Bryan Thompson

Bryan is the health reporter for Kansas Public Radio.


Nearly 400 dental professionals gathered in Salina this weekend to provide free dental care to those in need. Bryan Thompson has more on the 14th Kansas Mission of Mercy.

Salina orthodontist Cindy Reed says some of the 1,400 patients started lining up Wednesday afternoon—even though the free clinic didn’t begin until Friday morning.

“They’re very, very needy," Reed says. "They’re also very, very grateful.”


Already, flu and pneumonia have been a factor in more than 500 deaths in Kansas. More from Bryan Thompson.

People older than 64 or younger than five are being hit the hardest.

The CDC is advising people with chronic conditions, pregnant women, senior citizens, and small children to take antiviral drugs, such as Tamiflu, if they become infected.

Dr. Mike Munger, at St. Luke’s South Primary Care, in Overland Park, says the drugs need to be taken within 48 hours of the first symptoms to minimize the severity of the flu.

KS Water Office Presentation

A lot has changed in the three decades since the idea of building an aqueduct from the Missouri River to western Kansas was first studied and shelved. For one thing, the water shortages that were mere projections then are now imminent.

That reality, as Bryan Thompson reports, has prompted state officials to dust off the study and re-examine the aqueduct idea.

New health rankings show Kansas stuck at 27--the same slot that it occupied last year. But KPR’s Bryan Thompson reports there was a time--not that long ago--when the state ranked much higher than the middle of the pack.

The United Health Foundation rankings are a snapshot of 30 health measures ranging from clinical care to behavior and environment to state policy.

“Kansas has had a steady decline, from about ten or eleven in that initial 1990 rank to rank 27th in this most recent year’s report,” says Dr. Rhonda Randall, the foundations chief health advisor.

Premiums in the federal health insurance Marketplace are slightly higher, on average, than last year-but not in Kansas. More from Bryan Thompson.

A new report from the Department of Health and Human Services says the cost of the so-called “benchmark” silver plan is up an average of two percent nationwide. But In Kansas, the benchmark plan is actually five per cent lower this year.

Kansas Insurance Department spokesman Bob Hanson says that’s because Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas has added a new HMO marketplace plan with premiums lower than last year’s benchmark silver.

A battle over air pollution from power plants is headed for the U.S. Supreme Court. Bryan Thompson has more...

Kansas and 20 other states contend the EPA should have considered the costs of a 2011 rule. That rule forces coal-fired power plants to install new equipment to remove mercury and other toxins from their exhaust.

An appeals court held that they didn’t have to consider the cost, but the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the states’ challenge. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy says it’s a very narrow challenge, and one the agency will win.

Even with the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans still lack health insurance. For them, safety net clinics are a lifeline. These clinics provide primary care for anyone, regardless of their ability to pay. Today there are federally-funded clinics in 21 Kansas counties, but as Bryan Thompson explains, there soon could be more.

More Kansas students could soon be getting free breakfast at school. Bryan Thompson reports...

A program called Breakfast In the Classroom has added Kansas and six other states to the list of those eligible for the grant-funded program.

It’s too early to say how many kids might be affected. The program chooses individual school districts, based on how many kids qualify for free or reduced-price meals, how many participate in the federal school breakfast program, and the level of local support.

The federal health insurance marketplace opened for its second year of business Saturday. Bryan Thompson has the highlights.

Predictions of double-digit rate increases this year haven’t come true. A review by the non-profit Kansas Health Institute finds that, on average, premiums for plans sold in Kansas are up just one-tenth of one percent. But the average isn’t what matters to consumers.

Every plan is different. Some do have double-digit increases, but some have double-digit price drops.

The Topeka-based Kansas Health Institute has received a half-million dollar grant for its efforts to help public health departments find ways to work together.