HPPR Health, Education & Welfare

Health

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

Education

‐state policy‐programs and opportunities‐access & availability

Welfare

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

Five Things To Know About Virtual School Funding

10 hours ago

With the ongoing probes and debate over Epic Charter Schools, state legislators held an interim-study hearing Wednesday on how virtual charter schools are funded. Are changes in the wind?

The Kansas Board of Regents voted Wednesday to change the benchmarks for in-state students to attend the state’s six public universities, and class-rank requirements are out.

The move is meant to increase the number of Kansas high schoolers who are eligible to attend Kansas State University, Emporia State University, Pittsburg State University, Fort Hays State University, Wichita State University and the University of Kansas. 

Federal prosecutors on Wednesday charged 58 people across Texas with health care fraud costing at least $66 million, including “pill mill” schemes involving opioids. Doctors and medical professionals are among those facing charges.

The Vaping Illness Outbreak: What We Know So Far

Sep 18, 2019

An outbreak of severe lung disease among users of electronic cigarettes continues to spread to new patients and states, and public health officials say it's too soon to point to a cause.

According to the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a total of 380 confirmed and probable cases have been identified in 36 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The CDC has confirmed six deaths, and a seventh death has been reported by public health officials in Tulare County, Calif.

FORT SCOTT, Kansas — On a hot June day, as the Good Ol’ Days Festival was in full swing, 7-year-old Kaidence Anderson sat in the shade with her family waiting for a medevac helicopter to land.

A crowd had gathered to see the display pre-arranged by staff at the town’s historic fort.

“It’s going to show us how it’s going to help other people because we don’t have the hospital anymore,” the redheaded girl explained.

From Texas Standard:

Several states have recently reported dramatic upticks in the number of people experiencing illnesses associated with vaping. Reported cases have more than doubled, to 450, spread over 33 states, including Texas. While no one in Texas has died, six people have died elsewhere in the United States. Meanwhile, the Trump administration has confirmed a plan to ban at least some electronic cigarettes.

The Federal Communications Commission is proposing to launch a new three-digit hotline for people who are feeling suicidal or are going through any other mental health crisis. It recommends making 988 the new national number to call for help, replacing the current 10-digit number.

The agency presented the idea to Congress in a report earlier this month and is expected to release more information and seek public comment about the proposal in the coming months.

Texas’ next higher education commissioner will be Harrison Keller, a high-level administrator at the University of Texas at Austin and the founder of recent initiatives designed to improve college readiness and student outcomes. He will assume the post Oct 1.

Instructor Graham Dunne is holding up some printouts with faces on them. He tells his students they're smaller than real heads.

"Here's some useless knowledge from being a sniper," he says. "The average human head is 6 inches across by 10 inches high. These are probably half that."

We're at the Flatrock Regional Training Center in Commerce City, Colorado. Usually the people training here are law enforcement, but today they're teachers, principals, bus drivers, coaches and school administrators — 13 of them.

Corinne Boyer / Kansas News Service

GARDEN CITY — As a nurse, Betsy Rodriquez interviews teenagers who are sexually active and often shockingly ignorant about sex.

More than 100 people die every day from an opioid overdose, and millions of Americans are struggling with addiction. Scott Walters is with the UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth — and he's leading a new effort aimed at trying to attack the opioid crisis.

The classroom and workplace have traditionally been kept separate.

But a redesign that’s been going on for four years in Kansas could blend the two in ways aimed to help both students and employers.

Employers are now a common sight in school hallways. Mechanics show seventh graders how to diagnose a Jeep in the school parking lot. Eighth graders visit boiler factories. Schools hope to benefit from field-earned expertise. Businesses get a head start on recruiting.

Last month, the Trump administration said it would start deporting gravely ill immigrants here temporarily for medical care. This week, it backtracked a little. But 20 Attorneys General sent a letter to the administration saying they’re not satisfied. 

With measles making a comeback in many upper-income countries including the United States and still rampant in some poorer nations such as Democratic Republic of Congo and Madagascar, a leading measles expert is warning of a danger beyond the spread of the disease itself: There's mounting evidence that when a person is infected with measles, the virus also wipes out the immune system's memory of how to fight off all sorts of other life-threatening infections – ranging from gastro-intestinal bugs that cause diarrhea to respiratory viruses that trigger pneumonia.

FORT SCOTT, Kansas — Thirteen-year-old Aura Brillhart and her 11-year-old sister, Morgan, will face a new sort of test in school this year: a drug test.

The middle and high schools in their community of Fort Scott, Kansas, are among the latest to require random drug testing of students who want to participate in sports, clubs, dances or any other extracurricular activities.

“I hate that it’s even an issue for us to have to address,” said their mom, Jody Hoener. “But putting our heads in the sand isn’t going to make things any better.”

The share of Oklahoma kindergartners up to date on all their vaccines rose slightly last year, but the percentage who were granted exemptions from at least one vaccine also increased, according to the latest survey’s preliminary results.

“West Nile disease is brutal,” said Betsy Marston, the shock of the loss of her husband still in her voice. “You suffer. He suffered.”

Her husband, Ed, the 78-year-old former publisher of High Country News, had recovered well from a heart bypass operation and was back to hiking through the Paonia wilderness. Within a span of a few days, however, his body went dramatically downhill to where “he could barely walk, and that’s when we went to the ER,” Marston said.

Public Domain via Pixabay

Mere hours after a West Texas mass shooting left at least seven dead, the State of Texas loosened gun restrictions.

As CNN reports, a series of new laws went into effect on Sunday, only a day after a shooter killed seven and injured at least 20 in Odessa, including a 17-month-old girl.

As the new school year gets underway, Oklahoma’s teacher shortage persists. The state is on track to set a new record for the number of emergency certified teachers in K-12 classrooms. 

The recent court ruling that held the pharmaceutical company, Johnson & Johnson, accountable for its role in Oklahoma’s opioid crisis could influence some of the pending lawsuits seeking to hold energy companies accountable for their role in the climate crisis. That includes one case in the Mountain West.

The unregulated marketing of e-cigarettes is increasing the number of young people who vape, according to a new study from researchers at UT Austin. 

At a time when more than 30 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the use of marijuana for either medical or recreational use, the U.S. surgeon general says no amount of the drug is safe for teens, young adults and pregnant women.

By the time a fetus is 6 months old, it is producing electrical signals recognizable as brain waves.

And clusters of lab-grown human brain cells known as organoids seem to follow a similar schedule, researchers reported Thursday in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

WICHITA, Kansas — Smartboards have been replacing chalkboards in Kansas for more than a decade. Yet districts are still figuring out tech’s place in the classroom.

You know what’s worse than applying for jobs? Pretty much nothing. Thankfully, there’s a quick and convenient way to make all the best connections in the Texas Panhandle in one place. HPPR wants to thank Karl Kimsey, Employer Relations Coordinator at West Texas A&M University, for stopping by the station this week to tell folks about WT’s upcoming 2019 Fall Career EXPO.

The question of whether to expand Medicaid and extend health insurance to thousands of Oklahomans promises to be a major topic over the next year.

The Healthcare Working Group, a bipartisan legislative committee charged with deciding whether to endorse Medicaid expansion or other policy moves, kicked off its work last week and is expected to unveil recommendations before next year’s session. Meanwhile, a signature-collecting drive is underway to put a state question on a 2020 ballot to accept expansion.

Aetna Better Health is struggling to keep its Medicaid contract with KanCare, to the point that state officials found fault with Aetna’s recent plan to improve services.

But Kansas lawmakers had two words this week for the company: Keep trying.

Texas Health and Human Services has confirmed that applications have come in for two new shelters that would hold migrant youth who arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border without a guardian.  

The unaccompanied minor facilities are slated for the Rio Grande Valley, in McAllen and Los Fresnos. 

COFFEYVILLE, KANSAS — Preschool was a logistical boon for Delice Downing and an educational bonanza for her son, Adrian.

The head volleyball coach and director of student life at Coffeyville Community College had ruled out day care when she heard the price: several hundred dollars a week.

Then Adrian reached preschool age. Coffeyville offers something most Kansas communities don’t: free attendance at a preschool with room for nearly all kids in town whose parents want it.

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