Kansas

Bomberos en la línea de batalla se resisten a los mandatos de vacunación contra covid

El bombero de Kentucky Jimmy Adams vio de cerca los estragos de la pandemia de coronavirus cuando se desempeñó como paramédico ayudando a cuidar a los enfermos en emergencias, en medio del aumento de casos de covid. Conocía a bomberos retirados que murieron por complicaciones de la enfermedad. Pero su razonamiento fue que eran mayores …

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Firefighters on Front Lines, No Strangers to Risk, Push Back Against Covid Vaccine Mandates

Kentucky firefighter Jimmy Adams saw the ravages of the coronavirus pandemic when he served as a medic who helped care for the sick on medical calls amid surging covid cases. He knew retired firefighters who died of complications from covid-19. But he reasoned that they were older and likely had underlying health issues, making them …

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Bye-Bye to Health Insurance ‘Birthday Rule’? Kansas Lawmaker Floats Fix

When Kayla Kjelshus gave birth to her first child, the infant spent seven days in the neonatal intensive care unit, known as the NICU. This stressful medical experience was followed by an equally stressful financial one. Because of an obscure health insurance policy called the “birthday rule,” Kjelshus and her husband, Mikkel, were hit with …

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‘It Didn’t Really Stick With Me’: Understanding the Rural Shrug Over Covid and Vaccines

At 70, Linda Findley has long been active in her small town of Fort Scott, Kansas, which sits more than an hour away from any major city. Findley, whose husband died in an accident just after the local hospital closed, helps with the Elks and fundraising, and — like many people in this part of …

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Pfizer’s Newest Vaccine Plant Has Persistent Mold Issues, History of Recalls

Pfizer’s management knew last year there was “a mold issue” at the Kansas facility now slated to produce the drugmaker’s urgently needed covid-19 vaccine, according to a Food and Drug Administration inspection report. This story also ran on The Daily Beast. It can be republished for free. The McPherson, Kansas, facility, which FDA inspectors wrote …

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Baby Blues: First-Time Parents Blindsided by ‘the Birthday Rule’ and a $207,455 NICU Bill

In the nine months leading up to her due date, Kayla Kjelshus and her husband, Mikkel, meticulously planned for their daughter’s arrival. This story also ran on NPR. It can be republished for free. Their long to-do list included mapping out their family’s health insurance plan and registering for baby gear and supplies. They even …

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Rural Areas Send Their Sickest Patients to Cities, Straining Hospitals

Registered nurse Pascaline Muhindura has spent the past eight months treating COVID patients at Research Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri. But when she returns home to her small town of Spring Hill, Kansas, she’s often stunned by what she sees, like on a recent stop for carryout food. “No one in the entire restaurant was …

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‘No Mercy’ Chapter 7: After a Rural Town Loses Hospital, Is a Health Clinic Enough?

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Family physician Maxwell Self is doing his same old job for a new employer. For two decades he was a doctor with Mercy Hospital. But when Mercy packed up and left, a federally qualified health center moved to town — into the hospital building itself — and …

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‘No Mercy’ Chapter 6: Trickle-Down Heartache Reaches the Next Generation in a Rural Town With No Hospital

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Josh is 17. He said he smokes marijuana. He struggles with anger. He’s also juggling some extraordinary responsibilities for a teenager. Josh’s mother died of a drug overdose when he was 3 years old and he has lived with his grandparents ever since. When his grandfather’s heart …

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‘No Mercy’ Chapter 5: In Rural America, Cancer Care Is Often Far From Home

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Sixty-five-year-old Karen Endicott-Coyan is living with a blood cancer.  Her chemotherapy takes less than 30 minutes. Before the hospital closed, it was just a short drive into the small town of Fort Scott, Kansas, for her to get treatment. But these days getting to chemo means a …

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‘No Mercy’ Chapter 4: So, 2 Nuns Step Off a Train in Kansas … A Hospital’s Origin Story

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Ever since Mercy Hospital went “corporate,” things just haven’t been the same — that’s what lots of locals in Fort Scott, Kansas, said when the Mercy health system shuttered the only hospital in town. It’s been years since Catholic nuns led Mercy Hospital Fort Scott, but town …

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‘No Mercy’ Chapter 2: Unimaginable, After a Century, That Their Hospital Would Close

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Closing a hospital hurts. In Fort Scott, Kansas, no one was a bigger symbol for that loss — or bigger target for the town’s anger — than hospital president Reta Baker. Baker was at the helm when the hospital doors closed. “I don’t even like going out …

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Trump Administration’s Sudden Shift on COVID Data Leaves States in the Lurch

Just as the number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 approaches new highs in some parts of the country, hospital data in Kansas and Missouri is suddenly incomplete or missing. The Missouri Hospital Association reports that it no longer has access to the data it uses to guide state coronavirus mitigation efforts, and Kansas officials say …

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