Kansas Department of Health and Environment

Kansas Department of Health and Environment

A number of meetings will be held locally over the next two weeks to hear from citizens whose private drinking wells were contaminated by a dangerous chemical.


A statistical summary published every year by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment shows a glimmer of progress last year on a long-standing health disparity between black and white Kansans—the death rate for babies in their first year of life. Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson has details.

Katelyn Kenderdine, flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has agreed to issue birth certificates for two same-sex couples.

In both cases, the women had children through artificial insemination.

Kansas law says a married couple can both be listed on the birth certificate for a child born through artificial insemination, but KDHE initially declined to list two women as the parents.

KDHE spokesperson Sara Belfry says they issued the certificates after reviewing applicable laws and court orders. She says they will issue birth certificates in the future to same-sex couples.

New health statistics show that the Kansas' population has nudged up slightly to 2.9 million.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has reported a 0.3 percent population increase from 2013 to 2014. The report released this week shows that three counties in the Manhattan and Fort Riley area had the largest relative increases in population from 2010 to 2014. Geary County's population increased to 7.4 percent, Pottawatomie County's to 6.5 percent and Riley County's to 5.7 percent.

Sedgwick County

Sedgwick County Commissioners are set to vote Wednesday on a grant worth more than $2 million for the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program.


This piece originally aired on Aug. 6, 2015, during All Things Considered.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has disclosed that they have not received any reports on the handling of fetal tissues in the last 15 years.

The disclosure about fetal tissues comes after Gov. Sam Brownback asked the Board of Healing Arts to investigate whether there have been any illegal transfers of fetal tissue which results from abortions in Kansas.

KSWX_29, flickr Creative Commons

Millions of gallons of sewage that have spilled into the Kansas River at Topeka since spring are no cause for alarm, Kansas health officials said this week.

The issue started in April, when roughly 3 million gallons of raw sewage made it into the river after a power failure at a Topeka pump station, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported. On Tuesday, a sanitary sewer main leak caused 55,000 gallons of raw sewage to flow into the river at a Topeka wastewater treatment plant.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has issued a warning of high levels of toxic blue-green algae for six lakes.

The agency said Thursday the lakes under warning status are in Brown, Sedgwick, Jewell, Marion, Barton and Rooks counties.

The environmental agency said in a statement that boating and fishing on the lakes under warning are safe, but people should avoid direct contact with the water.

jkiralyphotography, flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has issued a health advisory for areas of the state that may experience flooding due to recent rains. KMUW's Aileen LeBlanc reports.

There are physical dangers with high-stream flows and flooding, but there are also possible problems with illness caused by contact with the high waters. KDHE warns the public that pathogens may exist in flooded areas due to surface runoff as well as to water treatment systems being infiltrated with flood waters. Pathogens can then be carried out and moved downstream.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment


This story originally aired during Morning Edition on 05/04/2014. 

Residents of a West Wichita neighborhood learned in March that their private water wells had been contaminated with a chemical likely to cause major health defects. They’ve also learned that the contamination could be decades old.

Ron Barnhart owns a well groomed, one story home in west Wichita.