Bryan Thompson

Bryan is the health reporter for Kansas Public Radio.

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.

photo by By Chris Potter (Flickr: 3D Judges Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The City of Topeka is launching an effort to provide treatment, instead of jail, for people whose misdemeanor crimes are linked to mental illness.

The city will use a $91,000 grant from the Kansas Criminal Justice Coordinating Council to fund an Alternative Sentencing Court next year. 

Flickr Creative Commons/LensDog64

The VA has begun mailing cards to veterans who may need medical care outside the VA health care system. Kansas Public Radio's Bryan Thompson explains.

The cards are called Veterans Choice Cards. They’re intended for veterans who live more than 40 miles from the nearest VA health care facility—or who have faced excessive wait times for appointments.

With the card, veterans can get care from any medical provider who accepts Medicare, any federally-qualified health center, the Indian Health Service, or the Defense Department.

A new study by the University of Kansas finds many Kansans with disabilities are having difficulty getting services through KanCare, the privatized Medicaid managed care program created by the Brownback Administration. As Kansas Public Radio's Bryan Thompson reports, the study questions whether the financial savings from privatization are worth the human costs.

A new report on the well-being of Kansas children shows a steep drop in the number of kids who are fully immunized by the age of two, as recommended.

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.