Bryan Thompson

Contributing Reporter

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.

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An estimated 8,000 homes and businesses in southwest Kansas are still without power following a weekend ice storm.

The outages are concentrated in a 9-county area around Dodge City. Outside contractors have been called in—both to help with power lines, and to trim broken trees that are interfering with the work.

Jerri Imgarten, of Victory Electric Cooperative, says as the ice melts and drops off of the power lines, those lines bounce and short circuit.

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Midwest farmers planted the smallest winter wheat crop in a century this Fall.

A worldwide glut of wheat and a bumper crop this summer sent wheat prices tumbling below three dollars a bushel.

Farmers got the message, according to Kansas Wheat Commission CEO Justin Gilpin.

“Some of the lowest prices we’ve seen certainly in a decade," Gilpin says. "I think that had a big impact on farmers’ planting decisions this Fall.”

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Wyandotte County civic and government leaders are calling on the Kansas congressional delegation to oppose repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

A statement from Kansas City, Kansas, Mayor Mark Holland says Obamacare is working, and repealing it would leave 6,000 Wyandotte County residents without health coverage.

A new report from the non-profit Trust For America’s Health says Kansas is falling short on four of ten indicators of public health preparedness.

Kansas is among 18 states that met six of the ten indicators. Missouri met only five. Kansas is one of only two states that have cut their public health budgets three consecutive years.

Bryan Thompson / KHI News Service

School lunch has long been a target of jokes. Those jokes turned to complaints from students and parents alike in 2012 when new congressionally mandated nutrition standards took effect.

Bryan Thompson / Heartland Health Monitor

A panel tasked with finding “Kansas solutions” for health care delivery problems in rural Kansas turned its attention to behavioral health Tuesday.

At a meeting in Larned, Eric Van Allen told the Rural Health Working Group that Kansas spends about $400 million annually on behavioral health — including roughly $175 million through the Medicaid program.

There have been 17 cases of Zika infection in Kansas since the virus first appeared in the Americas last year.

All of the Kansas cases involved people who contracted the disease while traveling in countries with more tropical climates. Now, state health officials are mounting a campaign to prevent Zika from gaining a foothold here.

Bryan Thompson / Heartland Health Monitor

A task force charged with addressing the problems of health care delivery in rural Kansas met for nearly five hours in Salina yesterday. As Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson reports, they still haven’t settled on a direction.

Bryan Thompson / Heartland Health Monitor

The recent news that Kansas is now the seventh-fattest state in the nation points toward a future of increased health problems—including cancer. In fact, as smoking rates decline and obesity rates rise, obesity is poised to overtake tobacco as the leading preventable cause of cancer. That’s why the University of Kansas Cancer Center is highlighting a weight control research study as part of its effort to win federal designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Bryan Thompson / Heartland Health Monitor

About 60 people showed up for a public forum at Kansas State University yesterday on how best to implement a new state law that will allow concealed carry of handguns on university campuses in Kansas next July.

Kansas lawmakers — at least the majority of incumbents — think college campuses will be safer starting next July. That’s when a law they approved will allow people to carry concealed handguns on Kansas Board of Regents campuses.

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