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Take 5 For Your Health

A Quick, Clickable Roundup Of Health News From Our Region — And Beyond — For The First Week of September

Elyse McKinnon Elyse McKinnon's rise in motorcycle drag race nearly came to a halt after a tragic accident in 2015. (Photo: Courtesy McKinnon Motor Sports)
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Kansas Motorcycle Racer Endures Crash And Recovery Before Returning To Sport

For anyone who knows Elyse McKinnon, it’s hard to imagine her not tearing down a race track on a motorcycle.

But life without racing is just what the 30-year-old had to consider after a tragic crash in the summer of 2015 left her with a broken back.

McKinnon and her husband, Chris McKinnon, of Lawrence, Kansas, have been avid motorcyclists since moving to the Midwest from Florida shortly after Elyse graduated from college.

Elyse says her competitive drive prompted her transition from weekend rider to competitive drag racer.

–Alex Smith is a reporter with KCUR, a partner in Heartland Health Monitor, a reporting collaboration that also includes KCPT and KHI News Service, an editorially independent initiative of the Kansas Health Institute.

Kansas One Of Only Two States With Higher Obesity Rates In 2015

One of every three adult Kansans was obese in 2015, ranking the state seventh in the country in an annual report. Kansas also was one of only two states where obesity rates increased from the previous year.

The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America by the nonprofit Trust For America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation reports that Kansas had an adult obesity rate of 34.2 percent in 2015, up from 31.3 percent in 2014, when Kansas ranked 13th. In 1995, just 13.5% of Kansans were obese.

Missouri wasn’t far behind, ranking 10th with an obesity rate of 32.4 percent in 2015, up from 16.9 percent in 1995.

Only Kansas and Kentucky had statistically significant obesity increases among states for 2015. Most remained steady, though rates dropped in four states: Minnesota, Montana, New York and Ohio.

–Bryan Thompson is a reporter with KHI News Service

Psychiatric Care Proves Elusive For Kansans With Developmental Disabilities

Like most moms, Judy Talbot has photos and videos of her daughter on her smartphone.

But some of the images Talbot keeps on her phone show her daughter smacking herself in the face repeatedly or strapped to a bed, writhing against restraints with bruises up and down both legs.

“From her kicking,” Talbot explained.

Talbot’s daughter, Jill, is 32 and has autism and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Because of that combination, Jill recently spent six days isolated in the emergency department of a Kansas City area hospital while Talbot and Jill’s case manager scrambled to find her a better option.

Jill was taken to the hospital because she was having a psychotic episode. She had become violent, even with her mother. But the hospital, Shawnee Mission Medical Center in Shawnee Mission, Kansas, wouldn’t admit her to its psychiatric floor. Talbot said she was told Jill’s developmental disability would prevent her from participating in group therapy the hospital requires as part of psychiatric treatment.

–Andy Marso is a reporter with KHI News Service

Children’s Mercy Hospital Reports Theft of Data for Hundreds of Patients

Medical information for hundreds of patients has been stolen from an area hospital.

Children’s Mercy Hospital, based in Kansas City, released a statement Wednesday reporting that information for 238 patients was stolen from the locked trunk of an employee’s care.

“We are very sensitive to these families’ concerns and have apologized to them,” the statement read.

The hospital said that the information does not include patients’ addresses, social security numbers or financial information.

–A.S.

From PBS NewsHour

The lionfish has always been a relentless predator. When it lived only in the Indo-Pacific, its ferocity and aggression were contained. But since the species has expanded to the Atlantic, its overpopulation is threatening fellow aquatic creatures. So scientists are developing a robot to hunt the predator, thinking that killing mass numbers of lionfish may be the only way to combat the problem.

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