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.

The Republican majority in Congress is intent on repealing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Freshman Kansas 1st District Rep. Roger Marshall is on board. So he’s gathering input from constituents on how to proceed with repealing and replacing the ACA with what he calls needed “free-market reforms.”

The Great Bend Republican recently mailed a survey to 50,000 households in the Big First.

Bryan Thompson / Harvest Public Media

At a stressful time for U.S. farmers, the government’s efforts at calming the agricultural waters took center stage Thursday, when the heads of the U.S. Senate’s Agriculture Committee left Washington for the Midwest to solicit opinions on priorities for the next Farm Bill.

U.S. Sens. Pat Roberts, a Republican from Kansas, and Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat from Michigan, heard from Midwest farmers at their first field hearing on the 2018 Farm Bill at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas.

Kansas State University

A Chinese scientist has been convicted of conspiring to steal trade secrets by smuggling rice seeds from a Kansas bioscience facility.

Weiqiang Zhang was a rice breeder for Ventria Bioscience in Junction City. The company had genetically programmed rice to make several different human proteins, which can be extracted for use in medicine and therapy. Ventria CEO Scott Deeter says its valuable technology.

“We’ve invested in our company about $85 million," Deeter says. "Now, we primarily use rice, but it also could be used in corn, or sorghum or barley.”

Rachel Andrew / flickr Creative Commons

Eight rural communities across Kansas will share $120,000 in grants over the next year to find ways to improve access to fresh produce.

Many rural grocery stores have closed, or are struggling to survive. In St. John, Kansas, the only grocery in town closed last year. Now the nearest full-service food store is 29 miles away.

The Sunflower Foundation is issuing the grants to St. John and other communities to help them figure out how to foster local access to fresh food.

Dodge City Community College Facebook

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.

ronhays / Flickr

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.”

healthcare.gov

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.

Pages