Bryan Thompson

Bryan Thompson joined the Kansas Health Institute in 2015 after more than 35 years in radio news. For the last 15 years he has worked with Kansas Public Radio, where he produced the award-winning series, “Kansas Health: A Prescription for Change,” and collaborated with the KHI News Service. Prior to his work at KPR, Bryan served as news director for commercial radio stations in El Dorado, Liberal and Salina. Bryan has partnered with NPR and Kaiser Health News through their “Health Care in the States” initiative. He was selected by the National Institutes of Health for its Medicine in the Media training program and by the Association of Health Care Journalists for its yearlong Midwest Health Journalism Fellowship. Bryan is a graduate of Wichita State University.

Health care providers across the country have been fearing the switch to a complicated new coding and billing system. Some were predicting an apocalyptic snarl of red tape. But when Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson checked in with some Kansas providers about how things have gone the first month, they said “so far, so good.”

The new billing system is called ICD-10. It's the tenth version of the World Health Organization's International Classification of Diseases. That's where the initials, ICD, come from.

Kansas Action for Children

An annual report on child well-being in Kansas shows some positive trends, but they’re overshadowed by persistent problems.

Among the improvements cited in the 2015 Kansas Kids Count report: There are fewer uninsured children in Kansas.

Bryan Thompson / Heartland Health Monitor

A Cargill executive told a crowd at Kansas State University Monday night that climate change is real, and must be addressed head-on to prevent future food shortages. Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson has more.

A statistical summary published every year by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment shows a glimmer of progress last year on a long-standing health disparity between black and white Kansans—the death rate for babies in their first year of life. Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson has details.

Two Kansas organizations are hiring staff to increase the number of consumers they can help in the search for health insurance that meets their needs. Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson has details.

The federal health insurance marketplace opens for 2016 coverage Nov. 1.

The Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved and Ascension Health have both received federal grants to help consumers sort through the many options they’ll find. Together, their insurance navigators helped almost 20,000 Kansans find coverage for this year.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

A Kansas woman is suing a San Diego-based produce distributor after she was hospitalized with Salmonella poisoning linked to tainted cucumbers. Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson has details.

Monica Rios loves cucumbers. The Sedgwick County woman says she bought a Fat Boy brand cucumber at a Wal-Mart store in Wichita last August, washed it thoroughly, and ate it in a salad. Within a couple of days, she was hospitalized with abdominal cramping and pain she says she wouldn’t wish on her worst enemy.

Bryan Thompson / Heartland Health Monitor

Few people associate hospitals with fine dining--hence the term “hospital food.” But a group of Kansas hospitals is out to change that.

Not only are they working to make the food they serve to patients, staff and visitors better, they’re working to make it healthier. Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson traveled to northwest Kansas to visit one of the hospitals involved in the effort.

Almost one in every three adults in Kansas and Missouri is not just overweight, but obese, according to a new report from two non-profit organizations. Heartland Health Monitor's Bryan Thompson has more.

The report notes that obesity rates nationwide have stabilized—but at a level that's much too high.

Kansas is one of five states that actually saw an increase in obesity. Both Kansas and Missouri were among the eight states where rates of Type II diabetes—which is linked to obesity—increased.


The man who has headed the Land Institute since its establishment in 1976 has announced plans to step down from his leadership position next summer. Heartland Health Monitor's Bryan Thompson has details.

Wes Jackson sees agriculture as a problem. That's because it requires plowing, which leads to soil erosion. It also plants large tracts of land with a single species of crop, using large-scale application of pesticides and fertilizer.

Bryan Thompson / Heartland Health Monitor

People who live in small towns across Kansas are struggling to save institutions that in their minds define their communities.