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.

Robot helps save the day at rural hospital

0 | Jun. 02, 2014 | Health Care Delivery, Rural Health, Telemedicine

Some small, rural Kansas hospitals are using highly sophisticated medical robots in ways that are helping ease the shortage of specialists in their areas and - in at least one instance - boosting the bottom line.

Issue Brief: Currently Eligible Adults in Medicaid: The Few Who Qualify

0 | Apr. 10, 2014 | Medicaid-CHIP

It is a common misconception that all poor Kansans are eligible for Medicaid. In reality, only a few are actually eligible. To inform the discussion KHI has released a new issue brief (link) that examines in detail who is—and who is not—currently eligible for the combined Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in Kansas.

Advocates, hospitals unite to raise Kansas breastfeeding rate

0 | Jul. 14, 2014 | Child Health, Hospitals

Three years ago, breastfeeding coalitions throughout the state joined the Kansas Hospital Association and the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund in launching High 5 for Mom and Baby, an ongoing campaign aimed at helping hospitals adopt five principles that have been found to increase breastfeeding rates.

White House study: Kansas losing money, jobs without Medicaid expansion

0 | Jul. 18, 2014 | Health Reform, Medicaid-CHIP

The state is missing out on $820 million over the next three years by choosing not to expand Medicaid eligibility, according to the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

Roberts' proposal to cut SNAP fails in U.S. Senate

1 | May. 21, 2013 | Congress, Nutrition

During debate on the Farm Bill, U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts unsuccessfully proposed reducing food stamp spending by 4 percent. The Kansas Republican's motion failed, 40-58, in the Democratically controlled U.S. Senate.

Pharmacy board approves plan to connect to statewide exchange

1 | Mar. 28, 2013 | Health Care Delivery, HIE-HIT

The Kansas Board of Pharmacy approved a plan to connect the state's prescription drug monitoring program with LACIE — one of the two Kansas networks for exchanging patient health information. Members expressed frustration with attempts to connect with the other network, KHIN.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Food stamp work requirements complicate Farm Bill passage

6 | Jul. 08, 2013 | Nutrition, Safety Net

Kansas policymakers seem to be at the forefront of a controversial national movement to make it more difficult for people to qualify for a federal program that helps more than 46 million low-income Americans — including more than 300,000 Kansans — buy groceries.

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