HPPR Health, Education & Welfare

Health

‐state policy‐impact of federal policy‐rural health care delivery‐access & availability

Education

‐state policy‐programs and opportunities‐access & availability

Welfare

‐state policies‐income levels‐wellness‐quality of life

pexels.com

A new battlefront has opened up in the High Plains war against prescription painkiller abuse.

As KFOR reports, veterinarians have begun to keep an eye out for pet owners who may be using their pets’ prescriptions themselves.

Dr. Eli Landry, a vet in Seminole, Oklahoma, said he and his colleagues have noticed a new type of patient who comes in with a pet and requests a specific medication by name.

NASA

Colorado’s climate changes have health researchers in the state concerned about the impact it will have on people with compromised respiratory systems, seniors, children and others.

Public Domain

Washita county, in western Oklahoma, has given up on the Women, Infant, and Children program, The Oklahoman reports.

The WIC program provides nutrition services to young children and pregnant women. The announcement came from the Cordell Memorial Hospital, who administers the program. Officials said they can no longer afford to provide the nutrition for free to local mothers and children.

Graham Crumb / Wikimedia Commons

Texas still has the highest mortality rate among new mothers in the developed world.

In 2010, Texas saw 19 deaths per 100,000 live births. By 2014, that number had doubled to 36. And the maternal mortality rate is particularly pronounced among black women in Texas.

However, despite the high rate of danger for mothers in Texas, legislators in Austin did not pass any legislation this year to study or combat the problem.

Viralbus / Flickr Creative Commons

Today marks the beginning of World Breastfeeding Week, reports KOTV. To honor the occasion, Oklahoma health officials are reminding residents of how they can support breastfeeding mothers.

The Oklahoma Department of Health notes that employers can support new mothers by providing flexible break times, and by making sure workplaces have private areas to allow mothers to breastfeed.

DVIDSHUB / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Wait times for medical appointments at veterans facilities in eastern Colorado are among the worst in the nation, according to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs data.

As The Denver Post reports, throughout the 13 hospitals and clinics that make up the Eastern Colorado Health Care System, or ECHCS, the average wait for a primary care appointment as of July 1 was more than 12 days

Only Amarillo, Texas and Palo Alto, Calif. were worse.

Ishmael Daro / Flickr Creative Commons

Over the past two months, the State of Oklahoma has approved almost 900 emergency teaching certificates.

As The Tulsa World reports, many classrooms in Oklahoma have yet to find teachers and droves of educators have moved to Texas and elsewhere, in search of better pay.

Image23 / Wikimedia Commons

Foster kids in Oklahoma will soon receive state funding to attend private school, if they choose to do so.

As Oklahoma Watch reports, in the past state funding for private schools has been given to disabled or special-needs students. But this is the first time that funding has expanded to include foster children.

The idea behind the change is to allow foster kids who have experienced trauma to tailor their education to their needs.

Health care advocates say they’ll keep the pressure on Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran as debate moves forward on a possible repeal of Obamacare. Moran voted to go ahead with debate on a health care overhaul, but in the past he’s voiced concerns about Medicaid cuts.

Related: Moran Explains Position On Obamacare Repeal After Vote Against Bill

A fresh legal challenge to the state’s 2014 elimination of teacher job protections has reached the Kansas Supreme Court, close on the heels of a separate lawsuit that proved unsuccessful six months ago.

Environmental Protection Agency / Wikimedia Commons

For years, some Texans in agricultural areas have been complaining of chemical drift from crop dusters. Poisonous pesticides can sometimes drift as much as five miles from their intended targets, especially in the high-speed winds of the Texas Panhandle.

Wikimedia Commons

As he closes in on the one year anniversary of his hiring, West Texas A&M University President Dr. Walter Wendler has been making the rounds promoting his ideas for educational growth on the High Plains.

Wendler is the former chancellor of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and he was formally named president of WTAMU last September.

Among President Wendler’s main concerns is the heavy burden of student debt in America, and especially how that issue affects residents on the High Plains.

Staffing shortages at the El Dorado Correctional Facility are creating unsafe working conditions, according to the head of the union that represents state workers.

Douglas Perkins

One Oklahoma teacher has now turned to panhandling to pay for necessary items for her classroom.

Oklahoma teachers will be returning to work in a few weeks, and that means they’ll have to get their classrooms ready. But, in cash-strapped Oklahoma, this can be an even bigger challenge than in other states.

Nick Youngson / Creative Commons

Oklahoma will soon announce a new health care initiative aimed at reducing premiums and expanding coverage for everyday Oklahomans.

As Oklahoma Watch reports, the Affordable Care Act has struggled recently. Blue Cross Blue Shield is the only remaining insurer on the state exchange.

Famartin / Wikimedia Commons

Many Oklahomans will be forced to change the way they drive after a new law takes effect in November.

As KFOR reports, beginning Nov. 1, drivers will no longer be allowed to travel in the left lane permanently.

The Kansas State Department of Education is asking schools to increase the number of students who go on to college or vocational programs within two years of leaving high school.

The department released new district-by-district data this month as part of its push toward that end.

Attorneys for the state and the Legislature faced a barrage of questions from skeptical Kansas Supreme Court justices Tuesday scrutinizing the Legislature’s school finance plan.

Farmers, Ranchers Concerned About Health Care Costs

Jul 18, 2017
publicdomainpictures.net

As the national debate on health care heats up, farmers and ranchers have a lot on the line.   

As Politico reports, farmers have been struggling with the economic challenges of sluggish crop prices and sharply lower farm income. And even though close to 90 percent of farmers have health insurance, their concerns over health care is more widespread than it may seem.

Famartin / Wikimedia Commons

CNBC has released its annual “Worst States to Live In” list, and the news isn’t good for Oklahoma.

The Sooner State came in third on the list, which ranks livability based on a number of metrics including crime rate, attractions, air quality, health care, and legal protections against discrimination.

CNBC noted that heavy tobacco use in Oklahoma led the state to have one of the highest premature-death rates in the nation. Oklahoma also has one of the highest infant mortality rates, and has struggled with widespread mental health problems.

Jeffrey Beall / Wikimedia Commons

The State of Oklahoma has drawn repeated criticism recently for leading the nation in funding cuts to K-12 public schools.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / The Texas Tribune

Emmanuel Garza moved from Texas to Colorado so his baby daughter could get the medical marijuana treatment she needed. Legislation to legalize the same treatment in Texas failed to pass during the regular legislative session.

By Alex Samuels, The Texas Tribune

Madelynn Garza had her first seizure at three months old.

The number of Native Americans without health insurance would increase sharply if Republicans in Congress succeed in repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, according to a new report.

ilmicrofono / Flickr Creative Commons

A Texas nonprofit recently injected a lot of life—and money—into the Texas public education system. The Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation will put $50 million toward scholarships for teachers over the next decade.

A new math class being piloted by dozens of high schools across Kansas seeks to save students stress, time and money when they reach college.

Currently, about one-third of students who continue to two- and four-year colleges in Kansas don’t score high enough on placement tests to enroll directly in college algebra, a class most need in order to graduate.

Instead, they work their way up through remedial classes, a process that can take multiple semesters.

Ryan Stanton / Flickr Creative Commons

Texas ranks 41st among states when it comes to child educational achievement. That’s nothing new; Texas has hovered near the bottom in this category for years.

NAVFAC / Wikimedia Commons

When it comes to safety in the workplace, the State of Oklahoma has been given a grade of F. The failing grade, delivered by the National Safety Council, sent shockwaves through the State Capitol in Oklahoma City.

As The Oklahoman reports, the finding received harsh criticism from State Labor Commissioner Melissa McLawhorn Houston.

The Gannon v. Kansas lawsuit is in its seventh year. In that time, the case has led to repeated rulings against the state for underfunding schools and responses by lawmakers in the form of appropriations bills.

kenny73116 / Wikimedia Commons

Overcrowding in Oklahoma’s prisons is still a major problem as the dog days of summer approach, and state Department of Corrections Director Joe Allbaugh says he’s expecting an uprising or other serious event at some point.

And a recent editorial in The Oklahoman insists Director Allbaugh isn’t being dramatic.

“It's going to happen one way or the other,” Allabaugh said. “You can't keep packing people into facilities that are decrepit and expect everybody to behave.”

Pictures by Ann / Flickr Creative Commons

Texas is hoping to soon begin the work of cleaning up the nursing home industry in the state.

A recent AARP report determined that the condition of nursing homes in Texas was, on average “shamefully poor.” And, in a separate report from 2015, more than half of the long-term care facilities in the state received just one or two stars out of a possible five.

Pages