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Kansas City health departments are in a tough spot

Health departments were thrust into the spotlight by the COVID-19 pandemic. Three years later, they're still dealing with the coronavirus, and planning for what might happen next. Plus: Experts say a merger between St. Luke's in Kansas City and St. Louis' BJC HealthCare could mean hospital patients pay more.

Across the Kansas City metro, health departments are making strategic efforts to rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for future emergencies. But they are fighting uphill battles against lackluster funding, a mass exodus of employees and public perception.

Two of the largest health systems in Missouri, BJC HealthCare and St. Luke's Health System, earlier this year announced plans for a $10 billion merger. As St. Louis Public Radio's Sarah Fentem reports, experts say that won't necessarily benefit patients when it comes to prices and quality of care.

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Kansas City Today is hosted by Nomin Ujiyediin. It is produced by Paris Norvell, Byron Love, and KCUR Studios, and edited by Gabe Rosenberg and Lisa Rodriguez.

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As a newscaster and a host of a daily news podcast, I want to deliver the most important and interesting news of the day in an engaging and easily understandable way. No matter where you live in the metro or what you’re interested in, I want you to learn something from each newscast or podcast – and maybe even give you something to talk about at the dinner table.
Paris Norvell is a freelance podcast producer for KCUR Studios,
Gabriella "Gabby" Lacey is an intern for KCUR Studios. She will begin her junior year at the Missouri School of Journalism in the fall.
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
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