Great news to share with your patients! Individuals who qualify and enroll in the Kansas Tobacco Quitline Behavioral Health Program will receive four weeks of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (choice of gum, patch, lozenge) after the completion of the second coaching call. The NRT will shipped to the home of the enrollee free of charge. (Prior to this change, only 2 weeks of NRT was provided after the completion of the first coaching call.) The Behavioral Health Program includes a total of 7 calls.
How to qualify for the Behavioral Health Program: Patients can call the Kansas Quitline at 1-800-784-8669. During the Quitline’s intake process, the caller will be asked if they live with mental illness or drug or alcohol use disorder. Diagnoses included are bipolar disorder, depression, generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Callers who report being diagnosed with any of these conditions will be offered enrollment in the Behavioral Health Program.
For questions, contact Matthew Schrock, Cessation Coordinator, KDHE Bureau of Health Promotion, Matthew.Schrock@ks.gov, 316-207-2244. For resources and to rder free KanQuit materials visit KDHE website.
Kansas Health Institute

Kansas Health Institute has released this two-part series about the primary care workforce in Kansas:

Issue Brief #1: Defining the Primary Care Workforce in Kansas (April 2020)

Key points from the brief include:

  • There were 5,435 licensed clinicians in the primary care workforce in Kansas in 2019, of which 1,976 were physicians, 3,101 were nurse practitioners and 358 were physician assistants.
  • Physician assistants and nurse practitioners in Kansas cannot practice or prescribe in a location separate from a physician without an agreement with a physician.
  • Kansas had a total of 86 residency positions in primary care in 2019. However, some physicians who complete a primary care residency go on to complete additional training in a sub-specialty.
  • The median salary in Kansas was $143,380-$203,270 for a primary care physician (depending on specialty); and the median was $97,310 for a nurse practitioner and $103,120 for a physician assistant in 2018, although it may be less for those in primary care.

Issue Brief #2: Implications of an Aging Primary Care Physician Workforce in Kansas (April 2020)

Key points from the brief include:

  • The geographic distribution of primary care physicians (PCP) varies widely across the state. Generally, the southeast and southwest regions of Kansas have fewer PCPs available to serve the population.
  • The PCP shortage has serious implications for an aging population — by 2039, nearly one-quarter (22.5 percent) of Kansans will be age 65 or older, and likely will have increasing medical needs.
  • Aging of the physician workforce could further intensify the primary care workforce shortage as nearly 4 in 10 (39.2 percent) PCPs in Kansas are over the age of 55. Nearly half (45.2 percent) of PCPs practicing in southwest Kansas are age 55 and older, as are 42.5 percent of those practicing in southeast Kansas.
  • A multi-pronged approach to train, recruit and retain PCPs in Kansas is necessary to maintain and improve access to care across the state.
Harvard Medical

With conflicting recommendations to allow or encourage breastfeeding during the pandemic, it is important to examine the primary information needed to make an informed decision. Read this article from Harvard Medical outlining the risks and benefits. Webinar recording on infant feeding during COVID-19 is available.

CDC does not categorically recommend separating infants from infected mothers, and currently, there are insufficient data to support routinely doing so. Because the decision is ultimately up to the mother and family, they should be carefully educated about the clear risks of separation as well as its potential benefits. One must weigh the risk of the newborn getting severe COVID-19 infection, which is rare but likely finite, with the risk of undermining the establishment of breastfeeding and the consequences of breastfeeding failure, which can be significant, particularly in low-income settings. Failure to establish breastfeeding could put the newborn at risk of food insecurity and other infections. If an infected mother is not planning to breastfeed, then separation may make more sense if other factors allow, and separation seems more important if a newborn has underlying health conditions.

American Cancer Society

Thank you to the American Cancer Society for providing this valuable resource COVID-19 and Cancer Resources in response to helping cancer patients who are more vulnerable than ever now.

American Public Health Association

Join us in supporting National Public Health Week (NPHW) – April 6-12, 2020. NPHW celebrates 25 years! This 25th anniversary is an opportunity to highlight some of the greatest public health successes and to celebrate what makes public health so vital. It’s also a time to reflect on important lessons learned and also missed chances to improve health for all. We can all become advocates for positive change, especially during this pandemic.

Each day of National Public Health Week, will focus on a particular public health topic and identify ways each of us can make a difference on that topic. Check it out and participate on your social media networks or simply share KAFP’s facebook posts.


**NEW** COVID-19 and the NPHW Daily Themes

Monday: Mental Health — advocate for and promote emotional well-being

Tuesday: Maternal and Child Health — ensure the health of mothers and babies throughout the lifespan

Wednesday: Violence Prevention — reduce personal and community violence to improve health

Thursday: Environmental Health — help protect and maintain a healthy planet

Friday: Education — advocate for quality education and schools

Saturday: Healthy Housing — ensure access to affordable and safe housing

Sunday: Economics — advocate for economic empowerment as the key to a healthy life

National Institute of Health

The National Clearinghouse for Worker Safety & Health Training creates training tools to aid in the development of awareness-level courses or other awareness-level materials. These tools provide health and safety guidance to workers who work in industries with the potential for exposure to COVID-19. You may find these resources helpful:

OneCare Kansas

OneCare Kansas services are scheduled to begin April 1, 2020. Don’t miss this last webinar in the OneCare Kansas Provider Webinar Series: Health Action Plan Portal Demo that will provide potential providers with a live demonstration of the newly developed Health Action Plan Portal. This portal will be a required tool for developing, documenting and sharing member Health Action Plans as part of the OneCare Kansas program. Learn more.

To be eligible for services, individuals (adults and children) must be currently enrolled in KanCare and have at least one of the following diagnoses:

  • Asthma + at risk for at least one additional chronic condition OR
  • Paranoid Schizophrenia OR
  • Severe Bipolar Disorder

OneCare Kansas is a free program to provide extra support for people who have KanCare insurance and have certain serious health conditions. These services can help make sure your patients have the right health care services for their condition as well as find and get support services in their community. Download and print this flyer for more information on a session March 2 in Wichita to share with your patients.


CDC published Persons Evaluated for 2019 Novel Coronavirus—United States, January 2020 in the Feb. 7 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). The article’s “Summary” box content is reprinted below.

What is already known about this topic?

During a 2020 outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection, CDC provided consultation to public health officials and health care providers evaluating persons at risk for 2019-nCoV infection.

What is added by this report?

During January 2020, CDC responded to clinical inquiries regarding approximately 650 persons in the United States and tested 210 for 2019-nCoV, one fifth of whom reported no recent travel-related risk but had close contact with a 2019-nCoV patient or a person under investigation for 2019-nCoV in the United States.

What are the implications for public health practice?

Health care providers should remain vigilant regarding possible 2019-nCoV exposure not only among returning travelers, but also among persons in close contact with 2019-nCoV patients in the United States.

Access the complete report:

In PDF format

In HTML format


The Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s (KDHE) Kansas Newborn Screening Program (KS-NBS) began screening for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) on February 1. The Kansas Newborn Screening Program (KS-NBS) strives to protect and improve the health of all newborn Kansans.

With one small blood sample, more than 30 life-altering and life-threatening disorders will be detected.

These are completely undetectable at birth without this screening. Nearly 35,000 Kansas babies receive the newborn screen shortly after birth each year.

“We are very excited to be able to add SMA to our screening process and directly impact the health and future of our youngest Kansans,” said Dr. Lee Norman, KDHE Secretary.

SMA is a disease affecting the motor neurons in the spinal cord and brainstem. By limiting infant’s physical strength, SMA can take away the ability to walk, eat or breathe. Approximately 1 out of every 11,000 newborns is diagnosed with SMA. About 1 in every 50 Americans is a genetic carrier for SMA.

SMA was added to the federal Recommended Uniform Screening Panel (RUSP) for newborn screening in 2018. Evidence shows that early diagnosis and treatment leads to better outcomes.

For more information visit Kansas Newborn Screening Program.