Kansas City, MO – People often point the finger at high fat or sugar laden foods like Twinkies, potato chips, and fried pickles for weight gain. But Kansas State University nutrition professor Mark Haub has had a different experience over the past five weeks. He's made himself a human guinea pig for a junk food diet and lost 17 pounds.
Professor Haub spoke with KCUR's Maria Carter about what's he's been eating and some of the surprising health effects.
Springfield, MO – As of today (Tuesday), pharmacies across Missouri will have access to a new, computerized system to tell them if a customer has reached a legal limit of purchasing pseudoephedrine. Pseudoephedrine is found in many cold medicines; it's also a key ingredient in making methamphetamine.
Kansas City, MO – Local health providers are one step closer to sharing medical records with one another electronically.
For about two years, health agencies from across the metro have been working on a way to securely access and transfer patient health information. The local group heading the project recently received about a million dollars from area foundations to establish the electronic infrastructure to do this.
Kansas City, MO – High risk insurance pools are designed to cover people with preexisting health conditions who can't get coverage. Missouri recently launched a new pool, subsidized under the recently passed federal health law. The program could apply to upwards of 150,000 residents, but not many are signing up so far.
Denied Coverage Carolen Collins says she didn't think finding insurance would be such a problem when she decided to take early retirement from KU hospital two years ago.
Kansas City, MO – The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law six months ago. Ron Pollack, head of the consumer advocacy group, Families USA, recently visited Kansas City to discuss the details of the legislation. Pollack, who's been deeply involved in developing and supporting the law, told KCUR's Elana Gordon that several of its provisions are already taking effect - many of which begin this week.
Kansas City, MO – Kansas City's flu vaccine clinic opens today. This time last year, health officials were prioritizing shots for people based on certain health and age criteria. They were also grappling with a shortage of the H1N1 vaccine.
Kansas City, MO – A new Missouri law taking effect this weekend gives doctors another option for treating sexually transmitted diseases.
Normally, when a person has an STD like gonorrhea or chlamydia, he or she has to see a doctor for a health exam in order to get medication. But under a new Missouri law, a doctor can now give a patient who has an STD medication for that person's partner as well.
Jefferson City, MO – Union leaders in Missouri are not happy with a new health insurance plan for state employees. It replaces the current co-pay system with one that requires state workers to pay deductibles. Richard von Glahn is with the Missouri State Workers Union.
"We are frustrated because state employees are gonna be faced with higher out-of-pocket health care costs the Missouri legislature continues to choose policies that balance our revenue crisis on the backs of state workers," says von Glahn.
Kansas City, MO – Missouri students returning to school this fall may have less access to a nurse. That's following the recent end to a nearly two decade-old school health program.
The Missouri Health Initiatives Fund helped support nearly 800 nurses and health care workers in about half of the state's public school districts, mainly rural ones. Some private schools also qualified.
Columbia, Missouri – The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is urging consumers to avoid raw eggs while health officials determine the source of recent salmonella outbreaks being reported in several states.
No cases of salmonella linked to the eggs have been reported in Missouri or Kansas.
Wright County Egg of Galt, Iowa issued two recalls in the last week of shell eggs that were shipped last month. A third recall by Iowa-based Hillandale Farms was issued today.
Jefferson City, MO – Missouri's health department says it's purged infection rate data for hospitals statewide. The move is drawing complaints from consumers who say it frustrates their efforts to adequately assess hospital performance.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports state officials believe the deleted material from 2005 through 2008 costs too much to maintain and is too sensitive for the public to examine for more than a year.
Topkea, KS – The World Health Organization recently declared the H1N1 Swine Flu epidemic to be over, but local health officials say the H1N1 virus will remain a major concern this upcoming flu season.
Misty Kruger is with the Shawnee County Health Agency.
"Based on past pandemics, what they expect to happen is that the H1N1 virus will take on the behavior of the seasonal influenza," says Kruger. "Basically it will continue to circulate, but we do anticipate that it will just kind of blend in like the seasonal flu."
Topkea, KS – Computer access to numerous Kansas Health and Environment records is being restored after a systems failure nearly two weeks ago.
KDHE Secretary Rod Bremby said Monday that server problems were to blame. He said access has been restored to systems handling state vital statistics, immunizations and child care licensing, among others.
Young children dealing with trauma will soon find more support inside area classrooms.
Crittenton Children's Center, a local mental health agency, developed a Head Start trauma program about two years ago. It focuses on treating kids in the classroom environment and training school staff on how to better identify and help kids who've been exposed to violence.
Beginning this week, kids craving a sweet snack or beverage during school are going to have a lot fewer options in Kansas.
The Kansas Board of Education recently approved new vending machine policies that take effect this month. It means soda and certain types of candy will no longer be available during the day at elementary and middle schools or until an hour after lunch in high schools.
A new Center for American Indian Health is coming to the region. KU medical center has received a $7.5 million federal grant aimed at reducing American Indian health disparities.
Compared to the rest of the U.S. population, American Indians are much more likely to suffer from things like diabetes and breast cancer.
Shelley Bointy is project director of the new center. During a news conference at Haskell Indian Nations University on Friday, Bointy said the program will involve an unprecedented amount of community participation at the university level.