Health

KCUR News
12:18 am
Fri April 22, 2011

Family Doctor Fills Need

Dr. Elaine Joslyn has been practicing medicine in the Northeast for more than two decades.
Photo by Elana Gordon.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The four-mile stretch of Independence Avenue, between Paseo Boulevard and Interstate 435, contains hundreds of businesses: taquerias, mechanics, and check-cashing agencies to name a few. But there's only one place where you can find basic medical care. It's the solo practice of Dr. Elaine Joslyn. Dr. Joslyn's been caring for residents in Kansas City's Northeast neighborhood for over two decades. But as KCUR's Elana Gordon reports, doctors like her are becoming increasingly hard to find.

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KCUR News
2:48 pm
Mon April 18, 2011

New Tool Aims to Better Track Medicine Used for Meth

TOPEKA, Ks. – Kansas is now taking part in a multi-state online system aimed at better tracking medication used to make methamphetamine. Attorney General Derek Schmidt and members of the Kansas Board of Pharmacy announced the new controls Monday.

Pharmacies will now link to an online system to see if buyers have purchased the legal limit of pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in meth. Kansas already limits the sale of the medication, but Schmidt says this will strengthen the law.

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KCUR News
11:00 am
Mon April 18, 2011

Ks. Governor Signs Abortion Restriction, Fetal Pain Bills

TOPEKA, Ks. – Kansas governor Sam Brownback has signed into law a bill requiring both parents to consent to an abortion for a girl under 18. The bill would only require one parent in some cases, such as divorced parents.

Current law only requires that parents be notified.

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KCUR News
10:14 am
Mon April 11, 2011

Missouri Attorney General Endorses Health Law Challenge

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Republican leaders in the Missouri House are pleased, but not impressed, with Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster's decision to file a legal brief in support of Florida's lawsuit challenging the federal health care law.

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KCUR News
3:01 pm
Thu April 7, 2011

Self-Harm Web Videos Worry Mental Health Experts

Salina, Ks. – Self-injury, also known as self-harm or self-mutilation, is nothing new. But modern technology has brought a new twist: internet videos about people cutting, burning, or otherwise inflicting pain on themselves. Now, mental health experts are worried these videos may make such conduct seem more normal and reinforce that behavior. Kansas Public Radio's Bryan thompson has more.

(This piece contains some graphic descriptions)

 

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KCUR News
12:55 pm
Thu April 7, 2011

Film Explores History of Segregated Medicine in Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Up until the 1950s in Kansas City, if you were sick, the color of your skin determined where you could go for care. A new documentary commissioned by Truman Medical Center, From Separate to Equal: The Creation of Truman Medical Centers, explores the history of segregated medicine in Kansas City. KCUR's Elana Gordon recently caught up with the film's creators, Kevin Willmott and Greg Hurd, who previously made Confederate States of America and The Only Good Indian.

 

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KCUR News
2:31 pm
Mon April 4, 2011

Wyandotte County Battles Low Health Status

KANSAS CITY, Ks. – The news of Google's fiber-optic network coming to Kansas City, Kansas has captured a lot of attention. But KCK has also been in the spotlight for a very different reason. The same day of Google's big announcement last week, a national report ranked Wyandotte - for the second year in a row - as the least healthy county in all of Kansas. But how the county's responding to this is making some local, and even national, waves.

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KCUR News
2:12 pm
Tue March 29, 2011

Cancer Center's Quest for National Designation Continues

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback speaking at a fundraising event for KU Cancer Center.
Photo by Elana Gordon

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – KU's deadline to apply for a National Cancer Institute designation is just six months away, and public and private sector leaders are rallying for the final stretch.

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Health
8:45 pm
Mon March 28, 2011

Nutrition Labeling on Popcorn...Coming to a Theater Near You

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Would you buy popcorn at the movies if you knew it was something other than a healthy snack?

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Health
2:30 pm
Mon March 28, 2011

Project Strives to Give Women New Perspective on Living with HIV

Tamika Taylor Jackson
Photo by Veronique LaCapra

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – More than a million Americans are living with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. About a quarter of them are women, and throughout the country, African-American women are disproportionately affected. St. Louis Public Radio's Veronique LaCapra reports on how one photography project is giving some HIV-positive women a new way to look at their disease and its challenges.

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KCUR News
11:08 am
Mon March 28, 2011

Pharma Ads Target Mo. Pseudoephedrine Bill

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A not-for-profit group that represents the pharmaceutical industry is running radio ads in Missouri to combat legislation that would require a doctor's prescription to buy certain cold medications.

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association produced the ads, which urge people to tell lawmakers to "keep government out of your medicine cabinet."

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KCUR News
9:54 am
Mon March 28, 2011

Medical Loss Standard Difficult For Some Companies To Meet

TOPEKA, Ks. – One part of the federal health reform law that went into effect one year ago requires companies to spend most of the premium dollars they collect on health care for their customers, but some companies may struggle to meet that requirement.

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KCUR News
5:27 pm
Wed March 23, 2011

Ks. Senate Passes Fetal Pain Bill

TOPEKA, Ks. – The Kansas Senate has approved a bill restricting abortions after the 21st week of pregnancy. Supporters of the bill say that is when a fetus can feel pain. The legislation has already passed the House and should soon be sent to Governor Sam Brownback. Senator Terry Bruce, a Hutchinson Republican, brought the bill to the Senate floor.

"We are saying that the state believes we have the compelling interest to protect a child from harm when they can feel that pain," Bruce said.

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KCUR News
8:43 pm
Thu March 17, 2011

KC Mayoral Candidates Weigh in on City's Health

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The next mayor of Kansas City will be facing a number of tricky public health issues. KCUR's Elana Gordon recently sought out Mike Burke and Sly James to find out what each would do to improve the health of the city and its residents.

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Kansas City is a place where about one sixth of the population is uninsured, where at least a quarter of all deaths are premature, where one in three residents is obese. But what exactly can a mayor do about any of this?

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Health
12:42 pm
Thu March 3, 2011

Study: Most Plastics Leach Hormone-Like Chemicals

Kansas City, MO –

Most plastic products, from sippy cups to food wraps, can release chemicals that act like the sex hormone estrogen, according to a study in Environmental Health Perspectives.

The study found these chemicals even in products that didn't contain BPA, a compound in certain plastics that's been widely criticized because it mimics estrogen.

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KCUR News
11:56 am
Sun February 27, 2011

District Opens School-Based Dental Clinic

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Hundreds of kids in the Kansas City Missouri School District now have a new option for dental care. And, they won't have to travel very far for it.

A new dental clinic opened Feb. 14th inside J.A. Rogers Elementary School, located at 6400 E. 23rd St.

School and health leaders are gathering at the school on Monday to celebrate the opening.

Wendy McNitt, the school's principal, says more than 90 percent of students at the school qualify for free and reduced lunches and don't have much access to dental care.

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KCUR News
1:23 pm
Fri February 25, 2011

Hospital Plans to Open Region's First Heart Transplant Program for Kids

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Within a year or so, Children's Mercy hopes to be doing heart transplants for kids and newborns. Dr. Michael Artman is chair of pediatrics. He says the hospital currently refers a child out for a heart transplant once every six to eight weeks.

"It's not huge, but it's a definite need," Dr. Artman says. "And it seems to be a growing need."

Dr. Artman says medical advances are enabling more and more children born with heart complications to survive, but that can mean they need a heart transplant.

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KCUR News
2:01 pm
Sat February 19, 2011

Psychiatric Hospital to Close 14 Beds

KANSAS CITY, Ks. – The Kansas Department of Social Services plans to close 14 in-patient psychiatric beds at Rainbow Mental Health Facility in Kansas City, Kansas, lowering the number of beds there from 50 to 36. Bill Miskell, a spokesperson for the department, says a recent Centers for Medicare and Medicaid review found the public facility does not have enough staff to operate all of its units.

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KCUR News
2:18 pm
Fri February 11, 2011

Ks. House Gives Approval to "Health Care Freedom Amendment"

TOPEKA, Ks. – The Kansas House today (Friday) gave approval to the so-called "Health Care Freedom Amendment" to the state constitution. The amendment is aimed at exempting Kansans from any federal requirement to purchase health insurance. It passed the House with a 91-27 vote but will likely face an uphill battle in the Senate.

Steve Morris, a Hugoton Republican, is president of the Senate. He generally doesn't favor constitutional amendments.

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KCUR News
10:20 am
Fri February 11, 2011

Missouri Among Nation's Top Mercury Polluters

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – A new report suggests that power plants in Illinois and Missouri are among the nation's top emitters of mercury pollution.

Mercury can cause serious health problems for both wildlife and people who eat contaminated fish.

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KCUR News
1:12 pm
Mon February 7, 2011

Births Decline In Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The number of babies born in Kansas City is on the decline after nearly two decades of being on the rise. Births dropped by about three percent between 2007 and 2009. Gerald Hoff, with the health department, says he doesn't have an exact reason for the recent change.

"Best guess is people can't afford to have kids or choose not to because of this economy," says Hoff.

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KCUR News
12:18 pm
Thu February 3, 2011

Proposed Rules Could Help Bring Dentists to Kansas

TOPEKA, Ks. – A group of Kansas dentists is hoping the Legislature will take steps to keep more dentists in the state.

Kansas and Missouri have an agreement, in which some students who are Kansas residents can attend the University of Missouri-Kansas City dental school and pay in-state tuition.

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KCUR News
10:29 am
Thu February 3, 2011

Kansas Senate Looks at Insurance for Children

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Kansas Senate will be considering changes to the state's high risk insurance program today. The program, which is separate from the new federal high risk pool, is designed for people who can't get health insurance in the private market due to a pre-existing health condition.

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KCUR News
2:18 pm
Fri January 28, 2011

South Kansas City Gets Safety Net Clinic

Virrinda Eferakeya checks people in for appointments at the new Swope Health South Clinic.
Photo by Elana Gordon.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – South Kansas City is finally home to a safety net health clinic. It recently started seeing patients, but the clinic's been in the works for years.

The Kansas City Missouri Health Department, the Local Investment Commission, and Swope Health Services have been leading the effort. They say South Kansas City lacks affordable primary care options.

Vincent Murry, who lives just a few blocks from new the clinic, agrees.

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KCUR News
12:36 pm
Fri January 28, 2011

New Waiver Offers Some Relief To Missourians With Developmental Disabilities

The office of the Developmental Disabilities Services of Jackson County will select 90 county residents, who are already waiting for services, for the new waiver program.
Photo by Elana Gordon.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Missourians with developmental disabilities have a new option for getting community and home-based services. Governor Jay Nixon met with families and health workers at the Developmental Disability Services of Jackson County office on Friday to highlight the new program's goal: getting care to people before they're in crisis.

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KCUR News
2:18 pm
Thu January 27, 2011

Kansas Starts Developing Insurance Exchange

KCUR News
3:04 am
Thu January 27, 2011

Brownback Restructures Kansas Health Policy Authority

LAWRENCE, Ks. – The Kansas Health Policy Authority is being restructured. The Authority administers the state's Medicaid program, oversees health benefits for state employees, and provides health policy advice to elected officials. Governor Sam Brownback wants to cut the agency's staff in half, eliminate its independent board, and reassign the agency's responsibilities. Kansas Public Radio's Bryan Thompson reports on some of the implications of these changes.
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