Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services HEALTH AND SAFETY http://health.mo.gov/information/news/rss.xml Official news releases issued by the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services. en-us <![CDATA[ DHSS releases draft application questions for medical marijuana facility licenses]]>Media Contact:
Lisa Cox
Chief, Office of Public Information
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
Lisa.Cox@health.mo.gov


 

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) is granting the public the opportunity to provide feedback on drafts of application questions and scoring criteria that will determine which applicants will soon become licensed medical marijuana facilities throughout the state.  

Scoring criteria and application questions will make up part of the facility license application which will be available on June 4. The Department will accept completed application forms beginning August 3.

“It has remained important to us that we allow the public to weigh in on each phase of this program’s development,” said Lyndall Fraker, Director of DHSS’s Section for Medical Marijuana Regulation. “It is our job to implement this medical program for the patients of Missouri, and to do that successfully, we need to listen to all feedback.”

DHSS established ten advisory committees –one for each of the application scoring criteria established by the Missouri Constitution—to review the drafted application scoring questions. Members were selected by the Department with consultation of members of the Governor’s cabinet, based on the member’s expertise or background in the subject matter under the purview of the committee.

Public feedback regarding the drafted questions can be provided through the online suggestion form until a few days prior to each committee meeting. The deadlines for submitting public comment and schedule of committee meetings are below. DHSS will make revisions based on public comments and provide public comments and revised questions to advisory committee members. Each advisory committee will then meet and discuss the draft questions, suggest modifications and make a recommendation to DHSS. Further, based on the committee’s recommended questions, the committee will recommend weights for each question within the committee’s purview. Public comment will not be allowed during committee meetings. DHSS will review the recommendations and finalize the questions and weights, which will be incorporated into the final rules that are due on June 4, per Article XIV of the Constitution.

Topic and individual question weights will be released following the conclusion of the advisory committee process. Feedback can be submitted using the online suggestion form.

Draft Facility License Application Questions (PDF)

Draft Evaluation Criteria Scoring Table (PDF)

Committee

Public Comments
Due By:

Committee Meeting Date

Cultivation Facility Experience

April 15 at 8 a.m.

April 17

Dispensary Facility Experience

April 15 at 8 a.m.

April 17

Economic Impact in Site Community

April 18 at 8 a.m.

April 22

Maintaining Competitiveness

April 18 at 8 a.m.

April 22

Background of Principal Officers or Managers

April 19 at 8 a.m.

April 24

Testing Facilities

April 25 at 8 a.m.

April 29

Infused Product Manufacturing Facility Experience

April 25 at 8 a.m.

April 29

Experience in a Legal Cannabis Market

April 25 at 8 a.m.

April 30

Site Security

April 25 at 8 a.m.

April 30

Business Plan

April 25 at 8 a.m.

May 1

 

 

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Thu, 11 Apr 2019 11:55:09 CST
<![CDATA[ Missouri DHSS releases medical marijuana program updates]]>Agency announces blind review of facility license application

Media Contact:
Lisa Cox
Chief, Office of Public Information
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
Lisa.Cox@health.mo.gov

 

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) is committed to providing information in real time concerning the implementation of Article XIV which establishes the state’s medical marijuana program. Updates are shared as they become available at medicalmarijuana.mo.gov, and public feedback on the updates is both encouraged and proving to be helpful to the implementation team.

Researchers from the University of Missouri have provided DHSS with a quantitative market analysis for medical marijuana operations in Missouri. View the entire report.

It is important to note that while the report details projections for the state’s medical marijuana market, the Constitution is clear that there will be at least 60 cultivation licenses, 86 infused products manufacturing licenses and 192 dispensary licenses (at least 24 per congressional district).

“We are working to implement a program that was voted by and for the people of Missouri, so it is important to us that we keep as much information as possible related to this program in front of the public,” said Lyndall Fraker, Director of DHSS Section for Medical Marijuana Regulation.

DHSS has also established ten advisory committees composed of subject matter experts to help review draft questions for the facility license applications. More information about these committees and how feedback can be provided can be found here.

Draft rules related to both transportation and physicians/health care providers are now posted on the DHSS website. These rules are in draft form and are subject to change. Article XIV of the Constitution tasks DHSS with having all rules finalized by June 4. Additional drafts of proposed rules addressing other components of the medical marijuana program are also available online. DHSS encourages feedback on these drafts as well as future drafts as these are not final.

 

DHSS will soon be issuing a request for proposals for an independent blind scorer for medical marijuana license and certificate applications. 

 

"We are committed to transparency and fairness and want to emphasize that the reviewers of applications will be blinded to the identity of applicants," said Dr. Randall Williams, Director of DHSS. "Those granted a license or certificate will be selected solely upon the content of their applications, and those assigning scores to applications will have no access to applicants' identifying information."

Feedback regarding any of the program’s updates can be submitted using the online suggestion form.

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Mon, 08 Apr 2019 14:18:04 CST
<![CDATA[ Talking about organ and tissue donation]]>Media Contact:
Lisa Cox
Chief, Office of Public Information
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
Lisa.Cox@health.mo.gov

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - April is National Donate Life Month, a great time to talk with your loved ones about organ, eye and tissue donation. This is also a great time to register to be a donor; donated organs can save up to eight lives and donated tissues can heal 75 or more lives.

How to Have the Conversation

What conversation? The conversation with your family about being an organ, eye and tissue donor. For many, this conversation is uncomfortable to think about. Yet when a loved one passes suddenly, family members can find themselves facing a hard decision that may be riddled with doubt; a situation that is made easier if you are a registered donor and they know about your decision. According to Mid-America Transplant, 98 percent of organ recovery and 91 percent of tissue recovery was possible because individuals were registered. People want to honor their loved ones' decisions. So, make it easier for them. Research organ, eye and tissue donation, determine what is best for you, register as a donor at www.MissouriOrganDonor.com, and then talk to those you love. If you choose not to be a donor, let your loved ones know that too.

How do you have that heartfelt conversation?

  1. Prepare. Think about the questions your loved ones might ask. Seek the answers. Prepare in advance for the conversation; preparing will make it more relaxing for you and your loved ones. 
  2. Talk/Discuss. Start the conversation. Discuss your decision at a time and place where you and your loved ones are already comfortable talking about tough issues. Inform any others who may need to know. Include in your conversation:
    1. Your decision and why their support is important to you.
    2. Listen openly to their concerns and talk about those concerns. You may need to give your loved ones some time to think more about what you shared.
    3. If there is a question or concern raised that you are not familiar with, consider finding the answer together.
    4. Explain how your decision can help people waiting for a life-saving transplant.
  3. Encourage. If loved ones want to learn more about organ, eye and tissue donation, share what you have learned and encourage them to learn more and register to be an organ, eye and tissue donor at www.MissouriOrganDonor.com.

 

About the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services: The department seeks to be the leader in protecting health and keeping people safe. More information about DHSS can be found at health.mo.gov or find us on Facebook and Twitter @HealthyLivingMo.

 

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Thu, 04 Apr 2019 21:36:58 CST
<![CDATA[ Avoiding diseases transmitted by ticks and mosquitoes]]>Media Contact:
Lisa Cox
Chief, Office of Public Information
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
Lisa.Cox@health.mo.gov

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - With warmer weather on the way, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) wants to remind those living in and visiting the state to take precautions against tick and mosquito bites. Both can transmit serious, and potentially deadly, illnesses and these insects can be active anytime the ground is not frozen.

"As spring arrives, we are reminded what a beautiful state Missouri is," said Dr. Randall Williams, DHSS Director. "For all of us who enjoy the outdoors, it creates more opportunities to enjoy the state's natural splendor. I especially enjoy running in our state's parks and conservation areas. For those of us in public health, this time of year serves as a transition from flu season to the most prevalent time for diseases carried by ticks and mosquitoes."

Missouri is home to a variety of tick species, meaning the state experiences a variety of tick-borne illnesses. In 2018, Missouri reported 587 cases of Rocky Mountain spotted fever and 369 cases of ehrlichiosis. In the United States, 60 percent of cases of Rocky Mountain spotted fever are in five states, with Missouri being one. At least six different types of tick-borne diseases in humans have been reported in Missouri, including Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, tularemia, Lyme disease, Heartland virus and Bourbon virus. West Nile virus is the most common virus spread by mosquitoes in the United States. In 2018, 23 cases were reported in Missouri. Many of these illnesses can be effectively treated if they are caught early, however, on occasion they can be deadly.

Ticks can be found throughout Missouri, primarily in wooded and brushy areas, tall grasses, and close to the ground in leaf litter. Objects that collect water are the primary breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Objects such as buckets, old tires, flower pots or clogged gutters are all items that can attract mosquitoes.

Flooding events can produce large amounts of mosquitoes. Historically, flooding events have not resulted in an increase in mosquito-borne disease illness reports. This is because the mosquitoes that emerge after flooding are not the same kinds of mosquitoes that transmit West Nile virus.  Mosquitoes that emerge after flooding events are strong fliers and aggressive biters, but they are nuisance species that do not pose a significant disease risk.

Despite the presence of ticks and mosquitoes, everyone can safely enjoy the outdoors by taking a few safety precautions.

"We encourage everyone to defend themselves by using insect repellent and performing careful body checks after being outdoors to prevent these diseases whenever and wherever you are in Missouri," said Williams. "While the incidence of these diseases is low throughout the state, the severity of illness can be high in some patients. So as always, prevention remains our best advice." 

DHSS recommends the following precautions to prevent tick and mosquito bites:

  • Use an insect repellent with DEET, picaridin or IR3535 as the active ingredient. For ticks, look for a product with at least 20 percent concentration of one of these active ingredients.
  • Apply repellent to exposed skin for protection that lasts several hours whenever you spend time outdoors. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age. Always apply repellent products according to package instructions.
  • When possible, wear protective clothing (light colored, long sleeved shirts and pants) when outdoors to keep ticks off skin and make it easier to see ticks that are crawling on clothing.
  • Avoid areas including brushy areas, tall grasses, wood piles, and leaf litter. When hiking, stay near the center of trails to avoid ticks.
  • Reduce ticks around your home by keeping lawns mowed short, shrubs and trees trimmed, and remove leaf litter, wood piles, fallen branches, trash and debris from yards.
  • Reduce mosquitoes around your home by cleaning out gutters and remove anything in the yard that could hold standing water.
  • Those with pets should talk with their veterinarian about use of tick prevention treatments. Regularly check pets for ticks.
  • Check for ticks while outdoors and again after returning from the outdoors. If possible you should change clothes and shower soon after spending time outdoors.

Preventing bites is the best way to avoid getting sick from any number of diseases that ticks and mosquitoes can carry. Just one bite can lead to serious illness. If you find an attached tick, do not panic. The tick should be removed promptly. The longer it is attached, the greater the risk of infection. To remove ticks:

  • Using tweezers, grasp tick near its mouth and as close to your skin as possible.
  • Pull tick firmly, straight out, away from skin. Do not jerk or twist the tick.
  • Do NOT use alcohol, matches, liquid soap or petroleum jelly to remove a tick.
  • Wash your hands and the bite site with soap and water after the tick is removed. Apply an antiseptic to the bite site.

If bit by a mosquito, wash the site with soap and water. Anti-itch cream or an ice pack can alleviate pain or itching.

Everyone should be aware of the signs and symptoms of tick- and mosquito-borne diseases, which can vary among individuals and differ according to the disease. In general, a sudden high fever, severe headache, muscle or joint aches, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea can be signs of these types of diseases.  Additionally, a possible sign of tick-borne disease is a pus-filled wound that appears at the site of a tick bite, or a rash that follows a tick bite. You should consult your health care provider if experiencing these symptoms. If these symptoms occur following a bite, or even after exposure to a tick habitat, be sure to tell your health care provider.

More about tick-borne disease

Insect Repellent FAQs

About the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services: The department seeks to be the leader in protecting health and keeping people safe. More information about DHSS can be found at health.mo.gov or find us on Facebook and Twitter @HealthyLivingMo.

 

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Wed, 03 Apr 2019 20:30:00 CST
<![CDATA[ Missouri celebrates National Public Health Week]]>Media Contact:
Lisa Cox
Chief, Office of Public Information
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
Lisa.Cox@health.mo.gov

 

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) is celebrating National Public Health Week (NPHW), April 1-7, 2019, by highlighting the power of prevention, managing successful public health partnerships and championing the role of a strong public health system.

"During the last 100 years, the average lifespan of Missourians has increased by 30 years, thanks partly due to state public health efforts," said Dr. Randall Williams, DHSS Director. "We greatly appreciate the tireless work of our local health departments and public health leaders throughout the state who are working to improve both the quality and longevity of life for our citizens. These Missourians are the epitome of public service as they work to protect health and keep people safe in our state."

NPHW is celebrated each year during the first week of April. This year's state theme is Missouri's Call to Action: Public Health Matters.

Investing in prevention and public health can make an enormous difference and it plays a critical role in keeping individuals and communities healthy. Some of the greatest achievements of public health include vaccinations, safer work places, safer and healthier foods, control of infectious diseases, fluoridation of drinking water, public health preparedness and recognition of tobacco use as a health hazard.

Each day of NPHW 2019, DHSS will focus on a different public health topic to move Missouri forward in bettering the health of its citizens. Monday's theme is Infant, Child and Adolescent Health; Tuesday's theme is Opioids, Violence and Suicide Prevention; Wednesday's theme is Rural Health; Thursday's theme is Technology and Public Health; and Friday's theme is Maternal and Women's Health.

More information about NPHW 2019

 

About the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services: The department seeks to be the leader in protecting health and keeping people safe. More information about DHSS can be found at health.mo.gov or find us on Facebook and Twitter @HealthyLivingMo.

 

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Mon, 01 Apr 2019 16:44:16 CST
<![CDATA[ DHSS releases draft rules for medical marijuana facility evaluation criteria and testing facilities]]>Media Contact:
Lisa Cox
Chief, Office of Public Information
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
Lisa.Cox@health.mo.gov

 

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has released additional draft rules for the medical marijuana program.

Draft rules for facility evaluation criteria and medical marijuana testing facilities are now posted on the DHSS website. These rules are in draft form and are subject to change. Article XIV of the Constitution tasks DHSS with having all rules finalized by June 4. DHSS will begin accepting facility applications on August 3, per guidelines set in the constitutional amendment.

Rules specifically focused on qualified patients and primary caregivers were released in February, and rules for cultivation facilities, dispensary facilities, infused products manufacturing facilities and medical marijuana establishments in general were shared online earlier this month. Additional drafts of proposed rules addressing other components of the medical marijuana program will be posted online as they are completed. DHSS encourages feedback on these drafts as well as future drafts as these are not final. Suggestions can be submitted using the online suggestion form

About the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services: The department seeks to be the leader in protecting health and keeping people safe. More information about DHSS can be found at http://health.mo.gov or find us on Facebook and Twitter @HealthyLivingMo.

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Thu, 28 Mar 2019 14:08:23 CST
<![CDATA[ DHSS urges vigilance in flood-impacted areas]]>Media Contact:
Lisa Cox
Chief, Office of Public Information
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
Lisa.Cox@health.mo.gov

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Ongoing flood conditions have the potential to raise additional health concerns for Missourians. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) advises citizens to enhance their monitoring of local health alerts, media outlets and other information sources for health-related flooding information that could be impacting the areas where they work, live or travel.

"Flooding can be associated with infectious disease transmission so we continue to work with our partners to assess for waterborne illness," said Dr. Randall Williams, Director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. "Prevention is always our first consideration, so we continue to encourage people to reduce exposure by avoiding contact with floodwaters and pay attention to advisories on water quality."

Last week, Governor Mike Parson declared a state of emergency in Missouri in response to the flooding. Floodwaters can pose serious health risks including such issues as:

  • Floodwater can contain raw sewage and pose other risks, including infectious diseases, hazardous chemical exposure, and debris that can cause injuries.
  • Direct contact with floodwater can cause skin rashes, an infection of cuts or wounds or stomach illnesses including vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Downed or broken power lines in floodwater pose an electrocution hazard.
  • Sharp objects and debris, such as glass or metal objects, may be lurking in floodwater.
  • Animals, insects, snakes and other reptiles that have been displaced due to flooding may be submerged or hiding in debris in or near floodwaters.

The persistent flooding conditions continue to pose a threat to the quality of both public and private water systems for Missourians. Citizens, especially infants, the elderly or those with a compromised immune system, need to be aware of this ongoing threat and the symptoms that can be caused by consuming contaminated water (gastrointestinal problems, diarrhea, nausea, intestinal cramping, dehydration, etc.).

If consumption of contaminated water is suspected, DHSS urges consumers to contact their physician.

More information regarding flood safety and recovery


About the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services: The department seeks to be the leader in protecting health and keeping people safe. More information about DHSS can be found at http://health.mo.gov or find us on Facebook and Twitter @HealthyLivingMo.

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Sun, 24 Mar 2019 12:11:28 CST
<![CDATA[ Floodwaters could threaten quality of private water supplies]]>Contact:
Lisa Cox
Chief, Office of Public Information
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
Lisa.Cox@health.mo.gov

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Worsening flood conditions could pose threats to the quality of private water supplies for northern Missourians. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) advises those with flooded private water wells or any wells suspected of being impacted by the recent and ongoing flooding to be tested for safety by the Missouri State Public Health Laboratory (MSPHL).

Yesterday, Governor Mike Parson declared a state of emergency in Missouri in response to the flooding. The MSPHL is waiving the fee for private drinking water testing statewide during the declared state of emergency.

Statewide, property owners may submit samples from private wells for bacterial testing. Samples must be submitted in collection kits provided by the MSPHL. To receive an MSPHL-issued test request form, water sample collection kit and sample collection instructions, contact your local public health agency or the MSPHL, 101 N. Chestnut in Jefferson City, at 573-751-4830.

Floodwaters also pose additional health risks:

  • Floodwater can contain raw sewage and pose other risks, including infectious diseases, hazardous chemical exposure, and debris that can cause injuries.
  • Direct contact with floodwater can cause skin rashes, an infection of cuts or wounds or stomach illnesses including vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Downed or broken power lines in floodwater pose an electrocution hazard.
  • Sharp objects and debris, such as glass or metal objects, may be lurking in floodwater.
  • Animals, insects, snakes and other reptiles that have been displaced due to flooding may be submerged or hiding in debris in or near floodwaters.

Clothing exposed to floodwater should be removed as soon as possible. Exposed hands, feet and any other skin should be washed with clean soap and water.

After working in or near floodwaters, monitor any cuts, scrapes or wounds for redness, swelling or drainage. Seek prompt medical attention if any of these symptoms develop.

Anyone involved with flood cleanup should have had a booster dose of tetanus-diphtheria (Td) vaccine within the past 10 years. Contact your local health department or your primary care physician if you need a Td vaccine.

Actions to protect your family's important documents from flooding include gathering and storing copies of irreplaceable documents (such as birth certificates, passports, etc.) in a safe dry place, and keep originals in a safe deposit box. Plan and practice a flood evacuation route, and identify an out of region contact to be your family contact. This individual is who everyone should check in with upon reaching safety.

Other flooding preparation steps include building an emergency supply kit. Gather food, bottled water, first aid supplies, medicines and a battery-operated radio to be ready to go when you are.

When floodwater comes, remember that driving in moving or standing water, wading in floodwaters or exposure while recovering from a flood can pose health risks. Do not allow children to play in or near floodwater, as banks can suddenly give way throwing a person into the moving water.

More information regarding flood safety and recovery

About the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services: The department seeks to be the leader in protecting health and keeping people safe. More information about DHSS can be found at health.mo.gov or find us on Facebook and Twitter @HealthyLivingMo.

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Fri, 22 Mar 2019 21:41:03 CST
<![CDATA[ As Spring rains arrive, so do the risks associated with flood water, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services warns]]>Precautions should be taken by all who work near floodwater to avoid exposure

 

Media Contact:
Lisa Cox
Chief, Office of Public Information
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
Lisa.Cox@health.mo.gov

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - As many northwest Missouri communities face rivers and creeks at or above flood stage, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) reminds Missourians of the serious health and safety risks posed by floodwater.

"It is vital that everyone working near floodwaters realizes the risks that exist," said Dr. Randall Williams, DHSS Director."Just as driving in moving or standing water is dangerous, wading in floodwaters or exposure while recovering from a flood can pose health risks."

Children should be warned never to play in or near floodwater. Seemingly stable creek and stream banks may suddenly give away, throwing a person into moving water. Powerful currents can sweep people in, resulting in deadly consequences for them and rescuers. Additionally, floodwater may obscure storm drains or culverts.

In addition to drowning, floodwaters pose many risks:

  • Floodwater can contain raw sewage and pose other risks, including infectious diseases, hazardous chemical exposure, and debris that can cause injuries.
  • Direct contact with floodwater can cause skin rashes, an infection of cuts or wounds or stomach illnesses including vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Downed or broken power lines in floodwater pose an electrocution hazard.
  • Sharp objects and debris, such as glass or metal objects, may be lurking in floodwater.
  • Animals, insects, snakes and other reptiles that have been displaced due to flooding may be submerged or hiding in debris in or near floodwaters.

Clothing exposed to floodwater should be removed as soon as possible. Exposed hands, feet and any other skin should be washed with clean soap and water.

After working in or near floodwaters, monitor any cuts, scrapes or wounds for redness, swelling or drainage. Seek prompt medical attention if any of these symptoms develop.

Anyone involved with flood cleanup should have had a booster dose of tetanus-diphtheria (Td) vaccine within the past 10 years. Contact your local health department or your primary care physician if you need a Td vaccine.

More information regarding flood safety and recovery

About the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services: The department seeks to be the leader in protecting health and keeping people safe. More information about DHSS can be found at health.mo.gov or find us on Facebook and Twitter @HealthyLivingMo.

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Mon, 18 Mar 2019 14:51:44 CST
<![CDATA[ DHSS releases drafts of rules for medical marijuana facilities]]>Media Contact:
Lisa Cox
Chief, Office of Public Information
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
Lisa.Cox@health.mo.gov

 

JEFFERSON CITY, MO - The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has released additional drafts of rules for the medical marijuana program.

Draft rules for cultivation facilities, dispensary facilities, infused products manufacturing facilities and medical marijuana establishments in general are now posted on the DHSS website. These rules are in draft form and are subject to change. Article XIV of the Constitution tasks DHSS with having all rules finalized by June 4.

Five public forums were held throughout the state in February and March. Attendees in Jefferson City, Poplar Bluff, St. Louis, Kansas City and Springfield had an opportunity to speak directly with the DHSS Section for Medical Marijuana Regulation about their concerns and suggestions for the program's rules.

"It was a great opportunity for us to travel the state and hear from parties interested in this program," said Lyndall Fraker, Director of the DHSS Section for Medical Marijuana Regulation. "All feedback we received was considered, and is still being considered, as we continue drafting the rules."

Video and/or audio coverage from the forums is available on the DHSS YouTube channel.

Rules specifically focused on qualified patients and primary caregivers were released in February. Additional drafts of proposed rules addressing other components of the medical marijuana program will be posted online as they are completed. DHSS encourages feedback on these drafts as well as future drafts as these are not final. Suggestions can be submitted using the online suggestion form

About the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services: The department seeks to be the leader in protecting health and keeping people safe. More information about DHSS can be found at health.mo.gov or find us on Facebook and Twitter @HealthyLivingMo.

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Fri, 15 Mar 2019 21:19:56 CST
<![CDATA[ Report explains contributing factors of senior food insecurity in Missouri]]>An estimated 170,000 Missouri seniors are food insecure

 

Media Contact:
Lisa Cox
Chief, Office of Public Information
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
Lisa.Cox@health.mo.gov

 

JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Hunger is a serious threat facing millions of seniors in the United States. In Missouri, as many as one in eight seniors are struggling from day to day to have a sufficient food supply. The percentage of older adults facing the threat of hunger is also known as the rate of senior food insecurity. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) released its 2018 Senior Food Insecurity Report. The first of its kind in the nation, this report is an in-depth state level study and analysis of the factors contributing to senior hunger.

“Our goal in writing this report was to enumerate the trade-offs seniors often make that ultimately result in inadequate access to food, identify the costs associated with poorer health as a result of nutritional insufficiency and explain the impacts to our state when our seniors’ health fails from an inadequate or nutritionally deficient diet,” said Jessica Bax, Director of the Division of Senior and Disability Services for DHSS.

The Senior Food Insecurity Report illuminates the prevalence of senior food insecurity in the state and encourages community members, health professionals, public officials and decision makers at all levels to come together and take a deeper look at the causes of senior hunger by highlighting potential solutions to address the growing prevalence of senior food insecurity.

The 2018 Missouri Senior Hunger Report features:

  The Landscape of Senior Food Insecurity: A synopsis of the overall key findings;

  Measurement: A summary of how food insecurity is measured in the United States;

  Frequency: A review of the prevalence of senior food insecurity at the national and statewide levels;

  Common Predictors: A description of the factors that contribute to increased risk of food insecurity;

  Impact: A discussion of the poor nutrition and health outcomes associated with food insecurity;

·  Strategies and Trade-offs: An overview of the continual spending decisions that food insecure seniors often encounter;

·  Food Assistance: An outline of the public and private nutritional assistance programs currently available to Missouri seniors;

•  Opportunities: A list of proposed actions to help alleviate local senior food insecurity

Of the more than 1.3 million seniors in Missouri in 2015, roughly 170,000 grappled with not having regular access to food.

“Missouri seniors should not suffer from inadequate access to nutritious food,” said Dr. Randall Williams, DHSS Director. “Many opportunities to reduce food insecurity have been identified and detailed in this report. These recommendations would have a direct benefit on the health and well-being of our senior population.”

View the entire 2018 Senior Food Insecurity Report at health.mo.gov/SeniorHunger.

About the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services: The department seeks to be the leader in protecting health and keeping people safe. More information about DHSS can be found at health.mo.gov or find us on Facebook and Twitter @HealthyLivingMo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fri, 15 Mar 2019 14:17:12 CST
<![CDATA[ DHSS recommends catch-up vaccinations]]>Media Contact:
Lisa Cox
Office of Public Information
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
Lisa.Cox@health.mo.gov

JEFFERSON CITY, MO - Staying caught up on vaccinations according to schedules recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is always important, but now is the time to get caught up if any doses have been missed. With several vaccine-preventable diseases, such as mumps and measles, currently circulating across the nation, catch-up vaccination is more urgent now. Health care providers can check a patient's shot records to see if any doses have been missed and, if so, get the patient fully vaccinated.

 The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), in partnership with local public health agencies, is committed to protecting the health of the citizens. While the benefits of vaccines are clear, some individuals may be concerned about side effects or may believe that alternative methods will provide the same protection as vaccines.

"Vaccine schedules are evidence based, and they are effective and safe for the individual and the overall health of the public," said Dr. Randall Williams, DHSS Director. "We highly encourage staying up-to-date on CDC-recommended vaccinations for reducing the potential of infectious diseases. Anyone with concerns should talk to their health care provider about the benefits of vaccines."

Measles has been circulating in several states recently, mostly due to travelers returning with the illness from areas of the world where measles is common and then spreading mostly among unvaccinated individuals. It is one of the most contagious infectious diseases, as 90 percent of individuals without immunity that are exposed will become ill with measles, and it can be serious.  By the numbers, one in four cases need to be hospitalized, one out of every 1,000 cases develops brain swelling, and one or two out of 1,000 cases die. The best protection against measles is the MMR vaccine. Getting one dose makes 95 percent of people who receive it immune and a second dose produces immunity in 99 percent. While no confirmed cases of measles have been reported in Missouri in 2019, an outbreak occurred last year in the Kansas City metro area that resulted in 14 cases.

Influenza, or flu, is a respiratory illness caused by a virus and is one of the most commonly reported illnesses in Missouri each year. To bring awareness to the importance of the flu vaccine at the start of this season, Governor Mike Parson was one of several governors across the nation to receive his flu shot publicly to "help all Missourians understand the importance of getting a flu shot in order for our state to be healthy and productive through the entirety of flu season."

The flu season has recently begun to pick up in Missouri-while the current season is not nearly as severe in terms of the number of cases (24,694 versus 103,631), DHSS is still receiving reports of hospitalizations and deaths from flu and flu-like illness. Serious complications, such as pneumonia and inflammation of the heart, brain or muscles, can occur in certain high-risk groups of people. Most people recover without medical care, but these complications can require hospitalization or lead to death. As of Feb. 16, 14 influenza-associated deaths have been reported for the current season. The best defense against influenza is also the flu vaccine. While the effectiveness of the vaccine to prevent illness varies depending on circulating strains each year, it can reduce symptoms and serious outcomes for those who get the shot and get the flu. For current and past weekly influenza reports, visit this website.

In collaboration with several local public health agencies in southeast Missouri, DHSS has been responding to a hepatitis A outbreak since September 2017. Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus. This outbreak is similar to other large outbreaks in metro areas across the country as the primary risk group is individuals who use illicit drugs. Recently, additional counties have begun to see cases that may be associated with this hepatitis A outbreak or others in neighboring states. The hepatitis A infection can range from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months. Although rare, hepatitis A can cause death in some people. The vaccine is the best way to protect one's self against hepatitis A-95 percent of people who receive it become immune after one dose and 99 percent become immune after two doses. More information about Missouri's outbreak can be found at this website.

About the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services: The department seeks to be the leader in protecting health and keeping people safe. More information about DHSS can be found at health.mo.gov or find us on Facebook and Twitter @HealthyLivingMo.

 

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Thu, 21 Feb 2019 21:57:14 CST
<![CDATA[ DHSS continues collecting input on rulemaking process for medical marijuana program]]>Additional public forums to be hosted throughout state

Media Contact:
Lisa Cox
Office of Public Information
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
Lisa.Cox@health.mo.gov

JEFFERSON CITY, MO - The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) will host four additional public forums throughout the state to accept suggestions from the public regarding the formation of rules and regulations for the program. DHSS hosted its first forum in Jefferson City on Feb. 13, and more than 300 people attended.

  • 5-8 p.m., Feb. 27 in Poplar Bluff - Three Rivers Community College in the Tinnin Fine Arts Center, 2080 Three Rivers Boulevar
  • 5-8 p.m., Feb. 28 in Ferguson – St. Louis Community College – Florissant Valley in the Terry M. Fischer Theatre, 3400 Pershall Road
  • 5-8 p.m., March 6 in Kansas City – University of Missouri – Kansas City in the Atterbury Student Success Center – Pierson Auditorium, 5000 Holmes St.
  • 5-8 p.m., March 7 in Springfield - Ozarks Technical Community College in Lincoln 211, 1001 E. Chestnut Expressway

The forums will be opportunities for interested individuals to leave thoughtful feedback, verbally or written, about what should or should not be included in the medical marijuana program regulations. The scope of the discussion will be limited to suggestions for program regulation.

"The input received at the first forum hosted in Jefferson City was very helpful to us," said Lyndall Fraker, Director of DHSS Section for Medical Marijuana Regulation. "The feedback we received from attendees was that the opportunity to have their voices heard was appreciated, so we have decided to extend these opportunities to other areas throughout the state."

DHSS has now released its first draft of rules. This set of rules is specifically focused on the qualified patient and primary caregiver. Additional drafts of proposed rules addressing other components of the medical marijuana program will be posted online as they are drafted. DHSS encourages feedback on this draft as well as future drafts as these are not final. Suggestions can be submitted using the online suggestion form

As of Feb. 20, a total of 434 pre-filed facility license application forms and fees totaling $3,128,000 have been received by DHSS. Of those, 237 are pre-filed application forms for dispensary facilities. DHSS has broken those down by congressional district:

  • District 1 - 36
  • District 2 - 17
  • District 3 - 38
  • District 4 - 27
  • District 5 - 58
  • District 6 - 14
  • District 7 - 33
  • District 8 - 14

DHSS will continue to post updates as they become available on its medical marijuana webpage.

About the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services: The department seeks to be the leader in protecting health and keeping people safe. More information about DHSS can be found at health.mo.gov or find us on Facebook and Twitter @HealthyLivingMo.

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Thu, 21 Feb 2019 21:40:36 CST
<![CDATA[ Hospital in Sweet Springs voluntarily suspends license]]>Media Contact:
Lisa Cox
Chief, Office of Public Information
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
Lisa.Cox@health.mo.gov

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) is alerting the public of regulatory issues with I-70 Community Hospital located at 105 Hospital Drive in Sweet Springs, Missouri.  I-70 Community Hospital is currently out of regulatory compliance and unable to provide hospital services to the fullest extent.  Effective today at 7 p.m., the hospital is voluntarily suspending their license for 90 days as they work toward regaining full compliance and meeting its regulatory requirements.

"While access to health care is important, safety of patients has to be the top priority," said Dr. Randall Williams, DHSS Director. "The hospital's action today supports our commitment to keep people safe."

About the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services: The department seeks to be the leader in protecting health and keeping people safe. More information about DHSS can be found at health.mo.gov or find us on Facebook and Twitter @HealthyLivingMo.

 

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Fri, 15 Feb 2019 23:23:13 CST
<![CDATA[ Missouri's Child and Adult Care Food Program is available to many facilities]]>Contact:
Lisa Cox
Chief, Office of Public Information
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
Lisa.Cox@health.mo.gov

JEFFERSON CITY, MO - Missouri's Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), Bureau of Community Food and Nutrition Assistance (CFNA) is seeking eligible child and adult care facilities, afterschool programs and emergency shelters to participate in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).  The CACFP is a federally-funded U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrition program available to child care centers, adult day care centers, Head Start programs, emergency shelters and before and afterschool programs.  The program reimburses approved facilities for nutritious meals and snacks served to children and adults in care.  The meals are available to children and adult program participants at no separate charge.

Federal income guidelines determine children's eligibility for free and reduced-price meals through the CACFP.  Foster children and children who receive benefits through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), or who are Head Start participants are categorically eligible to receive free meals through the CACFP.  Adults who receive SNAP benefits, FDPIR benefits, Social Security Income (SSI), or are Medicaid participants are automatically eligible for free meals.

Approved or exempt institutions that offer a structured afterschool program with educational or enrichment activities may be eligible to participate in the At-Risk Afterschool component of the CACFP.  This program reimburses institutions that serve nutritious afterschool snacks and/or a supper meal to children up to 18 years of age in a structured environment after the school day has ended.  The afterschool program must be located in a low-income area where 50 percent or more of the children at the nearest school receive free or reduced-price meals.

To learn more about participating in the CACFP, visit the CACFP webpage, call 800-733-6251 or email CACFP@health.mo.gov

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1)            mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
                Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
                1400 Independence Avenue, SW
                Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2)            fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3)            email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

About the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services: The department seeks to be the leader in protecting health and keeping people safe. More information about DHSS can be found at health.mo.gov or find us on Facebook and Twitter @HealthyLivingMo.

 

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Fri, 08 Feb 2019 21:20:54 CST