HPPR Health, Education & Welfare

Health

‐state policy‐impact of federal policy‐rural health care delivery‐access & availability

Education

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Welfare

‐state policies‐income levels‐wellness‐quality of life

A COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University and pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca will be tested locally as part of a clinical trial seeking to enroll 30,000 participants nationwide.

The University of Kansas Medical Center and Children’s Mercy Hospital will lead the local effort, which calls for the recruitment of 1,500 participants in Kansas and Missouri.

Happy Fourth of July, High Plains. (Well, a little early, but IT'S ALL I GOT!) Today on High Plains Morning, I talked to Jill Bronaugh, the Public Information Manager for the Office of the State Fire Marshal for Kansas. She shared some great tips and reminders regarding safety for this year's holiday weekend. Not only do you need ot be mindlful of fireworks, but this year also has a lot of other risks due to the pandemic.

Some blood banks in North Texas are worried about a blood shortage. They're now offering COVID-19 antibody tests as an added service and incentive to donate.

LAWRENCE, Kansas — Activists and citizens from Dodge City to the Kansas City suburbs are reconsidering the involvement of police in their communities — including whether officers should continue to help respond to mental health crises.

The Kansas Board of Regents approved tuition hikes for four state universities, while the University of Kansas and Kansas State University held their tuition flat.

KU announced its plans not to raise tuition last month, saying the school needs to stay competitive. But it also said it wasn't right to raise tuition as students and their families deal with lost jobs and income caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

K-State gave similar reasons.

Valerie Brown-Kuchera

I think I’m losing my romantic touch. The other evening I was attempting to flirt with Joel, and I said, “Hey baby, can you do that thing I love so much?”

He looked up from his newspaper and replied, “The dishes or the laundry?”

People with intellectual disabilities and autism who contract COVID-19 die at higher rates than the rest of the population, according to an analysis by NPR of numbers obtained from two states that collect data. They also contract the virus at a higher rate, according to research looking into group homes across the United States.

The state of Texas has spent more than $200 million on 106 bulk orders of personal protective equipment from March 1 through early June, according to purchase orders released Tuesday by the Texas Division of Emergency Management.

LAWRENCE, Kansas — A full two-thirds of Kansans say they don’t personally know someone who’s been infected with the coronavirus.

Yet an overwhelming number of respondents to a survey say the pandemic remade their lives, mostly for the worse.

They talk of worry, boredom. It has cost most of them money. In a time of one-way grocery aisles and when you need to wear a mask to go into a bank, they speak of a future that has hardly ever looked so gloomily foggy.

TOPEKA, Kansas — County health departments in Kansas lacked the resources and manpower to swiftly ramp up “boots-on-the-ground” work when the coronavirus pandemic hit, new research suggests.

The work by researchers at the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita sheds light on the state’s preparedness for the pandemic. Local health departments do much of the frontline work gathering test samples from sick people and tracking down others who may have been exposed.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released data Thursday on the number of reported cases of COVID-19 in nursing homes across the country. The data includes specifics on which facilities have cases — information that both Texas and Austin officials had previously refused to release, citing privacy laws.

Kansas school districts are trying to budget for some pretty big unknowns right now.

No one knows if it will even be safe to have students in schools in August, and everyone’s worried about the $650 million hole COVID-19 blew in the state’s budget. Administrators are worried that if the state’s economy doesn’t rebound soon, they’ll have to make deep cuts in the middle of next school year.

TOPEKA, Kansas — Fed-up with sticker shock from air ambulance bills, one insurer has pressed its case all the way to the Kansas Supreme Court.

Rural hospitals have been planning for the arrival of the coronavirus, but the preparations for a virus that may not come are putting some already struggling rural hospitals in danger.

Mike Gruenberg, director of disaster preparedness at Salem Memorial Hospital, a 25-bed critical access care facility, said getting ready for coronavirus patents meant making major changes.

Expert Tip Sheet For Pushing Back Against Your Medical Bills

May 27, 2020

Got a medical bill that seems too high? First step: Ask if there’s been a mistake. Next step, fight back.

The tips below come from a dozen experts in law, medical billing and patient advocacy.

PITTSBURG, Kansas — Alvin Letner doesn’t remember signing the form where he promises to pay a medical bill of nearly $50,000 he hadn’t yet seen.

Much of that day in July 2019 is a blank for him. A dog ran onto the highway as he and other motorcyclists on a veterans fundraiser rode by. It knocked him off his antique BMW, breaking his neck, three ribs and an elbow.

From Texas Standard:

Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer, and many Texans have been enjoying the holiday weekend at parks and beaches. But the COVID-19 pandemic presses on, with cases still rising in Texas, and public gatherings only increase the likelihood that that trend will continue.

Texas will soon test all residents and staff for the new coronavirus in state-run homes for people with disabilities, according to an email sent to employees from the state official who oversees the facilities.

The toll of the COVID-19 pandemic is staggering: More than 90,000 Americans have died of the disease and more than 38 million people have filed for unemployment since MarchWhile the pain is widespread, it hasn’t been equal.

From Texas Standard:

According to recent reports by the Urban Institute and the Kaiser Family Foundation, more than 1 million Texans are projected to lose their health insurance because of the economic recession in the U.S. caused by the coronavirus. That's in addition to the approximately 5 million people – equivalent to about 18% of the state's population– who are already uninsured.

In Afghanistan, a group of teenage girls are trying to build a mechanized, hand-operated ventilator for coronavirus patients, using a design from M.I.T. and parts from old Toyota Corollas.

It sounds like an impossible dream, but then again, the all-girls robotics team in question is called the "Afghan Dreamers." Living a country where two-thirds of adolescent girls cannot read or write, they're used to overcoming challenges.

The Kansas News Service is boiling down key coronavirus-related developments in the state. To read this information in Spanish, go here.

This list was last updated at 2:40 p.m. Aug. 14.

33,885 cases (see map for counties)

2,020 hospitalizations

402 deaths

Desirae Pierce and her teachers at Breath and Body Yoga have been doing classes over Zoom for the past two months. Today, they'll start holding small, in-person classes at the Tarrytown studio.

While online classes were popular, Pierce says, she's excited to bring back an in-person practice.

Dental offices across Kansas closed for more than a month to make sure they weren’t using up critical personal protective equipment needed at hospitals.

Now many are beginning to clean molars and bicuspids again.

Brian Grimmett of the Kansas News Service spoke with David Lawlor, a dentist, and Julie Martin, the president of the Kansas Dental Hygienists’ Association, to find out what you can expect when you go and how they’re trying to keep patients and employees safe.

A Lenexa lab is marketing coronavirus antibody tests that are not federally approved as a way for nursing homes to figure out which workers don’t pose a threat to residents.

State health officials and medical experts say the claims that the tests would provide facilities peace of mind are “wrong” and “risky.” The president of Great Plains Laboratory Inc., William Shaw, canceled an interview with the Kansas News Service. In an email, he said he had not reviewed the sales pitch before it went out.

The World Health Organization's annual oversight convention will be held by teleconference beginning Monday, as the worst pandemic in modern history continues around the globe.

WICHITA, Kansas — The summer slide. That’s the annual learning loss that happens when students spend three months away from school.

Now researchers warn about a “COVID slide.”

Students will have spent five months out of the classroom, shuttered because of the pandemic, when they return in August.

High Plains Public Radio

As the growth rate in positive COVID-19 cases in eastern Colorado counties located in the High Plains Public Radio listening area remains relatively flat, a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases two eastern Colorado counties are being traced primarily to two correctional facilities.

WICHITA, Kansas — It’s a simple, tempting pitch: hands-on training tailored for specific, high-demand jobs.

It led thousands of students to enroll in Kansas technical colleges. But COVID-19 and a collapsing aviation industry undid that promise.

Texas A&M Researchers Hope Tuberculosis Vaccine Might Prevent Coronavirus Deaths

May 7, 2020

The research Jeffrey Cirillo is leading at Texas A&M University won't produce a vaccine to prevent people from contracting COVID-19, but while other labs pursue a full-blown preventive, his work could offer a critical bridge to help keep more infected people alive.

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