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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News

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.

KDHE surveyors sent to Osawatomie State Hospital

2 | Oct. 30, 2014 | KDADS, KDHE, Mental Health

The 206-bed inpatient facility for adults with severe and persistent mental illnesses this week had 235 patients.

Lawsuit against KanCare company puts program in spotlight again

0 | Oct. 30, 2014 | Courts, KanCare

In a lawsuit filed this week, the former Sunflower State Health Plan official claimed she was fired after she objected to a directive to shift KanCare members away from high-cost providers.

Solving the puzzling mental health issues of Bhutanese refugees

0 | Oct. 28, 2014 | Health Disparities, Mental Health

Yoga - an ancient practice - has helped Bhutanese refugees lower their levels of pain, anxiety and depression.

Praeger shares individual mandate concerns

0 | Jun. 23, 2010 | Health Reform, Insurance, Mental Health

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger says she’s all for doing away with the “pre-existing condition exclusions” that health insurers have long used to deny coverage to those who need it most. But, she said, there’s a problem.

Businesses challenge smoking ban

1 | Jun. 22, 2010 | Government, Legislature, Tobacco

Several businesses have joined a lawsuit against the state, asserting that the statewide public smoking ban that becomes effective July 1 is unconstitutional.

Shannon Cotsoradis takes helm at children's group

0 | Jun. 29, 2010 | Advocacy

Shannon Cotsoradis, executive vice president at Kansas Action for Children, has been tapped to replace Gary Brunk as the advocacy group's chief executive. Brunk will continue to work on special projects and federal issues for the group he headed for 14 years.

KDHE surveyors sent to Osawatomie State Hospital

2 | Oct. 30, 2014 | KDADS, KDHE, Mental Health

The 206-bed inpatient facility for adults with severe and persistent mental illnesses this week had 235 patients.

Governor launches first of three childhood-poverty forums

1 | Nov. 14, 2011 | Children, Social Determinants of Health

Reducing the number of children born to single mothers is the most effective way to combat childhood poverty. That's according to Robert Rector, the Heritage Foundation fellow picked by Gov. Sam Brownback to keynote the first of his administration's three planned meetings this week on the topic of childhood poverty. Rector's remarks angered some in the audience of about 250 people.

KanCare initiative concerns parents of developmentally disabled adults

3 | Oct. 20, 2014 | KDADS, KanCare

A health home initiative announced by KDADS encourages but does not require KanCare companies to let developmentally disabled Kansans keep their current case managers if they so choose.

Davis vows to reverse controversial KanCare decision if elected

6 | Oct. 08, 2014 | Campaign 2014, KanCare

The Democratic candidate for governor says support services to Kansans with developmental disabilities should not be part of the state's privatized Medicaid program.

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.

Few adults taking advantage of new KanCare dental coverage

1 | Oct. 24, 2014 | KanCare, Oral Health

When the state handed over administration of Medicaid to three managed care companies, the companies granted basic dental services to more than 130,000 adults who hadn't previously had it under Medicaid. But relatively few of those adults took advantage of it in KanCare's first year.

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