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.

Kansas gets grants to match child support funds for college savings

0 | Jul. 24, 2014 | Children, DCF

Kansas welfare officials say they will use more than $600,000 in grants from two nonprofit groups to launch a program aimed at getting parents to pay down child support debts.

HHS says nine health insurance companies owe refunds to Kansas policyholders

0 | Jul. 24, 2014 | Health Reform, Insurance

The 2010 Affordable Care Act required that insurers spend at least 80 percent of premium dollars collected on medical care for policyholders. Those that fail to meet the threshold are obliged to pay refunds.

Five seek GOP nomination for insurance commissioner

0 | Jul. 28, 2014 | Campaign 2014, Health Reform, Insurance

In advance of the Aug. 5 primary, learn more about the candidates who hope to succeed Sandy Praeger as the state's insurance commissioner.

Shultz says experience separates him from field

0 | Jul. 28, 2014 | Campaign 2014, Insurance

Veteran legislator seeks to win Republican primary without alienating general election voters.

Hog farm expansion raises questions about water use

0 | May. 19, 2014 | Environment, KDHE

Even as Greeley County farmers are counting water by the drop, Seaboard Farms plans to increase production at its giant hog facility near Tribune, bringing as many as 396,000 hogs to an exhausted area of the Ogallala Aquifer.

Gossage would limit state’s role with ACA

0 | Jul. 28, 2014 | Campaign 2014, Insurance

If elected, Gossage says she will encourage insured and uninsured Kansans to meet with an independent agent before they explore their options in the federal government’s online health insurance marketplace.

Powell touts years of work as insurance agent

1 | Jul. 28, 2014 | Campaign 2014, Insurance

Powell sees a competitive insurance market as part of what he calls a “three-legged stool,” along with Gov. Sam Brownback’s income tax cuts and a renewed emphasis on vocational education, to help Kansas attract new businesses.

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.

DCF hires foster care ombudsman

1 | Jul. 16, 2014 | Children, DCF

The move was prompted in part by a foster parents' bill of rights proposed earlier this year during the legislative session.

Number of children in foster care hits record high

2 | Jun. 09, 2014 | Children, DCF, Mental Health

In April, there were 6,156 children in the state's foster care system. That’s 356 more children than in April 2013, and 872 more than two years earlier.

National report: Midlevel dental providers expand access to care

1 | Jul. 02, 2014 | Health Care Delivery, Oral Health

The report examined the experiences of two public nonprofits with dental therapists - one in Alaska and another in Minnesota - and a telehealth project in California.

Web-based tool helps match foster children, families

1 | Jun. 26, 2014 | Children, DCF, Health Care Delivery

The tool, developed about two years ago by TFI Family Services, a Topeka-based charity, is being marketed by Foster Care Technologies, a for-profit partnership between TFI and the Bioscience & Technology Business Center at the University of Kansas.

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