Front Page » Writers » Bio: Lucy Belnora » Archives: Lucy Belnora

girl-and-doctor.jpgSALINA, Kan. - Patients often receive inappropriate care when their doctors fail to take into account the patients' unique or individual circumstances, so says a new study performed by the University of Illinois at Chicago and the VA Center for Management of Complex Chronic Care.

The study of physician performance is the largest ever to be conducted using actors presenting as patients in doctors' offices.

Physicians did quite well at following guidelines or standard approaches to care, but not so well at figuring out when those approaches were inappropriate because of a particular patient's situation or life context. Physicians need to understand why a patient is failing, for instance, to control their asthma, rather than just increase the dose of the drugs they prescribe.

Specific issues - such as the lack of health insurance, the need for less costly treatment, or difficulty understanding or following instructions - must be recognized when making clinical decisions. Inattention to such issues leads to what are called "contextual errors" in patient care.

SALINA, Kan. - In the United States, 8 million adolescents aged 12 to 17 drank alcohol in the past year, around one fifth used an illicit drug, and 4 million teens under age 18 smoked cigarettes.

A new report gives insight into a day in the life of American adolescents. The study, A Day in the Life of American Adolescents: Substance Use Facts Update, presents a stark picture of the daily toll substance abuse takes on America's youth. It presents facts about adolescent substance use, including initiation, receipt of treatment, and emergency department visits for substance use "on an average day."

Among the report's major findings is that on any given day, 563,000 adolescents used marijuana, nearly 37,000 used inhalants, 24,000 used hallucinogens, 16,000 used cocaine and 2,800 used heroin.

SALINA, Kan. - A new national study finds that nearly a third of the prostituted juveniles taken into custody by police are treated more as criminal offenders than as victims of the pimps and customers who sexually abuse them. This may reflect the controversy and confusion among criminal justice authorities about how to handle this problem.

"Increasingly, police are seeing the prostitution of juveniles as a form of child abuse and exploitation," said the study's lead author, Kimberly Mitchell, of the University of New Hampshire's Crimes against Children Research Center.

Prostituted juveniles are more likely to be treated as victims by police when they are younger than 16, female, frightened, dirty, or identified as runaways.

SALINA, Kan. - In states where you don't have a filibuster, partisanship does not lead to gridlock; it leads to broad legislation.

A national study spanning 120 years of state lawmaking concludes that vigorous two-party competition in state governments provides the best guarantee for meaningful, broad-based governance. The authors say also that modest salaries for lawmakers add a second protection against narrow-interest legislation.

SALINA, Kan. - In a new book, Gendered Tradeoffs: Family, Social Policy, and Economic Inequality in Twenty-One Countries, Becky Pettit and Jennifer Hook contend workplace equality for women boils down to not only whether women are included in the work force but on how they are included.

Despite big changes over recent decades, workplace gender inequalities endure in the United States and other industrialized nations around the world. These inequalities are created by facets of national social policy that either ease or concentrate the demands of care giving within households and shape expectations in the workplace.

Chris Biggs
TOPEKA, Kan. - As readers will recall, Kansas Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh (R) announced his early resignation on February 8th.

In the next couple of weeks, Governor Parkinson (D) is expected to name an interim appointee to take Thornburgh's place through the November's election.
Chris Steineger
Politicos are speculating if Parkinson will appoint a Democrat or Republican and whether or not he'll attempt to influence the upcoming election by anointing a potential incumbent that will run for the spot in November.

"I am committed to naming a Kansan who can represent the office with honor and distinction while protecting and assisting Kansas voters and businesses," Parkinson said.

Meanwhile, replacement candidates (and appointment hopefuls) are queuing up. Chris Steineger (D) filed January 21st and subsequently asked Parkinson for the appointment. Steineger has served in the Kansas Senate for 13 years and currently sits on the Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee, Education Committee and Tax Committee.

Today, another candidate, Chris Biggs (D), entered the race. Biggs has served as securities commissioner for six years and is a former county prosecutor and public defender.

SALINA, Kan. - When it comes to meeting national health goals for physical activity, Mexican-Americans are the most active group in America, according to research by scholars at the University of Chicago and Arizona State University.

The study focused on whites, Mexican-Americans and blacks to learn more about health disparities between those groups.

The research challenges other studies that claimed non-Hispanic whites are most likely to be physically active.

SALINA, Kan. - The State of Kansas currently has legislation pending related to distracted driving. The legislation (Kansas House Bill 2132) would prohibit text messaging while operating a motor vehicle. Specifically, drivers in Kansas would be prohibited from sending, reading or writing a "text message by means of an electronic wireless communications device."

On any given day last year, an estimated 800,000 vehicles were driven by someone who used a hand-held cell phone at some point during their drive, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

A recent study in the journal Human Factors has found that texting while driving is riskier than talking on a cell phone or with other passengers while driving.

SALINA, Kan. - Although relatively rare, pancreatic cancer remains one of the most deadly, and only 5 percent of people who are diagnosed are alive five years later. Pancreatic cancer rates have increased nearly twofold over the recent decades.

SALINA, Kan. - Latino voters will once again be a powerful force the upcoming elections. Candidates who want to court their vote will probably need to do more than just say a few words in Spanish.

Latino voters were pivotal to the victories of both President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats during the election of 2008. These voters are poised to prove pivotal yet again in 2010 in a number of battleground U.S. House, U.S. Senate, and gubernatorial races across the nation. Latinos are a core constituency in many less competitive districts as well, including Kansas.

A new report published by America's Voice says, "Candidates for political office in 2010, elected officials, and political strategists would be wise to not just look at how Latino voters are likely to vote this cycle, but why."

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This is the main archives page for Lucy Belnora. To learn more about this author, you can also read a short biography of Lucy Belnora here.

Just a few of the most current posts by Lucy Belnora are excerpted in the center of this page. However, we have links to this author's complete archives, listed below.

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