Science and Technology

This week on KBIA’s talk show Intersection, host Ryan Famuliner sat down with State Sen. Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia), Rep. Caleb Rowden (R-Columbia) and Rep. Chris Kelly (D-Columbia) to discuss the legislative session that ended on Friday. One of the main things on the show’s agenda was, of course, Medicaid expansion – or lack thereof.

Famuliner asked the panelists why the expansion failed to pass. 

A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that only half of Americans identified as having had Hepatitis C ever follow-up with additional screening and treatment. But that’s only part of the problem, according to Bruce Burkett of the Missouri Hepatitis C Alliance. Nearly three in four people who have the disease don’t even know it.

Updated Wednesday, May 22, 5:30 p.m.: The Department of Health & Senior Services is also posting its evaluations of the air monitoring data here. The regulatory standards that DHSS is using to estimate the health risks from landfill fumes are here.

Health care reform put on hold as lawmakers wrap up session

May 16, 2013
Jennifer Davidson / KSMU

Rain is drizzling on the roughly 40 people standing in line outside the Good Samaritan Care Clinic in rural Mountain View, Missouri. Some have been standing for hours. At 5:30 pm, the clinic doors swing open, and the patients flood into a clean, bare bones waiting room.

Missouri Department of Social Services

The director of Missouri’s Medicaid program, Dr. Ian McCaslin, has left.

US Navy/Wikimedia / Creative Commons

Physicians Assistants, or PAs, may soon have more opportunities to practice in Missouri. A bill headed to the Governor’s desk would provide more flexibility in how and where they provide care.Physicians Assistants are trained health workers who practice medicine under the supervision of a doctor. Their training is shorter than that of a doctor, but they do exams, prescribe drugs and diagnose and treat illnesses.

Kellie Kotraba / KBIA News

  

With the Missouri legislative session ending on Friday and a Republican supermajority that still won't budge, the hope to expand Medicaid in Missouri is pretty much dead for FY 2014.

It's so dead that perhaps the only thing that could bring it back to life is, well, interfaith prayers for a miracle.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced a preliminary agreement on Tuesday with the owner of the Bridgeton Landfill.

Koster filed a lawsuit against Republic Services six weeks ago, alleging violations of state environmental laws. A fire has been smoldering underground at the landfill for two and half years.

Columbia’s Environment and Energy Commission is asking the city to increase the percentage of power generated from renewable sources by two percent every year. The goal is to reach 100 percent by the middle of the century.

In 2012, 7.94 percent of electricity in Columbia was generated from renewable sources. The existing standard requires the use of renewable sources reach 10 percent by 2017, and 15 percent by the end of 2022.

Camels are known for their ability to travel long distances across the desert without water.

But they’re also becoming an increasingly important source of milk for people in drought-prone regions. That includes East African countries like Kenya, where camel numbers have skyrocketed over the past few decades.

But introducing camels — or any species — to a new region, could mean bringing in new diseases.

The St. Louis Zoo has been studying camel diseases in Kenya to help assess their risks.

Bridgit Bowden / KBIA

  

  

Imagine if you could take a digital model of anything and print out the actual physical object.  Thanks to a new technology called 3D printing, you can. This new technology has countless uses, but here in Columbia, several MU researchers are exploring its potential in the medical field.

Health money
Tax Credits / Flickr

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced another round of funding to help Americans enroll in the Affordable Care Act's new online health insurance marketplace.

About $150 million is now available for community health centers nationwide to hire and train employees who would provide in-person help for the public about their insurance options in the marketplace, which is set to open for enrollment on Oct. 1. 

The Missouri Psychiatric Center is the only inpatient psychiatric facility for youth within ninety miles of Columbia. The center just renovated their space to include more amenities for youth. The new space is brighter with natural light, new visitation and therapy rooms and three additional beds. The older site was darker and less accommodating for patients.  Director of the center, Laine Young-Walker said the beds were badly needed.

jfcherry / Flickr

Many Missourians will likely need help navigating the Affordable Care Act's new health insurance marketplace that's set to go online by Oct. 1, but one analyst says there might not be enough time or federal funding to train those who can help.

Eric Durban / Harvest Public Media

Cell-phone toting farmers caught in dangerous tractor rollovers may soon be able to more easily signal for help thanks to a new smart phone application in development at the University of Missouri.

The app uses GPS sensors to detect rollovers. The program then sends automatic email and phone alerts with the accident coordinates to an emergency contact.

The Vehicle Rollover Prevention Education Training Emergency Reporting System was developed by Bulent Koc, an assistant professor of agricultural systems management.

Laura King

On this week's show, we'll discuss why regret might not always be a bad thing

Step by step: One man walks across Missouri for a cause

May 2, 2013
Meredith Turk / KBIA

One St. Louis man is walking from Kansas City to St. Louis. He’s walking to share his story about a lifetime struggle with mental illness. His walk aims to raise awareness and funds for more mental health support in rural communities. 

grabadonut / Flickr

In separate studies both published on Wednesday, researchers at Washington University helped lead the genomic analysis of two types of cancer.

faucet
Jenn Durfey / flickr

The Boone County Sheriff’s Department collected almost 650 pounds of prescription drugs from drop-off locations around Boone County in a drug pick-up event this past weekend … and the sheriff’s department reports there is an increase in people dropping off prescriptions for environmental reasons.

joplin
File / KBIA

The federal government is giving the city of Joplin a deal on two fire engines it loaned the city after the 2011 tornado.

Youth advocacy group to host drug take-back event

Apr 26, 2013
The Javorac / Flickr

The Columbia-based Youth Community Coalition is hosting its annual prescription drug take back this Friday and Saturday. The take back is part of a national movement to collect and dispose of expired and unused prescription drugs, in collaboration with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Eight Missouri counties received an “F” grade in The American Lung Association’s recent“State of the Air” report card. The latest report was released Wednesday – grades U.S. counties and cities on air quality. 

Out of the 17 counties with enough data available to issue a score, only Boone County received an “A” grade. And here’s the list of the counties that failed: Clay, Clinton, Jasper, Jefferson, Perry, St. Charles, St. Louis, and St. Louis city. Researchers used air quality data between 2009 and 2011 for the grading.

Harum Helmy / KBIA News

If you think all cowboys are of the rugged, silent and stoic Marlboro Man type – think again. Some cowboys write poetry.  

Every year since 1998, for a weekend in April, a group of cowboy poets Missouri and its surrounding states gather in Mountain View, Mo., near West Plains. They spend three days in town, usually from Friday to Wednesday, giving poetry performances, playing folk songs, telling classic cowboy stories. The gathering, also known as the Missouri Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival, is one of the largest of its kind in the Midwest. 

Wash U center aims to increase collaboration on global health

Apr 18, 2013

Researchers from all over the world are gathering today at Washington University for a conference on global health.

The event is the first to be organized by the university’s recently-created Center for Global Health and Infectious Disease. St. Louis Public Radio’s Véronique LaCapra spoke with the Center’s director Bill Powderly about its mission.

MIZ-GYT provides free STI testing for students

Apr 18, 2013
Bridgit Bowden / KBIA

The University of Missouri Student Health Center offers free sexually transmitted infection testing Wednesday and Thursday as part of an education campaign called “GYT.”

“Get Yourself Tested,” or GYT, is a national campaign to promote STI testing for college students.  At MU, the Wednesday and Thursday event dubbed “MIZ-GYT” offers free HIV, chlamydia, and gonorrhea tests.   

Libby Hicks, a graduate assistant at the Student Health Center, said part of the program is to reduce the stigma of getting tested. 

Stethoscope
File Photo / KBIA

Last Friday, the Centers for Disease Control announced a nationwide shortage of TUBERSOL, a product needed for tuberculosis skin testing.

According to the alert, TUBERSOL manufactures notified the CDC that 50 dose vials of TUBERSOL were unavailable and 10 dose vials were limited.

On Wednesday, the City of Columbia announced the shortage in a press release.

The Community Health Center of Central Missouri is set to provide dental services at a new clinic in Callaway County next month. The new Fulton clinic is one of four of the center’s branches. CEO Don Holloman said the organization decided to extend its services to Fulton after an assessment revealed there is a growing population of people in the area without access to dental care.

Power Up conference explores technology for people with disabilities

Apr 16, 2013
Michael Losch / KBIA

New technology that can assist the disabled is rapidly developing, and a conference in Columbia this week is putting a spotlight on that technology. 

About 500 people, including educators and disability advocates are gathered at this week’s Power Up 2013 Conference and Expo to explore how technology can help in the everyday lives of the disabled.  The conference, taking place at Columbia’s Holiday Inn Executive Center, features 62 different presentations about devices to help people with a range of disabilities. 

Volunteers Clean up Columbia

Apr 15, 2013

Volunteers collected almost 1,500 bags of trash Saturday in the city’s annual Clean Up Columbia service day.

Leader Nancy Pelosi / Flickr

Every Friday, KBIA's Health & Wealth Desk talks about the week's most interesting articles and reports on rural health, wealth and society issues. 

'Redneck reality' and rural portrayal in cable television

Entertainment newspaper The A.V. Club muses on A&E's popular reality show Duck Dynasty, saying the show is the 21st century incarnation of old rural-themed sitcoms that once dominated network television. Think Petticoat JunctionThe Beverly Hillbillies, and Hee-Haw. It's an interesting read, but we were especially interested with the author's take on ways the television shows have to negotiate the rural-urban political disparities. 

While the rural-themed programming of days gone by tended to depict the small Southern town as a bucolic haven for good-hearted folk, redneck reality is more apt to acknowledge the social and economic ills of the subcultures it depicts. These shows are sanitized for the protection of viewers with blue-state sensibilities; when they occur at all, political discussions tend to center on generalized platitudes about freedom and family, rather than specifics that might turn off half the potential audience.

 

H/T: The Rural Blog

Did headlines about death rates at rural hospitals tell the wrong story?
The Daily Yonder is killing it with their opinion pieces this week. 

Case in point: A new report made headlines last week, saying death rates are rising at rural, geographically isolated hospitals. But an opinion writer for the Yonder says news reports are not telling the real story of these so-called critical access hospitals:

The patients in the small rural hospital with heart attack, heart failure or pneumonia have become a select population. A large proportion has decided that they are through paying all the human costs of the miracles of modern medicine. They have made the decision to stay in familiar surroundings near home and family. 

The researchers found that 13.3% of the patients at critical access hospitals with one of the three conditions died, compared to 11.4 % of the medical center patients. Given all the terrible tools that modern medical centers have to work with, I’m amazed they only manage a small difference in patient survival over the most basic, little country hospitals in America. 

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