Health

Central Standard
5:05 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Why Are Secrets And Privacy So Important?

Do you ever get the feeling that you're being watched?
Credit Chris Samuel / Flickr -- Creative Commons

Right now our government is mining data about your conversations--who you called, when you called them, how long you talked, and who you’ve emailed. It’s all technically approved by law, but for many it’s deeply unsettling.

On this Central Standard we take a step backward and inward from the controversy surrounding domestic surveillance and look at the psychology of secrets and privacy with psychologist Bruce Liese.

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Health
10:06 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Kansas Recognizes Elder Care Facilities

The state is recognizing eight nursing home facilities for offering innovative ways of caring for older Kansans. The PEAK awards recognize facilities that focus on providing better quality of life for seniors.

“For the longest times, nursing homes and senior living communities have been patterned after hospitals and warehousing-type structures that were very rigid and very structured environments and gave very few limited number of choices to those that live there,” said Shawn Sullivan, secretary of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services.

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Up to Date
12:00 pm
Sun July 7, 2013

Adopting A Furry Friend

This dog was rescued from an animal shelter.
Credit jeffreyw/Flickr-CC

Buying a cat or dog from a store isn’t your only option—pet adoption is growing more popular. However, taking in a rescue animal does present challenges. 

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Health
8:11 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Controversial Medicare Bid Program Takes Next Step

Many diabetics use testing strips daily to test their blood sugar.
Credit cogdogblog / Flickr--Creative Commons

Medicare patients who have diabetic testing supplies delivered to them experienced some changes this week.

It’s all part of an effort by the Medicare program to save money and cut down on fraud. But some people are worried about unintended consequences.

A public services announcement issued by Medicare attempts to lay out the changes for diabetic Medicare recipients:

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Health
7:10 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Senior Citizens Targeted for 'Medical Alert' Fraud

An on-going scam to bill senior citizens for medical alert device service is gaining steam in Kansas and other Midwestern states.  

The Better Business Bureau says there’s been a significant increase in calls about the scheme.  The pre-recorded message claims that someone has purchased a medical alert device for the person as a gift.  Then the recipient is asked to verify his or her identity with a bank account or credit card number. 

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Up to Date
12:10 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Kansas City Pools and Water Parks

The Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Overland, Kan.
Credit overlandpark.com

Where are some of your favorite places to cool off in the summer?

On Tuesday's Up to Date, hear about some of the Kansas City area's most popular pools and water parks. Learn what makes these facilities operate on a day-to-day basis. Plus, guidelines how to stay safe in the water. 

Cherie Sage is the Safe Kids Kansas coordinator. 

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KC Currents
2:41 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Planned Parenthood Sues Kan. Over Free Speech Violation

Prevention Park, located in Houston, Texas, is the largest Planned Parenthood administrative and medical facility in the nation.
Credit Hourick / Wikimedia--CC

In June, two different lawsuits were filed in Kansas over a new state abortion law. But the lawsuit that Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri filed on June 20 isn't about the freedom to perform abortions. It’s about freedom of speech.  

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Health
9:17 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Does Northeast Kansas Need A Regional Food Hub?

Douglas County has been awarded grants totaling more than $68,000 for a regional food hub feasibility study. 

The year-long study will determine whether 16 counties in the northeast corner of Kansas could benefit by creating a warehouse for locally-grown foods.  Lawrence/Douglas County Sustainability Coordinator Eileen Horn says one goal is to help meet the demand from institutional kitchens for fresh, local food.

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Health
8:35 am
Tue June 25, 2013

Report Cites Need For Mid-Level Dental Providers

A new report by the Pew Charitable Trusts bolsters the argument that dental access challenges in Kansas require a new type of dental provider.

The report lists the ten states with the most severe shortage of dentists, and the ten states where low-income children are least likely to receive dental care. Kansas is not on either of those lists.

Still, nearly 55 percent of Kansas kids covered by Medicaid received no dental care in 2011. The report also reveals that more than 16 percent of the state’s population is underserved, and living in a dental shortage area.

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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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