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

2014 County Health Rankings

0 | Mar. 26, 2014 | Research, Press Releases, Public Health Systems and Services, Rankings-Indicators

With the release of the 2014 County Health Rankings, Kansas counties can see how they compare with their neighbors so they can identify where they do well and where they can improve.

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.

Memorial service scheduled for longest-serving Kansas Cabinet secretary

0 | Apr. 15, 2014 | Advocacy, Agencies

Robert Harder, the longest-serving Cabinet secretary in Kansas history, died Saturday. He was 84. Harder served five governors - three Republicans and two Democrats - while overseeing the state welfare department and later the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. In his later years he continued to advocate for the poor and disabled as a volunteer.

Managed care program for elderly to expand in Kansas

0 | Apr. 14, 2014 | KDADS, Health Care Delivery, Medicaid-CHIP

Programs for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly - a Medicare- and Medicaid-funded managed care program for people who are 55 or older, low-income and close to being admitted to a nursing home - will expand in the next few years to provide service in 59 Kansas counties. Currently the program known as PACE only is available in eight counties.

Mental health task force report released

0 | Apr. 15, 2014 | Mental Health

A 16-member task force that spent much of the past year looking for ways to improve the state’s mental health system released its findings.

Regional mental health hubs poised to begin services

0 | Aug. 28, 2013 | Advocacy, KDADS, Mental Health

A new "regional" approach to averting jail time or hospitalization for the state's seriously mentally ill is expected to begin operating perhaps as soon as next month, according to a state official.

2014 County Health Rankings

0 | Mar. 26, 2014 | Research, Press Releases, Public Health Systems and Services, Rankings-Indicators

With the release of the 2014 County Health Rankings, Kansas counties can see how they compare with their neighbors so they can identify where they do well and where they can improve.

Six Kansas counties to participate in initiative aimed at bettering rural healthcare systems

0 | Oct. 17, 2013 | Foundations, Rural Health

Six western Kansas counties will be part of a $1.5 million initiative aimed at improving their healthcare systems in ways that can be duplicated by medical providers in other rural areas that are challenged by shrinking populations, recruiting difficulties and mounting financial pressures.

Number of Kansas children in foster care continues to grow

4 | Aug. 12, 2013 | Children, DCF

Over the last two years, near-record numbers of children have entered the state’s foster care system. At the same time, fewer children have exited and the number of adoptions involving children in state custody has fallen to a six-year low. State officials say the economy and drug abuse are behind the increase. But children's advocates point to declining services for needy families.

Kansas Medicaid enrollment continues to climb

1 | Apr. 04, 2014 | Health Reform, Medicaid-CHIP

A new report from federal officials shows that Medicaid enrollment in Kansas continues to climb. State officials said they attribute the increase to greater awareness of the program due to the Affordable Care Act and the recent promotions of the health insurance marketplace.

MoveOn.org poll shows most Kansans support Medicaid expansion

1 | Apr. 08, 2014 | Campaign 2014, Medicaid-CHIP

Poll results released today indicate that the Medicaid expansion issue could be a factor in the Kansas governor’s race. The poll, done last week for MoveOn.org Political Action, a left-leaning group dedicated to “progressive change,” showed that 52 percent of Kansans favored expanding the health care program to more low-income adults. But a spokesman for Gov. Sam Brownback's re-election said the poll results were dubious and intended to favor Democrat opponent Paul Davis.

Kansas HIA Report: Potential Health Effects of Casino Development in Southeast Kansas

5 | Oct. 23, 2012 | Community Health, Health Impact Assessment, Public Health Systems and Services

The Kansas Health Institute recently completed its first health impact assessment, which examined the potential health effects associated with casino development in Southeast Kansas. This new report features findings of the health impact assessment and outlines recommendations to maximize the positive health benefits of a proposed casino and mitigate its potential negative effects on health.

Big Tent Coalition complains of waiting list and KanCare problems

2 | Mar. 20, 2014 | Advocacy, KanCare

Advocates for the physically and mentally disabled today accused the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services of enacting policies aimed at restricting access to state’s Medicaid-funded in-home services. But KDADS Secretary Shawn Sullivan said the complaints were based on misconstrued numbers and that the agency is having trouble contacting the people on its waiting list for services.

State officials trying to clean up waiting lists for home-based Medicaid services

2 | Mar. 14, 2014 | KDADS

State officials are trying to update their lists of disabled people waiting to get home-based Medicaid services. People with physical disabilities must contact the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services no later than June 30 to get the services or remain on the list.

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