public health

C_osett / Creative Commons-Flickr

Kansas spends only about $12 per person on public health, making it one of the states putting the least money into preventing chronic and infectious diseases.

Rex Archer and Alex Garza
Brian Ellison / KCUR 89.3

The greatest threat to public health in the face of bioterrorism, viral pandemics and natural disasters may actually be less of a headline-grabber: An insufficient budget.

Speaking on KCUR’s Up to Date on Friday, the former chief medical officer of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said that while various programs are in place to protect against biological weapons and disease outbreaks, the system could still break down at the state and local level.

Frank Morris / KCUR 89.3

Residents of Flint, Michigan, may tell you lead is a serious menace, but for most of the last 5,000 years, people saw lead as a miracle metal at the forefront of technology.

"You can think about lead as kind of the plastic of the ancient world," says Joseph Heppert, a professor of chemistry at the University of Kansas. He says it was because lead is easy to melt — a campfire alone can do it. And Heppert says Greeks smelted lead into, among other things, ‘bullets”.

Alex Smith / Heartland Health Monitor

With Wyandotte County struggling to address a shortage of primary care physicians, a discussion exploring how that shortage affects doctors, patients and the health of our communities. Plus, what does it mean to be healthy, anyway?

Guests:

NIAID in collaboration with Colorado State University

Kansas is one of seven states that rank in the bottom tier in a newly released report measuring states’ readiness to deal with infectious disease outbreaks.

Abigail Wilson / KMUW

Once upon a time Kansas was a national leader in public health. Credit largely goes to Dr. Samuel Crumbine, who early in the 20th century created and led what is now the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

He convinced Kansans to stop spitting on sidewalks. And he pushed state lawmakers to pass food purity laws and to ban the public drinking cup. 

But times have changed.

Kansas City, Mo., officials said Friday that the city is one of 15 finalists nationwide for the Culture of Health prize conferred annually by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), a highly regarded health foundation based in Princeton, N.J.

The recognition, Mayor Sly James said in a news release, “acknowledges sustained and strategically focused efforts of the Health Department and several others in the entire Kansas City health provider community."

Andy Marso / KHI News Service

When Alan and Cindy Reed started devoting their evenings and weekends to going door-to-door to talk with their Salina neighbors about an upcoming vote on water fluoridation, they considered avoiding houses with the blue “Stop Fluoride” signs.

In the wake of swirling fears about the spread of Ebola as well as Kansas cases of pertussis and measles, we look back on a pandemic that hit home for Kansas City: the Influenza pandemic of 1918. The death rate in Kansas City outpaced that in other places, and some say the city's politics and public health infrastructure were largely to blame.

Whiskeygonebad / Flickr-CC

With smartphones and Wi-Fi everywhere, ham radios can seem a little dated. However, the machines have quite a following, and they can be lifesavers when disasters strike.

On Tuesday's Up to Date, we talk with a ham radio enthusiast about their continued popularity and check in to see how useful they can be for area hospitals.

Learn More: interested in becoming a ham radio operator? Learn more about classes

Guests:

Michael Aulia / Flickr - CC

‘Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite.’  It’s a phrase you’ve probably heard a lot, but perhaps holds a different significance to you if you’ve had a bed bug infestation or know someone who has.  Cases of bed bugs have been rising in recent years. But just who or what are these vermin?  They feed on human blood, don’t contract diseases,  and can be hard to talk about. Perhaps more importantly, how do we get rid of them?

courtesy of Kansas Department of Health and Environment

A new report out this week finds that Kansas and Missouri are vulnerable in key areas when it comes to being prepared for a public health emergency, like a disease outbreak or natural disaster.

Kansas City, KS – Plans are moving forward to develop a school of public health in Kansas. As Bryan Thompson reports, the proposal from the University of Kansas now has the support of the Kansas Board of Regents.