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We'll be phasing out this section soon because our new Web site, WellCommons.com is active. Be our guest and come over and check it out. WellCommons is a new way of creating an online community: part journalism, part community activism, part social media. Check out what we've created and help us make WellCommons an integral part of building a healthier Lawrence and a healthier Douglas County.


Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence receives KHF grant
December 4, 2014
The Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence has received a grant from the Kansas Health Foundation for its Triple Play health and wellness program.
Horse trots into hospital: It’s therapy, no joke
December 4, 2014
Though it may sound like one, this is no joke: Two miniature horses trotted into a hospital. Doctors and patients did double-takes when the equine visitors ambled down long corridors in the pediatric unit at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center. Wide-eyed youngsters hooked up to IV poles stepped into hallways to get a glimpse, and kids too sick to leave their rooms beamed with delight when the little long-lashed horses showed up for some bedside nuzzling.
KU adds biotechnology degree at Edwards Campus
December 2, 2014
Kansas University’s Edwards Campus in Overland Park is adding a bachelor of applied science in biotechnology degree to increase career opportunities in the growing field. Offered through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the biotechnology program is KU’s first bachelor of applied science degree.
Federal health law forces expansion of State Employee Health Plan
December 2, 2014
More than 2,000 employees of state and local governments in Kansas will become eligible for full-time health benefits starting Jan. 1 as a result of the Affordable Care Act. State officials say that will cost those governments about $5.3 million per year. B Peter Hancock
5 steps to tackling the health insurance marketplace
December 1, 2014
There are about two and a half months between now and the Feb. 15 deadline for anyone to find health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
Double Take: Work toward forgiveness in relationships
December 1, 2014
Working toward forgiveness is important in moving past any injustice. It may take many years if the injustice is grave, but ultimately forgiveness means letting go of the pain and sadness associated with the relationship and starting anew.
Study: Too many infants still sleep with blankets
December 1, 2014
Too many U.S. infants sleep with blankets, pillows or other unsafe bedding that may lead to suffocation or sudden infant death syndrome, despite guidelines recommending against the practice. That’s according to researchers who say 17 years of national data show parents need to be better informed.
Talk to your doctor about abdominal aortic aneurysm
December 1, 2014
If you are a man age 65 to 75 and have ever smoked, talk with your doctor about abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). If aneurysms grow large enough to burst (break open), they can cause dangerous bleeding inside the body and potentially even death. If AAA is found early, it can often be treated to stop it from bursting.
Autopsy reveals prescription drug overdose caused man’s death near K-10
November 30, 2014
After nearly a month of receiving help for mental illness, Nathan Dean Thurman, 37, died of a lethal dose of his prescription medication along the side of Kansas Highway 10 this summer, according to an autopsy report released Wednesday. Though prescribing potent medication to mental health sufferers is a “constant worry,” said Angela de Rocha, spokeswoman for the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, there is little that state hospitals can do to ensure proper disbursement of medication once a patient is released. “We can’t follow every discharged patient around,” de Rocha said. “There’s no way to force someone to take their medications properly. We have civil liberties in this country.”
KU group wants campus tobacco-free by fall 2015
November 29, 2014
A Kansas University initiative is working to gain support for banning smoking and other forms of tobacco from campus by fall of 2015. As the Tobacco Free KU initiative pushes for a university policy change, it’s also pushing for buy-in from students, faculty and staff. “Our ultimate goal is to create a culture change on campus,” said Ashley Hrabe, KU senior and founder of Breathe Easy at KU (BEAK). By Sara Shepherd
Health Department offering free HIV testing in community as part of World AIDS Day activities
November 26, 2014
In conjunction with World AIDS Day, the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department encourages residents to get educated about the disease and to get tested.
Calorie count to appear with many prepared foods
November 26, 2014
The Food and Drug Administration announced long-delayed calorie labeling rules Tuesday, requiring establishments that sell prepared foods and have 20 or more locations to post the calorie content of food and beverages “clearly and conspicuously” on their menus, menu boards and displays. Companies have until a year from now to comply.
Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department will offer free HIV testing Monday
November 26, 2014
To mark World AIDS Day on Monday, the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department will offer education and free HIV testing.
Pain and palliative care strives to improve quality of life
November 25, 2014
Living with a chronic illness is difficult. Patients may feel anger, sadness or grief as they struggle with daily life while suffering from a chronic illness. Additionally, patients may experience symptoms related to their chronic illness such as problems with their digestive system, difficulty breathing, pain, depression, or a change in family and social dynamics. Palliative care is an area of medicine that focuses on these very issues.
Double Take: Keep in mind what works, what doesn’t at holiday family get-togethers
November 25, 2014
Unless you’re headed home to Whoville for an idyllic gathering of loved ones, you’ll probably appreciate a few reminders of what works and what doesn’t at holiday family get-togethers.

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