Prairie Doc® Perspectives - Will America Protect Our Mothers?


In medicine, we routinely ask people about their family health history. Knowing that your mother had diabetes, or that your grandfather battled alcoholism, helps us be alert for health conditions to which you may be predisposed. Sometimes, though, what is revealed by those histories isn’t a medical problem, but a family tragedy. 
Earlier in my career, my older patients commonly told me that their grandmother, or even their mother, died in childbirth. Today, it is all too easy to forget just how perilous it can be to be pregnant. In the early 1900s, nearly one mother died for every 100 live births. Even today, approximately 800 women around the world die from pregnancy related causes EVERY DAY, and a woman’s lifetime risk of dying as a result of pregnancy hovers around one in 200. In some countries, that risk is around one in 20. In others, it is less than one in 10,000. Infants, and their older siblings, face a grim future without those mothers. Many infants don’t survive to their first birthdays. Older siblings have an increased risk of death before age five.  
Although most maternal deaths occur in the developing world, where access to trained birth attendants or clean birthing conditions is limited, the United States ranks disturbingly high among developed nations. In fact, our rates were higher in 2017 than in 2000. A woman’s risk of death varies with her age, education, socioeconomic status, and most dramatically, race. Black women face a risk of pregnancy related death more than triple that of white women, and indigenous women face approximately twice the risk. Wealth, health, and education are not enough to close these gaps. Serena Williams and Beyonce have both spoken publicly about their own life-threatening pregnancy complications. More research is needed to understand and address these disparities, and maternal mortality rates in general.
Sometimes death is caused directly by a pregnancy: bleeding, eclampsia, embolisms of amniotic fluid into the mother’s lungs, infections. Sometimes death results from the added stress of pregnancy combined with another disease. Weakened hearts, for example, may not meet the additional demands of pregnancy and delivery. Historically, influenza has killed disproportionate numbers of pregnant women. My own great grandmother was one of them. Similarly, a pregnant woman who contracts Covid is 20 times more likely to die than one who doesn’t. Women who struggle with depression or substance abuse may fall victim to overdoses or suicides triggered by the stress of pregnancy and caring for a newborn. Domestic violence may start or escalate during pregnancy, and too many women die at the hands of current or former partners. 
The good news is that nearly two thirds of maternal deaths are thought to be preventable. We simply need the societal will to make changes and save lives. 



Prairie Doc® Perspectives - The Scientist Who Swallowed the Bacteria

In the last couple years, I have developed a renewed awe and appreciation of our scientists around the world who work for entire careers to advance science and medicine in their laboratories and beyond. One such scientist is Dr. Barry Marshall.   Marshall is an Australian... [More]


Prairie Doc® Perspectives - Reach Out for That Lifeline

Imagine yourself in a blizzard so thick and cold and blinding that you could not see your hands right in front of you. Such blizzards were common 150 years ago on the upper great plains. Without much for houses and trees, the wind blew the snow with such force that the little... [More]


Prairie Doc® Perspectives - Alcoholism…Start the Conversation

Alcoholism, and addiction overall, isn’t a character flaw, or a weakness of self-control. It’s a disease. And, if you are like most of us, you’ve probably been affected by it. Maybe you struggle with alcohol consumption yourself or have a friend or family member... [More]


Prairie Doc® Perspectives - Respiratory Season and Lessons Learned

It is September, fall is in the air, and what we might call “respiratory season” is nearly upon us. Respiratory season refers to the colder months in which we spend much of our time indoors, maybe October through March. Normally, this season correlates with when we... [More]


Prairie Doc® Perspectives - Prevention is the Best Treatment

What I remember most is the silence. She was 19 years old, just starting her first semester of college. She had been transferred to our level 1 trauma center, intubated and in a medically induced coma. I was a third-year medical student, being introduced to the realities of medicine.... [More]


Prairie Doc® Perspectives - Kidney’s Don’t Get No Respect

The kidneys may be called the Rodney Dangerfield of the body, as they often “don’t get no respect.” The National Kidney Foundation estimates that one in three adult Americans are at risk for kidney disease, yet these organs are mostly ignored unless they develop... [More]


Prairie Doc® Perspectives - Respect People’s Choices

This summer I attended the celebration of life service for Dr. Rick Holm, the original Prairie Doc who founded this newspaper column, a radio show and a television show now entering its twentieth season. He died from pancreatic cancer in March of 2020 during the early days of... [More]


Prairie Doc® Perspectives - Return to Wellness

I recently saw a patient I hadn’t seen in more than 18 months. This patient had previously come to me somewhat routinely for arthritic knees. Together, we constructed a conservative treatment plan to help increase activity and prolong the life of those knees. Unfortunately,... [More]

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Michele Howell Makes First Appearance on Arson Charges

Michele Howell appeared in Wallace County District Court on Wednesday, April 7th in person via zoom meeting.  Her court appointed attorney Justin Barrett, Colby opted not to appear with his client for her first appearance. Wallace County Attorney Charles Moser appeared on... [More]

Margheim and Schippers Sentenced in Wallace County District Court

Jake Wilson Margheim appeared in Wallace County District Court on November 12th, 2020 for sentencing in case number 17 CR 33.  Margheim had been charged with 1 count of unlawful possession with intent to distribute marijuana, a level 4 drug felony, on January 28, 2017.  Margheim... [More]

Traffic Court July-December 2020

Elmer Nelson of Lamar, CO was fined $93 plus court costs on 9/3/2020 - cited driving 73 mph in a 55 mph zone on 1/18/1994 by WACOSO. Kathleen Brammer of Grain Valley, MO was fined $69 plus court costs on 9/10/20250 – cited driving 79 mph in a 65 mph zone on 10/05/2018 by... [More]

Small Claims Court Proceedings

Case number 2020-SC-2 D Walker Concrete, LLC vs Jory Parks. On June 15th, 2020 (plaintiff) D Walker Concrete LLC filed claim against (defendant) Jory Parks, DBA Heartcross Ranch Designs LLC in the amount of $1150.25 for concrete delivered, plus $15 for sheriff service and $67.50... [More]

District Court Sentencings

Rolando Gonzales appeared in Wallace County District Court on January 12, 2020 for sentencing in case number 2019-CR-10 with court appointed attorney Christopher Rohr of Colby, Kans. On February 13, 2019, Gonzales had been found guilty of count 1 Possession of a Controlled Substance,... [More]

Traffic Court March - June

Skyler Jacob Adams Urban, Goodland Kans, transporting an open container, purchase/possession/comume by minor. Deferred adjudication, 12 months. Court Costs $108. William M Dysart, Jr., Weatherford, Okla, driving 82 mph in a 65 mph zone, Fined $87, court cost $108.  Shane... [More]

Wallace County District Court Proceedings

Rene Trevino appeared in Wallace County District Court on October 2, 2019 for sentencing in case number 2019 CR 12.  Trevino had been charged with 1 Count Domestic Battery, a Class B, Person Misdemeanor on September 7, 2019.  He appeared in court with court-appointed... [More]

Traffic Court for January and February

Catherine Elizabeth Capra, Pleasant Hill, Mo, driving 78 mph in a 65 mph zone, deferred, court costs $108. Justin Blake Meyer, St. Francis, Kans, liquor purchased by minor, nolo contendre, fined $200, court costs $239. Transporting an open container, guilty plea, fined $200.... [More]

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Weskan High School Crowns 2021 Homecoming Royalty

WHS 2021 Homecoming Queen Brielle Allen and King Dalton Mackley.  Allen is the daughter of Chris & Sheila Allen. Mackely is the son of Tim & Linsey Bussen.  2021 WHS Homecoming Court: Bethany Rother, Lane Purvis, Queen Brielle Allen, King  Dalton Mackley,... [More]


Golf Course Tornado Damage Photos

Photos by Corey David Drone


Stramel Named Reserve Intermediate Showman at KJLS

Kasen Stramel was honored to exhibited swine in Kansas’ largest livestock show in Hutchinson. Stramel  competed Saturday in  the showmanship competition.  He was honored to been named Reserve Intermediate Showman.  Sunday morning Stramel’s gilt... [More]


Cheng Duo to Perform in St. Francis

“Gifted, engaging, and energetic” are just a few of the descriptors that have been used in connection with this classically trained piano-violin duo from south central Nebraska. The husband and wife duo, Kevin and Heidi Cheng, will perform at 3 p.m. CDT, Sunday, Oct.... [More]


Keefe Memorial Hospital is Among the First in the U.S. to Offer New Wide-Angle 3D Mammogram for Earlier Cancer Detection

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Taco Shop Increases Offering of FHSU Student Employee Scholarships

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Author Sets New Novel in Wallace County

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Thank You from Sharon Springs Golf Board

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Bugle Notes - October 21, 2021

The Museum is in the final weeks of our summer visitation schedule. With the switch to Standard Time on Sunday Nov. 7, we will begin our winter hours of Thurs-Fri-Sat 10-4 pm MST.  Special tours can be set up outside these hours by calling the Museum at 785.891.3564. ... [More]


Bugle Notes - September 23, 2021

We are thrilled to announce the dedication of the Ruth Jackson Reading Room of the Capt. Myles Keogh Research Library, which took place Saturday during the Exposition. Speakers included Lt.Col. (Ret) DK Clark, Capt. Myles Keogh (Bill Rini, NY, NY) and FWMA President Jayne Humphrey... [More]


Bugle Notes - September 16, 2021

Our 2021 Exposition is now in the books and we are so grateful for the dozens of historians, volunteers and sponsors that made it possible! Record-breaking heat also came to call as an unwelcome guest, but with shade and truckloads of iced water bottles, we were able to persevere... [More]


Bugle Notes - September 2, 2021

Here comes a busy two weeks at the Fort Wallace Museum!  We are excited about the return of the Big Boy 4014 to Wallace County! Everyone is invited to a “Big Boy Watch Party” at the 1879 Kansas Pacific Railroad House in Wallace. There will be free hot dogs, chips... [More]


Bugle Notes - August 26, 2021

The summer is winding down for us all and the start of school is right around the corner! We are busy planning our events for September, including our Outdoor History Education event set for Friday, Sept. 10 (8:30 am-3:00 pm MT) and Saturday, Sept. 11 (9:00 am-1:00 pm MT.) The... [More]


Bugle Notes - August 26, 2021

The summer is winding down for us all and the start of school is right around the corner! We are busy planning our events for September, including our Outdoor History Education event set for Friday, Sept. 10 (8:30 am-3:00 pm MT) and Saturday, Sept. 11 (9:00 am-1:00 pm MT.) The... [More]


Bugle Notes - July 29, 2021

There is SO much happening at the Fort Wallace Museum! Make a visit to the Museum one of your daytime family activities during Fair Week! We are open all week, M-Sat 9-5 MT, Sun 1-5 MT. There is plenty to interest any member of the family, including the little ones! We do ask... [More]


Bugle Notes - July 8, 2021

The sculpted figure of Buffalo Soldier Reuben Waller (installed in May 2021) is continuing to attract comment and interest. Private Waller was stationed at Fort Wallace as an enlisted soldier of the 10th Cavalry which was instrumental in rescuing Forsyth’s Scouts in the... [More]

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