Bryan Thompson

RURAL HEALTH & AGRICULTURE REPORTER, KANSAS NEWS SERVICE

Bryan Thompson is a reporter for the Kansas News Service, specializing in rural health and agriculture. He is based in Salina.

Bryan has worked in radio news for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Wichita State University.

Ways to Connect

Kansas Public Radio

Emergency officials are assessing the damage in Kansas after a massive tornado rolled across the north-central part of the state, destroying at least two dozen homes.

The tornado, nearly a half-mile wide at times, remained on the ground for nearly 90 minutes as it churned near the towns of Solomon, Chapman and Abilene.

The twister cut a path 28 miles long and crossed Interstate 70, the main east-west highway across Kansas.

Alex Proimos, flickr Creative Commons

Last fall NPR, Harvard, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation partnered to survey Americans about their perceptions of health care. Kansas was one of seven states singled out for a closer look. And the thing that stood out about Kansans was the degree of concern they expressed about the cost of health care.

Bryan Thompson / Heartland Health Monitor

A southwest Kansas hospital on the verge of having to close its doors appears to have a new lease on life, thanks to a new management contract with an Oklahoma company.

Feeding America

A new study of food insecurity finds some familiar patterns in Kansas. But as Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson explains, there are also a few surprises.

Every year when the County Health Rankings are published, they show southeast Kansas and Wyandotte County as having persistent problems with poverty. So it should come as no surprise that those same places have a high degree of food insecurity—defined as a lack of reliable access to adequate food.

http://www.kancare.ks.gov

A new report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says approximately 34,000 Kansans could get treatment for mental illness or substance abuse disorders if the state would agree to expand its Medicaid program, known as KanCare.

Amy Campbell is a lobbyist for the Kansas Mental Health Coalition, which represents a wide range of Kansans with an interest in mental health. She thinks coverage through KanCare might help relieve some of the pressure on the state mental hospitals.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

According to a new annual county health ranking from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, the overall health in Sedgwick County is similar to recent years, but there are some areas of concern.

Results for Sedgwick County were consistent with past years, but the county did fall dramatically in its ranking for physical environment. That category includes things like the percentage of severe housing problems and the number of residents who drive to work alone instead of carpooling.

Bryan Thompson / Heartland Health Monitor

For people with developmental disabilities, finding a job can be difficult. Sheltered workshops were created to provide work for them in a setting protected from competition in the marketplace. But some advocates say this system too often traps workers, and exploits them as a source of low-wage labor for employers.

NPR/ROBERT WOOD JOHNSON/HARVARD T.H. CHAN SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH

A new poll from NPR, Harvard, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation explores Americans' experiences with the health care system in the two years since the Affordable Care Act was fully implemented. Kansas was one of seven states singled out for closer scrutiny.

Bryan Thompson / Heartland Health Monitor

A recent report credits the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, for helping to reduce the racial and ethnic inequalities in health insurance coverage. But Kansas has not made as much progress as other states. Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson investigates why—and what can be done about it.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The enrollment period for the federal health insurance marketplace closed Monday night, with higher enrollment than last year in both Kansas and Missouri. But as Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson explains, the numbers don’t tell the whole story.

Prior to the Affordable Care Act, the number of Americans without health insurance ranged from about 15 to 18 percent. Now, it’s below 10 percent for the first time ever.

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