Kansas Department of Health and Environment

Matthew Long-Middleton / KCUR 89.3

A federal judge ruled Friday that the Kansas Department of Health and Environment must recognize same-sex marriages, allowing gay and lesbian couples the same benefits as others.

U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree’s decision forbids the state agency from enforcing the now-unconstitutional Kansas law banning same-sex marriage, further clarifying just how Kansas must respond to the new law.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

Critics of a proposed rule change regarding birth certificates criticized the policy at a public hearing Thursday. The proposal would make it virtually impossible for transgender people to have the sex changed on their Kansas birth certificate.

Stephanie Mott, who is transgender, says government documents that don’t match a transgender person’s identity make it more likely they’ll face discrimination and harassment. She says this policy would further stigmatize transgender Kansans.

Daniel Orth / Flickr--CC

Updated 5:30 p.m. Friday:

Olathe city officials say tests conducted yesterday conclusively rule out elevated lead levels in the Ridgeview South neighborhood.

A release Friday afternoon says that tests of dozens of water samples have yet to be fully completed, but enough have been cleared to confirm the water system is not contaminated with lead.

The stakes for Kansas to expand Medicaid have been raised.

The state received notice from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services last week that if it doesn’t expand its Medicaid program, it would lose federal funding for uncompensated health care, according to officials from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

The federal government provides money for the state’s uncompensated care pool to reimburse health care providers who serve the uninsured.

A $135 million computer system meant to streamline applications for Kansas social services, including Medicaid, remains without a final “go-live” date more than a year after the rollout was originally scheduled to be completed.

Glen Yancey, chief information officer for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, said Tuesday that his staff is “making final assessments” of the readiness the Kansas Eligibility and Enforcement System, or KEES.

Yancey declined to give a rollout target date, though, saying that policymakers above him have to make that call.

A new research brief by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment shows a slight increase in the infant mortality rate last year.

Infant mortality refers to babies who die before their first birthday. Although the trend has been downward, Kansas has exceeded the national infant mortality rate every year since 2003. 

KDHE Secretary Robert Moser says last year’s rate was 6.3 deaths per thousand live births.

“That’s relatively low, but unfortunately it’s up slightly from 2011,” says Moser.

Lidor / Flickr

Lawmakers could soon take a final vote on a controversial bill updating the state's laws regarding people who may have been exposed to contagious diseases.


A controversial bill in Kansas that has caused outcry from groups like the National Minority AIDS Council appears to be on track for approval by House and Senate negotiators, paving the way for passage by both chambers.

CDC/Charles D. Humphrey

Kansas health officials say the outbreak of nausea and diarrhea that closed a suburban Kansas City elementary school last week was caused by norovirus.

At some point, a customer may have purchased a metal tissue holder containing low levels of radiation from the Bed, Beth & Beyond at 12035 Metcalf Avenue in Overland Park.