KDHE announces $6.3 million in grants to primary care clinics, including about $1.2 million for Sedgwick County

TOPEKA – Seven Sedgwick County health clinics received more than $1.2 million from the state to help provide primary health care to undeserved Kansans.

Tuesday, Kansas Department of Health and Environment announced the grants, ranging from $17,872 to $453,517, to 39 clinics through out Kansas.

“The services these clinics provide are critically important, making available needed health care services for families without health insurance or those who cannot afford the high cost of care,” said KDHE Secretary Rod Bremby.

In 2008, nearly 180,000 Kansans received health care at a state-funded primary care clinic, the department said in the release. Nearly 60 percent of these patients were uninsured, and over 65 percent were in households that earn less than the federal poverty level.

Area clinics receiving grants were:

  • Center for Health and Wellness, Inc. $105,00 for primary care, $15,000 for prescription assistance

  • E.C. Tyree Health and Dental Clinic, $80,000 for primary care

  • Good Samaritan Clinic, $88,400 for primary care, $12,000 for prescription assistance

  • GraceMed Health Clinic, Inc., $350,000 for primary care, $40,000 for prescription assistance

  • Guadalupe Clinic, $80,000 for primary care, $20,000 for prescription assistance

  • Health Options for Kansas Communities, $50,000 for primary care, $12,000 for prescription assistance

  • Hunter Health Clinic, $320,000 for primary care, $40,000 for prescription assistance.

For more, read Wednesday’s Wichita Eagle.

KDHE creates swine flu hotline and email

Kansans concerned about the appearance of swine flu can call a toll free hotline with questions.

The toll-free number, 1-877-427-7317, is offered by Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Operators will be available to answer questions from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

After calling the number, people will be directed to press “1″ to speak to an operator about the swine flu.

Kansans can also email questions about the virus to swinefluinfo@kdheks.gov.

The department has also posted information about swine flu on its website.

Kansas has had two confirmed cases of swine flu, but no other cases have been confirmed. The department is investigating the cases and working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In accordance with the Kansas Response Plan, KDHE is also monitoring and instituting recommendations from CDC for any additional influenza disease surveillance activities, reviewing plans to further enhance those activities, and advising health care providers on how to handle potential swine flu cases.

The department recommends the following steps to help prevent the virus from spreading:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to get rid of most germs and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

  • Stay home when you are sick to avoid spreading illness to co-workers and friends.

  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue and properly dispose of used tissues.

  • Stay healthy by eating a balanced diet, drinking plenty of water and getting adequate rest and exercise.

Coal debate planned Thursday in both chambers

TOPEKA – Kansas lawmakers plan to leave for their annual three-week spring break Friday.

First, however, they’ll mount one more attempt to resurrect two coal plants rejected by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.

Both the House and Senate expect to take up the contentious issue Thursday.

The legislation would eliminate the discretionary power a state regulator used to reject the plants in 2007. State Health and Environment Secretary Rod Bremby cited carbon emissions in his refusal to grant a permit to Sunflower Electric Power Corp. to build two coal-fired plants in Western Kansas.

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Augusta child care center issued emergency suspension by KDHE

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment on Thursday issued an emergency suspension order against the Belinda Rosenbaum Day Care Home in Augusta.

The department issues such orders, which are subject to appeal, when it is necessary to protect children in the facility from any potential threat to health or safety, the release said.

The day care is located at 1612 Cedar Lane, Augusta.

During a Feb. 25 visit an inspector from KDHE found three unsecured guns stored in areas where the children at the day care could reach them, the suspension order said. Two of the firearms were stored in a closet within reach of the children and a third was kept in a drawer in the master bedroom’s bed’s headboard along with the ammunition.

The inspector also found a 7-month-old infant sleeping on the bed. The order noted that the children at the day care, the eldest listed was 5 years old, were allowed full access to the house including where the guns were kept.

The children were also allowed to play outside unsupervised, the report said.

Environmentally minded college students can be “Green Ambassadors” for the state.

College students do you like talking about all things green and want to earn a little cash doing it?

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is accepting applications from Kansas college students to be “Green Ambassadors.”

The ambassadors will promote environmental stewardship and education by giving public presentations. Program participants will also discuss proper waste management techniques, natural resource conservation and stewardship.

The new program is run through the department’s Bureau of Waste Management division.

Here is the department’s description of the program: Read More »