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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.


Students build chairs that help autistic children
January 20, 2015
Stuart Jackson was on a mission. For years, the Overland Park father had searched for a way to help his son find relief from the stress and anxiety often experienced by children with autism. Like many of those children, Joshua could be soothed through deep touch pressure — the kind of feeling one might get by being tightly hugged or squeezed. Jackson came across a few potential solutions on the market, but they tended to be clunky, noisy or ineffective. And way too expensive. So he took it to CAPS — the Center for Advanced Professional Studies in the Blue Valley School District.
One foot in front of the other
Lawrence artist’s epic hike inspires others to tackle new goals one step at a time
January 19, 2015
A Lawrence artist took an epic hike in the woods to meet her ultimate goal: walk the entire Appalachian Trail. But one expert says you don’t have to set giant goals to get big benefits.
Number of flu cases in Lawrence, Kansas City trending down
January 15, 2015
After reports of an early peak in influenza activity across the nation and Kansas emerged at the end of December, the virus’ presence is trending down in both Lawrence and Kansas City, hospital officials said.
Douglas County preparing for annual Relay For Life fundraiser
January 15, 2015
Douglas County is once again preparing for the annual Relay For Life fundraising campaign.
Almost 76,000 Kansans have signed up through Health Insurance Marketplace; next enrollment deadline nearing
05:51 p.m., January 14, 2015 Updated 10:09 p.m.
With another month left before the last open enrollment deadline, about 75,900 Kansans selected or automatically re-enrolled in a health plan using the Affordable Care Act’s Federally Facilitated Marketplace, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Getting organized can help teens avoid mayhem
January 13, 2015
Organization isn’t just for people with ADHD. The secret of happiness can be how you organize your life. We’d rather see happiness as something magnificent like meditating toward a higher state of consciousness or perhaps something trite yet unattainable, like, “look on the bright side,” “seek your true love.” But a catchy mantra, no matter how much you practice it, can’t create happiness unless your life is organized so you can gain its benefit.
LMH offers screenings and programs to assess heart health
January 13, 2015
Heart disease is the nation’s number one killer. Living a heart healthy lifestyle is imperative. Ways to put this into practice include being physically active, controlling cholesterol, eating better, managing blood pressure, losing weight, reducing blood sugar and quitting smoking. Lawrence Memorial Hospital offers programs and services to assist you in living a heart healthy lifestyle and to help prevent you from becoming a statistic.
Plenty of Lawrence students want to bike, walk to school, study says
January 12, 2015
About 15 percent of K-8 students in Lawrence public and private schools walk or bike between home and school, which is practically identical to the nationwide rate. But there is a sizable demand among students to do more of it, area health officials said Monday.
Alliance to offer free program for families of people with mental illness
January 8, 2015
The Douglas County chapter of NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness, will offer a free program in Lawrence for families of those with mental illnesses.
Road trip seeks to connect KU pharmacy students with independently owned pharmacies
January 7, 2015
The idea of one day owning and operating his own pharmacy appeals to Kansas University pharmacy student Jace Moore. “There’s not a bunch of overhead; you have a lot more autonomy,” he said. And, “It seems like you have a little more flexibility to do what’s best for the patient.” Wednesday through Friday, Moore will be among 18 KU pharmacy students on a tour to visit independently owned pharmacies in central and western Kansas. By Sara Shepherd
7 strategies to beat back heart disease
January 6, 2015
Cardiovascular (heart) disease is still the leading cause of death for Americans. With a new year beginning, resolve to do all that you can to maintain a healthy heart.
Double Take: Students’ sleep suffers with early schedules
January 6, 2015
Every January marks “Back-to-School: The Sequel” for students all over America. In honor of this annual holiday rebound, Kyra and I will be doing four columns on school-related topics this January. Three of them are about things we’d like to see schools do differently, not just our schools but all schools. This week, it’s teen sleep — or, more correctly, what most American schools do to make it worse.
CDC: Flu season continues to worsen, could peak this month
January 6, 2015
The flu is rampant in most of the country, and health officials say the season could peak soon. Flu was widespread in 43 states and flu activity was intense in most of them during the week of Christmas, according to the latest figures issued Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Major study of bereaved military families underway
January 5, 2015
By the hundreds, widows, widowers, parents, siblings and children are sharing accounts of their grief as part of the largest study ever of America’s military families as they go through bereavement. About 2,000 people have participated over the past three years, and one-on-one interviews will continue through February. The federally funded project is being conducted by the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress at the Maryland-based Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. The study is open to families of the more than 19,000 service members from all branches of the military who have died on active duty since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, regardless of whether the death resulted from combat, accident, illness, suicide or other causes.
New diet guidelines might reflect environmental cost
January 5, 2015
For years, the government has been issuing guidelines about healthy eating choices. Now, a panel that advises the Agriculture Department is ready to recommend that you be told not only what foods are better for your own health, but for the environment as well.

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