We'll be phasing out this section soon because our new Web site, 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.

Hospice gives hope to patients, family at end of life
February 10, 2015
The hospice program with the Visiting Nurses Association in Lawrence strives to provide comfort and support for patients who are in the last stages of their lives. It’s not a job for everyone, but those who do it bring peace and stability to many patients and families during an often painful and stressful time.
Is your doctor’s office the most dangerous place for data?
February 10, 2015
Everyone worries about stolen credit cards or hacked bank accounts, but just visiting the doctor may put you at greater risk for identity fraud. Those medical forms you give the receptionist and send to your health insurer provide fertile ground for criminals looking to steal your identity, since health care businesses can lag far behind banks and credit card companies in protecting sensitive information.
New Year New You winner inspires daughter with 100-pound weight loss
06:28 p.m., February 9, 2015 Updated 09:59 p.m.
When Tiffany Fabriz remembers the unexpected passing of her mother in July 2011, it seemed like it all happened so fast.
Health Department accepting nominations for annual Health Champion awards
02:51 p.m., February 9, 2015 Updated 10:01 p.m.
The Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department is seeking nominations for its third annual Health Champion awards.
Government report says fewer drivers are drinking, but more use drugs
February 8, 2015
The number of drivers on the road with alcohol in their systems has declined by nearly one-third since 2007, but there has been a large increase in drivers using marijuana and other illegal drugs, a government report released Friday found.
Michelle Obama announces funding to fight childhood obesity
February 5, 2015
First lady Michelle Obama visited a school on Manhattan’s Upper West Side on Thursday to announce a $500 million donation funding the fight against childhood obesity.
Maternal pot use under microscope in Colorado
February 4, 2015
Colorado lawmakers struggling to make sense of incomplete scientific evidence about marijuana use by pregnant and nursing women have scrapped a bill to add warnings in pot shops about maternal marijuana use.
LMH lifts requirement on wearing masks in patient areas
09:42 a.m., February 3, 2015 Updated 10:04 p.m.
Lawrence Memorial Hospital ended its temporary policy mandating that anyone visiting patient areas must wear a mask in an effort to curb the spread of influenza.
Double Take: Students have the power to influence those in charge
February 3, 2015
In the last of their series on changes in schools, Dr. Wes advises teens now might be the time to consider the vital resource we have in our schools and where we’d be without them. Kyra warns that it is essential to advocate for change where those in charge can actually find your message. Cast your ballot. Protest in public. Then you can head to Twitter.
Know your numbers for a healthy heart
February 3, 2015
Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the United States. Keeping your heart in tip-top shape involves several strategies, including eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and keeping your heart numbers within healthy ranges.
Where the food is: Stores are making education part of the shopping experience
February 3, 2015
There are more opportunities for people with questions about food to ask them right in the aisle. Some local stores are offering educational opportunities and support staff such as registered dieticians who lead store tours, teach classes, work with children and provide the next level of information to customers.
Lawrence health officials expect measles to hit Kansas
06:07 p.m., February 2, 2015 Updated 10:08 p.m.
As cases of the measles pop up across the country, Douglas County health officials say they think it’s only a matter of time until the disease makes its way to Kansas. But it won’t be easy to diagnose, according to Kirsten Evans, a pediatrician at Lawrence Pediatrics. With an effective vaccine in use for years, not many doctors have encountered the disease.
Obama proposes new agency to make Americans’ food safer
11:02 a.m., February 2, 2015 Updated 10:05 p.m.
President Barack Obama wants to create a new government agency dedicated to keeping the nation’s food safe. The proposal in the president’s budget released Monday comes after outbreaks of illnesses linked to chicken, eggs, peanuts and cantaloupe in recent years. More than a dozen federal agencies oversee food safety, and consumer advocates have long called for bringing all those functions together in a single home.
CDC study: Toddler food often has too much salt and sugar
February 2, 2015
Many packaged meals and snacks for toddlers contain worrisome amounts of salt and sugar, potentially creating an early taste for foods that may contribute to obesity and other health risks, according to a new government study.
KU seeks state funds for institute to foster discovery, development of vaccines and drugs
February 1, 2015
As Kansas University pharmaceutical chemistry professor Wendy Picking knows firsthand, the process of getting a vaccine or drug from science lab to people and animals in need is long, costly and involves many entities. Picking has been researching shigella since 1993 and says there’s still years to go before a vaccine for it can save lives. Getting $5 million to establish and grow a Drug and Vaccine Discovery Institute is one of KU’s top three priorities for the 2015 Legislative session, and one the university says is critical to maintain its reputation as a “global power” in pharmaceutical science in an increasingly competitive environment. By Sara Shepherd

Search local health businesses