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medicine

Segment 1: The annual influenza vaccination is still considered the best way to protect against the virus and its complications.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continue to recommend that everyone six months and older get a yearly flu shot, yet the CDC estimates only about 45% of American adults got it during the prior flu season. Two public health professionals address the misconceptions and myths that keep people from getting vaccinated.

Segment 1: One oncologist says cancer research is not progressing, and she offers new ideas.

Dr. Azra Raza says the public believes cancer research and treatments are advancing, but that's not the case. The death rate from the most common cancers is no lower now than it was 5o years ago. She suggests an alternative to radition and chemotherapy and says more interdisciplinary collaboration could advance the cause.

Segment 1: Ned Yost's retirement announcement prompts discussion on the future of the Kansas City Royals.

Ned Yost is the winningest manager in Kansas City Royals history, and he led the team to its second-ever World Series win. But he also endured some tough losing periods. To some, his announcement comes as no surprise but many fans are now wondering: Who will be his replacement?

Nomin Ujiyediin / Kansas News Service

LAWRENCE — Before starting his CBD company, Chris Brunin researched the competition, the labs they used, the products they sold.

He checked out ingredient suppliers and organic hemp farmers. He took everyone’s pitches with a heapful of salt.

“The hemp industry is like the Wild West and Wall Street had a baby,” said Brunin. “You have to vet everything and everybody … to make sure you’re not getting messed with or lied to.”

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

Oklahoma, Missouri, Colorado.

The national measles outbreak — numbering more than 1,000 cases so far — hasn't hit Kansas yet, but it has crept awfully close to home.

Segment 1: A New York Times reporter sees votes for Quinton Lucas as votes for neighborhoods.

The weekend before Kansas City's mayoral election, a story appeared in the New York Times suggesting that this election came down to a choice: continued emphasis on downtown, or a shift toward prioritizing neighborhoods struggling in downtown's shadow. The author joins us to reflect on the outcome.

Ed Uthman, Creative Commons (bit.ly/31qRfnM)

Kansas can no longer put off care for Medicaid patients with hepatitis C because of a recent legal settlement. But hundreds of the state’s prison inmates not covered by that lawsuit will have to wait another year for the pricey treatment.

Jason Domingues

Patients who are fed up with the bureaucracy of the health insurance industry are ditching the copays and high deductibles for a different way to get primary care.

One such patient is self-employed attorney Dan Hobart, who struggled to find insurance because of his pre-existing conditions. Even after Affordable Care Act went into effect, doctor visits were still too costly for him to get the care he needed.

Segment 1: A developing program in Missouri would help foster youth find gainful employment.

Youth in the foster care program who are not placed with a permanent family face disproportionate levels of unemployment and homelessness. FosterAdopt Connect's new program helps pair young adults with hiring businesses, and ensures employers are prepared for the employees' unique needs associated with growing up in the foster care system.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service

UPDATE: On April 5, after this story was first published, both chambers of the Kansas Legislature passed a measure mandating notice that the abortion pill may be reversible, sending the bill to Gov. Laura Kelly's desk where it currently sits. The amended bill includes a compromise sought by Democrats under which physicians who attempt a reversal would report the outcome to state health officials.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

When it comes to acting ill, Diane Bulan is a veteran.

"I've been sick for quite some time," jokes Bulan, a perfectly healthy Kansas City actor who has worked as a "standardized patient" for about 15 years.

Segment 1: Missouri House minority leader explained her party can still manage to get issues across the finish line.

Representative Crystal Quade says her run for leadership was motivated by a desire to help Democrats through a time of rebuilding and she's one of the first millenials to do so in Missouri. The second-term legislator explained that building relationships with Republicans and finding issues they can agree on is more important than who gets the credit.

Segment 1: Snow removal has pushed some cities beyond their budget.

A rough winter has put both Leawood, Kansas, and Riverside, Missouri, over budget for snow removal, but lawmakers there say it shouldn't impact other programs. Today, we discussed how they're keeping ahead of the winter storms, and other municipal concerns, including a need for more police.

Segment 1: A Kansas City non-profit is advocating for people with rare diseases.

When you have a disease that's common, you can expect a swift diagnosis and a level of understanding from friends and family. But that might not be the case if your condition is rarely seen and little-understood, even by medical professionals. Hear about the obstacles facing patients with rare diseases and their families

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Seg. 1: To continue improving Kansas City, Councilman Scott Taylor wants to build on the momentum from the last eight years.

Missouri Valley Special Collections at the Kansas City Public Library

In the early 1900s, Kansas City was the only place in the country with a newly constructed hospital that exclusively served and was staffed by African Americans.

The facility was established in 1908, in a decrepit structure once used as a public hospital for whites and African Americans. The new building wasn't completed until 1930.

Connor Tarter / Flickr - CC

Segment 1: The iconic feminist offers her perspectives on the state of the country, and the work left to be done.

For five decades Gloria Steinem has been at the forefront of the women's movement. At age 84, she shows no signs of slowing down. Steinem offered her thoughts on the results of this week's midterm elections, the conduct of the president, and the treatment of women today. "What is most alarming is the violence" they face in a variety of forms, she says.

frankieleon / Flickr - CC

Segment 1: Government agencies suing pharmaceutical companies look to legal lessons learned from previous settlement against Big Tobacco.

A class-action lawsuit against tobacco companies in the late 1990s netted hundreds of billions of dollars, compensating states for costs associated with treating tobacco-related illness. Now, a comparable strategy could help defray the money cities, counties, and states are shelling out to deal with the opioid crisis. Today, an attorney involved in both cases explained the differences and similarities involved in each.

David Steelman wearing headphones while seated in front of a microphone in the KCUR studio.
Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: After recent controversies Missouri's institutions of higher learning working to get back on track.

UMKC student Ravi Anand Naidu wearing headphones and seated in front of a microphone at KCUR studios.
Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Does Kansas City have a bad reputation within the Indian community? 

Indian nationals coming to America often have to worry about immigration hurdles and racism. Two violent incidents since 2017 in the Kansas City metro have added violence to their list of concerns. Most recently, Sharath Koppu, a UMKC student from India was shot and killed during a robbery at the restaurant where he worked. Today, representatives of the Indian community revealed their views of living here.

Susie Fagan / Heartland Health Monitor

Segment 1: Examination of the secrecy shrouding Kansas government ignites momentum for openness, but it's dwindling. 

Kansas is considered to be one of the "darkest" state governments in the nation. We asked why this problem persists and how lawmakers have responded to calls for more transparency in Topeka. 

Center for Youth Wellness

Segment 1: How trauma and abuse in childhood can mean a lifetime of illness.

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris had already established herself as a provider of care to vulnerable children when she met a patient named Diego, but the boy changed her way of thinking about the effects of toxic stress. We spoke with the doctor about Diego's story, and about the connections between childhood trauma and lifelong illness.

LeAnn Mueller / Wikimedia Commons

Segment 1: High-energy ensemble re-imagines jazz music for a younger generation.

The combination of french fries and Champagne, casual and sophisticated, is an accurate representation of The Hot Sardines' lively music. (It's also the title of their latest album.) Today, we talked with members of the group about their younger audiences, their resident tap dancer and how they fill old tunes with new energy.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Everyone shares the same biology, but that doesn't mean we all enjoy the same access to unprejudiced medical training, health care or advice. Today, we speak with Dr. Damon Tweedy about being a Black Man in a White Coat in a country where being African-American can be bad for your health. Then, we get a quick recap of results from Tuesday's election in Kansas City, Missouri.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

On average, men live significantly shorter lives than women, frequent the doctor less, and die at higher rates in nine of the top ten causes of death. Today, we find out how masculinity is related to men's health.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3 file photo

Erin Smith doesn’t watch a lot of TV.

Instead, the 17-year-old spends her evenings perfecting an online tool she created. The tool, called FacePrint, can detect Parkinson’s disease years before current diagnosis methods by recording your facial reactions with a webcam at home.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

A typical high schooler's concerns don't usually include developing a method for early detection of Parkinson's disease. Today, we meet a 17-year-old who is using face-recognition technology to do just that.

Two national child advocacy organizations have filed a federal lawsuit against the Missouri Department of Social Services, alleging that children in the state’s foster care system are over-prescribed psychotropic medications with little oversight.

“They’re prescribed off-label, to control behaviors,” said Bill Grimm, an attorney for the National Center for Youth Law, which filed the lawsuit on Monday. “While many other states have instituted some sort of oversight … Missouri has very little to none of those safeguards in place.”

The suit seeks class action status. State officials declined comment, citing pending litigation.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

For all the times that scientific research has improved our lives, there are other times when science got it horribly wrong. Today, Dr. Paul Offit describes the lessons we have learned, and should be learning, to separate good science from bad.

Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences

With the United States facing a shortage of physicians over the next decade, health care groups and lawmakers are scrambling to increase the number of doctors – primary care providers in particular – to serve an aging population.

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