Topeka, Kan. – If it's true that infant mortality is a good indicator of a population's health, Kansas isn't doing so well. A blue ribbon panel has been trying to figure out what's to blame and what to do about it, as Kansas Public Radio's Bryan Thompson reports.
Topeka, KS – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment will be pushing for laws this legislative session that they hope will help Kansans slim down. State Health Director Dr. Jason Eberhart-Phillips told Kansas Public Radio's Stephen Koranda that around one-third of Kansas adults are overweight. He says an additional third of adults are obese, meaning they're at least 30 pounds overweight.
Kansas City, MO – A third of community mental health centers in Kansas are operating in the red. Nine out of 27 spent more than they took in last year, according to the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services.
This year's revenue may not be any better for centers, now that the state's also enacted a ten percent cut to Medicaid reimbursements, according to the SRS's Rick Shults.
Kansas City, Kan. – Turner House Children's Clinic celebrated its twentieth anniversary last week. The clinic serves thousands of uninsured and underserved children living in Kansas City, Kansas. The event, though, was bittersweet. Dr. Frank Vaughters founded the clinic, but was gone on a medical mission in Haiti when the earthquake hit more than two weeks ago. He's still missing.
Kansas City, Kan. – A local children's clinic has turned twenty, but its celebration yesterday was bittersweet.
Several dozen people gathered at Turner House Children's Clinic to recognize its two decades of providing health care to underserved kids in Kansas City, Kansas. The event also honored one of the clinic's founders, Dr. Frank Vaughters.
Dr. Vaughters was on a medical mission in Haiti when the earthquake hit more than two weeks ago. He's still missing.
Kansas City, Mo. – The Honeywell Plant has produced parts for nuclear weapons at the Bannister Federal Complex in South Kansas City for about 60 years. Plans to construct a $650 million new plant near the Richards Gebaur Air Force Base are awaiting final approval of a tax abatement from the Kansas City, Missouri's city council. The 10-building complex not only houses the plant, which produces non-nuclear components for weapons, but also the General Services Administration and the Department of Energy.
Kansas City, Mo. – A Kansas City Senator has filed a bill to give Missouri parents information on human papillomavirus and the HPV vaccine.
Democratic Senator Jolie Justus introduced the legislation. It calls on the Department of Health and Human Services to send parents of sixth graders information on HPV, related screenings, and the availability of a vaccine.
Justus says this information's important because the virus is strongly believed to cause most forms of cervical cancer.
Kansas City – Some studies estimate that as many as one in every hundred people has autism. There are a lot of services for school-kids with the disorder, but it's not an option for anyone older than 22. In response, autism experts and advocates recently gathered at the Kauffman Foundation, to come up with ways to make life better for people with autism as they get older. Kansas Public Radio's Bryan Thompson has more.
Topeka, Kan. – One of Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson's priorities laid out in the State of the State address is a statewide smoking ban, but that issue has run into challenges in the legislature in past years.
The Kansas Senate passed a smoking ban last session, but couldn't reach a compromise with House leaders.
House Health and Human Services Committee Chair, Brenda Landwehr, says one of the major stumbling blocks has been an exemption for state-owned casinos.
Jefferson City, Mo. – The Missouri Supreme Court heard arguments last Thursday regarding how much money people can be awarded in medical malpractice cases.
In 2005, James and Mary Klotz won a lawsuit against a St. Louis area hospital, after James contracted a staph infection while receiving a pacemaker. But the damages they won were limited due to a state law passed the same year they won their case that allows caps to be place retroactively on non-economic damages in medical malpractice suits.
Topeka, Kan. – Democratic Governor Mark Parkinson has outlined his proposals to deal with a deficit in the coming fiscal year. He made his case before the legislature during the State of the State address in Topeka. Statehouse Reporter Stephen Koranda files this report.
Kansas City, Mo. – Kansas City is home to a growing Latino population - a large portion of which are recent immigrants from Mexico. But many have difficulty getting medical care due to a combination of factors, including language barriers and a lack of insurance. The situation has several area groups, along with the Mexican government, working to better identify the health needs in immigrant communities and find new ways to address them.
Lawrence, KS – The ongoing budget shortfall in Kansas has prompted the Kansas Department on Aging to suspend some of the services that help frail elders continue to live in their own homes. Kansas Public Radio's Bryan Thompson reports.
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Kansas City, MO – A popular treatment for lower chronic back pain doesn't appear to work. That's according to a local neurologist, whose findings are part of the American Academy of Neurology's newly issued practice guidelines.
Trancutanious Electric Nerve Stimulation, also known as TENS, is a portable device that's applied to the skin around an area of pain. It then sends electrical currents through those nerves. The idea is that such stimulation could block pain signals to the brain.
Kansas City, MO – A Texas family with ties to Kansas City has donated $10 million to the University of Kansas Cancer Center. Roy Jensen heads the center and says the money will go towards hiring a new chair of radiation oncology.
"This gift, I think, is sort of the capstone of that recruitment process and has really allowed us to recruit an outstanding candidate," Jensen said.
Jensen says bolstering radiation research and patient care is important because about half of all cancer patients need radiation therapy.
Kansas City, MO – Children's Mercy Hospital has a new partner - the Mexican Ministry of Health.
The head of Children's Mercy Hospital and the Secretary of Health from Mexico recently signed a letter of intent to develop a joint referral system for patients, cross-train health workers, and engage in medical research.
Mexican Health Secretary Jose Angel Cordova Villalobos says the collaboration will improve overall understandings of pediatric health.
Kansas City, MO – Kansas City's Bartle Hall will become one of the nation's largest free health clinics. An estimated two-thousand uninsured people will receive free health care, including limited dental services and vaccinations against the flu and certain sexually-transmitted diseases.
The free clinic is sponsored by the National Association of Free Clinics. As part of our series, "Kansas Health: A Prescription for Change," Health Reporter Bryan Thompson spoke with the association's director, Nicole Lamoureux.
Kansas City, MO – It's being billed as one of the largest free clinics in the nation.
Kansas City's Bartle Hall is the site Wednesday and Thursday for a free medical clinic for the uninsured. It's one in a series of clinics in different cities put on by the nonprofit National Association of Free Clinics.
The group says the clinics are nonpartisan, but the effort is widely seen as a way to pressure moderate Democrats into supporting their party's efforts to reform health care.
Lawrence, KS – There could be a silver lining in some of the cuts the Kansas Health Policy Authority has approved to help deal with the state's revenue slump. More from Kansas Public Radio's Bryan Thompson.