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Take 5 For Your Health

A Quick, Clickable Roundup Of Health News From Our Region — And Beyond — For The Second Week Of June

photo of kids in coffeyville school district A $3.3 million cut to the Kansas Children's Cabinet budget means grant reductions across the state. The Coffeyville school district faces a $140,000 cut just before it intends to open four new classrooms to offer all-day preschool to more children. (Photo: Courtesy of Coffeyville USD 445)
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Kansas Children’s Cabinet Grant Programs Face Imminent Cuts

Children’s programs across the state are scrambling to deal with grant cuts that take effect at the start of July.

The cuts come from a $3.3 million reduction in funding for the Kansas Children’s Cabinet, which uses the state’s share of the 1998 master settlement agreement with large tobacco companies to provide grants through the Children’s Initiatives Fund for programs for children and families.

The Children’s Cabinet cut was part of $97 million in funding reduction to state agencies that Gov. Sam Brownback announced in mid-May.

The timing for a budget cut to early childhood programs couldn’t be much worse, Coffeyville USD 445 Superintendent Craig Correll said.

The district faces a $140,000 cut just before it intends to open new rooms in its preschool building to offer all-day preschool to more children, Correll said. The challenge is even greater because the district has only about one month to reduce expenses or find additional revenue, he said

— Megan Hart is a reporter with KHI News Service, an editorially independent initiative of the Kansas Health Institute, and a partner in Heartland Health Monitor, a reporting collaboration that also includes KCPT and KCUR.

As KC Area’s Population Ages, Who Will Treat The Elderly?

At Truman Medical Center’s nursing home facility in eastern Jackson County, Missouri, Dr. John Dedon drops by to chat with one of his patients, a spritely 82-year-old woman who’s lived there for the last four years.

“I’m just stopping by to say hi and see how you’re doing today,” he says, taking a seat next to her in the facility’s bustling hallway. “How are you feeling? Are people treating you O.K.?”

Dedon is probing not just for physical symptoms but looking for changes in his patient’s mood and affect.

Dedon, however, is one of just a few dozen geriatricians in the Kansas City area.

In 2010, there were nearly 219,000 adults age 65 and over in the nine-county Kansas City metropolitan area. That was 11.4 percent of the population. By 2030, the 65-plus population here is projected to grow to more than 416,000 people, or nearly 18 percent of the population.

In other words, there’s already tremendous demand to treat older people – and treat them appropriately. And that demand is only going to grow.

— Dan Margolies is editor of Heartland Health Monitor

Rural Hospitals Face Daunting But Manageable Challenges, Says Rural Health Expert

Rural hospitals nationwide are facing a host of financial challenges, but states can still take action to keep them open, the head of a rural health group told the Governor’s Rural Health Working Group on Wednesday in Topeka.

Alan Morgan

Alan Morgan, CEO of the National Rural Health Association, spoke Wednesday in Topeka at a meeting of the Governor’s Rural Health Working Group. (Photo: Megan Hart | Heartland Health Monitor)

Alan Morgan, CEO of the National Rural Health Association, said people in urban areas have a few explanations for why rural hospitals are struggling: irreversible population decline in rural areas, low-quality care and bad management practices.

In fact, he said, rural population across the nation appears to be stabilizing, rural hospitals do as well as or better than urban hospitals on quality measures, and insurance companies have struggled with the economics of serving rural populations.

However, he said, that doesn’t mean the problems of rural hospitals are an urban exaggeration. If hospitals continue to close at the current rate, about one in four rural hospitals will close in the next 10 years, Morgan said. A study released earlier this year by the NRHA and iVantage found that 673 U.S. hospitals, including 29 in Kansas, were at risk of closing in the next decade.

Court Upholds Big Verdict In Case Against Overland Park Pain Clinic And Doctor

A Kansas appeals court has upheld a jury award to the estate and parents of a 40-year-old man who took his life after a botched medical procedure left him with overwhelming spinal injuries.

The $2.88 million judgment in 2014 was the largest jury award in a Johnson County medical malpractice case in more than 25 years, according to local attorneys.

In upholding the judgment, the Kansas Court of Appeals on May 27 rejected the argument of the defendants, PainCARE of Overland Park and Dr. Kimber Eubanks, that the trial judge improperly instructed the jury it could find liability only if  negligence “caused” rather than merely “contributed to” Joel Burnette’s death.

— DM

From PBS NewsHour

Published on May 28, 2016
More than five million Americans live with Alzheimer’s, a degenerative brain disease, and it is also the fifth leading cause of death for people over 65 years old in the U.S. A new study suggests it may stem from the brain’s past attempts to fight off infections. Rob Moir, one of the study’s authors, joins Lisa Desjardins to discuss.

— Find Flatland on Facebook and follow on Twitter @FlatlandKC.

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