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State Highlights: Pa. Governor Urges Lead Testing For All Kids Younger Than 2; Ga. Hospital, Health System Plan Merger

Media outlets report on news from Pennsylvania, Georgia, Minnesota, California, Missouri and Kansas.

The Philadelphia Inquirer/Philly.com: Wolf: All Kids Should Be Blood Tested For Lead By Age 2
Unlike some states, Pennsylvania doesn’t require children to be tested for lead exposure by age 2. As a result, thousands most at risk of effects from the toxic metal, including reduced IQ and behavioral problems, go undetected at a critical time in brain development. But on Wednesday, Gov. Wolf called on state health officials and lawmakers to work together to pass a law requiring physicians to test every child’s blood for lead by age 2. “Only with universal testing will we know the true scope of lead poisoning in Pennsylvania and be able to refer affected children to care,” Wolf said in a statement. (Ruderman, 8/30)

Georgia Health News: Report: Programs To Remove Lead Would Save Next Generation Of Kids
Preventing lead poisoning in children who will be born in 2018 would provide an estimated $84 billion in long-term benefits, said the report from the Health Impact Project, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts. The billions in savings would come partly from reduced health care costs. (Miller, 8/30)

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Northside Hospital And Gwinnett Health System Reach Merger Agreement
Northside Hospital and Gwinnett Health System (the parent of Gwinnett Medical Center) recently announced that they have submitted their proposed merger agreement to the State of Georgia Office of the Attorney General for review and approval. Depending on the review process, the five-hospital Northside-Gwinnett Health combined system could be operational in early 2018. (Holman, 8/30)

Minnesota Public Radio: How Can Colleges Help Depressed Students?
Kaz Nelson of the University of Minnesota’s Department of Psychiatry, and Gregory Eells of Cornell’s Counseling and Psychology Services, shared what colleges are doing to help students and what signs of depression parents should look for in their children. (Miller, 8/30)

California Healthline: Why One California County Went Surgery Shopping
Retiree Leslie Robinson-Stone and her husband enjoyed a weeklong, all-expenses-paid trip to a luxury resort — all thanks to the county she worked for. The couple also received more than a thousand dollars in spending money and a personal concierge, who attended to their every need. For Santa Barbara County, it was money well spent: Sending Robinson-Stone 250 miles away for knee replacement surgery near San Diego saved the government $30,000. (Terhune, 8/31)

St. Louis Public Radio: Seek First To Understand: Lessons On Poverty Teach Medical Students To Be Better Doctors
Every year, for the past 15 years, first year students at Washington University’s School of Medicine have climbed on board three yellow school buses and headed north. They take a route that passes through the city’s poorest neighborhoods, in a bid to introduce medical students to the lives of their future patients. (Bouscaren, 8/31)

KCUR: Jury Convicts Former Physician Assistant At Leavenworth VA Of Sexual Abuse 
A former physician assistant was found guilty Wednesday of sexually abusing patients at the veterans hospital in Leavenworth. A Leavenworth County jury convicted Horton, Kansas, resident Mark E. Wisner, 66, of one felony count each of aggravated sexual battery and aggravated criminal sodomy and three misdemeanor counts of sexual battery. The crimes occurred between 2012 and 2014. (Margolies, 8/30)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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