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Take 5 For Your Health

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

vegtable aisle Kansas City, Kansas, officials are lamenting the closing of a Price Chopper grocery store in the northeast part of the city. Full-service grocery stores are often the only place to buy fresh food in under-served neighborhoods (Photo: Orlin Wagner | AP)
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Price Chopper Closing In KCK Surprises City Officials, Sets Back Healthy Food Efforts

A decades-old grocery store in northeast Kansas City, Kansas, is closing, delivering a blow to a part of town that’s already short on healthy food options.

The Price Chopper at 43rd and State Avenue, which has operated under different names for more than 30 years, was scheduled to close Sunday.

The closing came as a surprise to city officials.

“We’ve built six new grocery stores in the last eight years and we need to build more, so losing this one is a loss but it’s something we’re committed to replacing in short order,” said Mark Holland, the mayor of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas.

— Dan Margolies is editor of Heartland Health Monitor, a reporting collaboration that includes KCUR, KCPT and KHI News Service, an editorially independent initiative of the Kansas Health Institute.

In Kansas’ richest county, Medicaid expansion’s absence still felt 

Tim DeWeese highlighted Johnson County’s neediest residents last week while briefing an audience about what the county is losing because Kansas policymakers have declined to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

DeWeese, executive director of the county’s mental health agency, said there are people living under bridges or “surfing” from couch to couch in the state’s most prosperous county — and they didn’t come in from elsewhere.

“There is a homeless population, here in Johnson County,” he said. DeWeese spoke at the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park as part of an event hosted by the Alliance for a Healthy Kansas. It was the seventh stop at venues across the state as the alliance seeks to build grassroots support for Medicaid expansion in an election year.

The alliance estimates that almost 40,000 Johnson County residents are uninsured and more than 25 percent of them would gain coverage through Medicaid expansion. Expanding eligibility for Medicaid also would bring about $44 million a year into the county’s health care economy, creating an estimated 282 jobs.

–Andy Marso is a reporter for KHI News Service

Report sees slight improvement in Kansas health system performance 

A review of health system performance nationwide shows some improvement in Kansas — but not much.

The report, released Thursday by the nonprofit Commonwealth Fund, covers three dozen indicators of access, quality, cost and health outcomes.

Most of the data used for the report is from 2011 to 2014, which is the first year the Affordable Care Act provided subsidized health insurance through the online marketplace for citizens who were not insured through an employer.

The report concludes that the ACA is largely responsible for many of the health system improvements as more people gained insurance and were able to obtain and better afford needed health care.

“Largely because of the ACA’s coverage expansions, the percentage of working-age adults without health insurance fell in nearly all local areas — dropping by four percentage points or more in 189 local areas between 2012 and 2014,” the report said. “In addition, 155 local areas saw substantial reductions in 30-day readmission rates for Medicare beneficiaries, coinciding with the ACA’s penalties for hospitals that have high readmission rates.”

–Bryan Thompson is a reporter for KHI News Service

Tippin’s Recalls Some Key Lime Pies Due To Possible Peanut Residue

Tippin’s Gourmet Pies LLC has voluntarily recalled several lots of its key lime pies because they may contain flour with peanut residue, the Food and Drug Administration said.

Tippin’s said it conducted the recall of the popular product after its supplier, the Kellogg Company, recalled graham cracker crumbs used in the pies’ crusts because they may contain peanut residue.

The FDA said the pies were sold to distributors in Kansas, Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona and Illinois.

No illnesses or allergic reactions to the pies have been reported, but Tippin’s said it was taking the action “out of an abundance of caution.”

–D.M.

From PBS NewsHour

Published on Jul 15, 2016
Fishermen on a tiny island in western Kenya have incredibly high rates of HIV, but a new effort underway may be showing how to defeat the virus among some of the hardest-to-reach populations. William Brangham reports with support from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting as part the series, “The End of AIDS?”

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