Health

On the eastern edge of St. Joseph, Mo., lies the small city's only hospital, a landmark of modern brick and glass buildings. Everyone in town knows Heartland Regional Medical Center — many residents gave birth to their children here. Many rush here when they get hurt or sick.

Katie Hiler / KBIA

This week the EPA will make a final decision on a proposed new rule for the disposal of coal combustion residuals, called CCRs, or coal ash.


Some researchers who study the virus that causes Middle East respiratory syndrome got an early Christmas present: permission to resume experiments that the federal government abruptly halted in October.

Katie Hiler / KBIA

If you’ve ever lived in - or even visited - a small town, you know they can be pretty quaint. And Milan, Mo, population 1,881, is no exception.

Milan’s local hospital, Sullivan Country Memorial, has been around since 1953. Joe McCarty, a local resident and now patient in Sullivan’s long-term care unit, has lived in Milan almost his entire life – he’s turning 100 this year. Joe made his living as a cartoonist and up until just a few months ago he worked for the local newspaper.

Intel Free Press / Flickr

  Dr. Karen Edison is a dermatologist with the University of Missouri Health system. She has been using telemedicine for over 20 years to see patients at clinics in underserved areas of the state, and to follow-up with her rural patients in their homes. She can see photos of her patient’s skin, answer their questions through email, as well as talk with them through video calling.

Edison says telemedicine is a useful tool because it can save rural patients a trip to her office.

But rural patients aren’t only the ones looking to save time and money.

PMC1stPix / flickr

A proposed Missouri bill would give legal amnesty to those seeking emergency medical help for drug overdoses.

Missouri Foundation for Health

  Open enrollment for health coverage in 2015 is underway, and some Missourians satisfied with their current health insurance may be surprised to learn that parts of their plans, including premiums, are changed for the coming year. The Cover Missouri Coalition, a program of the Missouri Foundation for Health, is encouraging consumers to review their options during this year’s open enrollment period.

I spoke with Ryan Barker, Missouri Foundation for Health’s Vice President of Health Policy, about changes in this year’s health insurance marketplace.


   

Remember when Cheerios and Grape-Nuts went GMO-free? That was about a year ago, when their corporate creators announced that these products would no longer contain ingredients made from genetically modified organisms like common types of corn, soybeans or sugar beets.

healthcare.gov

  Last week marked the beginning of open enrollment for the federal health insurance marketplace, and on the surface it appears not much has changed. By some measures premiums before tax credits are just as affordable as last year - decreasing on average by about one percent according to a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation. But to be a savvy shopper, many consumers should give the marketplace a second look.

Many girls are beginning puberty at an early age, developing breasts sooner than girls of previous generations. But the physical changes don't mean the modern girls' emotional and intellectual development is keeping pace.

Two doctors have written a book called The New Puberty that looks at the percentage of girls who are going through early puberty, the environmental, biological and socioeconomic factors that influence when puberty begins, and whether early puberty is linked with an increased risk of breast cancer.

Philippe Put / Flickr

  Gov. Jay Nixon's administration is cutting back on a $32 million-a-year special program for the blind.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the program offers monthly pension-like payments. The Department of Social Services has told all 3,847 people receiving the pension checks to expect a $33-a-month cut in January. The cut will save the state an estimated $730,000.

The Ebola outbreak started in rural areas, but by June it had reached Liberia's capital, Monrovia.

By August, the number of people contracting the Ebola virus in the country was doubling every week. The Liberian government and aid workers begged for help.

Enter the U.S. military, who along with other U.S. agencies had a clear plan in mid-September to build more Ebola treatment units, or ETUs. At least one would be built in the major town of each of Liberia's 15 counties. That way, sick patients in those counties wouldn't bring more Ebola to the capital.


Obesity is the number one public health issue in Missouri – it affects more than 30% of adults and nearly one in seven children between the ages of ten and seventeen.

by LarimdaME /Flickr Creative Commons

As Thanksgiving approaches, organizers of Almeta Crayton’s annual Thanksgiving Day meal are seeking donations.

Kentrell Minton said the demand for turkeys this year is greater than it’s ever been in the organization’s 17 years in Columbia.

“I think the economy definitely took a toll on the community,” Minton said.

Every year, the organization delivers Thanksgiving baskets to the elderly and disabled as well as hosts a free dinner on Thanksgiving Day for the community.

  

The Healthcare Equality Index is a national benchmarking tool that ranks hospitals based on whether their policies and practices include equal treatment for the LGBT community. Missouri’s standing in this index jumped from 37th  in the nation to 6th in just one year.

I spoke with Andrew Shaughnessy, Public Policy Manager of the Missouri LGBT advocacy organization PROMO, about why this ranking is so important and what it means for Missouri. 

    

stethoscope
vitualis / Flickr

Missouri health advocates are trying to encourage more minorities and rural residents to sign up for insurance through a federally run website.

glenn beck
The Blaze

Conservative talk show host Glenn Beck told fans that for the past few years, he’s been suffering from a mysterious neurological illness. Missouri School of Journalism professors Jim Fink, Jamie Grey and Amy Simons discuss the issue.


Obesity is the number one public health issue in Missouri – it affects more than 30% of adults and nearly one in seven children between the ages of ten and seventeen. But in order to solve the problem of obesity in Missouri, we need to first understand why it exists. Intersection host Ryan Famuliner will lead the discussion of some of the physical, cultural, and even political events that have brought on what is considered by many to be a public health crisis in our state. 

Join us this Tuesday at 7pm for “Missouri: State of Obesity,” a live taping of KBIA’s talk show Intersection. 

Columbia Housing Authority is asking for public comment about a new smoke-free policy for its units. 

LGBT, pride
nathanmac87 / Flickr


  Last month, the Human Rights Campaign called on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to address LGBT discrimination in healthcare.

Sarah Warbelow is the Legal Director for the Human Rights Campaign, a national LGBT advocacy organization. She said many LGBT individuals are hesitant to seek care based on a history of discrimination by healthcare providers.

nomadsoul1 / dreamstime

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Some Missouri residents could have more choices but also see higher costs when enrollment begins for health insurance plans offered through a federally run website.

Open enrollment starts Saturday for people wanting to purchase insurance for 2015 through HealthCare.gov, which offers subsidized coverage under the federal health care law.

KBIA

COLUMBIA – The City of Columbia will switch its water disinfection process from chlorine to chloramine this week. Columbia Water and Light used the chlorine disinfection method until August 2009 when the water was tested and exceeded the maximum contaminant level.

Columbia’s Water Production Superintendent Ed Fisher said the city will add ammonia to its chlorinated water to stop the formulation of disinfection by-products like high levels of trihalomethanes (THMs).

receipt
Brad Montgomery / Flickr

It’s a well known fact that fast food contributes to poor overall health. But what about the receipt that comes with those yummy French fries?

I sat down with MU researcher Dr. Fredrick vom Saal, whose recently published work shows how fast food receipts expose us to a dangerous endocrine disrupting chemical called BPA.


These days, Americans are all about eating local foods. But one important local crop drops to the ground mostly unnoticed every fall. Well, unless you're a squirrel. Yes, we're talking about acorns.

Although acorns don't get the love that hazelnuts and walnuts enjoy, this wasn't always the case. Bill Logan is an arborist in New York, who traced the history of eating acorns for his book Oak: The Frame of Civilization.

farmer
Robert S. Donovan / Flickr

 

 

 

When people think of the United States Department of Agriculture, they of course think about things related to agriculture - farms, crops, livestock.

But Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said the USDA is about much more than that. It’s really about improving the quality of life in rural areas.  

“It's important I think because of the people who live in rural America and the contributions they make to the rest of the country," Vilsack said.

A careful examination of frozen caribou poop has turned up two never-before-seen viruses.

The viruses are hundreds of years old: One of them probably infected plants the caribous ate. The other may have infected insects that buzzed around the animals.

The findings prove viruses can survive for surprisingly long periods of time in a cold environment, according to Eric Delwart, a researcher at Blood Systems Research Institute in San Francisco.

hospital room
jodimarr / Flickr

A Missouri board has approved a bond issuance to finance a new mental health facility at the Fulton State Hospital.

University of Missouri Health Care

  When cleaning your house do you ever wish a robot was there to do it for you? Well, the University of Missouri health care system has that luxury. 

Women's Foundation

In partnership with the Institute of Public Policy at MU, the Women’s Foundation of Kansas City is collecting information about Missouri women for a public database, including things like income and employment, education, childcare and health.  I spoke with Wendy Doyle, President and CEO of the Women’s Foundation, about how the project could have an impact on women's issues in Missouri.

Courtesy NIAID

The Associated Press has said it won't be reporting every instance in which an individual is tested for Ebola. The goal of the media should not be to create undue fear among the population. How much of the reporting out there is helpful, how much is creating panic? Missouri School of Journalism professors Earnest Perry, Mike McKean and Amy Simons discuss the issue.

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