

Your pet always seems to know when you’re upset, and maybe you’ve noticed that cuddling with Fido or Fluffy makes you feel calmer

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Up to Date
9:59 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Bodybuilding: Not Just For Pros

Bodybuilding
Credit ccdoh1

If the only six-pack you have is sitting in your fridge, some local bodybuilders might have some advice for you. 

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Central Standard
2:30 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

The Neuroscience of Obesity

It’s swimsuit season and many are looking to shed a few pounds gained over the winter. But losing weight is a challenge and current research shows the odds are stacked against us when it comes to overcoming the mental obstacles of weight loss. With one third of children in the United States and two thirds of adults who are obese or overweight, it seems there is a huge challenge when trying to stay healthy. Amanda Bruce, a Childhood Obesity and imaging specialist at UMKC and  Jennifer D. Lundgren, Clinical Ph.D. Associate Professor and at UMKC both work on the issue of how psychology plays into childhood and adult obesity.

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Up to Date
6:00 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Avoiding A Summer Of Sizzling Sunburns

Sunburn
Phil Kates

If you just grab the highest SPF sunscreen when you head out to the lake, you might not be making the best choice. 

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Health
6:15 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Most Infected Missourians Unaware Of Hepatitis C Status

Electron micrographs of hepatitis C virus purified from cell culture.
Credit Wikimedia -- Creative Commons

A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that only half of Americans identified as having had Hepatitis C ever follow-up with additional screening and treatment. But that’s only part of the problem, according to Bruce Burkett of the Missouri Hepatitis C Alliance. Nearly three in four people who have the disease don’t even know it.

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Health
6:06 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Bill Expands Opportunities For Physician Assistants In Missouri

A bill headed to Gov. Jay Nixon's desk would expand the rights of physician assistants in Missouri.
Credit US Navy/Wikimedia -- Creative Commons

Physicians Assistants, or PAs, may soon have more opportunities to practice in Missouri. A bill headed to the Governor’s desk would provide more flexibility in how and where they provide care.

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Up to Date
5:29 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Allergies: Indoor, Outdoor & Everywhere

Sneeze
Allan Foster

With the temperatures soaring this week, spring has burst onto the scene… and that means lots of pollen

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Health
10:48 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Missouri's Medicaid Director Leaves

The Missouri Department of Social Services issued this memo Tuesday, announcing the departure of Dr. Ian McCaslin as state Medicaid director.
Credit Missouri Department of Social Services

The director of Missouri’s Medicaid program, Dr. Ian McCaslin, has left. 

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Health
4:39 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Liberty Hospital Announces Layoffs, Citing Pending 'Health Care Storm'

Liberty Hospital is a 250-bed public hospital just north of Kansas City.
Credit Liberty Hospital

More than 100 employees at Liberty Hospital will be out of a job by the end of next week. The hospital says the layoffs are a response to a perfect storm in health care right now. That includes reduced Medicare and Medicaid payments, changes in the way hospitals will be reimbursed for care under the federal health law and increasing demands for charity care as individual health insurance costs go up. 

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Up To Date
12:00 pm
Sun May 12, 2013

WyCo Effort Aims To Curb Infant Mortality

Baby in an incubator
Willem Velthoven

With one of the highest infant mortality rates in the country, Wyandotte County is taking steps to fix that problem.

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Up To Date
12:00 pm
Sun May 12, 2013

Baby Care: The First Few Months

Baby
Weird Beard

When you're a parent—especially a first-time parent—you worry about all kinds of things you see in your baby's development.

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Health
9:56 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Hospital Prices Vary Widely In Kansas City

For the first time, the federal government has released the prices that hospitals for the 100 most common inpatient procedures.  The prices for a given procedure can vary by tens of thousands of dollars.

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Health
9:25 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Missouri Trails Nation In Overall Well-Being

Missouri results for Gallup-Healthways 2012 well-being surveys (find out more at www.well-beingindex.com)
Credit Gallup-Healthways

Missouri ranks among the bottom third of states when it comes to its overall well-being. Meanwhile, the Kansas City region has room for improvement. That’s according to the latest data from the polling group, Gallup.

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Central Standard
4:32 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

How To Address Depression

Credit Flickr/canonsnapper

According to the CDC 1 in 10 adults report being depressed and 11% of Americans over 12 years old take some form of antidepressant medication.  Depression –is a mental disorder that is more severe than just sad feelings.  It can last long periods of time, include feelings of hopelessness and uselessness. Cause chronic pain, headaches, sleeping and eating disorders, and thoughts of suicide.  Depression makes day to day life seem pointless or impossible to handle.

Dr. Bruce Liese, a psychologist at KU Medical Center, explores the various elements of depression from diagnosis to treatment through to recovery.

Up to Date
6:00 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Walking Across Kansas For Stroke Awareness

Charity walkers
Dave Spicer

Would you walk 500 miles to raise awareness for a cause? Would you walk 70 more?

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Health
12:44 am
Fri May 3, 2013

North KC Hospital Dispute Appears Headed Toward Resolution

More than 100 residents, most opposing a possible sale of North Kansas City Hospital, attended a town hall regarding the hospital in February.
Credit Elana Gordon / KCUR

Morning news story.

A heated feud over the fate of North Kansas City Hospital may soon be coming to a close. Hospital and city leaders are meeting Friday in hopes of resolving their differences. Moreover, recently passed state legislation and newly elected local officials appear to have diffused the controversy.  

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