Public Health Systems and Services

The structure, financing and staffing of the public health system each play a crucial role in improving the health status of Kansans. State and local health departments strive to organize and fund themselves in a manner that maximizes their positive impact on community health and well being. KHI researchers examine and evaluate the organization, financing and delivery of public health services across Kansas as a whole and within Kansas communities individually. KHI News Service journalists document developments that affect the public health system. For more information about the kinds of public health programs and issues that are relevant to Kansas, please see the Community Health topic.

KHI leads national public health project

0 | Public Health

The Center for Sharing Public Health Services is a $4 million national initiative managed by the Kansas Health Institute with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The project involves 16 teams in 14 states comprised of public health agencies, policymakers, their partners and key stakeholders that are collaborating to strengthen their ability to provide public health essential services, improve efficiency and control costs. The 16 teams make up a national Shared Services Learning Community working to identify, test and define methods of cross-jurisdictional sharing. The Center communicates these sharing activities and provides technical assistance to the Shared Services Learning Community and others in the broader public health arena.

Policy and Research

Kansas Groups Partner to Celebrate World Immunization Week

0 | Apr. 23, 2014 | Community Health, Immunizations, Press Releases

In celebration of World Immunization Week, Immunize Kansas Kids and Kansas Health Matters join efforts to inform communities about best practices for immunizations in Kansas.

Issue Brief: Community Health Assessment and Improvement Planning in Kansas

0 | Dec. 23, 2013 | Public Health Systems and Services

This issue brief summarizes the results of a study of community health assessments and community health improvement plans. The information for this study was gathered through various focus groups and surveys about experiences and outcomes in Kansas between 2012 and 2013.

Report: Integration of Kansas WIC Clinics with Childhood Immunization Activities

0 | Jul. 16, 2013 | Immunizations

This report, published by KHI for the Immunize Kansas Kids coalition, provides information about experiences, outcomes and current practices linking WIC clinic sites with immunization activities, both nationally and in Kansas.

Report: Pertussis Cocooning — The Concept, Experiences and Lessons Learned

0 | Jul. 16, 2013 | Immunizations

This report, published by KHI for the Immunize Kansas Kids coalition, examines ways to protect infants from Pertussis, commonly called whooping cough.

Issue Brief: Impact of the Kansas Indoor Clean Air Act on Restaurants and Bars

0 | Jan. 23, 2013 | Community Health, Public Health Systems and Services, Tobacco

This new issue brief examines whether a statewide smoking ban enacted in 2010 was associated with a change in sales at Kansas restaurants and bars. The Legislature approved the Kansas Indoor Clean Air Act to protect the health of Kansans by reducing their exposure to secondhand smoke in most public places.

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Legislative proposal: Health coverage for families of EMS responders killed in the line of duty

0 | Mar. 11, 2014 | Emergency Preparedness, Legislature, Insurance

Kansas’s municipalities would cover the healthcare costs of the families of emergency medical workers that die in the line of duty under proposed legislation heard by a Senate committee.

In case of tornado, electronic patient records prove critical

0 | May. 28, 2013 | Emergency Preparedness, HIE-HIT

If the hospital in Moore, Okla., had still been using paper, officials said, “the first thing we would have had to do was find their records. And with all of the hustle and bustle of a disaster, they can easily get lost.” As for any records left behind in files, “if the tornado doesn’t get them, the subsequent rain would ruin them.”

Brownback says state’s low public health preparedness ranking too harsh

0 | Dec. 21, 2012 | Emergency Preparedness, Public Health

Kansas officials are taking issue with a recent report that ranked the state last in the nation for public health preparedness. The Ready or Not report by the nonprofit Trust for America’s Health, listed Kansas and Montana as the worst performing states in the nation, with each meeting only three out of 10 readiness criteria.

Officials warn drought likely to continue into 2013

0 | Dec. 20, 2012 | Emergency Preparedness, Environment

Communities, businesses and individual Kansans should prepare for the drought that has gripped the state for two years to continue at least into midsummer, officials said at a meeting today with Gov. Sam Brownback.

Kansas gets failing grade for public health preparedness

0 | Dec. 19, 2012 | Emergency Preparedness, Public Health

A new report ranks Kansas dead last for public health preparedness. The Ready or Not report, released Wednesday by the nonprofit Trust for America’s Health, lists Kansas and Montana as the worst performing states in the nation, with each meeting only three out of 10 readiness criteria.

Ruling on in-home Medicaid services creates questions for providers, beneficiaries

0 | Sep. 29, 2014 | KDADS, Medicaid-CHIP

The new rule, due to take effect Jan. 1, 2105, requires state Medicaid programs to pay home care workers minimum wage and overtime. But Kansas has asked the Department of Labor to exempt Kansas from the ruling or delay its implementation.

KDADS awards $1M to south-central Kansas mental health coalition

0 | Sep. 24, 2014 | KDADS, Mental Health

The coalition will provide services aimed at reducing the number of people with severe mental illnesses who are referred to Osawatomie State Hospital or end up in the state’s correctional system.

Johnson County names new mental health director

0 | Sep. 26, 2014 | Mental Health

Tim DeWeese, a longtime staff member of the Johnson County Mental Health Center, has been promoted to director.

Biz groups to co-sponsor insurance exchange forums

0 | Jul. 25, 2011 | Agencies, Health Reform, Insurance

Two of the state's leading business groups are joining with the Kansas Insurance Department to sponsor a series of forums about plans for a Kansas health insurance exchange.

Kansas groups receive CDC funding for projects to fight chronic disease

0 | Sep. 25, 2014 | Health Disparities, Nutrition, Obesity, Public Health

Five Kansas organizations received more than $5 million in 2014 funding for their projects to combat chronic disease.

Network execs confident they will meet looming HIE deadline

0 | Dec. 16, 2013 | HIE-HIT

HIE network executives say they are confident they can complete interconnection in time for federal deadline. Hanging in the balance are the networks' licenses to operate in the state as well as $1 million in federal incentive funds.

Kansas mental health system under increasing stress

16 | Aug. 18, 2014 | Mental Health

Directors at many of the 26 community mental health centers in Kansas say the system is breaking down because state funding hasn’t kept pace with the increasing demands for care in their communities.

Health care compact rebuttal signed by 23 legislators

1 | Sep. 24, 2014 | Campaign 2014, Health Reform

The legislators' editorial counters an article critical of the compact written by members of the Johnson County Commission on Aging.

Medicare expert says compact not on radar in DC

1 | Sep. 22, 2014 | Congress, Legislature, Health Reform

A health care compact bill designed to get Kansas and other states out of federal health regulations is gaining attention here for its possible Medicare implications. But a national expert on Medicare says the compact, which needs Congressional approval, is "not even on the back burner" in Washington, D.C.

Health care compact article debate heats up

1 | Sep. 16, 2014 | Legislature, Health Reform

Legislators who supported a multi-state bill that would exempt Kansas from federal regulations on publicly funded health care tried Monday to dissuade a senior advisory board in Johnson County from running an article criticizing the compact's potential effects on Medicare.

KC public housing smoking ban puts onus on tenants

8 | May. 22, 2014 | Community Health, Government, Tobacco

A new policy aims to do away with smoking in city-owned housing, but many residents are not pleased.

Legislators take issue with seniors' article opposing compact

1 | Sep. 11, 2014 | Legislature, Health Reform

Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook said the health care compact would not affect Medicare as the group fears, but leaders of the Johnson County Area Agency on Aging's advisory board say their concerns are valid.

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