Bryan Thompson

Bryan is the health reporter for Kansas Public Radio.

Officials from Wolf Creek, the only nuclear power plant in Kansas, updated the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Thursday on their efforts to solve persistent problems with the water supply that cools safety equipment at the plant. As Kansas Public Radio's Bryan Thompson reports, the NRC has been aware of the problems for the last five years.

The Regional Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency says climate change is already happening in Kansas and the entire region. As Bryan Thompson reports, Administrator Karl Brooks says the best way to minimize climate change is to implement the EPA's Clean Power Plan.

Brooks says that’s because power plants are the largest uncontrolled source of carbon emissions in America.

“Our obligation to regulate those pollutants is clear," he says. "The Supreme Court announced that nearly six years ago.”

The top Medicare expert at the Kaiser Family Foundation says the health care program for older Americans is stronger today than it was four years ago-and the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, is the reason why. Bryan Thompson spoke with Tricia Neuman while she was in Salina for an annual senior fair.

President Obama has issued an executive order directing the federal government to step up the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Bryan Thompson reports, it's a fight with enormous consequences.

In her job overseeing infectious disease testing at the University of Kansas Hospital, professor Rebecca Horvat is very familiar with bacteria that are impervious to front-line antibiotics.

“Half of them are very antibiotic-resistant," she says. "You only have a few drugs left to treat them. I see it every day.”

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has received a federal grant of almost $1 million to help the CDC develop strategies to reduce the number of violent deaths. As Kansas Public Radio's Bryan Thompson explains, the state will share homicide and suicide data with the National Violent Death Reporting System for five years.

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A Washington, D.C., group that advocates for families and children is urging Kansans to speak up for renewal of the Children's Health Insurance Program. Bryan Thompson has more.

The Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, was created in 1997 to cover kids whose families are not poor enough for Medicaid, but can’t afford private insurance. The program needs to be reauthorized by Congress to continue after the next fiscal year.

Hospitals in Kansas City have been seeing hundreds of kids with a viral respiratory illness.

Bryan Thompson reports, the virus typically causes only mild--if any--symptoms, but it can be severe in some cases.

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The two U.S. Senators from Kansas say they won't play politics with the budget bill containing the final $300 million in federal funding for a state-of-the-art bio-security lab under construction adjacent to the Kansas State University campus. The $1.25 billion lab is scheduled to open in 2023, barring any further hurdles.

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One of the subplots in this political year is the battle over coal. A Washington group with deep Republican ties is pouring a quarter-million dollars into TV ads urging Kansans to join Governor Sam Brownback in fighting-quote-"for Kansas jobs and cheaper energy." It's a reference to one of the state's longest simmering political battles – the dispute over the construction of a new coal-fired power plant in southwest Kansas. Bryan Thompson explores the controversy...

The Secretary of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services says new federal labor rules may interfere with services that help disabled Kansans live in their own homes.

As Bryan Thompson explains, the concern is about overtime for workers who are hired and supervised by people with disabilities. 

KDADS Secretary Kari Bruffett told a legislative panel a new rule scheduled to go into effect January first will change the way overtime is calculated for these workers.

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