Health

Health
7:51 am
Tue February 19, 2013

WSU Professor Seeks Parkinson's Prevention

Dr. Kandatege Wimalesena works in his lab at Wichita State University.
Credit Milt Radford

At least 50,000 people in America are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease each year and that number is expected to increase as the population ages.

Parkinson's disease is a neurological disorder caused by the death of dopamine producing cells in the brain. The symptoms include impaired movement, rigid muscles and impaired posture.

Wichita State University biochemistry professor Kandatege Wimalesena is leading a research effort to find some answers.

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Health
6:05 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Kansas Will Have Federally Operated Health Exchange

The new online health insurance marketplace going into effect next year in Kansas as part of the Affordable Care Act will be operated by federal, not state, officials.

That is because Gov. Sam Brownback refused to have any role in implementing what he calls "Obamacare."

Last Friday was the final deadline for states to notify federal officials of their interest in creating a federal-state partnership model for the new health insurance exchange. The deadline came and went with no action by Gov. Brownback.

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Health
5:56 am
Fri February 15, 2013

Bill Would Bar Public Health Department Accreditation

A Kansas Senate committee will hear testimony Monday on a bill that would prohibit public health agencies from pursuing accreditation.

The bill was introduced by Wichita Sen. Michael O’Donnell. The freshman Republican has not yet explained the rationale for the bill.

Michelle Ponce, who heads the Kansas Association of Local Health Departments, says accreditation is a voluntary process to implement and monitor quality improvement.

“We’re really baffled by this bill, to be quite honest," she says.

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Health
6:34 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Feeling Dizzy? What You Need To Know About Vertigo

Dr. Robert Jensen demonstrates infrared goggles used to diagnose vertigo on Angelica Garcia.
Credit Carla Eckels

A growing number of patients suffer from vertigo, an unsettling sense of one's environment spinning or moving.

Carol Taylor, 68, recalls the first time she had vertigo after a shopping excursion.

She had spent an entire Saturday shopping with friends, doing what they call "shop 'til you drop."

Which, she says, is exactly what she did when she got home.

"I found out later it was a vertigo attack," she says. "I went from an upright position to laying flat on the floor."

She was also sick to her stomach and extremely disoriented.

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Health
1:04 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Former Dodge City Clinic Withdraws From Funding Suit

The Dodge City Family Planning Clinic is trying to withdraw from a lawsuit that challenges a state law that strips federal funds from family planning clinics in Wichita, Hays and Dodge City.

A filing with the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Monday shows the parties have entered into an agreement to dismiss the Dodge City clinic from the suit. The clinic closed on December 31.

The move has no effect on the claims by Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri.

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Health
6:08 am
Mon February 11, 2013

KanCare To Offer Disability Support Services March 1

Chad Simmons attending a Statehouse rally last April to urge lawmakers to omit services for the developmentally disabled in KanCare.
Credit Phil Cauthon

Kansans with developmental disabilities and their caregivers have been among the most vocal critics of the new privatized Medicaid system.

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Health
1:08 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Kansas Health Department Cuts Most Free HIV Testing

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has stopped providing free HIV/AIDS testing for most Kansas counties.

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Health
6:39 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Tiller's Former Clinic To Reopen This Spring

A Wichita clinic formerly operated by slain abortion provider Dr. George Tiller is expected to reopen soon.

Dr. George Tiller’s former building was recently purchased by an organization called Trust Women Foundation. It’s headed by Julie Burkhart, who used to run Tiller’s political action committee.

Abortion services have been unavailable in Wichita since Tiller was gunned down in 2009. Burkhart says each year, women in the Wichita area have to travel to Kansas City or to Oklahoma to get an abortion.

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Health
5:57 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Nearly Two Out Of Five Kansas Inmates Are Mentally Ill

The number of mentally ill prisoners in Kansas has increased by 126 percent since 2006. Nearly two out of every five adult inmates in Kansas are classified as mentally ill.

Republican Senator Steve Fitzgerald blames the spike on the state's failure to develop an effective, community-based system of treatment. His district includes Lansing Correctional Facility.

Fitzgerald says Kansas Department of Corrections Secretary Ray Roberts is by default the provider of last resort for a growing group of people with mental illness.

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Health
6:05 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Kansas Anti-Tobacco Programs Have Room for Improvement

Credit Fried Dough / Flickr

Kansas has lots of work to do to improve its "grades" on tobacco control, according to a new report card from the American Lung Association.

Kansas gets an “A” for its Clean Indoor Air Act. However, the state gets a “D” for the relatively low rate of taxes on tobacco, and an “F” for efforts to prevent tobacco use, and to help those already using it to quit.

“It’s not a whole lot different than last year, but it’s woefully accurate,”says Linda DeCoursey, head of the non-profit Tobacco-Free Kansas Coalition.

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