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Take 5 For Your Health

A Quick, Clickable Roundup Of Health News From Our Region — And Beyond — For The First Week of August

The Missouri Court of Appeals has rejected a challenge to the state's execution protocol. (Photo: Pat Sullivan | AP)
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Appeals Court Throws Out Challenge To Missouri’s Execution Protocol

A legal challenge to Missouri’s execution protocol brought by four taxpayers has been rejected by the Missouri Court of Appeals.

In a decision July 26, the appeals court upheld a lower court’s dismissal of the taxpayers’ claims just days after they filed their lawsuit.

The lawsuit sought to halt the scheduled execution by lethal injection of convicted murderer David Zink. The execution went ahead as scheduled, on July 14, 2015.

Zink had been found guilty of first-degree murder, kidnapping and rape in the 2001 death of 19-year-old Amanda Morton.

The lawsuit was brought by Joan Bray, a former Missouri lawmaker; Jeanette Oxford, also a former Missouri lawmaker and now executive director of Empower Missouri, a social justice advocacy organization; Elston McCowan, a Baptist minister; and Mary Ann McGivern, a member of the Sisters of Loretto.

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

Wyandot Inc. To Cut Mental Health Services For More Than 800 Clients

One of the area’s leading mental health service is cutting services for more than 800 adults and children.

Wyandot Inc., an umbrella organization for four nonprofit agencies in Kansas City, Kansas, said Wednesday that it would need to cut services due to revenue losses and Gov. Sam Brownback’s decision earlier this year to reduce Medicaid reimbursements by 4 percent.

“I’ve been with the organization since 1993,” says Randy Callstrom, president and CEO of Wyandot Inc. “And this is really the first time where we are going to have to learn to have to say, ‘I’m sorry, we are going to have to refer you to someone else in the community to meet your needs.’”

–Alex Smith is a reporter for KCUR

Gilmore Defends Kansas Agency After Critical Foster Care Audit

Kansas Department for Children and Families Secretary Phyllis Gilmore brushed off two Democrats’ calls for her resignation and defended her agency Wednesday following an audit critical of its oversight of the state’s foster care system.

Gilmore acknowledged that the audit was “negative,” but disputed some of it and said the agency already had started correcting most of the deficiencies cited.

Gilmore, a social worker and former legislator appointed by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback four years ago, said she won’t step down.

“I don’t intend to,” Gilmore said after Wednesday’s Legislative Post Audit hearing. “I serve at the pleasure of the governor.”

The report released Wednesday was published by the Legislature’s independent auditing team. It was intended to evaluate how safe foster care is for Kansas children, who have entered the system in record numbers in recent years.

–Andy Marso is a reporter with KHI News Service

Whistleblower Case Against KU Hospital Takes Unexpected Twist

A University of Kansas Hospital pathologist’s lawsuit alleging the hospital’s chief pathologist misdiagnosed a patient with cancer and subsequently covered it up has taken a strange new turn.

On Friday, the plaintiff, Dr. Lowell L. Tilzer, voluntarily dismissed his whistleblower action against the hospital, saying he “believes further litigation of this claim is not necessary to protect him from retaliation at this time.”

But in an unorthodox addendum to the filing, Tilzer appended a statement from the unidentified patient who was allegedly misdiagnosed.

–D.M.

From PBS NewsHour

The Food and Drug Administration asked two South Florida counties — Miami-Dade and Broward — to immediately halt blood donations as what looks like four cases of locally transmitted, mosquito-borne Zika virus are investigated. Hari Sreenivasan talks with Dr. Anthony Fauci, National Institutes of Health, about the virus, which can cause birth defects. Fauci says the FDA is taking “prudent” steps.

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