Kansas City, MO – The Kansas City Health Department is warning that Lucky Country Aussie Style Soft Gourmet Natural Flavor Black Licorice contains a high level of lead in it. Burt Malone from the department says several area stores, including Costco, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Wal-Mart, and Walgreens carry the product.
According to Malone, It is sold in one and a half pound clear plastic bags with a yellow kangaroo on it, in addition to the words all natural."
Kansas City, MO – Proposed amendments to Kansas City's voter-approved smoking ban will be up in committee this week. KCUR's Elana Gordon reports.
Councilman Ed Ford is sponsoring two separate amendments to the city's current smoking ban. One would allow smoking inside tobacco shops. The other would limit smoking to casino gaming floors. Ford says the current ordinance is too vague when it comes to where smoking is and isn't permitted inside casinos.
Kansas City, KS – Leaders of area hospitals are backing KU's efforts to become a National Cancer Institute. They say the designation would bring new research grants and clinical trials to the region. KCUR's Elana Gordon has more.
About ten C.E.O's from regional hospitals and research institutes signed on to an advisory board for the project this week. Gary Sherrer, the former Lieutenant Governor of Kansas, is chairman of the new board. He says the group's formation shows that area hospitals are willing to work together.
Kansas City, MO – The nation's top doctor is in Kansas City this week. He stopped by Satchel Paige Elementary School yesterday to talk to students about obesity. KCUR's Elana Gordon reports.
A student drum line greeted Rear Admiral Steven K. Galson, the acting Surgeon General of the United States. Galson's visit to the school is part of his nationwide obesity prevention tour. He spoke to a gym full of K through 8th graders about the importance of daily exercise.
Kansas City, MO – The Kansas City Community Blood Center is reporting that its blood supply is at a critical level. KCUR's Elana Gordon has more.
The Community Blood Center serves about 70 hospitals throughout Kansas and Missouri. It requires a three-day supply of all blood types in order to meet the needs of those hospitals. Mary Kelley is a spokesperson for the center and says its blood supply is running low.
Kenny Hulshof, the Republican candidate for Missouri governor, recently unveiled his plan for health care. He says it would make insurance available to all Missourians.
Kenny Hulshof is proposing a market-based program called HealthMAX. He says employers, individuals, and businesses would all have the option to enroll in it. He also says private insurance companies would compete to provide insurance options to HealthMAX participants.
The nation's first bi-state nursing workforce center is opening up in Kansas City. The more than half a million dollar project is mainly being funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City, and the Reach Healthcare Foundation.
Missouri's Medicaid Director is in Kansas City this week, gathering public input on the state's medical assistance program. KCUR's Elana Gordon reports.
Dr. Ian McCaslin is in charge of the state's Medicaid program, otherwise known as Missouri Health Net. He visited Truman High School in Independence yesterday to discuss a new health care home initiative. But he also asked those attending about their general concerns with the state program.
McCaslin: Somebody chime in, what's the most common problem out here?
The nation's health care program for seniors and the disabled turned 43 years old this summer. Some local doctors and public officials say that calls for a celebration. KCUR's Elana Gordon reports.
President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law inside the Truman Library in 1965. Local health care advocates and public officials are gathering there today to celebrate the anniversary. Congressman Emanuel Cleaver is speaking at the event and says now's a good time to look back on Medicare, given the country's current health care situation.
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.