A company that does workplace drug tests just recently released data showing an increase in positive drug tests in the Kansas City area. Even while nationally, fewer people are testing positive for drugs in these workplace screenings. Jim Nunnelly runs Jackson County's COMBAT anti-drug programs. He told KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross that this new information from Quest Diagnostics demonstrates the importance of looking at substance abuse from a public health perspective.
Kansas City, MO – Jay Nixon, the main Democrat running for Missouri Governor, passed through Kansas City yesterday to outline his new health care plan. KCUR's Elana Gordon Reports.
Jay Nixon, Missouri's Attorney General, says his main health care priority is restoring cuts made three years ago to the state's Medicaid program.
Nixon: Missouri's health care system is broken. And when Governor Blunt and the Republican legislature slashed coverage for 400,000 Missourians in 2005, our health care problem became nothing short of a crisis.
Kansas City, MO – For the first time, applications for Missouri's Medicaid program, otherwise known as Missouri Health Net, can be submitted online (http://www.dss.mo.gov/mhk/appl.htm). The project took the state about 5 months to complete and cost about half a million dollars. Missouri Department of Social Services Spokesman, Brian Hauswirth, says the electronic option will make the application process more efficient.
Bristol-Myers Squibb will pay Missouri over 11 million dollars and Kansas nearly 3 million dollars. The money is part of nationwide settlement over allegations that the company took part in illegal practices, like off label marketing and bribing pharmacies to sell its products. Missouri Attorney General spokesman Scott Holste says the company was also accused of charging Medicaid programs too much for its drugs.
Kansas City's oldest community health center is gearing up to expand its facility.
Leaders of the Samuel Rodgers Health Center are breaking ground on a new health facility today, which they say will allow them to see more than 7,000 additional patients a year. Executive Director, Hilda Fuentes, says the nearly 40 year old facility off of 9th street is too old and needs major repairs. She also says it's become too small, as more and more people who lack adequate health coverage are seeking health services there.
The child immunization rate in Kansas currently stands at about 80%. State and federal health officials say that's not high enough to prevent diseases like mumps and measles from spreading throughout the population. But a state task force recently found that only 65% of primary care physicians offer immunization services. Kansas Department of Health and Environment Spokesperson, Joe Blubaugh, says that makes it harder for families to access vaccinations for their children.
For many, summertime means but one thing: Pool time.
Courtney Ford: We're making all kinds of plans to just have all kinds of water fun.
But summer's also the time when 90% of pool drownings occur. Many aquatic experts, lawmakers, and child safety advocates say most cases are actually preventable. And now they're stepping up efforts to put an end to incidents that could otherwise be avoided. KCUR's Elana Gordon reports.
KANSAS CITY, MO – A new study released by the non-profit research group, Trust for America's Health, reports that Midwestern states receive less funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) than other states. Kansas is ranked at the very bottom of the list, receiving about $13.61 per capita in CDC funding, compared with the overall national average of about $17.00 per capita.
KANSAS CITY, MO – The Bodies Revealed exhibit opened in Union Station on Friday. The show displays human bodies and body parts that have undergone a special preservation process. KCUR's Health Reporter Elana Gordon was there on opening day, and asked people for their impressions.
Kansas City, MO – As healthcare insurance policies are continually changing, doctors are trying to squeeze in more patient visits and Baby Boomers are aging the role of the professional patient advocate is emerging. A patient advocate makes sure the sick get the care they need. KCUR's Kelley Weiss reports.
Kansas City, MO – Going to the doctor can be a struggle for anyone. But it can be much worse for a Muslim woman who's afraid of violating Islamic law. The problem is that many times patients aren't sure of what's allowed by the Quran and health care providers aren't aware that Muslim women have special needs. These uncertainties can cause women to refuse care, even in life threatening situations. KCUR's Kelley Weiss reports.
Kansas City, MO – Parents of children with autism face many challenges in taking care of their kids who are often socially isolated and have difficulties communicating. The Autism Aspergers Resource Center used to be available for the more than 30,000 families in Kansas City dealing with autism. But the center, that drew people from around the country, recently closed its doors. Now families and agencies are scrambling to continue to get and provide services in light of the center's closing. KCUR's Kelley Weiss reports.
Kansas City, MO – Last year the state cut or reduced coverage for almost 100,000 Missourians from the Medicaid program, leaving many people without dental, eye care, medical equipment or employee disability health coverage. The changes are causing health care providers and patients in Kansas City to find ways to adapt to the changes. Supporters say they've reinstated some of the cuts and that the changes have helped balance the state budget. Now everyone is looking ahead to the future of Medicaid. KCUR's Kelley Weiss reports.
Kansas City, MO – Sister Rosemary Flanigan, a bio-ethicist with the Center for Practical Bioethics, turns 80 today. In her more than 40 years of teaching philosophy and ethics at Catholic universities in Kansas City, working with St. Joseph Hospital and being on staff at the bioethics center Flanigan says she has led a blessed life. Flanigan shared insights into her long spanning career as a nun, philosopher and teacher with KCUR's Kelley Weiss.
Kansas City, MO – A number of stories on KC Currents have addressed health problems that disproportionately effect people of color: heart disease, AIDS, diabetes, depression and others. Tommy Amico looks at these statistics every say, as HIV/AIDS resource coordinator for US Department of Health and Human Services Region VII, which is headquartered here in Kansas City.
Kansas City, MO – Last week, we discussed the case of Michael Todd, a 14-year old African American boy declared brain dead from a gunshot wound. His family disputed the University of Kansas Hospital doctor's diagnosis and went to court to prevent the hospital from removing their son from life support.
Kansas City, MO – Many of the mumps cases in Kansas are in Douglas County and the University of Kansas has reported more than 150 cases. Centers for Disease Control representatives have been in Lawrence studying the campus outbreak and are anticipating how the summer break will impact the spread of the virus. KCUR's Kelley Weiss reports.
Kansas City, MO – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that each year, 40,000 people become infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Close to 30 per cent of those people don't even know that they have HIV. What is known is that in Kansas and Missouri combined, African Americans accounted for 39 to 43 per cent of newly diagnosed HIV cases last year.