Kansas City, Mo. – The Kansas House Taxation Committee is holding hearings this week to get more information on some tax credits. Lawmakers may consider cutting back or eliminating some credits as a way to raise revenue. Lawmakers yesterday heard how getting rid of a credit for insurance companies could cost the state jobs.
Kansas City, Mo. – In most states marijuana remains illegal. But across the Kansas City region, some people wanting to get high are turning to a legal synthetic version. It's commonly known as K2, but also goes by names like Spice and Yucatan Fire. Now Kansas and some other states, including Missouri, are moving to ban the chemicals in these herbal blends. KCUR's Elana Gordon has more on this relatively new trend and its uncertain future.
Overland Park, Kan. – About one in ten people deal with brain injury. Awareness has gone up in recent years, but it's still a silent epidemic, according to Betsy Johnson. Johnson's a speech language pathologist and director of the Brain Injury Association of Kansas and Greater Kansas City, which is launching a public forum this Wednesday to revise the plan Kansas has for dealing with the issue. KCUR's Elana Gordon caught up with Johnson.
Kansas City, Mo. – As many as 728,000 Missourians took help from emergency food banks last year. That's according to a survey by Feeding America and the Missouri Food Bank Association, which is made up of six major organizations, including Harvesters in the Kansas City area.
Scott Baker, director of the umbrella group, says he thinks a lot of people will be surprised by the data.
"When you're talking about one in eight Missourians, that's a significant number," he says. "We're talking about your neighbors."
Topeka, Kan. – Health officials gathered at the Statehouse today to raise awareness about heart disease, the number one killer of men and women in Kansas.
Governor Mark Parkinson says he hopes legislators can help reduce the disease in Kansas by passing a statewide smoking ban. Smoking is one of the leading causes of heart disease. Parkinson says he's critical of a smoking ban bill introduced in the House that contains exceptions for some businesses.
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.
Find out more about the Kansas Health Series on Kansas Public Radio here.
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.