Health and Wealth | KBIA

Health and Wealth

It's only a matter of time, some researchers are warning, before isolated cases of Ebola start turning up in developed nations, as well as hitherto-unaffected African countries.

The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa has killed more people than all previous outbreaks combined, the World Health Organization said Wednesday. The official count includes about 3,600 cases and 1,800 deaths across four countries.

Austin Federa / KBIA

In the wake of the Michael Brown shooting, residents of Ferguson are still dealing with the emotional effects of the conflict.

Bianca Huff and her three-year-old son live in Canfield Green, the apartment complex where Michael Brown was shot and killed on August 9. Five days after Brown’s death, KBIA producer Bram Sable-Smith talked with Huff about how she has been helping her son understand everything that has happened.

“He’s seen the police before, so he was like ‘Did the police do this?’ and ‘How did the boy pass?’ and just different questions,” Huff said. “And he be like ‘So he gone?’ And I said ‘Yeah, he gone but he in a better place’ And he just say ‘Ok’ and keep going about the day. So as long as he don’t get too distraught, I just let him do that.”

Fortunately, there are people already on the ground in Ferguson helping people like Huff and her family cope with the recent tragedy in their community.

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Missourians trying to use a call center to sign up for the state's Medicaid program are running into long delays, prompting nearly half of them to hang up before they get help.

"When I wake up in the morning, I will pray to God to give me strength and focus," says 21-year-old Sorie Fofana.

Marijuana industry faces food safety test

Aug 28, 2014
Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

When Colorado legalized recreational marijuana use earlier this year, it also opened up the sale of food products infused with the drug to anyone over the age of 21. 

Billion dollar day care

Aug 27, 2014
Nori / Flickr

    

Zsanay Duran lives at the end of a cul-de-sac in her neighborhood in Springfield, Mo. Inside her house looks less like a home and more like a daycare center.

Duran began providing unlicensed home daycare sort of by accident. Last fall when she was looking for work for her teenage son, she came across a posting on Craigslist from a mother who was desperate for childcare. The woman had an 8 month old baby and worked the 5am shift at a local fast-food chain. She could only afford $12 a day for childcare. Duran said her story really hit home.

“I was a single mom and I needed help in order to get on my feet and that’s why someone did for me,” Duran said. “And if I can help someone else get on their feet, why not?”

Many forces can drive a male college student to commit sexual assault. But one of the most important may be the company he keeps.

Kyle Spradley / MU News Bureau

Over 1 million Missourians experience some level of food insecurity and the Food Bank of Central and Northeast Missouri is looking to do something about it. Through MU's Grow Well Missouri Project, people enrolled in Missouri's Food Bank program can receive fruit and vegetable seeds and transplants along with their monthly package of food.

If there's one thing Tiger Mothers have in common with those bringing up Bébé, it's that they both show us just how varied parenting styles can be.

Argentine parents let their kids stay up until all hours; Japanese parents let 7-year-olds ride the subway by themselves; and Danish parents leave their kids sleeping in a stroller on the curb while they go inside to shop or eat.

University of Missouri Health System

A 107-year-old rehabilitation hospital in the southwest Missouri town of Mount Vernon will close at the end of October.

Missouri Rehabilitation Center was founded by the state in 1907 to treat tuberculosis patients. Its mission has changed several times, and the state transferred ownership to University of Missouri Health Care in 1996.

MU Health Care announced the planned closing Monday, citing several years of low patient numbers and expanded access to long-term rehab care throughout the state. The Mount Vernon facility has 130 beds but had just 24 inpatients on Monday.

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Missouri's Medicaid program is leading the nation in the number of people dropped from its rolls.

New figures from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services show that Missouri's Medicaid enrollment dropped by 37,260 people in June, compared with its average enrollment from July through September of last year.

That was the largest numerical decrease of any state, though it ranked second behind Nebraska in terms of the percentage decline.

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa won't be stopped until front-line health workers get more support, World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan said Friday at a news conference in Geneva.

After a unanimous vote by a committee of public health and risk management experts, the WHO decided to declare the outbreak an international public health emergency.

Some doctors in the state of California will soon be able to practice after three years of medical school instead of the traditional four. The American Medical Association is providing seed money for the effort in the form of a $1 million, five-year grant to the University of California at Davis.

Student Ngabo Nzigira is in his sixth week of medical school and he's already interacting with patients during training with a doctor at Kaiser Permanente in Sacramento.

Hope Kirwan / KBIA

    

  As Father Knute Jacobson of Calvary Episcopal Church in Columbia prays, farmers and their families bow their heads and press their hands to a big, green, John Deere combine.

The combine blessing was just one of the events at the Boone County Farm Bureau’s Safety Expo held in Columbia Saturday, August 2. It was the first time attendees had been invited to pray for the collective safety of farmers this upcoming harvest season.

On a recent afternoon at his office in Hartford, Conn., Dr. Doug Gerard examines a patient complaining of joint pain. He checks her out, asks her a few questions about her symptoms and then orders a few tests before sending her on her way.

For a typical quick visit like this, Gerard could get reimbursed $100 or more from a private insurer. For the same visit, Medicare pays less — about $80. And now, with the new private plans under the Affordable Care Act, Gerard says he would get something in between, but closer to the lower Medicare rates.

For the second time this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has raised the travel alert for three West African countries, as the death toll in the Ebola outbreak increased at an alarming rate.

"The bottom line is that the multiple outbreaks in West Africa are worsening right now," CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden told NPR on Thursday. "This is the biggest, most complex and the most difficult outbreak of Ebola that we've had to deal with."

Hope Kirwan / KBIA

 

  Zane Volkman has been riding for as long as he can remember.

From the steer he would ride through his family’s pasture, to a donkey and finally to his grandpa’s horse, Volkman was already an experienced rider when he started training colts for a local rancher at age 12.

But an accident in the summer before his senior year of high school made it unclear if Volkman would be able to continue his career on a horse. While working at a livestock market in Kingdom City, Mo., a routine dismount caused Volkman to break his back and sustain three brain bleeds.

KBIA

On this week's Intersection, we are talking with board members from Health Literacy Missouri about how to talk to your doctor.  

A federal investigation finds a high rate of mismanaged disability claims at the St. Louis VA.

On Tuesday, two federal appeals courts issued conflicting decisions that could have major ramifications for the future of the Affordable Care Act.

The controversy hinges on whether people in the 36 states that opted NOT to set up their own health insurance exchanges can qualify for subsidies (really, tax credits) on their health insurance premiums. Missouri and Illinois are among those 36 that don't have state-run exchanges.

columbiamo.va.gov

The acting secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs spoke Tuesday in St. Louis and said the beleaguered federal agency is making progress on a host of problems that led to his predecessor's forced resignation.

This Dirty Little Weed May Have Cleaned Up Ancient Teeth

Jul 22, 2014

The menus of millennia past can be tough to crack, especially when it comes to fruits and vegetables. For archaeologists studying a prehistoric site in Sudan, dental plaque provided a hint.

"When you eat, you get this kind of film of dental plaque over your teeth," says Karen Hardy, an archaeologist with the Catalan Institute for Research and Advanced Studies at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona.

Drugs, privacy, prison. Those three things are linked to the debate over prescription drug databases -- and Missouri is the only state in the U.S. without one.

Missouri residents who have exhausted conventional disease cures will have access to experimental drugs under legislation signed on Monday by Gov. Jay Nixon.

The so-called Right to Try legislation gives patients and their doctors the ability to procure drugs that have yet to gain approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration if the pharmaceutical manufacturer agrees to provide the product.

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is on the hot seat.

It all started in mid-June, when the CDC announced that dozens of its scientists might have accidentally been exposed to anthrax.

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MU medical student Kayla Matzek is working at Cox Hospital in Branson, Missouri this summer. While a community with a population of only 10,000 might not seem attractive to some medical students, southwest Missouri is right where Matzek wants to be.

“I specifically want to go to a rural community because I think that you just get to know people more and it’s more of an intimate setting,” said Matzek, who grew up in a small town less than 30 minutes away from Branson.

columbiamo.va.gov

The long delays for veterans seeking medical care at VA hospitals have prompted The American Legion to set up a short-term crisis center in St. Louis this week.

 

Have you ever left a doctor’s office with more questions than answers? Don’t let that happen again. 

Join us Thursday, July 24th for an evening of conversation with health literacy experts Dr. Steve Pu and Dr. Ingrid Taylor of Health Literacy Missouri. Come take part in a live taping of KBIA’s local talk show Intersection, hosted by Ryan Famuliner.

When Dr. Robert Zarr wanted a young patient to get more exercise, he gave her an unusual prescription: Get off the bus to school earlier.

"She has to take a bus to the train, then a train to another bus, then that bus to her school," says Zarr, a pediatrician at Unity Health Care, a clinic that serves low-income and uninsured families in Washington, D.C. So the prescription read: "Walk the remaining four blocks on the second bus on your route to school from home, every day."

kids jumping
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

The jumping jack is about to become Missouri's official state exercise.

Gov. Nixon signed legislation Thursday adding the jumping jack to a list of more than two dozen official symbols and things.

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